Wednesday, October 22, 2014

3 Songs: On Repeat


Afternoons – “Say Yes” (The L.A.-based indie-pop 6-piece released their long-awaited debut album, Say Yes, this week via eenie meenie Records.  The album was produced by Aaron Espinoza of Earlimart who captured their infectious, danceable and arena-worthy synth-driven sound that recalls Fun. along with their penchant for sunny, sing-along melodies that bring to mind likeminded L.A. band the Little Ones.  Check out the exuberant title track here.)   http://afternoonsmusic.com/   

Cold War Kids – “Hot Coals” (The scrappy veteran indie rock band released their fifth album, Hold My Home this week via Downtown Records.  Produced by guitarist Dan Gallucci, formerly of Modest Mouse, the new album offers up even more anthemic and soulful hooks alongside a much brighter production along with the addition of drummer Joe Plummer, also of Modest Mouse and The Shins.)  http://www.coldwarkids.com     

Jessie Ware – “Say You Love Me” (The minimalist R&B songstress returns with her highly-anticipated sophomore album Tough Love, out now via Interscope Records.  She reaches new heights on the album as her soulful voice soars above thicker beats and church choirs and this powerful, emotionally-charged standout single co-written by Ed Sheeran is the perfect example of the broadened and bold new sound found on the stellar new album.) http://jessieware.com      


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Primus & The Chocolate Factory With The Fungi Ensemble


The best and most definitive Primus lineup - featuring drummer Tim “Herb” Alexander, guitarist Larry Lalonde and bassist/vocalist Les Claypool - has returned to release their strangest album yet and first full-length album since 1995.  Out today via ATO Records is Primus & The Chocolate Factory, where Les and crew pays homage to and re-imagines the soundtrack to the iconic 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, as only they could, putting an even darker twist on the already quirky songs to make them their own.  The mysterious Fungi Ensemble provides all of the ancillary ornamentation such as the vibraphone, marimba and strings that make the score so unique.           
In addition, Primus is set to bring the album to life on tour complete with an elaborate stage show, Primus-branded chocolate bars and demented Oompa Loompas.     

Check out the stomping rhythm and psychedelic guitar freakouts on “Golden Ticket” here: 

Listen to their lovingly odd take on the soundtrack’s most well-known song “Pure Imagination” here: 


For tour dates and more info: http://primusville.com

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

3 Songs: On Repeat – featuring an MP3 PREMIERE from Lac La Belle


Lac La Belle – “The Border” (The Detroit folk duo of multi-instrumentalists and songwriters Jennie Knaggs and Nick Schillace released their excellent third album, A Friend Too Long last week.  Led by some fancy Fahey-like fretwork and Knagg’s lilting vocals, their rootsy brand of organic Americana is infused with catchy pop-leaning melodies, stomping percussion and some Appalachian hoots and hollers for good measure.  The album was recorded during the chilling “Polar Vortex” earlier this year with a full band treatment for the first time and the result is a timeless yet modern set of songs and their fullest and most complete album yet.  Check out the flickering guitars and yearning lyrical sentiment of the standout single below.) http://laclabelle.bandcamp.com/album/a-friend-too-long   

Stream: 

Stars – “Turn It Up” (The Canadian art-rock vets return with their seventh album, No One Is Lost, out now via ATO Records.  The album was recorded above a dance club and the throbbing beats below greatly influenced their danceable, synth-smeared and shiny indie-pop.  Check out the soaring synths, bright horns and playful playground-like chants of the anthemic standout single here.) http://www.youarestars.com/home/

                                  
Jen Wood – “Run With The Wild Ones” (The Seattle songstress – also known for singing on The Postal Service album – released her new album, Wilderness this week as a joint venture between Radar Light & New Granada Records.  The highly melodic yet experimental album features electronic elements like Gameboy/Chiptune melodies that were composed by Andy Myers of Stenobot and Supercommuter and it was written on piano as opposed to guitar - a first for the songwriter - for her best and most diverse album yet.) http://jenwood.bandcamp.com/        

