Mega Bog: Happy Together

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Looking at Mega Bog, listening to Mega Bog, I would assume Mega Bog came up in a small town in Europe, but then came to the states and settled in the heart of Brooklyn because the sound is out there and very well, different. Happy Together pulls from an audible history, and could really be the score for a number of films when you break it down. A variety of styles intertwined into one, it was like listening to a hip flea market on a Sunday afternoon.

A lot of scenarios came with Happy Together, but the most present seemed to be the 1920’s. A speakeasy overtaken by someone with a Bjork approach to music, that’s what came to life with play was hit and “Diznee” began. We moved from one decade and scene to the next with each. A ‘60s spy movie came with the more uptempo “Mariane” while detectives took over with “19204.” What I found interesting is that the start of the record showcased more of the arrangement and composition that comes from Mega Bog. Her voice was lost until things started to settle down at the end with a cabaret feel in “Worst Way” and a lot of drama in “Black Rose.” Two sides of one artist, each done with a distinct touch.

There was a lot to hear and imagine when listening to Mega Bog. Like the soundtrack to a movie with a million and one plots that actually somehow worked happily together. Which is ironic and fitting all at the same time. If you’re a fan of artists like Bjork and Lana Del Rey, make sure to check out Happy Together, out now.

The Courtneys: The Courtneys II

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Waiting for the doctors to come in to say if we continue our stay on the sixth floor overlooking UCLA students going and coming as they pass the hospital every second of the day. Growing weary of the medical talk, I start to drown it out with The Courtneys’ The Courtneys II. An obvious sophomore followup to their 2013 debut. Reminiscent of the alternative rock of the ‘90s that relied on a dreamscape of sound, this record played like a long night of slumber.

Liking one song on The Courtneys II guarantees you’ll enjoy the rest. A uniform sound and style throughout, with very little to showcase change – this album was like the musical version of the Lisbon sisters from The Virgin Suicides. It’s also comparable to that movie because of the milky haze each track conveys as they sing of missing someone in “Minnesota” and switch things up just a bit with Virgo.” Their lead single though, “Silver Velvet,” really took you back to that same era, but instead of a Sofia Coppola movie, the scene was in a teen movie at the end when prom was in full effect.

The doctors are still wandering the halls as I wind down my thoughts on this album from a Vancouver trio. If you’re a fan of alternative rock from the ‘90s, then make sure to get your hands on The Courtneys II, out on Flying Nun Records February 17th.

Jenna Torres: Wild Sugar

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We haven’t had too much country around here, but that’s changing today with Jenna Torres’ Wild Sugar. A strong vocal performance surrounding full length’s worth of songs that cover a great spectrum of love and emotion, it was a good listen on a day when the world (and I) could use it.

Again, throughout what I loved and appreciated was the strong stance Jenna’s voice had. There was nothing demure about it. Even with a ballad like “The Man You Want To Be,” she never takes a break from being in control of the situation. From strong to sultry, she also delivered that on this album with “Creek’s on Fire.” What really shined though were the ones you could see standing out and taking this record to radio; “Don’t Make Me Remember” and “Wild Sugar.” Personally though as I sit in a hospital room with my boyfriend who found out he had leukemia just over a week ago, “Soft Spot” hits my own and tears start to stream down my face at a rapid pace.

Country has evolved so much since the days when it was about very loud ensembles, large hair and a twang. Shifting into a more modern time, Jenna Torres’ sound captures the essence of country, that spirit that plays on storytelling and heart but also allows her to give way to a more modern style with the beautiful compositions and arrangements. If you’re a country girl or guy, make sure to check out Jenna’s Wild Sugar, out February 17.