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Top Five Fridays: Vulcans

June 5, 2015

Hey Folks,

It’s time for our favorite part of the week here at All The Day Sounds, Top Five Fridays!  Where every week we feature some new killer talent for your listening appreciation dear reader, and THEY in turn share and discuss five of their favorite records!  The result is the maximum pay off for YOU as you step into the weekend with a big ol’ pile of music to explore and discover!  Last week we were hanging out in Asbury Park New Jersey with Surf Punks DENTIST, and today we’re in Philadelphia to listen to the heartfelt melodic musings of Vulcans, a three piece Americana outfit that serves up three piece harmony and quality songwriting in tasty helpings.

Vulcans

Vulcans

One of the key elements that makes Vulcans such a rewarding listening experience is their ability to blend their voices as both singers and songwriters into a cohesive whole.  Let’s be honest, disparate elements coming together to form a unified whole greater than the sum of its parts is the sign of a healthy band (also quality Mexican food).  Just as members Nick, Aaron, and John are able to bring their voices together seamlessly in their signature three part harmony, so their individual songwriting styles provide their latest EP Semaphore with a variety of textures that always still manage to sound and feel like a single musical entity.  Also, “Scarlet Rose” is just a killer track.  I don’t have to wax poetic about it, just listen to the dang thing, It’s a killer record.  So with our further ado, these fine gents have roped together some albums that have influenced them as a band and as individuals….take it away VULCANS!

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Group influences:

“I and Love and You” by The Avett Brothers

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 We know, we know, it’s a bit obvious. But for us, this album really personifies who we were and where we were (and who we wanted to be) when we first got serious about the band. The style, musicality, and lyrics were exactly what we had been looking for to explore our sound. We still close a lot of our shows with “Laundry Room”, and the amount of faces that light up when we start playing it only serve to vindicate what an important album it was and is for us.

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“Sigh No more” by Mumford & Sons

mumford-sons

Wait! Wait! Don’t throw your tomatoes at us! No matter what you think about their recent release, or their sophomore album, or even what you (now) think of their debut, there’s no debating the sheer scale of impact (good or bad) that this album had on folky-indie music circa 2010-12. Are the songs overplayed? Yes, now they are. Is the band sort of a cliche? Yes, now they are. But at the time of the release, there was no one doing what they did as well as they did it, and for that reason we’re (still) able to sing most of the songs off of this album by heart. They deserve to be on this list simply for making banjos cool again (if only for a brief time).

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Nick’s Choice: 

“Fate” by Dr Dog

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Dr. Dog’s “Fate” album resonates with me on many levels from the brilliant and abundant melodies to the quirky lyrics to the in-your-face harmonies. The level of intricate ways that voices are used will always be at a level that I will strive with my songwriting and harmony building. While “Fate” is my absolute favorite album of theirs, Dr. Dog, as a whole, will always be an inspiration to me.

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John’s Choice: 

“Stay Gold” by First Aid Kit

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I tend to come late to the game with certain artists. Usually my album of the year is actually an album that came out the year before – such is the case with First Aid Kit’s Stay Gold. Currently my favorite album, I listen to this album at least twice a week. The themes of change and self-reflection are very on the nose with this album and I’ve always liked that in music. I myself tend to write in that fashion and so I always am drawn to artists who let themselves be vulnerable and up front. The tight, sisterly harmonies are spot on as usual as well, always a great inspiration to me. Anytime the older sister Johanna gets a chance to sing solo is also pretty fantastic for me as well – I’m a big fan of her smoky alto voice. Stand out tracks for me include ‘Heaven Knows,’ ‘The Bell,’ and the title track ‘Stay Gold.’

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Aaron’s Choice:

 “Reconstruction Site” by The Weakerthans

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I have a (roughly) five “watershed” albums in my life; albums that came along and took me in a totally different direction, musically, aesthetically, emotionally, etc. This is an album that I can return to over and over and continue to have the a similar reaction as when I first listened to it back in 10th grade. “Reconstruction Site” ripped me out of my comfort zone–which up until this point had been populated primarily by whining, angsty teens whose female counterparts just wanted to be friends–and taught me that songs can be three minute short stories and have the same punch as a novel. John K. Samson’s lyrics have always been an inspiration (and an aspiration) to me as a musician, and while all of his work is fantastic, this album will always hold a place in my heart. If I could tattoo every line I love from this album on my body (which I have considered), I’d run out of room by track five. Anyone looking for a treatise on how to write sonnets that can bring you to tears in 90 seconds should check out “Hospital Vespers”.

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Thanks guys! A killer sum up of “Sigh No More” in particular.  Alright folks you know the drill.  Check out these crafters of harmonic goodness on Facebook and head on over to their website to listen to music and catch a show!  You can stream ’em on spotify and if you’re old school and like your mp3s downloaded, head on over to Amazon and iTunes.

Remember you can dig for buried treasure and read past editions of Top Five Fridays in the ARCHIVES.  Thanks for reading and be sure to tune in next week!

well peace out good people of the world,

Peter Winter

Peter Winter would like to eat cheese burgers at least once a week.  He also talks about music on twitter.  peterwinter38

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