Thursday, December 18, 2008

Hammin It Up!

During a busy summer, backing Vic Chesnutt in Europe, touring with Elf Power, and recording with Liz Durrett as her backing band on, Outside Our Gates, Ham1 somehow found the time to hit the studio. With the help of engineer Jason Nesmith of Casper & the Cookies, they found time to record their follow-up to last year's acclaimed Orange Twin release The Captain's Table.

Named The Underground Stream, the album continues the enigmatic path charted by Ham1, a band whose sound is familiar but always hard to pin down, with influences ranging from Western surf guitar, loose Velvet Underground-style stompers, and Southern gothic ballads. It's like a scratchy, late night broadcast from a remote AM radio station that plays Link Wray back-to-back with Lou Reed. Meaning you can't change the station and you definitely can't stop listening to them.

Download: Toothless Frontlines
Download: I Wave Back
Download: Adirondack Chair
Download: The whole album....The Underground Stream

Nothing Like Some Peachcake To Go With That Coffee

Peachcake, the spectacular, incredibly strangely named but positivity-charged audio-protectors from the Planet Awesome, have come to rescue you from the mundane and take you away to a soundtopia of electronic pop extraordinaire, with the their recently released album What Year Will You Have The World?

Say what you will about the name...and yeah, it borderlines on being just plain dumb, but Peachcake make up for it with sugary sweet synth pop that will give you cavities. The stuff sounds something like Magnetic Fields if Stephen Merritt ate a lot of candy...a lot...and then recorded everything he said while he was on a sugar high or the Pet Shop Boys if they were indie.

If that wasn't enough Peachcake's eclectic and extremely interactive live show is rounded out by a rotating cast of characters and is renowned and revered for its use of full-on crowd participation. This includes but is not limited to props, pajamas and dance circles. The result is a show that commands your complete enjoyment and audiences routinely leave (against their will) knowing that the sound waves are safer.

Download: Welcome To The Party To Save The World

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Local Natives Cross Country

For six months Local Natives (formerly known as Cavil at Rest) bunkered down in a two-bedroom house in Orange, CA. During that time songs were written, rewritten, and then recorded as their first full-length album with the help of producer Raymond Richards. Yeah that's pretty damn quick don't ya think? Anyway, the debut album earned the title of Gorilla Manor as homage to their humble abode and will likely be released in early 2009.

Local Natives have that sort of Arcade Fire, Beirut, and Broken Social Scene, Modest Mouse thing down pat. And that's not a bad thing to be honest. I summary their songs are arty and complex but still has a sense of what makes a song good.

While they have that arty-indie thing mastered what really makes this band stand apart is the sense of united celebration amongst the group and the audiences they play for. From three singers sharing harmonies and lead vocals, extra percussion from friends and fans, and band mates switching positions and instruments, a Local Natives show unfolds more like a tribal pow-wow.

You can see for yourself as Local Natives are preparing to cross the country playing just about everywhere but Florida! (surprise).
20 San Clemente, CA @ OC Tavern
21 San Marcos, CA @ The Jumping Turtle
27 Lake Forest, CA @ The Gypsy Lounge
28 Scottsdale, AZ @ Rogue Bar
29 El Paso, TX @ Black Market
30 Austin, TX @ Beauty Bar
02 New Orleans, LA @ Hi Ho Lounge
04 Memphis, TN @ Buccaneers Lounge
05 Nashville, TN @ The Muse
06 Cincinnati, OH @ The Comet
07 Pittsburgh, PA @ Garfield Artworks
09 New York, NY @ Pianos
10 Brooklyn, NY @ Public Assembly
11 Cambridge, MA @ Middle East
14 Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Tavern
15 Detroit, MI @ Old Miami
17 Chicago, IL @ The Horseshoe
20 Lincoln, NE @ Box Awesome
21 Denver, CO @ Benders Tavern
23 Cheyenne, WY @ Synergy Cafe
24 Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
25 Las Vegas, NV @ The Beatles Revolution Lounge

Download: Airplanes
Download: Warning Sign
Download: We Come Back (Holiday Song)

Put Some Passion Into That Pit of Wallpaper.

Back in the beginning of April, Fingers On The Pulse announced a contest encouraging all to try their hand at remixing one of the year's best songs, Passion Pit's "Sleepyhead". But in the end, only one rang victorious in eyes of Passion Pit - Oakland, California's Wallpaper. was declared the winner. Wallpaper. is the enigmatic onstage existence of Eric Frederic. In another life, he fronts a prog-rock powerhouse (indie stalwarts Facing New York), but in this one, he's a pop-pushing kingpin as interested in art as artifice.

While on the subject of remixes, on December 23, Wallpaper.'s T REX ep will be re-released in new form, as T REX RMXd. Enlisting the help of friends Andrew Maury of The Remix Artist Collective, Bomarr of Restiform Bodies (Anticon), and Gavin Castleton (Five One, Inc.) to remix the ep.

Download: Passion Pit - Sleepyhead (Wallpaper Dio Remix)
Download: Wallpaper. - Evrytm We Do It (RAC Maury Remix)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Art Punk The Old Fashioned Way

Credited as godfathers of the D.I.Y. movement, The Homosexuals: Bruno Wizard with guitarist Anton Heyman, bassist Jim Welton and a cast of revolving collaborators accumulated a treasure trove of other-worldly art-punk in the late 70s and early 80s, shunning the sniffs of big-label bloodhounds, only sporadically performing, and self-pressing tiny quantities of their own records only to disband completely by ‘83. Two recent archival releases, The Homosexuals CD (ReR), and the triple CD Astral Glamour (Hyped 2 Death), have brought the Homosexuals legacy back into focus.

That being said, Serious Business Records proudly presents Love Guns?, the first piece of new vinyl issued by UK D.I.Y art-punk instigators The Homosexuals since the early eighties. The Love Guns? EP is being initially released as a hand numbered 300-piece 10” vinyl pressing. To make things even more interesting, Bruno Wizard has hand written a story across the entirety of the 300 pieces, with a unique sentence, a fragment or a few words appearing on each copy. Fans can compare their unique inscriptions, upload photos, and slowly piece together the entire story at

Download: Slow Guns

It's A Block of Yellow

A Block of Yellow began when the dual dueling Vox & Guitar boys, Alex Whalley and Anthony Nastasi, wanted to get their crafty song-craft beat-powered and bassified in truly beautiful fashion. Recruitment of Dan Tomas on bass line creating bass and Rich Baker on beat creating drums followed and rounded out the quartet.

Conceived under the influence of The Kinks, The Clash, and The Stone Roses, the glorious BritPop sounds of A Block of Yellow certainly work wonders on tired and lonely ears. It's like listening to old Of Montreal in a fist fight with The Kinks doing, "Victoria." It's jangly, slightly twee and has a 60's feel to it. In other words...better pop you are unlikely to find.

