Normally on Wednesdays we bring you three great tracks from local artists in our Featured Listens column. But this week, we've decided to celebrate Christmas a few days early by giving away in our first-ever compilation called "ListenUp Myrtle Beach presents: Featured Listens Vol. 1."
This free album features 14 songs from local bands in a variety of genres and includes contributions from some of the area's most well-known acts. Click the image below to launch download.
Also, since this is our first time doing this we are asking for your help in getting the word out about the album. If you like what you hear, tell your friends about it via Facebook or Twitter by clicking below. Thanks so much for your support! Enjoy the music and have a Happy Holiday!
Behind the music
1. Death of Paris "East or West"
When writing the new record, this song was the first one to be written, and we felt it was something that HAD to be written.
Holed up in a small 10x15 practice shed in the middle of winter, with only a cheap space heater keeping us warm, we wrote and recorded the demo of what would become "East or West."
While writing, both Jayna and I felt like there were really great bands coming out of this town, but when they broke up it was such a letdown to their fans who saw such potential in them.
"East or West" then, is a song about two directions that a band (or person) can take. Ultimately, when you are at a fork in the road with your band, you can choose to stop altogether and let a lot of people down. Some, though, press on and never stop making music, and in turn they find that their fans never stopped listening either.
- Blake Arambula
2. American Parts "New Chemistry"
New Chemistry is the first and only true love song I've ever written. I've been in a relationship for a long time now and it's what inspired me to write the song. It's just about the comfort of being with someone for a long time.
Musically it's much different from anything else I've written, it's very poppy which is a big change from the heavier and darker aspects of Attalaya. We wanted the music to be a nice backdrop to the lyrics, and I wanted it to come of very genuine and honest. The piano makes the song for me because it reminds me of an old country song.
Overall I'd say it is the most definitive American Parts song thus far in our musical career, and we are all extremely proud of it.
- Blake Monore, vocalist/guitarist
3. Ten Toes Up "Carolina Mess"
People change with the seasons, but few places in America change as much with the weather as our beach.
When the cold finds tourists back at their homes, this town hibernates and dims the lights just a little. Living in a tourist town is much like playing in a band. When summer hits it's all sunshine and energy and if you're not careful, you'll be so busy that you just simply miss it; like a dream you can't quite remember.
When it's over you're left cleaning up and preparing for the next show wondering how it passed you so quickly, yet again. It effects everything, including relationships, and the song Carolina Mess touches on the difficulty of maintaining through the ups and downs (for some reason imperfections seem to shine when we find ourselves with too much time to think about them).
The song is both a story and a conversation about a relationship coming to terms with their situation and environment. We all struggle with it, but it's out of that struggle that we find love. This is a story about that struggle and the acceptance of it.
- BJ Craven, vocalist/guitarist
4. Treehouse "My Own Creation"
"My Own Creation" expresses my perspective as a modern musician. The idea came when I sat down to write a new song, and every riff I played seemed to sound like something that had already been done.
Modern bands have exhausted almost every musical idea, chord progression, and rhythm, if The Beatles or The Rolling Stones have not already beat them to it. My revelation was to embrace this and to accept that the method of creating new music involves tying all of these established ideas into a new mixture through original combinations of existing musical elements and "call it my own creation."
I encourage future musicians to do the same thing with my own songs as well. "What's mine is yours, so come on and take it!"
These same ideas apply to life. Humans have pursued so many different experiences, expressed so many different ideas. It's up to everyone to draw on all kinds of different elements and put together a life that they find unique and meaningful. Your life can be your own creation.
- Jeremy Anderson, vocalist/guitarist
5. Below the Bassline "Remember Me"
"Remember Me" is influenced by a few things. One being the fact that all the band members are out of college now. We at that stage in life where we become independent and make our own choices.
Another is that some of our friends and former bandmates have moved away to start new lives and see where life takes them. Of course they cherish where they came from and their old friends, but i guess they needed something new and went to go find it.
Lastly, I hear a lot of people around my age talking about how they don't like Myrtle Beach and want to get away. So it's a combination of those three things.
