The 10 of '10

Another year, another list. Take it for what it's worth- a hype free list with no pretension; it's the Digging For Days way. 

10- J Roddy Walston & the Business- J Roddy Walston & the Business
 Raw energy at it best. J Roddy takes care of (ahem) business on this blast of pure rock n' roll. Jerry Lee Lewis would be proud on barn burners such as "Don't Break the Needle" and "Full Growing Man." Walston at his best and one of the years best debuts.

9-The Rock and The Tide- Joshua Radin
Radin still has his sparse, guitar-strummed ballads on here, but he also exercises his rock side. "The Ones with the Light" and "Road to Ride On" provide an excellent taste of what Radin is really made of. Lyrically powerful, beautifully sung and arranged, Radin further cements his television show soundtrack-iness with this release. (which is a good thing)

8-Hands All Over- Maroon 5

Gonna get a lot of flack for putting such a divisive band on a list that most people will expect should be filled with obscure bands. But, damnit, Maroon 5 delivered a solid album with hooky soul rock. This album has been in rotation since its release and that speaks to the pure listenability (is that a word?) of the record. You won't win any cool points, but you will be humming along for days.

7- Dark is the Way, Light is a Place- Anberlin
Always heard of this band, but rode them off as another emo band. Then I heard "Impossible" and "Take Me as You Found Me" and was convinced that these guys were something more. Anberlin decided to focus of hooks and melody this time around and may have gotten knocked for by hardcore fans, but their shift (though not that extreme) still felt sincere and organic. The result is an album, though short, is just as powerful.

6- Women + Country- Jakob Dylan
Former Wallflowers frontman, Jakob Dylan went country on his Rick Rubin produced second solo album and the results are quite excellent. With bass lines that will shake your bones, Dylan perfectly crafted his version of Americana rock. Backed up by the excellent Kelly Hogan and Neko Case, Dylan has never sounded so comfortable. Here's hoping we get more of the same in the future. (and a new Wallflowers album? Maybe?)

5- Court Yard Hounds by Court Yard Hounds

Dixie Chick sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Robson decided that they couldn't wait on lead Chick Natalie Maines to get ready to sing again. They formed their own group and they definitely stand on their own. With excellent harmonies and solid songwriting, Court Yard Hounds can more than tide us over for the Chicks' follow-up. Their duet with Jakob Dylan ("See You in the Spring") is the main reason they landed at #5.  A great track, both musically and lyrically.

4- Young the Giant by Young the Giant
Young the Giant, though newly named, deliver quite an impressive debut. Filled with hook after hook, these Giants have an 80s vibe that actually feels modern and not synth heavy. (unlike The Killers) Sameer Gadhia carries quite the song and often the song lives and dies on his voice alone. "My Body" proves they can rock, but it's "I Got" that shows off both their versatility.

3- Of the Blue Colour of the Sky- OK GO

Video masterminds OK GO may be known for their music videos but it was this album that showed they can grow their music beyond pop/rock. Heavily influence by Prince, ...Of the Sky not only gives longtime fans the sound they want, but the sound they didn't know they wanted. Damian Kulash and the guys deliver such layered and experimental rock that it keeps you guessing from song to song. No one in rock music can touch these guys visually and this record proved that they might need to start upping their game musically as well.

2- Grace Potter & the Nocturnals- Grace Potter & the Nocturnals
Major label debuts are a blessing and a curse- great we've got the money from a big label, but our fans will yell "Sell out!" Fortunately, Grace Potter can sing loud enough and strong enough to drown out the few who think that. With Potter channeling Janis Joplin, she is the best singer working today. (as evidenced by her wail on "Tiny Light") Already working on a follow-up, Potter and her Nocturnals offer a perfect mix of blues, rock, and soul. This record takes you back to a time when music wasn't produced but sung from the heart (and soul).

1- Sigh No More by Mumford & Sons
A perfect blend of folk, rock, and blues- Mumford & Sons have arrived. Sigh No More made the music world stand up and take notice of a genre that was thought to be more niche than anything. Not quite country nor rock, Mumford & Sons are electric lead by the raw voice of Marcus Mumford. Whether it's simply understated as in "After the Storm" or a torrent of emotion in "White Blank Page," these guys know how to deliver a wallop of emotion one song at a time. The best album I heard all year long.



