Track of the Day..."Unstoppable" from Enerate
from Good Times Airlines
Enerate Project (2013)
Listen to "Unstoppable” MP3
Sydney based band Enerate deliver a fun, effortless synth-based but entirely melodic pop sound on “Unstoppable” that will put you on Bondi Beach, watching the surf with a cold beer even if you are in you car traveling to work in Detroit with a hot coffee.
Check out their equally buoyant video for the track here. Makes you want to call the parents and check if they have that old Colecovision under your bed.
Official | Myspace | Facebook
Track of the Day..."Careless" from Beach Fossils
from Clash of the Truth
Captured Tracks (2013)
Listen to "Careless” MP3
Brooklyn band Beach Fossils bring a loose, intimate sound that is filled with an alternately staccato and soaring guitar, melodic rumbling bass and terse drumming redolent of the best of 80’s Cure to their excellent new album Clash of the Truth.
The lead single “Careless” is a sweet, effortless gem that will thaw those snow-filled ears and bring the sun to even the dreariest winter day.
Facebook | Captured Tracks | Myspace
Track of the Day..."Ye Ye" from Daphni
Listen to "Ye Ye” MP3
Caribou creator Daniel Snaith has another hit under his new moniker Daphni with the album Jiaolong on Merge Records. This dance-oriented album features the standout track “Ye-Ye”. The song is highlighted by a deep bass sample sound that almost sings over the deftly crafted and very rhythmic beats.
Track of the Day..."Give Love Back" from Californiaman
“Give Love Back”
Listen to "Give Love Back” MP3
Inspired by the late 70's and early 80's sounds of artists such as Steely Dan, Robert Palmer, and Phil Collins, Stockholm's Californiaman (solo project of Joel Igor Hammad Magnusson of Me and My Army) creates music that is "fitting for both lovers, condors and cabriolets."
The track “Give Love Back” serves this up in spades. Head over to Soundcloud and the Californiaman YouTube page to hear other tracks, including the track “Drums Don’t Play Themselves”
Soundcloud - Californiaman | YouTube - Californiaman
Track of the Day..."Night & Day" from Solar Year
“Night & Day”
from Night & Day 7"
Listen to "Night & Day” MP3
Montreal production duo Solar Year has created exciting and edgy tracks over the last year including the critically praised “Brotherhood” which featured a standout video for the song which can be seen here.
Following that success in grand style the group has just released Night & Day 7” that will serve as a debut single for new Berlin label Stratosfear from the editors of No Fear Of Pop. The track features a thumping beat and pulsing, ethereal sounds that are deftly layered with a lustrous vocal overlay.
Solar Year | Facebook - Solar Year
Track of the Day..."Boys I Like" from Desert Stars
“Boys I Like”
from Boys I Like/Farewell Decade
Listen to "Boys I Like” MP3
As a teaser for their first long player to be released next year, Brooklyn's Desert Stars have released the beautiful blissed out, psych-pop track BOYS I LIKE. Originally founded by Janelle Best, she is now joined by Melanie Moser (ex-Cass McCombs), Gregg Giuffre (Free Blood / Hunters), Jane Herships (Spider / TEEN) and Carrie Ashley Hill. Watch the fitting road trip video directed by the bands own Carrie Ashley Hill.
Desert Stars | Facebook - Desert Stars
Track of the Day..."Mtn Tune" from Trails and Ways
Trails and Ways
from (upcoming album) Trilingual
Listen to "Mtn Tune” MP3
This DIY four-piece met while studying at UC Berkley. Now relocated to Oakland, the band looks to make music that is grounded in the idea of blending influences and taking the listener to different places. The band's debut album Trilingual is expected to be released early next year and will feature songs in English, Portuguese and Spanish. Keep an eye out for the band's upcoming interactive webcam project.
Trails and Ways | Facebook - Trails and Ways
Track of the Day... "Windvane" from NEØV
from Orange Morning
Fullsteam Records (2012)
Listen to "Windvane” MP3
“Windvane” is the dream pop single from Kuopio, Finland's NEØV, led by brothers Annsi and Samuli Neuvonen. The band's debut album is set to be released later this year on indie label Fullstream Records. Be sure to check out the remix of the track from one of our favorites Korallreven (Marcus Joons and Daniel Tjäder of The Radio Dept.).
Facebook - NEØV | Fullstream Records
Track of the Day..."Symptoms (Wild Cub Remix)" from Atlas Genius
"Symptoms (Wild Cub Remix)”
from Through The Glass
Listen to "Symptoms (Wild Cub Remix)” MP3
Atlas Genius are a band of three brothers from Australia who write addicting indie pop songs. "Trojans," the lead single, is an absolute gem. They recently put out their debut EP, Through The Glass and embarked on their first ever US tour. Atlas Genius are presently touring with Silversun Pickups.
Check out the official video for “Symptoms” here.
Official | Facebook | Twitter
Track of the Day..."Bear Cubs" from Museum of Bellas Artes
Museum of Bellas Artes
7" Bear Cubs / Dead Silence
Listen to "Bear Cubs” MP3
While we patiently wait for the Stockholm trio's debut album, we are enjoying Museum of Bellas Artes' new 7" featuring the beautiful and fleeting track “Bear Cubs”.
The official video from band members Leonard Öhman, Alice Luther Näsholm and Joanna Herskovits can be seen here, or for a pared-down live version of the track check out the video the band recorded with PSL.
Facebook - Museum of Bellas Artes / Tumblr - Museum of Bellas Artes / Force Majeure
Track of the Day..."Time" from Merchandise
from Children of Desire
Katorga Works (2012)
Listen to "Time” MP3
With their ambitious release Children of Desire, Tampa, FL's Merchandise build on their post-punk roots and embrace a more romantic 80's alternative pop aesthetic. Merchandise, whose core members include David Vassalotti, Carson Cox and Patrick Brady, are making their LP available as a free download on their website or via Katorga Works. You can check out the video for the first reverb-heavy single “Time” here.
Merchandise / Katorga Works
Track of the Day..."Traci’s On The Phone" from Honeydrum
“Traci’s On The Phone”
from Pleasures of the Sun EP
Listen to "Traci’s On The Phone” MP3
“Traci’s On The Phone” is a wonderfully warped and lo-fi track from the Pleasures of the Sun EP from New Brunswick, NJ’s Honeydrum. The EP is available as a (free) download from Honeydrum’s Bandcamp page or on cassette from AMDISCS. You can check out the 80’s inspired video for the track.
Honeydrum’s new release Stranger Calls 7” and Do You Party? EP are available from the band’s Tumblr page.
Bandcamp - Honeydrum / Facebook - Honeydrum / Twitter - Honeydrum / AMDISCS
Track of the Day..."Forever" from Haim
from Forever EP
National Anthem (2012)
Listen to "Forever” MP3
L.A.'s folk-pop quartet Haim (the three Haim sisters and friend and drummer Dash Hunter) have been picking up steam since their SXSW shows earlier this year. This guilty pleasure title track from their debut Forever EP is a summery mix of easy harmonies, cowbells, funk guitars and cymbals.
You can check out their video for “Forever” directed by Austin Peters.
Haim / Facebook - Haim / National Anthem
Track of the Day..."Endless Flowers" from Crocodiles
from Endless Flowers
Frenchkiss Recods / Souterrain Transmissions (2012)
Listen to "Endless Flowers” MP3
Endless Flowers is the third LP from San Diego’s Crocodiles, seeing Brandon Welchez and Charles Rowell joined by Robin Eisenberg, Marco Gonzalez and Anna Schulte. The band continues their mixing of rock noise, melodies and distortion, and the title track is no exception.
The video for the track is a psychedelic teen dream directed by Pete Dee.
Facebook - Crocodiles / Blogspot - Crocodiles
Track of the Day..."Captain of a Ship" from Three Blind Wolves
Three Blind Wolves
“Captain of a Ship”
from Sound of the Storm
Communion Records 2012
Listen to "Captain Of A Ship” MP3
Glasgow, UK natives Three Blind Wolves led by singer and main songwriter Ross Clark have created a dreamy, romantic and rhythmic track on “Captain of a Ship” redolent of Vampire Weekend with less of their standard alty-cuteness and erudition.
The song begins with a vibrating, echo that blends effortlessly into a gently plucked acoustic guitar and then met by an ethereal howl. The tempo rises and becomes a west indian style beat buoyed by a brightly plucked electric guitar. The chorus yields yet another tempo change that is a sing-along, sea shanty type of ditty.
Clark’s vocals are the glue in the mix as they power the song forward. It’s a sound that is reminiscent of Mike Peters of The Alarm.
Looking forward to hearing what Three Blind Wolves have in store for the future.
Myspace | Facebook | Bandcamp
Track of the Day…“The House That Heaven Built” from Japandroids
“The House That Heaven Built”
From The House That Heaven Built EP
Polyvinyl Records 2012
This energetic jam is spreading amongst indie college students’ ears like wildfire, giving the already well-established garage punk band Japandroids the prevalent recognition they’ve been working towards. After two albums, The House That Heaven Built EP steps further into their signature punk rock roots, being both poppy and brooding, while cleaning up the unrefined sound that the duo started six years ago. These young Canadians really made a hit here with a rebellious anthem fully equipped with the catchy chanted “oh’s”, a pulsing rhythm, and tantalizing crunchy guitars. Make sure to watch for Japandroid’s new album Celebration Rock, which will released in early June.
Check out the track here.
Official | Facebook
Track of the Day..."Chin" from Sleep Party People
Sleep Party People
from We Are Drifting On A Sad Song
Blood and Biscuits 2012
Listen to "Chin MP3
Sleep Party People is the project of Copenhagen-based multi-instrumentalist Brian Batz. The new release includes 9 tracks of wonderfully imaginative electronic dream pop. Otherworldly and hazy melodies deftly build into post-rock climaxes. Wearing rabbit masks on stage (to overcome shyness), Brian and his band put on an excellent live show. Be sure to catch them on tour this spring.
We Are Drifting On A Sad Song is also available on 12" color vinyl (with MP3 download) directly from Blood and Biscuits.
Check out the unsettlngly beautiful video directed by young Danish director Marie Limkilde for the album opener A DARK GOD HEART.
MySpace - Sleep Party People / Twitter - Sleep Party People / Facebook - Sleep Party People /Facebook - Blood and Biscuits / Twitter - Blood and Biscuits / Blogspot - Blood and Biscuits
Track of the Day..."Amber" from Labyrinth Ear
from Apparitions EP
Digital Release 2012
Listen to "Amber” MP3
London synth-pop duo Labyrinth Ear have digitally released their follow-up Apparitions EP. The group combines indie with sparkling synths, dreamy vocals and driving drums. The blissed-out track “Amber” is the first release from the EP.
You can check out the video for “Amber” directed by Alex Southam.
Apparitions is available for download at the band's Bandcamp page.
Labyrinth Ear / Twitter - Labyrinth Ear / Facebook - Labyrinth Ear / Bandcamp - Labyrinth Ear
Track of the Day..."Make Up Your Mind" from Here We Go Magic
Here We Go Magic
“Make Up Your Mind”
from A Different Ship LP
Secretly Canadian (2012)
Listen to "Make Up Your Mind” MP3
One of our favorites Here We Go Magic are back this spring with a new release A DIFFERENT SHIP. The new release see Luke Temple and his band teaming up with Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich, creating an album that Luke described to us as three dimensional and sculptural. Keep an eye out for our interview with Luke that will be posted soon.
Here We Go Magic will be hitting the road on tour starting in May, with festival dates at Sasquatch! and Bonnaroo. Check the Secretly Canadian Tour Dates page for updates.
Facebook - Here We Go Magic / MySpace - Here We Go Magic / Tumblr - Here We Go Magic / Secretly Canadian / Twitter - Secretly Canadian
Track of the Day..."Love's Taking Strange Ways" from The Mary Onettes
The Mary Onettes
“Love's Taking Strange Ways"
from Love Forever EP
Labrador Records 2012
Listen to "Love's Taking Strange Ways MP3
Sweden's The Mary Onettes have shifted gears with their new EP. Working with producer Dan Lissvik, the band moves away from some of their darker and grander moments, while still exploring 80's inspired sounds. Most reminiscent of the band's earlier releases, the heartbroken LOVE'S TAKING STRANGE WAYS recalls the sweeping choruses of the band's stellar 2009 release ISLANDS. The track is available as a free download at Labrador Records.
The Mary Onettes / Twitter - The Mary Onettes / Facebook - The Mary Onettes / Labrador Records / Twitter - Labrador Records /Facebook - Labrador Records
Track of the Day..."Genesis" from Grimes
Arbutus Records / 4AD 2012
Listen to "Genesis” MP3
The new Grimes (a/k/a Montreal's Claire Boucher) release VISIONS is getting a lot of well-deserved attention. Newly signed to famed independent label 4AD, Grimes explores a variety of genres from synth-pop to atmospherics, drawing from influences as diverse as Enya, TLC and Aphex Twin.
The track “Genesis” is an excellent example of Grimes's approach to the use of reverb, layering, arpeggios, chunky beats and obscured vocal melodies.
The Canadian vinyl from Arbutus records includes two additional bonus tracks (plus download).
Grimes / Myspace - Grimes / Facebook - Grimes / Arbutus Records / 4AD
Track of the Day..."I Didn't Know (Erik Omen Remix)" from Tristesse Contemporaine
"I Didn't Know (Erik Omen Remix)"
Dirty / Pschent (2012)
Listen to "I Didn't Know (Erik Omen Remix)" MP3
Named for a book on the main moral and intellectual movements of the 19th century, La tristesse contemporaine by Hippolyte Fierens Gevaert, Tristesse Contemporaine are a group of like minded musical vagabonds from Japan, Sweden and London. Each of the members, Narumi, Léo and Maik, bring a unique style of their own to the group ranging from influences such as Godard, Primal Scream, Cocteau Twins, Talking Heads and London trip-hop. It’s the trio’s coalescence through their love of Paris that unites them into an exciting and evocative band to watch.
On their stellar new Erik Omen remix track “I Didn’t Know”, the band unveils a slinky and sexy, beat driven, lounger that displays the highlights of their influential range.
Official | Facebook | Myspace
Track of the Day..."Young Dreams" from Young Dreams
Modular People (2011)
Listen to "Young Dreams" MP3
In 2010, Bergen, Norway band Young Dreams uploaded three songs to Facebook including “Young Dreams”. The song touches on the issues of the transition of youth to adulthood.
The song features a wall of sound of ethereal harmonies said to be inspired by some of the lesser known works of classical master and Norway hero Edvard Grieg.
Watch the excellent Kristoffer Borgli directed video for “Young Dreams” here.
Track of the Day ... "Ta Ta Dana" from Tomten
"Ta Ta Dana"
from Wednesday's Children
Listen to "Ta Ta Dana" MP3
Seattle, Washington based quartet Tomten are often described as "Baroque Pop" for their retro organ driven sound. Formed in 2010 by four Cornish College of the Arts students and started performing regularly in Seattle that summer, they soon recorded their eponymous debut LP in late 2010. Soon after Tomten won First Place in the EMP/SFM's Sound Off! Competition which secured them a slot at Seattle's Bumbershoot Festival 2011.
After spending the summer of 2011 preparing and recording new material for their 2nd LP "Wednesday's Children" they traveled to Iceland in August to perform at Menningarnot in Reykjavik. The "Ta Ta Dana" EP will be released on April 10, 2012 on Flat Field Records with the full length due in the summer.
Official | Facebook | Myspace
Track of the Day ... "La Forêt" from Lescop
from La Forêt EP
Pop Noire (2012)
Listen to "La Forêt" MP3
Lescop is the solo project of France's Mathieu Lescop, formerly of La Rochelle-based group Asyl. Referencing 80's French new wave (think Taxi Girl), Lescop's sound is truly infectious, as showcased on the addictive single "La Forêt". His eponymous EP is out now on Pop Noire, the label of fellow musicians John and Jenn. In fact, John produced the EP, and Jenn directed the accompanying video.
If you are in London, head over to see Lescop live (free entry) on 24 January at The Shacklewell Arms.
Pop Noire | Facebook
Track of the Day..."I'm His Girl" from Friends
"I'm His Girl"
Lucky Number 2011
Listen to "I'm His Girl" MP3
Chances are you will be hearing a lot more more about Friends in 2012. This Brooklyn 5-piece have been included in many a "ones to watch" list for 2012, including Q Magazine's Faces of 2012 and the BBC's Sounds of 2012.
With their debut full-length to be released in 2012, Friends have as of yet only released a few singles. Their second single is the infectious "I'm His Girl", showcasing the band's infinitely danceable, lo-fi indie pop sound.
Check out the video for the release here, as well as the video for the band's first single "Friend Crush".
