Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Death Cab For Cutie - "Keys and Codes Remix EP"

Death Cab For Cutie's excellent album Codes And Keys released earlier this year, and the band relied on keyboards and synths more than ever so it is only natural that they would release Keys and Codes, a remix EP.  Out last week on Atlantic Records, they enlisted Cut Copy, Ulrich Schnauss, Yeasayer, RAC, Dillon Francis, Unicorn Kid and The 2 Bears to put their own unique spin on 7 of the original Codes And Keys tracks. 

Standouts include the glittering 80's time-warp that the Scottish 8-bit producer Unicorn Kid puts on "Unobstructed Views" and the warped bass, squelching synths and minimal vocals that dubstep producer Dillon Francis uses on "Underneath The Sycamore".  Ulrich Schnauss uses some subterranean bass to give the standout "Home Is A Fire" a dreamy re-texturing and indie favorites Cut Copy give "Doors Unlocked And Open" a tropical disco vibe. 

Track list: (+ streaming song links)

1. "Some Boys" (RAC Maury Mix) http://soundcloud.com/deathcabforcutie/death-cab-for-cutie-some-boys

2. "Doors Unlocked And Open" (Cut Copy Remix)

3. "You Are a Tourist" (The 2 Bears Remix) http://soundcloud.com/deathcabforcutie/youareatourist-the2bearsremix

4. "Underneath the Sycamore" (Dillon Francis Remix)

5. "Unobstructed Views" (Unicorn Kid Remix)

6. "Home Is A Fire" (Ulrich Schnauss Remix) http://soundcloud.com/deathcabforcutie/death-cab-for-cutie-home-is-a/

7. "Codes and Keys" (Yeasayer Remix)
For more info click here: http://keysandcodes.deathcabforcutie.com/ and http://www.deathcabforcutie.com/

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

3 Songs: On Repeat

1.  Sunbears! - "They Think They're Soooo Philosophical" (Jacksonville-based psych-pop duo have graced the stage with Mates Of State and Yo Gabba Gabba on the strength of their EPs and singles and finally are set to release their debut album You Will Live Forever today on New Granada Records.) http://www.sunbearsmusic.com/

Download: http://goldestegg.com/mp3dump/Sunbears_TheyThinkTheyreSooooPhilosophical.mp3

2.  Carter Tanton - "Fake Pretend" (Colorful and dreamy new single features vocals from Marissa Nadler as a favor for his guitar duties in her touring band.  Carter blends the organic with electronics on his sparkling debut album Freeclouds, released last week on Western Vinyl Records.) http://luxurylinerpleasurecruise.blogspot.com/

Download: http://westernvinyl.com/audio/WV94.FKPTND.mp3

3.  Pterodactyl - "Nerds" (Noise-pop nerds deliver their third album Spills Out, released last week on  Brah Records, which is run by the likeminded band Oneida.  The song gives a shout out to the Zelda theme song.  The band is currently on tour to support their excellent new album.) http://www.pteroband.tumblr.com/

Download: http://www.pitchperfectpr.com/mp3/Nerds.mp3

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

3 Songs: On Repeat (Communicating Vessels Edition)

Communicating Vessels is the Birmingham, AL-based label run by Jeffery Cain of Remy Zero. He has released music by his solo project Dead Snares as well as the solo project of the late Gregory Scott Slay, the drummer for Remy Zero who passed away last year. 

Cain has also been signing and spotlighting some of his hometown's best songwriters, three at a time, with a gorgeously packaged 7" for each one in a series.  The first series released this past June, included Duquette Johnston, formerly of 90's alt-rockers Verbena, The Great Book of John, the solo project of Taylor Shaw formerly of Wild Sweet Orange and Sanders Bohlke. 

The second series of 7" singles come from three more diverse Birmingham bands including, indie rap group The Green Seed, husband and wife duo The Grenadines, who are currently on tour with Maria Taylor and singer-songwriter Preston Lovinggood, who was also a member of cult-favortites Wild Sweet Orange. 

1.  The Green Seed - "Crack Kills" (Indie rap group whose clever beats and rhymes provided by members R-Tist, C.O.M.P.L.E.T. and DJ FX have led them to sharing the stage with Raekwon and Jurassic 5.)

