Monday, March 3, 2014

A Belated Farewell

Well hello there blogosphere!  It's great to see you again!  It has been a while since we've last spoken (over a year actually), and so it wouldn't surprise me if this post ends up being broadcast to an empty audience, but lately I've been feeling the urge to get something off my chest....

It may seem random that I'm publishing this write-up after all this time, but that's kind of the point.  Every once in a while I'll revisit Audio Splash and scroll through the archive for a variety of reasons; sometimes it's to pull up a piece of writing I liked so I can send it off to a potential employer, other times it's to refresh my memory on some of my favorite bands that I followed, but often it's to remind myself of what I am capable of creating when I have a passion and put my mind towards something.  I started Audio Splash when I was 19 years old without any knowledge of blogging or coding, why? Simply because I loved writing and I loved music.  It may never have looked professional, and it may have had its fair share of difficulties adapting to a fast-changing social landscape, but for nearly three-and-a-half years I found myself invigorated, teeming with the self-motivation and energy to write about music everyday and do my best to introduce the best musical content to my readers.  No, it never did reach Hillydilly or Indie Shuffle status, but the fact that I carved out my own little niche, had dozens of bands e-mailing me for recognition, and developed friendships with emerging, talented musicians gives me a sense of pride.  The fact that I played my own little part in promoting their story makes me incredibly happy.

I loved managing Audio Splash, I really did.  The excitement, the creation, the sense of community, the feeling of having power over something that was mine, the sense of being apart of something bigger than myself...it was infectious.  So if that's the case, then where is Audio Splash now?

Well, that's why I am writing this post.  Whenever I happen to stop by Audio Splash I see an open-ended entity, a publication that was either dropped suddenly or given up on. The lack of care that was put into wrapping up a project that was so important in my life nauseates me.  For whatever it's worth I feel like I owe an explanation for why I stopped, and on a personal level, I've realized I desire closure.

The truth is, when I graduated college I left for a gap year on a soul-searching trip to try and figure out who I was and what my true ambitions were.  I first fulfilled my lifelong dream of doing a ski winter, an aspiration I've held since middle school, and moved out to Park City to work at The Canyons Mountain Resort.  While there, my friend told me of an employment opportunity in Peru that seemed right up my alley, which I applied to and luckily got the job.  I stayed in South America for a month after to backpack around Peru, Bolivia, and Chile in what would be my first solo journey.

I don't regret a single second of it.  I learned more than I ever could've dreamed of over the course of those seven months, and I've never felt more alive than I did then.  I needed it.  I needed the chance to explore, to open my eyes to this stunning planet and grant myself the unique experience of becoming a more understanding, well-rounded individual.  I needed to foster and cultivate my personal growth.

The sacrifice, of course, was Audio Splash.  I needed to work two full-time jobs as a ski bum to afford my outrageous rent in Park City, and so the very little time I had to devote to Audio Splash severely cut my availability to write, thus reducing the quality.  I couldn't keep up with it the way I wanted to, and as the character of my posts started deteriorating, I began to lose satisfaction in what I had created.  The time that I had always worried would eventually come finally caught up with me, and I came to the painful conclusion that it was time to end it.

Why didn't I say goodbye?  Why didn't I have the class to bid farewell and exit gracefully? The honest answer is that I'm not entirely sure.  I don't think I wanted to believe that it was actually over, that I had given up on my brainchild and abandoned my mission.  I wanted to believe that I could start it up again and continue doing what I loved.  I always told myself I would bring it back, but that I would do it right and make the improvements I felt Audio Splash deserved.  When I returned from South America after a few months, though, I had fallen out of routine.  Having spent a long time out of the blogosphere, the world that once felt like home and gave me solace had become alien. I felt lost, and that scared me.  As saddened as I was, the reality set in: Audio Splash as I knew it was over.

So here I am, unleashing an outpour of emotion and putting an official lid on a chapter that should've been sealed away a little more than a year ago.  I still miss it, oh boy do I miss it.  I would love to start up another music blog and take the lessons that I learned here and apply them to something new.  In fact, I just might do that, because I long for the feeling I achieved doing what I did.  Before I do that, though, parting ways and saying adieu with this Audio Splash is a necessary step.

With that said, I wanted to say thank you.  I could never have maintained the blog for as long as I did, and with the passion that I did, if it wasn't for all of you.  Without your support I don't think I ever would've had the motivation to march forward and deliver the content that I did.  It was a wild ride, and if you enjoyed it even as much as a sliver of the amount I did, then I can lay this to rest graciously and joyously.  If I ever do start another blog, then I hope to see you there for the next adventure.

Thanks again.  Seriously.  It means so much to me.  If it wasn't for all of you to keep me going, I never would've discovered this area of interest that gave me so much delight.  I would be a different person without it.  Thank you for giving me a medium of expression, a place where I could be myself.  I will forever be able to look back at Audio Splash as my creation, something that was mine, something that makes me so proud to reflect on.

For that, I will always be grateful.  Thank you.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Trails and Ways

By this point I think it's far to say that the Oakland four-piece Trails and Ways had a phenomenal 2012 year, pretty much bringing the house down on the blogosphere with popular tracks like "Nunca" and "Mtn Tune".  It didn't take much to fall for them over here at Audio Splash, and apparently others were convinced too, for Trails and Ways has been scheduled to play at this year's celebrated SXSW Music Festival.  Tying all of this in with the fact they came out with a fresh EP today, I'd say the band has gotten 2013 off on the right foot, setting themselves up for an explosive year (and hopefully a debut LP!).  I don't want to get too far ahead of myself though, first things first; their new release is called Detornar-se, which is a Portuguese reflexive verb meaning both "to unmake" and "d├ętournement". The former makes a lot sense considering that Detornar-se includes eight remixes of their previous singles that were stripped down to the bone and then rebuilt in a variety of musical styles.  Some sound like a product of witch house, some include dubstep tendencies, and yet others seem indebted to synth pop.  It's a must-listen for fans of Trails and Ways, and the best part is that they've offered it as a free download over on their homepage.  Below I've posted two of my favorites from the EP, a Wallpaper. remix of "Mtn Tune" and a Bunnynoser remix of their "Sure Thing" cover.  To stream the rest of Detornar-se (as well as check out other tracks) you can head over to their SoundCloud, plus for more information and updates either Facebook or Twitter works!  Be sure to hit it up!



Monday, January 7, 2013

Astronauts, etc.

It has been a fun ride following Astronauts, etc. after the release of his debut single "Mystery Colors".  Since that day around five months ago, Astronauts, etc. (the solo project of Anthony Ferraro) has gifted us with hypnotic atmospheres and beautifully crafted melodies that drift lazily amongst the haze.  It seems, though, that Ferraro has had an itch for experimentation, for his new song "Charity" takes all the aspects of an Astronauts, etc. composition and puts a darker twist on it.  Although still full of synths, atmosphere, and hypnotism, "Charity" exhibits Ferraro's break from wistful textures and displays his more dramatic, haunting flare.  I've posted the track below, which he offers for a free download, but if you'd like to hear more you can head over to his SoundCloud for some additional material.  His Facebook page has more information if you'd like to check it out.  Enjoy!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Top Releases of 2012


A year ago today I was doing the same thing I am doing now, looking ahead onto a new year that is full of wonder and possibilities.  There is no way I can fully know what to expect, and it's impossible to look into the future and get a solid grasp of what the music world will throw my way; right now, it's all up for grabs.  What's going to be my favorite album of 2013?  What is going to disappoint me?  Which band will release a debut album that blows me away?  These are the same questions I (and all of us for that matter) was faced with at the beginning of 2012.  I didn't have answers, I didn't have a clue.  It's for this reason that I love lists, if nothing else it's a reflection of the year that passed, a representation of the artists you listened to and the albums that grew to symbolize a small segment of your life.  It's all there, neatly organized in a countdown. For me, that's why I do lists.  I don't do them because I want to brag about what I listened to, nor do I think my list is better than everyone else's.  No, I do it because it gives a certain portrayal of who I am for that year, it shows what I was into and what I cared about.  Going through the years of previous lists, it's fascinating to look back and see how I've changed and how my music tastes shifted.  Each list fills in the answers that you asked yourself at the beginning of each year, and it exhibits that child-like excitement and curiosity that you felt 12 months prior.  To go back and observe that introspection is a wonderful thing, and the best part?  You get a chance to do it at the beginning of each and every single year.  The music side of me now has a clean slate going into 2013, and whenever a part of you has an uncertain future, how can you not help but feel a flurry of anticipation?  That's how I feel now, and that's how I felt then, way back in January of 2012.  Now, though, my questions have been answered, and 2012 will slowly disappear behind us (but that doesn't mean we won't forget it) as new and inspiring music makes its way into our ears.  So, without further adieu, here are my favorite releases of the year that passed....


