FYMS * MOTHXR
I know that I missed last week's Try This song - and that today is currently Thursday. But in lieu of a #TBT song, here is something that's so new it's still (for the most part) underground. And because I ended up writing more than usual for a Try This post, it's getting classified as FYMS piece. Just cause I can.
Backstory - One of my favorite music blogs is "When The Gramophone Rings" , a UK-based site that posts, among other things, a "Track of The Day" and highlights some of the best yet relatively unheard of British artists. Keep up with their blog and you'll soon be discovering new musicians from across the pond. Simple as that.
Despite the fact that WTGR focuses mainly on Brit artists, I came across this interview piece with Brooklyn band called MOTHXR (pronounced "mother"), who has been gaining momentum throughout England and Europe. And while they caught my attention for their frontman vocalist, Penn Badgley (yes, Dan Humphrey, for all you Gossip Girl fans out there), their music caught my respect.
It can be difficult for actors to be taken seriously when they decide to that they also want to make it as a singer. In my opinion, there are only a handful of actors who are actually respectable vocalists. I'm sure you can think of dozens of actors-turned-"musicians" who unfortunately make us wish that they had just stuck to the silver screen. . And I'll practice some personal restraint from going off on a long-listed tangent right now.....
Actually, what's interesting is that a few other cast members of Gossip Girl have found themselves drawn to the music industry as well - Taylor Momsen (aka Jenny Humphrey) has a successful rocker-chick band called The Pretty Reckless, and Leighton Meester (aka Blair Waldorf) most famously did a song with Robin Thicke (of pre-"Blurred Lines" fame) back in 2009 (no comment) and was in that 2011 movie, Country Strong, for which she sang a few tracks (meh, in my opinion). Ed Westwick (aka Chuck Bass) has his own retro-sounding punkesque band, called The Filthy Youth.
But back to MOTHXR.
A four-piece band, made up of Jimmy Giannopoulos, Simon Oscroft, Penn Badgley, and Darren Will, they find it hard to define their exact "sound", but they seemed have grasped the idea of electronica + alternative rock perfectly. And their mentality of being an independent band (not quite the same meaning of being a modern day "indie" band) is just the right amount of hipster confidence and humility. I mean, they are from Brooklyn. They self-produce and self-release all their own stuff. WTGR asked and MOTHXR informed that they have an album in the works but when it comes out is entirely up to them. They have two releases on Spotify - "Victim" and "Easy" - both similar and dissimilar. The vocals, which brilliantly vary between falsetto and modal, are slightly distorted which give it a smoother yet somehow grungier listen while the mix of electronic components/effects in the beats keep you hooked. Each song has an instrumental sort of break-down/outro as well. I'm really a fan of the blend of sounds that MOTHXR uses - "Victim" even has some smooth, smooth sax in there! - and YouTube videos tell me that their live performance can hold its own. Yay.
In conclusion. MOTHXR is awesome. You should really check out their music, maybe find a show around Brooklyn, and report back to me.
PS. Another music movie to check out - also starring Penn - "Greetings From Tim Buckley"