Stream: https://soundcloud.com/jen-wood-music/run-with-the-wild-ones

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

3 Songs: On Repeat


Minus The Bear – "Cat Calls & Ill Means" (Seattle indie rock vets return with Lost Loves a new album out now on Dangerbird Records collecting unreleased songs from sessions dating from 2006 to 2013 that didn’t quite flow with their respective albums.  The standout single here - taken from the critically-adored Planet Of Ice sessions - is built upon a buzzing bass line and filled with their signature synths, fancy fretwork and ear-worming melodies.  The result is a strong and cohesive album that is a Pisces Iscariot-like testament to their craft.) http://minusthebear.com/

Field Report – “Marigolden” (The Milwaukee-based indie-folk quartet led by the rich, earthy voice of singer-songwriter Chris Porterfield released their stunning second album, Marigolden this week via Partisan Records.  The new album progresses their wistful and organic folk sound to add electronic elements and beautiful female vocals from Tamara Lindeman of Weather Station for a sophomore slump-busting album that shouldn’t go unnoticed.)  http://www.partisanrecords.com/artists/field-report/     

Night School – “Birthday” (The new Oakland-based trio led by singer Alexandra Morte of Whirr and Camera Shy perfectly blends lovely 60’s doo-wop harmonies with fuzzy shoegaze guitars, synths and gritty garage-punk on their very promising 4-song debut EP, Heart Beat out now via Graveface Records.) https://www.facebook.com/nightscool  
Stream: https://soundcloud.com/graveface/birthday

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Weezer – “Everything Will Be Alright In The End”


After celebrating the 20th anniversary of the release of their seminal debut album earlier this year, Weezer return with Everything Will Be Alright In The End, their ninth studio album, out now via Republic Records. 

Led by the standout first single, “Back To The Shack”; Ric Ocasek returns to the producer’s chair and lyrically Rivers Cuomo makes tongue-in-cheek meta-references to the band’s heyday in’94 as the new album rocks with some of The Blue Album’s crunchy riffs and fun, arena-sized power-pop hooks as a welcome return to form.  Additionally, Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino duets on the playful surf-pop standout “Go Away” and the chugging Middle Eastern-tinged “Cleopatra” revives some of Pinkerton’s emotional exuberance. 

With Everything Will Be Alright In The End, Weezer delivers an album thick with nostalgia and knowingly, enough of the band’s best attributes so that the goofy songs like “Beverly Hills” and albums like Raditude can be more easily forgiven and the band can be celebrated once again with their best post-90’s album.        

Stream “Cleopatra” here:


For more info: http://www.weezer.com/

Friday, October 03, 2014

Free Friday: Earl Boykins – “Everybody Like Dogs” EP


Earlier this week the New Paltz, NY based jangle-punk band Earl Boykins released their new EP Everybody Likes Dogs on limited edition cassette via Forged Artifacts.  To celebrate, they have the digital version of the 5-song EP up on Bandcamp as a pay-what-you-want download.
Led by the standout single, “Lance Armstrong” with its driving rhythm, bright melodies and elastic 90’s guitar tone; this very promising new collection of songs streamlines the fuzzed-out noise-addled hardcore outbursts of their debut EP, FRIENDS - released earlier this year – and allows the band’s infectious pop chops to come to the forefront alongside jangly guitars and cleaner production that only heightens the anticipation for a full-length release. 

Stream/Download the Everybody Likes Dogs EP here:


For more info: https://www.facebook.com/Earlboykinsband

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

3 Songs: On Repeat


Soft Swells – “Floodlights” (Led by singer-songwriter Tim Williams, Soft Swells has swollen to become a fully formed band and the anthemic synth-smeared surf-inspired and folk-drenched indie-rock on their hotly-anticipated sophomore album, Floodlights – out now on Modern Outsider – is much bigger, bolder and better as a result.) http://www.softswells.com/  

The Rural Alberta Advantage – “Terrified” (The beloved Canadian indie-folk trio released their long-awaited third album, Mended With Gold this week via Saddle Creek Records.  The new album deals with loss and heartbreak and its painful and sometimes joyful aftermath.  The standout first single here with its foreboding piano and biting lyrics that contrast nicely with soaring vocal harmonies and a driving rhythm is the perfect re-introduction.) http://www.theraa.com/      

