Wednesday, April 29, 2015

3 Songs: On Repeat



Mittenfields – “Optimists”” (After releasing their promising debut EP in 2011, the D.C.-based band has finally released their highly-anticipated debut album, Optimists.  Their fuzz-fueled 3-guitar attack lends itself to a shoegaze-like wall of sound but off-kilter post-punk rhythms, anthemic Arcade fire-like moments and some catchy 90’s indie rock-inspired guitar melodies break through to help set them apart and make their debut well worth the wait.) http://mittenfields.bandcamp.com/    
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Blur – “Go Out” (The Brit-pop vets triumphantly return with their original line-up and the release of The Magic Whip, their first album in over 16 years which is out now on Warner Brothers Records.  Of course, much has changed in the musical landscape since we last heard from Damon Albarn and co.  Fittingly, some of Gorillaz’ electronic beats sneak into the new album that blends together all versions of Blur’s music with the danceable synth-pop, fuzzy alt-rock and more psychedelic moments of their later period for a modern yet still nostalgic sound.) http://www.blur.co.uk/     

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Passion Pit – “Lifted Up (1985)” (Michael Angelakos returns with Kindred - his new album of shiny synth-pop anthems - out now via Columbia Records.  The excellent new album is deeply personal, focusing on faith, family and his battle with mental illness which perfectly contrasts with the bright, wide-screen pop melodies and exuberant danceable rhythms.) http://www.kindredthealbum.com/

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Friday, April 24, 2015

Free Friday: Mew - "Exclusive +- EP"



Next week, Danish art-rock quartet, Mew are set to release their long-awaited new album titled, +- via Play It Again Sam Records.  In advance of that and to celebrate, they have released an exclusive four-song EP via Noisetrade as a free digital download. 
Led by the cherubic and soaring falsetto of frontman Jonas Bjerre and featuring a reunion of the original lineup, the excellent new album proves to be worth the wait as the band sounds refreshed and more experimental; perfectly blending new elements of infectiously catchy dream-pop, R&B, and even hip-hop into their already off-kilter and psychedelic brand of melodic prog-rock for their most accessible album yet. 

“Satellites” and “Water Slides”, two of the standout tracks from +- appear on the EP in different forms – first as shorter, more precise radio edits and then as stripped-down acoustic versions that serve to highlight each of the song’s inherent beauty.  Check out the EP below and pick up the new album, +- next week.




For more info: http://mewsite.com/

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

3 Songs: On Repeat



Built To Spill – “Never Be The Same” (Doug Martsch and crew released their long-awaited eighth album, Untethered Moon via Warner Brothers Records this week.  It is the first album recorded with new rhythm section, drummer Steve Gere and bassist Jason Albertini, and is the best album since Doug’s late ‘90’s output – with the memorable melodies and classic rock-inspired guitar heroics you have come to expect from him.) http://www.builttospill.com/untetheredmoon
Stream the jangly, loping standout single here: https://soundcloud.com/builttospill/never-be-the-same

 
Dustin Kensrue – “Back To Back” (The Thrice frontman released Carry The Fire, his long-awaited sophomore solo album, this week via Staple/Vagrant Records.  On it he expands his folk and country-leaning sound to include new hints of blues, 60’s pop and opens up to rock a little more like late-era Thrice.  Lyrically, Kensrue continues to weave spiritual themes of darkness vs. light into his introspective and uplifting songs alongside his subtly catchy melodies for a welcome return.) http://dustinkensrue.com/    

Stream the upbeat, "heartland" rock-inspired single here: https://soundcloud.com/dustin-kensrue/back-to-back

 
UnWed – “Raise The Kids” (The Brooklyn band consisting of members of Hot Water Music, Primitive Weapons and Small Brown Bike recently released their debut album, Raise The Kids, via 6131 Records.  Together they combine their punk and hardcore roots with touches of hard rock and Midwestern emo-tinged indie rock with female/male vocal leads for an anthemic sound that references both Quicksand and Rainer Maria but sounds fresh and modern at the same time for an impressive and promising debut.) http://music.6131records.com/album/raise-the-kids

Stream the raging, 90’s-loving title track here: https://soundcloud.com/unwed/raise-the-kids/s-lI0D0

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

3 Songs: On Repeat



A Is For Atom – “Bombs Away” (A Is For Atom is the solo project of Brooklyn based musician Mike Cykoski; working with producer and former NYU classmate Julian Cassia, Mike has released two acclaimed EPs of his smart, fine-crafted brand of orchestrated indie-rock over the last couple of years.  The most recent EP titled, Song For You is highlighted by the standout single, “Bombs Away”, which is a bittersweet love song aided by a bouncy synth-leaden groove and infectious refrain that recalls 90’s alt-pop favorites Eels.  Look for more new music from this emerging songwriter soon.) https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/song-for-you-ep-ep/id875273202  
Stream: https://soundcloud.com/aisforatom/03-a-is-for-atom-bombs-away-song-for-you-ep