Hurts is usually a band I would bypass. Electronic- 80s Morrissey-esque music but then came that Christmas song that I'm sure everyone has heard by now. ("All I Want for Christmas," no not the Mariah Carey one) It's as melancholy as my favorite Christmas song, "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," but it in the best possible way.

Anyway, this song led me to some of their other stuff. It's not all for me, but their song "Stay" is quite possibly the best unrequited love song ever written. (We say goodbye in the pouring rain/And I break down as you walk away/ Stay). Taken off their debut album Happiness, Lead singer Theo Hutchcraft channels Morrissey but with a modern edge. A choir even helps Hutchcraft get the girl to stay. Hurts has a penchant for long slow walking and looking sad but their music is filled with enough synth hooks to carry you through. 

Hurts- Myspace


Boy & Bear

Cut from the same cloth as Mumford & Sons, Boy & Bear find themselves in that rare to find genre- indie/folk Americana rock. So it's surprising to find out that they hail from Australia. Each member fronted another band at one point in their career and I'm glad that they finally realized that they are better together. Boy & Bear, have a down home sound with catchy hooks and harmonies for days. 

It only takes one listen to B&B to know that they have the goods. Take "Mexican Mavis" for instance. Probably one of their strongest tracks I've heard. With it's choral harmonies and plucked acoustic guitar, "Mavis" is thriving, pounding and an excellent starting point. "Blood to Gold" is a lyrical goldmine (pun intended) about what you have is never enough. ("If this blood don't turn to gold I think I'm doomed") Boy & Bear will definitely get compared to Mumford & Sons (and maybe Fleet Foxes) but I do believe that there is space enough in this musical genre for this excellent band. 

Boy & Bear- Myspace
Mexican Mavis-


Young the Giant

Digging For Days Reviews...
Young the Giant by Young the Giant

Already inducted into the DFD Hall of Fame (yeah we've got one...um...it just started), Young the Giant (formerly The Jakes) are set to deliver their proper self-titled debut album digitally on October 26th. And deliver do they ever. Giant is one of the best terms to describe these California guys' sound. They have a big sound which is accented by lead singer's Sameer Gadhia's big voice. He soars on the rollicking, lively My Body and brings it down to a simmer on Islands.

Young the Giant are steeped in Californian, laid-back rock. They create such an atmosphere with each and every song. They aren't going for the nose-bleeds every time but they make up for it genuine pop/rock greatness. Hooks abound at every turn and especially on their most famous track Cough Syrup. Garands is filled with soaring vocals that practically beg to be blared from a car stereo at sunset. Never too heavy or too light, these guys are, to quote Goldilocks, "Just right." They have built quite a mold for themselves, one I'm not quite sure has been cast before. Young the Giant inhabit a soulful place where the songs are at the forefront. Melodies swoon in and out with dream like guitars and pounding, piercing drums. 

Not every song is a winner though, St. Walker at times is a bit aimless. It's just not as strong as the rest. Same goes for album closer Guns Out. On this track, the hooks just don't spill out as easily as the others. It gets weighed down by its own breeziness. Young the Giant though have put together quite a strong outfit of material here that will bring that summery feel we'll all need by winter's end. A-

Young the Giant- Myspace
My Body-


Get Back Loretta

Get Back Loretta
San Diego's Get Back Loretta is pop music at its best-smart, catchy, edgy. Their songs are filled with hooks, big melodies, and great lyrics. After a few listens I'm definitely high on these guys. Their new EP Where Did You Go? is anchored by excellent track Breaking Down. Often channeling Muse at times on this song, Steven Bradford delivers lines like waves crashing upon the shore. 

Bradford has such a bombastic quality to his voice, bringing to mind Cold War Kids lead singer Nathan Willett. GBL is in my wheelhouse because they deliver the type of rock I crave- highly melodic and catchy as hell.

Get Back Loretta- Myspace
Breaking Down (Acoustic)-


Justin Jones

Justin Jones
Rough around the edges, blues fueled, raw energy. Just some of the ways to describe Justin Jones. His new release Little Fox EP, is a breath of fresh air in the overproduced shine of today's music. With just enough ragged-ness in his voice to make you want to keep listening, Jones keeps his brand of country-tinged rock rolling. On the harmonica laden opening track Little Fox.

 It's a highlight on the album but it's the stark track The Gutter with its gut-wrenching lyrics and simple guitar chords that knocks you down.  (I found a memory in the gutter/put it in my belly/ it fed me for weeks). Jones' honesty in his songs is almost a little too hard to listen to. His vocals sound like he is on the brink of ripping open his chest. A great find that has gotten me out of a dry spell. 

