One of my favorite types of music is the kind where the melody and the beats are absolutely killer and the lyrics are basically poetry, but the theme of the song is a bit hard to interpret. The Staves fit perfectly into that category. A proper way to describe this band of sisters is like if Mumford and Sons and Haim had a musical baby, The Staves would be it.
These three sisters, Jessica, Camilla, and Emily, originate from Watford, Hertfordshire in the beautiful country of England. Their first EP, Facing West, was released in 2010, which was a perfect starting point for the band and their slow rise to fame. This EP also displayed each of their individual talents aside from singing, such as Camilla’s ukulele skills and their striking harmonies.
Though they are initially from across the pond, they have a bit of American influences such as gothic folk and hippie rock. Their most recent album, If I Was, was actually released in 2014 but has only gained legit fame this past year. The album is a great extension to their past EPs and first album. A personal favorite off the album is the first track, “Blood I Bled.” It’s a great first look on the album and the type of music the sisters create. Their style is perfect for almost all music lovers; whether it be the hippies or the hipsters, The Staves will fit in their daily playlist.
|Recommended by Alecxis Rubic||Friday, August 28th, 2015||No Comments »|
There’s a lot of hyperbolic praise swirling around Beijing-based artist Nova Heart (aka Helen Fang), from being called “the Queen of Beijing Rock” to “the Blondie of China.” My knowledge of Chinese music is nonexistent, and while Jpop and Kpop have both had their turn in American pop culture (even though both were treated as fads), America is long overdue for a Chinese crossover. Maybe that’s where Nova Heart comes in.
Fang, a mini celebrity in her own country, has been fronting bands and touring across Europe for the past few years. Nova Heart, her much-anticipated solo project, has been swimming in critical accolades since her 2013 debut EP, Beautiful Boys. Since then, the imminent release of her first full-length album and a song of hers appearing in an episode of Hemlock Grove have both boosted her exposure here in the states.
Although I personally don’t get a “rock” persona from her, Fang is excellent at spinning dark, moody sounds that are as ominous and puzzling as her eye-catching videos. There’s a story to everything she does, and her commitment to strong visuals helps solidify her vision. And exactly what is Nova Heart’s vision? You’ll have to dive into her world and find out.
If you liked this, don’t forget to pre-order her self-titled debut album.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Tuesday, August 4th, 2015||No Comments »|
Sepia Tears is a visual interactive novel for PC. The story involves a high schooler named Mark and a mysterious stranger named Myra. The game takes players on a character-driven story through a manga-inspired world as they confront topics about love and lost memories. Indie game fans will be able to see the influence of Christine Love’s visual novels, Digital: A Love Story and Analogue: A Hate Story, in this game, although it’s also accessible to new players. I’m really excited to see more narrative focus in indie games, and although I love text-based adventures like Choice of the Star Captain, I think the visual side of Sepia Tears is promising. Check out the trailer for yourself above, or download the full PC game to try it out.
|Recommended by Meg Stivison||Monday, March 3rd, 2014||No Comments »|
I like free stuff, but who doesn’t? So, since we all like free things, I thought this was worth a quick share (really quick). Free Key Fridays is a Twitter raffle online that takes place every Friday (duh) opening at midnight. This started as a way to spread knowledge of great indie games by letting gamers compete for free keys from some of the best developers and games. In order to participate you must follow the group on Twitter and answer the weekly Twitter question that is posted every Friday. From there they select the winners.
With almost a thousand followers on Twitter, it looks like feedback has been very positive. Who doesn’t like winning free stuff? Example questions: “What item would you use from the game of your choice to skip shopping lines this holiday season?” and “Name the profession of your favorite video game character before they began their adventure.” The questions are fun and can play on your creativity and imagination. The winners are announced the next day, and don’t worry, the usernames are always different.
|Recommended by Danielle Dabrio-Carroll||Friday, December 6th, 2013||No Comments »|
Every action has a reaction and consequence. The latest game from Owlchemy (clever) Labs seems to have taken this saying literally when they developed Dyscourse, and I am excited! Most games are like mathematical equations; they may have a few ways of completing the problem, but ultimately there is only one conclusion. Dycourse, on the other hand, is different. While one player could be the reason for why he and the other survivors have all died, another player could end up surviving long enough to be rescued. Everything depends on you, your memory, your survival skills, your choices, and more. If ten different people play this game, there’s a good chance they won’t all get the same ending. That is the beauty of this idea, and it’s not just your ordinary choice game either, it goes much further than that.
