Thursday, May 29, 2014

MP3 PREMIERE: Jen Starsinic – “The Only One Who Can Break a Heart”

After getting her start as a fourteen year old bluegrass street busker before training at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and then touring with the David Mayfield Parade, the emerging Nashville-based fiddler and singer-songwriter Jen Starsinic has proved to have been properly steeped in roots music and the time is right as her debut album, The Flood and the Fire was released this week.  The stunning album is a Cash & Carter-like country duet of timeless nostalgia-inducing Americana and modern folk-pop that positions her as the next great voice in folk music.      
We are proud to premiere the tear-in-your-beer ballad “The Only One Who Can Break a Heart”, where Starsinic channels the great Patsy Cline with her gorgeous and emotive voice alongside the song’s swaying melodies, slow waltzing rhythm and subtle honky-tonk piano.       

Stream “The Only One Who Can Break a Heart” here:

To purchase The Flood and the Fire and for more info:

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

3 Songs: On Repeat

The Wonder Revolution – “Wonder Lensed” (The experimental Kansas-based collective led by guitarist David Lord and featuring Les Easterby of The World Palindrome and Nathan Wilder of The Appleseed Cast released their aptly-titled new album, Wow this week via Air House Records.  Together they blend layers of jazz and proggy post-rock with wide-eyed vocal melodies for a unique sound.  The dreamy atmosphere of the first single here includes lush background vocals, cyclical acoustic guitars and waves of colorful synths for a standout moment.)

Craig Wedren, Jefferson Friedman and ACME – “Tarrying” (The collaboration from Craig Wedren, Jefferson Friedman and ACME called, On In Love was released this week by New Amsterdam Records.  A film composer himself, Wedren’s dynamic and theatrical falsetto floats above the complex and ethereal melodies and arrangements of The American Contemporary Music Ensemble as directed by Friedman.  Turning stereotypes about classical music upside down, together they have created a beautiful collection of songs that defy genre classification with elements of pop, angular post-punk and rock for an immersive listen.)

Cosines – “Commuter Love” (London’s newest indie-pop band recently released their second 7” single via the UK’s Fika Recordings.  Led by the sweet vocals of Alice Hubley, the 5-piece band experiments with a little of everything including krautrock and glam rock.  The results - the synth-driven A-side, “Commuter Love” which combines a propulsive rhythm with catchy New Wave melodies and the infectiously fun B-side, “Disclosed Stores” that finds the band combining twee melodies, jangly guitars, a jaunty rhythm and horns from guest Ben Phelan of the Apples In Stereo - is a sound that keeps you guessing and coming back for more.)   

Friday, May 23, 2014

Free Friday: Joe Tripp and the Hops - "6 Songs" EP

The Chicago-based band Joe Tripp and the Hops recently released their new EP entitled, 6 Songs.  The new EP - the follow-up to their highly-praised and aptly-titled 2011 debut album, Won’t It Be Fun - is available as a pay-what-you-want digital download via the band’s Bandcamp page.  Led by vocalist/guitarist Joe Tripp and drummer/vocalist T. J. Walker they create an experimental brand of indie pop and nostalgia-inducing alternative rock that blends super-catchy Weezer-like melodies and hints of jazz, funk and Counting Crows-like folk then filters it through a jam-band’s mentality for an engaging and unique sound all their own.    
The EP opens with “There’s Something”, a nice slice of danceable dream-pop with flickering funk-laced guitars and layers of swirling vocal harmonies.  Tripp succeeds in setting sincere and emotionally-charged lyrical themes of love and loss to infectious and upbeat melodies for a nice contrast.  Standout track “Signs” incorporates a strutting bass line and a thick wall of pounding vintage organ that is offset by colorful New Wave-esque synth squiggles, distorted vocals and a catchy, sing-along chorus.  “Fantasma” features a bouncy rhythm of chugging guitars and some melodic classic rock soloing before the swaying and soulful ballad “Heart Cries Out” offers a welcome change of pace.  Next, the laid-back lounge-worthy “Let Go” showcases the band’s versatility with cascading guitars and uplifting lines like, “Let go, don’t be afraid of life, changes will come you know”.  “Who Knows” closes out the 6 Songs EP with its acoustic guitar churn, backwards-looping guitars and earnest melodies that are just begging to be placed in a movie soundtrack. 
After issuing their impressive yet slightly under the radar debut in 2011, Joe Tripp and the Hops have returned with an even stronger set of songs with their new EP, 6 Songs that should gain them the attention they deserve.       