Justin Jones- Myspace
The Gutter-


Jukebox the Ghost

Call this a long time coming. Jukebox the Ghost came into my email a while back. I mean a whhhile back. And then I forgot about them. And then I remembered how much I intended to get them on DFD but never did. (Well, thanks to Direct Current for the memory jog) Jukebox the Ghost just released their album Everything Under the Sun and it is filled with hooky, anthemic, piano-driven gems.

So Let Us Create
is a Queen-esque slow build with trickling piano and a soft flowing melody. Also check out the jittery album opener Schizophrenia, which sounds like Phoenix on a caffeine high. With their pop sensibilities intact, Jukebox the Ghost aren't one of those bands that gets experimental and the critics swoon. Rather, they rely on solid songwriting, tight melodies, and excellent

Jukebox the Ghost- Myspace
So Let Us Create-


New Pete Yorn

As you can probably tell, my real job has started back. (Teaching doesn't pay many bills, but it pays some.) So right now, I'm more concerned with getting everything squared away with that. BUT I did just get a second Pete Yorn track off his upcoming self-titled album. It's called Velcro Shoes and is just as good as Precious Stone. Filled with harmonica, rough guitars, and a catchy hook, Pete Yorn is putting out his best work. I was a huge fan of his first two, not so much his last two. These tracks are changing my outlook. It's now sunny with a definite purchase. Hopefully I'll be getting an advanced copy to review to really get a better idea. Until then, enjoy a free download of Velcro Shoes AND Precious Stone.

Pete Yorn-Myspace
Precious Stone-
Download This:
Velcro Shoes
Precious Stone


J Roddy Walston & The Business

Pure, raw energy is the only way to describe J Roddy and the Business. From Baltimore by way of Tennessee, these guys play rock n' roll as if their lives depend on it. And a few of today's bands could stand to have their lives threatened. (I'm glaring at you Nickelback!) Their sound is jagged and rough, but then goes down smooth once the melodies take control. JR&TB are nothing if not super catchy. With a sophomore album out on July 27th, JR&TB hope to really show the world what it really means to rock. And roll.

Roddy's voice is all gravel and glass but never veers into grating. One moment he is subdued and the next note everything is unleashed. Piano rocker Don't Break the Needle is one of their strongest tracks with slow burning vocals by Roddy before he lets loose the flames on the chorus. Jerry Lee Lewis would be proud.

Roddy is backed by some serious Business as well. The entire band's sound basically body slams emo to the floor. Not only are J Roddy and the Business performing barn burners with every tune, they set the whole damn town aflame.

J Roddy Walston & The Business- Myspace

Don't Break the Needle-


The Victorious Secrets

FreeCreditScore.com is currently looking to replace their popular fake band. You know the ones with the guys singing in a Renaissance Fair or at a restaurant in pirate get-ups. Yeah, they're fake. Sorry to ruin your childhood fantasies. Anyway, the company has been searching the country for a real replacement band. There are 4 bands that you can vote for right now. I have my favorite and their little commercial ditty is even more catchy than any jingle I have heard on TV. (Maybe the Empire Flooring 1-800-988-2300, EMPIRE!)

The Victorious Secrets (get it?) is an unsigned band from Detroit with a national commercial and the goods to back it up. Their sound is a grungy/pop/rock thing going on. Simultaneously catchy and tongue planted firmly in cheek, they're songs are self-aware and so are the guys in the band. (As evidenced in some of their interviews) Riding on a Falcon, is a thumping good time with excellent lead vocals by Danny Zott. A definite winner in my book for the competition which hopefully leads to bigger and better things for these guys.

The Victorious Secrets- Myspace
Riding on a Falcon-

FreeCreditScore.com Jingle-


Lady Danville

Hailing from LA, acoustic rockers Lady Danville specialize in lush harmonies and gentle hooks. Formed in 2007 after meeting for UCLA's acappella group Awaken, Lady Danville have been hitting every venue in LA to spread their music and gather a following. They are currently recording their full length album. A little bit Death Cab for Cutie mixed with the vocal stylings of Ben Folds.

