Tag Archives: electro-pop

The Just Barelys – “Mad Bits”

Sometimes when you listen to an album you get a really good idea of the band’s personality. Whether it’s the lyrics, the tunes, or the overall sound of the music, the songs give good insight into the personalities of the band members and make the music a lot more fun. In the case of The Just Barelys, the music says the band is awesome. They seem quirky, cool, and just plain weird. It’s a taste of something different, and like the weird friends we have and the things that surprise us, they make our lives a hell of a lot more interesting.

Adding this interesting break to our music playlist is “Mad Bits“, the latest and highly anticipated release from the Halifax-based The Just Barelys. It has been an album in demand for several years, as fans have waited both patiently and longingly for a new release from the twosome, and it has met every desire. As we have come to expect from the band, they have created an album full of fantastic lyrics, inventive melodies, and a lot of randomness. It’s something you just can’t stop listening to, and even when the music sounds improvised and random, it slowly begins to make a lot of sense.

The sound might be considered “experimental electronic indie pop”. Think of a weird electronic version of Stars, or a poppy dance poetry reading. The melodies don’t follow the (boring) traditional structures or rules, but this is part of the fun. Imagine a kid making up a song as they sing to their food, but with lyrics about getting older or stealing satellite TV. For people who like this sort of quirkiness, the music is fantastic.

Other bands have tried and failed to create a similar sort of sound, but The Just Barelys bring something special to make their attempt successful. Mainly it’s their earnestness, not trying to be anything different than what they are. The guitar riffs are super catchy and inventive, and the two-part vocals go together in a way that’s not completely harmonious but still really cool to listen to. There are computerized beeps, some girly screaming, and rhythms to make you want to dance the robot. In the end, it’s a great album from a weird and awesome band. You can listen to and buy the album on Bandcamp, and then join the queue to demand more.

The Just Barelys - "Mad Bits"

Septembryo – “The Dreambuilder”

At a time of year known for stress, anxiety and unavoidable family quarrels, nothing is more welcome than a lighthearted and energy-filled escape from the real world. The Dreambuilder, the debut EP from Calgary super-band Septembryo, is exactly what we need right now. It’s catchy, mood-elevating and almost trancelike, making even the most bitter family events tolerable.

Released in September 2011, the album has only four tracks, but like most EPs it is a delicious taste test of the multi-course meal that will come on the future full-length album. Septembryo is a tricky band to describe, but it’s an interesting combination of electro-alt-rock-pop: think of a marriage between Head Automatica and 30 Seconds to Mars, adding the occasional love affairs with Daft Punk, Incubus and bands like Mariana’s Trench. An interesting collection, but somehow it works.

All these sounds combine to make something unique and actually enjoyable to listen to. The percussion, bass, guitar, synthetic sounds and vocals come together really well, floating between electronic pop and some darker ambience and offering a glimpse of some stellar musical talent. These are good songs for a movie soundtrack: they’re great on their own but even better as an accompaniment to some other action, whether in the bedroom (ahem) or just walking down the street.

The real impact of Septembryo is felt after a few listens. The album is great to listen to (you’ll dance, you’ll sing, you’ll bust out some air drums) but it’s a few hours later when you can’t stop humming “Affirmations” that you really begin to realise its impact. It’s as though the tracks cunningly work their way into your brain, only to appear when you least expect it. Like it or not, you’ve got to admit it’s a sign of good songwriting and a pretty meaningful accomplishment. These are good songs; they’re different, and once you fall in love with Septembryo’s sound, it’s a near-guarantee that they will become a regular fixture on your playlist and songs you will actually listen to.

Now is the time to buy the album! As a special Christmas treat, Septembryo is offering their EP for half price (only $5!) until December 26 –┬ápick it up on iTunes or if you’re one of us audiophiles who love an actual disc, get one here! Go take a look at the band’s website, too, and spread the news around with some holiday cheer. After all, isn’t music a better gift than a pair of slippers?

Septembryo - "Dreambuilder"