Download: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/38730955/mp3/thegreenseed_crackkills_4_18.mp3

2.  Preston Lovinggood - "Duncan" (After label woes brought an end to Wild Sweet Orange, Preston took a long break from music but has just recently started work on a new solo album with an atmospheric yet breezy cover of the Paul Simon track as an idea of what to expect.) 

Download: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/38730955/mp3/prestonlovinggood_duncan_4_18.mp3

3.  The Grenadines - "Shake" (Slinky and danceable disco with male/female vocals from the duo who has gained praise from producers Jim Eno of Spoon and Andy LeMaster (Bright Eyes) who helped produce their debut.)

Download:   http://dl.dropbox.com/u/38730955/mp3/thegrenadines_shake_4_18.mp3

For more info click here: http://www.communicatingvessels.net/

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Karen Dahlstrom - "Gem State" EP

Karen Dahlstrom of the indie folk band Bobtown is a Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter of the traditional Americana variety. The Gem State EP is her long-awaited self released solo debut release. She was born and raised in idyllic Idaho which is known as the “Gem State”, hence the title of the sparkling EP. The organic acoustic-based five song collection of traditional folk was inspired by her home state after she noticed that the Western states lacked the musical history that the South and other regions of the country possessed. So she took it upon herself to create some of her own and her descriptive lyrical themes of railroads, trains, mountains and miners are based on the state’s rich history as well as her own experiences in her hometown of Boise. The music references and is reverent to the bluegrass, old time country and folk traditions of the past but with a slight modern twist. Even the beautiful album artwork, created by her friend, New York City based graphic designer and illustrator Becky Munich, is a rustic wood-burned-like portrait that invokes the spirit of the music and the state of Idaho perfectly, completes the package.

“The Miner’s Bride” opens the EP with a driving, lap slapping bluegrass inspired rhythm, ghostly background vocals that swirl like the cold wind she sings of and whining steel guitar that sets the tone for a story about love and loss and a nineteenth century mining camp for a perfect introduction to her retro folk sound. The slow waltzing “Galena” follows, featuring bellowing accordion and Karen’s yearning and pining vocals that possess the same smoky, worn around the edges quality of Adele or Chan Marshall of Cat Power along with the authenticity of Gillian Welch. “Starling” is an emotional and haunting ode to lovelorn regret with gently strummed acoustic guitars, flickering mandolin figures and a mournful vocal that perfectly captures the melancholic darkness of Southern Gothic Americana music. The sepia-toned standout track “Streets Of Pocatello” is a room-filling acapella-sung Appalachian Mountain ballad of revenge set in a rough railroad town. The song is performed with a soulful, convincing swagger that might suggest Karen is just pawning off some of the dusty records she found in her grandparent’s attic as her own because it is simply that good and that true to the tradition without even a stitch of pastiche or off-putting pretentiousness. The evocative “One More Time” closes out the rootsy EP with a more straight forward approach with gospel-soaked vintage organ, steady strummed acoustic guitar and gorgeous, close knit vocal harmonies. Karen longs for summers past and an old flame on the stand out song that was co-written by multi-instrumentalist Kenny Siegel of fellow New York City based folk band Johnny Society who also mixed, engineered and co-produced and performed on the excellent EP.

With her beautiful voice and strong songwriting bearing the torch of tradition every song feels instantly familiar, like any classic record should. And after finally striking out on her own, Karen Dahlstrom proves with Gem State, her promising debut EP that she is an artist on the rise and should be considered a major player in the traditional American folk revival.

For more info click here: http://karendahlstrom.com/

Friday, November 11, 2011

Free Friday: Lightouts - "The Eloise Suite" (Maxi-Single)

The Brooklyn-based duo Lightouts create a fuzzed-out guitar-led sound that leans towards 90's indie rock and are gearing up to release their debut album soon. And in anticipation, have been releasing singles from the album as free downloads over the last few months.  Each maxi-single includes a single from the album as well as a B-side and an exclusive cover song. 

