Tag Archives: Song

Press Play: Playlist

Break out the blue jeans and favorite sweaters, because Fall is upon us and bringing with it the cool chill of change. It’s a time for pumpkin spice flavored, well, everything. A time to flood your senses with new sights, smells, and the exciting calm before the holiday season storm.

Like the leaves, your music changes to one more suited to the moody atmosphere.

So brew some coffee, carve a pumpkin, and enjoy our fall playlist favorites.

  1. Minds Without Fear – Imogen Heap (feat. Vishal Shekhar)
  2. We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together – Taylor Swift
  3. Sweet Disposition – The Temper Trap
  4. Spitting Image – Freelance Whales
  5. The Girl – City and Colour 
  6. Black – Kari Kimmel
  7. We Will Walk Through Walls – Electric President
  8. Madness – Muse
  9. Blood For Poppies – Garbage
  10. I Will Wait – Mumford & Sons
  11. I Am The Walrus – The Beatles
  12. Fly – Nick Drake

Press Play: Remix

When an original becomes stale, it’s time to re-work it. Make it fresh. Hear it new. Re-discover the reason you loved it in the first place. Sometimes it’s stripped down and simplified, other times it’s amped up for a movie.

So go ahead, enjoy a collection of songs that on their own were great, and with a little TLC continue to age well.

These are the remixes and covers that we love most:

  1. Immigrant Song – Karen O, Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross (Original by Led Zeppelin)
  2. Hello Seattle (Remix) – Owl City
  3. This Woman’s Work – Greg Laswell (Original by Kate Bush)
  4. Dream On – Blessthefall (Original by Aerosmith)
  5. Baby – Reliant K (Original by Justin Beiber)
  6. Rainbow Connection – Jason Mraz (Original by Kermit the Frog)
  7. It’s Oh So Quiet – Bjork (Original by Betty Hutton)
  8. I Want You Back – Discovery (Original by Jackson 5)
  9. Gimme Sympathy (iTunes Session) – Metric
  10. Major Tom (Coming Home) – Shiny Toy Guns (Original by Peter Schilling)
  11. All My Loving – Jim Sturgess (Original by The Beatles)
  12. Nothing Better (Styrofoam Remix) – The Postal Service

Album Review: Metric – Synthetica

“I make all that I believe, I set myself free. So take all the time you need, and let yourself be.” “Artificial Nocturne” by Metric

Emily Haines and her band don’t hold back in their new album Synthetica. Not lyrically, not musically, and certainly not artistically. Overall it is a worthy successor to their groundbreaking Fantasies released back in 2009.

Let’s talk about what it isn’t: Synthetica is neither a re-hash of Fantasies nor a collection of “lost” songs thrown together and called a new album. It’s obvious the thought that went into creating each track, as they stand on their own individually while also flowing into one another in a full-album play through.

An example of the visual inspiration & representation of Synthetica

Their first single “Youth Without Youth” took some getting used to. It didn’t have the same depth lyrically as other songs. But once you memorized the beat and song, it grew on you. The flowing ballad of “Speed the Collapse” is a dark, stormy song full of Haines’ beautiful melodies and a powerhouse chorus that will leave you breathless.

“Youth Without Youth” music video – click to watch

“Lost Kitten” is the most surprising track of them all, being something of a pop song without being that simple. It shows off Haines’ vocal range and is a nice break from the relatively dark tracks that precede it. Their title track “Synthetica” is catchy and far less dark than some of the other tracks. Rather their use of synthesized notes and a constant electric guitar evoke something of their neon-lit, electric inspiration Blade Runner.

Emily Haines on set during the “Youth Without Youth” music video shoot

Haines’ described Synthetica as being, “about forcing yourself to confront what you see in the mirror when you finally stand still long enough to catch a reflection. Synthetica is about being able to identify the original in a long line of reproductions. It’s about what is real vs what is artificial.”

The Power of the Dream

This video marks the 40th anniversary of the MHCC Foundation and captures the triumphs of Mt. Hood students. Accompanying the video is an original song aptly named “The Power of the Dream.” The song is now available on iTunes with all proceeds going to future student scholarships.

Click here to buy the song!

In the studio!

In the studio!

In the studio about to record drums for our latest song!

Mr. Sams Goes to a Show

“We either learn to live a lie, or we’re waiting here to die.”                                              ~”Saved” by The Dear Hunter

Click on the picture and check out their site

Last tuesday, our superhero of a sound guy had the privilege of attending a concert at the Hawthorne Theatre. Underground bands are not uncommon in Portland; walk down any street east of the Pearl District and you’ll find the telephone poles look like trees made of mostly obscure concert fliers.

“A lot of (underground) bands in the music universe stink, but one band that is blowing the musical minds of people all over is The Dear Hunter.

An indy rock band originating from Providence, Rhode Island, The Dear Hunter has a habit of creating albums with overall themes:

“Their music contains epic arrangements, heart wrenching lyrics, complex musicianship, and catchy singles. Their most recent album The Color Spectrum was a series of 9 EP’s, all containing 4 songs exploring individual colors – BlackRed, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet, White.

Click on the pic and check out their album The Color Spectrum

“They were the second band to play a set in the rotation, and played for about an hour and a half. Within their set, they showcased some of their best songs from The Color Spectrum. It was beautiful and I felt really privileged to witness in person an album I’ve loved playing on repeat.” ~Nathanael Sams

“Leave the pain behind, casting fear to the side for just a moment, so things can align. And if I fall, sometimes that’s just fine. As long as I get up, then things are alright.”                    ~”Look Away (Violet)” by The Dear Hunter

A collaborated creation

“At the touch of love, everyone becomes a poet.”  ~Plato

By now you know that, “We are Gradient and we love what we do,” but what does that really mean? Sure it means that we all love doing what were good at, be it writing, acting, filming, editing, etc, etc. But do you know that we love coffee? Or that I love lemon bars?

Well we also love helping others.

That was our mission this Valentines season, and as you know, we partnered with Silk Espresso to raise money for My Fathers House in their effort to end homelessness. Plato said it right, and we decided what better way to raise money than through song!

Many local artists collaborated on this project, and there were many late nights leading up to its completion. Rebecca, Nathanael and I stayed up until nearly 3 a.m one night finishing up lyrics and brainstorming over potential song titles.

Here is a simple list of everyone who worked on “By My Side”, and we want them to know that they have our thanks:

  • Nathanael Sams: Lyrics, Mixing, Vocals
  • David Rodriguez: Lyrics, Marketing
  • Rebecca Noles: Lyrics, Marketing
  • Josh Luna: Original Album Art
  • Elyse Ethier: Lead Female Vocals
  • Scott Thompson: Lead & Rhythm Guitar
  • Ricky Fletcher: Bass player
  • Michael Scott Pettis: Drum programmer

Again, thank you all, and have a wonderful Valentines Day.