I recently posted the first of these yearly compilations from Quarter Inch Collective, consisting of current Irish indie bands covering their favorite songs from the previous year. As good as this is, it is amazingly being given away freely at their bandcamp page. Quite the glimpse into a transpiring music scene, appreciate and enjoy!
Art rock with an attitude, American Royalty stitches together the most eclectic of sounds. And while the songwriting strongly relies on soulful meanderings of repeated punk-rock thematics, everything else seems to be in a constant state of rebellious anarchy. The vocals start as an imitation of Maroon 5, but quickly demonstrate a thrilling lack of self-awareness that Adam Levine could never limit himself to. It all becomes tongue-in-cheek “I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain. Was gonna kick it all the same”, consisting of enough palpable forward momentum to keep you listening through what seems to be almost improvisational headbanging, jammings out to electro-guitar and honkytonk piano all the same. If this is a taste of things to come, it’s a small offering, but one perfectly spiced.
As tight an electronic sound I’ve heard in some while, Teeel’s crisp synthrementation builds stealthily in and around the margins of your aural concentration. Indistinctly dwelling in an 80s streetlit miasma, think Bag Raiders or early Cut Copy meeting FrYars at a Tron-enthused subway station rave with Robocop checking names at the door. Also, some neat lyrics for the single inspired by the movie Gremlins.
Watching, or rather listening to, Teen Daze’s sound evolve over the years from the jumbled and hazy mess of its infancy to the smoothed out and refined construction it now sports has been like watching a painter build a canvas from scratch: applying, adjusting, covering, and removing his marks until the image settles well. Everything is inching closer to it’s right place, and the results are already producing inveterate euphoria.
Also, I’m moving to Brooklyn. Don’t be jealous, y’all.
Craft Spells recently announced a follow-up to last year’s debut LP, Idle Labor, via Captured Tracks. ”Still Left With Me” is the lead single off their upcoming Gallery EP, set to be released on May 15th.
With the dance inciting beats of Body Language infused with the dark electronic meddlesomness of Purity Ring, Labyrinth Ear’s EP impels and crushes you synchronously, trapping you in a seemingly endless loop of sonic soul-searching. Now doesn’t that sound like fun?
Also, you should check out Giraffage’s delicious remix of “Humble Bones”, which we’re offereing as a preview for Remix Compilation 03. Enjoy!
Holy Fuck, Black Moth Super Rainbow, and Shugo Tokumaru have all teamed up and have covered each other’s songs. It’s a lovely and very cheerful EP, which you can download for free over at Hand Drawn Dracula’s Facebook page!
The layered guitar riffs give this band away so fast, as though they couldn’t find enough influences out of the past decade of indie pop-rock. At first I thought they were channeling Bombay Bicycle Club while listening to “Colours” digress into an electronic wave breaking against a melodic shoreline. Then the singing began on the first track “echoists” and I started searching for a direct credit to Interpol’s vocal stylings, though if I had found one there would have had to be an apology to Tom Chaplin, the lead singer of Keane, by the end of the third song. But wait! are those Cut Copy synth-laden hooks coming at you from the outer regions of the production booth? I won’t blather, you get the point. I can see this band painting the town red, roses on graffiti walls. I can see them riding around setting fire to mailboxes, only on their trikes. It’s an ep homage to the indie we’ve all been shamed into denying we enjoy oh so very much. So yeah, put it on when you’re feeling down and thinking’s at the end of your thoughts. You won’t be disappointed; that would be near impossible without any expectations.
The Books broke up. This isn’t a revelation; it came to light in a Pitchfork interview with Nick at the end of January. Among other things he cryptically cites “an extraordinarily painful year coming to the realization that there was no way forward for the band,” stating “It seems the air has gone out of the Books for the last time.” As one who has nothing to express here but sadness at what has to be considered an early demise of one of the most artistic groups to come around during my musical lifetime, I will skip over any implicit suggestions behind the breakup held within such song titles as F U C-3PO or Too Late to Topologize, and listen to my old Books LPs, appreciating the old before anticipating the new. That being said, Zammuto’s debut stands strong in the same found sound vein The Books mined so deep, adding a more traditional songwriting element to the repeated samples-turned-metaphors. The record is an absolute must-listen, and a welcome, refreshing addition to this new year. Below are interviews both with Nick Zammuto and Paul de Jong, whom we can all hope to hear more new things from soon.
Some glitchy tunes made by a couple of guys from Dublin. Heady dance music giving off surreal vibes. I find it to be topical, but situationally aware. Definitely worth a listen for fans of Star Slinger.
This is the debut of Gremlins, a side project from Mat Cothran of Coma Cinema, Katie Lee of Braids, Patrick Jeffords of Toro y Moi, and Sam Ray of Ricky Eat Acid. Written during the latter part of 2011 at Page Chilton’s house in Columbia, SC, this is some weird shit, but there’s no arguing its aesthetic or pedigree. So, download it fo’ free at their bandcamp and hear what cooked up from this melting pot of emerging musical minds.
