I’m not a member of the Church of Amanda Fucking Palmer, and I only have a passing acquaintance with the Dresden Dolls. Her recent splash on Kickstarter aside, I’ll admit to having not heard much of her actual music, but the word-of-mouth on the internet won me over and I discovered this astonishingly addicting nugget from her latest album. Palmer may not be the killing type, though she does a smashingly good job of contradicting that via the arresting images in the video, but she kills via her music. This is one of the strongest songs to come out this year on the strength of the hook alone, but Palmer kicks it up to twelve with her all-in performance. If you haven’t heard it, stop reading and listen now — and if you have already heard it, another ten times won’t hurt. Then buy a copy of Theater is Evil featuring her full band, the Grand Theft Orchestra, because Palmer’s got a lot more going for her than just mere hype.
I was his life
I was his reason for breathing
I watched him cry
Begging and pleading while I was leaving
I looked into his eyes
And I realized
I killed a man today
Took his life away
I killed a man today and it kills me
Declare your independence from weak-assed rock crap this July 4th with a listen or ten to Fools For Rowan. “I Killed A Man Today” is the perfect rock single, a thundering introduction to their EP Who Killed Amanda Day, out today on ITunes. It’s a gut-punch blend of Paramore and Lady Antebellum, with enough of the band’s Nashville roots shining through even though this is nothing close to country. The video’s a bit overwrought — they put the lyrics into an overly literal situation where the subject of the breakup actually dies in a car accident shortly thereafter. But the lyric itself still holds its raw furious punch when listened to separately, an example of how some decisions in life simply leave no one unscathed. This is rock worthy of massive radio play, and if the band can build on the Kickstarter success they’ve already achieved, they’re going to be one to watch, even if it’s just for those powerhouse pipes Erin Mullins shows off so casually.
Consider them a musical mystery which still manages to sound both fresh and familiar. Whatever you choose to think going in, Daniel and the Lion will control the space between your ears for as long as you listen before managing to force yourself to pull away. This is music for anyone who loves bands from Stephen Kellogg’s Sixers to Ryan Adams, competently recorded by a band which knows how to craft a pop-laden hook without selling out to lowest common denominator bullshit. The band reported recorded Sweet Teeth, their 2011 offering, on a $6,000 Kickstarter-fueled budget, and they’re proudly supportive of the Midwestern fans who give them the chance to live the dream. “The Chase” and “Horses” are two of the best independently produced alt-country gems I’ve heard so far in 2011. Give the album a listen, you’re sure to quickly become converts.