Wednesday, November 27, 2013

3 Songs: On Repeat

Shearwater – “I Luv The Valley Oh” (In anticipation of their upcoming new album due next year, the band has just released an album of cover songs titled, Fellow Travelers, via Sub Pop.  They put their own distinct spin on songs from bands they have toured with recently such as Xiu Xiu, St. Vincent, Sharon Van Etten, Coldplay and Clinic but what makes it truly unique is that they ask the artists they are covering to come in and record with them with the exception that the original artist cannot play on their own song.  The liner notes written by Meiburg are worth the time as well.)        

Beachwood Sparks – “Make It Together” (The catchy, very Beach Boys-like first single taken from the long lost debut album, Desert Skies, by the seminal psych-pop group is out now on Alive Naturalsound Records.  Recorded in 1997 and previously unreleased, the album was recently remastered and shows the beginnings of the band and their harmony-rich, Byrds-like country-leaning and surf-inspired folk rock sound that went on to inspire and influence many bands.)  

Kurt Vile – “Feel My Pain” (Last week the indie guitar wizard released it’s a big world out there (and I am scared), a new 6-song EP that serves as a compliment to his highly-praised album, Wakin’ On A Pretty Daze, released earlier this year via Matador.  Included on the EP are the intended extended version of “Snowflakes” and the stripped down dark folk of new song, “Feel My Pain” with its cyclical guitars, and are taken from the same sessions.  The EP is available digitally and on CD, packaged with the deluxe reissue of Wakin.)         

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

3 Songs: On Repeat

Gloom Balloon – “She Was The One That Got Away” (Experimental solo project of Patrick Tape Fleming from the indie rock band The Poison Control Center.  On the verge of suicide, Fleming used his abstract paintings and deeply personal psych-pop music to guide him through by blending hip-hip beats and synths with horns and classical instruments for a totally unique and improvisational sound.  This single is taken from his debut 7” out now via Maximum Ames Records with a full-length due December 3.)   

Courtesy Drop – “Science Is A Liar Sometimes” (The Nashville based post-hardcore band with their old school emo approach, takes its cues from Cursive and Mineral then transforms them into a crushing and soul-bearing modern punk rock sound on their recently released sophomore album, Songs to Drive to; Cry, and Make Love To via Animal Style Records.)

Polly Scattergood – “Cocoon” (With her breathy yet powerful voice, the London based singer-songwriter recently released her stunning sophomore album, Arrows on Mute Records.  The aptly-titled album is sleek and straight-forward with soaring, synth-driven soundscapes, danceable beats and her unique storytelling.)   

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

3 Songs: On Repeat – featuring an exclusive mp3 from Strange Acres

Strange Acres – “Black Smoke” (Led by Molly Grace’s smoky vocals, which provide the perfect complement to their lushly constructed moody soundscapes, the East Aurora, NY based trio create atmospheric and cinematic electronic-based music in the same vein as Portishead and Phantogram on their stunning self-titled debut album out now.  Check out the standout first single, with its smoldering synths and dark pop melodies here.)   

Old Monk – “Volcanic Prisons” (All this year the Brooklyn garage rock trio has been releasing digital singles that will lead up to the release of a new album next year.  The fourth and final release this year tells a story about a sailor, robots and a volcano set to a hefty slice of liquid-hot prog-punk magma.  Look for one of frontman Josh Carraffa’s 8-bit videos for the song soon!) also:      

Tough Age – “The Heart Of Juliet Jones” (Hip-shaking sock-hop surf rock with jangly guitars and doo wop melodies make up the catchy first single from the self-titled debut album – out now on Mint Records - from Tough Age, the new project from frontman Jarrett K. of Apollo Ghosts and Role Mach.)  

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Save Ends - "Warm Hearts, Cold Hands"