Lunchbox – “Tom, What’s Wrong?” (Now a duo, Tim Brown and Donna McKean recently returned with Lunchbox Loves You, their first album in over ten years.  Released on Jigsaw Records, the excellent new album is a sugar rush of fuzzed-out 60’s bubblegum-inspired dreampop with jangly guitars, bursts of bright horns and strings and insanely catchy melodies reminiscent of the 60’s-indebted indie-pop Apples In Stereo and Dressy Bessy released in the 90’s.) http://jigsawrecords.bandcamp.com/album/pzl057-lunchbox-lunchbox-loves-you
Download: http://jigsaw-records.com/sounds/Lunchbox-Tom_What's_Wrong.mp3

Friday, September 26, 2014

Free Friday: Kicklighter – “The Fascinating Thinking Machine”


Kicklighter is the Tallahassee-based band led by Everett Young.  The Fascinating Thinking Machine, their debut album was self-released earlier this year as a pay-what-you-want download via the band’s Bandcamp page.  Young, who has a PhD in political psychology picked up the guitar four years ago at the age of 45 after some uncertainty in the job market and has hit the ground running, now giving lessons to other aspiring musicians.  On the album he plays the guitar, keyboards and harmonica and the sound he creates is a throwback to smart 80’s-leaning pop-rock that brings to mind acts like Tears For Fears yet with touches of 70’s classic rock, 60’s pop and acoustic folk for good measure.    

“Until You See The Sun” opens the album with shadowy cinematic synth flourishes, treble-thin guitars and a rolling rhythm that propels the song until the sing-along chorus hits like a ray of sunshine for a standout moment.   A loping bass line and steady acoustic guitars drive the earnest folk-pop tune “Building A Robot” which showcases Young’s smooth vocal style.  Next, “The Sultan Of Brunei” adds some laid back 70’s soft rock flavor with glassy keys and an arrangement of French horn, trumpet and flugelhorn to the catchy call-and-response vocal melodies.  Another standout, “When Howie Dressed Me Down” features a jittery New Wave-inspired rhythm, glimmering synths and a melodic guitar solo.  The eleven-track album’s centerpiece is ‘The Professor” which sets Young’s personal journey to his music career alongside a bouncy island rhythm that sounds like James Taylor fronting the Talking Heads.         
Everett Young and Kicklighter have created an inspiring pure pop pleasure with their promising debut album The Fascinating Thinking Machine.     


Stream/Download The Fascinating Thinking Machine here: 


For more info: http://www.kicklightermusic.com/

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

3 Songs: On Repeat


S – “Brunch” (S is the solo project of Jenn Ghetto - formerly of Carissa's Weird - her excellent new album; Cool Choices is out now on Hardly Art.  Produced by Chris Walla - now formerly of Death Cab For Cutie - the album is split between melancholic and personal Elliot Smith-like piano ballads and shimmering, catchy guitar-led indie-pop that recalls 90’s Pacific Northwest indie rock.) http://www.hardlyart.com/s.html


Whirr – “Mumble” (The quintet melds thick textural shoegaze guitars and whisper-y pop vocals with elements of punk and metal along with hypnotic rhythms and soaring atmospherics on their stunning sophomore album Sway, out now via Graveface Records.  Check out the surging and stomping standout single here.) http://www.graveface.com/whirr.html     


Terry Malts – “Let You In” (The San Fran. retro-punk trio – featuring former members of Magic Bullets - have released a new 4-song EP, titled Insides via Slumberland Records.  The first single heard here is their catchiest track yet with a driving, hip-swiveling rhythm and blasts of surf-rock guitar lines that break through the power-pop fuzz for a standout moment.) https://www.facebook.com/terrymalts   
Stream: https://soundcloud.com/slumberland-records/let-you-in

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tweedy - "Sukierae"


Recording under the moniker of Tweedy, Jeff Tweedy of Wilco along with his son, Spencer have just released their debut album, Sukierae via Wilco’s dBpm Records imprint.  Originally planned as a solo album for Jeff, Spencer helped from the beginning to shape the 20 tracks that make up the album with his creative and cagey jazz-inspired rhythms that push Jeff in new and exciting directions.

