X Ambassadors

Ragged guitars, throbbing bass lines, and hooks all over the place, give Ambassadors an edge over the competition. Most rock bands seem to forget that great music needs to have a melody that listeners want to come back to. Ambassadors gets that. 

Their new (to me at least, it came out in January) album Litost has many highlights and showcases lead singer Sam Harris' vocals with great ease. On the nostalgic track "Unconsolable" Harris veers back and forth from a falsetto to a full voice with great skill. He sings about trying to leave adolescence behind but somehow it always finds it way back to you. ( I hope we stay thick as thieves/ butter and bread/and I wish I could shout you out

"Bodybag" is harmony-drenched and a real change of pace with its laid back vibe. But its the title track that really showcases what these guys can do. Melding strings and acoustic guitar Ambassadors layer and build quite a sad song of self-torment. (which is exactly what litost, pronounced LEE-toast, means) With heartbreaking lines like, And how long must I stay? Will I lay by your side/ just to say that I'm yours/and you'll never be mine, Ambassadors proves that not only can their music speak for itself but they can write like no other. 

Ambassadors- Facebook


Youth Imperial

New bands bring a breath of fresh air to my iTunes, but when bands are so new they only have one single to listen to, it can be a real test in patience. Youth Imperial are a melodic alt rock band whom I can only judge on a couple of YouTube concert videos and the single "Lamplight." But sometimes, less is more. 

Led by the exquisite, bluesy lead vocals of Robbie Redway, Youth Imperial is your next great obsession. Youth Imperial create a mood; soulful, melodic, atmospheric almost. "Lamplight" is a low-key affair that simmers just below the surface during the verses, and lets go for the chorus. I've definitely had this song of repeat lately and demand to hear more from this very promising band. You can download "Lamplight" for free here.

Youth Imperial- Facebook