Also, keep an eye out for a Friends full-length release in 2012 and for what surely will be a slew of tour dates (including 1 February 2011 at La Flèche d'Or in Paris).
Official | Twitter | Lucky Number
Track of the Day ..."Assembly" from Elephant
from Assembly EP
Memphis Industries 2011
Listen to "Assembly" MP3
Elephant is the duo of Emlia Rivas (vocals / keyboards) and Christian Pinchbeck (guitars / production). The London-based duo met up in May 2010 and have now released their first EP with Memphis Industries. The four tracks on the new release, including the hooky title track "Assembly", showcase their love of 80's synth pop and catchy baselines. Elephant are scheduled to release their debut LP in 2012.
Bandcamp | Memphis Industries
Track of the Day ..."Afternoon" from Youth Lagoon
from The Year of Hibernation
Fat Possum Records / Lefse Records (2011)
Listen to "Afternoon" MP3
While on last year's short Christmas break from Boise State, Trevor Powers working under the moniker Youth Lagoon, recorded his debut release The Year of Hibernation. The tracks from the album came together close to home - from recording keyboards in the kitchen and vocal reverbs in a large family garage. Drawing inspiration from such releases as Treasure from the Cocteau Twins, Trevor plays with loops and programming, his vocals often distant and awash in treatments. The Year of Hibernation summons up a sense of nostalgia, a look back at a time that may never have been or at fears and anxieties with only the slightest tether to reality.
Have a listen to the track "Afternoon", a song that's wistful energy belies a deeper worry of returning to the one that you love, only to find that they are no longer there.
Throughout November, Youth Lagoon will be on tour in North America with Young Magic, including a 2-day stay at the Mercury Lounge in NYC. A few additional dates have already been announced for January 2012 -- check the concert page at Lefse Records for updates.
Also, check out the video of Youth Lagoon performing "July" for Tunnelvision.
Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Fat Possum Records | Lefse Records
Track of the Day..."Fake Pretend" from Carter Tanton
Western Vinyl 2011
Listen to "Fake Pretend" MP3
Inspired by touring as part of Marissa Nadler's band playing guitar and recording and arranging parts of her recent self-titled release, Carter Tanton (also of Lower Dens and the now defunct Tulsa) has released a new solo album Freeclouds on Austin's Western Vinyl. On the new release, Carter draws references from David Bowie's 1969 song "Wide Eyed Boy from Freecloud", a song for those removed from the center of events, those left outside. Primarily recorded in his apartment, Carter pushed himself beyond the early intention of keeping the tracks simple and stripped down, exploring the use of synths, samples, drum programming and guitar textures and delays. Have a listen to one of our favorite tracks "Fake Pretend", a wonderfully stylistically pick 'n' mix, featuring Marissa Nadler on vocals.
You can pick up a copy of Freeclouds from the Western Vinyl online shop (also available on vinyl with a mp3 download).
Carter will be playing in NYC on 8 November at Cameo Gallery with Boy Without God and Wailing Wall. Along with other dates in Europe in November, Carter will be playing in Paris on 1 December at Point Ephémère.
Official | Twitter | Facebook | Western Vinyl
Track of the Day..."Shadows On Behalf" from The Stepkids
"Shadows On Behalf"
Stones Throw (2011)
Listen to "Shadows On Behalf" MP3
The Stepkids are bassist and keyboardist Dan Edinberg, Jeff Gitelman (Alicia Keys’ former guitarist) and Drummer Tim Walsh. Each of the members are amazing singer/songwriters in their own right.
After a decade of musical experimentation, the trio settled on an eclectic synthesis of punk and jazz, folk, neo-soul, funk and electro. This everything and the kitchen sink filters out into the making of their tracks as the band produce, engineer and record themselves all on a reel-to-reel.
The song “Shadows On Behalf” features pure grooves, meticulous harmonies and heady lines that are at once funky, retro-cool and modern in the same moment.
Check out the video for the song here.
Official | MySpace | Stones Throw
Track of the Day ..."Lungs Quicken" from Lanterns on the Lake
Lanterns on the Lake
from Gracious Tide Take Me Home
Bella Union (2011)
Listen to "Lungs Quicken" MP3
Recorded on a borrowed 8-track in an isolated house in Northumberland, Gracious Tide Take Me Home is the beautiful full-length debut from England's Lanterns on the Lake.
The sextet, which formed in 2008 as Greenpeace, is made up of Hazel Wilde (vocals / guitar), brothers Adam (vocals / guitar) and Brendan Sykes (bass), Sarah Kemp (violin), Ol Ketteringham (drums / piano) and Paul Gregory (guitar / electronics). Inspired by bands such as Low and Sigur Rós, Lanterns on the Lake's sound is a difficult to categorize mix of folk and electronics, featuring some rather incredible guitar effects from Paul. Forgoing the studio, this debut remains personal and intimate. The songs reflect a sense of traveling and time, often drawing inspiration from darker moments -- "Ships In the Rain" is inspired by a the story of a local fisherman who disappeared at sea, and "A Kingdom" draws upon a book of letters sent back home from WWII soldiers.
Have a listen to the quietly hopeful track "Lungs Quicken", a song which hesitantly leaves the ground, the melody circling high above.
Also, check out the seaside video for "Keep on Trying", directed by Alex Southam.
Lanterns on the Lake will be playing dates throughout Europe this October and November:
Oct 20 @ The Roundhouse, LONDON (Supporting Yann Tiersen)
Oct 21 @ Concord, BRIGHTON (Supporting Yann Tiersen)
Oct 22 @ Brudenell Social Club, LEEDS (Supporting Yann Tiersen)
Oct 23 @ ABC1, GLASGOW (Supporting Yann Tiersen)
Oct 24 @ Academy 2, MANCHESTER (Supporting Yann Tiersen)
Oct 25 @ Academy 2, BIRMINGHAM (Supporting Yann Tiersen)
Nov 1 @ The Sage, GATESHEAD
Nov 2 @ Leaf, LIVERPOOL
Nov 3 @ The Harley, SHEFFIELD
Nov 5 @ Festival Les Inrocks, PARIS
Nov 6 @ Kavka, ANTWERP
Nov 8 @ Botanique - Witloof, BRUSSELS
Nov 9 @ Studio 672, COLOGNE
Nov 10 @ Privatclub, BERLIN
Nov 16 @ Amager Bio Beta, COPENHAGEN
Nov 18 @ Crossing Borders Festival, DEN HAAG
Nov 20 @ The Attic (In The Forum), HERTFORDSHIRE
Nov 22 @ The Lexington, LONDON
Nov 23 @ The Cooler, BRISTOL
Nov 24 @ HMV Institute, BIRMINGHAM
Nov 25 @ Bodega, NOTTINGHAM
Nov 26 @ Brudenell Social Club, LEEDS
Nov 27 @ The Deaf Institute, MANCHESTER
Nov 29 @ King Tuts Wha Wha Hut, GLASGOW
Nov 30 @ Electric Circus, EDINBURGH
Official | MySpace | Bella Union
Track of the Day…“An Argument With Myself” from Jens Lekman
“An Argument With Myself”
from An Argument With Myself
Secretly Canadian / Service (2011)
Listen to "An Argument With Myself" MP3
One of our favorite artists / storytellers Jens Lekman is back with an excellent 5-track EP An Argument With Myself, a smart and sharp follow-up to his 2007 release Night Falls Over Kortedala. On these wonderfully site-specific tracks, Jens shares the personal, all keenly observed, with a warm and laid-back sense of humor.
Jens wrote on his website about the title track, “(i)n the case 'Jens Lekman vs. Jens Lekman', we will look closer at the evidence presented - the photo I had carried in my breastpocket for a whole year, the pressed honeysuckle, the wind so rich on summer and so sweet - how are these things connected and why are they relevant?"
Have a listen to the title track, a song that bobs and weaves as Jens has a nice go at himself as he walks home through the streets of his adopted home of Melbourne, Australia.
Be sure to catch Jens on tour this October in Europe and the USA (quite a few shows have already sold out). He puts on an excellent live show that you shouldn’t miss.
Also, have a listen to the Summer Never Ends mixtape from Jens (from 2009) which includes a wonderfully imagined conversation with Alicia Keys (about the 15:10 minute mark).
EUROPE Oct 29 - Paris, FR - Pitchfork Music Festival (SOLD OUT)
Oct 27 - Milano, IT - Salumeria della Musica
Oct 26 - Vienna, AT - Odeon Theater
Oct 24 - Köbenhavn, DK - Koncerthuset Studio 2
Oct 23 - Göteborg, SE - Nefertiti
Oct 22 - Stockholm, SE - Södra Teatern (SOLD OUT)
Oct 19 - Manchester, UK - Band on the Wall
Oct 18 - Bristol, UK - Thekla
Oct 17 - London, UK - Heaven (SOLD OUT)
Oct 15 - Düsselfdorf, DE - Schumannsaal Düsseldorf
Oct 14 - Nijmegen, NL - The Vereniging
USA Oct 9 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg (SOLD OUT)
Oct 8 - Boston, MA - Somerville Armory (SOLD OUT)
Oct 7 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg (SOLD OUT)
Oct 6 - Philadelphia, PA - Philadelphia Ethical Society (SOLD OUT)
Oct 5 - Washington DC - Sixth & I Historic Synagogue (SOLD OUT)
Oct 3 - Chicago - Lincoln Hall
Oct 1 - Seattle, WA - Columbia
Official | Secretly Canadian | Service
Track of the Day..."Steep Hills of Vicodin Tears" from A Winged Victory for the Sullen
A Winged Victory for the Sullen
"Steep Hills of Vicodin Tears"
from A Winged Victory for the Sullen
Erased Tapes (International) / Kanrky (US) / 2011
Listen to "Steep Hills of Vicodin Tears" MP3
A Winged Victory for the Sullen is the collaboration of Adam Wiltzie (Stars of the Lid / ex-Sparklehorse) and Berlin-based Dustin O'Halloran (a self-taught pianist who is a member of Devics and who has scored such films as Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette). Their self-titled release is a striking mix of neo-classical and ambient, echoing the vastness of Berlin's Grunewald Church where the album was principally recorded. The piano often takes prominence on the album, buoyed by strings, bassoon, french horns and clarinet, frequently over a shifting, bass drone. Adam and Dustin are keenly aware of textures and layering of sounds, all the while remaining patient and restrained, guiding with the lightness of touch and allowing their songs to develop in their own time.
The album also features guest appearance from Hilder Gundnadottir (cello) and Peter Broderick (violin). AWVFTS is also available as a limited edition vinyl via Erased Tapes.
AWVFTS will be playing various dates throughout North America this fall, including 30 October in NYC at the West park Presbyterian Chrurch (dates supported by Benoit Piolard and Ken Camden).
1. "We Played Some Open Chords and Rejoiced for the Earth Had Circled the Sun Yet Another Year"
2. "Requiem for the Static King, Part One"
3. "Requiem for the Static King, Part Two"
4. "Minuet for a Cheap Piano, Number Two"
5. "Steep Hills of Vicodin Tears"
6. "A Symphony Pathetique"
7. "All Farewells Are Sudden"
Official | Erased Tapes | Kranky
Track of the Day..."XCPR" from Hoop Dreams
7" / Captured Tracks
Listen to “XCPR” MP3
"XCPR" is the infectious, short and sharp first release from the young sextet Hoop Dreams. The band hails from Blacksburg, Virginia, and features Max Brooks (vocals) and Jeff Haley (guitar / ex-Wild Nothing), Tommy Davidson (bass / Dream Cop), Jordan Mrazik (guitar), Julie Shepherd (violin), and Marcus McDonald (drums). Hoop Dreams are signed to Brooklyn label Captured Tracks, and a full LP is in the works for a release in early 2012.
If you are in NY, you can catch Hoop Dreams on 12 November at Glasslands Gallery.
Bandcamp | Captured Tracks
Track of the Day ..."Always Everything" from Sin Fang
from Summer Echoes
Morr Music (2011)
Listen to “Always Everything” MP3
To mark Iceland's Sin Fang's (formerly Sin Fang Bous) upcoming show in Paris we wanted to share "Always Everything" from this year's release Summer Echoes. The perfect opportunity to rediscover this beautifully layered album.
You can download a free non-album version of the track "Slowlights" from Sin Fang's website. Also, follow the link to watch videos from Sin Fang for album tracks "Because of the Blood" and "Two Boys.”
Be sure to catch Sin Fang at La Flèche d'Or on 9 September in Paris. Sin Fang will be playing other dates in September throughout Europe joined by labelmate Sóley.
Summer Echoes tracklisting:
01. "Easier "
03. "Fall Down Slow"
04. "Because Of The Blood"
06. "Always Everything"
07. "Sing From Dream"
10. "Two Boys"
12. "Slow Lights"
Official | MySpace| Twitter | Morr
Track of the Day..."Hacienda Motel" from Pickwick
Self Released 2011
Listen to “Hacienda Motel” MP3
In 2008 Los Angeles native Galen Disston picked up his microphone and headed to the Great Northwest city of Seattle and formed Pickwick. The group started their path as an alt-country band but after two years of playing, experimentation and struggle they found their sound. It came in the form of the classic melodies and singing styles of the Stax and Motown R&B/Soul movement of the 60’s and 70’s. This new musical style allowed Disston - an intriguingly, full voiced and rangy singer - to develop and flourish.
With reverence to the greats of soul history the band is paying homage by releasing their music as a set of 45's (also available via digital download) which include cool, old school, soul album art with a modern twist.
Among the singles are the standout tracks “The Round” and “Hacienda Motel.” On both tracks the band carves their name in the big soul tree with a slinky modern approach. Disston’s voice is the standout on both tracks reminding one of early Paul Rodgers of Free and Bad Company fame. There are no shy, twee hipster or overall quirky vocals like we are used to from most alternative rock lately. Instead Pickwick draws us in with well-crafted, spot on and tight playing and singing. The kind of music that you can play a game of pool to and your ladies swoon and sway by the bar.
Pickwick is currently working on their debut full-length album, expected to be released in 2012. We look forward to getting our hands on the first pressing!
Check out the atmospheric, B&W basement vibe video of the track here.
Official | MySpace | Polyvinyl
Track of the Day..."My Heart" from Loney Dear
from "My Heart"
Listen to “My Heart” MP3
Loney Dear’s sixth album Hall Music, out in October, looks to be a more blissful effort than his 2009 Polyvinyl debut Dear John. The Stolkholm, Sweden native (aka Emil Svanängen) became internationally known as a do-it-yourself, home recording wonder creating five elegant, multi-layered albums of separation and yearning.
On the tranquilly orchestral first single “My Heart” Emil seems more vibrant. The track is replete with subtle layered bell chimes, strings and acoustic guitar strengthened and lighted by his sometimes soaring vocals.
Check out this live performance of the track along with the Göteborg Symphony.
Official | MySpace | Polyvinyl
Track of the Day..."Island Answer Anywhere" from Pulseprogramming
"Island Answer Anywhere"
from Charade is Gold
Listen to “Island Answer Anywhere” MP3
Pulseprogramming began in the late 90's as an experimental musical project, releasing various material on labels such as Peacefrog and Aesthetics. The group is now based in Chicago and is centered around founding member (singer / composer) Marc Hellner and (vocalist) Chanel Pease. Pulseprogramming maintains the spirit of a multimedia arts collective, all the while shifting gears. With Charade is Gold, the group embraces the more melancholy side of 80's synth-pop. "Island Answer Anywhere" is one of the album's standout tracks, an icily melodic track beamed from the comfort of the shadows.
MySpace | Audraglint
Track of the Day..."Come Rain, Come Sunshine" from Pallers
"Come Rain, Come Sushine"
from The Sea of Memories (to be released 26 September 2011)
Labrador Records / EMI
Listen to “Come Rain Come Sunshine” MP3
Pallers is the project of Henrik Mårtensson and Johan Angergård, two old friends from southern Sweden delving into a shared passion for electronic pop. Their debut album The Sea of Memories is due out in September, an album recorded in the disparate locals of Sweden, Spain, Miami and Cape Town. Check out the track "Come Rain, Come Sunshine", one of the first tracks written by the duo, for a taste of Pallers' understated and shimmering electronic pop buoyed by laid back vocals.
MySpace | Labrador
Track of the Day..."A Little Lost" from Nat Baldwin
"A Little Lost"
Western Vinyl 2011
Listen to “A Little Lost” MP3
Portsmouth, New Hampshire’s Nat Baldwin has a truly original sound. Baldwin is an upright bass player and a singer that flourishes in the soulful simplicity of his music.
Check out the track “A Little Lost” from his album People Changes available now on Western Vinyl.