One of their best songs is Cars which is all bouncy piano and plucky guitar. Lady Danville are on top of their game when they fully embrace the hooks and harmonies that seem to just ooze out of every song. Also check out Anthem, a piano driven mid-tempo that will definitely grow on you. Lady D takes you back to a time when music felt organic and actually performed by musicians. A lot of potential with these guys.

Lady Danville- Myspace

Lady Danville - Cars from Matthew Kurtin on Vimeo.


American Bang

I heard about these guys through a Verizon commercial. They had a catchy little song on it a while back and then I had just forgotten about them. I stumbled across them again, very randomly, and and it just so happens that they are finally putting out a proper debut album. (Their self titled effort comes out at the end of August.)

After listening to their first single Wild And Young, they strike me as a cleaner version of Kings of Leon. Lead singer Jaren Johnston even mimics some of Caleb Followill's twangy vocal mannerisms. I am not saying it is a bad thing by any means. If you like Kings of Leon then you'll love American Bang. Their songs are soaring, anthemic, and rollicking. Many of you will scream 'derivative' but I say that American Bang bring a spit shine polish that KoL were just getting around to on their latest album. There's enough room in the music landscape for a band this talented.

American Bang- Myspace
Wild And Young-



After combing through some blogs I came across this great band. (Thanks Come Pick Me Up) Fairline have a storied beginning. Coming from the ashes of the band Ivory, lead singer Nathaniel Moon started up Fairline after a series of events involving The Maine led him to quickly get a few tracks in front of the right people.

With a yearning voice that creaks and cracks in the right places, Moon keeps things interesting. Need A Way Out, their first single off their upcoming EP, has a touch of an electronic edge before breaking into full on pop/rock mode for the soaring chorus. Keep an ear open for this band, definitely worth your time.

Fairline- Myspace
Need A Way Out (Acoustic)-


New Americans Video

I first posted about The Americans in March of last year which you can read here. They are just an amazing band from New York with a knack for the retro. Their sound infuses old school doo-wop with a modern rock twist. (The backing vocals and harmonies aren't bad either!) Lead singer Charlie Klarsfeld has a Mark Ronson vibe going on and his voice is what keeps drawing me back in.

Their new EP entitled The White EP is coming out around August. I've got my hands on it and am currently listening the hell out of it. The Antidote is a sort of preview of what's to come. More on this up and coming band. Keep up with them right here on Digging For Days.

The Americans- Myspace

The Antidote-

The Americans - ANTIDOTE Music Video from Charles Klarsfeld on Vimeo.

Download This : The Antidote


The Band Perry

DJ-ing for a country music radio station gets me exposed to a ton of music. It's all country music, which is bad enough, but there are some groups (Dixie Chicks, Lady Antebellum) that cause me to go over to the dark side for a bit. I'm not knocking the genre but I have no use for songs about trucks, rain, and being middle class. I'm from Georgia-don't need a musical reminder. The Band Perry will go onto my acceptable country music list. I saw their video for If I Die Young this morning and was completely taken by two things- #1) singer's Kimberly Perry's soft melodic tone and B.)the lyrics.

The Band Perry consists of siblings Kimberly, Reid, and Neal. Having only an EP under their belt, lead singer Kimberly sure does know who to write a song. Having written If I Die Young all by herself, the song has such a great perspective and excellent phrasing. And where it matters most-in the delivery- she hits it out of the park, relying on the lyrics to push the song forward rather than bombast vocals.

An melancholy ballad about a woman's wishes if something should happen to her. With spine-tingling lines like A penny for my thoughts/I'll sell them for a dollar/They're worth so much more after I'm a goner/And maybe then you'll hear the words I been singin'/Funny when you're dead how people start listenin'. And having gone through losing a friend way too young this really hits me in the gut. A catchy song with killer harmonies and a great message-no matter the genre.

The Band Perry will no doubt get many Lady Antebellum comparisons due to their 2 guys and a girl lineup. But with songwriting this strong and a full length album not even out, I have high hopes for this new group.

The Band Perry- Myspace
If I Die Young-



Scope. That is what Carney possesses that not many bands can get right. Consisting of brothers Reeve and Zane Carney, the band is just a little left of center. With their debut album, Mr. Green Vol. 1, Carney dives into a different genre with every track and yet somehow remains intact with their sound. They bop with the Cabaret-esque Amelie, infuse quiet blues on Think of You, and completely rock out on Love Me Chase Me. The latter being a slinky, sexy track with a kiss off lyric that is simple and not so sweet. (I don't want you baby/I don't need you lately/Girls I've got to let you go.) It is one their best tracks with slow burn then an avalanche of emotion.

