Wednesday, November 26, 2014

3 Songs: On Repeat - featuring a new track from Lindsay Mac

Lindsay Mac – “Remember” (After getting her start as a classically-trained cellist, Cambridge, MA-based singer-songwriter Lindsay Mac went on to perform quirky folk-pop.  Now with her new album, Animal Again, she has transformed herself into an electro-pop ingénue.  With her famous cello now almost non-existent, it allows her dynamic and soulful voice, inspiring lyrics and catchy, honey-sweet melodies to grab the spotlight and shine alongside the exuberantly danceable rhythms and lushly arranged 80’s-inspired synth-pop symphonies that were co-written with producer J Declan.  Check out the super-catchy debut single here with its bubbly rhythm, colorful synths and joyous melodies.)        

Young Tongue – “RXNLA” (The Austin-based five-piece - previously known as The Baker Family - recently released their debut album, Death Rattle as a joint venture between the Austin indie labels Punctum and Raw Paw Records.  Led by the husband and wife duo of Stu and Liz Baker along with Nathan Ribner, Darryl Schomberg II, and Travis Larrew, they create a dazzling contrasting blend of dark, angular post-punk and lush dream-pop.  Standout track “RXNLA” is built upon forceful acoustic guitar strums, plucky piano and the clever call and response vocal trade-offs between Stu and Liz.  Catch them on tour now with Mr. Gnome.)

The New Basement Tapes – “Liberty Street” (Sparked by the recent discovery of lyrics handwritten by Bob Dylan in 1967 during the period that generated the recording of his original Basement Tapes, producer T-Bone Burnett put together an all-star band featuring Elvis Costello, Jim James of My Morning Jacket, Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons, Rhiannon Giddens of Carolina Chocolate Drops and Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes to write and record new music to the lyrics.  The excellent collaborative album, Lost On The River: The New Basement Tapes out now via Electromagnetic Recordings/Harvest Records - is full of each artist’s personality while still retaining Dylan’s singular vision.  The standout single here - co-written and led by Jim James – is a rollicking romp that recalls the close-knit harmonies of The Band but updated with warbly guitar solos and surging MMJ-like synths for the best of both worlds.)  

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

3 Songs: On Repeat – featuring an exclusive stream from Fractal Control

Fractal Control – “Starved For Change” (Hailing from Youngstown, Ohio, the politically-minded instrumental metalcore band led by Mike Louttit recently released their very promising debut album, Disconnection Equals Freedom.  The album was inspired by Peter Joseph’s film, Zeitgeist: The Movie and deals with corruption and justice and is led by the dynamic standout track heard here.  It trades off between effortless moments of complex yet pummeling prog-rock fuelled force and highly-melodic sections that soar with fancy, fluid fretwork for an engaging and unique sound that recalls like-minded acts Animals As Leaders and Scale The Summit.) 

My Goodness – “Young Turks” (The Seattle garage rock trio takes on Rod Stewart’s 80’s classic with all of their visceral heavy blues-rock grooves and howling vocals intact.  The band which consists of vocalist/guitarist Joel Schneider and drummer Andy Lum recently recruited the Blood Brothers’ Cody Votolato to play bass.  They also recently released their stunning debut album Shiver + Shake which is led by the outstanding single, “Cold Feet Killer” and was produced by the late, legendary Seattle producer Rick Parashar, who has also produced for Pearl Jam and Temple Of The Dog among others.)

Foo Fighters – “The Feast And The Famine” (To coincide with the HBO mini-series of the same name, in which they recorded in 8 different musically-rich U.S. cities, the Foo Fighters have recently released their eighth and most recent studio album, Sonic Highways out now via Roswell/RCA Records.  One of the sessions and episodes focused on D.C.’s historic punk scene and Inner Ear Studios.  The result is the standout single heard here - a signature arena-worthy anthem highlighted by its choppy offbeat rhythm and wiry guitar tone that was inspired by area punk legends Fugazi and Jawbox.)     

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

3 Songs: On Repeat

Haerts – “Call My Name” (Vocalist Nini Fabi - a Stevie Nicks-like siren - leads the NYC-based synth-driven indie-pop group whose hotly-anticipated self-titled debut album is out now on Columbia Records.  The 80’s-inspired single here is bathed in swaths of gauzy synths and a soaring, super-catchy vocal melody that is both blissful and aching.  Catch them on their co-headlining tour alongside the like-minded Mikky Ekko.)    

Bent Knee – “Being Human” (The wildly dynamic Boston-based six-piece art-rock band released their stellar sophomore album Shiny Eyed Babies this week.  They blend together soaring Bjork-like vocal outbursts, strange synths and psychedelic prog-rock tendencies with avant-garde chamber-pop and jazz for a totally unique, mind-blowing and genre-defiant sound.)

Project 86 – “Spirit Of Shiloh” (The veteran Chrsitian rock band - led by vocalist Andrew Schwab’s distinct growl - released their ninth album, Knives To The Future this week via their own Team Black Recordings label with the help of a successful Indiegogo campaign.  The new album is filled with their explosive brand of heavy and emotional hardcore-fuelled anthems that continue with the lyrical themes of their last album, Wait For The Siren; as a soldier, post-battle battles his past and future.)

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

3 Songs: On Repeat

Liars – “Poison Bender” (Art-punk trio Liars released their new I’m No Gold EP this week via Mute.  The EP leans heavily towards remixes of the jumpy, exuberant title track – taken from their excellent most recent album, Mess -  by the Liars themselves and a pumped up mix from Mute founder Daniel Miller.  Also included are two new tracks including the droning and propulsive yet feather-light standout track heard here.)

Modest Mouse – “White Lies, Yellow Teeth” (Isaac Brock’s label, Glacial Pace has just reissued Modest Mouse’s first two full-lengths on vinyl.  Additionally, a 7” with two previously unreleased tracks from those sessions were released alongside each respective album.  The song heard here – with its signature scratchy guitars and ramshackle rhythm - was taken from the same sessions that birthed their seminal 1996 album, This Is a Long Drive for Someone With Nothing to Think About.)

Deerhoof – “Exit Only” (For La Isla Bonita, their thirteenth (!) studio album - out now via Polyvinyl Records - the band added fresh touches of “riot grrl” and Ramones-inspired punk and more direct pop-leaning melodies to their already off-kilter art-rock sound.  The lead single here, mixes Spanish lyrics, thick, fuzzed-out guitars and a driving yet stuttering drum beat as a punk-fuelled shot in the arm for the indie rock vets.)

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Stream It From The Mountain: Empty Moon - "The Shark"

Empty Moon is the new solo project of Brendan Hangauer, formerly of Lawrence, KS indie rock band Fourth Of July; his debut album, The Shark is out today via High Dive Records.  The new moniker and album are a result of his move from the Midwest to the Golden State of California and the fuller, sun-streaked arrangements and lush production from Jason Quever of Papercuts sets this project apart from his three albums as Fourth Of July.  Another difference is that lyrically the themes are grander in scope, as Hangauer chose not to focus on personal relationships as the primary theme this time around.  Also, former bandmate Adrianne Verhoeven (The Anniversary, Extra Classic) returns to provide her distinct vocals on a few of the tracks.

The nine-song album is led by the standout single, “75 Degrees” with its plinking piano notes that fall somewhere between doo-wop and honky-tonk and “The Shark”, the album’s title track which hews closest to his previous output with a lovelorn, raise-your-glass-in-the-air sing-along chorus alongside rafters-reaching reverb-rich piano and a forceful acoustic guitar rhythm.  Other standout tracks include the philosophical “Dear Life”, which weaves five different situations into one storyline alongside cyclical acoustic guitars and swaying swells of vintage organ and the strummy guitars, calliope-like melody and droning organ of “Golden Mean” which provides the perfect background for the contrast of Brendan’s deep, rich baritone and Dri’s lighter signature swoon.    

Stream The Shark here:

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