The third in the series, The Eloise Suite features the crunchy guitars, handclaps and catchy echoing chorus of the title track.  "Dress Shop", the B-side competes with the single with a liquid bassline and Cure-like melodies.  And the cover included is "All I Want/Heroes", a clever and danceable mashup of LCD Soundsystem's "All I Want" and Bowie's "Heroes". 

Download the single The Eloise Suite here:

For more info click here: http://www.lightouts.com/

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

3 Songs: On Repeat

1.  Summer Camp - "Better Off Without You" (The London duo Jeremy Warmsley and Elizabeth Sankey have created an 80's obsessed tribute to being a teenager and all of the wonder, angst and synths that go along with it on their highly anticipated debut album Welcome To Condale out now on Moshi Moshi Records.) http://www.wearesummercamp.com/

Download: http://www.zshare.net/audio/95885628a1b03eca/

2.  13ghosts - "Dr. Bill" (First track from the experimental folk rock band's guest-heavy new album Garland of Bottle Flies out now on Skybucket Records.  Frontman Brad Armstrong is joined by guest vocalist Kate Taylor, sister of Maria Taylor and Taylor Hollingsworth of Conor Oberst's The Mystic Valley Band, among others.) http://13ghostsmusic.com/ and http://www.skybucket.com/

Download: http://www.skybucket.com/mp3/05%20Dr.%20Bill.mp3

3.  Zun Zun Egui - "Fandango Fresh" (The Afrobeat freakout of a first single from the energetic and eclectic Bristol-based indie-pop band's debut album Katang, out now on Bella Union.) http://www.zunzunegui.org/

Download: http://sneakattackmedia.com/media/ZZE/FandangoFresh.mp3

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Lissie - "Covered Up With Flowers" EP

On the heels of Catching A Tiger her acclaimed debut album, Lissie returns today with the release of her new EP of cover songs, Covered Up With Flowers.  The Youtube videos of her amazing covers have been lighting up the internet for a while so it was only natural that the folk-pop siren would release this fan-friendly 5-song EP.

Lissie shows her "gangsta" side with live a cover of Kid Cudi's hit "Pursuit Of Happiness".  And she shows off her pop side with a sing-along cover of Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" recoded live in London, where she adds in a handclap and acapella back-porch hootenanny outro to put her own folk spin on the song.  The standout track on the EP is Lissie's twangy and soulful studio-recorded cover of the enigmatic 60's singer-songwriter Joe South's Grammy-winning track, "Games People Play" which features fellow labelmate Tyler Ramsey of Band Of Horses on guitar and piano.  She follows that with a beautiful, very faithful live cover of Metallica's Black Album ballad "Nothing Else Matters" but she fortunately omits Hetfield's trademark "ooh-aah"-grunts after every line.  The excellent EP closes with a studio recorded cover of "The Ship Song" by Nick Cave which includes production and instrumentation from Bill Reynolds of Band Of Horses.

With the Covered Up With Flowers EP, Lissie shows off the different sides of her musical taste and style while showcasing her dynamic live performances and unique voice. 

For more info click here: http://www.lissie.com/ and http://www.fatpossum.com/

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

3 Songs: On Repeat

1.  The Fling - "Dogpile" (Trippy and reverb-soaked first single with layers of spacey country vocal harmonies taken from their new 7-song What I've Seen EP out now on Dangerbird Records, who also re-released their excellent debut album When The Madhouses Appear this past May.) http://thefling.us/

Download: http://dl.dangerbirdrecords.com/the-fling/mp3/dogpile.mp3

2.  Treefight For Sunlight - "Facing The Sun" (First single of twinkling and twee psych pop from the Denmark-based band's sun-drenched 70's pop-loving debut album A Collection Of Vibrations For Your Skull due out next week on Friendly Fire Records.) http://www.treefightforsunlight.com/

Download: http://friendlyfirerecordings.com/Bands/TreefightForSunlight/treefightforsunlight-facingthesun.mp3

3.  Sandman Viper Command - "Rough Love" (These four Canadians put their own unique spin on 60's pop stylings and Sloan-like crunchy power-pop on the title track to their new single, out now.)  http://sandmanvipercommand.wordpress.com/

Download: http://media.audibletreats.com/Sandman_Viper_Command-Rough_Love.mp3