Myspace | Western Viynl
Track of the Day..."You In The Fires" from Jonas David
"You In the Fires"
Keep The Times
Volkoren (Munich) 2011
Listen to “You In The Fires” MP3
Born out of rush of vivid dreams, Germany’s Jonas David’s debut Keep The Times plots a cinematic path along the universal touchpoints of hope, love, anger and pain. Acoustic guitar, percussion, vibraphone and Rhodes piano provide the backdrop to tracks which reflect a smartly edited approach to indie folk coupled with a pop sensibility. Jonas’s vocals wrap around infectious melodies, often lifting into a Justin Vernon falsetto. Warm and carefully restrained, Keep The Times is a welcome summer debut.
Check out a video from a living room performance of the track “Shield”.
Myspace | Official | Volkoren
Track of the Day..."You For Leaving Me" from Colourmusic
"You For Leaving Me"
from My ____ is Pink
Memphis Industries 2011
Listen to "You For Leaving Me" MP3
(Be aware track has a pause after the first note. We wanted to leave it as we received it. Thanks)
Oklahoma’s Colourmusic has a reputation for oddity in both their approach to recording having once composed an entire album based on the work of Sir Isaac Newton and their live act which featured mock graduations, pre-recorded messages between songs and a wedding. Though this might sound possibly annoying or pretentious to some reviewers or music fans, I say: “lighten up a little”.
As for the band’s new sound on their latest album My ___ is Pink (I like to insert “flower”), the sound is full, richly conceived and tremendously straight ahead rock music in the vein of T-Rex. Check out the standout track “You For Leaving Me” which lays down a Billy Squier stomp and clap played against gospel-style rock and roll chorus. The track is decidedly sexy and tough.
Myspace | Official
Track of the Day..."Glowing Mouth" from Milagres
Kill Rock Stars 2011
Listen to "Glowing Mouth" MP3
Other than having one our favorite publicity photos (see above), Brooklyn based indie popsters Milagres have put together a stirring and effective new track for their new label Kill Rock Stars.
“Glowing Mouth” is a simply constructed track featuring prancing 50’s dancehall keyboard backed by a 90’s R&B slow jam groove with ethereal falsetto laden vocals. Sounds like a bit of a hodgepodge but it flows and integrates perfectly. The song is an exciting first effort for Milagres and we expect to hear it out of bars and cars, at beaches and barbecues throughout the summer.
Myspace | Official | Kill Rock Stars
Track of the Day..."After The Moment" from Craft Spells
"After The Moment"
from Idle Labor
Captured Tracks 2011
Listen to "After The Moment" MP3
Craft Spells began as a DIY project of Justin Paul Vallesteros in his bedroom in Stockton, California around winter of 2009. With no apparent publicity help or label aid the catchy synth-driven, dream pop he put together began catching traction on blog after blog. Craft Spells’ rise from obscurity is a testament to the new music wave of self-starters and dreamers making their own fates in bedrooms instead of boardrooms across America. On a deeper level it’s the hook-laden music Vallesteros recorded that should be the real story.
Craft Spells debut album Idle Labor is a charmer from beginning to end. The album is buoyed by outstanding tracks like “Party Talk” and “After the Moment” which feature Vallesteros soft, idyllic yet engaging vocals and perfect pop percussion work that are a welcome soundtrack to the upcoming summer.
Check out his site for upcoming tour info and see the video for “After The Moment” here.
Myspace | Official | Captured Tracks
Track of the Day…"Grown Ocean" from Fleet Foxes
from Helplessness Blues
Sub Pop / Bella Union 2011
Listen to "Grown Ocean" MP3
Helplessness Blues is the beautiful follow-up to the Fleet Foxes' 2008 eponymous full-length debut. Helplessness Blues took over a year to record and was born out of a difficult creative process. The result sees these Pacific North West folk-rockers exploring more intricate arrangements and psychedelic folk influences. Robin Pecknold's lyrics have shifted, focusing at looking beyond the self and tackling all that is uncertain. However, staying true to form, the tracks are at heart comfortingly simple, each enveloped with warm layers adding brightness and depth.
Check out the track "Grown Ocean" for a taste of Helplessness Blues out now on Sub Pop and Bella Union.
The band is on the road now with dates throughout North America and Europe. Check here for a list of dates, many of which have already sold out.
Official | Sub Pop | Bella Union
Track of the Day …"Damn These Vampires" from The Mountain Goats
The Mountain Goats
"Damn These Vampires"
from All Eternal Decks
Listen to "Damn These Vampires"MP3
The Mountain Goats’ is the musical project of singer-songwriter John Darinelle. Hailed by the New Yorker, GQ and Paste Magazine as one of the best lyricists of his generation, his songs are brimming with references as far reaching as mythology, religion, pop culture and literature.
During the last decade Darinelle played with several different musicians for studio and touring purposes but it was mulit-instumentalist Peter Hughes and former Superchunk drummer Jon Wurster that made The Mountain Goats gel together into a band.
On their new album, All Eternal Decks, Darinelle focuses his keen writing skills on his fascination with the occult. The title itself comes from the name of an apocryphal tarot card deck. Following in that vein, one of the standout singles of the album is “Damn These Vampires”, a subtle, quirky but inordinately catchy track that tells the story of one man’s journey to become a bloodsucker of the night.
Get All Eternal Decks now available on Merge Records.
MySpace | Official | Merge
Track of the Day …"Last Night At The Jetty" from Panda Bear
"Last Night At The Jetty"
Paw Tracks 2011
Listen to "Last Night At The Jetty"MP3
Panda Bear is the solo moniker of Noah Lennox who is also a member of those independent souls that are Animal Collective. On his excellent new releaseTomboy, Panda Bear foregoes the sample-heavy and compact sound of his 2007 release Person Pitch, favoring instead guitars and synths and an expanded field of sound. He explains, “I got tired of the severe parameters of using samplers. Thinking about Nirvana and the White Stripes got me into the idea of doing something with a heavy focus on guitar and rhythm.” As to other more rather unexpected influences on the new album, this transplant to Lisbon is "… definitely reliving middle school and all the Baltimore R&B radio we used to ingest."
Check out the track "Last Night At The Jetty," churning with electronics and distant beats, with Noah hanging aching lyrics on deceptively sunny melodies.
MySpace | Paw Tracks
Track of the Day…"Plumy Tale" from Dumbo Gets Mad
Dumbo Gets Mad
"Plumy Tale" from Elephants At The Door
Bad Panda Records 2011
Listen to "Plumy Tale" MP3
There is not a lot of detail out there about Dumbo Gets Mad, other than it’s the DIY project of an unnamed Italian who has since migrated to LA and who shares vocal duties with his girlfriend Carly. There you have it. The project's debut LP Elephants At The Door is a frenetic and eccentric grab bag of compacted experimental sounds and trippy rock, all recorded using the likes of analog synths and tape machines. The first track to be released "Plumy Tale" throws together classic guitars and keyboards, sax solos, schizophrenic sound effects and dreamy choruses. Somehow, it works.
The LP is available as a free download directly from Bad Panda Records, all for the price of a Tweet. You can also pick up a limited number of 12" vinyl .
MySpace | Bad Panda Records
Track of the Day…"Walk Slowly" from Botibol
from Born From a Shore
Listen to "Walk Slowly" MP3
Born From a Shore is the debut album from Botibol, a project led by Bordeaux native Vincent Bestaven. Tracks edge between folk and indie pop, with Bestaven writing in English and influenced by the likes of Sufjan Stevens and Andrew Bird. The track "Walk Slowly" casually unfolds, combining elements found throughout the album and providing a thoughtful introduction to this young songwriter.
Catch Botibol at La Flèche d'Or in Paris on 1 June.
MySpace | HipHipHip
Track of the Day..."Enter The Brahmin" from Thunderball
"Enter The Brahmin"
from 12 Mile High
Eighteenth Street Lounge 2010
Listen to "Enter The Brahmin" MP3
Thunderball first came on our radar in 2001 on the fine compilation Modular Systems which included Thievery Corporation, Blue States and Nicola Conte. Much like their Eighteenth Street Lounge label mates Thievery Corporation the group has put out consistent entertaining and funky world music inspired albums and DJ sets over the last 10 years.
Their new album 12 Mile High is no exception. The standout track “Enter The Brahmin” is world lounge at it’s best filled with a heady mix of sitar, tabla and indian singing samples. The mixture makes for a fun, trippy ride.
Official | MySpace
Track of the Day…"Flowers Bloom" from High Highs
Listen to "Flowers Bloom" MP3
Originally from Australia and now living in Brooklyn, Jack Milas and Oli Chang are High Highs (the name taken from a song from Viva Voce). Wrapped in his warm songwriting, Jack's often falsetto vocals blend with Oli's subtle electro production. Yet unsigned, the young band is taking a measured DIY approach for the moment, assembling the right team and working on releasing an EP joined by drummer Zach Lipkins.
The track "Flowers Bloom," along with the tracks "Horses" and "Open Season" can be downloaded for free from the band's website.
Be sure to catch High Highs at Bowery Ballroom (NYC) on 19 May.
Official | MySpace
Track of the Day… "Images" from Norman Palm
from Shore to Shore
City Slang 2010
Listen to "Images" MP3
Inspired by life on the move among different cities (Mexico City, Paris, Berlin), 10 personal songs come together to form Norman Palm's personal new release Shore to Shore. Norman moves away from the mainly acoustic sound of his debut Songs(accompanied by a 200-page book of Norman's artwork), mixing up and stretching his sound with the help of producer Janne Lounatvuori. Daniel Nentwig (The Whitest Boy Alive) and Le Corps Mince de Françoise also lend their talents.
One of our favourite tracks is the insistently pulsating "Images", a timely indie pop call to a fresh beginning.
Take a microscopic look into the push and pull of love and hate with the video to "WDYD?" (designed by Mareike Graf).
Also, be sure to check out the beautiful collage graphics for the album, the work of exciting Paris-based Ahonen & Lamberg.
You can catch Norman on several European dates this spring, including at La Flèche d'Or (Paris) on 2 April and for a special show in Berlin (Grüner Salon) on 23 April, playing with his band and special guests.
Shore to Shore is out now on Berlin's City Slang.
Official | MySpace
Track of the Day..."Up and Down" from Chad Valley
"Up and Down"
Chad Valley (EP)
Listen to "Up And Down”
Oxford collective member Hugo Manuel, has channeled a new electronic look that focuses on shine and sumptuousness with his Chad Valley EP.
The track “Up And Down” is in the same vein as Peter, Bjorn and John and Animal Collective. The song is filled with electronic congas and bongos that are replete with organic substance. That main part is fine but it’s the unexpected percussion you have to listen for that warms the spaces between.
Facebook | MySpace
Track of the Day..."Firecracker" from Frazey Ford
Listen to "Firecracker" MP3
Canadian singer-songwriter and The Be Good Tanyas founder Frazey Ford has crafted a skilled solo debut called Obadiah. The title is taken from her middle name and her personal feel is felt throughout the album.
Her track “Firecracker” brings to mind a lazy days Sunday walk with no troubles in the world. The song is rich and clean with a slow plucked banjo filling in the light spaces with lovely color.
Facebook | MySpace
Track of the Day..."Weekend" from Smith Westerns
Dye It Blonde
Fat Possum 2011
Listen to "Weekend" MP3
Chicago band Smith Westerns blend a refreshing, modern pop sound with a distinctive, pure rock sensibility. The album is filled with sparkling ELO with John Lennon guest singing tracks. And dare I say Lynard Skynard? (re: “All Die Young”)
On “Weekend”, the band channels a 60’s surfer boy vibe typified by the happy anti-lament “Ooh Weh Hoo.ooo”. Besides the fun chant the vocals are sharp and smart.
Check out the video for “Weekend” here.
Official | Facebook
Track of the Day..."The Great Pan Is Dead" from Cold Cave
"The Great Pan Is Dead"
Cherish the Light Years
Matador April 2011
Listen to "The Great Pan Is Dead" MP3
This April, Cold Cave (led by Wesley Eisold) is set to release the group's follow-up Cherish The Light Years, an album recorded with Chris Coady who has worked with the likes of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, !!! and TV on the Radio. Wesley describes the upcoming release as "...a love letter to the path that has lead me to where I am now, to loss and love and friends and enemies and the dizzied and blurred ways of the world."
On the first release from the new album, "The Great Pan Is Dead", Wesley looks to his hardcore and noise roots. The track plays off of the drive and sharpness of industrial rock, all the while not shying away from the embrace of melody and bright synths.
Official | Matador
Track of the Day... "Transatlantic" from Christian Kjellvander
from The Rough and Rynge
Tapete Records (February 2011)
Listen to "Transatlantic" MP3
The Rough and Rynge is Christian Kjellvander's follow-up to his 2007 release I Saw Her From Here / I Saw Here From Her. The new album came together from stories from the road, where Christian spent about 2 years touring in support of his 2007 release. He believes in the power of playing live, as he says, "[i]t's the only thing, besides family and friends, worth living for. And a good song can be done anywhere, anyhow." Touring left Christian phased by what he saw, about the direction where he saw society and people heading. He retreated to write the songs that make up the new album, all of which were recorded over a short five days.
The track "Transatlantic" is the opener to the new album, a quietly moving and nuanced song which highlights Christan's broken vocals style.
Official | MySpace | Tapete Records
Track of the Day..."Tomorrow" from Daughter
Self-released 2010 / 2011
Listen to "Tomorrow" MP3
Daughter is the project of London-based singer-songwriter Elenda Tonra. She has made available a 4-track demos EP which is currently free to download on the Daughter MySpace page. Once of the tracks "Run" has been enjoying some time of the Hype Machine 'Popular' chart. We wanted to share with you a track that is a bit different, something more left of center. This track is the haunting and reverb-heavy "Tomorrow", a plea in the face of the chilly reality we have no doubt will come.
There are quite a few dates for Daughter in London in February and March, so be sure to check her MySpace page for updates. Also, check out the video of an excellent live performance of Daughter performing the track "Peter" (Tales From Shop Session).
MySpace | Twitter
Track of the Day..."Please Ask For Help" from Telekinesis
"Please Ask For Help"
from 12 Desperate Straight Lines
Morr Music (February 2011)
Listen to "Please Ask For Help" MP3
Telekinesis is the project of Seattle's Michael Benjamin Lerner. To write the tracks to his follow-up release, Michael headed to Berlin where he focused on creating the dozen tracks which make up 12 Desperate Straight Lines. The songs are compact and deceptively bright, with the tracks striking at something more personal and bittersweet. Michael is hitting the road in support of the new release with Jason Narducy (Robert Pollard band, Verbow) on bass and Cody Votolato (Jaguar Love, The Blood Brothers) on guitar. Be sure to check the Telekineses MySpace page for tour date updates.
Have a listen to our personal favorite from the album "Please Ask For Help".
Official | MySpace | Morr Music
Track of the Day...."Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" from Fredrika Stahl
"Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" from Sweep Me Away
Sony Music Entertainment France
Listen to "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" MP3
Yes, its rooted in a beloved child's song. And yes, it is the soundtrack to a ubiquitous Nissan Juke advert. But get back here, there is more to this track than this may have you think. Fredrika Stahl carefully sidesteps the pitfalls which are inherent in playing with such a well known melody. This Swedish artist's tribute is unabashedly poppy and tender, without becoming saccharine.
Watch the video to Fredrika's track "Rocket Ship To Mars"
Track of the Day: "Mile Marker" from Amy Seeley
from Plum Coulee
Listen to "Mile Marker" MP3
"Mile Marker" is one of those tracks that we keep coming back to. The keyboard-driven instrumentation is restrained yet insistent, with Amy's emotive voice front and center. There is a charm and clarity which comes through the song, a seeming effortlessness and a paired back eye which makes this track stand apart.
Plum Coulee is Amy's self-released album which is available on Bandcamp. Amy is playing on 10 February in Portland at The Woods.
Official | Twitter | Bandcamp
Track of the Day..."Champion Sound" from Crystal Fighters
from Star Of Love
Listen to "Champion Sound" MP3
Crystal Fighters are an international London-based collective, fusing uplifting progressive dance music with old world Basque folk music. The group draws inspiration from the 80's Spanish / Basque "anti-todo" ("anti-everything") youth movement, taking their name from an unfinished opera written by singer Laure's deceased grandfather during his final months of insanity. The group has worked to expand upon the wild spirit of these writings, releasing their debut Star Of Love (acronym for SOL, Spanish for "sun"). This is a stand out album that continues to surprise with its inventiveness and wonderfully chaotic energy.
Be sure to catch Crystal Fighters live at Point Ephémère in Paris on 19 February. Not to be missed.
Official | MySpace
Track of the Day..."Laut" from Lockerbie
Listen to “Laut” MP3
Icelandic post-rock band Lockerbie gained some small momentum opening for For A Minor Reflection in 2008 but didn’t gel as their initial lineup.
