The Beatles, Beck, John Lennon, The Killers, U2, The Shins, Spoon, Franz Ferdinand, Johnny Cash, free downloads still available here: http://www.reverbnation.com/jakelong1
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The first song "Warm", pulls from influences as inspired as the Beatles, Beck, and U2. A strong bass line and heavy beat recalls experimental rock songs from the Sgt. Pepper album and it packs enough wallop that it should be the opener in Long's set.
As with all of the songs, influences are filtered through an amazingly original voice. That deftly crafted voice carries the songs from mere catchy tunes into a more elegant classification of brilliant songwriting.
The most popular song, "Astronaut", finds it's legs in sounding familiar yet miles away. It's a combination of perfectly placed notes and hooks that jump out at the listener.
Vocals from lead singer Jake Ryan Long are warm and tubey, intimate yet mysterious. Many bands such as Hooverphonic attempt this same technique. It's popular in the indie scene, but here it sounds more like late John Lennon in "Imagine" and "A Day in the Life". The vocal hooks boom with a modern edge and rugged masculinity.
The lyrics are simple but pull with a magnetism of an old story you'd almost forgotten. In 'Back to You', the artist reminisces, "Pictures on the wall, memories this tall, hard to forget, won't get too upset." It's lyrics like this and, "Messages from you, on my computer too, texting back and forth, plans to head up north," that make many songs simple, plain, and downright catchy. Certainly there is an air of Pink Floyd in the delivery of such lines. Some songs experiment with innovative sounds much like "The Killers" and "MGMT" in their respective freshman years, though it remains to be seen if Jake Ryan Long is also plucked from obscurity.