Upon landing—well, crashing—in your plane with the other passengers, you are on a large island with no map and surrounded by many dangers! Just like in real life, your only map is your memory. You can leave “memory markers” that make it possible for you to retrace your footsteps back to a particular place. You also have to be able to recall past events, form relationships with the other survivors, hunt for food (fight or flight has been built in, too)—just so many goodies to name! You are going to need to take advantage of all of these and more if you’re going to make it off the island alive.
However, Owlchemy Labs needs help with the finishing touches and they have turned to Kickstarter to do it. They are half-way to their goal amount, and as of today, there are 11 days left to donate. The first gameplay video has been released and it has already gotten the OK to be released on Steam with every donator getting a Steam key once its live. The beta is expected to come out in May 2014. If you want to get the full details on this new kind of virtual survival game, then check it out here because I am pretty much sold.
|Recommended by Danielle Dabrio-Carroll||Monday, November 25th, 2013||No Comments »|
It’s a bird, it’s a plane…not really, it’s a seal. A Huge Seal, to be exact. Conceptualized from the wonderful people at Frozenbyte, Huge Seal is basically a “build your own” indie game sale bundle (I love bundles). It features more than 30 indie games from various genres including but not limited to Antichamber, Monaco, FTL, Terraria, and more! This is a Steam Coupon Giveaway, so here’s how it works: you pick five Steam Discount Coupons out of the 30 indie games listed. For every purchase you make you can pick one new coupon. Then for every three games purchased with the coupons, you will receive one free random Steam key for one of the games from the list.
The sale ends on November 24, and there’s a countdown clock at the bottom of the site. In order to take part in this limited time sale, you must meet the following requirements and rules. You have to sign in with your Steam account, and that Steam account must be public. You must set your profile to public and it must be recognized by the system as public before using any of the coupons. I don’t know what will happen if you don’t log in with a public account, but it was stressed on both sites holding the sale. Also, these coupons can obviously only be used through Steam and will not work anywhere else (sorry). The games themselves are playable on PC, Mac, Linux, and comes with this nifty video to watch, explaining details and giving more info.
|Recommended by Danielle Dabrio-Carroll||Wednesday, November 20th, 2013||No Comments »|
More awesome games using Kickstarter! Lords of Xulima is a game being developed by Numantian Games, and they have so far raised double their asking amount. Lords of Xulima looks to be a 2D single-player, turn-based RPG with a classic look to it. Going old school is turning out to be the new theme these days, and it seems like a lot of developers want to go back to what got them into gaming in the first place. Lords of Xulima has everything that I remember loving as a young gamer (even though I’m not that old) when playing my old RPGs. It has a detailed and thought out back story, and I also like the fact that it requires a form of actual strategy and intelligence instead of testing how well you can follow a pre-determined set of events after barely completing a mission where you are given step-by-step directions. Finally, it also claims to have a challenging environment. All of your actions have consequences, whether they are positive or negative ones are completely up to you and what decisions you make.
The official trailer was released back in March on YouTube but recently they also released the first gameplay video as well. This video shows the beginning of the game in tutorial mode. It also shows you how to navigate through the game and how the turn-based battles look as you go through the first village on Xulima. It all looks very promising, and the finished project is expected to be released early 2014. The game has already gotten the Steam Greenlight and will be released on Steam as well. So if you want to help fund this game or just find out more about it, their Kickstarter page can be found here. As of today, there are only nine days left to donate.
|Recommended by Danielle Dabrio-Carroll||Tuesday, November 19th, 2013||No Comments »|