Carney has such a cinematic quality to their music. It is epic in every sense of the word. Just take the nearly 8 minute Testify with its dirty guitar and cool vocals. Carney, in my mind, represent a new direction of rock music. One that doesn't fit their songs into an easily digestable 3 minute radio ready hit. Their songs take their time and the payoff is well worth the wait.

Carney- Myspace
Love Me Chase Me-


Christian TV

Thanks to Crazed Hits for finally getting me to listen to Christian TV. I'd seen this name floating around on the Internet for a while now and just never really wanted to listen to it. (Partly due to the name) But boy I will never judge an artist by their name again. (Well not right away.)

Christian TV is the next big thing in pop music. His single When She Turns 18, may sound inappropriate but it is one of the freshest, catchiest things to come around in quite a while. Borrowing from Timberlake's swagger and throwing in a bit of electronica/rock, Christian TV really knows how to make a splash in the music world. He is currently working on his debut album and if this is the taste of what is to come, then expect a lot out of this guy. Hooky, energetic, and perfect with its summer time care-free feel.

Warning: The video will melt your computer screen and is definitely not appropriate for young 'uns.

Christian TV- Myspace
When She Turns 18-


Good Old War

Leaning a bit to the alt-country side, Good Old War has been one of those bands that I have heard of before but never really say down and gave them a chance. Too bad I did that because now I know what I've been missing. Hailing from Pennsylvania, Good Old War consists of three guys who play down home and left of center country tinged music. Lead singer Keith Goodwin possesses a simple voice that perfectly suits the atmosphere they create.

They just released their self-titled sophomore album and after listening to it, it is a laid back summer-y affair. With tracks like the heartbreaking My Own Sinking Ship about a relationship that felt so right but just didn't work out. (It's the last time we'll fall in love) But they really shine on I Should Go/Thinking of You. It begins with a three part harmony intro before getting into a sweet acoustic, almost Jack Johnson type guitar strum. The song is often sung as a group and the guys know who to blend their vocals perfectly. Both musically and lyrically this song is steps above anything else on the album. The song conveys the strong feeling of wanting and knowing what you can't have. Goodwin sings I can only think of one reason why I should go/I'll see you tomorrow/I'll go back home and think of you.

Good Old War perfectly encompasses that space of down home, laid back, heart on your sleeve music that really wants to speak to the listener. And it only gets better with each listen.

Good Old War- Myspace
I Should Go-

Good Old War "I Should Go/Thinking of You" Glassroom Session

Good Old War | MySpace Music Videos


Ohio Avenue

It says it right on their website- "We're not from Ohio." OK? Now that that is taken care of, Ohio Avenue is the street lead singer Derek Williams grew up on in Indiana. Formed back in 2005, Ohio Avenue kind of falls into that Switchfoot category. You know the "Christian" band with "Christian" overtones. Some of y'all stopped reading right there. Christian bands can get a bad rap. Ohio Avenue, thankfully, don't beat you over the head with their lyrics. They fill their songs with meaning wrapped around a radio ready hook.

Their debut album The Sound is a solid pop/rock effort that boasts rollicking tracks such as Liar Liar and Running Away. Liar has a start/stop guitar lick and a chorus that will eat at your brain for a bit. With lines like, We look the other way and fall in love with the lies we create, it's safe to say that Ohio Avenue is aiming to say something about the society we live in. The Cure is a bit experimental with an echo effect that keeps the song fresh and interesting. Every song is hook laden and perfect for those who like solid pop/rock with substance.

Ohio Avenue-Myspace
Liar, Liar-


The Tails

I get sent a lot of music to be featured here on Digging. I sift through them all and only bring you (what I think is) the best. A lot of bands don't really make the cut but The Tails definitely did. I was surprised to tell you the truth because I've been going through a musical drought. The Tails consist of cousins Craig and Mike Chambers from Long Beach and their music has that California easiness to it. Reminiscent of the Beach Boys with harmonies full of sunshine The Tails provide a much needed jolt of laid back-ness.

is a bouncy number with toy piano and acoustic guitar. It's lightness in its music, though, is a contrast with the lyrics about giving someone space even when it's killing you. (Now I sit on my hands and I'm playing your game/I force myself not to call while you get it all straight.) Check out Science Camp as well, it's a tale of young loves (Where were you when I was through with her? Didn't you know baby that was your turn?) It's one of their catchiest. The Tails are allowing you to download their record for free off of their Myspace page. They may be unheard of now, but once you crank up their songs while soaking up the sun you'll be glad that you dug 'em.