Download 6 Songs here:

For more info: and

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

3 Songs: On Repeat

Haley Bonar – “No Sensitive Man” (For her fifth album, Last War out now on Graveface Records, the indie-pop songstress adopts some of the warped synths and energetic post-punk rhythms of her side-project Gramma’s Boyfriend along with touches of folk and hazy dream-pop  for her most captivating and exciting album yet.  The propulsive beat and tremolo-heavy guitar line of the single here adds in some surf-rock swagger that matches her vocal intensity for a standout moment.)

The Capsules – “The Long Goodbye” (Former members of the criminally under-rated 90’s shoegaze band Shallow - married duo Julie and Jason Shields along with Kevin Trevino – combine lush layers of cosmic synths and pulsating rhythms and set them against their swirling wall of guitars on their fifth album, The Long Goodbye, out now via their new label Saint Marie Records.  On the standout title track here, Julie’s beautiful voice and ethereal melodies float above the haze like a morning fog on Mars.)

The Black Keys – “Fever” (Ohio’s favorite garage rock duo have returned with their highly-anticipated new album, Turn Blue, out now via Nonesuch Records.   Again co-produced by “third” member Danger Mouse, the album takes on a 60’s psych-pop personality with spacey synths swirling around their blues-soaked classic rock sound.  The new album is also more personal and moody as Auerbach recently went through a trying divorce though the melodies remain infectiously upbeat and the grooves are still locked in for yet another great album that adds to their legend.)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Conor Oberst – “Upside Down Mountain”

Conor Oberst returns with Upside Down Mountain - his second album released under his own name – it is out this week via his new label, Nonesuch Records.  The new album ditches the wordy “emo-folk” of his early Bright Eyes work for more mature and direct lyrical themes but his voice is just as distinct as it ever was.  For example, the memorable melodies of opener "Time Forgot" and "Desert Island Questionnaire" will induce nostalgia for his early albums.  The album also finds Conor experimenting with his folk-leaning sound as the music is laced with infectious tropical pop flourishes like on the standout single, “Hundreds Of Ways” with its jaunty horns and bouncy rhythm.  Another standout, “Kick” features a distorted electric guitar riff that gives way to a fidgety Caribbean guitar line and propulsive rhythm.  Likewise, crunchy guitars dissolve into rafters-reaching swells of organ and wispy pedal steel along with soulful background vocals from Klara and Johanna Söderberg of First Aid Kit on “Governor’s Ball”. Oberst is also assisted in the studio by a host of his long-time collaborators such as Mike Mogis, Nate Walcott, Macey Taylor, Blake Mills and producer Jonathan Wilson. 
Dealing with the idea of death and growing older, Oberst sings lines like “There’s a better life on the other side” and “I hope I am forgotten when I die” with expected conviction but the excellent Upside Down Mountain is yet another triumph in a career that won’t soon be forgotten no matter how hard he tries.    

Listen to “Hundreds Of Ways” here:

For more info:

Friday, May 16, 2014

Free Friday: Wolves At Bay – “The Postvention” EP

The Hamden, CT post-punk/hardcore band Wolves At Bay are set to tour with Choir Vandals and have released a new EP, titled The Postvention in celebration.  It will be available at their merch table on limited edition cassette but they have also made it available as a pay-what-you-want download via the Animal Style Records Bandcamp page.  Additionally, all proceeds from the EP will be donated to Prevent Suicide CT, which seeks to reduce and eliminate suicide by instilling hope across the lifespan and through the use of culturally competent advocacy, policy, education, collaboration and networking.  For more information please visit:
The four-song EP includes new alternate versions of the previously released, “Bedside Manner” and “Know Why” released in the original form on their two previous albums.  The EP is highlighted by the two cover songs that are included; the first being a faithful take on the anthemic “Mother Mary” by emo-pioneers Far and the second one, a spirited spin on “Rudderless” by the Lemonheads.    

