Ex Die in Diem


Beyond the Sunrise

Today is really a follow up to last week’s post. I posted that, and then almost immediately opened an app on my phone and enjoyed the excitement of music discovery through non-radio means. Hypocrite.

In a sorry attempt to salvage some respectability and save face, I’m now going to devote some serious wordage to rationalising and self-justification. If you’d rather just read about the newly discovered band, skip the next two paragraphs.

I am basing my rationalising on the idea that what my last post was about wasn’t in fact new versus old, or high-tech versus low-tech, but that rather that it was about automatic versus manual. In this light, when I was singing the praises of broadcast radio, it was the DJs that I was in favour of, and the services I decried, whilst they exhibit different approaches and levels of quality in their algorithms,are all hobbled by the fact that they use algorithms at all.

The app that I fired up last week was not a machine driven recommendation service, but rather a magazine of sorts, called Band of the Day. The app is very simple, beautifully designed and engineered, and simply presents the user with a new band every day. The band are interviewed, a short biography is attached, and the app even provides a few sample tracks for your listening pleasure. There are also links to buy the entire catalogue of the days band, and even some videos if you go for that kind of thing. It’s a cool app, and it’s free; go download it.

The band that I found through this app are called Fang Island, and I’ve been listening to their second album Major a lot this week. I’d say I’ve been in need of some upbeat music of late, and I’d have to agree with the band when they say that their sound is “like everyone high-fiving everyone else”. The band that sprung to mind for camparative purposes was The Polyphonic Spree, but to be honest, that’s a terrible comparison to make.

The album is fantastic, and happy and fun, but it doesn’t have the naively optimistic feel of the Spree’s efforts. I’m going to bow to professional journalism now, and quote from an article for National Public Radio:

On this record, singer-guitarist Jason Bartell told NPR in an email, I think we are trying to dig past that surface-level positivity, and trying to mine a sort of core positivity that I feel is inherent in music itself.

I’d urge you to go have a listen, especially given that you can do so for free, in reasonable quality, at the site linked to the word Major above. You never know, they might be your new favourite band.

I’ll see you next time.

This is from the