Their album Do I Do was recorded and produced by Don Kerr of Rheostatics and Ron Sexsmith fame over two years of hot summers and cold winters in Toronto, Canada.

Download: Do I Do
Download: You Shook My Head
Download: Are You Sure

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Who The Heck Is Meck?

The name MECK has been everywhere of late thanks to the UK number 1 smash hit single Thunder In My Heart Again. The record gained the support of among others Radio 1s Pete Tong, who went on to play it for 10 consecutive weeks and made it his Essential New Tune.

As people have subsequently found out, Meck is the DJ and recording alias of Craig Dimech, the former head of free2air recordings and now head honcho at Frenetic Music which he's firmly placed in the epicentre of cool, clubbing culture.

His latest choon, Windmills takes a bit of Dusty Springfield and tweaks into a huge monster of a tune that's so upfront it's blasting in your front yard right now. An absolute massive tune that's so epic it could part the seas and as some has pointed out it's the perfect follow up to the Audio Bully's Shoot You Down.

Download: Windmills (Club Mix) (via SoundCloud)
Download: Dusty's In The House (via SoundCloud)

My Synthesizer Won't Behave

For its fifth release, Monsta Music is proud to present the debut solo EP from George Cochrane, aka Origami. Though his name may be new to the ears of many, his music has been heard by the dance music community for years through a variety of partnerships, including his work with DJ2, Andrew Phelan & Origami, Cubik & Origami, and The Fingermonsters.

The Spencer Spiketail EP has been getting rave reviews, with a perfect 10/10 in iDJ, comparisons to Green Velvet, Freaks, and Classic Recordings, and DJ support from the likes of Satoshi Tomiie, Luke Solomon, Laurent Garnier, Johnny Fiasco, Onionz and M.A.N.D.Y. to name but a few.

It's one heck of a tech house tweaker that kind of klangs along while Cochrane rambles on about his set up. You can almost picture him kicking his synths as he was recording this tune and the machines responding back. It's pretty clever stuff and it's quite good to boot. It'll definitely remind you of Green Velvet, all that's missing is the "I don't give a shit" chorus somewhere.

Top stuff. Download's courtesy of SoundCloud.

Download: My Synthesizer Won't Behave (Original Edit)
Download: My Synthesizer Won't Behave (Andrew Phelan & Origami Edit)
Download: My Synthesizer Won't Behave (The Fingermonsters Edit)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Not From Sweden: Jensen Sportag

Jensen Sportag over the past week has gotten tons of press Fluxblog, MYOKB, Tripwire, etc. In case you’re unfamiliar, Jensen Sportag is a Nashville-based artist who creates some laid back housey vibes with a bit of downtempo thrown in for good measure. Their tunes have a bit of an 80's vibe mixed with some Ibiza lite to create a sort of live organic feel that's a bit abstract but still ridiculously catchy.

They’re releasing a short-player on December 2nd called Sergio. The duo has made fast friends out of the Paw Track stable of artists – Ariel Pink contributed vocals and cover art to their self-titled 2007 debut, and new-signing Dent May recently invited the band out to his Mississippi ranch to collaborate.

They’ve also got a big fan in the form of Domino Records’ Max Tunda, who recently released a promo mix featuring one of their songs, "Cocktease," (and if you pay attention to his version of Hot Chip's Playboy, you'll notice he replaces the line "Blazin Out Yo La Tengo" with "Blazin out Jensen Sportag"). He's also tapped the boys for his forthcoming remix LP, and has invited them to open up for a forthcoming tour.

Download: Power Sergio
Download: 2x2
Download: Max Tundra Promo Mix

The Theater Fire is Unstoppable

The Theater Fire, a roots-influenced, seven-piece indie-pop band from Texas, releases its third LP Matter and Light on December 9th, 2008. Matter and Light contains a wide range of instruments, combining horns, pedal steel, banjo, piano, fiddle, accordion, found percussion and singing saw with the standard bass, drum and guitar lineup. The result is a distinct fusion of country, jazz, zydeco, folk, blues, and rock.

The two singer songwriters Don Feagin and Curtis Heath, along with the rest of the band, take us on a trip through the annals of music, drawing on influences such as Bob Willis, Mississippi John Hurt, George Jones, The Velvet Underground, Will Oldham and Lambchop.

Normally, I hate stuff like this. I just can't get into Americana noodling and meandering but I listened to, "Uncle Wayne," and it cracked me up. It's so melancholic and darkly funny that you can't help but like it. If this track is any indication of how the whole album is, Americana might just stand a chance in the ol' POP! lexicon.

Download: Uncle Wayne

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Twiggy Gets Frostbite

Twiggy Frostbite took shape in the spring of 2006, inspired by the London Underground, and the music evolved into something unique. The untamed tones and frosty noise of the northern Swedish coast met the acoustics of The Tube to create a dreamlike atmosphere.

Twiggy Frostbite has its roots in Gävle and shares members with The Deer Tracks and Grizzly Twister. The debut album Through Fire will arrive in the winter of 2009 and is a melodic journey that is a bit minimal, lush, ethereal, and most definitely Scandinavian.

Check out the video for Heroes... (download the single below)

Download: Heroes

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

They're Our Heroes

Heroes of The Dancefloor will release Torch and the lead single “Same Scandal” on INgrooves over the Thanksgiving holiday. ALL of the proceeds from the sale of Torch will go to two charities working with the homeless in New York: Picture The Homeless (LINK) and Coalition For The Homeless (LINK). NO money will go to the musicians including any mechanicals, royalties or publishing.

Torch features Gary Alesbrook who tours with Kasabian and Scissor Sisters on Trumpet, James Morton on Sax and Dan Moore on Keyboards and Bass (who both tour with former James Brown sideman Pee Wee Ellis), Guitar by Alex Hutchins and Vocals by Mamazu. Mixes and remixes have come from top US DJs such as Nick Chacona and Anthony Mansfield and top US and UK engineers including Adam Noble in the Strongroom, Joe Fields and Sam Dillon in Soho Studios, Doug McBride in Gravity Studios in Chicago, Grammy-award winning Thom Russo in Los Angeles and Grammy-award-winning Mick Glossop in London.

Download: Ricky
Download: Same Scandal

The Bodies Have Been Obtained

Conceived in Detroit and named for the Joy Division song “Day of the Lords,” The Bodies Obtained reveal their “art-damaged selves” through timeless electro gloom that could’ve been conceived in 1978, 1988, 1998 or 2008: it’s the sonic documentation of an ongoing project that spans electronica, experimental rock and synth-pop.

Listening to these guys is like listening to the Road Warrior soundtrack in a collision with the Blade Runner soundtrack mixed with a healthy dose of Suicide on tons of drugs. It's crazy noisy jittery post punk that will rule your world!