- McKinley Devilbiss, Vocalist/Guitarist
6. Prowler "The Dead Rise Again"
I actually wrote this song right when I moved back from Raleigh, N.C. This was the first metal song I had ever written. When I resided in Raleigh I hung around and met some amazing musicians. I became very involved in the guitar world since I was selling guitars at Sam Ash Music and was very influenced by the great metal scene Raleigh had and still has!
There was so much amazing talent I just immersed myself in it as much as possible and picked up on a lot of theory and different styles of playing. I would definitely have to say Raleigh and it's metal scene were the catalyst for me starting Prowler and writing it's very first song, "The Dead Rise Again."
I had never been in a metal band before and always enjoyed and grew up with it so I was very excited to try it. I wanted to do something with metal, but with a totally different concept. I've always been a big fan of horror movies and I decided to infuse them together and take each song and write about a different horror movie I grew up with and was enamored by.
I had recently seen "Zombieland" and zombies were on my mind at the current time so I immediately thought of the1968 George Romero cult classic, "Night of the Living Dead." I actually wrote the main riff for that song while I was living in Raleigh in November of 2009, but did not fully complete and structure the song until I reunited with my old drummer for "Lived Like Murder," Jak Sumwalt, in January 2010.
I told him my concept of the band and that I wanted to name the band Prowler after Iron Maiden's first song on their debut and AC/DC's last song on their "Highway to Hell" album, "Night Prowler".
He was excited about the project and we immediately began structuring and writing the song. It was recorded from about March to July because of my intense scheduling in my Master's M.A.T. Program at Coastal. It was recorded by Brian Mckenzie and released as Prowler's first single online in July 2010.
We then were lucky and very shortly after, picked up Shawn Bruce from the bands Circles in Autumn and Kill843, to slay bass for us. The song was officially played lived at our debut show on September 10th at the Island Bar, Surfside Beach, The Dead Rise Again will be the A side to Prowler's debut 2 song Demo coming out Late December 2010.
- Patrick Best, guitarist/vocalist
7. Confliction "Everything to Ashes"
This song was inspired by people I thought respected me that really didn't. I wanted that song to show them they had no dominion over me and Confliction. It was a big F.U. to the haters.
- Rollin Carver, vocalist
8. The Letter V "It's My Time"
I sat on the beat for this song over a year with no clue what I was going to write about over it.
Honestly, the first song that I started writing over the beat was about the girl I credit for getting me into hip-hop, but it really just didn't seem to fit.
Later, when I was working on [The Anatomy of Wit] mixture I decided to revisit the beat and had the idea to write some type of aggressive anthem and what came out was what you hear now on the song.
To me "It's my Time" is an anthem to let anyone who listens know that I am ready and prepared to do whatever it takes to achieve my dreams.
It was written at a time when I was heavy into reading about controlling ones own fate, which is evident in some of the lines that I wrote.
Throughout the song I wanted to show that I do what I do because it is the only option for me. I do not believe in back up plans because I truly believe it’s impossible to succeed with such an assumption of failure being held over your head.
Overall, I would say that the song outlines my philosophy on life and therefore my philosophy as applied to my music. It most certainly reflects the literature i was reading at the time namely "The Secret," "The Art of War" and "The 48 Laws of Power."
- Jeremy Britt (aka The Letter V)
9. Sunni G "Her Or The Music"
The first time I heard the beat first it brought ideas to me. An idea as in everyone in life goes through situations.
Normally, I don’t put my life involved in the song. Yet, I wanted it to be broad enough for all my listeners to be able to relate to it. Not just because I am Sunni G, the artist. I also have the other side which is my regular life with the bills, family, friends, etc.
“Her or the Music”, shows what the artist has to deal with on two levels the glitz & glamour with fame and yet the same situations the working man deals with. I am blessed as an artist that I have a way to express myself as Sunni G. This song expresses that as artist we captivate the listeners I wanted to show through this song the two lives we have yet we are just like any working man we have to deal with both sides.