We post about Fiveng on here pretty much every time he releases a new single, which, in excellent form, is rather often. Why, you may ask? Because his music is fucking awesome! So, download, listen, enjoy, support, and keep on keeping on.
"I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity." - Edgar Allan Poe
Niva is the moniker of Christian Niva, a Stockholm resident who doubles as a dream-pop factory. An up-and-coming artist, I dare say! Slow Magic’s remix smoothes it all out for you so your ears can sit back and worry not about missing a beat.
New ep from William Bevan a.k.a. Burial, an electronic composer who doesn’t make you ashamed to admit that you’re obsessively listening to what incipiently sounds like dubstep. His beats are hard to classify as any singular genre though-containing elements of two-step garage and ambient electronica-and are filled with lovingly-wrought production filtered over creamy glitch to create truly satisfying club tracks. Fun fact: Bevan is a graduate of the Elliott School in London, whose other musical alumni include Four Tet, The XX, and members of The Maccabees and Hot Chip.
This is pretty great, a mixtape put together by Sacred Animals for Forty Ounce Clothing featuring tracks from Observer Drift, Oliver Tank, and Come On Live Long remixed by Bantum. Here is a full tracklist and free download.
One of many excellent electronic beats-based releases from Relief in Abstract Records, an Orlando, Florida progressive record label and artistic collective promoting the sounds of experimental, independent musicians and producers.
Mount Washington is the band formerly known as Washington, hailing from the town of Tromsø in dark, northern Norway. Founding members Rune Simonsen, Andreas Høyer and Esko Pedersen grew up in Tromsø together. They had already been making music for several years when they formed Washington and travelled some hundred miles south to record their début EP (2004) in Trondheim. Since then the band have released three LPs and toured all over Europe. In 2011, coinciding with the recording of their fourth album, Washington became Mount Washington, in order to mark a new beginning. Their first album as Mount Washington is the self-titled Mount Washington, released in early 2012.
One of the tracks off Steffaloo’s upcoming remix ep. Her On Fire EP, released last year and available freely through jaxart, is a wonderful introduction to her wispy soulfolk vocals and dreamtelling lyrical proclivities. A pleasantly original emerging artist well worth your time to get behind.
"The water is your friend. You don’t have to fight with the water, just share the same spirit as the water, and it will help you move." - Alexander Popov
Swimwear is the DIY recording alias of Tim Derricourt, co-man of Dappled Cities. Blending home-spun dance production with live instruments and sweet pop hooks, Swimwear is wild, camp dance music made to make you feel good.
I first heard Delta Spirit in a cleared-out warehouse space located behind a dive bar on the south side of Atlanta. They were opening for Dr. Dog, and were by far the better band that night, on drums and keytar, trash cans, belted bells, and broken bottles. The energy of that show was straight out dialed in on HIGH and the foot never left the gas pedal, driving the crowd to dance in and on top of itself. Sometime later, standing outside another of their shows and holding conversations of literature through chain-smoked cigarettes with their lead singer as he championed the necessity of poverty in all chases not easily won, this thought came to me: Delta Spirit doesn’t go out of its way to present an ideal in their music. They write what they know, the sounds of life well lived and without fear. He said they were going to prove their naysayers wrong. Won’t we all.
"Love is an exploding cigar we willingly smoke." - Lynda Barry
Sure, this isn’t something that we’d normally post and I know I’m a bit late to this one, but Jesus Christ I cannot stop hitting replay! I feel a fool for neglecting Scissor Sisters after their 2004 debut.
I can’t find a purchase link, so you should just visit their website. I figure it’s just a promotional single.
“abstinentiae non solum a malo perpetrando, verum etiam cogitando” wrote Marcus Aurelius in his Meditations. Abstain, not only from evil deeds, but also from evil thoughts. One way to take this being, seek the purest of forms. Those I’ve found in music tend to be classical in nature, the above being one such example, which features in an anthology of selected compositions written by Phillip Glass and released for his 75th birthday. Without question one of the most influential composers of the 20th century, listen closely and you cannot fail to hear seminal influences of modern scoring and instrumentation you might just think was based off something you’ve recently listened to. But it isn’t; it came before.
Here We Go Magic… again? Already this band is readying their third studio album, A Different Ship, to be released May 8th through Secretly Canadian, and seem to be continuing the evolution of their sound, cyclical bass beats driving through a cavalcade of lush electronic arcs, masterstrokes of painted brushland, the chalkboard black tunnel through which Road Runner always ran.
"Nothing makes time pass or shortens the way like a thought that absorbs in itself all the faculties of the one who is thinking. External existence is then like a sleep of which this thought is the dream. Under its influence, time has no more measure, space has no more distance." - Alexandre Dumas