The Tails- Myspace


Erik Hassle

Who knew VH1 would provide me with some great music. Well they play music in the early morning and there I was suffering through those same old videos they play all the freaking time and then Erik Hassle's video for Hurtful came on. I've never heard of Mr. Hassle before and was blown away by his tone, and his song. Upon further research Hassle, who hails from Sweden, released his debut album Pieces back in February. It's filled with pop fueled rock with a hint of electronica and may not be for the indie crowd.

On Hurtful, Hassle creates an atmospheric quality with loud drums and a quiet undertone of synths. It's a slow burner with a burst of a chorus. One of the best off of Pieces. Don't Bring Flowers is a guitar driven groove that really show off Hassle's knack for the unexpected. Where you expect the song to lift off it holds back. Erik's voice is what drives all of his songs though. He cuts through the music with his pure vocals. A bit of soul, a bit of pop, with a healthy dose of electronica all make for a great new find. Keep your ears open for this guy on the radio.

Erik Hassle- Myspace


The Riverwinds

Whatever happened to the great Americana rock band? Jakob Dylan held onto the genre with The Wallflowers for a while, and now he's trying to keep it alive with a solo act. And helping him with that heavy torch is The Riverwinds. They somehow have infused their straightforward rock with a homespun quality that is very hard to get right. What The Riverwinds do is create a music landscape that encompasses great melodies, slick guitar licks, and hooks that pull you in closer.

Lead singer Bryan Wood, has a rugged country twang that elevates everything he sings. Let's Roll could've been just a secondhand affair about getting out of a small town. With Wood at the helm he sings his heart out where you actually believe him. I Want You to Know is filled with guitar hooks that from the first 30 seconds you know the song cannot disappoint. It doesn't both musically and lyrically. With lines like I'll think twice before I get myself into something that could be good, that tell of a former player with his heart set on change.

The Riverwinds are brimming with a modern Americana sound that would fit nicely into the dusk of a cool summer night. Good luck finding a physical copy of their full length LP though, digital copies are available through all the usual outlets. A must buy for any lover of a little alt-country with their rock.

The Riverwinds- Myspace
Let's Roll (acoustic)-


Jason Zerbin

Digging For Days Reviews...
Of Fools and Gold by Jason Zerbin

Attention all networks! Jason Zerbin wants to be the soundtrack to your TV show. Of Fools and Gold is the debut album from Jason Zerbin and his band and is filled to the brim with songs of love. It's as if Grey's Anatomy need not look any further to score a scene. Jason Zerbin follows in the Snow Patrol/Coldplay genre of music; strong, melancholy melodies, a smooth voiced lead singer. I Want You is a mid-tempo toe-tapper that builds to a yearning chorus. It's one of the strongest tracks only because it's a welcome change of pace. Album opener, Here on the Edge, has an urgent sense to it with it's choppy backbeat. The title track is another highlight is a slow burner about longing to be in love and how foolish it can seem. (We've been chasing love like a pot of gold)

But for all the great tracks their are those that don't quite get off the ground. Collide goes on without much of a melody and The Haunting just didn't come together for me. Of Fools and Gold is weighed down with too many down tempo songs that don't have much room to go anywhere. But when Zerbin is firing on all cylinders you completely believe everything he sings about. I only wish that the songs were as strong as his voice. The album has a bit of a split personality. The first half is as strong as ever, with the the last half feeling a little uneven. Of Fools and Gold is a solid album filled with potential. If only the title delivered more gold instead silver. B-

Jason Zerbin- Myspace


Alpha Rev

So February came and went with only one post. (I've been extremely busy.)Hopefully March will have more. And Alpha Rev will be kicking it off. Alpha Rev is from Austin and led by Casey McPherson (formerly of Endochine-the rock band with that one song from the Levi's commercial) Anyway, I came across Alpha Rev randomly on iTunes and after being featured on Melrose Place, they are poised for a breakout.