Opening track “Please Don’t Let Me Be So Understood”, the stuttering “Diamond Light, Pt. 1” and the psychedelic, classic rock-like “World Away” with its Led Zeppelin-esque stomp highlight what Spencer’s drumming brings to the table.  Elsewhere, Jeff’s trademark power-pop leaning roots rock sound is intact on many of the songs including the laid-back and loping “Summer Noon” and the shuffling “Wait For Love” with its whistling solo and sincere sentiment.  Many of the songs touch on Jeff’s wife Linda’s battle with non-Hodgkin lymphoma; the album’s title is her nickname.   

Though the album is pretty much stripped-down, Jeff and Spencer are joined by guests Scott McCaughey (The Minus Five, REM) who provided keyboards and Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig of the Brooklyn-band Lucius who lent their gorgeous close-knit harmonies to several of the tracks including the delirious standout, “I’ll Sing It” and the subtly sunny 60’s folk-pop tune “Low Key”.

With the solid Sukierae, Tweedy turns his solo project into a family affair and the result is much better than expected. 


Stream “Diamond Light, Pt.1” here:


For more info: www.wilcoworld.net

Friday, September 19, 2014

Free Friday: Victory Records Fall 2014 Label Sampler


Chicago indie king-pins Victory Records recently released a label sampler as a free digital download via their website as an introduction to their current roster and their upcoming Fall releases.

The 13-track sampler opens with a nice one-two punch; first with Islander's modern take on hardcore-laced nu-metal that recalls both Deftones and P.O.D. and then Meridian's anthemic emotionally-charged hardcore that fits right in alongside former label mates A Day To Remember and Thursday.

Other standouts include Christian metalcore band Darkness Divided who offer up a thunderous slice of energy from their excellent debut album, Written In Blood and tech-metal band Wretched throw in some 80's thrash and 90's melodic death metal for good measure.  One of their most recent signings, Feed Her To The Sharks are represented with a track from their yet-to-be-titled or released new album.  Also included is a new track from psycho-billy pioneers Reverend Horton Heat, who released their great comeback album Rev earlier this year on Victory.  Rounding out the sampler are choice tracks from the latest albums from Emmure, Sister Sin, Close Your Eyes, Comeback Kid,  The Bunny The Bear, and Il Nino as well as a new track from Tear Out The Heart's upcoming new album.

Download the Victory Records Fall 2014 Sampler here: http://bit.ly/1tOyX9f

For more info: www.victoryrecords.com

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

3 Songs: On Repeat


Rev Gusto – “Still There” (In April the K.C.-based 60’s garage-pop purveyors released a 7’ inch as part of The Too Much Rock podcast’s Single Series.  The infectiously catchy A-side here is a colorfully jangly slice of hip-swiveling Kinks-like pop that only heightens the anticipation for their debut full-length due later this year via High Dive Records.  The B-side is a faithful cover of Graham Parker's New Wave power-popper "Local Girls".) http://highdiverecords.com/index.php/rev-gusto/   



Pink Frost – “Seek And Recover” (Hot on the heels of their stellar sophomore album Sundowning released last fall, comes the release of a new EP entitled, Traitors.  Out this week via Smart Like Virus Records it contains 4 more perfect opportunities to hear them blend their anthemic 90’s alt-rock hooks with their blazing psych-rock and stoner-rock meets shoegaze guitar sound.) http://pinkfrost.bandcamp.com/album/traitors



Natalia Zukerman – “Courage To Change” (The Brooklyn-based indie-folk singer-songwriter and guitarist released her dynamic sixth album, Come Thief, Come Fire this week via Talisman Records.  Her unique take on Americana is informed by everything from jazz and blues to country and even shuffling bossa nova and is highlighted by her smoky, sultry voice and cinematic storytelling.) http://nataliazukerman.com      