The Boston-based five-piece Save Ends are set to release their long-awaited debut album, Warm Hearts, Cold Hands this week via Tiny Engines Records.  With the success of their two EPs released in 2010 and 2012, the band led by the male/female vocal interplay of Brendan Cahill and Christine Atturio, creates instantly memorable and nostalgia-inducing melodies bolstered by surging, 90’s emo-tinged indie rock in the same vein as The Anniversary, Rilo Kiley and Rainer Maria.  The new album was recorded by Jay Maas of Defeater who has also produced for other likeminded bands such as Title Fight and Transit. 
The album opens with “PunkORama 30” that slowly builds into a euphoric and cathartic rush that follows into “We Are The Only Ones” with its driving rhythm and dueling male/female vocals that drip with passion.  Standout track “A Life They Wrote” is highlighted by a head-nodding half-time beat and Christine’s bittersweet vocals.  With clever lyrical references to Stephen King novels and Dungeons & Dragons, Save Ends makes emo for the nerd in all of us.  Another standout track, “Song Of Susannah” is an anthem with chugging guitars and a punchy pop-punk intensity that is impossibly energetic and catchy.
For the first pressing, Tiny Engines will issue Warm Hearts, Cold Hands on the following colorways: 105 Blue w/ White + Green Starburst, 130 Transparent Fiery Orange,  150 Transparent Light Blue and  215 Opaque Gray.  Also, the digital download of the album is only $5 via the Tiny Engines Bandcamp page.  Get yours now!   

Download "A Life They Wrote" here:,%20Cold%20Hands%20-%2003%20A%20Life%20They%20Wrote.mp3 

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

3 Songs: On Repeat - featuring an exclusive mp3 from Kris N.

Kris N. – “Choo Choo Choose You” (The Dayton lo-fi pop progenitor released his stellar new album, Thankful Parade this week via Poptek Records.  Recorded by Micah Carli of Hawthorne Heights, this time around Kris recruited a full band to take his catchy pop anthems from the bedroom and onto the stage with his most fully formed album yet.  Check out the bouncy, Postal Service-esque synths, locomotive-like guitar chug and male/female vocal interplay of the standout single, “Choo Choo Choose You” here.)  

Fruit Bats – “When U Love Somebody” (For the very first time, the Fruits Bats’ classic folk-pop album Mouthfuls, has been issued on vinyl via Jealous Butcher.  Originally issued by Sub Pop in 2003, the limited edition release is pressed on 500 sea-foam green and yellow vinyl with individually hand painted and silkscreened jackets and new artwork.  So slap this slab of wax on your turntable and relive Eric Johnson’s quirky brand of folk and sunny Beatles-esque pop in all of its analog glory.)   

Born Cages – “Afterlife (Born Cages Remix)” (The NYC-based indie-rock quartet have just released a remix of the new Arcade Fire song “Afterlife”.  Their interpretation of the track is pretty faithful though they do make the song rock just a little more, trading in the horns for a scorching, extended guitar solo.  Also check out their debut Sidelines EP, released in June through Razor & Tie Records.)    

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Parquet Courts – “Tally All The Things That You Broke” EP

Their breakthrough 2012 album, Light Up Gold, received high praise from fans and critics alike, labeling it an instant indie classic.  So, what better way to eschew the lofty expectations and likelihood of a “sophomore slump” than by quickly throwing out more great music?  Well, that is exactly what the Texas-by-way-of New York post-punk practitioners Parquet Courts have done with the release of their new EP, Tally All The Things That You Broke, out now via What’s Your Rupture Records.
The bouncy, ramshackle rock of the opening single, “You’ve Got Me Wonderin’ Now” comes complete with a flimsy yet fun Flutophone (remember those from your fourth grade music class?) melody and some other noisy outbursts for a standout moment.  Next, the energetic “Descend” ascends with jangly guitars and a snarling, shouty post-punk vocal and then falls apart at the bridge before launching back into the forceful opening guitar riff to end the song on a high note.  A fuzzed-out bass line and a stuttering drum beat opens “The More It Works” as a twitchy guitar melody elbows its way in, ushering in an off-kilter and dissonant guitar solo along with some propulsive vocal patterns.   This leads into the much too short, “Fall On Yr Face” which is built on a wobbly guitar line and a rapid-fire vocal that fractures and splinters into caterwauling chaos for another standout moment.  The five-song EP closes out with the strange, hip-hop inspired “He’s Seeing Paths”, with elastic guitars, doorbell and cowbell samples and clever, rapped lyrics about a bike-messenger marijuana delivery service that most closely resembles the Beck-like mish-mash weirdness of parent band, Fergus And Geronimo.    
Like most bands do with between-album EP’s, Parquet Courts chose to deviate from their original sound slightly with experimental embellishments.  Sometimes these EP-sized experiments fail but like the Tally All The Things That You Broke EP proves, Parquet Courts are still having fun and not letting the pressure get to the their heads, and it only heightens the anticipation for what they might do next.    

For more info:

(This review was originally published in Fabricoh Magazine here: