Friday, September 15, 2017

3 Songs: On Repeat (Extended Edition)

Prophets Of Rage – “Living On The 110” (On the heels of their many live performances and last year’s debut EP, the rap-rock supergroup consisting of  Tom, Brad and Tim of Rage Against The Machine, Chuck D and DJ Lord of Public Enemy and B-Real of Cypress Hill, has released their statement-making self-titled debut album today via Fantasy Records.  Dubbed by the band as a “Soundtrack To The Resistance” and led by the incendiary and revolutionary singles, “Living On The 110” and “Radical Eyes”, the timely album lives up to its name and then some; providing the perfect empowering playlist for this troubled political era like no one else could.)
Watch the band perform “Living On The 110” live on The Tonight Show:

MYRKUR – “Funeral (featuring Chelsea Wolfe)” (Even after recording in a cavernous mausoleum on her last EP, the Danish black metal artist Amelie Bruun has just released her most grandiose and accomplished collection of songs yet with the release of Mareridt, her sophomore album, out today on Relapse Records.  The album title translates to “nightmare” and Bruun transcends time with her blend of dark, ancient folk and classical compositions with blistering black metal and beautiful choral vocals for a hauntingly atmospheric sound that befits the album title.  In addition, her use of strange instruments like the mandola and the Swedish key harp called the nyckelharpa add to the stark ambiance.)  
Watch Bruun & Wolfe perform “Funeral” live in a Las Vegas hotel room:

The National – “Day I Die” (The Brooklyn indie rock favorites recently returned with their long-awaited new album, Sleep Well Beast, out now on 4AD.  As ever, their music is moody and introspective but this time around a little darker in places and with heavier guitars and solos, as on the standout track, “Day I Die”, heard here.  Additionally, baritone vocalist Matt Berninger wrote the more relatable song lyrics along with his wife Carin, tackling themes of marriage, growing old, life and love.)

Death From Above – “Freeze Me” (After returning from a long hiatus with their second album in 2014 and recently dropping the “1979” from their moniker (as always intended), the duo of Sebastien Grainger and bassist Jesse F. Keeler are back with their third album, Outrage Is Now!, out now on Warner Bros./Last Gang Records.  The unexpected new album is their most accessible with the addition of hyper-catchy, pop-leaning hooks to their raging, dance-punk sound and it is also their most socially-aware and politically-charged, lyrically.)            

Lotte Kestner – “Go To Sleep Now” (Lotte Kestner is the recording and performing moniker of Seattle-based singer-songwriter Anna-Lynne Williams, former vocalist of Trespassers William, Ormonde and collaborator with the Chemical Brothers, AFI, Damien Jurado and more.  Her latest album, Off White, was released today on Saint Marie Records and its sparse, ethereal acoustic guitar or piano-led arrangements that blend together folk and dream-pop are the perfect vessel for her knee-buckling beautiful vocals.  You may have also heard her stunning version of Beyonce’s “Halo” in HBO’s The Young Pope.)

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Stream It From The Mountain: Early Riser – Currents

Early Riser is the Brooklyn-based folk-pop duo made up of singer-songwriter Kiri Oliver and cellist/vocalist Heidi Vanderlee and their long-awaited debut album, Currents was recently co-released by Anchorless Records and A-F Records.  The duo - along with bassist Zane Van Dusen (Mindtroll, Toys and Tiny Instruments) and drummer Davie Olson (Nevada Nevada, Poison Control Center) - creates an upbeat and unique sound; it is built upon piano and cello and highlighted by their close-knit harmonies, playful sense of humor, infectiously sweet melodies and positive message.  With their reliance on strings and harmonies, Early Riser recalls one of my favorite 90’s bands that dog.   
Standout tracks on the album include, the encouraging and empowering first single, “The Nevers”, the rollicking, bittersweet “Wrecking Ball For A Dead End” and “Oh, Nevermind”, which as a nice surprise, opens with a startling crash of distorted guitar before dissolving into a cello-led folk-drenched dance-along. 

Stream Currents here:

Friday, September 08, 2017

3 Songs: On Repeat (Extended Edition)

Cricketbows – “End Of The Night” (The Dayton-based indie rock band led by Chad Wells is set to release a new EP titled, Communion today on Mosquito Hawk Records.  Produced by Buffalo Killers' Zachary Gabbard, these six new songs – the first released since their excellent 2015 debut album, Diamonds – are a highly-eclectic yet cohesive mix of 60’s and 70’s psych-rock and early 80’s college rock along with elements of blues, country, folk and 90’s alternative rock for an inspired yet unique sound all their own.)     

Chad VanGaalen – “Old Heads” (Out today on Sub Pop is Light Information, the new album from Canadian creative mind Chad VanGaalen.  As always his music is psychedelic and slightly strange and this collection of songs is highlighted by jangly guitars, weird old synths and personal lyrics shrouded in sci-fi imagery.  In addition to his quirky music, VanGaalen is also a highly sought after visual artist, animator, director, and producer.)