Stream: https://soundcloud.com/natalia-zukerman/courage-to-change

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

3 Songs: On Repeat


David Vandervelde – “One More Time” (For Shadow Sides, his third album, the singer-songwriter recorded directly to a four-track, using no computers for a purely analog affair.  The new album released as a joint venture between Secretly Canadian, Park The Van and Burger Records is his most personal yet; dealing with addiction and the death of his friend and collaborator - former Wilco member, Jay Bennett.  Those heavy themes are masked by bright, soul-infused power-pop melodies with swirling Beach Boys-esque harmonies.) https://www.facebook.com/vanderveldemusic  


Death From Above 1979 – “Trainwreck 1979” (The punk n’ roll duo returned this week with the release of The Physical World, their highly-anticipated and long-awaited sophomore album.  Out now via Warner Brothers, the reunion album is a triumphant return that feels both nostalgic and fresh, delivering their roaring fuzzed-out bass-led grooves, danceable rhythms and sweat-soaked debauchery once again to a new generation of listeners.) http://www.deathfromabove1979.com/


Floating Action – “Unrevenged” (Floating Action is the moniker for N.C. singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Seth Kauffman who recently released Body Questions, his stunning sixth album and first for new label home New West Records.  Kauffman expertly crafts his catchy pop songs with eclectic elements of folk rock, Motown soul, and African rhythms which has made him a favorite of and go-to session player for Jim James of My Morning Jacket and Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys.) http://floatingaction.com/


Stream “Unrevenged” here:

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Sloan - "Commonwealth"


Sloan - the Canadian indie rock institution - is set to release Commonwealth, their eleventh album today via Yep Roc Records.  The band boasts four equally great and able songwriters and they share the wealth on Commonwealth with each songwriter providing a side to the double LP, allowing for each individual’s style to shine through.     

The 15-track album opens with five tracks from Jay Ferguson who blends his cherubic voice and Beatles-esque melodies into their 70’s-loving power-pop with standout tracks, “You’ve Got A Lot On Your Mind” and the melodic piano-led “Three Sisters”.  Chris Murphy takes the second side with five songs that showcase his penchant for jangly, shimmering chamber-pop with clever lyrics and the upbeat standout track, “Carried Away” is the perfect example.  Patrick Pentland puts the power in “power-pop” on his side with four tracks including the buzzing and propulsive “13 (Under A Bad Sign)” and the standout first single, “Keep Swinging (Downtown)” with its pounding piano and raucous riff and rhythm.  The album closes out with Andrew Scott’s dynamic and psychedelic “Forty-Eight Portraits”, an 18-minute-long opus that takes up the final side and highlights everything that the bands does best..    

Even though each side represents one of the songwriter’s styles, the album as a whole is still distinctly “Sloan” with layers of close-knit harmonies and infectiously catchy melodies, resulting in their best and oddly enough, their most cohesive album in years. 


Stream “Keep Swinging (Downtown)” here:


For more info: http://sloanmusic.com/ 

Friday, September 05, 2014

While I Was Out: The Top 10 Releases I Missed While On Paternity Leave


For the past month I have been off work and totally unplugged from the blogosphere to be on paternity leave with my beautiful wife Jenna and our first child, Bennett.  It was an amazing time - despite the lack of sleep – and now I am back to work and missing that little guy.
While I was out there was a ton of great music released and to catch up, here is my list of the top 10 releases during my brief hiatus, listed in alphabetical order.

EDJEDJ (Eric D. Johnson of the Fruit Bats released his debut solo album under the moniker EDJ.  The new album - his most personal yet - highlights his high tenor and penchant for blending Beatles-esque pop with quirky, Country-leaning indie folk and is out now via Easy Sound.  Eric also welcomed guests such as James Mercer of The Shins, Andy Cabic of Vetiver, Tim Rutili from Califone and Nathan Larson of Shudder to Think to help shape the sound of the album.) http://www.ericdjohnsonmusic.com/

Entombed A.D.Back To The Front (Vocalist LG Petrov, an original member of the pioneering Swedish death metal band has put together a new version of the band under the moniker, Entombed A.D.  The new album out now on Century Media retains their inimitable groove-heavy sludge-thick riffs and LG’s distinct growl but with some modern twists such as gang vocals and sharp hooks.) http://www.cmdistro.com/Artist/Entombed_A.D/96648