25.  Blondes by Blondes
"Lover"

24.  Strange Weekend by Porcelain Raft

23.  Duality by Captain Murphy

22.  Shrines by Purity Ring
"Crawlersout"

21.  Allah-Las by Allah-Las
"Tell Me (What's On Your Mind)"

20.  Confess by Twin Shadow
"Beg For The Night"

19.  2 by Mac DeMarco

18.  Our House on the Hill by The Babies

17.  Heaven by The Walkmen
"We Can't Be Beat"

16.  Spiderwebbed by Stumbleine

15.  Melody's Echo Chamber by Melody's Echo Chamber

14.  Gossamer by Passion Pit
"It's Not My Fault, I'm Happy"

13.  Coexist by The xx
"Tides"

12.  Shields by Grizzly Bear
"Gun-Shy"

11.  Sweet Heart Sweet Light by Spiritualized
"Little Girl"

10.  There's No Leaving Now by The Tallest Man on Earth
"To Just Grow Away"

9.  Nocturne by Wild Nothing

8.  Oshin by DIIV

7.  Attack on Memory by Cloud Nothings
"Fall In"

6.  Bend Beyond by Woods
"Impossible Sky"

5.  Kindred EP by Burial
"Loner"

4.  Spooky Action at a Distance by Lotus Plaza

3.  Bloom by Beach House
"Lazuli"

2.  Lonerism by Tame Impala
"Music To Walk Home By"

1.  Celebration Rock by Japandroids
"Evil's Sway"

So there ya have it, 2012 in a nutshell!  As with every list I'm sure you agree on some while you completely disagree with others, but that's the beauty of music...no one has to agree on anything, we all just listen to what we like.  Anyway, I look forward to what will hopefully be a stellar 2013 music year, there are sure to be some great releases heading our way (Beach Fossils and Toro Y Moi, I'm looking at you) as well some debut hopefuls (ON AN ON, my fingers are crossed!).  Here's wishing everyone a happy new year, and hoping that your holidays were merry!  Thank you all for reading, it has been a pleasure writing for you, and I hope to see you guys soon!!!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Summerays

The last time that I checked in with Summerays, the solo man Luke Teeters' newly released single had me feeling nostalgic about my college life and the graduation of some of my good buddies. But that's what beach rock tends to do to me, instill some nostalgia, and Teeters is wonderful within this style of music.  In preparation for the release of his debut album, Summer Daze, Summerays has premiered yet another winner through the blog Start-track.  The leading single is called "Ahoy There!", and it's what you'd expect from an idea born in the sandy coasts by the water.  The short, sun-filled, feel good ditty is accompanied with another new song, "Sunshine", which has been released via a music video.  Have a listen to both below, and then visit Facebook for more information.  Bandcamp and SoundCloud also have some additional tracks from previous releases.  And remember!  Keep an eye out for Summer Daze, which will be released Bandcamp style on January 1, 2013 on a pay as you want basis.  Get ready!


Friday, December 21, 2012

CIRC

Ahhhh yes, the last Friday before the Christmas holiday week kicks in to full gear.  Well as the stress builds leading up the 25th and shopping crowds pack into malls like sardines, here's a little gem to help you take your mind off things.  "Fairy Flash", the new song from the French producer CIRC, is a hypnotic lullaby of sorts, attacking the seratonin receptors of the brain.  As the busy shopping times are upon us, let this cradle you in a blanket of warmth.  Head over to SoundCloud for some more tracks.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

EIMIC

EIMIC is a little tough to figure out; the band is currently located in Moscow, and as such a majority of their information is in Russian.  I can't speak the language, and I sure can't read it, so finding out about them is a little more difficult than usual.  With this in mind, here's what I am able to tell you: the group contains three members, they've released two LPs in the past (4 and Automatic Movements), and they've recently released a new song called "Illusion". Judging from their photos, it also seems like they've been around the block a few times, having already garnered a pretty steady following.  Their pictures display large, elaborate light shows complete with backdrops dedicated to their name, and seem to show that they've played in festivals that have attracted nice volumes of people.  I could see "Illusion" fitting that mold very well, for the sound is massive and ambitious.  Using some electronics to help their point, EIMIC (which stands for Everything Is Made In China) is able to create an arena-filling, atmospheric rock ballad that is driven home with distorted, fuzzy guitar licks.  Put on some nice headphones and you're in for an experience!  I've posted "Illusion" below, including the psychedelic music video if you're interested.  Afterward, check out more of their stuff on SoundCloud, with more info coming at you from TwitterFacebook, and their homepage.  Happy deciphering!