They've just released their album From The Top Of My Tree and it's a doozy. You can order it via CD Baby.

Download: Hear and Believe

AmpLive Is In Disguise !

With the January 27th release of The Take Over growing closer by the day, Zion I’s AmpLive and Zumbi are fanning the flames of anticipation with the release of The Search and the Seizure Mixtape.

In keeping with the title of their forthcoming album, the mixtape finds the Bay Area duo commandeering other artists’ tunes. What did you expect? Sinatra covers?

The A-side, if you will, features a run of hip-hop classics, complemented with verses from Talib Kweli, Deuce Eclipse and Codany Holiday. The B-side finds Amp and Zumbi stepping into indie and electro territory, with remixes of Muse, Santogold, MGMT and much more, so boom-bap addicts and fans of Amp's recent remixes for Radiohead, Jamie Lidell, Tapes N Tapes and more should have plenty to sink their teeth into.

Download: The Search and The Seizure Mixtape (via their site)
Download: The Rebel
Download: Gotsta Chill (Temperature RMX) ft. Talib Kweli
Download: Santogold One RMX ft. The Grouch

Take Off...To The Great White North

Canadian band alert.

Yes it's true the Great White North has unleashed yet another band. Plajia, as one might expect from the netherworld up there, writes massively huge songs as well as they write quirky off kilter pop songs. It's kind of like if err...Of Montreal were actually from there and hung out with Chris Martin.

Anyway, Plajia has recently released it's album called Beautiful Explosion it's eleven songs of quirky grandiosity that's imaginative and quite good. So much so, Plajia has recently been nominated with Beautiful Explosion for the Grand Prix de la relève Archambault 2008. If you like your tunes big or slightly strange than you'll dig this band.

Download: Beautiful Explosion
Download: Dummy

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Florence's Dog Days

Florence and the Machine, one of London’s most talked about new talents, will be releasing her second single in America on December 2nd through IAMSOUND, called Dog Days Are Over.

The song was produced by James Ford of Simian Mobile Disco and Last Shadow Puppets (also producer for Arctic Monkeys, Bloc Party, etc.) and the b-side is a cover of “You Got The Love” by The Source feat Candi Staton.

The song’s already been added to BBC Radio 1 and select radio stations around the US, coming off a successful run of shows at Glastonbury, Reading, Leads, Bestival and others, as well as an earlier tour with MGMT.

For those of you over in the UK, Florence is running up and down the countryside...
Jan 29 - Liverpool University
Jan 30 - Carling Academy
Feb 1 - Carling Academy Newcastle
Feb 3 - Carling Academy Sheffield
Feb 4 - Carling Academy Birmingham
Feb 6 - Manchester University
Feb 8 - Academy Leeds
Feb 10 Lincoln Engine Shed
Feb 11 - Nottingham Rock City (14+)
Feb 12 - Norwich UEA
Feb 14 - Cardiff University
Feb 15 - Carling Academy Bristol
Feb 16 - Brighton Dome
Feb 17 - Carling Academy Oxford
Feb 19 - Portsmouth Pyramid Centre
Feb 20 - Cambridge Corn Exchange
Feb 21 - London Carling Academy Brixton

For those of us not in the UK you can watch the video for the new single...

Download: Postcards from Italy (Beirut Cover)
Download: Girl With One Eye (Live)
Download: Hospital Beds (Cold War Kids Cover, Live)

Put On Your Buffet Pants!

Ladies and gentlemen, The Buffetlibre DJ's are back with a new mixtape: Hit! .

Two months after their last mixtape Verbena 5, and one month before the releasing of Rewind Part 2, Hit! is nothing but a funny experience they compiled from some of the hits that we they've played at their gigs.

And if you're lucky enough to live in Europe, you can see them live! Check out the dates...

27 November 2008 - Noise Club (Barcelona)
28 November 2008 - Obbio (Sevilla)
29 November 2008 - Fever (Bilbao)
3 December 2008 - The Ruby Lounge (Manchester, UK)
4 December 2008 - Sick Note (Edinburgh, UK)
5 December 2008 - Whip It! at The Amersham Arms (London, UK)
6 December 2008 - The Lock Tavern (London, UK)
18 December 2008 - Cultura Club (Palma de Mallorca)
19 December 2008 - Be Cool (Barcelona)
25 December 2008 - Noise Club (Barcelona)
26 December 2008 - Pop Bar, Razzmatazz (Barcelona)
31 December 2008 - Verbena Fin de Año en Be Cool (Barcelona)
9 January 2009 - Club Gare (Porto, Portugal)
10 January 2009 - Minimercado (Lisboa, Portugal)
24 January 2009 - Low Club (Madrid)
31 January 2009 - Cotton Club (Lleida)
20 February 2009 - Sixty Million Postcards (Bournemouth,UK)

Download: HIT (32 tracks in all one handy dandy mix!)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I Heart Little Boots

The arrival of Little Boots has signalled something of a collective epiphany. Sometimes you don't know what has been missing from your life until it's right there in the room with you, and then you wonder how you ever managed without it.

It has been barely a year since her solo project tentatively began, and already Victoria Hesketh is UK pop music's most talked about new star. Ticking off every major piece of next big thing feature press before she had a properly released single to her name, she's a rare instance of mirrored and completely justified industry and public hysteria. Each crystal-tipped sabre of dance-pop truth is as instant and succinct as it is pulse-racingly powerful.

Her first EP has arrived in America under the name Arecibo. It's amazing stuff and one of my Top 10 Singles of 2008. To celebrate the release of the single Stateside, IAMSOUND gives you the a remix of the super classic Meddle single! Download it, and buy Arecibo from ITunes or straight from IAmSound.

Watch... (Download at the bottom of post)
Meddle Live

Stuck On Repeat

Download: Meddle (Baron von Luxxury’s Technicolor Remix)

My Dear Disco

My Dear Disco’s latest full-length, Dancethink LP, features mixes by Grammy-nominated engineer Mark Saunders and his multi-platinum record generating studio in New York, the same people responsible for the sound of Shiny Toy Guns 2007 Warner Brothers release We Are Pilots, Tricky’s Maxinquaye, David Byrne’s Feelings, and The Cure’s Wish.

With music featuring electrified Irish Bagpipes, and a line-up including a two-time International Acoustic Music Award winning composer, a three-time Ireland’s World Champion instrumentalist, a first place Michigan Idol winning singer, and two first place M-Block Records “New Music on the Block” winning recording artists, My Dear Disco has just about got it all.