Frontier(s)White Light EP (The Louisville based band is led by former Elliott and Falling Forward front man Chris Higdon and Matt Wieder of Mouthpiece and The Enkindels.  Their highly-anticipated new 5-song EP was released via Tiny Engines and features a more streamlined and hook-driven sound that touches on the atmospherics of Elliott and the athemic thrust of Mouthpiece.)  http://tinyengines.bandcamp.com/album/white-lights

J MascisTied To A Star (J returns with his second stunning solo set, out now on Sub Pop.  The acoustic-based - save for some of his signature guitar solos - folk songs perfectly contrast with his Dinosaur Jr output.  The album also features appearances by Ken Maiuri, Pall Jenkins, Mark Mulcahy, and Chan Marshall.) https://www.subpop.com/releases/j_mascis/tied_to_a_star

Pelican Arktika (The Chicago-based instrumental post-metal band recently ended a 4 year hiatus with their excellent new album, Forever Becoming and have now self-released their first live album, Arktika.  Recorded in Russia, the album includes highlights from across their catalog and showcases the band’s thunderous live power.) http://pelican.bandcamp.com/album/arktika

The RentalsLost in Alphaville (Matt Sharp - along with a host of guests including Patrick Carney of The Black Keys and Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig of Lucius - returns with the long-awaited third album out now on Polyvinyl Records.  The 16 year-old still inside of me can’t get enough of the vintage synths, fuzzy bass-led rhythms and close-knit vocal harmonies!)    http://therentalsmusic.tumblr.com/     

RubblebucketSurvival Sounds (The dynamic Brooklyn art-pop released their third full-length and label debut for Communion Records.  Produced and mixed by John Congleton (St. Vincent, Modest Mouse) the album retains their use of clever arrangements, off-kilter rhythms, bright melodies and punchy brass and synths but with a little more polish for their best effort yet.)  https://soundcloud.com/rubblebucket/carousel-ride-1?in=rubblebucket/sets/rubblebucket-survival-sounds

Shy Boys45 (Hot on the heels of their acclaimed self-titled debut album released earlier this year, the K.C. surf-pop trio return with a new single via High Dive Records.  The A-side “Life Is Peachy” is another rip-roaring burst of 60’s inspired pop and the B-side, “Follow The Leader” is a bit more mellow yet just as melodic.) Listen here: https://soundcloud.com/high-dive/sets/shy-boys-45

Sleeping GiantFinished People (The Salt Lake City-based Christian metalcore kingpins return with their highly-anticipated new album out now on Century Media Records.  The passion and power of their music and the positivity and direct spirituality is unsurpassed in the genre.)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NACB8QCAEp8     

SpoonThey Want My Soul (The indie rock vets released their excellent eighth album last month via their new label Loma Vista.  With their best album in a while, they show no signs of slowing down.) http://www.spoontheband.com/    


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

3 Songs: On Repeat


Jenny Lewis – “The Voyager” (After a six year wait, the former Rilo Kiley frontwoman has released her long-awaited third solo album, The Voyager this week via Warner Brothers.  The album – produced in part by Ryan Adams, Mike Viola, Beck and Johnathan Rice - deals with personal themes of love and loss and the title track here is a string-leaden slice of soul-pop with Lewis’ lovely lilting melodies.) http://www.jennylewis.com/  

Field Mouse - Everyone But You” (The Brooklyn-based quartet led by Rachel Browne recently released Hold Still Life, their highly-anticipated debut album via Topshelf Records.  Their modern yet retro-leaning sound is the perfect blend of upbeat post-punk rhythms, pretty dream-pop melodies and shimmering, roaring 90’s shoegaze-inspired guitars.) http://topshelfrecords.bandcamp.com/album/hold-still-life      

The Black Angels – “Diamond Eyes” (The Austin psych-rock vets first released their excellent new 7-track EP, Clear Lake Forest on Record Store Day this year and it has now received a wider release via Blue Horizon.  The new tracks lean more toward upbeat 60’s psych-pop with jangly guitars and catchy melodies for one of their best releases yet.) http://theblackangels.com/    
Stream: https://soundcloud.com/grillmarketing/the-black-angels-diamond-eyes