The new group has pulled together to create “Laut”, a thoughtful, melodic and evocative track that shines a shimmer with a welcome worn hat. The opening salvo of the song feels like it can’t wait to explode into epic reverie and it does. Lockerbie is a new bunch that we look forward to in 2011.
They are currently working on a full- length.
Track of the Day..."Chinatown" from Destroyer
25 January 2011
Merge Records, Rough Trade
Listen to “Chinatown” MP3
Destroyer, led by Vancouver native Dan Bejar, is soon releasing Kaputt, an excellent album that will be spending quite a bit of time on our hi-fi. The album opener is the soft rock, slow-burner “Chinatown”. The album continues with eclectic and intriguing smoky turns on pop, mixing sax and horns with electric guitars and electronics.
Check out the video for the seductive track “Kaputt” (our personal favorite) for a look at a bygone era.
This tracklist for Kaputt:
02 “Blue Eyes”
03 “Savage Night at the Opera”
04 “Suicide Demo for Kara Walker”
05 “Poor in Love”
08 “Song for America”
09 “Bay of Pigs”
MySpace | Merge Records | Rough Trade
Track of the Day..."Fighting Smiles" from Jonquil
from One Hundred Suns
Dovecote Records 2010
Listen to “Fighting Smiles” MP3
Jonquil was formed in Oxford, UK by multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Hugo Manuel. The band has since released two albums including Sunny Casinos and Lions.
On their most recent EP release, One Hundred Suns, one can find the lovely, sunny pop track “Fighting Smiles.” The song is filled with warm, willing melodies that fuse an off-beat percussion track with bright, effervescent vocals reminiscent of Vampire Weekend.
Track of the Day..."Boxer" from Lovers
from Dark Light
Badman Records 2010
Listen to “Boxer” MP3
Lovers are the Portland, OR band fronted by the wistful and glossy throated voice and lyrics of Carolyn “Cubby” Berk. On their new release Dark Lights the three-piece show a smart, full sound of melancholy that rises above the shallow platitudes of most of the moribund set of today.
On the fine track “Boxers”, Berk and company echoes the voice of Hope Sandoval at her finest with a modern, rhythmic beat replete with wondrous star shots and sample effects that bring a perfect balance to the vocals.
MySpace | Official
Track of the Day…"Let's Go Down" from Family of the Year
Family of theYear
"Let's Go Down"
Washashore Records (US) / CRC (UK) / Volvox (France) 2010
Listen to “Let’s Go Down” MP3
With the track "Let's Go Down", Family of the Year highlight their debut full-length with an unabashedly bright sing-a-long, plain and simple. From Silverlake, California, Family of the Year delivers a particularly well-timed, toe-tapping call to come together on that perfect summer evening.
Be sure to catch Family of the Year in Paris on 11 February at La Maroquinerie.
Official | Myspace | Volvox
Track of the Day..."Soak It Up" from Houses
“Soak It Up”
from All Night
Lefse Records 2010
Listen to “Soak It Up” MP3
We generally never get so lazy as to let an artist explain their album but in the case of Houses effort All Night the effort and the story is worth the pass.
“I got laid off from my job at the end of last year and decided I needed a change. My girlfriend put in her two weeks and we moved out to a little cabin in Papaikou, Hawaii. It’s a pretty remote place outside of Hilo (i.e no plumbing/electricity/gas). We worked for meals during the day cultivating indigenous micro-organisms and learning the basics of sustainable living. We drank showered and cooked with rain water. It was a beautifully simple experience. In our downtime, she would paint and I would record. We’d have to light candles in an effort to save solar power to keep my computer running. We inspired each other a lot out there, and I think it shows on the album. She sings on a lot of the tracks on All Night. The music comes from a place of love and ease.”
It’s cold out there and we know that this song might be a dream world. The track “Soak It Up” is a simple, emotional, sound architecture based track that embodies the story of the songwriter. There is no loneliness or blues in the song nor craving for love; it exists plainly and fluidly as a moment on a beach or in front of a fire filled cabin. The sounds are the idealism and comfort of humanity.
MySpace | Lefse Records
Track of the Day..."Babylon Is Burning" from Thieving Irons
“Babylon is Burning”
From The Midnight Hum
Seabird Recording Company 2010
Listen to “Babylon is Burning” MP3
After years recording and touring with Pela, Nate Martinez (aka Thieving Irons) has completed his first solo album. This Midnight Hum is a collection of songs written and produced by Martinez with Mike Brown co-producing.
On “Babylon Is Burning” Martinez explores the joining of instruments into one sound. The track begins with a lightly picked guitar, a slide electric guitar that is joined by a tinkling to chord piano riff followed by a walking tom-tom drum, a slow pulling accordion and ultimately united by the joyous meanderings of a folk banjo.
The song exults in a convergence of sounds that builds to an anthemic and deep crescendo in which all the instruments (including vocals) meet and swoon together in a long, languid stretch to sweetness and harmony.
MySpace | Official
Track of the Day..."Skull Cakin'" from Pomegranates
From One Of Us
Afternoon Records 2010
Listen to "Skull Cakin’" MP3
Having released two albums in two years (2008’s Everything Is Alive and 2009’s Everybody, Come Outside!), Cincinnati band Pomegranates have finally hit pay dirt with their latest LP One of Us.
Led by founders Jacob Merritt (drums) and Isaac Karns (vocals, guitars, keyboards) the art-punk band has found the midway between experimental psych-rock and anthemic punk.
Their sound works especially well on the standout track “Skull Cakin’” which stands as an exemplar to pure, pounding garage rock in all its glory.
MySpace | Afternoon Records
Track of the Day..."Photojournalist" from Small Black
From New Chain
Listen to "Photojournalist" MP3
Brooklyn based synth quartet Small Black’s debut album New Chain shows an impressive progression from their self-titled EP. The band kept the melodic but refreshingly experimental sounds from standout track “Despicable Dogs” and built a solid freshman output.
From New Chain comes the quirky, chillwave track “Photojournalist.” Filled with deftly created chiming and wriggling percussion and oddball sample sounds the song flows over you like a wave of echoes. The group’s effort on the track really shows upon repeated listening when you break down the intricacies within.
Check the video for “Despicable Dogs” featuring a fantastic surf van and killer gray fu-manchu moustache.
MySpace | Official | Jagjaguwar
Track of the Day…"Draw In Light" from Wild Palms
“Draw In Light”
One Little Indian 2010
Listen to “Draw In Light” MP3
Things have moved quickly for the Chatham/Southgate band Wild Palms. After just over a year of playing together the band fronted by singer Lou Hill stands to make some quality noise on the indie music circuit. With comparisons that run the reference gamut from Can to Cut Copy to New Order, the band has a lot to live up to in the future.
They have made huge strides towards that goal by signing a three-album deal with One Little Indian and getting into the studio to sculpt a new album with Gareth Jones (Grizzly Bear, Clinic, Interpol, Wire, Depeche Mode). The as yet untitled album is set for release next spring.
The band hasn’t left fans wanting by releasing a double AA sided 10” that includes the excellent “Draw in Light.” The track is bathed in rollicking, fuzzed out, white light sound but continues the sensitive yet unrestrained momentum that they delivered on their single “Deep Dive.”
MySpace | One Little Indian
Track of the Day…"Once And For All" from Clock Opera
"Once And For All"
From Kitsuné Maison Compilation 10
Listen to "Once And For All" MP3
The latest single from London's Clock Opera is "Once And For All", an uplifting electro "chop pop" (self-described) charge coupled with Guy Connelly's imploring vocals.
Word has it that the track is inspired by a play from the Belgian performance company Ontroerend Goed entitled Once and for all we're gonna tell you who we are so shut up and listen, exploring what its like to be teenagers who feel like teenagers.
"Once And For All" is featured on the latest compilation from Kitsuné. You can also check out various remixes of the new single on the band's MySpace page, including a remix from Little Loud.
MySpace | Kitsuné (Clock Opera Page) | Little Loud (MySpace) | Ontroerend Goed
Track of the Day…"Home" from Glasser
True Panther 2010
Listen to “Home” MP3
Following-up on last year's EP Apply and various appearances including opening spots for the likes of XX and Jonsi, Glasser (a/k/a Cameron Mesirow) has released her exciting debut Ring. On the release, Cameron worked with producer Ariel Rechtshaid, experimenting with, developing and opening up many tracks which she had originally recorded herself (rather amazingly) on GarageBand.
An excellent example of Cameron's textured sound is the track "Home". The song is insistent - retreating and attacking in equal measure with Cameron's melodies riding on string progressions and tribal percussion.
Official | True Panther
Track of the Day…”Watch the Glow” from Museum of Bellas Artes
Museum of Bellas Artes
“Watch the Glow”
from Days Ahead
Force Majeure / Transparent 2010
Listen to “Watch the Glow” MP3
Following-up on their excellent release “Who Do You Love”, Stockholm’s trio Museum of Bellas Artes are back with a new 4 track EP Days Ahead. The track “Watch the Glow” plays on the crunchy Balearic sound of their earlier release, teasing out the pop-bliss memories of summer.
Check out the kaleidoscope / forest afternoon video for the title track.
A limited 10” vinyl is available at Pure Groove and Rough Trade Shops.
Be sure to catch Museum of Bellas Artes on 17 December 2010 at Point Ephémère (Paris).
MySpace | Force Majeure | Transparent
Track of the Day…”Satellite” from Lelia Broussard
Elle Beezley 2010
Listen to “Satellite” MP3
Though she is only just 21 years of age, Lelia Broussard’s swish revels in a soulful and intelligent sound. On her new release Masquerade, Broussard has combined the impact of her Southern Louisiana home with a pure Philly pop sound.
“Satellite” is the lead single from the album (released on Nov. 2). The track pulses with an uptempo, washboard scratch that encourages her honey-tone voice. The warmth generated is a subtle pop gem.
MySpace | Official
Track of the Day…”Fribourg” from The Late Call
The Late Call
from You Already Have a Home
Tapete Records 2010
Listen to “Fribourg” MP3
You Already Have A Home is Johannes Mayer’s stunning follow-up release as The Late Call. This new release shows the Stockholm-the based Johannes expanding his sound and venturing out from the introspection of his debut Leaving Notes.
The new release is intimate without being close, each track solidly rooted in the core of Johannes’s voice and acoustic guitar. Orchestration and percussion are used with deft economy, gently lending shape and depth to the album. And collaborators such as Maria Eriksson from The Concretes and Ylva Ceder complement Johannes’s warm and throaty vocals.
You Already Have A Home speaks to universal life experiences -- working to build a life, the inevitable struggles and setbacks, as well as the incredible joys along the way. All of this driven by a confidence and an unflinching belief that we can shape our own circumstances.
The German label Tapete Records will be releasing a special vinyl version of You Already Have A Home which will include the otherwise unreleased track “Valley”.
MySpace | Tapete Records
Track of the Day....”Time Is of the Essence” from Cold Mailman
“Time Is Of The Essence”
from Relax; the mountain will come to you
Kråkesølv October 2010
Listen to “Time Is Of The Essence” MP3
“Time Is Of The Essence” is the new single from Cold Mailman’s second album Relax; the mountain will come to you. At the core of this Oslo collective is Ivar Bowitz (singer, singwriter, guitarist) writer, working with his friends to give flesh to the structures he creates. The result is indie-pop tracks which are airborne, bouyed by guitars and melodies and Ivar’s restrained vocals with lighthearted storytelling.
Here is a link to a live living room performance of “Time Is Of The Essence.”
Also, check out the album’s other addictive standout “Pull Yourself Together And Fall In Love With Me.”
Cold Mailman will be playing several dates throughout Norway in October and November, and hopefully we will be seeing them play a few dates in the rest of Europe later this year.
Official | MySpace
Track of the Day…”Either Way” from Beta Radio
from Seven Sisters
Listen to “Either Way” MP3
Beta Radio is the collaboration of longtime friends Ben Mabry (vocals, guitar, glockenspiel) and Brent Holloman (vocals, guitar, glockenspiel, banjo, piano). Together, these guys from Wilmington, North Carolina blend together a welcomingly familiar and disarming blend of Americana (folk / gospel) and pop, buoyed by charming melodies that burrow into your head.
Earlier this year, Beta Radio self-released their debut album Seven Sisters, a release which includes standouts “Either Way” and “Highlight on the Hill.” Ben tells us that the track "Either Way" is a track that he wrote while on vacation with his family in Hawaii. Ben was at a Samoan event and started hearing the melody for what would become the song. Se, he went into the bathroom and recorded the melody in his phone so he would remember it. Brent and he worked on it and then that winter, they recorded that song with their first round of songs in the studio. They decided to add the drums just a few days before they recorded it - one of Ben's favorite parts of the song.
You can stream all of Seven Sisters on the band’s official site (link below) and download a digital copy from major digital outlets (iTunes, Amazon).
Official | MySpace
Track of the Day...”Summer Loving Song” from Katell Keineg
“Summer Loving Song”
from At The Mermaid Parade
Honest Jon’s Records
Listen to “Summer Loving Song” MP3
It was years ago at the NYC’s Mercury Lounge when we first saw Katell Keining perform. She came out to play songs from her release Jet, the room comfortably filled with people who seemed to know what they were in for. From the first track, the Brittany-born singer-songwriter exuded a disarming intensity and passion – her unique and powerful voice pushing with abandon to the back of the room. Joining the drinking crowd, she grew more emotive, her voice changing in register and focus, culminating in the song“One Hell Of A Life”, an arresting and unapologetic look back at a life fully lived.
Katell’s latest release At The Mermaid Parade was released earlier this year on Honest Jon’s Records. A continuation of Katell’s singular form, frequently basking in the glow of New York, from the title track which takes place at Coney Island’s unrivaled Mermaid Parade to “Summer Loving Song” which invites you on a road trip in the dog days of summer.
MySpace | Official (not up to date) | Honest Jon’s Records
Track of the Day…“Reconstitution” from Alexandre Chatelard
from L’Homme et la Femme
Listen to “Reconstitution” MP3
Parisian Alexandre Chatelard creates a retro futurist world, one that is erotic and both blessedly louche and humorous. Tracks like “Parade” call to mind an image of Sylvia Kristel playing with her nicest pearls while perched upon a wicker chair, while “Scene de Crime” seems ripped from some lost French adaptation of Flash Gordon. The single from L’Homme et la Femme “Reconstitution” straddles the line between these disparate worlds – synth sultriness and rock guitars mixed with Alexandre’s nonchalant, Gainsbourg inspired vocals.
Fans of Sébastien Tellier take note.
MySpace | Ekleroshock
Track of the Day…”Windstorm” from School of Seven Bells
School of Seven Bells
Ghostly International / Vagrant / Full Time Hobby 2010
Listen to "Windstorm" MP3
School of Seven Bells was born back in 2004 when Benjamin Curtis from Secret Machines crossed paths with twin sisters Alejandra and Claudia Deheza of on!air!library!. Steadily devoting more time to the new group, these Brooklynites rallied behind the band's name, a reference to a mythical 80’s South American pickpocket academy, where seven separate minds combined to work as one.
As a follow-up to 2008's Alpinisms, the trio is back with an excellent new release Disconnect from Desire, out now on Ghostly International, Vagrant and Full Time Hobby. The album opener is “Windstorm”, a haze of Lush guitars and beats and swirling vocals from the sisters Deheza. You can check out the traffic stopping video here , directed by David Altobelli (director and editor for the latest video of the quietly stunning group Hammock.
Catch School of Seven Bells on 23 October at Santos Party House (as part of CMJ) and later in Paris on 3 November 2010 at La Boule Noire as part of the Petit Bateau / Kitsuné Inrocks event.
Official | MySpace | Ghostly International | Vagrant | Full Time Hobby
Track of the Day…”Flóð” from For A Minor Reflection
For A Minor Reflection
Listen to "Flóð" MP3
Young Reykjavik rockers For A Minor Reflection are an energetic, post-rock band that have been gaining attention since their 2008 tour with country honeybees Sigur Rós. While their sound is dynamic and strong, it is not as esoteric and detached as SR; we could see how they would pair well with them on tour. What we have heard of the group leaves us wanting more.
The rocker side of Icelandic music is apparent on “Flóð.” The track starts with a simple piano line and builds to an almost hallucinogenic finish.
Official | Mspace | Twitter
Track of the Day..."Cosmic Bacon" from The Samps
Listen to "Cosmic Bacon" MP3
The Samps is a sample-loving collective, made up of Cole M. Greif-Neill (guitarist from Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti), Harley B. and Jason Whitemare. The group plays with jumbles of sound, cleverly slicing and dicing and creating hook-laden grooves.
Look for the release of “Cosmic Bacon” as a 12” later this year on the Japanese label Big Love. The Samps debut 6-track EP is now available on Mexican Summer .