Think of My Dear Disco as a bit Hercules and Love Affair, a bit St. Etienne, a bit Intastella, and a bit Donna Summer. One listen to lead track, "White Lies," will pretty much confirm that. It's a huge pop production that sounds like it belongs on FM radio and in huge mega clubs. Not bad for a band from Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Download: White Lies

Our Secret History

Desolation Town, is the debut EP from New York City’s The Secret History, released earlier this month on November 12, 2008 by the Le Grand Magistery record label. The Secret History was formed in 2007 by songwriter Michael Grace Jr., best known for acclaimed cult indie pop band My Favorite.

The Secret History also features vocalist Lisa Ronson, daughter of Bowie guitarist, and glam rock legend Mick Ronson. Le Grand Magistery is a label which has earned it’s reputation as a critics favorite by bringing artists like Stars, Momus, Baxendale and PAS/CAL to American ears for the first time.

The lead track “It’s Not The End of The World, Jonah” presents the shabby end of a hipster ‘belle epoch’ as an allusion laden night at the discotheque, where all memory and desire collapse. Driven by brittle funk and a dramatic trumpet break by frequent Arcade Fire member Kelly Pratt, the song becomes a vehicle for the longing and unease in Ms. Ronson’s voice, alternating in fits and starts.

Download: It's Not The End of The World, Jonah
Download: Our Lady of Pompeii

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Kicking Back In A Modern Skirt

You don't need to be a music major to recognize that the twelve tracks on Modern Skirts' sophomore album, All Of Us In Our Night, are unusually constructed. They have unexpected twists and turns, chords that startle with their novelty, and melodies that feel refreshingly original. And you don't need to be an aficionado to get excited by such infectious choruses – they'll get stuck in the heads of neophyte listeners and super-hipsters alike. So call it "pop", call it "twee", call it "indie", call it "classic" if you must. Better yet, call it what it is- a collection of fantastic, irresistible, entirely unclassifiable songs.

Some might say we've come up with our own homegrown version of Sloan: an obvious band of accomplished musicians who know their rock history intimately and have a similar knack for matching hooky verses with dazzling choruses. But that wouldn't do justice to the band's offbeat diction and endlessly intriguing lyrics. We'll put it this way: you won't always know exactly what's happening in a Modern Skirts song, but you'll always be curious, and surprised, at where they're going next.

And you can see for yourself if you live in the Deep South as Modern Skirts are on tour!

11.20.08 - Raleigh, NC - The Pour House
11.21.08 - Charlotte, NC - Snug Harbor
11.22.08 - Augusta, GA - Sky City
11.23.08 - Athens, GA - Melting Point
11.28.08 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl

Download: Soft Pedals

The Phantom Band Strikes Back

The Phantom Band releases Checkmate Savage January 27th, 2009 on Glasgow label Chemikal Underground. Recorded in Glasgow at the label's own Chem 19 and then in Franz Ferdinand's Govan facility, this record features Paul Savage of The Delgados as producer, engineer, and guiding force. The recording sessions were like their early jams: long, meandering and experimental; the band beating out rhythms on broken wood blocks and organist Andy's 'shelvaphones', a home-made instrument created from metal shelf brackets.

The end result is truly special, bringing to mind the beat savvy of The Beta Band, the other-worldliness of Super Furry Animals and the mood of Hallowed Ground-era Violent Femmes.

They called themselves The Phantom Band after a period of switching their identity with each successive gig, performing as Wooden Trees, Robert Redford and more. Early photos of the band pictured them with bags over their heads. It's all part of their mystery and sense of the bizarre: some shows have seen them play with a giant, smoke breathing wolf head, others, with a Stairmaster onstage so audience members can work-out during their set.

How can you not love a band like that and that sounds good?

Download: Folk Song Oblivion
Download: Burial Sounds
Download: Left Hand Wave

Dancer Vs. Politician Isn't Even Close

Dancer Vs. Politician, the musical project of German native Sanni Baumgaertner, has recently released A City Half Lost. Featuring the accordion, guitar, musical saw, and lyrics in both German and English the album is reminiscent of old Sarah Records or old Summershine twee pop if it were sung in German.

Produced by Matt Yelton (The Pixies, Frank Black), Andy Baker (The Glands, Azure Ray, Shannon Wright), and Sanni herself, A City Half-Lost features a number of Athens and Berlin musicians. Including members of Phosphorescent, The Olivia Tremor Control, The Glands, and Five-Eight, it was recorded over a period of two years in Athens, Georgia, and Berlin, Germany.

After traveling back and forth for the last three years and playing shows in the US and Germany, Dancer Vs. Politician brings a three-piece backing band, featuring keyboards, samples, glockenspiel, viola, drums, and bass on A City Half Lost.

Download: Mach Dich Los
Download: Justin Fairborn

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Absentee Counts...Album Released

This write up is short and sweet, because well...I already wrote about Absentee back in August. But Absentee released its new album, Victory Shorts, two weeks ago here in the United States of America on label Memphis Industries (The Go! Team, The Pipettes, The Ruby Suns, and more) and since it's frickin' awesome they deserved a second go-round.

Tackling themes of premature marriage proposals, adultery, lost property, love, and broken crockery, Absentee provide the soundtrack for every lost soul who took a wrong turn whilst looking for the right one.

Born to the sounds of Barry Manilow and The Carpenters, raised on romantic comedies, and schooled in failed love and misfiring lust… Absentee emerge well-versed in the rigours of romance with their finest album to date, Victory Shorts.

Download: Bitchstealer
Download: They Do It These Days

Hooray For Earth On Tour...Jumps For Joy In Jacksonville

Boston/New York band Hooray For Earth embark an East Coast Tour this December to support their latest record Hooray For Earth, releasing January 13th on Dopamine Records.

They're actually coming through Florida and stopping by Jacksonville on December 13th (see dates below). This is a good thing as Hooray For Earth are a rather stunningly good band that somehow manages to take the synth work last heard on Europe's Final Countdown and reconstruct in an indie rock format with hooks that are so big they could reel in a 150 foot long whale shark.

Hooray For Earth have nothing but are sugary sweet songs in their arsenal and if you ever thought that Weezer, The Benjamin's, or The Rentals were among the best POP bands ever than you will seriously dig these guys. Jacksonville people...GO TO THIS SHOW.

Check out the dates...
11.14.08 - Boston, MA - The Paradise *
11.15.08 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hal of Williamsburg *
11.16.08 - Washington DC - Velvet Lounge
12.04.08 - Hoboken, NJ - Maxwells *
12.05.08 - Baltimore, MD - Fletchers *
12.06.08 - Philadephia, PA - Northstar Bar
12.07.08 - Washington DC - The Red and the Black
12.08.08 - Chapel Hill, NC - The Cave
12.10.08 - Birmingham, AL - The Nick
12.11.08 - Athens, GA - Go Bar ^
12.13.08 - Jacksonville, FL - Jack Rabbits
12.14.08 - Charlotte, NC - Milestone
* with Bang Camero ^ with Spring Tigers

Download: Take Care
Download: Want Want Want

I Got Beaten Up By Them

Logic Pole/Thrill Jockey releases the latest by Beaten By Them, Signs Of Life, a dynamic and cinematic fusion of classical influences and instrumental rock music. Their music originates in the gritty tones of Andrew Harris’s guitar and is filtered through the sensibilities of Max McCormick, whose arrangements owe more to beats-based electronic and world music than rock. Cellist Boima Tucker is a key ingredient in Beaten by Them: his performances, which are lyrical and fiery, truly define the band’s sound. The spaciousness and power of Beaten by Them’s music owe much to the spontaneity of drummer Ulf Bjorkbom, a regular player in San Francisco’s jazz scene.