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Shabazz Palaces – “Lese Majesty”


Lese Majesty – released today via Sub Pop - is the excellent sophomore album from the Seattle-based project from Ishmael "Butterfly" Butler, formerly of Digable Planets.  Gone is the cool Jazz-cat influence that became his trademark, as the new album along with his 2011 debut, Black Up, is full of next level experimental electronic-based hip-hop – thanks to producer Tendai Maraire - but his old school flow, poetic lyrics and distinct butter-smooth voice remains.  Butler, aka Palaceer Lazaro is assisted in the studio by guests like THEESatisfaction’s Catherine Harris-White along with Erik Blood and Thadillac.     
The 18-track album is broken up into 7 different suites of spaced-out and psychedelic synth-driven soundscapes with a tracklisting like this:  

Suite 1: “The Phasing Shift”:
1. “Dawn In Luxor”
2. “Forerunner Foray”
3. “They Come In Gold”

Suite 2: “Touch & Agree”:
4. “Solemn Swears”
5. “Harem Aria”
6. “Noetic Noiromantics”

7. “The Ballad of Lt. Major Winnings”

Suite 3: “Palace War Council Meeting”:
8. “Soundview”
9. “Ishmael”
10. “Down 155th In The MCM Snorkel”

Suite 4: “Pleasure Milieu”:
11. “Divine Of Form”
12. “#Cake”

Suite 5: “Federal Bureau Boys”:
13. “Colluding Oligarchs”
14. “Suspicion Of A Shape”

Suite 6: “High Climb To The Gallows”
15. “Mind Glitch Keytar Theme”
16. “Motion Sickness”

Suite 7: “Murkings On The Oxblood Starway”:
17. “New Black Wave”
18. “Sonic Myth Map For The Trip Back”

Stream the bouncy standout single “#CAKE” here: https://soundcloud.com/subpop/shabazz-palaces-cake

Friday, July 25, 2014

Free Friday: Red Fang – “TeamRock.com presents an Absolute Music Bunker Session with Red Fang” Acoustic EP


Steam-rolling stoner rockers Red Fang released an acoustic EP this week - titled, TeamRock.com presents and Absoulute Music Bunker Session With Red Fang - as a free download via their Bandcamp page.  Recorded in March in London, the EP includes mostly acoustic versions of “Failure” from last year’s Whales And Leeches album along with “Human Herd” and “Malverde” taken from the 2011 album Murder the Mountains, both released on Relapse Records.  The 6-song EP also includes the pummeling album versions alongside the acoustic versions. 
“Failure”, in its acoustic element, is just as brooding and heavy as the original with vocalist Aaron Beam swapping his growling bark for a Nick Cave-like bite on the standout track.        

Download the Red Fang acoustic EP here:    



For more info: www.redfang.net

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

3 Songs: On Repeat


Alvvays – “Adult Diversion” (The Toronto indie-pop quintet - with the easy to Google moniker - led by Molly Rankin released their self-titled debut album this week via Polyvinyl.  Produced by Chad VanGaalen, his quirky sentiment and fuzzy production style complements the band and their blend of reverb-rich 60’s surf-rock, mellow twee and bittersweet power-pop for a promising debut.  Bright blasts of horns and catchy vocal melodies burst through the warped synth fuzz-pop of the standout single here.) http://alvvays.com/   

FREEMAN – “The English And Western Stallion” (The former Ween frontman, Aaron Freeman, returns refreshed – after going clean and disbanding Ween - with his new solo project whose self-titled debut album was released this week via Partisan Records.  On it he blends sleazy blues rock with lush, country-leaning psych-pop and the off-kilter humor we have come to expect, but Freeman also showcases a more personal and vulnerable side of the songwriter.)  http://www.partisanrecords.com/artists/freeman/  

