Listening Test No. 1 (An Experiment In Fear)

I started the “broadening of my horizons” with a list of new artists to watch for 2014 from Rolling Stone. I also added HAIM to the list based on a still photo I saw on their website which caught my attention. The criteria/data I’m using, I picked one “official” song based on their home pages and listened to the whole tune and noted how many views each artist had up to that point. I also made comparisons (couldn’t help it, hopefully a habit I will break). I tried to keep a positive outlook and these are just thoughts based on very little material and is by no means definitive. I started with Curtis Harding, Keep On Shining (12,225) Strong vocals, pretty solid tune, definitely 70’s soul throwback and I want to hear more. Kristina Train, Dark Black (794,682) Very Norah Jones, at least in this song, but I’d give her another listen. K Camp, Money Baby (9,134,883) Sounds like the majority of rap music I’ve heard (I’m no expert at all on rap/hip hop so pretty limited knowledge) if anything it sounds dated to my ears. White Lung, Drown With The Monster (69,369) Not much of a punk fan either but I hear the potential and the great thing about punk is even if you’re not that into it, it’s over in 2 minutes! (It’s not a put down). Kitten, Like A Stranger (75,000) Sounds like it should have been on the Top Gun Soundtrack but again I hear some potential there. Nonono, Hungry Eyes, (149,239) Very distracted by the video of the lead singer walking across the screen in slow-mo in short shorts which is why i tried to listen and not actually watch the videos. Kind of basic pop song, that I won’t remember (except for the slow-mo, of course).

I’ll unfairly lump Ben Foster (Venter, 22,658), Dayne S (All The Things 4023) and Fatina al Qadiri (D-Medley 65,628) because their music is mostly instrumental and I found Foster’s music the most to my taste and the other two artists more dance oriented then I’m oriented to but I enjoyed hearing all their tracks. Wild Cub, Thunder Clatter (166,791). I really liked this song, sounds like a lot of rock/pop music but it didn’t remind me of anyone in particular either, like the melody and the vocals. I’m going to play a couple more of their tracks and see where that leads. That leaves HAIM, If I Could Change Your Mind (4,138,466). Nice pop tune, I’m not sure what to make of them since in the video (yeah I saw it) they present themselves differently then I pictured them. I hate to say a female Hanson but that’s kind of where my head was at. I do want to hear more for them and to get a feel for what their about.

To sum up, this experiment showed a lot of problems ingesting new music are on my end. I draw comparisons too quickly and have reference points that are difficult to shake. More exploration is needed and this is just a first step in trying to change my perspective. If I had to pick whose album I would most likely pick up out of this group it would have to be Curtis Harding’s. Not a stretch for me, his music is in my comfort zone. Hopefully over time I will learn new things about what I’m hearing and new things about myself in the process. I’m already aware of my tendency to be easily distracted by hot girls in short shorts, that’s probably not going to change!  

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