Posts tagged ‘Hurrah! A Bolt of Light!’

April 2, 2014

A Second Hurrah!, Again With Feeling

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I will forever sing the praises of Wil Farr, and not just because we have the same birthday. Dude’s been making some of my favorite tunes for the past decade or so, and since teaming up with his latest band, Hurrah! A Bolt of Light!, things have been really jiving. Hurrah!’s fan-funded, self-titled second album feels like a natural evolution from the band’s debut.

Hurrah’s 2011 album, Hello!, was a balanced blend of alt-country sincerity and unbridled rock energy. My favorite song from the band’s full-length debut, “One Drink,” took a simple melody and ran like hell with it. It is still one of my go-to rage therapy aids.

On the new release, Hurrah! reins in that fury a bit, resulting in something that sounds a bit more mature and refined. Compared to early demo recordings of several songs on this album, the band clearly made an effort to sand things down on this outing. “Hands in the Bees’ Nest” particularly reached fruition with a deeper elegance than its original manifestation, trading Farr’s bristling growls for anguished cries.

The album opens strong with “I Sold My Soul,” a relatively upbeat tune showered with handclaps and a catchy chorus of “oh whoa oh”s. It’s easily the most fun, accessible song the band’s put out, and even carries what sounds to be a sweet plea of everlasting (even if a bit futile) love. It’s an appropriate reintroduction to the many talents within the group, Jacob Pleakis returning to pound out keys, Kenny Shaw kickin’ it on the drums, a low bassline from Doug Drewes, and driving guitar licks from Dave Freedman accompanying the stylings of bandleader Farr.

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May 31, 2012

Hurrah! needs your help!

I have something extremely important to tell you and I greatly hope you will listen because there isn’t much time!

New York band Hurrah! A Bolt of Light! has to raise $10,000 by June 16 to release a brand new full-length album that is going to rock off your ever-loving socks. Hurrah!’s 2011 album “Hello!” made it onto my list of the Top 20 Albums of 2011, and you can read all about why it’s so great right here in my review at Radio Free Chicago. If that’s not enough to convince you how amazing this ensemble is, they were named New York City’s No. 1 emerging indie rock band in The Deli Magazine and their single “Devil On My Shoulder” was listed among the top 40 songs of 2010 by Brooklyn Vegan. So don’t just take my word for it, take every music savvy New Yorker’s word for it as well, because this band is a major hitmaker waiting to happen. (And did I mention lead singer/guitarist Wil Farr has the same birthday as I do? He’s one year younger, but still. Awesome is awesome at any age.)

You may be one of those people who has to see to believe, so see for yourself just how WONDERFUL these guys are. This song always blows my skull wide open.

So when you give some money to these guys, you’re basically ensuring that more of this kind of stuff is going to exist in the world. And that is almost certainly worth at least ten of those dollars sitting around in your bank, possibly reserved for a coffee drink or a sandwich or something. Believe me. With Hurrah!’s music, you won’t even need that coffee. If you help out their Kickstarter campaign, you won’t just be making them very happy, but you’ll be making me very happy. Gosh. You know what? You’ll also be making yourself very happy, because by backing this campaign, you’re saying you like their music, and it will result in more of that, which is exactly why you’re doing this in the first place!

Go here to give them money and reap your rewards: Hurrah! Is Recording A New Album!

December 23, 2011

Abbytron’s Top 20 Albums of 2011

Chances are you’ve already seen tons of Best of 2011 lists already, but as a music blogger, I of course have to throw in my two cents. As usual, it’s been a phenomenal year for music lovers like myself, and I’ve spent all of 2011 digging into new releases like it’s going outta style. While I certainly didn’t hear it all, I heard enough to have a pretty good idea of what stands out ahead of the pack. So this is just a rundown of the 10 frontrunners (plus 10 more that vied hardily for those positions) that I believe should absolutely not go overlooked.

1. Noah Gundersen – Family
Okay, so technically this is an EP. But it’s seven songs long, which to me qualifies as full enough to make my list. I mean, as you can see, I’m ranking it No. 1, and if I had to acknowledge it as an EP, then I wouldn’t be able to include it on this list at all. And that, my friends, would be a monumental shame because Noah Gundersen’s music sounds like it was made by angels. So, I said screw it, this is my list and I’m leaving it on. The Seattle musician has a little masterpiece on his hands with Family — at times cleanly rootsy and others softly dulcet. He’s a young man, but his songwriting chops (not to mention his lyrics) are some of the most seasoned and professional I’ve ever witnessed.

Nashville – Noah Gundersen

2. Timber Timbre – Creep On Creepin’ On
I don’t know what I can say about this album that I didn’t already say in my review earlier this year. Basically, if you’ve heard Timber Timbre before (especially the trio’s 2009 self-titled album), then you can rest assured that Creep On Creepin’ On is more of what you already know and love. As you can tell, Timber Timbre continues to grow and change yet still hold onto its brooding exterior through all its subtle evolutions from one album to the next.

Too Old to Die Young – Timber Timbre

3. The Rural Alberta Advantage – Departing
I’d heard of the Rural Alberta Advantage before, but it was this year that I fell in love with them. A lot of people have seemed unimpressed with Departing, the folk-rock band’s sophomore album. But it’s brought me nothing but joy, despite the tragic tales set forth by the pained vocals of Nils Edenloff. The fact is, these singable melodies about the darker sides of life and love have been occupying my ears nearly all year, and I’ve found I still can’t get enough.

Coldest Days – The Rural Alberta Advantage

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