They may already be in the process of doing so. Their song Colder Months is the very definition of a slow burn. Led by piano and McPherson's powerful vocals it perfectly describes that feeling of loss and pain. These thoughts of pain, don't make a sound/They keep us hidden in the lost and found. They are set to release their album New Morning on April 20th. The title track off that album just became available and is another slow burner. Starting with a a choppy guitar line, it has a little more grit and showcases McPherson's excellent falsetto. I usually don't like guys singing high, but he switches beautifully back to his chest voice. (I did learn something from American Idol)

Be sure to check out this band as they are already on the verge.

Alpha Rev- Myspace
Colder Months(Live)-


The Hours

The Olympics are here! That's not why posting has been very light recently. (Blame my real paying job) I'm sitting watching the Olympics and a commercial comes on. I naturally get up and do something productive but there is a song that keeps me from leaving the room. It's a pounding, very inspirational tune, with a slight British leaning sound. I stick around for the whole thing, track it down, and here we are.

The band is called The Hours. The song is Ali in the Jungle. Ali being of the Muhammad variety. The commercial is the newest from Nike. I strongly you suggest you check out both the band and the commercial. They're both worth your time. From London, The Hours start out with a banging piano and some hand claps. It builds with lines like Everybody gets knocked down/How quick are you gonna get up? And as the music swells the guys really start getting the song off the ground. Paired with the commercial, it is chill worthy.

The Hours- Myspace
Ali in the Jungle-

Nike Commercial-


Mumford & Sons

I've had their debut, Sigh No More, for a little while now and was so enthralled with it that I forgot that I never formally posted about them on DFD. Well consider them posted.

Mumford & Sons is a folk/bluegrass/rock band that encompasses everything that is great about that particular genre. Their musicianship is uncontested. Their lyrics are seething. And lead singer Marcus Mumford's voice is probably one of the best. Ever. His tone is all gin-soaked rasp and rage. He can take the most mundane of songs and transform it into something altogether great.

On Sigh No More, Mumford & Sons are coming to you full throttle. From the run-for-your-money banjo fueled The Cave to the absolutely terrifying (in a good way) Dust Bowl Dance. The latter telling of a man who has been wronged and takes matters into his own hands. (There will come a time I will look in your eye/You will pray to the God that you always denied/The I'll go out back and I'll get my gun) But nothing can compare to the quiet start and blistering finish of their best track White Blank Page. Mumford lulls the listener into a sense of security with its simple melody and lyrics and somewhere around 1:30 mark turns it all out. And when he sings about a swelling rage, you feel it just as much as he does.

Mumford & Sons excel at the slow build. Stick with their songs long enough and you will be rewarded with a rich and awr inspiring listening experience. Be sure to check out their debut when it hits stores on February 10th.

Mumford & Sons- Myspace
White Blank Page-


Matt Morris

Digging For Days Reviews...
When Everything Breaks Open
by Matt Morris

It really does pay to have friends in high places. Or in the case of Matt Morris, to have the Justin Timberlake to executive produce your album. But even without JT, Morris shines on his own. His debut album When Everything Breaks Open, finds the former Mousekeeter channeling his own version of a soul Ray LaMontagne. It suits him just fine as evidenced in the opener Don't You Dare. Groovy beats and loud drums resonate amidst Morris' soothing blue-eyed soul vocals. It's one of the best hooks on the album. Morris finds his muse in many things. He's got a very lyrically current song called Money (Money ain't the villain, it's the greed that's the killer), one called Love, and the violin laced The Un-American. The latter is a very tongue and cheek take on the state of the union. (The un-American is needs a personal Jesus, private insurance, an obedient wife)

But the highlight of the entire album comes from the breathtaking track Live Forever. It's no surprise that it's a Timberlake produced affair. It starts off with a dreamy pipe organ before devolving into a bombastic melody driven song. Amidst it all, though, its Morris' voice that cuts through-remaining calm and collected. His voice is at a constant quiet restraint, wanting the lyrics to really hit and not fuss it up with vocal runs.

What can make him so appealing in one song is what is frustrating in another. Morris is a definite soul singer but very rarely does he really show off his vocals. I want to hear his guy sing because I know he can. Also, too many times, the songs never quite take off because of a lack of a strong hook to latch onto such as the RnB lite track In This House. When Everything Breaks Opens can at times be a misnomer because Morris too often holds back vocally when he needs to let go like on Just Before the Morning.

But with that said, Matt provides the music scene with a jolt of blue eyed soul that's perfect for those us who need a soundtrack to life's real problems. B-

Matt Morris- Myspace
Don't You Dare (live at Bonnaroo)-


The 9 of '09

2009 was a great year in music. Here at Digging For Days, I don't pretend to have heard every album that was released. I did listen to a quite a bit. So here is my end of year list- no pretense or hype here. Let the bashing begin.

