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Radio Free MP3: The Orange Peels, Rene Lopez, & Postdata

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"The Real You" – The Orange Peels
Click here to listen to the MP3

Last week, after three weeks of snow, cold, and constant gray dreariness, the sun came out, the snow melted and there was real warmth in my veins. It was fantastically fabulous. Everyone, everywhere seemed to be smiling. Our steps were lighter. Our long-held miseries were over. If just for a little while.

"The Real You" sounds like that. Happy. It is a toss off demo. Something they threw together while waiting out the torrential downpours of California. It might get expanded upon and turned into a full length song, but for now its a small burst of joy. A little sugar in our lemonade. Sometimes that's all you need.

Hear more at their Myspace page and website.

"Not the Same Day" – Rene Lopez
From the album People Are Just People
Click here to listen to the MP3

It probably isn't intentional but "Not the Same Day" reminds me a lot of some of the Black Crowes better material. There's that same southern white guy soul singing (even though Lopez is a Puerto Rican from the Bronx, you figure that out.) There's the gospel-influenced organs. And finally he's got those same bluesy guitar chops. Or maybe that's just me.

Add to those sounds some big riffing horns and you've got a brassy, soulful, classy jam. His last EP Johnny Wants to Be a Matado was full of lating beats, and you can still hear that influence here, but for People Are Just People he's toned it down, focusing on more classic American sounds. The results are equally good. "Not the Same Day" comes out of the box ready to dance and never gives up.

The new album comes out May 4th. Until then you can check out his website and Myspace page.

"In Chemicals" – Postdata
From the album Postdata
Click here to listen to the MP3

I am often drawn to heart-breakingly sad songs. There are few things more wonderfully terrible, more cathartic that sitting alone in the dark listening to some song that makes you weep into great giant sobs. Yet when I look at my life I have to admit that I've not had it so bad. I'm a middle-class American white guy. The data doesn't get much easier than that. I've got a wife and a dog and a house. I've worked. I've traveled. I've hardly had any real heartbreak to speak of. I've never even broken a bone. Yet the tears are real. The emotions raw. Sadness overcomes.

When Paul Murphy sings "to the murderer of my heart, to the stealer of my better parts" I think we all know what he means. We've all felt that sadness. Even if we don't deserve to. "In Chemicals" is a crushing song full of such deep pain that its painful to listen to, and purging.

The music is sparse – simple acoustic guitar melodies, the buzzing of keys and Murphy's mournful voice. The meaning is tragic. Hurtful. And stunningly beautiful.

Murphy is better known for his Juno winning band Wintersleep but he joined together with his brother to form Postdate. He says the songs come from his deceased grandparents' dreams, and were written for his mom, who "had a tough year." Its an organic album, full of small sounds and lots of heart. Its out now in CD and digital download. You can learn, and hear more on their website and Myspace page.

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About Mat Brewster