 
Protomartyr – “Blues Festival” (Hot on the heels of their highly-praised sophomore album, the genre-defiant Detroit post-punk band returns with a brand new 7” single titled, Half Of Seven with the new song, “Blues Festival” that features vocals from Kelley Deal of R. Ring and The Breeders.  The B-side is a new song from R. Ring, Kelley’s lo-fi project with Mike Montgomery of Ampline.  The 7” is out now digitally and will be released physically via Hardly Art on June 16.) http://www.hardlyart.com/protomartyr.html

Stream: https://soundcloud.com/hardlyartrecords/protomartyr-blues-festival/

 
Big Data – “Snowed In” (Big Data is the recording moniker of synth-pop producer Alan Wilkis, his long-awaited debut album, 2.0 – led by the standout single and collaboration with the likeminded Joywave; “Dangerous” - was recently released on Warner Bros Records.  The guest heavy album features vocal performances from Twin Shadow, Jamie Lidell, Kimbra, and Wye Oak's Jenn Wasner among others.  The new single heard here features vocals from Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo and like the rest of the album comments on technology and paranoia while remaining danceable and fun.) http://bigdata.fm/
Stream: https://soundcloud.com/bigdatabigdata/big-data-snowed-in-feat-rivers-cuomo

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

3 Songs: On Repeat



Andy Gabbard – “More” (The Dayton-based singer-songwriter has traded in the trippy, stoner psych-rock of the Buffalo Killers for the highly-melodic grunge-informed power-pop found on his debut solo album, Fluff, out now via Alive Naturalsound Records.  Performed entirely by Gabbard in one 12-hour session, the stellar album doesn’t feel rushed even though a rush of fuzzed-out Dinosaur Jr.-esque guitar riffs and loads of infectious melodies create a nostalgia-inducing wall of sound that recalls everything from 90’s alt-rock to 60’s psych-pop.  Also, look for a new Buffalo Killers album later this year!) http://www.alive-records.com/artist/andy-gabbard/
Stream: https://soundcloud.com/alivenaturalsound/andy-gabbard-more     

 
Pokey LaFarge – “Something In The Water” (The St. Louis-based Americana singer-songwriter released Something In The Water, his seventh album and debut for Rounder Records this week.  This new collection of timeless-sounding songs offer up more of the rollicking ragtime rhythms – with the use of drums more prominent for the first time – jazzy Dixieland instrumentation, dusty country-blues and of course, the vividly folksy storytelling and unique voice that puts Pokey in a class all his own.) http://www.pokeylafarge.net/

Stream: https://soundcloud.com/rounder-records/11-something-in-the-water

 
Doldrums – “HOTFOOT” (The band led by Airick Woodhead creates a punk-inspired brand of sample-heavy electronic music constructed with abrasive yet textural synths that collide with aggressively banging beats and a dark aura for a sound both modern and reminiscent of 90’s electronica on their stunning sophomore album, The Air Conditioned Nightmare, out now via Sub Pop.) https://www.subpop.com/artists/doldrums   

Stream: https://soundcloud.com/subpop/doldrums-hotfoot

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

3 Songs: On Repeat



Death Cab For Cutie – “No Room In Frame” (Check out the biting, bittersweet opening track from DCFC’s long-awaited and highly-anticipated new album Kintsugi, out now via Atlantic Records.  The new album finds the band in a newfound state of transition as founding member and producer Chris Walla has left since finishing the album and this is the first album written since Ben Gibbard’s divorce.  The music relies on synths and electronics a little more than before, with New Order-like textures but Ben’s distinct voice and melancholic yet poppy melodies remain for yet another solid album to add to their canon.) http://deathcabforcutie.com/home/
Stream: https://soundcloud.com/deathcabforcutie/death-cab-for-cutie-no-room-in-frame 

 
Prong – “Banned In D.C. (Bad Brains Cover)” (This week the veteran NYC post-metal trio led by Tommy Victor released Songs From The Black Hole, an new album of cover songs via eOne Music / SPV Records.  On it they pay homage to some of their punk rock peers and influences by putting their own signature hybrid hardcore-punk and thrash-metal spin on songs from Fugazi, Black Flag, Killing Joke, Hüsker Dü  and Sisters Of Mercy among others.  Heard here is their unique take on the iconic Bad Brains track, “Banned In D.C.”.  The album is also highlighted by a pretty faithful yet more metallic version of Neil Young’s epic, “Cortez The Killer”.)  http://prongmusic.com/
Stream: https://soundcloud.com/eone-music/prong-banned-in-dc   

 
Van Dale – “Speak Yellow” (In order to display their infectiously catchy, fuzzy Weezer-loving alt-pop melodies, the Columbus-based trio - featuring members of Way Yes - released their excellent self-titled debut album this week via Fleeting Youth Records.  The standout single heard here with its head-nodding rhythm and noisy fuzzed-out guitars; sounds like a nostalgia-laced nugget from the mid-90’s, when MTV still mattered and actually played videos.)  https://fleetingyouthrecords.bandcamp.com/album/van-dale
Stream: https://soundcloud.com/fleetingyouthrecords/van-dale-speak-yellow