- Sunni Grissett, emcee (as told to Kelly Kel)
10. Salvdor "Time For Me"
I was freshly out of an engagement, with probably the most psycho individual I have ever had the displeasure of being associated with. After our separation, there was a time period where she was stalking me. After about three months of text messages, phone calls, I finally got the bullshit ended.
I decided that since she was so dense, the best way to get my point across to her was through music. So one day I sat down and started writing this song.
The song is basically my declaration of independence. It touches base on the bullshit about her that i loathed, and despised. To be as honest as possible, this song embodies every feeling I had for the situation. Be it the anger I harboured, the angst I had for the circumstances that arrived afterwards, and my thoughts on how I felt currently. The title alone says all there is. Instead of hurting myself, and dealing with others bullshit, I took Time For Me. .... Actually it was just a Fuck You song to some bitch who deserved everything I felt like saying. No more, no less.
- James "Salvdor" George, emcee
11. Spider & The GS Blues All-Stars "Little River Blues"
This single tells the story of love lost and found in Little River where the water's dark as tea but turns Blues when it meets the Ocean.
It is all about the lifestyle of this quaint and laid back little port where the feel of yesteryear can still reach into one's heart.
Little River known for its fresh seafood, fishing and historic centuries-old live oak trees, it is one of the last communities on the Grand Strand where a slower pace of life still exists.
The river water appears quite dark and opaque, justifying its blackwater designation. However, on sunny days, the shallows take on a distinct orange or tea-colored appearance. This is due to tannins and other pigments that have leached out of vegetation growing in the extensive wetlands adjoining the river including the cypress-gum swamps. The water all turns blue when the river meets the Atlantic Ocean a few miles away.
- Lee "Spider" Webb, Drummer/Vocalist
12. Cortez & The Killers "Change N Me"
"Change-N-Me" is a very special song because it is the first song I ever wrote & it is entirely based on actual events in my life as a teenager.
As I have grown older I have had the opportunity to look back on my life and been able to see that some of the things I did to people in my life were wrong & should have been handled differently.
Unfortunately, I was not the man I am today so I was incapable of noticing the hurt I caused to one person in particular. Along with saying that I was sorry for what I had done & the pain I had caused, I wrote a song about it to help ease my own pain.
Personally I feel that most all of the greatest songs ever written were based entirely on facts, the truth, & human emotions.
Musicians telling stories about their own lives or the lives of people they know will always be more interesting & easier to relate too than fictional tales told to appease the masses. As John Lennon once said, "Life is what happens while your making other plans." I have chosen to write songs based on my own life as a way of telling my own story.
- Eugene Cortez, vocalist/guitarist
13. Science Factory "Sauce Theory"
"Sauce Theory" started off as a session with just Bernie [Kenerson] and myself. Bernie was jamming on this piano patch and it just oozed a loose bluesy type of funk. So we recorded a few licks over a drum loop i had made and that was that.
Later on that night after Bernie went home, i stayed up in the studio Frankensteining the audio we recorded as best i knew how. As a matter of fact, the filtered synthesizer sound that you hear as the song opens, is nothing more then the same piano loop you hear come in later, post processing.
A few days after that, both Sam [Favata] and Bernie came back over and layered some more stuff on top of the basic shell I had constructed by sampling from the original recording session. That second night, the song was completely done, as you hear it now.
We love capturing musical moments, and we feel "Sauce Theory" definitely accomplished just that.
- Dan Brady (aka Mixmaster Doc), DJ
14. Bernie Kenerson "Chill Pill"
This song was written, produced, programmed and recorded by myself using Reason. The drums, bass, and synth sound under "You need to take a chill pill" are loops. The melody and lead (solos) sounds are my own custom sound designs being played with the Akai EWI USB. "You need to take a chill pill" is a sample of my own voice.
The idea for the song is the constant churning grinding progress of the techo-industrial complex and the stress it can create. As it engulfs unsuspecting souls they are encouraged to take a chill pill and go with the flow. Some resist and complain while others succumb.
This track is from my Art of the EWI CD#3, "Make My Jungle Electric". Available on CDbaby and iTunes.
- Bernie Kenerson, The Art of the EWI