MySpace | Mexican Summer | Big Love
Track of the Day..."I'm Aware" from Clinic
Listen to "I’m Aware" MP3
Clinic is a Liverpool based band led by founding members Ade Blackburn and Jonathan Hartley. Their sound is best described as indie rock but they are universally known for their use of vintage instruments. They have gained acclaim over the past decade since signing with Domino Records in 1999.
On their new album Bubblegum the band has changed up their normal roiling hooks with a softer, more melodic pop sound.
The lead single “I’m Aware” is a pretty track built on a cowboy loping beat and bass underlying a sweet harmonic choir. It’s childlike sing-song tune float along in a mesmerizing, oscillating drone.
Check out their sweet, youngster puppet manual of a video for the song here.
MySpace | Official
Track of the Day..."Down The Drain" from Alexis Foxe
“Down The Drain”
Listen to "Down The Drain" MP3
New Yorker Alexis Foxe spins a sultry yet thought provoking blend of electronica and 1940’s big band nostalgia. Her vocals are sultry and crisp. The music derives from her global journey and yields tremendous results.
“Down the Drain” is a perfect song for the “debt” generation. This is a brassy, energetic uptempo number that has the feel of an electronic boogie woogie. The lyrics are sassy and insightful, highlighted by the phrase “My mother tells me that my spending habits, are as wild as copulating rabbits.”
The video for her song “Cynic”
Check out the charm and sass of Alexis Foxe live on September 23 at Piano’s in NYC.
MySpace | Official | Twitter
Track of the Day..."Heart Stab" from Champagne Riot
Listen to "Heart Stab" MP3
What began as a solo project of Caspar Bock in 2008, Champagne Riot has since transformed into a duo with the joining of fellow Dane (and music journalist / producer) Anders Reuter. The band’s stated inspiration of Hedonism, Dadaism, Nihilism and Abba sums up their sound pretty neatly – infectiously melodramatic tracks which delve head first into the blissful froth of pop.
Head over the Champagne Riot’s MySpace page and have a listen to the excellent tracks “Ingrid Bergman” (which has been on our hi-fi for awhile now) and “The Champagne Anthem”.
Champagne Riot’s next release is slated as a double A-side single “Heart Stab / A Friend of a Friend” for release on 27 September.
Official | MySpace
Track of the Day..."Above Your Head" from Anoraak
“Above Your Head”
Listen to "Above Your Head" MP3
As a follow-up to some stellar singles including “Nightdrive with You”, the French electro artist Anoraak will be releasing his debut album Wherever The Sun Sets on 21 September on Grand Blanc and Naïve. The Valerie collective member continues to play with retro electronic sounds and romantic grooves on the album’s first single “Above Your Head”, available as a free download from the Anoraak MySpace page.
Check out the video for “Above Your Head”, a flat rendering of a 360° dizzying descent through the French Alps.
In case you missed it, read our interview with Valerie Collective founder David Grellier
MySpace | Valerie Collective
Track of the Day..."What My Life Could Have Been" from A Classic Education
A Classic Education
"What My Life Could Have Been"
from Hey There Stranger
Lefse Records/Holiday Records 2010
Listen to "What My Life Could Have Been" MP3
Bologna, Italy outfit A Classic Education is a promising young group, which has a distinct stateside approach to indie rock. Formed by Canadian singer and guitarist Jonathon Clancy and his Italian friends Luca Mazzieri and Paul Pieretto, the band is now a six piece with the addition of Giulia Mazza, Federico Oppi, and Stefano Roveda. Their sound could easily be mistaken for the best of Arcade Fire or the Decemberists and they translate that impressive aptitude onto their upcoming release Hey There Stranger (due out September 21).
On the lead single “What My Life Could Have Been” A Classic Education provide us with a rich, multi-layered, up-tempo dashboard - possibly dance-floor - pounder that glows with self-confidence and fun. The track gives you that feeling like you’ve heard early-New Order for the first time. In short, this band is hitting on all cylinders and seemingly, just in first gear. We will be watching.
Official | MySpace
Track of the Day..."Sleep Tight" from Rollerskaters
Listen to "Sleep Tight" MP3
Andrew McKee may be better known for his project The Young Friends, a project which has recently been featured in Clash Magazine and which will see Andrew and co. touring with The Drums and Surfer Blood this September.
However, Andrew's Phoenix-based side project Rollerskaters is not to be overlooked. The project's sole track thusfar "Sleep Tight" was written during Andrew's senior year in high school as a means of procrastinating, avoiding studying for finals. The track is a slice of reimagined nostalgic indie pop, accompanied by a video featuring some of those mighty fine metal clip on rollerskates.
Track of the Day..."The Truest Faith" from Korallreven
'The Truest Faith"
Acéphale Records (2010)
Listen to "The Truest Faith" MP3
Korallreven is the coming together of talented Swedes Daniel Tjäder (of one of What's On The Hi-Fi's favorites, The Radio Dept.) and Marcus Joons. Together they create the perfect bright Balearic backdrop to those dog days of summer.
'The Truest Faith" is available as a limited edition 7" single or as part of a remix EP with the track "Loved-Up". Be sure to check out the rather amazing Sail A Whale remix of "The Truest Faith" which grabs onto the track's shimmering haze.
Keep an eye out for the duo's first full-length hopefully to be released later this year. Meanwhile, check out the video for "The Truest Faith."
If you are in NYC, be sure to catch Korallreven at Glasslands on 12 September in Brooklyn.
MySpace | Acéphale Records (Korallreven EP page)
Track of the Day..."Just In Case" from Miles
“Just In Case”
from As Fast As You Can
Listen to “Just In Case” MP3
Miles are a Brooklyn-based band that creates delicious pop soaked treats. Their new album As Fast As You Can is a testament to that notion filling the ethos with lighter than air melodic dreams.
On the track “Just In Case”, singer/songwriter Marc Plotkin shows off his high-range vocals and feather soft arrangements. It’s a hip spark that will grow on you listen after listen.
MySpace | Official | Twitter
Track of the Day..."She Was A Vision" from Active Child
“She Was A Vision”
from Curtis Lane
Filter Records / Merok Records 2010
Listen to “She Was A Vision” MP3
Active Child is the moniker of Los Angeles based artist Pat Grossi. This former choirboy (he is a former member of the Philadelphia Boys Choir) continues to surprise with his clean falsetto, knack with the harp and subdued 80’s synth-pop inspired electronics. Have a listen to the woozy track “She Was A Vision” with its tribute to the chorus from Cocteau Twins’ ’84 release “Lorelei”.
You can find “She Was A Vision” on Curtis Lane, Active Child’s six-track debut EP released this past June on Filter Records (US) (Filter Magazine’s label) and Merok Records (UK). A 10” white vinyl is also available directly from the official Active Child website or via Insound.
Watch a session online with Active Child on KCRW’s excellent Morning Becomes Eclectic.
NYC residents, you can catch Active Child on 9 September at Brooklyn Bowl. Active Child will stay out on tour through North America through October.
Official | MySpace | Twitter
Track of the Day..."Mowgli The Lynx" from Deastro
“Mowgli The Lynx”
from Mind Altar EP
Ghostly International (2010)
Listen to “Mowgli The Lynx” MP3
At the tender age of twenty-two, Deastro’s Randolph Chabot has created an unmistakable record filled with exciting starry-eyed, laptop pop.
His new EP, Mind Altar, continues the same life and spirit that he has shown on previous effort Keepers and Moondagger. At the heart of the work is “Mowgli The Lynx” – an ethereal, glossy electro-gem that harkens back to early 80’s synth without being overly derivative.
The eight-song Mind Altar —originally released on cassette through Deastro’s blog—comes with three bonus tracks from the also-blog-released Orange Swimmer Red Summer EP, all of which has been remastered and reissued into a cohesive, album-length EP.
MySpace | Ghostly International
Track of the Day...“Kentish Town (Walls Remix)” from Tracey Thorn
“Kentish Town (Walls Remix)”
from Opposites (Available August 24)
Merge Records (2010)
Listen to “Kentish Town (Walls Remix)” MP3
On August 31, Tracey Thorn will release Opposites - a special digital-only EP of experimental remixes of tracks from her latest album Love And Its Opposite.
While many of her recent remixes have been geared towards the dancefloor, the tracks on her upcoming EP are more futuristic and heady.
The track “Kentish Town” returns Tracey’s sound to that her work with Massive Attack. The remix for the song was created by WALLS - Sam Willis (from influential electronic music blog, Allez-Allez) and Alessio Natalizia (Banjo or Freakout).
Tracey Thorn’s Opposites EP will be available beginning August 24 exclusively on Beatport and then on the usual digital outlets beginning August 31.
Official | MySpace | Merge Records
Track of the Day...“Round and Round” from Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti
“Round and Round” from Before Today
Listen to “Round and Round” MP3
The track “Round and Round” is the captivatingly curious single from Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti’s latest influence-spanning release Before Today. “Round and Round” is a real change-up groove. Lo-fi vocals and instrumentation set the groove, breaking it up with smooth choruses reminiscent of summers past. The track retains the best elements of a home-recorded feel, with the lightest of production touches.
The DIY cult-character himself Ariel Pink heads-up the group, joined by Tim Koh on base and vocals, Kenny Gilmore or guitars and Aaron Sperske on drums. Now through October, the LA-based band will be hitting the road and playing a slew of dates across North America. Check the band’s MySpace page for tour dates (including 24 July in NYC at Irving Plaza).
Before Today is out now on 4AD.
MySpace | 4AD
Track of the Day … “Echoes” from The Royal Palms
The Royal Palms
Listen to “Echoes” MP3
The Royal Palms is a collaboration of two artists who, as of yet, have worked hard to keep their actual identities a bit of a mystery. Never mind. The smooth redux Yacht Rock of The Royal Palms basks in the neon thrill of the 70’s/80’s with the likes of Christopher Cross, Kenny Loggins, and Michael McDonald. Grab a six-pack of Bartles & James, roll up your trousers and walk barefoot on the beach at sunset.
Also check out the track “High Class Lady” which is streaming on the group’s MySpace page. A Patrick Nagel print come to life.
If you are in London, catch The Royal Palms at The Macbeth on 29 July.
MySpace | Twitter | Facebook
Track of the Day..."Western Hospitality" from Club 8
From The People’s Record
Listen to "Western Hospitality" MP3
Stolkholm, Sweden duo Club 8 went to Brazil for inspiration for their latest album The People’s Record (out now on Labrador Records). You can feel the sun-drenched samba sound in every beat of their exciting single “Western Hospitality.”
Karolina Komstedt’s ethereal, loose vocals float over Johan Angergård’s jangly guitar and congas and creates an effortlessly catchy track. It’s the perfect, summer party song that will take your cares away - a little cachaça and lime would make it paradise.
Check out the video for the track here.
Official | MySpace | Labrador Records
Track of the Day… “Dreamin’” from Feldberg
To be self-released August 2010
Listen to “Dreamin’”
Feldberg is the laidback Reykjavik-based duo of Einar Tönsberg (a/k/a the laptop creative Eberg) and Rósa Birgitta Ísfeld. The first single ”Dreamin’” features the duo’s coy and infectious back-and-forth, with calls of “dreamin’ of you” sailing over the strains of Einar’s quirky brand of effervescent pop:
To coincide with the release of “Dreamin’” on 30 August via iTunes, a track which won Best Song in this year’s Iceland Music Awards, Feldberg will be releasing a 10-track remix album. Check out the just updated Feldberg MySpace page for additional tracks and videos.
Eberg’s new release Antidote is out now. Check out his toilet holidays video for the track “The Right Thing To Do” on his MySpace page (trust us, watch the video and it will click).
Track of the Day …“Bye Bye Cellphone” from 1973
“Bye Bye Cellphone” from the self-titled album
2010 Blonde Music Publishing
Listen to “Bye Bye Cellphone” MP3
1973 is the French trio of school friends Nicolas Frank (vocals and guitars), Thibault Barbillon (from Nouvelle Vague on bass, keyboards, guitars) and Jérôme Plasseraud (guitars and keyboards). With their first album Bye Bye Cellphone, 1973 have created a loving homage to the collectively imagined sound of California folk-pop and Beatles infused melodies. The album was recorded in Thibault’s home studio in the French countryside over the last remaining weeks of summer. A soundtrack to that romanticized late afternoon in summer – the barbeque fired up, faces pink from the sun and the lingering light.
The tracks on Bye Bye Cellphone rise in wistful choruses, with lyrics often speaking to reminiscing, escaping or being set free. In this vein, the title track speaks to suddenly becoming un-tethered with the loss of a cellphone and the freedom to reinvent. Settle back and enjoy.
“Bye Bye Cellphone”
“Simple Song (For A Complicated Girl)”
“Little Thing To Take Away”
“Late Night Call”
“We Are Nowhere”
“You Say You Will”
Official | MySpace | Blonde Music
Track of the Day… “I Can’t Feel” from Matthew Dear
“I Can’t Feel”
from Black City
(to be released August 2010 on Ghostly International)
Listen to "I Can’t Feel" MP3
Musically, Matthew Dear is many things: artist (under various aliases including Audion), producer, keenly sought after remixer and DJ, label co-founder (of both Ghostly International and Spectral Sound). And he is back this summer with his fourth album (under his own name) Black City, his follow-up to 2007’s Asa Breed.
The title track from Black City “I Can’t Feel” is spun from darker stuff. The track begins with an afro-rhythmic clip, a hypnotic bass loop, organ chords and restrained effects. This off-kilter groove is joined by Matthew’s distinctive baritone croon, gliding fitfully forward, until the track simply dissolves. Enjoy the sexy darkness.
As a sidebar, check out the Ghostly International’s free ‘Discovery’ App to stream full tracks from the Ghostly International and Spectral Sound catalogues (with it’s mood-based tool).
You can sign up for updates about the new album at www.matthewdear.com and a get a download of "I Can't Feel".
Below is the tracklisting for Black City:
“I Can’t Feel”
“Little People (Black City)”
“Soil to Seed”
“You Put A Smell On Me”
Official | MySpace | Ghostly International
Track of the Day…“How The Game Is Played” from The Redwood Plan
The Redwood Plan
“How The Game Is Played”
Racing Towards the Heartbreak
Fish the Cat Records 2010
Listen to “How The Game Is Played” MP3
The Redwood Plan bust out of speakers and headphones. On the track , “How the Game Is Played”. lead singer Lesli Wood just plain rips it up like few of her peers.
Is it true that the Seattle band has finally perfected the groove-heavy sound that they have promised? This hook-laden charm is immense and is the answer.
Official | MySpace | Twitter
Track of the Day …"Schoolin’’’ from Everything Everything
From the band’s debut album to be released in 2010
Listen to “Schoolin’” MP3
Everything Everything are a pick-n’-mix quartet hailing from Manchester, crafting smart, catchy and unconventional pop harmonies. They have come a long way since there first gig in 2007, having since released multiple singles including the excellent track “MY KZ, UR BF” (“My Keys, Your Boyfriend”) in 2009 (watch the video).
Everything Everything has since signed to Geffen, and the band’s debut album to be released later this year is already being pegged as one to watch.
The upcoming album’s first genre-melding single, “Schoolin’” will be available to download from 13 June, and out on 7" and CD on 14 June.
Also, check out the Visions of Trees (who will soon be featured on What’s On The Hi-Fi) blissful and tribal remix of “Schoolin’” on the Visions of Trees MySpace page
The band will be hitting the festivals this summer (Glastonbury, Latitude, Reading). Check here for dates.
Official | MySpace | Twitter
Track of the Day...“Second Guessing” from Eddy Current Suppression Ring
Eddy Current Suppression Ring
Rush To Relax
Goner Records (2010)
Listen to “Second Guessing” MP3
“Second Guessing” from Eddy Current Suppression Ring is a rollicking, punk infused romp in the tradition of X, The Cramps and The Troggs. On the track the Melbourne-based four-piece spark a high energy, slow burn rocker that is highlighted by lead singer Brendan Suppression’s rambling, nasally but ultimately cool vocals.
Check out the band here in their video for “Which Way To Go” and catch them live at the Cake Shop on June 18th in NYC.
Official | MySpace | Goner Records
Track of the Day..."Knock On Wood" from Halsted
“Knock On Wood”
From Life Underwater
Ashbury Records (Due in July 2010)
Listen to “Knock On Wood” MP3
Sometimes being a songwriter and performer can be strange roller-coaster ride. One moment you feel all the golden promise that you worked so hard to attain turn to lead and the idyllic strength you once depended on seems gone in an instant. And sometimes the better of these fallen dust themselves off and try again better than before.
Ryan Auffenberg is the latter of the two scenarios. After a promising debut LP, Marigold, and a subsequent tour the singer-songwriter returned home to find his label had folded amidst the recent financial collapse. Rather than dwell on what could have been, Auffenberg turned to friends and in the process put together a group to support his new material.
