Friday, June 28, 2013

Free Friday: Statistics - "Peninsula"

Statistics is the solo project of singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Denver Dalley, who with Conor Oberst, played in Desaparecidos.  His debut solo album came out almost a decade ago and his wizened, long-awaited third album, Peninsula, was released this week as a free download through Afternoon Records (Dolfish, Poison Control Center).    
During his hiatus as Statistics, he has been very busy composing film scores and touring in the backing band with a host of bands including, Har Mar Superstar, who guests on the standout track, “Take The Lead”.  Dalley’s eclectic electronic-informed brand of indie rock has been injected with new life from his touring experiences and from playing with a diverse group of bands. 
The album opens with “Rewind”, a short, aptly-titled intro that samples the sped-up and high-pitched sound of a tape rewinding.  Though he might be rewinding into the past - as lead single, “Nineteen-Ninety-Nine” offers a dose of Y2K nostalgia - his music still has a foot in the future as the aforementioned “Take The Lead” is a slick slice of futuristic electro-funk.  Other standout tracks include is his soft and skeletal take on Rilo Kiley’s “Picture Of Success” and the stuttering power-pop of “Fever Sleep”.
Peninsula is a welcome return for Denver Dalley and his Statistics moniker.

Download the single, “Nineteen-Ninety-Nine” here:

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

3 Songs: On Repeat (Sponsored by the letter "R"!)

Rose Windows – “Native Dreams” (Classic Rock meets World Music with the blues-soaked Sabbath riffs and room-filling vintage organs that are blended with rustic folk instrumentation and pop-leaning melodies on the Seattle psych-rock/neo-hippies’ solid new album The Sun Dogs, out this week on Sub Pop.)    

Royal Canoe – “Today We’re Believers” (The experimental 6-piece Winnipeg indie-pop troop released their new album, Today We're Believers on vinyl this week via Roll Call Records.  The standout opening title track features a danceable robotic rhythm and side-swiping spaced-out synths along with catchy falsetto vocal melodies for the perfect introduction.)   

Rodeo Ruby Love – “It Was Weird” (The Bloomington, Indiana based band led by Zachary Melton recently released their fourth album, The Pits via Pentimento Music Company.  Close-knit male/female harmonies and shouted gang-vocals combine with jangly guitars and vintage organ for a hybrid country-leaning pop-punk sound on the infectious first single.)   

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Devil And A Penny - "Repair" EP

Los Angeles-by-way-of-Boston band The Devil And A Penny just released their new EP, Repair via New Neighbor Records.  They create a dark and damaged brand of art-folk that recalls Califone at their strangest and mixes that with an ambient slowcore aesthetic on the new EP, which is available on limited edition CD and cassette and as a digital download on their Bandcamp page. 
Oscillating synths whirr around fragile, cyclical guitars on the standout opening track, “New Song #1”.  “Mining Your Own” follows and mixes early 90’s lo-fi and soft vocals with twinkling guitars and swirling cymbals.  “Vs. Jimmy” is wrapped in a haze of atmospherics and pretty background vocals for another standout moment.  The nearly all instrumental “Peter Black” builds slowly with its stuttering rhythm and cascading guitars.  Thin, Modest Mouse-like guitars try to stake their claim amidst the busy beat and noisy synth-driven outbursts of “Make Myself Scarce”.  The EP closes out with the twangy guitar-picking and ride cymbal-heavy beat of “Get At The Moose Edge”.            
With no discernible choruses to display their emotions, The Devil And The Penny choose to get their point across by creating an introspective mood with the atmospheric yet melodic music on their excellent new Repair EP.   

Stream/Purchase the Repair EP here:

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

3 Songs: On Repeat

Hospital Ships – “Come Back To Life” (Hospital Ships is the brainchild of Jordan Geiger, formerly of Minus Story and Shearwater.  For his excellent third album, Destruction In Yr Soul, out now on Graveface Records, he has recruited a full band to take his joyous and off-kilter bedroom-pop to an epic, new level for his best and most fully formed album yet.)

Broderick & Broderick – “Let Me Love You For Free” (The musical collaboration between Berlin-by-way-of Portland based multi-instrumentalist and composer Peter Broderick (Horse Feathers, Efterklang) and his father, Steven Broderick.  Their self-titled debut album, out now on 10” vinyl via Team Love, is a beautiful blend of atmospheric folk with an avant-garde edge.  Peter’s sister, Heather Woods Broderick lends her gorgeous vocals to the single, with its hypnotic guitars and clattering percussion.)

CSS – “Hits Me Like A Rock (Depressed Buttons Remix)” (The energetic Brazilian electro-pop band returns with Planta, their fourth album, out now on SQE Music.  David Sitek of TV On The Radio produced the eclectic album which also includes a guest spot from Rancid’s Tim Armstrong.  Depressed Buttons, the project of The Faint’s Todd Fink, Clark Baechle, and Jacob Thiele adds their distinct video game-like synths to the reggae- tinged first single.)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Clifton's Ford - "Places We Went Wrong"

Clifton’s Ford are an emerging folk rock trio who just self-released, Places We Went Wrong, their very promising debut album on June 1.  This relatively new band formed in the spring of 2012 and is led by singer-songwriter Jordan Yates and rounded out by Bonnie Van Dyke and Henry Killian.  The band is based out of Damascus, Virginia and early on, they started out by covering music by some of their favorite musicians, playing local shows, and calling themselves Strangevine, after the Delta Spirit song of the same name.  But as their musical chemistry began to grow tighter, they sharpened their focus on writing and performing their own original songs and changed their name to Clifton’s Ford.  The trio cobbles together a seemingly effortless blend of old timey folk, bluegrass, country and blues along with a pop-leaning, modern indie rock edge and close-knit vocal melodies for a unique sound that recalls such like-minded neo-folk favorites as The Head And The Heart, Mumford & Sons and Old Crow Medicine Show.
The album opens with “Angels At Your Door” and its steady, jig-inducing acoustic guitar rhythm and infectious mandolin figures that dance right up and down the fret board  Stand out track “Baby Girl” follows with a swinging rhythm and vocal melodies so solid that they could probably withstand the Armageddon.  I would say that it’s pretty safe to assume that this track is a live favorite with its catchy, sing-along chorus.  Bonnie Van Dyke takes the lead on “Catch 22 Blues”, which blends a boardwalk-strutting bass line and some blues rock tropes with a midtempo bluegrass rhythm for what the band has affectingly dubbed as “blues-grass”.  “Despicable Little You” slows down the pace a bit to shine the light on Jordan and Bonnie’s undeniable vocal chemistry, with a call and response vocal passage for another standout moment.  “Electronica Harmonica” throws in a wrinkle, adding in a bouncy, Reggae-inspired rhythm, giving the upbeat song a fun, beach-y vibe.  This song is the perfect example that shows that the band is having just as much fun playing the songs as you will enjoy listening to them and that really means something.  “End Of Summer Song” opens with playful mandolin figures before launching into a swinging, piano-led honky-tonk rhythm with nostalgia-laced lyrics that long for those summer flings and days gone by.  Another standout, “Figures And Shapes” continues with the piano as Bonnie takes the lead again for a touching ballad of regret, highlighted by the bittersweet vocal melodies of the aching chorus.  Though not quite an ode to their home state of Virginia, “North Carolina” is pretty close, as its natural beauty is captured in the lush mandolin and vocal melodies.  Next, “We’re Only Optimistic” features lively mandolins and some driving acoustic guitar strumming along with some sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek lyrics.  The aptly-titled “Sleep Walking Melodies” is hypnotic yet almost haunting with echoing vocals and a rollicking, carnival-like piano riff.  The eleven song album closes out with the pumping Reggae-inspired vintage organ, swirling mandolin melodies and energetic rhythm of “A Theme For Bizarre Behavior”.             
With the excellent musicianship, stellar songwriting and catchy melodies found on their impressive debut album, Places We Went Wrong, the up-and-coming folk rock band, Clifton’s Ford prove that the studio wasn’t one of the places where they went wrong.  So pick up their album on June 1 and get on the bandwagon quickly, because with a lucky break, this band is sure to explode and garner the attention that they deserve. 

For more info:

Friday, June 14, 2013

Free Friday: Painted Palms - "Nothing Lasts Long" EP

Painted Palms, the San Francisco duo consisting of cousins Reese Donohue and Chris Prudhomme, just released a new EP, Nothing Lasts Long as a free download on their Bandcamp page.  The band has recently released an EP on Secretly Canadian and a 7” on Polyvinyl Records.  Currently, they are gearing up for the release of their highly-anticipated debut album due later this year.
They create a retro yet modern electronic-leaning sound with a heavy 60’s psych-pop influence on the six-song EP that is filled with infectious melodies and swirls of strange synths and danceable beats.  “Hypnotic” opens the EP with a stuttering beat and some glimmering synths and churning guitars and the single, “Upper Floors” stands out with its revelatory, soaring synths and propulsive rhythm.  The catchy “Anna” closes out the EP with a fun, bouncing rhythm, vintage organ and delirious falsetto vocal melodies.      
This unannounced self-released EP from Painted Palms was a nice surprise and only adds to the anticipation for their full-length release.

Download the Nothing Lasts Long EP here:

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

4 Songs: On Repeat

Overseas – “Ghost To Be” and “Down Below” (Overseas is the new folk-leaning indie rock project that combines all of the best and most beloved elements from indie vets David Bazan of Pedro The Lion and Will Johnson of Centro-Matic, along with brothers Matt and Bubba Kadane of Bedhead.  Their self-titled debut album was released this week on Undertow Records.  Grab two of the ten tracks via the link below.)  

Ours – “Pretty Pain” (After recording solo for the past few years, Jimmy Gnecco returns this week with a new Ours album titled, Ballet The Boxer 1 via his own Cage Recording Company imprint.  A pounding drum beat and soaring violins try to match wits with his dynamic and distinct vocal style on the stellar first single.)   

The Young Things – “Goodbye Sexual” (NYC band create a danceable brand of snotty yet poppy guitar-centric indie rock on their debut album, Hello Love/Goodbye Sexual out now on Vice Records.  The band is currently touring with Har Mar Superstar who guests on the super-charged first single, here.)    

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Jimmy Eat World - "Damage"

Pop-punk vets Jimmy Eat World are set to release Damage, their eighth album and first for new label home, RCA Records.  The highly-anticipated album was co-produced by the band and Alain Johannes (Chris Cornell, Mark Lanegan) and features ten installments of their distinct brand of emotionally-charged and punk-fuelled power-pop.  The lyrical themes on Damage are as heartfelt and visceral as ever, still dealing with emotions, yet from a more mature, adult viewpoint. 
The upbeat “Appreciation” opens the album with guitars that slide between chugging and cascading along with a catchy chorus.  The standout title track, “Damage” features a propulsive rhythm and some devastating yet hopeful lyrics about a troubled relationship teetering on collapse.  “Lean” is highlighted by jangly guitars while acoustic guitars, a shuffling beat and sunny background vocals make up “Book Of Love”.  The single, “I Will Steal You Back” explodes into its infectious chorus with the urgency of its title for another standout moment.  The ballad, “Please Say No” is led by steady acoustic guitars, piano, swells of vintage organ and rafters-reaching background vocals.  Like a flashback to 1999 or 2001, the energetic “How’d You Have Me” is built on a super-charged guitar riff and an anthemic chorus and ready to dominate the radio this summer.  Next, “No Never” uses softly chugged guitars, pounding drums and another killer chorus, proving that the band is still playing at their highest level.  “Byebyelove” is an epic ballad with a sing-along chorus, soaring strings and big drums which leads into the contemplative album closer, “You Were Good”.    
With their excellent eighth album, Damages, Jimmy Eat World again proves they are a force to be reckoned with by fusing the youthful energy of their early albums with more mature themes for their best album since Bleed American.   

Watch the video for “I Will Steal You Back” here:

For more info:

Friday, June 07, 2013

Free Friday: Sea Wolf - "Old World Romance: Selects And Outtakes" EP

Singer-songwriter Alex Brown Church recently released Old World Romance, his excellent third album as Sea Wolf, via Dangerbird Records.  He recorded the album himself in his home studio in California and the result is more a personal affair with his literate yet easily relatable lyrics tied to memorable melodies and even more experimental with the addition of tasteful electronic beats to his distinct, chamber-pop/indie rock stew.
The 5-song EP, available exclusively through Noisetrade, includes three previously unreleased b-sides from the Old World Romance recording sessions, including the hopelessly romantic title track, “Old Romance” and the poppy and propulsive, “Sons & Daughters”.  In addition, two standout album tracks from the album are featured; the infectious first single, “Old Friend” and the appropriately haunting, “Kasper”.    

Stream/Download the Old World Romance: Selects And Outtakes EP here:

For more info: and

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Lifted Bells - "Lifted Bells" EP

Lifted Bells is the new project from Bob Nanna of Braid and Hey Mercedes along with Matt Jordan of Stay Ahead of The Weather,  Matthew Frank of Their / They're / There and Kyle Geib (Dog and Wolf) and Seth Engel (Options). Their 3-song self-titled debut EP was just released via Chicago’s Naked Ally Records on one-sided 12” vinyl and is limited to only 300 copies; 100 black and 200 in randomly mixed colors. 
The band started in 2010 and has undergone several personnel changes throughout the years, in fact; this recording features Joel Coan of The Felix Culpa and Owen Mallon of Noumenon.  Together they create a nostalgic yet forward-thinking brand of math-rock with the energetic and intricate rhythms and complex guitar riffs you would expect from Nanna and this crew. 
All three songs on the EP stand out and “Orphaned” provides the perfect introduction with its knotty, dueling guitars, Frank’s cagey drumming and catchy vocal melodies reminiscent of 90’s Midwest emo-punk.  “Re: Calm” follows with a stuttering, stop/start rhythm, an anthemic sing-along chorus and some melodic squiggling guitar lines.  Closing out the much too-short EP are the stumbling drums and twinkling guitars of the super-charged “So Solo”.  
With only 3 songs under their belt, the self-titled debut EP from Lifted Bells is very promising and only heightens the anticipation for a proper full-length. 

For more info: and