Download The Postvention EP here:   

For tour dates and more info:

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

3 Songs: On Repeat

Buffalo Killers – “Dig On In” (The Cincinnati-based psych-rock quartet released their stunning new album, Heavy Reverie this week via Sun Pedal Recordings.  On it they bring loads of the heavy, blues-soaked stoner rock riffs, stomping rhythms and fuzzy nostalgia fans have come to expect but this time around their brotherly harmonies seem to soar higher and their classic rock-loving hooks are even sharper for their best and most engaging album yet.)  

Mimicking Birds – “Owl Hoots” (Led by singer/guitarist Nate Lacy, the band has released their long-awaited sophomore album, Eons this week via Glacial Pace Recordings, the label run by Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse.  The dynamic new single here features a skittering beat, sturdy acoustic guitar strumming and strange atmospheric electronics and is highlighted by Lacy’s chill-inducing vocals and vivid lyrics that prove to be well worth the wait.)    

La Sera – “Running Wild” (Katy Goodman - of the defunct Vivian Girls - released her third album, Hour Of The Dawn this week on Hardly Art.  It is her most immediate, punk-fuelled and guitar-centered album yet but also the brightest and most melodically-minded; sounding like Fleetwood Mac if they had cut their teeth at CBGB, especially on the propulsive and poppy standout single heard here.)    

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

3 Songs: On Repeat – featuring an exclusive premiere from Kaela Sinclair!

Kaela Sinclair – “The Realist” (The young Denton, TX singer-songwriter with the honey-sweet voice is set to release her sparkling debut album Sun & Mirror next week.  Produced by Midlake drummer McKenzie Smith and featuring contributions from Joey, Evan and Jesse of Midlake, the outstanding new single here and the album both perfectly showcase Sinclair’s engaging and smart lyrics and her effortlessly catchy and lush folk-pop melodies for a very promising debut.)    

Some Pulp – “Oh Oh (Who’s Cryin’ Now)” (Some Pulp, the Minneapolis-based duo of Graham Barton and Dane Hoppe create an instantly memorable brand of psycho-crooning doo-wop and energetic surf-infused garage rock on their excellent self-titled debut album.  Released this week via Forged Artifacts on limited edition yellow chrome cassette, the nine-song effort is also available as a free digital download via the label’s Bandcamp page.  Do not sleep on this!)

Equals - “Conveyor” (The experimental Texas-based instrumental quintet self-released their long-awaited Alex Bhore (This Will Destroy You)-produced debut album, Tracts this week.  They create a cinematic and groove-heavy post-rock sound with vivid melodies, moody atmospheric synths and layers of textures that recalls both Interpol and Explosions In The Sky.)

Thursday, May 01, 2014

VIDEO PREMIERE: Preston Lovinggood – “Natural” - Lyric Video

The former Wild Sweet Orange frontman released his highly-anticipated debut solo album, Sun Songs last year, via Communicating Vessels.  The stunning album proved to be the perfect showcase for his distinct voice and genre-defiant folk-pop sound and in February of this year, he released the companion album Shadow Songs.  The unique new album features newly recorded versions of five tracks from Sun Songs, including, a re-imagining of “Natural” which adds dreamy kaleidoscopic synths and a fuller more vivid arrangement.  Additionally, the album includes six brand new tracks like, the breathy, slow-burning opening track, “Overactor”.       
In celebration of the new album, Preston is releasing lyric videos for each of the tracks on Shadow Songs.  Here is the premiere for “Natural” - produced by 2ThreeFive - which sets the standout track to a tense and blurry, rain-soaked night drive.     

Watch the lyric video for “Natural” here:

To get more insight on the song’s meaning, read a track-by-track commentary by Preston about Shadow Songs here:

For more info: and