Out of these collaborations Halsted was born. The group, named after the first street Auffenberg lived as a musician, has created an inspired and exciting sound on their debut LP Life Underwater. Built around straightforward, passionate and poignant songwriting and playing, the songs on the album remind me of the best parts of Wilco, The Church and Paul Westerberg.
“Knock On Wood” is a driving, melodic track that feels like it snakes and bounces down a lonely country road at night. Filled with fine guitar riffing and Auffenberg’s plaintive vocals, it’s just a small sample of a great debut album.
We can’t wait to experience the trajectory of this band and look forward to checking them out live.
Official | MySpace | Twitter
Track of the Day..."1977" Ana Tijoux
Nacional Records 2010
Listen to “1977” MP3
After a great showing at this year’s SXSW, Ana Tijoux seems poised to launch large into the US market. The Santiago, Chile native is no newbie though. She proves it on the title track to her North American debut 1977.
The track has a hypnotic glare that features Tijoux’s monotone yet sensual flow over a cascade of latin bullfight horns and staccato guitar blasts. What she hides behind this near flawless bit of cool is a strong message that makes her stand out above peers. It’s definitely a track to party to that will open your mind.
Track of the Day..."Sleep Paralysist" from Neon Indian
Green Label Sound 2010
Listen to "Sleep Paralysist" MP3
We first heard rumblings from Alan Palomo while working as alter-ego Vega and with the band GhostHustler but its with new band Neon Indian that he has started to roar.
Formed in Denton, Texas in 2008, Neon Indian garnered a cart full of accolades with their debut LP Psychic Chasms. The fuzzed-out, electronica and melancholy vocals in such songs as “Should Have Taken Acid With You" and “Deadbeat Summer” were surprise indie hits in 2009.
With the release of their new single “Sleep Paralysist”, Palomo has continued his blend of tripped-out, bleeped up, psychedelic electronic that is both cool and accessible. If this is the future for Neon Indian, we like what we see in the cards!
Make sure to check out Neon Indian in NYC at The Music Hall of Williamsburg on June 17th.
Twitter | MySpace
Track of the Day..."To The Forest" from The Forest & The Trees
The Forest & The Trees
Ill Fit Recordings (2010)
Listen to "To The Forest! ( I Need Some Peace)" MP3
The Forest & The Trees is Joel and Linnea Edin, a husband and wife team based outside of Stockholm. Their debut self-tiled release is an infectious combination of the joyous and slightly melancholy side of indie pop music. The tracks brim with romanticism, often casting a nostalgic and hook-laden gaze back at days and loves past. The duo’s harmonies will provide a perfect companion to your laziest and least cynical days of summer.
One of the standout tracks is “To The Forest! (I Need Some Peace)” with its building chorus and rumbling call of bass and drums (featuring David Lindvall and Ola Hultgren from Loney, Dear). Check out the retro SE Asian video created by Jamie Harley.
Other favorities include the slightly bittersweet and quietly assuring “In The Summer”, the woozy “Circus Lonely Hearts”, the propelling and imploring duet of “Run”, and the skipping folky harmonies of “Escape”.
You can stream the new album in its entirety on the band’s website. But pick up a copy via the band’s website, iTunes, other digital download merchants and Rough Trade Shops.
The Forest and The Trees is the debut release from Ill Fit Recordings, a digital label venture from Rich Thane of TheLineOfBestFit.com and Something In Construction. We are already looking forward to seeing what these guys have up their sleeve for their next release.
“To The Forest! (I Need Some Peace)”
“In The Summer”
“Circus Lonely Hearts”
“Hold Me Close, Hold Me In Your Arms”
“By The Trees”
Official | Ill Fit Recordings
Track of the Day..."Let Go" from JJ
From jj nº 3
Secretly Canadian (2010)
Listen to “Let Go” MP3
jj are the duo of Joakim Benon and Elin Kastlander hailing from Gothenburg, Sweden (taking their name from Truffaut's 1962 film Jules et Jim). Following up on last year's beautiful debut jj n° 2, the pair is back with the handily named jj n° 3, the band's first album to get a broader release with the help of Secretly Canadian.
This new release sees jj honing the often R&B and dubbed-out Balearic sound of their previous releases. The album kicks off with a soulful and simple, piano-backed track borrowing Lil Wayne's chorus from The Game's "My Life''. Several tracks such as "And Now", "Voi Parlate, Lo Gioco", "You Know" and "No Escapin' This" swagger along on an infectious and warmly crystalline tip. "into The Light" explores electronic synths, beats and washes, punctuated by snipits of excited latin football commentary. One of the standouts is the single "Let Go", building from a solo harmonica, adding blurring and icy beats and synths over Kastlander's sublime vocals.
As an aside, lest we forget that jj also brought us their take on the theme song to the TV series Welcome Back, Kotter.
jj have just wraped up playing a few dates with The xx in the US and are heading to Europe for several dates, including Paris on 21 May, Berlin on 23 May and Amsterdam on 26 May.
"Into the Light"
"Voi Parlate, lo Gioco"
"No Escapin' This"
Make sure to check out the video for “Let Go” as it just makes you think this duo has more than a few avant-garde ideas going through their heads. This is definitely a twosome to watch.
Secretly Canadian | Sincerely Yours
Track of the Day…"Icarus” from White Hinterland
Dead Oceans (2010)
Listen to “Icarus” MP3
White Hinterland is the project of Portland-based Casey Dienel, who is joined by Shawn Creeden on the new release Kairos. This atmospheric album has the classically trained Casey leaving former territory behind, eschewing acoustic instruments for electronic instrumentation and effects, percussion and washes of sound. The result is an ambitious collection of off-kilter pop that shines in being just that bit different.
Casey said that making the album was like swimming in a cave, trusting only the instinct to just keep swimming. This is also a particularly fitting description of the single “Icarus”, a chilly swing propelled into the vastness on echoing minimal percussion and looping calls.
Check out the beautiful animated video for the release “Amsterdam” (featuring mystical gherkins no less) created by Michaela Copikova.
Kairos is out now on Dead Oceans. White Hinterland is on tour now in the US with stops planned in Europe in May and June (21 May, London / 2 and 3 June, Paris).
White Hinterland (Official) | MySpace | Dead Oceans
Track of the Day..."Excuses" from The Morning Benders
The Morning Benders
From Big Echo
Rough Trade (2010)
Listen to "Excuses" MP3
With Big Echo, Berkeley, CA band The Morning Benders have made a huge leap forward from the delightful but simple pop sounds on their 2008 debut album Talking Through Tin Cans. The new release is deeper, more eclectic and features lush, layered songwriting and thoughtful, exciting production from singer Christopher Chu and co-producer Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear.
On the opening track “Excuses”, Chu takes on the role of 50’s style balladeer with his cool, gentle and ethereal delivery. The music follows suit from the opening timpani drum sound, to the orchestral strings and the slow dance, prance of the keyboards. What makes the song so marvelous is that they make the sound refreshing. It’s a perfect soundtrack to soak up the summer and remember how a well-crafted pop tune can change your day.
Big Echo is available now in the US and will drop in the UK/Europe on June 28th.
MySpace | Rough Trade Records
Track of the Day..."A Glorious Time" from Team Ghost
"A Glorious Time"
From the EP You Never Did Anything Wrong To Me
Sonic Cathedral Records (2010)
Listen to "A Glorious Time" MP3
Team Ghost is the new project fronted by Nicolas Fromageau, co-founder of M83 with Anthony Gonzales. The two co-wrote M83's first two releases M83 and Dead Cities, Red Sea and Lost Ghosts. Before the release of M83's third album, Nicolas and Anthony parted ways, seeing Nicolas moving to Paris from the South of France. It was there that he formed Team Ghost, joined by multi-instrumentalist Christophe Guérin and producer / manager Jean-Philippe Talaga (founder of Gooom Disques). Nicolas and Christophe also formed a production team called Kiss Me First.
Against this backdrop, Team Ghost is set to release their first EP You Never Did Anything Wrong To Me next month on the UK's Sonic Cathedral Records. Along with being available as a digital download, the release will also be available as a limited edition black and white 10-inch vinyl.
It is no surprise that Team Ghost builds on the M83 sound -- tracks crafted on shoegaze synths and guitar washes, bringing a welcome and slightly dark closeness. One of our favorite tracks "A Glorious Time" builds along on an uplifting drone with a hypnotic chorus of abandon and moving forward, charging you to "leave it all behind you"….
Be sure to catch Team Ghost in Paris on April 26 at Nouveau Casino with Crystal Castles. Other European dates are set for April, with a few shows in London and Brighton in May. Check the Team Ghost MySpace page for updated concert information.
Tracklisting from You Never Did Anything Wrong To Me
"Lonely, Lonely, Lonely"
"A Glorious Time"
"Sur Nous Les Étincelles Du Soleil"
"Only You Can Break My Heart"
"Colors In Time"
"Deaf" (digital release only)
MySpace | Sonic Cathedral Records
Track of the Day… "Everyday" from Twin Tigers
From Gray Waves
Old Flame (2010)
Listen to "Everyday" MP3
Ahhh! Rock music has returned to Athens. I have no problem with the cacophony of auto-tuned, hip-hop, blah from most of north Georgia that has been spilling out of the vine in the last ten years. Yeah, well, I guess I do. I miss good old fashioned college rock and that's what Athens, GA is all about. Now, the haircuts are much better than Stipe in '86 but the quality is there in spades. Twin Tigers' straight-forward yet sharp sound is as welcome as the spring warmth. It's on the hi-fi and should be on yours' as well.
Track of the Day… "Everything Purple" from 800Beloved
"Everything Purple" from Everything Purple
6 April on Moodgadget
Listen to "Everything Purple" MP3
Hailing from Michigan, 800beloved is Sean Lynch (vocals/songwriting), Anastasiya "Stacy" Metesheva (bass) and Scott Masson (drums). And contrary to what some may expect when they hear of Sean's day job working at the family funeral home, the band's second release Everything Purple bears no kinship to goth or more macabre sounds. Rather, 800beloved's sound is a bright and dreamy homage to love, obsession and watery landscapes, borne out of dreams of purple. The title track from Everything Purple is unmixed and features Sean's measured baritone over jangly and melodious guitars and lo-fi drums. A sound which, along with that of the other tracks on the album, remains organic and retains a characteristic richness.
Moodgadget has set up an Everything Purple mini-site where you can stream the upcoming release and download a free MP3 of "Everything Purple".
"If temptation's red as our eyes are blue, together we'll make everything purple".
"If Butterflies Never Burned"
"No More Unicorns"
MySpace | Twitter | Moodgadget
Track of the Day..."Hammock" from MillionYoung
From Be So True (EP)
Arcade Sound Ltd (2010)
Listen to "Hammock" MP3
First off, MillionYoung is not a one trick pony as many electronic artists seem to be. With several good tracks making the rotation right now you should expect to see this South Florida button pusher around for years to come.
"Hammock" is just one of our highlights but you can find several other outstanding tracks at his official site below.
Official | MySpace
Track of the Day..."None Shall Sleep" from Pepper Rabbit
"None Shall Sleep"
From Clicks (EP)
BFM Digital (2009)
Listen to "None Shall Sleep" MP3
California duo Pepper Rabbit has created a superbly languid, emotionally redolent and harmony rich track with “None Shall Sleep” off their Clicks EP. Band members and multi-instrumentalists Xander Singh and Luc Laurent throw the kitchen sink of sounds on the cut but weave them all together masterfully. Their eclectic offering is most apparent in the percussion of the song in which you can happily get lost. Dreamy layers of bongos and shakers mix with just enough electronic beats to make for a sublime pairing with Singh’s ethereal callings.
Along with Clicks the band also released a companion EP entitled Shakes that includes the equally impressive “Red Wine.” Check out the video for that track here and you get to really see these creative gents at work.
Definitely keep your ears perked for more from these guys in the years ahead.
Myspace |Twitter: @pepper_rabbit
Track of the Day …"Lion Face Boy" from Seabear
"Lion Face Boy"
From We Built A Fire
2010 Morr Music
Listen to "Lion Face Boy" MP3
Released this month on Morr Music, We Built A Fire is the fruit of the on-going evolution of Iceland's Seabear. The project originally began as a one-man endeavor of singer and multi-instrumentalist Sindri Már Sigfússon (a/k/a Sin Fang Bous : check out our review of his 2009 release Clangour). However, today Seabear has matured into a seven-member strong collective. "Lion Face Boy" is the first single from the band's second release and reflects the collective's beautiful take on melodic orchestrated indie-folk. Watch the video for another release from the album called "I'll Build You A Fire".
In conjunction with We Built A Fire, Seabear will be releasing When The Fire Dies, a six track EP highlighting the band's folkier balladry.
Be sure to catch Seabear at Mercury Lounge (NYC) on 25 March and at Point Ephémère (Paris) on 20 May. See here for a full list of concert dates.
Tracklisting of We Built A Fire
"Lion Face Boy"
"Fire Dies Down"
"I'll Build You A Fire"
"We Fell Of The Roof"
"In Winters Eyes"
Tracklisting of While The Fire Dies
Official | MySpace | Twitter | Morr Music
Track of the Day …"Yours" from Gaspard Royant
You Can Have Me (If You Want To) (EP)
Listen to "Yours" MP3
Gaspard Royant is a young Parisian artist whose first self-released EP You Can Have Me (If You Want To) was released last month. Gaspard's style is a mix of folk and pop, with the slightest hint of honky tonk-lite à la français. The EP's 5 tracks were honed on the road, Gaspard traveling with his guitar and playing across Europe and the US. It was actually during his travels in the US, perhaps in part drawn by a certain sense of romanticized adventure, where Gaspard decided to invest fully in his music. Gaspard writes in English, tackling in his songwriting the wild extremes of the human condition.
The track "Yours' is a wonderfully deceptively tender duet with singer-songwriter Marie-Flore. The EP also includes a favorite "Grow", a quietly confident and swaggering ballad.
Watch the video for "Yours" directed by Ben Berzenker : when a untroubled stroll in a snowy wood turns sinister
Track of the Day…"Careful What You Say" from Class Actress
"Careful What You Say"
From Journal of Ardency (EP)
Terrible Records 2010
Listen to "Careful What You Say" MP3
A transplant to Brooklyn from California, Elizabeth Harper has shed her solo acoustic sound for full-throttle 80's retro-electro pop. In forming Class Actress, Elizabeth (a former drama major) hooked up with producers Scott Rosenthal and Mark Richardson, recording the debut EP Journal of Ardency in Elizabeth's apartment. The sound is a wonderful mix of vintage Dynasty-era synths and dance beats sampled from vinyl. There is a particular strength in the songwriting, each track wearing a preppy dark heart on its sleeve. The result is a collection of tracks which are, as Elizabeth puts it, for people to become obsessed with their lovers over -- the definition of pure stalker pop.
MySpace | Terrible Records
Track of the Day..."So Derobe" from Joy Orbison
From The Shrew Would Have Cushioned The Blow
Aus Music 2010
Listen to “So Derobe” MP3
Joy Orbison (a/k/a producer Darren J. Cunningham) has outdone himself on this follow-up to 2009's massive, jet fuel on Xanax, "Hyph Mngo". Once known as “She Dressed the Best,” “So Derobe” is included on his new EP, The Shrew Would Have Cushioned the Blow, and the sound just percolates inside your ears running the length of your spine and into your feet. It paints an evocative picture which expands his normally blissed out sound with the deep touch of latin tinged, percussive, finger snaps and Human League/Boyz II Men samples. The transition to the ambient part is unexpected, but it works well with the overall tone. A little bit of sonic-cine!
The track is smart and is such a genre mixer that it has been embraced by just about everyone out there. If we were forced against a speaker to make a comparison, the track sounds most like Alex Gopher with 21st century production -- but that is just musical hairsplitting. It's simply an amazing dance cut.
Check out video for "Hyph Mngo" here.
Joy Orbison(Official) | MySpace | Aus Music
Track of the Day..."Fold" from CLAPS
From (EP) New Science
Guilt Ridden Pop (2010)
Listen to "Fold" MP3
CLAPS is a minimal synth pop three-piece from Saint Paul, MN formed in April 2009. On "Fold", their first single from their debut EP New Science, the trio mixes some heart into the minimal electronic beats by way of lead singer Patrick Donohoe's plaintive delivery. Although they haven't been together as a group for very long, we expect great things in the future from this band.
New Science is available now on Guilt Ridden Pop.
MySpace | Guilt Ridden Pop
Track of the Day..."Marchin' In" from Lo-Fi-Fnk
New album expected in 2010
Listen to "Marchin' In" MP3
Lo-Fi-Fnk are two young Swedes, Leo Drougge and August Hellsing, who make playful indie-pop dancefloor music. The two met in high school and formed the group back in 2001. In a complimentary division of labor, Leo is charged with songwriting, production, lead vocals, bass and percussion, while August focuses on production, mixing and keyboards.