They truly make music that's epic in a introspective, inner view sort of way. It's dramatic, emotional and deeply touching. In other words it might be instrumental, but it's really really good stuff.

Download: The Asiatic Capital Vista

Saturday, November 15, 2008

What The Heck Is A Fol Chen?

"You know that mysterious black object that the creepy family is staring at on the cover of Led Zeppelin's "Presence" album? Fol Chen sound like that. But we don't sound like Led Zeppelin. (We actually do a little.) Instead, we sound like Prince with Amon Duul II and a children's religious revival, not to mention Hot Chip, Pink Floyd, Gwen Stefani, Pere Ubu, Danielson Famile, Scritti Politti, Boards of Canada, The Blow, and Pulp. (Mostly.) We are using secret powers and the guidance of legendary DJ Donna Donna to combat our nemesis, John Shade. We are cryptic and joyful and we would like you to dance."

I'm not really sure what the heck Fol Chen are on about up there, but their single Cable TV is an addictive St. Etienne blast of retro pop cool that sounds like it's more from 90's London than Los Angeles.

Their album, John Shade, Your Fortune's Made comes out on Asthmatic Kitty on February 3rd of next year, and if the single is any indication it's going to be a kitschy cool retro indie pop dance masterpiece. Until then try to figure out what the heck a Fol Chen is and download their single.

Download: Cable TV

I've Got A State Shirt

State Shirt aka Ethan Tufts sculpts fiery, intense indie rock anthems for the wondering, wandering and hopeful. Venturing wildly into the farthest corners of heavy-hearted American landscapes, State Shirt’s music displays vivid, gripping stories of nostalgia, despair and hope.

From Southern California’s droning and faceless San Fernando Valley to the snowy back roads of Western Massachusetts and steeped in a cycle of inescapable, mind-numbing full-time jobs, State Shirt relies on hand-built loops, neglected instruments and riveting vocals to artfully describe captivity in a familiar never-ending cycle: work, drink, sleep, repeat.

This Is Old, State Shirt’s deeply textured second album, a set of swirling and burning indie-tronic statements proving that monotonous lives can produce exceptional results.

Download: This Is Old

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Not Just So So

The SO SO GLOS are four brothers who play the punk rock and roll that they believe in. Originally from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, they now live at the Market Hotel in Bushwick- a space they founded that is both their home and community. Brews, smokes and music blasting, the J train crushing along the tracks outside, non-stop.

That is their music: aggressive, urgent, and immediate- political and poetic because it has to be. But these Brooklyn kids aren’t just touting the same old punk; Graced with electro MPC breaks, surf sounds, gang vox, and a little tambo it sounds fresh. Still though, after the rubble settles and the smoke clears, its unmistakeably punk rock in its spirit.

Download: 99 Degrees (Ninjasonik Remix) ---Via RCRDLBL
Download: Throw Your Hands Up ---Via RCRDLBL

Lowfish Is Frozen and Broken

Lowfish's clinical production style is both very modern and built on the DNA of early new wave and IDM. Sometimes dark, often melodic and multi-layered, Lowfish tracks strive for meaning, timelessness and quality. The weapons of choice are what they have been from the start; semi-operational analog synths, temperamental drum machines and scratchy recording gear. The name Lowfish is a reference to these dusty machines and his early lo-fi “ish” sound - thus Lowfish.

With six albums and a stack of singles behind him, 2008 see’s Lowfish aggressively pushing his sound forward. He’s been hard at work distilling his pristine electro and throbbing analog buzz into a new techno variant. The playfulness of yesteryear is somewhere deep in the background with the fine detail of machinery and staccato bass lines taking the fore. The result is frozen&broken on Noise Factory Records. Ten brand new tracks of edgy analog electronica reminiscent of Lowfish’s famed Suction Records era IDM and an aberrant dance floor sound built from his most deviant sound palette to date.

Download: Things Fall Apart
Download: Frozen & Broken
Download: DFD

Future Clouds And Radar

Austin-based Future Clouds and Radar, is an eclectic art-pop ensemble headed by Robert Harrison. They released their ambitious self-titled double disc debut last year to a degree of critical acclaim. An eclectic release that paid no attention to any set sort of template, the record hopped around genre's like the Easter Bunny.

A year later and Future Clouds and Radar are at it again. The band recently released it's latest release, Peoria, on Election Day. Where the first album showed Harrison as the central figure in a large musical cast, Future Clouds and Radar’s latest offering finds the core band focusing their kaleidoscopic vision into a single cinematic narrative about the illusory nature of mortality. Throughout the record, Harrison stays true to his genre-hopping eclecticism, leading the journey through a maze of fuzz-box vocals and ethereal keys. That of course makes for some darn fine listening and when you have a song that includes EPCOT in the title, you're going to win me over no matter what genre you play.

Download: The EPCOT View


So...It's been a while. It's been too long to be honest, but I've had a shit ton of reasons why I haven't posted in a while. However, most of those reasons have indeed worked themselves out. About the only thing that hasn't worked out has been my damn cold; I still have this incessant need to take Nyquil and blow my nose.

Fear not though, I feel well enough to jump back on to The POP! Stereo and resume what was pretty consistent up until mid-October. A month later and we'll be back on the bus kickin' out the jams and giving you fine folks new tuneage.

Thanks to everyone that's visited and commented and sent me stuff. I'm going to be playing an epic game of catch up but I will catch up. I promise.

Ok...enough apologizing. Posting will resume almost immediately...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Caught In The Loom

Brooklyn acoustic folk sextet The Loom has harnessed the emotional power and beauty of ensemble vocals and chiming instruments since 2006, drawing large crowds to their many live shows throughout the NY-area.

Now, with the release of its debut EP, the rest of the world can enjoy the group’s rich amalgam of folk and alt-country influenced indie rock featuring male and female vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, French horn, trumpet, piano, pedal steel, bass, drums, ukulele, accordion, and banjo.

The EP, At Last Light boasts soaring and lilting songs ranging from gentle to anthemic and built around subtle, affecting lyrics. The Loom’s sound has often been compared to affecting artists like Smog, Arcade Fire, Fairport Convention and The Waterboys. To me it sounds like The Cold War Kids if they lost power at one of their gigs and had a girl singing from the crowd. It's acoustic grooviness that's as far removed from being uncool as you can get.

