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Happy Birthday, Duchess Leo, Silver Wren [monday Threesome]

Posted on the 24 October 2011 by Thewildhoneypie @thewildhoneypie

1threesome HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DUCHESS LEO, SILVER WREN [MONDAY THREESOME]

Welcome to Monday Threesome, where we bring you three bands with a particular theme and direct you to their free music. This week, we have bedroom auteurs whose musical projects rose from the great tradition of musicians developing tracks on their own.  These three bands, Happy Birthday (@happybirthdayz), Silver Wren and Duchess Leo (@duchessleo), may all be “bedroom pop”, but they approach this personal style in very different ways.  We hope you enjoy!

happy HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DUCHESS LEO, SILVER WREN [MONDAY THREESOME]

Girls FM – Happy Birthday

Subliminal Message – Happy Birthday

Too Shy – Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday is the brain child of a genius level pop songwriter.  These lo-fi, buzzy songs are filled with brilliant hooks and great production flourishes, not to mention an impressive level of structure and tone variety. For instance, their hit single “Girls FM” offsets the band’s catchiness with an interesting chord downshift, giving the song an unique off-kilter quality. “Zit” is a bratty, pop-punk song featuring the lyrics “Now I wanna break shit, don’t wanna make shit, just wanna waste it,” while “Pink Strawberry Shake” and “Maxine the Teenage Eskimo” both have an Elephant Six style psychedelic arrangement. Their Sub Pop artist profile page features three of the poppiest, simplest songs, “Girls FM”, “Too Shy” and “Subliminal Message”.  The one thing linking all of these interesting track choices are their perfet melodies, fuzzed out guitar and a nasally, punky, perfect rock and roll voice.

dchess HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DUCHESS LEO, SILVER WREN [MONDAY THREESOME]

Daniel Ryan and Todd Buchler had been friends for years before collaborating as Duchess Leo. Ryan sings and writes the songs while Buchler brings his production and electronic talents to create a unique indie-pop/electronica, bedroom vibe. They aren’t afraid to alter this style, though — check out “Messenger” which features an acoustic guitar, piano and subtle electric guitar leads as the only musical accompaniment.  A perfect example of their style comes from the lead off track, “Your Sweet Love”, from their first full length, Golden Gray. It features what sound like sampled strings, a distorted, pounding break beat and electronically processed, hazy lead vocals. The second tune, “Bloom”, features more of a mix of the two styles, incorporating electronic drums and keys along with the more traditional guitar and lead vocals. Duchess Leo’s BandCamp features their first full length streaming in its entirety and a new EP available for free download.

SILVERWREN HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DUCHESS LEO, SILVER WREN [MONDAY THREESOME]

Of these three groups, Silver Wren is definitely the most calming, working mainly in a folk vein with acoustic instrumentation and naked vocals. They aren’t afraid to bring in experimental or ambient influences, though, allowing several of their songs to be surrounded by noise. These added sounds never feel distancing or discordant, however, they work in a melodic sense and feel like an orchestra surrounding the quieter instrumentation and vocals. The newest 2-song single, “Fall Sky-Winter’s Hum”, features some of the most beautiful, but also the most simplistic, songs of the bands oeuvre. Both this single and the band’s earlier EP “Window in the Wreath”, which features more of the psychedelic and electronic influences, are available for free download on their BandCamp page.


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