New Music for Your Monday

One of my favorite bands, April Smith and the Great Picture Show, is pretty unknown and doesn’t have much radio play except for a few AAA stations. She’s not a Top 40-type of artist, and I’m not sure if she’s HAC either. She describes her music as “retro pop with a swing.” However, I think she would be super popular if anyone knew about her. In any case though, she has an awesome voice, really catchy melodies, and smart lyrics. Here’s my favorite from her, and it’s currently being used in a Colgate commercial:

If you like this, I would recommend listening to “Terrible Things”, which is being used in the promo for the TV show “Weeds” but was actually inspired by the show “Dexter,” and “Colors,” which shows off the clarity in her voice. I’ve shown “Colors” to my friends who love Top 40 and hip hop and friends who like indie music, they were all impressed with her voice. So, even if the lack of a heavy dance beat turns you off, hopefully you will enjoy her singing.

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12 Responses to New Music for Your Monday

  1. planetangst ( Studio57) says:

    I like the song- it’s different, but I didn’t do the poll because I am not a big fan of women singers and I wouldn’t be a good judge of that kind of thing without showing my prejudice. I appreciate her talent though 🙂

  2. lindag23 says:

    I voted that it would not make it on the radio, but I think she is better than not bad. I loved the swing rhythms and the general movement of the song. I am stumped where she would fit on the radio. Thanks for the intro, I will go check out some of her other songs and maybe make a purchase or two.

    • jchang365 says:

      I have no idea where she would be classified on the radio either. She has a retro, 1940s type of sound that doesn’t fit in anyywhere. Yet, I think if people were actually exposed to her stuff , they would be intrigued and like what they hear.

  3. samantha says:

    I’m with angsty when it comes to not being a fan of most female singers, but I think April Smith is a fantastic lyricist — all three songs had clever/interesting lyrics.

    And LOL at the third voting option that you provided.

    • jchang365 says:

      Her lyrics kind of put Taylor Swift’s to shame, don’t they?

      • samantha says:

        My feeling about Taylor Swift’s lyrics is that they successfully capture the angst of the junior high and high school years. I think she appeals to that demographic — and to older listeners who never moved beyond that level emotionally or intellectually.

        That analysis might be a little harsh, but I just can’t imagine who else would find her lyrics appealing.

        ETA:
        Yep. Too harsh. I’m just jaded and cynical.

      • jchang365 says:

        When I was a college freshman, I remember listening to Taylor’s “A Place in This World,” and it captured EXACTLY what I was feeling at the time. I didn’t know what I was doing at college, I was trying to take it one day at a time, and I knew that others were feeling that way too but I still felt like I was alone trying to figure it out. In terms of subject, she got it exactly right and stated it in plain language. But in terms of poetics, she’s very elementary.

        The language that April is using isn’t that difficult, but she tells a really interesting story that just happens to all rhyme together, lol.

  4. jtfacts says:

    Retro and cute. Back in the 90s when Squirrel Nut Zippers and other swing-ish bands were doing well, I think this could have gotten some decent radioplay. These days not so much, at least not outside genuinely alternative stations and college stations. I could also see something like this making an impact on tv, which would lead to iTunes sales and then potentially radioplay.

    As far as immature adults liking Taylor, I know women in their 30s and 40s who like her and they aren’t intellectually or emotionally immature. I’m much more immature and I can’t stand Taylor!

    But then 90% of the time I don’t care about lyrics and I like songs like MmmmBop.

    • planetangst ( Studio57) says:

      That’s a good observation about SNZ, JTF. But doesn’t Duffy and Adele kind of have that sound now? I’m not too familiar with them, but this song reminds me of the type of music Megan ( is that her name?)would sing on season 8 all the time.

      • jtfacts says:

        I can only judge Duffy and Adele by their most successful singles because that’s all I know of them and Adele seemed solidly HAC to me, but not terribly retro and Duffy had more of a 60s retro thing going on like Amy Winehouse. Based on this song, April Smith seems more 40s retro, like SNZ.

    • jchang365 says:

      Huh, I had never heard of the Squirrel Nut Zippers until my friend showed me them after playing April Smith for him, haha. I could see her appealing definitely to the college crowd, ones who like their music with more substance than Top 40.

      I don’t care about lyrics either normally unless they stand out in some way like these do for me.

      And ummm, I totally love Mmmbop. I’m actually a big Hanson fan, haha. I loved them in high school and subscribed to the whole “independent record label only, screw you majors; real musicians play their own instruments and write their music and fake like Britney” mantra because of them. My high school self would be horrified to know that I like someone like Adam Lambert now.

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