Download: Song For The Winter Sun

the Legend of The Happy Hollows

The Happy Hollows is, put simply, transformative. That is, the young Los Angeles trio’s infectious and amorphous sound is one that immediately sticks upon first listen, evoking hints of bands that listeners remember not for the scene that launched them nor the trends of the era, but for the moment at which they first heard its music. Vocalist/guitarist Sarah Negahdari wields ominous riffs and finger-tapped arpeggios with skill reminiscent of Mary Timony of Helium while simultaneously singing and wailing like a hyper hybrid of Debbie Harry, Kim Deal and Karen O. Meanwhile, the agile rhythm section of Charles Mahoney (bass/vocals) and Chris Hernandez (drums) vault and lunge with precision.

The Happy Hollows’ raucous and irreverent noisy-pop sound is influenced by genres as disparate as 90’s college rock, Broadway show-tunes, garage punk, and 80’s pop. The band combines innovative song structures, surreal lyrics, and fiercely adept instrumentation to recreate reality into a jagged panorama of vibrant, kaleidoscopic collage.

Three years into its existence, The Happy Hollows have put forth Imaginary, an EP that is an amalgamation of contemporary alt-rock, distorted atonality, and exuberant yelp. Produced by David Newton (founding member of C-86 legends The Mighty Lemon Drops and producer of The Little Ones), Imaginary articulates the band’s inherent magic.

Download: Lieutenant
Download: Tambourine

I Got A Hundred In My Hands

In November 2007, following a US tour supporting the Boggs' third album, Forts, Jason Friedman and touring-Bogg Eleanore Everdell found themselves in the studio recording a brand new collaborative track without the rest of the band. "In the past, the collaborators I worked with would adjust what they did to fit my vision," says Friedman. "Working with Eleanore it was clear that the time had come to shift into a more equal partnership." the result of this new approach was "Dressed in Dresden", a fractured pop thumper that showed Eleanore assuming full vocal duties over heavy beats and staccato guitars.

In the 10 months since that session, the seven-year-old Boggs were laid to rest, and The Hundred In The Hands were formed. Their debut album, Summer of Fear should be released sometime in the near future. Until then, check out their debut single, Dressed in Dresden.

Download: Dressed In Dresden (zip file)
Download: Undressed In Dresden (zip file)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Kyle Andrews Crawls Out of His Room

After releasing his whimsical debut LP Amos In Ohio and the sad, stripped down EP Find Love, let Go on Badman Recordings, Kyle Andrews has decided to go it alone. It is appropriate that his self-recorded, self-produced Real Blasty should be released independently, relying on Andrews' own imprint, Elephant Lady Records.

Real Blasty takes Andrews’ homespun tunes to a happier place—the words still tell their fair share of sad tales, but the sound is brighter, dancier and crackles with more mature technical dexterity. The opener, "Sushi," has evolved over the years into a fuzzed-out club track; as the emotional intensity rises he implores the object of his affection, "You gonna save me or not?" The irresistible, synth-heavy "Naked in New York" adds a slight edge to the proceedings, as waves of noise crash and recede, revealing a narrator desperate to hang onto an unstable woman. "Polar Bear" tackles life on the road and the people you can't take with you. The ramped-up, guitar-driven "A Constant Wavering Between the Real and the Abstract" gets apocalyptic about love, asserting "Everything special fades away / all hearts will be erased." Standouts "Put Your Hands Up" and "Call and Fade" channel vintage anthemic pop, allowing Andrews to show off his ample skill with pretty melodies and infectious choruses.

Kyle Andrews third release Real Blasty drops Janurary 20th, 2009 and thanks through the miracle of modern technology you can hear two tracks NOW.

Download: Sushi
Download: Wavering Between the Real and the Abstract

Painfully Alone

In support of the just-released The Town Topic EP, original soundtrack to Laurel Nakadate's debut film "Stay The Same Never Change," Casiotone For The Painfully Alone announces a slew of new Fall tour dates.

Here they are...
10.10.08 - Northfield, MN - Carleton College
10.11.08 - Iowa City, IA - PS1
10.12.08 - St Louis, MO - Lemp Arts
10.13.08 - DeKalb, IL - House Café
10.14.08 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
10.23.08 - Medford, MA - Oxfam Cafe (Tufts University)
10.24.08 - Annandale-on-Hudson, NY - SMOG (Bard College)
10.25.08 - Ridgewood, Queens, NY - Silent Barn (7pm show)
10.26.08 - Hoboken, NJ - Maxwells
10.27.08 - Providence, RI - Club Hell
10.29.08 - Athens, OH - Crystal Castle
10.30.08 - Cincinnati, OH - Northside Tavern
10.31.08 - Louisville, KY - Pour Haus
11.01.08 - Indianapolis, IN - Locals Only

The Town Topic EP collects tracks from two limited, vinyl-only EPs plus bonus track “Lesley Gore on the Tami Show.” The Town Topic EP consists of thirteen instrumental pieces, book-ended by two vocal tracks. “Ice Cream Truck,” a simulated July soundscape of Mr. Softee jingles, cicadas and trunk-rattling bass from passing cars, tells the story of criminal-minded kids who go joy-riding in a stolen ice cream truck and make other poorly-informed decisions along the way. “Green Cotton Sweater (version),” features blown-out drum machine rhythms, clattering pianos, and loads of vintage amp abuse. Other stand-out tracks include “Town Topic (instrumental),” easily mistaken for the backing track of a long-lost Patsy Cline hit, and “Nashville Parthenon (instrumental),” which re-imagines the original electro arrangement as a lovely and minimalist electric piano lullaby.

Download: Ice Cream Truck

Friday, October 10, 2008

It Always Feels Like...Someone's Watching Me it's not that Rockwell. But hailing from Knoxville, Tennessee, The Rockwells are made up of two sets of of brothers: Fred and Jonathan Kelly, and Tommy and Trace Bateman. They met in high school and started The Rockwells as a long-distance recording project by Jonathan and Fred in 1999, while Fred was working in Memphis and Jonathan had moved to Knoxville for school. Tommy and Trace joined the band in 2000 when Fred moved to Knoxville. After recording four full-length albums and one EP by themselves (on very primitive equipment), the band recorded an EP at Studio 613 with Don Coffee Jr. of Superdrag. This EP was called Tear It Down, since the studio was leveled to make way for I-40 shortly after we finished recording. Talk about omen's.

