Music is ever-changing and as time goes on, everything seems to have been done. Musicians these days need to be a lot more creative and experimental in order to stand out, be original, and be the first. Here are a couple of bands that caught my attention doing just that.
                                                                                                                                                                       First on the list is Broken Bells. I first of heard of them after I casually picked up one of those free iTunes download cards from Starbucks, for their single “The High Road”. Once I heard the track, I was hooked. Broken Bells combines the vocal talent of James Mercer, aka lead singer of The Shins (think “Caring is Creepy” and “New Slang” on the oh-so-amazing Garden State soundtrack), with the musical genius of Brian Burton (aka Danger Mouse), best known for his collaboration on Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy”.
                                                                                                                                                                      Their self-titled album is incredible from beginning to end. Mercer’s voice is perfect throughout, and Burton definitely steps up in his role as producer: the way he mixes sounds and music with the vocals is artistry at its best. It’s upbeat and mellow at the same time (if that makes any sense). “The Ghost Inside” (by far my favourite track) is the tale of a girl stuck in a loveless relationship, a common theme throughout the album: the struggle in finding one’s way in the world, and the idea that hope is always there. I was unable to attend their show recently, (and no I don’t want to talk about it), but have heard they are unbelievable live, so check them out.
                                                                                                                                                                       Next up is Mumford and Sons. These guys are a trip. Made up of 4 guys hailing from London, UK, playing instruments ranging from guitar, keyboards, drums, and double bass, to mandolin, banjo and accordion, no joke. I would say their sound is definitely folky but with a little rock ‘n’ roll (think Great Big Sea – for all you Canadians out there – but angrier and not as lame). Vocally, I am reminded of Dave Matthews with hints of Damien Rice, and even a sprinkle of Spirit of the West (singers of the classic frosh week song, “Home for a Rest”). On their debut album, Sigh No More, Mumford and Sons provide 12 great tracks, most of which deal with love, heartbreak and loss.                                                                                                                                                                            Their first single “Little Lion Man” is instantly addictive and a great way to introduce yourself to their album. The reason I love them so much is that the way they express feelings of sorrow is exactly how I would: be sad, then get angry. “I Gave You All” starts with “I never meant you any harm/But your tears feel warm as they fall on my forearm”, all sung in a soft voice; and ends with a very loud “But you rip it from my hands/And you swear it’s all gone/And you rip out all I have/Just to say that you’ve won”. 


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