The group's first full-length release Boylife was released in 2006, seeing the duo hit the road, headlining dates in Europe and opening for bands such as The Rapture, Hot Chip and Justice in the US. NME referred to the Boylife track "City" as conjuring images of Daft Punk tossing aside their helmets to reveal Bangalter and de Homem-Christo in a state of ecstasy. And in 2008, Kitunsé featured the track "Want U" on their Compilation 6.
Lo-Fi-Fnk are now working on their second album which is expected to be released later this year. A hint of the sound to come takes the form of the track "Marchin' In", a laidback call to youth with a snapping and piano chord driven melody, featuring the backing vocals of Maja Gödicke.
Watch the video for the track here -- however, don't be fooled by the languid images of sea life, there is danger in these waters.
Official | MySpace
Track of the Day ..."Teenage Romance" from Bear in Heaven
Bear in Heaven
From Beast Rest Forth Mouth
Hometapes / Dreamboat (2010)
Listen to "Lovesick Teenagers." MP3
Beast Rest Forth Mouth is the second release from this quartet made up of Jon Philpot, Adam Wills, Sadek Bazaraa and Joe Stickney. The album speaks to the points of the compass ("Beast Rest Forth Mouth" / "East West North South") and the inevitable pause of uncertainty at reaching a crossroads. All transplants to Brooklyn from the American South, Bear in Heaven create a distinctive sound wrapped in a rolling fog of kraut beats, treated vocals and synth washes. The second single "Lovesick Teenagers" is a darkly optimistic reminder that while the years seem to tick by with an unfaltering regularity, you never lose hold of that teenager that you once were.
Released in the US last year to a warm critical reception, Beast Rest Forth Mouth will be seeing its European release in April 2010 on Hometapes in association with Dreamboat Records. The band are now on the road with Cymbals Eat Guitars throughout in North America, interrupted by a stop at SXSW, and then off on their first European tour. Be sure to catch Bear in Heaven at Point Ephémère in Paris on 27 April, or in London at The Lexington on 20 April and at Windmill Brixton on 26 April.
The band will also be in Brooklyn on 18 February at Grasslands and again on 9 April at The Music Hall of Williamsburg with Cymbals Eat Guitars.
MySpace | Hometapes | Dreamboat
Track of the Day…"O.N.E." from Yeasayer
From Odd Blood
Mute / Naïve (2010)
Listen to "O.N.E." MP3
The Brooklyn trio are back this February with their second album Odd Blood. Giving a new twist to their experimentalism, Yeasayer have left behind the progressive world beat tip of the 2007 album All Hour Cymbals. On the new release, the band focuses their sights, embracing a more electronic and underground pop sound (inspired, in part, by 70's ambient electronica). Fret not, the blessed quirkiness remains. Give a listen to the warped Caribbean-beat inflected second single "O.N.E.".
Not shy of dropping trow and running through the dessert, Yeasayer have put together an otherworldly video for the first single "Ambling Alp".
Download "Ambling Alp" here.
Official | MySpace
Track of the Day…"Funny Symphony" from Ninca Leece
From There Is No One Else When I Lay Down and Dream
Bureau B / Tapete Records (2010)
Listen to "Funny Symphony" MP3
Ninca Leece's debut album, There Is No One Else When I Lay Down and Dream, is the distillation of her travels, playing clubs and festivals, writing soundtracks and various musical collaborations over the past few years. Having grown up in France, Ninca went on to study music production and vocals in Rotterdam and then to tour the globe as part of various projects. She has now relocated to Berlin, and the musical imprint of her adopted home on her brand of minimal electro, "glitch and synth pop" is undeniable.
In producing and arranging her album, Ninca plays with electro sounds and melody, mixing in layers of organic instrumentation and field recordings. As she explains, the result is a "collection of my experiments in sound and emotions -- lots of funny little things, broken hearted sounds and melodies. It's about glitchiness, quirkiness, sexiness".
Have a listen to "Funny Symphony" - Ninca's French and English vocals provide a looping melody, gently warming the chilly permafrost of electronic clicks and cuts.
Watch the video to the track "On Top of The World".
Official | MySpace | Bureau B | Tapete Records
Track of the Day…"Spirited" from Laura Gibson
From Beasts of Seasons
Hush Records (2009)
Listen to "Spirited" MP3
Before we speed too far into 2010, we wanted to take a quick look back at the year that has been and see if there were any gems which we may have overlooked. Beasts of Seasons from Laura Gibson is just one of those albums which we regret not having discovered sooner.
As the title suggests, "Spirited" is a track which speaks to grabbing at a moment before it slips away. For this track, Laura was inspired by summer nights spent with friends around the dappled light of a fading fire, smoldering away in a rusty old washtub. Indeed. A beautiful track, from a wonderfully reflective album.
Listen to Laura Gibson's session with Daytrotter from last December (includes additional tracks such as "Funeral Song" (a favorite), "Glory" and "O Frailty").
MySpace | Hush Records
Track of the Day..."Bright Red Cords" from Loomis & The Lust
Loomis & The Lust
"Bright Red Cords"
From (EP) Nagasha
Kings of Spain (2009)
Listen to "Bright Red Chords" MP3
Formed in 2008, Santa Barbara rockers Loomis & the Lust spin an infectious, groove filled coat of forgotten early 80's styled R&B rock (think Tommy Tutone or The Greg Kihn Band). On "Bright Red Chords", the band provide a jolt of needed rock and roll good times into the overly indulgent landscape of Gaga-era glam ram. We are looking for big things from this band as they have already garnered spots as a selection for Urban Outfitters, MTV and are working with hot producer Brandon Mason.
Watch the video for "Bright Red Chords".
MySpace | Official | Twitter
Track of the Day..."Beach Comber" from Real Estate
From Real Estate
Woodsist Records (2010)
Listen to "Beach Comber" MP3
In the midst of this icy cold winter we thought we would give you a little peak through the snow to the summer ahead. New Jersey quartet Real Estate serve up smooth, chiming, staccato guitars that are reminiscent of the sun soaked sounds of West Coast surf pop of years past. On "Beach Combers" the group finds a welcome balance of psychedelia and heartfelt harmony that will make you get out that swimsuit and dance around in your apartment as the snowflakes peer in the window from outside. Warning: Avoid mirrors if dancing in your trunks or bikini…at least until you get tan.
MySpace | Woodsist Records
Track of the Day …"Who Do You Love" from Museum of Bella Artes
Museum of Bella Artes
"Who Do You Love"
Force Majeure (2009)
Listen to "Who Do You Love" MP3
With friends moving abroad and Stockholm feeling emptier, friends Leo, Alice and Joanna got together to form a music project called Museum of Bella Artes (after the site in Valencia). As an initial target, the group set their sights on updating the 1964 hit "Who Do You Love" from Philadelphia's The Sapphires. The result moves away from the classic Motown sound of the original and re-imagines the track with a simple crunchy electro beat accompanied by dreamy and naively catchy vocals, seemingly betraying the anguish of the lyrics.
Look for Museum of Bella Artes to release new material with Force Majeure (also home to Bandjo and Nhessingtons) later this year. We will post release dates when available.
MySpace | Force Majeure
Track of the Day …"Left It Alone" from Banjo or Freakout
Banjo or Freakout
"Left It Alone"
Half Machine (2009)
Listen to "Left It Alone" MP3
Banjo or Freakout is the moniker of Allessio Natalizia, an Italian "bedroom artist" now living in London. Allessio creates sample-heavy, shoe-gazing tracks, each carefully wrapped in a downy cocoon. Check out the dreamy guitar wash and lyrics of déjà vu on "Let It Alone", out now on a 7" (transparent vinyl) with the track "Breathe Out".
Watch "Left It Alone" here.
Allessio is also behind some excellent remixes including "All of the King's Men" from Wild Beasts (accompanied by an intriguing video of vintage performance art clips here).
Free Banjo or Freakout downloads are available at Hush Records.
Also, if you still have a bit of the holiday spirit left in you, check out the free download from Allessio of his recordings of some Christmas classics here.
Official | MySpace | Twitter: banjoorfreakout
Track of the Day..."Puzzles" from The Mary Onettes
The Mary Onettes
Listen to "Puzzles" MP3
The Mary Onettes are an indie rock band formed in the town of Jönköping, Sweden in 2000. After some unfortunate major label dealings, the group eventually landed squarely on their feet with November’s release of Island on Labrador Records. The sound is reminiscent of early Echo and the Bunnymen and demonstrates the integral swell and abandon to innocence present in 80’s British pop music. This heartfelt, romantic sound is most evident on the tracks “Puzzles” and “Dare” both of which glisten with Cure-like guitar riffs and synth hooks. Get out the eyeliner and your creepers and enjoy.
The Mary Onettes | MySpace
Track of the Day….."Bellyfulla" from Ramona Falls
Barsuk Records (2009)
Listen to "Bellyfulla" MP3
Ramona Falls is the solo project of Brent Knopf, also of the Portland trio Menomena. In creating the project, Knopf looked to the inspiration of one of his favorite Oregon hiking trails, a place which is at once a refuge and a space to come together. In this vein, Knopf explored working with over 30 guest artists over the span of the 11 diverse tracks which make up his debut Intuit.
Knopf's songs are at their most powerful when they are at their most simple, allowing the melodies and the lyrics to ease into being. In this way, the penultimate track "Bellyfulla" builds with a reserved and plucky urgency, clearing the way for Knopf's lyrics, eventually leaving the author blissfully overwhelmed by "more happiness than a body can hold".
MySpace | Barsuk Records
Track of the Day…"Sirkka" from Fear of Tigers
From Cossus Snufsigalonica
Listen to "Sirkka" MP3
Fear of Tigers is the moniker of Ben Berry who has a knack for crafting layered compositions from a wonderful mishmash of retro inspired electronica. Mr. Berry (born and raised in Kobe, Japan and now living in Greenwich, England) seems to approach songs like multi-pronged arrangements, with attention given to the minutiae of the overall soundscape. The track "Sirkka" sums up the Fear of Tigers' sound nicely. On this track, the sounds of rain and thunderclaps lead us in over hooky synths and a dipping beat, cue the waka waka guitars, side step to early anthem rave, and then the staccato strings, and back again…. Hats off to Fear of Tigers for these 10 blissfully upbeat and cynicism-free tracks.
…and Happy Holidays! Fear of Tigers is making the debut release Cossus Snufsigalonica downloadable for free at here.
And, thanks to the Valerie Collective for putting us on to this!
Track of the Day…"Krimson" from Warpaint
From Exquisite Corpse
Manimal Vinyl Records (2009)
Listen to "Krimson" MP3
Warpaint is a quartet formed 5 years ago (on Valentines Day no less) by LA (Echo Park) transplants and childhood friends Emily Kokal (vocals, guitar), Theresa Wayman (vocals, guitar, keyboards) and Jenny Lee Lindberg (bass, vocals). M Quinn (from the group Corridor) was recently added as the group's latest drummer and multi-instrumentalist. Earlier this year, the group self-released their debut Exquisite Corpse, an EP which proudly made its way to the top of Amoeba Records' local artist's chart. Lucky for us, Exquisite Corpse has been re-released on Manimal Vinyl Records.
This re-release includes the excellent tracks "Billie Holiday", "Elephants" and "Stars" from the original release, as well as a new track called "Krimson". On this track, a post-punk beat emerges from a blurry guitar loop, sliced by distantly raw vocals, all building to a wonderful trailing psychedelic blur.
Catch Warpaint touring the US with Akron / Family this coming February and March. Also, look for the band's new release and appearance at SXSW, both in 2010.
MySpace | Manimal Vinyl
Track of the Day…"Time Machine / Submarine" from Shelly Short
"Time Machine / Submarine"
From A Cave, A Canoo
Hush Records (2009)
Listen to "Time Machine / Submarine" MP3
Shelley Short's excellent third release A Cave, A Canoo came to life over the span of a year, recorded over the winter months and slowly evolving in its own time as each track began to take on its own form, whether over a matter of weeks or recorded on the first take in the wee hours. The Portland native draws upon her upbringing, growing up around music. "It was like growing up in a time machine; in some ways we lived like in 1876, chopping wood, growing our own food, wearing old clothes in a Victorian home and singing our own songs. Other times it seemed like we were living in 1955, driving around Cadillacs and Studebakers and listening to Jonny Ray and The Flamingos. And yet it all felt like growing up in a blurring movie made in 1963."
On the track "Time Machine / Submarine", Shelley welcomes you in from the cold, stoking a warm closeness with her delicate vocals and the sounds of an organ and guitars, all as if sung to a hushed beat coming from somewhere across the frozen fields.
Shelley Short (Official) | MySpace | Hush Records
Track of the Day...”Scissor” from Liars
From upcoming album Sisterworld
Listen to “Scissor” MP3
After traveling on a musical odyssey through the realms of a Jesus and Mary Chain and Pere Ubu post-punk revivalism, a Nitzer Ebb, industrial pit-stop and a formless, cinematic sound collage period, Liars - Angus Andrew, Aaron Hemphill and Julian Gross – seemed to have found their sound.
“Scissor” is the first track from their upcoming album Sisterworld. The song retains an ominous and bleak residue from their earlier work but takes that previously scattered, confusing group of sounds and reveals a rich, evocative and succinct cry that is filled with wraithlike harmonies and vocals. When the “Scissor” bursts with brutal intensity you know the members of Liars have arrived. And they are going to be welcome on our hi-fi for a while to come.
Liars (Official) | MySpace
Track of the Day...”Rollerskate” from Matias Aguayo
From Ay Ay Ay
Listen to “Rollerskate” MP3
Dust ‘em off, lace ‘em up and hit the rink. It’s time for couples skate at the roller disco.
With Ay Ay Ay, Matias Aguayo (formelly of Closer Music) departs from his more established electronic style and explores a full-on world of left-of-center songcraft riddled with layers of wild vocal effect buckshot.
Ay Ay Ay is a truly intriguing mix from this Chilean born musician who currently splits his time between Buenos Aires and Paris making music and djing. Matias is at his most playful on tracks such as “Rollerskate”, one of the release’s most light hearted and unapologetically fun highlights.
Facebook | MySpace | Kompact
Track of the Day…"War Bells" from Royal Bangs
From Let It Beep (2009)
Audio Eagle Records (US) / City Slang (Europe)
Listen to "War Bells" MP3
Royal Bangs hail from Knoxville, Tennessee and with their sophomore release Let It Beep, deliver a gunning mix of 70's guitar rock tinged with just enough vintage electro wonkiness. To help put this sound in perspective (or not as the case may be), the band cite such far ranging influences from Bruce Springsteen to the soundtrack of Blade Runner. Let It Beep kicks off with the excellent track "War Bells", and the joyride continues for another 11 refreshing tracks.
Check out a live session (from January 2009) from Royal Bangs on Daytrotter here.
Royal Bangs (Official) | MySpace | Twitter: royalbangs | Audio Eagle Records
Track of the Day..."I Felt Stupid" from The Drums
"I Felt Stupid"
TwentySeven Records (2009)
Listen to "I Felt Stupid" MP3
With "I Felt Stupid" from The Drums you can hold onto the increasingly fading memory of the dog days of summer. The Brooklyn duo (and Florida natives) delve into their New Wave influences and create a track which bops along on synths, Cure guitars and unabashedly shiny melodies. Lyrics of lost love mingle with talk of treks to the Eden that is the beach, where life seems slightly less complicated and "where we can finally be free". Grab the towels and lets go.
Check out the EP Summertime! From The Drums, out now on TwentySeven Records. Various UK dates for The Drums are scheduled throughout the UK in February 2010.
The Drums (Official) | MySpace | TwentySeven Records (MySpace)
Track of the Day… "100 doLLa biLL" from Monica Rush
"100 doLLa biLL"
From (To Be Released Album)
Listen to "100 doLLa biLL" MP3
A young veteran of the New York music scene, Indian-American Monica Rush is a prolific songwriter including the demo of “Bad Girl” for Brittany Spears. Her single, "100 doLLa biLL", takes a tongue in cheek spin on the playgirl being played for her cash.
The single provides a colorful mix of electronic, glam, funk, pop, and hipster-hop. Look for more from Monica Rush on her on her new album slated to drop soon.