Their latest album, Place & Time was recorded entirely by The Rockwells in both Knoxville and Memphis, Tennessee. More than half a dozen locations were used, including various houses, a cabin, and local rock club The Pilot Light. The record was mixed by Howard Redekopp, who has mixed such Merge artists as The New Pornographers and AC Newmann (also of the New Pornographers.) He was in Canada at the time, and the band couldn’t afford to go up there, so the mixing process was done almost exclusively via email. Guests on the album include Jeremy Bain (May Gray, Slick) on lead guitar and Christina Horn (Hudson K) on piano on “Knot of Tension,” as well as guest vocalist Emily Robinson (Tenderhooks) on “Hole in the Wall.” Seth Hopper (Christabel and the Johns, Tommy Bateman and the Thunder Thieves) played all the violin on the record, as well as trumpet on “Hole in the Wall.” You mom may have made a guest appearance on the record as'll just have to check the album's credits.

Place & Time is being released December 2, 2008 on Migrant Records.

Download: Microkorg
Download: The Quarterback

Thursday, October 9, 2008

High Dials Go To 11

Montreal-based The High Dials make lush, intelligent psychedelic pop; dreamy anthems built on bittersweet melodies, bright harmonies and moody guitar sounds. The band has released two previous records: A New Devotion (2003) and War of the Wakening Phantoms (2005), which made year-end top-10 lists of many critics, including the Washington Post and Magnet Magazine, and won high praise from All Music Guide and Spin. The album also went to number one on Canadian college radio charts.

Notable High Dials fans the band have made along the way include Anton Newcombe of the Brian Jonestown Massacre (who often turns up at gigs, hopping onstage to join in their songs (and then kicking everyone's ass with a series of kung fu moves and baseball bats), Andrew Loog Oldham, original 60s hustler and star-maker to the Rolling Stones, and Rod Argent, legendary songwriter of the Zombies, who performed on one of the High Dials B-sides.

Moon Country was produced by Joseph Donovan (Sam Roberts, The Dears) and is a celebration of the album as an art form in this MP3 age. The album is divided into two sides – Side A and Side B - like an LP, in the hopes that listeners will take it in as a sequenced, cohesive, self-contained piece of music. Parts of Moon Country were recorded in a remote cabin in Ireland (if you listen closely, you can actually hear the fire crackling in the background!), before the album was completed in a studio in Montreal.

Download: Killer of Dragons

O Mother Where Are Thou

Mother Mother have done the impossible. With their 2007 Last Gang debut, Touch Up, the Vancouver quintet won over the templar of indie discretion, Pitchfork, AND vapid celebrity blogger Perez Hilton. Upon reading Perez's love of the band Lindsay Lohan ran down to Amoeba and bought a copy

Not really, but that would be pretty funny. Lilo w/taste.

With all the accolades at their back, Mother Mother returned to the studio to work up their sophomore answer to Touch Up. The result is the nostalgic, novel, profound and playful O My Heart, recorded by Howard Redekopp and overflowing with 80s new wave energy, Brit Pop cheekiness, and indie rock's rough edges.

Download: O My Heart
Download: Body of Tears

How The Broken West Was Won

It was in a backyard of their L.A. neighborhood that Ross Flournoy, Danny Iead, Rob McCorkindale, Brian Whelan and friend/writing partner Adam Vine developed Now or Heaven, The Broken West's second full-length album. While many bands' second albums end up being about the road, Now or Heaven originates from home, the longing to get there and all that comes from being there. The perspective generated from the time spent on the road and the distance traveled led to a new, unnameable development.

Drummer Rob McCorkindale and bassist Brian Whelan tempered and extended the rhythms and the tone of longing first explored on I Can't Go On, I'll Go On. Each song on Now or Heaven contains clever guitars and sublime harmonies, while the drums and bass deliver driving, deliberate rhythms that are more than metronomic; these pulses literally and figuratively power the album. Now or Heaven also marks Brian’s songwriting debut with the dynamic romp, "Got It Bad."

The Broken West spent a year searching for "a diamond in a bag of ice," only to find what they were looking for in their own backyard. Ross, Danny, Rob, and Brian may have returned from their travels with a more sinister perspective on the world, but despite everything, each song on Now or Heaven is infused with an immediate burst of catchy familiarity and unquenchable charm.

Download: Perfect Games
Download: Auctioneer

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

An Old Wolf Is A Good Wolf

Amongst the slew of frickin' Wolf bands out there, perhaps the best of the bunch is We Are Wolves. (yeah, so Wolfmother is ADDICTIVE as hell on guitar hero and every time I hear I feel the need to reach for a five button axe but We Are Wolves are better)

We Are Wolves spit and hiss and growl and scream just like their furious name might suggest. Animalistic to the bone, their sound is decidedly unique, melding the frantic buzzsaw energy of electro with the angular intensity of post-punk to create a fiery, primordial din or, you know, the sound of the Cramps making nice with Add N to X.

But no matter how you describe it, the Montreal three-piece sure has wowed a throng of people on its way to creating 2005's Non Stop J rte Plie en Duex, delivered to endless fanfare via Fat Possum, and the equally energetic (and one of the best albums of last year) Total Magique, issued last year by Dare to Care.

Amazingly the band is STILL supporting this record and if you happen to live in Canada you can catch them live. (10-17 El Mocambo Toronto, Ontario10-18 Mavericks Ottawa, Ontario) For those of you in the States they were just on the west coast last month and they didn't even head east so tough cookies...and well if you're here in Florida..there's no chance in hell they'll EVER come here, but the Doo Wop Cruise does depart nightly from Miami, Cocoa Beach, Tampa, AND Jacksonville.

So unless you like walkers and arthritis, relive a classic and...

Download: Fight and Kiss

That's Konrad to You

Konrad is just one of many different musical persona's employed by studio savant/song constructionist Jeffrey Konrad. In the past he's recorded as an 8-bit obsessed electronic musician by the name of Robot USA, an emo indie rocker known as eggspout, and a folksy singer/songwriter called "Nigel Jeffrey" who cut an album titled Struggle in the Hive with Patrick Stolley of Marlboro Chorus and And those are just his "official" credentials, he's also released dozens of underground mix tapes and collaborated on a countless number of other projects with musicians from across the globe.

Now he's dropping his full-length solo debut as Konrad called Loose Canyons; a seeming amalgamation of all his past and present musical personalities all mashed into one meticulously produced package. Combining the old school synth sounds of Devo, the ironic b-boy style of Dan Deacon and the sardonic wit of Hot Chip, and a bit of more recent blur for good measure Konrad is poised to be an underground pop hero or another reason why Jeffrey Konrad needs serious mental help.

Download: Osh Kosh
Download: Canyon Blue
Download: These Nights

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Volcano Erupts

Volcano Suns were founded in Boston in 1983 by former Mission of Burma drummer Peter Prescott. In 1985, the band, with Jon Williams on guitar and Jeff Weigand on bass, released their debut album, The Bright Orange Years, and followed it up a year later with another classic, All Night Lotus Party. Both albums were originally released on Homestead Recordsbut have never been available on CD.

