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Saturday, September 26, 2015

"Bittersweet Descent" by Ted West

Mood is one of the most important aspects of a song, as far as I’m concerned. Trust me when I tell you this song has plenty of it. “Bittersweet Descent” comes across as a dreamy/bluesy soundscape that tells you exactly what you’re in for within the first 20 seconds of the song. Rhodes piano and a distant trumpet set the scene right before stinging drums hit you (as Grandfather Clinton might say) “right in the earhole.” As of writing this, I haven’t heard it in the car yet, but I can say from experience, I know it would sound awesome!

The song contrasts a beautiful lyric quality which Mr. West delivers perfectly well, with a more tenor approach for the chorus – a gift that most singers envy, I’m sure. The lyrics paint the sound with the returning words “I’m still falling, I’m only halfway down.” It's sexy and somber at the same time which makes it right for just about any time of night. “Bittersweet Descent” is a track that could fit comfortably in a lot of collections from New-Jazz to New-RnB and even in-between some pop-tracks. It’s more than worth checking out. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Earcandy String Quartet Reminds Us of the Importance of Performing Musicians

It is reassuring to know that the popularity (and indeed, necessity) of the classical string quartet has maintained under numerous shifts in musical tastes, particularly over the last century. With this in mind, there are several stalwart musicians aptly keeping the tradition alive and more than a few innovators in the genre as well… Enter the “earcandy” String Quartet, four talented young ladies performing a wealth of new and old music for live events.

Earcandy’s repertoire list is, to be sure, impressive. Listeners can hear all of the classic Bach, Beethoven (of course!), and Mozart they could expect from this type of chamber-group. The list is augmented with several popular tunes (many from the last decade) including covers from artists such as David Guetta, Taylor Swift, and Christina Perri. Those feeling a bit more nostalgic shouldn’t feel overlooked as earcandy also offers Etta James and Elvis Presley.

The playing featured in their promo-video is just superb. There is definitely a modern sensibility in the approach of the classical pieces with the first violin making its presence known the way a lead guitarist in a rock band might. The other players maintaining energy to match makes for a very alive version of the standard repertoire. And this final point is really what made me want to write this blog – that new (and dare I say “younger”) energy is an absolute necessity in what we might call the “staple” ensembles of the classical world. In this respect, I hope earcandy will be playing for a long time to come. 

To book or hear earcandy for yourself, please visit their website here: