Sunday, January 31, 2010

Fredrik's Trilogi

The Swedish forest-dwelling folk visionaries know as Fredrik have just released their second album...Trilogi. Following their critically acclaimed debut Na Na Ni from 2008, Trilogi is a more consistently inward-looking affair and takes on themes like social realities and subconscious geography. Yeah, I don't know either. The melodies are more serpentine and the textures decidedly darker. However, Fredrik's warm, sensitive lead voice and operatic choir work still lends the material the same comforting elegance as on the debut.

Trilogi is a compilation of highly limited 3" EPs released in their home country in hand-made origami packaging. The EP's bore the titles "Holm", "Ava" and "Ner", all fictional names roughly signifying "Frozen Forest Island", "Water Through Sound" and "The Inside Underground". Together they represent a trilogy of contemporary viewpoints of the Lovecraftian dream passage - orientation at great cost and understanding at the risk of sanity.

Fredrik is like something out of a dream and they'll haunt your soul until you submit to their haunting whims. It's worth it because the tunes are absolutely beautiful and are the perfect soundtrack for the dead center of winter. Let the snow fall...except here in Florida of course.

Download: Locked In The Basement

Fredrik - Viskra from The Kora Records on Vimeo.

Friday, January 29, 2010

NiYi's Jungle Fever Kills

Niyi’s back! The multi-tasking - and talented – one-man musician, DJ, club promoter, fashionista and general boy-about-town recently released his six track EP Jungle Fever on Holloway Hit Factory - his own record label.

Since his last single Poached Eggs, Niyi’s been a busy dude. He was recently featured in a five-page shoot for Clash magazine’s October 2009 issue. He also ran his hugely popular weekly club night ‘I Heart Niyi’ at Punk in Soho for a year, which was graced each week with the crème de la crème of the fashion and music world (Lady Ga Ga performed live last year as part of London Fashion Week and Calvin Harris, Little Boots and Golden Silvers have all DJed).

It’s hard to sum up Niyi. The ex Central St. Martin students’ musical repertoire is refreshingly unpredictable. A softly-spoken “rapper”, Niyi cannot be lumped into existing categories and so forges his own genre-bending music which is represented on Jungle Fever. How he found the time to record the single is beyond me, but after a couple of listens, I think you'll agree it's a good thing he did.

Killing Joke Bust Out

Killing Joke’s first EP, Turn To Red, appeared in September 1979 on the new Malicious Damage label set up by graphic artist Mike Coles and distributed by Island. It was followed in November by Almost Red - basically the same EP plus new title track, which was initially sold at gigs. The track demonstrates how the Joke were indeed ahead of their time, as dub-disco sensibilities course through the heavyweight thud of the Youth-Ferguson rhythm axis topped by a metallic synthetic replication of the ‘I Feel Love’ riff, Geordie’s sparse guitar shards and Jaz’s caustic, post-nuclear proclamations. Their radical, apocalyptic approach was often cited as a massive influence on anyone from Nirvana to industrial bands, but also incorporated dub reggae and New York dance music.

Bustin' Out, The Post Punk Era 1979-1981, the first in the New Wave To New Beat series, is an often-startling picture of the no-holds-barred musical ructions which sprang up after punk's scorched earth revolution. Compiler Mike Maguire has made a rigid stand against being pigeon-holed throughout his 30 year DJing career, spreading the message that no sound or genre should be compartmentalised. This multi-hued set is a fine testimony to this ethos.

"Almost Red," is a certifiable classic and when you think about how they ripped off Moroder back then it's amazing. I mean it's pretty obvious what they were doing from the first note and here they are essentially sampling the tune probably w/o any sort of permission. How they got away w/it is beyond me but they did. Pure punk with a disco beat.

Download: Almost Red

The Get Busy Committee

The group is Get Busy Committee and features names you may have heard before: Ryu (Styles of Beyond, Demigodz) and Apathy (Demigodz, Army of the Pharaohs). Tracks are produced by Apathy as well as super-producer Scoop Deville, known for his work recently with Snoop Dogg, The Game, Clipse, and many others. Scoop also lends his signature vocal swagger to many of the tracks on the band's debut album, Uzi Does It.

As for Uzi Does It, the album is being released on their very own, bizarrely named, record label, Tokyo Sex Whale Records. Ryu was once signed to Warner Brothers and Apathy to Atlantic. No offense to the A&R rep who thinks phrases like, "I think you should work on your skateboard skills" or "you should go to the gym so you can take your shirt off on stage" is career advice, but Get Busy Committee decided to eschew label interest this time around and go their own route. "We can fuck it up ourselves, thanks," they were heard to say. As a result, Uzi Does It is a 100% self-funded, self-released independent record which is available now.

Download: Left Behind
Download: Say Whaaat

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Brian JonesTOWN Massacre Go Mental

Anton is at it again and apparently I can't fucking spell! Jesus...the joys of doing posts at 6am and using spellcheck. Anton will probably show up strung out and kick my ass as a result.

The Brian JonesTOWN Massacre is about to not only release it's latest record but it's also preparing to head out on the road. Whether it's DIG style or normal is yet to be determined...but when your first single is called, "Lets Go Fucking Mental," you can kind of make certain assumptions.

The band’s tenth album Who Killed Sgt. Pepper? is due on February 23rd, with their U.S. tour kicking off May 28th in Minneapolis.

Here's the dates...
5/28: Cabooze, Minneapolis
5/29: Turner Hall, Milwaukee
5/30: Metro, Chicago
5/31: Grog Shop, Cleveland
6/02: Phoenix Concert Hall, Toronto
6/03: La Tulipe, Montreal
6/04: Paradise Rock Club, Boston
6/06: Webster Hall, New York
6/08: TLA, Philadelphia
6/09: 9:30 Club, DC
6/10: Mad Hatter, Cincinnati
6/11: Off Broadway, St Louis
6/13: Bluebird Theater, Denver
6/14: Urban Lounge, Salt Lake City
6/15: Knitting Factory, Boise
6/17: Crystal Ballroom, Portland
6/18: Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver
6/19: Neumos. Seattle
6/21: Fillmore, San Francisco
6/22: Henry Fonda Theater, Los Angeles

Download: Lets Go Fucking Mental

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Their Secret History

The Secret History is an NYC-based band featuring cult songwriter Michael Grace, Jr. and his decade-long co-conspirators from the adored (but obscured) indie pop group My Favorite. The band also features the debut of vocalists Lisa Ronson (daughter of glam rock legend Mick Ronson) and Erin Dermody.

Grace's lyrics turn bare bedsit walls into drive-in theatres, while Ronson's singing alternates between the emotive and the plaintive -- one minute channeling Dusty Springfield, the next, Kirsty Macoll. Behind them, guitarist Darren Amadio, keyboardist Kurt Brondo, bassist Gil Abad, and drummer Tod Karasik tailor soundscapes to suit each changing mood. Together, they are creating a new kind of cinematic post-pop, drawing from the rainy jangles of C86, the buzz & stomp of glam, and the light & air of the classic girl groups (particularly apparent in Ronson and Dermody's harmonies).

With a sound that's not to far from being something like the Smiths meeting the Popinjays on holiday and falling in love with each other, The Secret History clearly know how to write a proper indie pop song. This is a band that's got a classic British sound to them with out them actually, you know, being British. Call it idolatry or call it love, The Secret History have done their homework and have come up with a beautiful set of songs that will have you drinking cups of tea and reaching for your anorak. Awesome stuff that might just be better than My Favorite.

Download: Johnny Anorak

The Dustbowl Revival

The Dustbowl Revival is a Venice, CA-based folk orchestra that merges old school gypsy rhythms with bluegrass, gospel, jug-band, jump blues and the hot swing of the 1930’s to form a spicy roots cocktail.

Known for their raucous dance-inducing live sets, The Dustbowl Revival plays what some call hillbilly jazz—the original front porch rock n’ roll. Think Dylan and The Band in Newport meets Louis Armstrong in New Orleans meets Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeroes on the beaches of LA.

It’s young people playing upbeat, vintage music and it’s all written and composed by howlin’ and stompin’ 24 year old frontman Zach Lupetin who first envisioned putting together a kind of roots supergroup when he moved from Chicago (his father is a blues harp virtuoso who sometimes sits in), to Michigan and then to sunny Los Angeles three years ago. The goal? Why, to make people feel good, of course.

They do a good job of that on their shuffly single, "Falling Down." It's Americana gone twee and will put a smile on your face. It's kind of ironic that in these days of economic recession that a band comes along that literally sounds as if it came wandering out of the dustbowl around the time of the Great Depression. Traditional music has never founded so uplifting or fun to listen to.

The Dustbowl Revival release their album, You Can't Go Back To The Garden Of Eden on March 16th.

Download: Falling Down

Stick Out Your Tunng

We're beside ourselves with excitement to announce the return of twisted pop wonders Tunng. The London-based band is set to release their fourth album - …And Then We Saw Land – April 2010 on Thrill Jockey Records, and it promises to be their best yet.

Since last we saw them, the band have been on adventures both personal (Mike went to India, Ashley moved to Somerset) and shared - such as their ten-day voyage of discovery with Malian desert bluesmen Tinariwen, a unique collaboration that aimed to fuse the sounds of the two bands together. An experience that helped shape Tunng’s approach to the new album, “We learned that you don’t always need structure! As long as there is presence, emotion and groove. It taught us that everything is open and adaptable...”

In the spirit of all that travel and experimentation, they’ve decided to call their new album …And Then We Saw Land – and it’s full of adventurous spirit. The first Tunng album to take more than a year to write and produce, it’s packed with big choruses and joyful tunes. “We wanted to make a record that would be a great live set,” says Mike. “My friend described it as ‘Epic Folk Disco Brass Magnificent,’ and I’m not sure you could call any other Tunng record that.”

Three songs contain what the band describe as The Mega Chorus – a 15-strong group of collaborators and drinking buddies who lent their voices to the album one rainy night in an abandoned school hall in Old Street. The same blend of rustic acoustic based folk, kitchen sink experimentalism, delicate electronics, and pop melodies that don't let go still pervade and remain the core of Tunng’s rich sonic tapestry.

Download: Tale From Black

You'll Have A Satellite Crush

A backwards British Invasion....

After graduating from art school in Ohio, Satellite Crush's Elliot moved across the Atlantic to London, England with hopes of starting a band. Heavily influenced by British music, and determined to follow this path, he barely made ends meet by bar tending at a nearby pub and busking on the streets. In the extreme loneliness that followed, he spent much of his spare time writing songs in his small studio flat in central London. Having just left the girl with whom he was in love with, naturally she became the subject of many songs to follow.

Elliot began playing open mic shows around the city, eventually playing several solo gigs before forming a small band with several other Londoners he met at a show. Despite some promising success this however, proved to be short lived following some members' habits. In an attempt to escape the loneliness and addiction that London so warmly embraced, Elliot moved back to the States eventually planting himself in Los Angeles.

Shortly after moving to L.A, Satellite Crush was formed, basing their material around the songs that were written in London. The name came from a reference to the subject of the songs, the girl left behind, who he had minimal contact with while in London through emails, and occasionally a phone call, she was his "satellite crush".

With soaring guitars and vocals it's as if Satellite Crush were already out in space. The songs this band writes are sweeping, heartbreaking, and just about epic. These are anthems to love and loss in the making. They're emotional roller coasters packed into something five minutes long and will have you yearning for something more. As blur once said, "London loves the way people just fall apart," and Satellite Crush is the sound of that.

Download: Paris to London

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Saadi Goes Worldwide

As precious stone is extracted from its natural environment to be cut and polished, revealing its infinite multi-colored reflections, SAADI derives elements of musical influence and transforms them into pop gems rich in melody and reflecting an almost schizophrenic obsession with music.

SAADI, the musical pseudonym of the radiant Boshra al Saadi, is an eclectic and transcendental artist with a unique ability to create harmonious tunes tiled from fragmentation's of both empathetic influence and detached curiosity.

Drawing early influence from sources as diverse as Bob Dylan, classic 80's synth pop, traditional Arabic music, punk rock, Nigerian music and Brian Eno, SAADI assembles her musical creation to form what is fundamentally her own. This collision of pop-smarts, exotic influences and fearless eclecticism spawns music which sounds both sophisticated and delightfully accessible.

One listen to "Bad City," and you'll agree. The tune is the perfect blend of pop, tribal rhythms, and sounds like Creatures records from the 90's. Is SAADI a Siouxsie in the making? That's open for debate, but what isn't is the fact that this girl has got the knack for making the unusual sound completely normal and that as we know is never a bad thing.

Download: Bad City

One In A Googolplex 2...the Revenge.

We posted something on One in a Googolplex last year and the German singer/songwriter who took his name from a line in the movie “Back To The Future III," is back.

Sounding like a fractured fairy tale with a beat, OIAG, write slightly discordant synth pop that's the sound of a heart breaking repeatedly. The goal of OIAG is create timeless tunes that are enjoyable on this planet or any others man happens to wind up on.

Judging by the two latest songs he's released, this doesn't seem like a far-fetched idea. If synth pop could indeed by lo-fi-diy than OIAG would be it's poster child and these songs would be it's manifesto.

Broken hearted, broken pop made with broken synths have truly never sounded so good. To the stars!

Download: Seven Lives and Tasty Mice
Download: Just Like You

Friday, January 22, 2010

Hush Now.

One last post before bed...

Boston indie-popsters, The Hush Now, are releasing the second single, Contrails, from their upcoming, sophomore album, Constellations (due out February 16th).

The Hush Now have a unique, ivy league, indie-pop-rock sound that their label says is reminiscent of early Weezer and Wilco but with the muscle of shoegazing’ s glory days mixed in.

But the single...well it sounds like classic Apples in Stereo if you ask me.

What do you think?

Download: Now Contrails

DJ Jem Has A Hangover

It's kind of funny...a friend at work and I were talking about The Hangover a couple of weeks ago, and it was all centered around the whole Wolfpack scene. I mean the scene is hilarious and somewhere in the back of my head I knew someone somewhere would sample this bit of the movie.

It was only a matter of time.

Straight out of Chitown, DJ Jem has done just that and although this has been around the block the last couple of days, it so deserves to be posted. It's an instant classic that will leave you confused whether or not to dance or laugh your ass off.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Kill Frenzy's Revenge

Kill Frenzy is a young DJ producer from Limburg, Belgium. He got the music bug a few years ago listening to his good friend Jules X deejaying. Young Frenzy worked his way into the production game rather fast and was the very first European juke (booty house) producer to release several booty tracks on the infamous Dust Traxx label (Chicago) and the legendary DJ Godfather's label, Juke Trax online (Detroit). Even techno legend and beat-juggling-expert Dave Clarke is a Kill Frenzy fan, putting some of his early productions in his chart!

Not wanting to limit himself to just one style he started working on producing various styles. Heʼs first EP was picked up immediately by Joshua Harvey, better now as: Hervé or The Count of Monte Cristal. Harvey signed Kill Frenzy to his well known and well respected Cheaper Thrills label and the “54321” EP came out in the beginning of August 2009.

Kill Frenzy promised us that more tracks were in the works around the same time and he's delivered. He's just served up a new speaker rattling jam that's a dancefloor destroyer, literally. His rework of Pablo Calamari & Velicious', "Think About You," is a noisy and wobbly tune that's the sound of an air raid about to unload on top of you. Loud, fast, and chaotic, the tune will leave many in pain by the time it's done. Good stuff then.

Download: Pablo Calamari and Velicious - Think About Your (Kill Frenzy Remix) via Mediafire

No Rimer or Reason

In 2008 Rimer (now under the name of Rimer London) formed an Electro-pop group called Le Le together with graphic designer/producer Piet Parra and rapper/singer Faberyayo from the popular Dutch band De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig.

Things moved rather quickly from there. They first released the single “La Bouche” shortly after their formation with a quick follow up double A-sided single called “Skinny Jeans” and “Hard” it was an instant hit, both songs found themselves in high rotation on Dutch and Belgium television and radio and the formation took off. From their they released “Breakfast” and then things go interesting with Rimer striking out on his own.

Deeply rooted in Italo and Techno it's obvious Rimer London loves the dancefloor even if he staggers to get there. With a loopy intro and a staggered keyboard, "Go Away," takes a few to get started but once it does, it just melts your face. Lush, spooky, and more importantly good, the tune is an spacey classic. "Intercity," on the other hand is Moroder stuck on a Virgin Train. The tune chugs along with an almost, "I Feel Love," vibe to it that reeks of Italo with a big giant I. It's good stuff then...unless you're stuck on a train.

Download: Go Away
Download: Intercity

Emanuel and the Fear Aren't Afraid

Often times, a band can get too big too quickly and not be able to adapt in ample time to their own success. In Emanuel and the Fear’s case, they started big - an entire 11 members big. With less than a year under their belt since the initial self-titled EP release, Emanuel and the Fear has been building its profile and reputation rapidly, proving to the industry and fans alike that it is one band that is worth the hype or at least it's size.

Now armed with a brand new 18-song album of epic proportions, Emanuel and the Fear is raising the bar yet again with Listen. To be released in North America on March 9th and in Europe on March 22nd with Spring and Summer tour plans both domestic and abroad, Emanuel and the Fear will be bringing their music and full live experience to listeners across the globe.

I guess they'll be chartering a plane and a fleet of buses as the pack of the Fear trudge across countries bring sunshiny Ben Fold's like pop to the masses. Emanuel and the Fear are jumpy pop merchants that use everything short of the kitchen sink to get their message across and they do a fantastic job of getting it across with brassy arrangements, sweeping pop pianos and choruses bigger than Europe. Just listen to, "Dear Friend," and see for yourself.

Download: Dear Friend

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Freeway Launches A Stimulus Package Of His Own

Freeway sets out to stimulate the Hip Hop industry by signing into law the Hip Hop Recovery and Reinvestment Act with the release of The Stimulus Package.

Produced entirely by veteran G-Unit producer Jake One, The Stimulus Package showcases some of Freeway’s most dynamic and engaging work to date. Since his breakout Roc-A-Fella debut Philadelphia Freeway in 2003, which achieved gold status, Freeway has been regarded as “your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper”.

The collaboration of heavyweights Freeway & Jake One makes The Stimulus Package already one of the year’s most anticipated releases.

Dragonette, Little Boots, Fan Death Hit The Road

In what should be one of the best tours of 2010, Dragonette are heading out on the road for a North American tour this spring with Little Boots and Fan Death. They're crisscrossing the nation and destined to destroy dancefloors wherever they roam.

The dates are as follows:
Mar 06 - Seattle, WA @ Neumos
Mar 07 - Portland. OR @ Hawthorne Theater
Mar 09 - San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore Auditorium
Mar 10 - Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theatre
Mar 12 - Pomona, CA @ The Glass House
Mar 13 - San Diego, CA @ Casbah
April 22 - Atlanta @ Masquerade Hell Stage
April 23 - Washington @ 9:30 Club
April 24 - Philadelphia @ Pure (Making Time)
April 28 - Boston @ Middle East
April 29 - Montreal @ SAT
April 30 - Toronto @ Phoenix Concert Hall
May 01 - Chicago @ Metro

Download: Dragonette - Pick Up The Phone (Arithmatix Remix) via Sendspace
Download: Dragonette - Pick Up The Phone (Jaxsur Remix)

He's a Peasant

Shady Retreat, Peasant’s new record, takes off where the previous record, On The Ground, left us. While the last album gave many people their first taste of Peasant, in the eyes of the moniker’s human form, Damien DeRose, this was a mere appetizer to what would soon come to fruition. DeRose molded his own retrospective thoughts and realization about the music and content of On The Ground to use as a platform for Shady Retreat. The result is an album that is an extension of the most creative and substantial elements of On The Ground combined with DeRose’s maturing music tastes and everyday influences. Shady Retreat stands out as its own introspective artistic masterpiece.

As if to tempt us DeRose (or Peasant) has released the first single off of the album, "Well, Alright," and it's anything but alright. A lilting little piano ditty that's fragile and jumpy in all the best ways, the tune will not leave you alone once DeRose tickles those ivories. Having had difficulties listening to anything else, I'm excited to hear Shady Retreat .

Shady Retreat will be available via Paper Garden Records on March 2, 2010 in North America and April 5th in Europe.

Download: Well Alright

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Drlkt Freddie Gets Busy

With a shared love of music and the same kind of musical vision, Jad Cooper and Van Scott came together in early 2008 in what they thought would be a one off studio session. As it turned out their chemistry was spot on and so instantaneous that they found it difficult to stop working together. As a result, these two NYC-based DJs formed Drlkt Freddie, a production team and live act.

Their diverse sound is pulled from many influences with songs that all have the common denominator to move you. They take glitch, house, some hip hop influences, kidnap Green Velvet throw all that into a blender and come up with something that's as dark as it is dancey and as catchy and it's anthemic. They know how to piece a song together and whether it's a remix or their own material they kill it with reckless abandon.

Furiously working in the studio on original material right now for their debut EP, Drlkt Freddie has offered up a host of tracks to keep us busy until the thing is actually released.

Download: Larry Tee ft. Roxy Cottontail - Lets Get Nasty (Drlkt Freddie Remix)
Download: Drlkt Freddie - Boys and Girls (DJ Wool Remix)
Download: Killer on the Floor - Gringo Oba Oba (Drlkt Freddie Goes To Rio Remix)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Seabear Build A Fire

Icelandic 7-piece Seabear will release their sophomore album, We Built a Fire, in March 2010 on Morr Music.

What started out as the lo-fi solo project of Icelandic singer/multi-instrumentalist Sindri Már Sigfússon's (aka Sin Fang Bous) has now morphed into a rambling experimental/indie/folk septet.

We Built A Fire was recorded in the band's apple carton-covered basement studio and is the followup to their 2007 debut, The Ghost That Carried Us Away, which sold over 20,000+ copies with little to no promotion behind it.

"Lion Face Boy," is an awesome glistening track of indie pop that sounds so tender and so fragile that it might just shatter into a million pieces at any minutes. It's beautiful, slightly twee stuff that just might break your heart if it doesn't break apart first. If the whole album is like this,there will be a lot of heartache come March.

Download: Lion Face Boy

The Chicago Underground Duo Hits The Streets

The Chicago Underground Duo featuring Rob Mazurek (Cornet) and Chad Taylor (Drums), have returned with their first release since 2006 and will be playing their first tour in almost as many years. See below for details

Boca Negra is the 5th release of the critically acclaimed Chicago Underground Duo and 11th release by the Chicago Underground Collective. As with the previous four Duo records it contains both composed and improvised music. The recording contains powerful grooves along with ambient sound structures, folk song simplicity and polyrhythmic bursts of energy with lyrical melodic vignettes. It also combines high energy music with slow moving ballads. Boca Negra was recorded in Sao Paulo, Brazil at Rocha Studios making it the first record not created in Chicago. It is also the first record that contains a "cover", that being Ornette Coleman's "Broken Shadows". This record has been three years in the making and took so long to make due partly to both Chad and Rob's frantic touring schedules (Rob is the leader of the Exploding Star Orchestra, Sao Paulo Underground, Mandarin Movie, and more while Chad performs with Iron and Wine, Marc Ribot, and so forth).

Judging by "Spy On The Floor," the album is destined to be a classic. With Latin influences, a streets of Chicago feel and the ambiance of a 70's cop drama the tune is just what the director ordered. "Spy," is awesome free flowing jazzy brilliance that's all over the place and as frenetic and crazy as a chase scene from the French Connection. Awesome stuff then that's destined to be a soundtrack to something.

Download: Spy On The Floor

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Join the Alcoholic Faith Mission

Alcoholic Faith Mission started in Brooklyn, NY in 2006. The apprentices of dejection, Thorben Seierø Jensen and Sune Sølund, were wandering around in the raw wintry-streets, shooting the breeze and brushing on alcoholism when suddenly before them was big neon cross. This was a holy congregation called Apostolic Faith Mission. “It’s just like booze is to the alcoholic, they thought. A true mission to withstand an empty existence; an Alcoholic Faith Mission.

Three months later the duo’s underplayed and dogmatic debut, Misery Loves Company, was ready. Dogma’s for the album, which was recorded in a small bedroom in Copenhagen, was that recordings had to take place at night, lit by only candles and always under the influence of alcohol.

Two years later they went back to Brooklyn to seclude themselves in an old factory loft at 421 Wythe Avenue and came up with an alternative active creation process for the new album – perhaps one that was a bit easier on the liver. They tried on a selection of straight jackets for inspiration. Everything used to make the music had to be found within the loft’s four walls – creating some obscure, yet fitting sounds such as that of dictionaries beating each other to become an electronically muted bass drum.

This way of working turned into their second album; named after the street where they lived on – 421 Wythe Avenue. Judging by the single, "We All Have Our Shortcomings," the album is a hangover that feels good. It's a hazy slow building tune that swirls like a Sunday morning that never ends. Dreamy, shimmery, and really quite good, the single hints at an album that's even better. The Betty Ford Clinic never sounded so good.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Under Your Radar

On March 23, Radar Brothers will release The Illustrated Garden. Jim Putnam has found a new band of brothers in bass player Be Hussey and drummer Stevie Treichel, two partners who are equally passionate about the band.

The original line-up of Radar Brothers died on January 29th, 2008. The band was on stage at the Echo in Los Angeles playing the record release show for their new album, Auditorium. However, after a brief hiatus, the new configuration of Radar Brothers began with live performances. Jim, Be and Stevie built a tight bond while touring together in the US and Europe. Writing together was the natural next step and March 23rd, 2010 represents the culmination of the Radar Brothers rebirth.

The Illustrated Garden is the punchiest, most lyrically direct set of songs the band has released to date. The songs are unmistakably Radar Brothers, but the Treichel/Hussey rhythm section often pushes them in unexpected directions.

Judging by, "Horse Warriors," the album is going to be amazing. With an almost Scott Walker meets Burt Bacharach jamming with Wilco feel, Radar Brothers have created something which is nostalgic and familiar as it is dusty and dear.

Download: Horse Warriors

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Besnard Lakes Are Back

The Besnard Lakes are offering a preview of their much-anticipated album, The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night, with the standout single, "Albatross." The single will also be made available on February 9th (8th in the UK) as a vinyl 12" with the exclusive b-side "Four Long Lines."

"Albatross," is a beautiful dreamy tune that sounds like a warped California pop record fed through a distortion pedal. Think classic shoegazing ala Pale Saints and you kind of have the right idea. It's fantastic stuff that only hints at how awesome the full album will be.

This is one albatross around your neck you won't want to get rid of.

Download: Albatross

Head For The Mountains

Early in 2009, Mountains released the critically acclaimed Choral, their first album for Thrill Jockey Records and by the end of the year, they had released Etching, a live document they recorded for and sold on their 2009 tour. Both releases were eagerly snapped up and Etching, repressed by Thrill Jockey because the original CD version was sold out, quickly became an out of print collector's item as well. Choral also popped up on several year-end lists, including those of the Los Angeles Times and UNCUT. The new year is upon us and Mountains is getting ready to bring their uniquely transcendent live show to the East Coast and Midwest.

The tour dates are as follows...
Jan 27 Buffalo, NY Soundlab w/Tape
Jan 28 Chicago, IL Empty Bottle w/Tape
Jan 29 Omaha, NE Bemis Center for the Contemporary Arts w/Tape
Jan 30 Northfield, MN The Cave @ Carleton College w/Tape
Jan 31 Madison, WI The Project Lodge w/Tape
Feb 1 Iowa City, IA The Picador w/Tape
Feb 3 Louisville, KY Skull Alley w/Tape
Feb 4 Lexington, KY Al's Bar w/Tape
Feb 5 Knoxville, TN The Pilot Light w/Tape
Feb 6 Chapel Hill, NC Nightlight w/Tape
Feb 8 Washington, DC Bossa w/Tape
Feb 9 Philadelphia, PA The Chapel @ First Unitarian w/Tape
Feb 10 New York, NY Le Poisson Rouge w/Tape, Radian, Tim Hecker
Feb 11 Boston, MA TBA

Download: Choral

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

It's Growing...

VICE Records have signed the Brooklyn, NY-based trio Growing, kicking off 2010 with the release of their new album PUMPS on April 6th. Growing's latest offering is another top-shelf freak out of glitch, fuzz and drone. Drum machines create dense tribal rhythms and form the bedrock for the loneliest dance floor in the universe. Vocal samples swoop in and out like starlings over effects laden synths and guitar. Growing has given birth to a magical creation with PUMPS - it's the audio equivalent of coming out of an anesthetic haze with a squirming pile of joy wrapped safely in your eardrums.

Work on PUMPS began March 2009 at Ocropolis Studio in Brooklyn and was painstakingly arranged and mixed over a period of nine months. In between bouts of working at the studio, 2009 found Growing touring Japan and Italy for the first time, concluding the year with a second appearance at All Tomorrow's Parties and joining Fuck Buttons for a national US tour. 2010 tour dates to be announced soon.

Download: Hormone

Monday, January 4, 2010

DeVries Turns A New Page

The latest entry from the POP! Stereo Treasure Trove comes to us from the past...deVries is the new band of Travis DeVries, of legendary Seattle band The Turn-ons. In August 2009, Spin Magazine listed The Turn-ons in its “100 Greatest Bands You’ve (Probably) Never Heard” story. Peter Buck of R.E.M. described them as “…simply my favorite new Seattle band. If I said that their sound was a combination of the Velvets, T. Rex and Spiritualized with a dash of Yo La Tengo, it wouldn’t do them justice."

de Vries sound hearkens to the reining days of Britpop/Madchester bands such as The Stone Roses and Suede. Travis’ lyrics touch on a wide range of range of topics from trans-gendered children (“Boys are Bores”), to global warming (“Slowing Down”), and economic upheaval (“Black Thursday Repeat”). His gift of weaving lush orchestration and intensely personal lyrics is a reminder of the days when music saved your life.

Download: Slowing Down
Download: Darkest Summer