Music You Should Be Listening To: Shael Riley & The Double Ice Backfire
While we often have features here on what webcomics you should be reading, what movies you should be looking forward to, what DVDs you should buy…there hasn’t been much here in the way of audio enjoyment. I am to change that with a feature I’m aptly titling “Music You Should Be Listening To”.
Now, what will differentiate this music from your typical Top 40 tunes is it’s content. See, there’s a musical scene known as “nerdcore” where artists perform songs that contain subjects such as internet memes, comic books, video games and the like. While much of nerdcore is hiphop, there are some artists that still fall under the heading, while not quite rapping about their likes.
One such artist is Shael Riley. A chiptune artist, singer/songwriter & guitarist from New York who came onto the nerdcore scene with the group The Grammar Club, Shael stands apart with his unique vocal skills and excellent musicianship. Chiptune, for those that are unaware, is music made using old NES or GameBoy systems…basically 8-bit video game music. Adding to that sound are the solid, more typcial instrumentation from his backup band The Double Ice Backfire (so named for a move in the game Mortal Kombat).
Shael’s 2009 EP “Songs From The Pit” was an exceptional slice of relatable themes, enveloped in a shell of video game references and other “nerdy” charms and character. While originally recieving a small release on cassette, Shael is enlisting the help of his fans to professionally master the recordings, as well as new tracks, via fan donations and contributions at his Kickstarter page. Here, different dollar denominations grant listeners unqiue singles, bonus expanded versions of the album, producer credits and more. He’s already reached his $3,750 goal for mixing and mastering of the album, and any additional funds now (up to $4.5K) will aid in the duplication and production of the album (including the awesome 3 disc version of the album housed in a Sega Saturn game case).
Shael’s music is unique and exceptional and deserves your time. If you’re so inclinded, your donationas as well. The link above leads to his page at thsixtyone.com where you can check out some of the tracks from the origial verse of “Songs from the Pit”. There’s also this cover of Radiohead’s “Creep”, which he released as a thank you for reaching the $3,000 mark. Obviously, furthur donations will yeild even more exceptional music.