Her video for “100 doLLa biLL”, directed by Chadd Harbold, is a cool, colorful, graphic art and lyrics driven piece that will get you moving and grinning. Video
Monica Rush (Official) | MySpace
Track of the Day… "May You Never" from Land of Talk
"May You Never"
From Fun and Laughter EP
Saddle Creek (2009)
Listen to "May You Never" MP3
Montreal's Land of Talk is back with a follow-up to the excellent 2008 release Some Are Lakes (produced by Bon Iver's Justin Vernon). The group, led by frontwoman Lizzie Powell (also part of the Broken Social Scene caravan) who is rebounding from vocal chord ailments earlier this year, has released the excellent EP entitled Fun and Laughter on the Omaha, Nebraska-based Saddle Creek Records. The EP includes 4 new tracks like the guitar driven change-up "May You Never", as well as videos for earlier releases, including the woozy standout "The Man Who Breaks Things (Dark Shuffle)". Look for a new full-length from the band in 2010.
Land of Talk (Official) | MySpace | Saddle Creek
Track of the Day… "Golden Chain" from Lake Heartbeat
From Trust in Numbers
Listen to "Golden Chain" MP3
Trust in Numbers is the debut release from Swedes Lake Heartbeat. The Gothenburg-based duo is made up of Janne Kask (formerly of Brainpool) on vocals and Kalla Kåks on guitar / bass. Put out by Service (home of bands such as The Embassy, The Tough Alliance and Jens Lekman), Trust in Numbers glows with hooks and bright, romantic pop. The album is produced by Dan Lissivik of other projects such as Studio and Fontän (listen to "Early Morning" from Fontän).
"Golden Chain" is our favorite track from the album, with its modern and sun bleached take on 60's guitar-pop, providing a welcome escape from a shortening of days and the nearing stretch of winter.
Lake Heartbeat (Official) | MySpace | Service
Track of the Day..."Blessa" from Toro y Moi
From Causers of This
Car Park Records (2009)
Listen to "Blessa" MP3
Toro y Moi is the solo project of The Heist and The Accomplice lead singer Chaz Bundick. “Blessa”, off his album Causers of This, is a unique sound that has elements of TV On The Radio, MGMT and crate robbers like Blockhead and R2DJ, but takes its own path. There is a psychedelic vibe behind the track like the best of Animal Collective and doesn’t run off the rails like many of his psych-pop contemporaries. What sets the track apart is the sexy yet maudlin station it orbits above.
Toro y Moi (Official) | MySpace
Track of the Day… "Low Files Tropical" from Get Back Guinozzi
"Low Files Tropical"
From Carpet Madness
FatCat Records (2009)
Listen to "Low Files Tropical" MP3
Get Back Guinozzi is a London / Toulouse -based quintet headed by friends Eglantine Gouzy and Fred Landini. The group thrives on a pick 'n' mix of influences from reggae, dub African, Tropicalia with a hefty dose of summery pop. One of the highlights from the group's debut album Carpet Madness is the infectious single "Low Files Tropical" - a breezy groove which highlights the wonderfully warm childlike vocals of Ms. Gouzy (you can check out her solo work here). Also, check out Get Back Guinozzi's take on the Junior Murvin song "Police and Thieves" (a free download of the track is available on the FatCat Records site).
The titillating video for "Low Files Tropical" was created by director Jean-Luc Charles and features a mix of footage of the band at the Midi-Festival in France and vintage super 8 films shot at the "Bingo Club" on the French Riviera. Watch.
Track of the Day… "Better Days" from Speech Debelle (with Micachu)
From Speech Therapy
Big Dada / Ninja Tune (2009)
Listen to "Better Days" MP3
Speech Debelle has come to the forefront this year with her win of the 2009 Barclycard Mercury Prize for her debut album Speech Therepy. Inspired by the likes of Ms. Dynamite (Mercury Prize winner in 2002), the 26-year-old South Londoner approached her label Big Dada back in 2005 looking to make a "hip hop version of Tracy Chapman". While far from the original brief, what results is a very different type of rap album. On Speech Therepy, Ms. Debelle combines various influences with organic jazz-inflected instrumentation. What you will immediately notice about Ms. Debelle is her connecting and genuine narrative - often distinctly intimate and personal. Speech Therapy often gives flesh to darker times, and with her Mercury Prize win, Ms. Debelle says that she is now ready to focus on the days ahead.
On "Better Days", one of the standouts from Speech Therapy, Ms. Debelle redirects her organic sound in a beat-centred direction, set off against her immediate and hopeful lyrics and Micachu's quietly melodic chorus. This track will get in your head and stay there - guaranteed.
Check out Speech Debelle's MySpace page for concert date updates, including the 1 December show at Nouveau Casino (Paris).
Speech Debelle (Official) | MySpace | Watch
Track of the Day…. "Snow" from Lisa Germano
From Magic Neighbor
Young God Records (2009)
Listen to "Snow" MP3
After a hiatus, Lisa Germano is back with her new release Magic Neighbor on Young God Records. Much has been said about her confessional and intimate style of song writing. The track "Snow" from the new release continues in this vein, building on Lisa's impressive solo catalog which spans almost two decades. From the simple piano and strings which occasionally reel as if stumbling, only then to right themselves, Lisa's intimate and guarded vocals dare to rise, both personal and contentedly spent. As is the case with this track, as well as many of Lisa's songs, there is a unifying sense of comforting and appeasement, from wherever it may come. With Magic Neighbor, Lisa continues to prove herself to be a powerful artist, unwavering in her devotion to pursuing her singular vision.
So much melancholy beauty.
Lisa Germano Official | Young God Records
Track of the Day… "Falleg Depurd" from Blindfold
From Faking Dreams
CinePop Records (2009)
Listen to "Falleg Depurd" MP3
Blindfold are an Icelandic quartet now living in London, creating watery and muslin wrapped indie-pop. The group cites Radiohead and Sigur Rós as influences, while the more pop oriented strains of Coldplay and Keane are not far off the mark. One of the standout tracks from the group's second release Faking Dreams is "Falleg Depurd", a tender lament which gently builds, only then to quietly slip away. This track highlights the vocal and writing style of the group's frontman, founder and composer Biggi Hilmarsson. Blindfold also has an uncanny ability to translate their sound live, retaining the melting richness of their cinematic sound.
MySpace | CinePop Records
Track of the Day… "Early Morning" from Fontän
Information Records (2009)
Listen to "Early Morning" MP3
Welcome to the sound of kraut-pop revisited. Fontän's "Early Morning" is an epic trek through retro electro sounds, treated token vocals and wailing electric guitars tumbling over 80's synth beats. The duo of Jesper Jarold and Johan Melin hail from the (unlikely) burgeoning musical hotbed that is Gothenburg in southern Sweden - home to acts such as El Perro del Mar, Lake Heartbeat, Air France, The Tough Alliance and The Embassy (and the birthplace of Jens Lekman and José González).
Fontän lead us in a game of frenetic musical hopscotch across their excellent release Wintherhwila - never content to stay with any singular sound for very long. As a result, Fontän's musical ADD is our beguiling reward.
Watch (fan video)
Official | MySpace | Information Records
Track of the Day… "Good Morning" from Bikini Machine
From The Full Album
Platinum Records (2009)
Listen to "Good Morning" MP3
France's Bikini Machine (whose name is taken from the B-movie Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine) thrive on inspiration from the sounds of 50's / 60's subculture - coupling vintage guitars and melodies with modern rock and electro sounds. The imprint of Jon Spencer as producer and mixer on "Good Morning" is undeniable - playing here with many of his hallmark sounds. The track revs up and swings out in full retro-garage-pop mode, while French songstress Laetitia Shériff lends her backing vocals to this raucous opener to the quintet's excellent release The Full Album.
Track of the Day..."Can We Stay" from The Woodlands
"Can We Stay"
From The Woodlands
We hope to see much more of this band in the future and look forward to getting a sense of their live show.
Listen to "Can We Stay” MP3
Track of the Day…"Two Dots" from Lusine
From A Certain Distance
Ghostly International (2009)
Listen to "Two Dots" MP3
"Two Dots" is the first single from the release A Certain Distance from Seattle's Lusine (a/k/a Jeff McIlwain). On this track, McIlwain (a sometimes soundtrack composer) manipulates the organic sounds of drums and strings, setting them off against the crisp, accented vocals of Finland's Vilja Larjosto. The strength of this track lies in its seeming simplicity, altered snares racing at a steady clip coupled with an uplifting, melodic chorus which foregoes the usual dance lyrics, instead seeing Larjosto asking who is responsible for the not so benign consequences of geometry (relationships - as - trigonometry). "Two Dots" is just one of the highlights on this excellent second release from Lusine on Ghostly International.
The "Two Dots" single also contains a remix by Dave Pezzner (of Jacob London) as well McIlwain's own dance floor rethink.
Check Lusine's MySpace page for a list of European dates through the end of November 2009.
Lusine (Official) | MySpace | Watch
Track of the Day…"Tall Countryside" from Shannon Wright
from Honeybee Girls
Vicious Circle (2009)
Listen to "Tall Countryside” MP3
Wright's "Tall Countryside" from her album Honeybee Girls is a beautiful and melodic piece that combines her soft, commanding voice, a steady fingered guitar and a lonely snare drum keeping time. It feels like a walk through the woods on a distant, autumn afternoon watching the sun punch wholes through the falling orange leaves. It is an evocative tale from a powerful singer-songwriter.
Shannon Wright (Official) | MySpace
Track of the Day..."Bicycle" from Memory Tapes
from Seek Magic
Acephale Records / Sincerely Yours, 2009
Listen to "Bicycle” MP3
Weird Tapes, Memory Cassette and Memory Tapes are all monikers of one-man-band Dayve Hawk who has recently released his first full-length Seek Magic. Liquid mercury tracks stream along on drum machine beats, detailed layered melodies and Dayve's pitched and muted vocals, creating an album of energized, but confidently chilled, electro-pop tracks.
Give a listen to the first single "Bicycle" which ebbs and flows with late 80's New Order-style electro-pop guitars, synths and sharp-edged beats. The track is also available for download at We're Tapes.
Pick up Seek Magic from Rough Trade Shops and get a bonus CD
Official | MySpace | Acephale Records | Sincerely Yours
Track of the Day…"Boys Don't Cry" from Norman Palm
"Boys Don't Cry"
Ratio Records / Morr Music, 2009
Listen to "Boys Don't Cry” MP3
Along the way between Berlin, Paris and Mexico City, Norman Palm assembled a mesmerizing collection of often winsome songs, pairing each with his own artwork to create the unique release / book entitled Songs. The original run published by Ratio Records having quickly been picked up by fans, Songs as a book / CD package is now enjoying a wide re-release via Morr Music. On the album, Norman provides most of the instrumentation himself and worked with Finnish producer Jonas Verwijnen (Annie, The Whitest Boy Alive), looking to the basic structure of the songs as his musical plumb line.
One of Norman's oldest tracks which appears on Songs is the sympathetic cover of The Cure's "Boys Don't Cry". Norman approaches the song with a sense of melancholy and deliberate stillness. The track was first released on a limited edition vinyl together with a cover of Cindy Lauper's "Girls Just Want To Have Fun". Norman told us that he gravitated to these songs "because they are both icons of the 80's, saying so much about the roles of women and men at the time. In 'Boys Don't Cry' it's about the guys who can't really show their feelings because they are not supposed to as guys. The song is really sad, but in the original version its up-beat and people dance to it…. So I wanted to give the song its meaning back by singing it in the saddest way possible, even adding this moody almost whining trombone (which was played by Sebastian Maschat from The Whitest Boy Alive)."
Norman celebrates the release of Songs in France with a show at the Pop In in Paris on 30 September.
Norman Palm (Official) | MySpace
Track of the Day..."6174" from Don't Wait Animate
Album to be released in 2010
Listen to "6174” MP3
Fusing indie and dubstep, Londoners Don't Wait Animate create a terrifically warped and frenetic vibe, which as the story goes, was first christened "strumstep" by an excited (and rather lit) fan after a show. Each of the members of this five-piece brings to the group varied musical influences and affinities, and together they meticulously distill these into a heady and genre / era crossing concoction. Keep these guys on your radar!
The band's debut single "6174" won't be released until early 2010, but they have been kind enough to let us give you an advance listen!
Watch the video for "6174".
Don't Wait Animate (Official) | MySpace
Track of the Day..."Halleluja!" from [ingenting]
from Tomhet; idel tomhet
Listen to "Halleluja!” MP3
Thanks go out to Kristian Dahl of Lacrosse for turning us on to this steller pop track from Sweden's [ingenting]! "Halleluja!", sung in Swedish, confidently swaggers along on Brit-pop riffs and a joyous melodic chorus. Its no wonder why this indie-pop track has been a top play on Swedish radio over the past few months. While the subtleties of the Swedish language may escape us, this delightfully addictive tune remains firmy stuck in our heads.
"Halleluja!" is the first single from the album Tomhet, idel tomhet (which, in a rather stark contrast to the track, we understand means "emptiness, nothing but emptiness") and is out now on Labrador. Watch
[ingenting] (Official) | MySpace
Track of the Day…"Bitch of the Bitches" from Le Corps Mince de Françoise
"Bitch of the Bitches"
from Bitch of Bitches
Listen to "Bitch of the Bitches” MP3
Emma and Mia Kemppianen and Malin Nyqvist hail from Helsinki and make up the frenetic electro-pop trio that is Le Corps Mince de Françoise ("The Slim Body of Françoise"). These young ladies whip up furious musical dust devils and scatter in self-knowing and biting lyrics. The first single "Bitch of Bitches" off their debut album of the same name is produced by Berliners New Judas who also had a hand in Annie's release Don't Stop. An ode to the second sex, the ladies declare on "Bitch of the Bitches": "I'm gonna marry Agent Cooper, he'd be good as a wife! I don't want to marry you, stay out of my life!"
Bitch of Bitches is out now on Stimulus.
LCMdF (Official) | MySpace
Track of the Day…"I Talk to the Trees" from Masha Qrella
"I Talk To The Trees"
from Speak Low - Loewe and Weil In Exile
Listen to "I Talk To The Trees” MP3
Berliner Masha Qrella continues her solo efforts with her third release Speak Low - Loewe and Weil In Exile and creates a laid-back, lo-fi pop gem with the standout track "I Talk To The Trees". On the album, Masha shares her surprising and blessedly un-theatrical take on songs by Kurt Weill and Frederick Loewe. The album was born out of a 2007 project with Berlin's Haus der Kulturen der Welt as part of its "New York - Berlin" celebrations. The challenge of the project was to find new and fresh approaches to Weill and Loewe songs, and Masha unquestionably succeeds in avoiding the obvious pitfalls and gives the tracks a welcome twist. Speak Low... is out now on Morr Music.
Morr Music | MySpace
Track of the Day…"Bloodshed in the Woodshed" from Modernaire
"Bloodshed in the Woodshed"
from the EP Velvet Never Dries
Listen to "Bloodshed in the Woodshed” MP3
With "Bloodshed in the Woodshed', Manchester's Modernaire flirts with theatrics and a sense of intrigue, juxtoposing a dark and grisley tale of a spurned lover's revenge against a wonderfully catchy and addictive electro-pop tune. The track was released awhile back on the group's Velvet Never Dries EP but is getting well deserved recent attention on compilations such as the Sisters album now out on SisterPhunk.
SisterPhunk | MySpace
Track of the Day..."Royan" by Frànçois and The Atlas Mountains
from the EP Her River Raves Recollections
Listen to "Royan” MP3
"Royan" is the gently unfolding opening track from the warm and intimate EP Her River Raves Recollections from Frànçois and The Atlas Mountains. Frànçois, a Frenchman who has relocated to Bristol, shared with us about his new release which he describes as "a sort of collection of songs recorded at different places and times, but they have in common the feel of water. One side of the vinyl is the River Side, and the other is the Seaside. I need to go in the water very often. If I don't swim in the sea or the river for a long time, I start feeling confused … All the songs on the EP refer to that feeling in one way or another. It's an intimate affair - a lot of it was recorded on a 4 track that fits in the palm of my hand. So when I recorded it, it was like talking quietly to someone. I recorded a lot of it outdoors, picking up the surrounding sounds."
Her River Raves Recollections is available now on Stich Stich Records. Watch for the release of his new long player entitled Plaines Inondables later this month, as well as our upcoming interview with Frànçois!
Frànçois (Official) | MySpace
Track Of The Day..."Linger with Pleasure" by Ane Brun
"Linger With Pleasure"
from Changing of the Seasons
Listen to "Linger With Pleasure ” MP3
"Linger With Pleasure" is an all too brief and mesmerizing track inspired by an island off the Norwegian coast where her father is from -- a longing for that rare and fleeting feeling of tranquility and clarity. The beautfiul album Changing of the Seasons highlights some of the best of Ane's songwriting and her ability to craft the rawest of bittersweet love songs.
Ane begins her Sketches Tour 2009 next month with shows throughout Norway, Sweden and Denmark with a final show in Paris on 17 November at Café de la Danse (Changing of the Seasons is scheduled for a September release in France). Check her official site for updated tour dates.
Ane Brun (Official) | MySpace