Mogwai – “Party In The Dark” (The Scottish post-everything art-rock mainstays recently released their ninth album titled, Every Country’s Sun via Temporary Residence Ltd.  The new album was produced by longtime collaborator Dave Fridmann and features their most anthemic and captivating collection of songs in years.  After over two decades as a band, they continue to experiment and break musical molds with the addition of guitarist Stuart Braithwaite’s rarely utilized vocals on the churning and propulsive standout single heard here.)

The War On Drugs – “Up All Night” (The Philly-based band led by singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Adam Granduciel recently released their highly-anticipated fourth album, A Deeper Understanding, via their new label home, Atlantic Records.  Meticulously produced by Granduciel, they have crafted a headphones-worthy world full of full arrangements with a layered lushness that comes complete with 80’s-informed twinkling synths, subtle Krautrock-like drum machines and some lite rock nostalgia.  No offense to the excellent Lost In The Dream, but this seems like the album Granduciel has always strived for.)    

For The Win – “Us Versus Them” (The San Diego based quintet offer up a dynamic amalgamation of catchy pop-punk and heavy metallic hardcore on their stunning sophomore album, Heavy Thoughts, out now on Victory Records.  Though frontman Kyle Christensen has produced and mixed for other artists, Emmy-nominated composer and producer Brian Grider produced the new album which brims with mosh-worthy energy and an empowering and positive message.  Also, their 2014 debut album, More Than You Know, will be re-released by Victory later this year.)         

Liars – “The Grand Delusional” (Now essentially a solo project of Angus Andrew, Liars recently released their eighth album, TFCF  - which stands for Theme From Crying Fountain – on Mute Records.  In order to write and record the new album, Andrew removed himself from the bustling cities of Berlin, L.A. and NY, and moved to a remote part of his native Australia.  The resulting album is as experimental as you might expect from a Liars album; with the sound ever-evolving to include acoustic guitars, found sounds and samples and more personal songwriting that contrasts nicely with the electronic foundation.)       

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Stream It From The Mountain: BOTTOMFEEDERS – S/T

After sharing the stage with likeminded acts such as Ty Segall, A Place To Bury Strangers and Thee Oh Sees, the emergent New Orleans based psych-punk band BOTTOMFEEDERS recently released their self-titled debut album via Milwaukee’s Good Land Records. 
The quartet - consisting of vocalist/guitarist Chris Lyons, guitarist Bradley Morris, drummer Lucas Bogner and bassist Alex Zilinski - creates a blistering and bleary-eyed blend of punk-infused psychedelic garage-rock on their debut.  Standout tracks include the rumbling album opener, “Jungle Juis” and “Isolation” which combines scuzzy, noise-addled surf rock guitar riffs and a catchy, shouted refrain.  Despite their band name, their very promising debut proves they won’t be on the bottom for long.

Stream BOTTOMFEEDERS album here:

Friday, September 01, 2017

3 Songs: On Repeat – (Extended Edition)

LCD Soundsystem – “tonite” (Today, after previously announcing retirement, James Murphy returns with AMERICAN DREAM, his fourth album as LCD Soundsystem and first for Columbia Records in conjunction with his own label, DFA.  The surprising ten-track album features the previously released singles; the subtle protest track, “call the police” and the poignant title track which are great previews for the album as a whole which is more lush and organic-sounding than his previous work yet still as acerbic and danceable as on the buoyant standout single heard here that sounds like Daft Punk, Kraftwerk and Talking Heads blended into one all-night dance party.)

Iron And Wine – “Call It Dreaming” (For his sixth album, Beast Epic, Sam Beam returns to his roots in sound and to his first label home, Sub Pop.  After years of experimentation with electronics and layers of instrumentation, the nostalgia-inducing new album is stripped-down with minimal overdubs and built upon the warm, folk foundation that made Iron & Wine a household name in the first place.  After fifteen years in the game, standouts like the single heard here, continue to prove that Beam is one of the best songwriters of our generation.)           

Grizzly Bear – “Mourning Sound” (After a five year hiatus, the artful indie-rock favorites returned with Painted Ruins, their highly-anticipated fifth album, out now on RCA Records. The new album is more rhythm-driven and continues their experimental streak with the danceable pulsating beat and bass line that drives the standout single heard here.  Droste and crew’s beautiful and bittersweet vocal melodies and complex chamber-pop arrangements remain a highlight.)      

Neck Deep – “Judgement Day” (The Wrexham, UK based pop-punk band is back with their third album, The Peace And The Panic, out now on Hopeless Records.  The new album is more personal and understandably world-weary but just as bright and upbeat as ever as the quartet continues to perfect their blend of heavy, metallic riffs and breakdowns - see “Don’t Wait” ft. Sam Carter of Architects - and touches of 90’s alt-rock and grunge - see “In Bloom” - into their incredibly infectious brand of pop-punk.)      

Kacy & Clayton – “Just Like A Summer Cloud” (The Canadian cousin duo of Kacy Anderson and Clayton Linthicum recently returned with their third album, The Siren’s Song, out now on New West.  Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy produced the duo’s new album which is a stunningly timeless collection of 60’s and 70’s-inspired country-leaning folk-rock highlighted by Kacy’s lilting vocal twang and elements of subtle psychedelia for their best album yet.)