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Usually, when I take up the time to pen these Sounds of Karma, I like to put in a general theme to the songs I choose, whether it be ballads or Valentines or nerdy songs, I like to keep the reader at least mildly entertained. When my friend's Hot Topic-wearing wanna-be-emo sister was telling me how gay violins are, it inspired me to put on display the wonderful use of violins in the rock genre. All four songs on this list will feature a band that either regularly uses the bow or at least have for that particular song.

You wish you were here

Robot Love Story - North By Northwest

Robot Love Story hasn’t hit it big yet. As of right now they’re still playing the little New York gigs waiting to be discovered. But they’re building momentum as one of the best new bands in America right now. Songs like North By Northwest feature epic violin overtones and Tom DeLonge-like vocals and graciously break free from the same pop punk chains that sugar coat so many bands.


The Airborne Toxic Event 

The Airborne Toxic Event - Sometime Around Midnight

This band absolutely blows me away. They’re one of my favorite bands in the entire world and nobody even knows them yet. Honestly, I couldn’t rave about them any more than I already do. In fact, the last FanNation icon I had before my now-permanent one was their debut album cover that just came out this past Monday. With straightforward but beautifully poetic lyrics, a violin player with an amazing voice, and a guitar player almost completely independent with the rest of the instrumentals, the ATE sings every song they write with the passion of anyone I’ve ever seen. “Sometime Around Midnight” is easily their best, closely followed by every song they’ve ever sung.


I think there's usually even more of them

Arcade Fire - Intervention

Aside from Led Zeppelin, no band has taken longer and more effort for me to get into than Arcade Fire. But now that I have, wow. It’s hard to describe how amazing this band is. Everything they do is as epic and overdone as Muse themselves, but paradoxically mellow all the while. Their sophomore, Neon Bible, was entirely recorded in a church (awesome, much?). “Intervention” brings that out with the church organs blaring from the beginning. As in Arcade Fire custom, the usual wave of many other instruments comes sweeping in throughout the song, molding it into a classic.



Coldplay - Viva La Vida

For the mainstream buffs out there that aren’t afraid to admit that Coldplay rocks the straight world too, I give you the brand new official “Viva La Vida” music video. I’m afraid it doesn’t feature any purple clouds appearing behind Chris Martin as he sings about the fall of Jerusalem, a la iTunes commercials, but it’s still pretty freakin’ sweet. It gets slightly repetitive, but the graphics and overall feel are awesome. And hey what do you know, at 2:49, purple clouds do appear behind Chris Martin as he sings! Baller stat!


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