This week, download radio-friendly tracks from My Body Sings Electric and Take to the Oars.
For some, “pop” is a dirty word when it precedes “music.” The calculated look, the catchy hooks, and the sound engineered for mass appeal and airplay makes some cringe. But pop haters need to step aside! When competent musicians embrace the pop sound, legions of people like it because it’s good music, not because it appeals to the lowest common denominator.
We submit for consideration “Oceancrest” by My Body Sings Electric. When the band formed in Denver in 2007, the music was a sort of progressive metal. It had a hard edge and was lumped in with metal. But in 2010, dissatisfied with the response, they made a conscious decision to produce harder rock with a pop sensibility. The result was 2011’s “Changing Color,” an album that delivered MBSE to new audiences. The popularity of the single, “Step Into the Light,” put them in the ranks of some of Denver’s most popular bands, like The Flobots and The Epilogues.
This past weekend, My Body Sings Electric released “Oceancrest,” the first single on what we assume is a forthcoming album, available for download below.
The tracks is a continuation of the “Changing Color” sound and feel. It kicks off with a “Hey!” before dropping into a downright danceable bass line. The vocals are clean, the guitars nonthreatening and funky, and there’s catchy “Oh Ay Oh” chorals in the background. At least on the surface, there is less of the harder thrust found on some of the “Changing Color” tracks – perhaps the band has completely shed it’s metal past. But the subject matter has an edge. This is a love song about murder by drowning. We suspect the violence will be overlooked and mainstream radio will play the hell out of it, and audiences will eat it up like Pop-Tarts.
My Body Sings Electric will perform with 3Oh!3 and others at the Gothic Theatre on New Year’s Eve.
In the same vein as My Body Sings Electric, we submit to you Take to the Oars new track, “Morning Coffee,” also released last week. Not sure if the band is comfortable with the terms “radio ready” or “pop sensibility,” but they are fitting labels. And like MBSE, this is guitar driven music with clean, melodic vocals. The band also released a video for “Morning Coffee,” featuring footage from a Red Rocks performance with slo-mo rock star jumps and backstage antics. The track has been submitted to KTCL’s “Hometown for the Holidays” contest, an exposure vehicle for MBSE, but the jury is still out. All the elements are in place with Take to the Oars for commercial success, but pop music is a fickle beast. While it may seem formulaic to some, there are elements to pop music beyond description. Perhaps audiences will latch on and force the song into radio rotation, or maybe radio will pick it up and the fans will follow. Who knows? But you can catch the band live with Vices I Admire and The Yawpers on Dec. 14 at Hi-Dive.
Please note that downloads offered via Steal This Track are intended to whet your appetite, and are NOT CD-quality recordings. If you want those, please support the artists by buying their music and/or seeing them live.
If you’re a band or musician ready to expose your fresh sounds to the readers of Reverb, email your tracks — along with any interesting facts about them, as well as a photo or album art — to Steal This Track for consideration.
Josh Johnson is a Denver freelance writer and Reverb contributor. He is also a co-host/co-producer of the Denver podcast Denver Diatribe.