#Writing #MusicMonday: So Much So Young by Secret Babies

CoverThis week, I bring you the only Attribution-Share Alike licensed album for Lyrical April 2016, meaning if you use lyrics from this album in your book, you need to also release it under the same license.

Secret Babies have, as far as I can tell, only released this one album, and while it’s a full-length album, clocking in around fifty minutes, it definitely leaves me wanting more. And all I know about the band is that they claim to be from the USA.

The lead singer, an unknown female vocalist, strongly reminds me of Margo Timmins of Cowboy Junkies in her delivery and vocal quality. Some songs could be done by the Junkies, and others are in different styles entirely, but the singer holds it all together.

And it is the strength of that singer on which the album is built. Everything else ranges from good enough to very good, but the singer is amazing.

The Cowboy Junkies comparison, as I indicated, doesn’t really hold up beyond the singer’s vocal qualities. The closest the songs come to sounding like the Junkies’ work are the first two tracks, “Aloof Tops” and “Bicycle Tunes”.

After that, the style of the songs ranges all over the place, but never feels like a strain on either the singer nor the instrumentalists.

“Greatest Start” could be a ’70s singer-songwriter piece, and a good one.

“Knots and Seams” has a slight Mexican influence to it.

“Own This Road” goes ’80s new wave electronic in sound, and works just as well as everything else on the album.

“Russian Wind” stirs up a nostalgic feeling in me, but I can’t even begin to pin down why.

And the final track, “Sugar Pane”, sounds like it might have been a minor hit on alternative radio stations in the early ’90s.

So, basically, this album is a gem, entirely worth downloading and listening to, even if you never intend to make any kind of derivative work from it at all. I want more, but Secret Babies hasn’t been active, even on their Facebook page, in several years. So this might be the last we ever hear of them, or they might suddenly come out with more lovely work like this.

Download So Much So Young by Secret Babies free from the Internet Archive.


Creative Commons License
So Much So Young by Secret Babies is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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#Writing #Music Monday: Trilhas Sonoras Para Filmes Vol. II

[cover] Emerson Antoniacomi - Trilhas Sonoras Para Filmes Vol. IIHere’s what I know about Emerson Antoniacomi: He’s Brazilian; he’s a talented composer and performer; and he released ten (ten!) freaking albums of Free Culture-licensed music from September to November 2010.

And that’s about it. Searching his name on DuckDuckGo, everything else seems to derive from his Jamendo page or his Jamendo blog, which hasn’t been active since 2011.

So we must focus on the album at hand. Trilhas Sonoras Para Filmes Vol. II (“Soundtracks for Films vol. II”) starts off with a two-part symphony (all synthesizer) that feels audacious, in some way I can’t quantify. This isn’t just a musician knocking out some generic background music, it’s more complete and layered than that.

The rest of the album could be taken as “just background music”, but it also manages to be more complex than you would expect.

If there is a drawback, it is that Antoniacomo seems not to be a sound geek, and lets his synth instruments sound… cheap, or possibly cheesy, I’m not sure quite how to describe it. There are moments that sound like bad soundtrack instrumentation for one of Roger Corman’s late-’80s straight to video production, attempting poorly to sound like a real instrument, instead of embracing its own sound. It’s only occasional, and the quality of the compositions overcomes the possible awkwardness, but it is there from time to time.

Download Trilhas Sonoras Para Filmes Vol. II free from Jamendo.


Creative Commons License
Trilhas Sonoras Para Filmes Vol. II by Emerson Antoniacomi is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

#Writing #Music Monday: What Is Love by Melanie Ungar

What Is Love coverKicking off a second Lyrical April run for Writing Music Monday, we’ve got an EP (but really, nearly an album) that hits all sorts of sweet spots.

First, it’s very good. Professionally produced and performed.

Then, it’s Attribution-licensed. You can use this album for just about anything, including using song lyrics in your novel, so long as you provide proper attribution.

And last, but definitely not least, it’s in a genre for which there is a dearth Creative Commons music: country. Pop country, in fact.

Melanie Ungar’s What Is Love is, by just about any standard, excellent. The only possible objection to it is if you don’t like the genre.

(And even then, country’s not my favorite, but I like these seven songs and twenty-seven minutes very, very much.)

The album’s download page says:

What Is Love is the debut E.P. from Canadian country-pop singer-songwriter Melanie Ungar. Inspired by the honesty in country music, and the fun in pop music, Melanie writes and sings songs about the ups and downs of romance. From the love ballad “Madly, Deeply” to the sassy, up-beat title track “What Is Love”, Melanie’s catchy songs and heartfelt lyrics will keep you singing along.

And that’s not just ad copy. The tunes are catchy. The lyrics are heartfelt. The whole thing just works, and wonderfully.

Download What Is Love free from Jamendo.


Creative Commons License
What Is Love by Melanie Ungar is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.