First Impression: Relient K – Air for Free

Relient K - Air for Free

This first impression was originally posted as a live blog for supporters in our forums on July 13th, 2017. First impressions are meant to be quick, fun, initial impressions on an album or release as I listen to it for the first time. It’s a running commentary written while listening to an album — not a review. More like a diary of thoughts. This post has been lightly edited for structure and flow.

I’ve been listening to Relient K since I was going through my christian music phase in early, early high-school. It was the period of my life when I was doing the whole Young Life thing. That is all a story for another time, but, through it I did discover some music that I’ve enjoyed ever since. MxPx. Slick Shoes. Dogwood. Value Pac. These are bands I’ve been listening to for a looooong time now .. and Relient K were one of the bands that drew me in almost immediately. The pop hooks. The fun, tongue in cheek lyrics, and their ear for harmony. The band’s changed some over the years, they’ve moved more toward the secular crowd, they saw some mainstream popularity for a little while, and overall they’ve always been a band I’ve kept an eye on. I think Matt T has one of the best ears for pop music out there and is arguably one of the better songwriters in our little scene. He’s that good. I have even found a way to like some parts of Collapsable Lung a little after a few years, although, that’s easily my least favorite from the band.

The new album is Air for Free. It’ll be streaming on Pandora this Friday. It’s 16 tracks long. So, it’s a beast of an album. But my first impression is that they went for it. Matt H described it to me as: “the opposite of our attempt at radio (Collapsible Lung) and we just tried to be ourselves and have fun with it” — and I think in a lot of ways that’s a great way to describe it. It’s fun. It’s different in the right ways.

Ok, so here we go …

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Coheed and Cambria, Underoath, and Circa Survive Headline Chain Fest

Orange County’s all-ages venue, Chain Reaction, has announced Chain Fest. The festival will take place on Saturday, September 17th at the Observatory Grounds in Santa Ana, California. Coheed and Cambria, Underoath, and Circa Survive will be headlining along with Portugal. The Man, MXPX, Title Fight, Anthony Green, Basement, Citizen, Dance Gavin Dance, Elder Brother, Hail The Sun, Mat Kerekes, Movements, Nomads, Onelinedrawing, Secret Space, Tigers Jaw, Turnover, Up Syndrome, and Zao.

VIP tickets are on sale now. General admission goes on sale on Friday.

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Spotify Adding Two New Radio Shows

Rich McCormick, writing for The Verge, on Spotify’s two new radio shows:

Swedish streaming service Spotify is launching two new radio shows today, both of which feature musicians talking about the kind of music that they like listening to while they’re making their art. The first, AM/PM, will feature artists like electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre and Terry Hall of ska icons The Specials talking about the music they listen to in the mornings before work, and in the evenings after a day spent creating. The second, Secret Genius, speaks to the songwriters and producers behind major songs, and features the actually-pretty-well-known James Blake, among others.