United Nations - “Meanwhile On Mainstreeet” (The mysterious project fronted by ex-Thursday vocalist Geoff Rickly and featuring members of Pianos Become The Teeth released their long-awaited sophomore album, The Next Four Years, last week via Temporary Residence.  Rickly and his inimitable voice have never sounded as raw or better and their abrasive throwback hardcore sound and biting, tongue-in-cheek commentary on “scene” politics is a well-needed shot in the arm, equaling out to one of the best albums of the year.) http://temporaryresidence.com/         

Friday, July 18, 2014

Free Friday: Sea Wolf – “Song Spells, No.1: CEDARSMOKE”


Sea Wolf - the indie-folk solo project of singer-songwriter Alex Brown Church - released a new album this week entitled, Song Spells, No.1: CEDARSMOKE as a free download via his Bandcamp page as a gift to his loyal fans.  Though not the proper follow-up to his excellent third album, Old World Romance (released last year via Dangerbird Records) this new 10-track album may be more immediate and experimental but it is just as gracefully orchestral and melodic as ever with Alex’s vividly literate storytelling again the spotlight.    

The album opens with the instrumental “Intro” and its churning cello and ambient programming that leads into “Ram’s Head” with its swelling synths, gentle acoustic guitars and subtly catchy melody.  The upbeat strumming, driving rhythm and bright keyboard melodies of “Bergamot Morning” provides a standout moment as does “The Water’s Wide”, which features a shuffling wire-brush drum beat, atmospheric guitars and cello and a memorable vocal melody.  The album closes out with the epic, nine-minute long "Visions" which may be Church's best, most dynamic and diverse song yet with its ringing guitars, propulsive beat, and sing-along refrain.     
The album was recorded, mixed and produced by Church at his home studio in a four month period last fall and is the first in series of albums he plans to release in between studio albums.

Download Song Spells, No.1: CEDARSMOKE here:


For more info: http://www.seawolfmusic.com/

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

3 Songs: On Repeat – Expanded Communicating Vessels Records Edition


Communicating Vessels is the Birmingham, Alabama-based record label owned and operated by Jeffrey Cain, formerly of Remy Zero.  He has released his own musical projects Dead Snares and Isidore but has been signing and spotlighting some of his hometown's best songwriters and musicians.  This week the label released four great and diverse new albums, check them out below. 

Dead Fingers – “Twisted” (The husband and wife duo of Taylor and Kate Hollingsworth released their stellar sophomore album, Big Black Dog this week.  On it they blend shuffling country, dusty blues and folk with close-knit harmonies and quirky lyrics and melodies.  Aside from this band, Taylor has played in Conor Oberst’s Mystic Valley Band and Kate has toured with her sister Maria Taylor.) http://www.deadfingers.com/

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Dirty Lungs – “Space, Man” (The Birmingham-based garage-rock staples released their self-titled label debut this week on which they rip through nine face-melting jams with twists that incorporate elements of Zeppelin-like pomp, fuzzed-out surf rock, and elements of 60’s psych-pop and 90’s grunge for an experimental sound that goes beyond the garage door.)  https://www.facebook.com/thedirtylungs    
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The Green Seed – “Jude Law” (The Alabama hip-hop group consisting of emcees R-Tist and C.O.M.P.L.E.T. and DJ duo FX and Jeff C,  released their debut album Drapetomania this week.  Forget everything you think you know about rap from the “Dirty South” as they blend old school boom-bap production with smart, positively-minded and complex rhymes.  The standout first single here marries a horn-heavy loop and DJ scratches with sharp-tongued lyrics.) https://www.facebook.com/thegreenseed
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Wray – “Relative” (Wray create a shimmering shoegaze-inspired brand of atmospheric dream-pop laced with locked-in Krautrock grooves and subtly catchy Cure-like melodies on their self-titled label debut released this week.  The Birmingham-based trio is currently on tour with like-minded label mates Man Or Astroman?.  The single here closes out the seven-song album with a propulsive post-punk beat, psychedelic synths smears and bright melodies.) https://www.facebook.com/wraymusic    
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For more info: www.communicatingvessels.net

Read an interview with Jeffrey Cain of CommVess here: http://fabricohmusic.com/indie_label_spotlight/communicating_vessels/