9. Crash Kings by Crash Kings

Their energy is as infectious as their songs. Without a guitar in sight, these Kings deliver one great song after the other. Whether it's the sheer force of Raincoat or the charging 1985, Crash Kings know how to keep the fingers off the skip button. They deserve much more attention in 2010.

8. Raditude
by Weezer

It's not Pinkerton. They haven't even tried to copy that album and you know what? Once you accept Weezer as the band they are now, you can sleep a little better at night. They turn up the pop of their brand of nerd pop/rock on Raditude and got bashed for it. One Lil Wayne collabo later on the super catchy Can't Stop Partying and you almost forgive them for turning their back on meaningful lyrics. With songs this toe tapping, I kind like the direction Weezer is headed.

7. Build Me This by Joshua James

Once billed as a quiet folk singer, James proved everyone wrong on his second album. Here he proved that he can rock with the best of them. But he didn't lose his core group of fans along the way. He blends his style of folk music with the volume turned way up. Black July is as stomping as a White Stripe song. Coal War is a modern take on a chain gang anthem. Joshua James pulled out all the stops here and it shows.

6. The Modern Electric by The Modern Electric

A little known band with a fondness for David Bowie with a rock edge. The Modern Electric deliver on the modern part of their name. They are at once a throwback to the '90s rock sound with a whole new twist. With a lead singer who can bend his voice to the brink and back again on such heart wrenching songs like Filming Our Favorite Lies. But it's the single Mistakes that shows their artistry; rather than explode, they hold back. Tease.

5. All I Ever Wanted by Kelly Clarkson

Oh, Kelly how we missed you since you were gone. She took a break from her pop roots to get her dark side out on My December but came back full force on Wanted. My Life Would Suck Without You was the banging pop song we always wanted from her and she delivered. Her voice still remains front and center but heightened by the right hooks that let us proudly sing along with her in the car. A return to form CD that also grows the artist (Just listen to the hard rock Whyyawannabringmedown and the retro I Want You); well worth the wait.

4. Ursa Major by Third Eye Blind

We thought we were rid of the '90s alt rock kings. They went the way of Bush, Vertical Horizon, and Live. But Third Eye Blind delivered a very much labored over album Ursa Major like they had nothing to prove. Stephen Jenkins' snarl and overly worded lyrics are still intact as were the classic 3EB hooks. Don't Believe A Word is quite possibly their most rocking yet (and very The Who-ish). While Sharp Knife is a classic slow burner with a message. After all the delays, Ursa Major proved these '90s guys deserve a spot in the new millennium.

3. Revolution by Miranda Lambert

Out of left field Lambert delivered not only the best country album of the year, but one of the best period. With songs that hit you below the belt and in the face, Lambert's delivery and tone completely set the stage for the stories she is telling. The House That Built Me brings tears to my eyes just thinking about going back to my childhood home, while Me and Your Cigarettes creates one of the best metaphors, nicotine and love-(they're both addictive and bad for you). She should be sweeping the awards circuit this time next year with her most honest, heartfelt record to date.

2. Phrazes for the Young by Julian Casablancas

The Strokes front man was the last one of his group to strike out on his own and you know what they say about the last ones. Casablancas delivered a throwback to the '80s on tracks such as 11th Dimension. His songs went unexpected places and often changed without much warning. He kept an eye on the future without losing what made The Strokes. Left & Right in the Dark finds Julian bopping along with pop beat and a chorus that keeps finding hooks around every corner. With only 8 songs on this album, every one has something to love. All killer, no filler.

1. Aim and Ignite by fun.

No band found the pure bliss of music quite like fun. did this year. Led by the former lead singer of The Format, fun. delivered the most exuberant pop opus I've heard in quite a while. Washed in violins, background vocals, lush harmonies, excellent melodies and a hooks galore. Aim and Ignite did just that. It exploded what pop music can be. It doesn't have to be fake club beats and guests rap collaborations. Fun. reminded everyone that music is supposed to sound like- genuine lyrics wrapped around a clever hook. It doesn't get much better than the frenetic track ironically called Be Calm or the military drums on At Least I'm Not as Sad as I Used to Be. If Aim and Ignite was their debut I can't wait to see when they explode.