Sonny Byrd

Triangle Explorer: The Love Language

When I met Stuart McLamb, singer/songwriter for The Love Language, before their CD release party at the Local 506 in Chapel Hill, he told me that he would wink at me the most since I was reviewing his show. But fortunately for McLamb, his music did all the winking for him.

Never leaving anyone wanting less, the band expertly put on more of a carnival than a concert, one where everyone in the room was as much a part of the act as the band itself; and the sold-out crowd clearly appreciated it. They performed everything from whimsical ballads to gutsy waltzes and circus-reared rock tunes, showcasing their ability to create a wide variety of soundscapes live. And not only did the band and the audience clearly have a blast, the music itself seemed to have a great time, drawing everyone into the lush and sophisticated indie pop songs, despite the ever present lo-fi grit.

READ ON for more of this month’s Triangle Explorer…

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Triangle Explorer: Pico vs. Island Trees

We’d like to welcome a new contributor from an area close to our hearts: North Carolina’s Research Triangle. Sonny Byrd is an avid music fan, critic, concert goer, listener, and player who is based out of Durham, NC. Each month he’ll tell us about a new up-and-coming band from the Chapel Hill/Raleigh/Durham area. Welcome to the Hidden Track team, Sonny.

Pop music can and always has been so much more than just pop punk. Pico vs. Island Trees is all of the proof that you need. Rather than turning to the idols of high school ‘tweens’ (ie, Pete Wentz) for influence, Pico has a new approach to pop; they have managed to incorporate a disco-1970s-groovy jazz vibe into their sound, while staying firmly planted in mainstream pop rock. And what’s more, they convincingly pull it off with momentum and musicality.

A self-described pop band, Pico formed over a decade ago in middle school, and the core three members, now in their mid-twenties, have been together since day one. This may account for their palpable onstage chemistry and seasoned approach to pop/rock songwriting. And while the five piece band has no manager, no PR rep, and of course, no record label, they have taken “DIY” (do it yourself) to a new level of musical success.

READ ON for more from Sonny on Pico vs. Island Trees…

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