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Alternative Gems You Should Listen To

Keith Demolder, Staff Writer

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Bombay Bicycle Club- “Shuffle”
Big shout out to my friend pripiyer for introducing me to this absolute gem. Straight out of London, Britain’s own Bombay Bicycle Club has become a mainstream hit in the sub-mainstream Indie-Alternative genre. Their album Flaws, released in July 2010 peaked at #8 on the British pop album charts with their hits “Ivy and Gold” and “Jewel” each reaching #56 and #14 on the UK singles chart. A Different Kind of Fix released in August of 2011 eventually reached #6 on the UK Albums chart. Along with hits such as “Lights out, Words Gone” which peaked at #89 on the UK Singles charts, A Different Kind of Fix features their most popular and musically pleasing track, “Shuffle”, received a #40 rank on the U.S. Alternative charts. Shuffle’s beginning piano, used throughout the song, transitions smoothly into a greatly orchestrated chorus and solo by lead singer Jack Steadman. Shuffle’s piano remains consistently good throughout, as well Ed Nash’s bass adds the tempo and head bopping beat that we have come to expect from the Bicycle Club. The chorus and solo parts are beautifully combined at about 2:40 where the song picks up after the main song break. The frequent up tempo clapping throughout make “Shuffle” an upbeat, whimsical musical jewel that should be at the top of your to-listen-to list.

Vertical Horizon- “Everything You Want”
From Vertical Horizon’s 4th album Everything You Want, “Everything You Want” basically gives you everything you want in a break up song and more. Originally the song was released in 1999, however recently it is making a minor comeback on the radio. “Everything You Want” says all the right things in this #1 U.S. Hit with masterful and most likely relatable lyrics written by lead singer Matt Scannell. The electric and acoustic guitar at the beginning parts of the song introduce a seemingly dark and emotional song, but actually set up a relatively upbeat chorus and then revert back to an emotional solo under skinned knees and skid marks. Lead Singer, Matt Scannell and Back-up Sean Hurley perfectly complement each other with Hurley supportive during the chorus lines and secondary during Scannell’s leads. “Everything You Want” obviously comes deep from the heart and in some critics minds would be classified as Christian Rock because of the drum kits and airy guitar chords, however it is mainly Alternative. Needless to say, Vertical Horizon’s “Everything You Want” gives you everything you want and more with a great Alternative Rock Hit.

The Neighborhood- “Sweater Weather”
Perhaps a sleeper hit, and perhaps a sleeper band, The Neighbourhood (Out of Los Angeles, CA) and their first album I Love You, reached #9 on the US Alternative and #39 on the US Album charts. Their main hit, “Sweater Weather” reached #1 on the US Alternative Singles chart and #95 on the Billboard 100. The Neighbourhood and their west coast brand of Alternative-Indie Rock, utilize a more airy, runaway sound in their track “Sweater Weather”. The song starts out as moody and seductive, reminiscent of perhaps an Indie mash up of Coldplay and the Beach Boys. The lyrics illustrate the myth of love and an almost perfect summer and say that in reality summer love is a cold and heartless place. At about 2:38 the song transitions from bass oriented into an airy and spacious acoustic riff as if the song is in slow motion right as the bass drops. The listener experiences a falling, almost longing sensation as Jesse Rutherford sings the solo harmony. Although most of The Neighbourhood’s songs may not be a worthy listen, “Sweater Weather” certainly deserves recognition as a great Alternative hit.

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La Costa Canyon High School's News Source
Alternative Gems You Should Listen To