The Bright Orange Years is so chockful of catchy songs that it could be any other band's greatest hits album. The opening track, "Jak", is an addictive head-nodder from its opening bassline to its chiming chords and lyrics. By contrast, All Night Lotus Party is a heavier and darker record, with more distorted guitars and bass-heavy production.

Merge will make both albums available on CD for the first time on January 27, 2009, with reissues remastered by Bob Weston and featuring loads of bonus tracks including radio sessions and other rarities.

Download: Jak
Download: All Night Lotus Party

Rebelling Against French Horns

FRENCH HORN REBELLION are brothers Robert Perlick-Molinari and David Perlick-Molinari. Residing in Chicago and the other in New York, the two create fun boombastic electro induced pop. With Robert as a French Horn major in Chicago where as David is a producer in New York (he produced the first MGMT EP), the duo are prepping to release their next full-length.

Their track from self-titled and self-released full-length "Up All Night" (download below) has been featured by the likes of MTVu and CMJ. The track is twee pop synth heaven in a kooky Magnetic Fields meets Paul Simon sort of way. The duo are also set to release this tune as a single with some extra bombastic remixes.

Download: Up All Night
Download: Bad Arse
Download: Ivy League - London Bridges (French Horn Rebellion Remix)

Kicking Ass

We would love to be able to say that the Donkeys are simply four California beach bums who love to surf, drink cheap beer and jam as the sun sets over the Pacific. The long legacy of music hailing from California – from Bakersfield to the Beach Boys, Sweetheart of the Rodeo through Slanted and Enchanted – has shaped our sense that everything and everyone "out west" is laid back, comfortable and cool.

And to be fair, when it comes to the Donkeys, some of this mystique is true – two of the band's members are indeed surfers, and all four have been known to down a six pack or two. But like California, the real-life Donkeys (best friends from Southern California, Timothy DeNardo, Jessie Gulati, Anthony Lukens and Sam Sprague) are much more... real. If their back story contains those top-down cars and suntanned Utopian surf tableau's, it also contains the malaise and the escape fantasies familiar to all suburban kids of the 80s and 90s. Miraculously, the music manages to comfortably communicate both moods at once. Any expression of existential ennui – "is this all there is?" – is simultaneously soothed by an unrushed guitar lick and a harmonized twang that becomes almost, dare we say, meditative.

Their album, Living on the Other Side is about rolling down the windows, cranking up the stereo, and hitting the open road. Maybe you're running away, and maybe you're not, but either way, every thing's going to be alright.

Download: Walk Through A Cloud
Download: Nice Train

It's So Downtempo

Between its title and content, the Phoenix-based trio Mr. Meeble’s sensual and soulful pop meets dark electronica record is bound to drop jaws, turn heads and offend, oh, maybe about a billion people. It’s nothing personal… well, except for the one nameless female who inspired this collection of songs that tell stories of the denial and despair of lost love, personal accountability, remembering, mourning and finally, just maybe, a glimmer of hope.

Reminiscent of fellow French band Air, Never Trust... has moments of smooth, breathy vocals over spacey synths, chilled-out Rhodes and orchestral strings. At other times, it sounds similar to Massive Attack’s Mezzanine and Thom Yorke’s Eraser with its emotive, pained vocals over minimal, tense electronics.

Never Trust's curious mix of stops, glitches, pops, whizzes, bleeps, stutters, and scratches together with sweeping, sometimes unnerving, visceral emotion is as close to opposites becoming singularly effective as you will find in music, or any art form, for that matter.

Download: Fine
Download: I Fell Through

Thursday, October 2, 2008

With With With Mit Mit Mit

MIT are three German teenagers who used to make noisy electronic punk and now, with their first full length CODA, have mutated their sound to hypnotic electro-neo-kraut-extravaganza. America meet Tamer, Felix, and Edi.

It’s doubtful you’ll understand anything they’re singing about, unless you speak German, but these three young men will keep you interested with all their instruments, layers, computers, and drums.

Their resulting minimal electronic punk sound is soaked with urgent rhythms, aggressive tribal drums and of course, mesmerizing synthscapes. This is the sort of stuff that will beat you up and leave and you out on your own in the cold all by your lonseome and you'll love every minute of it .

It's good stuff in that oh so German cold as ice way and that's why you need it in your life.

Download: Beispiel
Download: Zwei
Download: Park
Download: Rauch
Download: Goodbook
Download: War War Es

Leopold and his Fiction

Leopold and his Fiction is the balanced reincarnate of a sultry era of Western darkness underneath big city lights and country back roads leading to the morning shore of a transpiring musical horizon. The honest and transcendent San Francisco Rock ‘n' Roll band escalating into the west coast music scene, Leopold and his Fiction acquires a moody-pop frame derived from distant genres and unwavering imagination in an attempt to reinvent what each member feels has dissipated from the greater measure of music.

Leopold provides Detroit filth and guitar orientation breathing parallel with rasped vocals soaring to a grave reflection. Of the trio's American bicoastal familiarity and British influence, Daniel, along with the recent addition of bassist Micayla Grace, and drummer Jon Sortland contribute to a very diverse sound through personal interests.

Together Leopold and his Fiction offers a morbid cohesion of California and a gentle open plains reminiscence stimulating a reason and energy for people to listen closely. A new vision in music and thought offers an alternate take to the repetition of a-sides with their own traditional sounds and elaborations.

Download: Come Back (Now That I'm Here)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Don't Quit Smoking Now!

Tobacco creates unique, compelling pop from the power and constrictions of his available technology. He makes music that is at once buoyant, danceable and unmistakably eerie. He plays "lo-fi" music for high yields, and he gives his simplest constructions a powerful dramatic sweep. He makes music with suave passion, burning vitality and cinematic depth. And he never stops searching for the perfect beat.

On F***ed Up Friends, his first solo album, Tobacco explores a darker, starker and altogether more badass dimension of his complex vision. With his group Black Moth Super Rainbow, Tobacco distinguished himself as a master of jagged beats, glowing melodies and pronounced tension. This time, he works alone, in rural Pennsylvania, away from conventions and interference.

As always, Tobacco recorded F***ed Up Friends using analog synths and tape machines, which gives his work a timeless distance from digital pop music at large. His tracks evoke sonar, mellotrons and deteriorating cassette tapes. His windshield-rattling beats thump hard against their technological limitations. His hooks emerge from thick ponds of distortion, which heightens their hypnotic power. His music is equally cosmopolitan and self-contained, the soundtrack for an imaginary underwater cop show, a welcome stranger anywhere in time and space.

Download: Truck Sweat
Download: Hood Internet vs. Tobacco (via Sendspace)
Download: Songs to Get Killed In The Woods Too (via XLR8R)