Thursday, December 23, 2010

Deck The Halls...

As the holiday season looms closer and we wind down the blog for the rest of the year, what a better way to celebrate than with a festive post of Christmas music.

We've compiled a pretty hefty list of Christmas music for you to download, burn, and crank up around the fireplace (or a shut down airport if you're really unlucky) while you celebrate the season.

This is our next to last post of 2010, with our Top 25 post coming next week. We here at The POP! Stereo want to say thanks to everyone who reads, downloads, shares, and sends us stuff on a day to day basis. Really, without you guys there's not much of a blog.

That being said, have a great Christmas and we'll catch you on the flip with the Top 25 albums of the year.


A POP! Stereo Christmas....

The Hush Now: On Holiday

The Puppini Sisters: Last Christmas

Sleepy Rebels: California Christmas

Bananas Symphony: Holidaze

Kermit Ruffins: A Saints Christmas

Banjo or Freakout: Frosty The Snowman

Catwalk: Christmas Don't Be Late

Tape Deck Mountain: Blue Christmas

Whole albums of Christmas tunes...

Sam Billen/Josh Atkinson: A Word of Encouragement

I'll Be Hometapes For Christmas (via Bandcamp)

And of course this...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Silver Swans Lake

You can tell it's near Christmas as the music industry slowly but surely grinds to a halt. I mean I guess they do deserve a vacation and lord knows I do. Anyway, if you're wondering where the heck we've been the last week, quite frankly there just hasn't been anything in our in box worth posting about. Then the Silver Swans came along...

Silver Swans take their name from the group of super-villains in the Wonder Woman comic book series. The evil Swans have the ability to create a powerful "swan song" of sound waves using their voices that is capable of devouring a small area of land with its destructive force. By creating a low-level humming, the Silver Swan can also form a protective shield around herself to deflect bullets and other projectiles. The musical counterpart Silver Swans, however, are far from the evil and destruction of their namesake. The electro dream-pop project captures the haunting dramatics, pure beauty of life and dreams to build a dynamic, exultant sound all of their own.

They formed from the collaboration of DJ producer Jon Waters and songwriter Ann Yu. Both artists also have prolific backgrounds. But with all of their experience the duo decided to take a different route when it comes to creating music together. Silver Swans puts a special meaning to the idea of bedroom recordings. All tracks were recorded in late night sessions hidden under covers, in their bathrooms, and right before bed. The songs you hear are a reflection of the dreams they’ve uncovered and hope to discover.

Download: Holidays
Download: Secrets
Download: Secrets(Letting Up Despite Great Faults Remix)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Arveene and MiSK

Straight from the cities of Dublin and London are two young producers/DJs who over the past two years have taken the underground by storm: Arveene & MiSK.

Since the release of their massive "Hell's Bells," the duo has been on a music production mission. Their second release, which dropped on highly respected Aussie dance label Bang Gang, was the beautifully twisted piece of electro "Eavesdropper."

Since then, Arveene & MiSK, in between live performances, have been living in the studio working on their debut album.

The first offering is their new single "Love & Lust," featuring the vocals of Steo Gunn, dropping on NY-based Plant Music. Sliced, diced, and housed up, the tune is massive. Throw in some electro/funk flourishes and you have a song that will rip your feet clean off of your legs. If the album is half as good as this single...we'll be super happy.

Download: Love and Lust (Tag Team Terror Remix)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Porcelain Raft Sets Adrift

Some labels get it, some don't. One of the labels that clearly gets it is Acephale Records. Why? Well, I'll let them explain...

"Instead of doing the normal thing where we get a bunch of people to do remixes and then sell it as a package on iTunes or wherever, we decided to take inspiration from the end of the year and give the whole (Porcelain Raft) thing away. We're celebrating the emergence of Porcelain Raft on his debut 7", sweet sadness/sad sweetness, the promise of travel, long cold walks, the thrill of novelty, but most of all the potential of a new year. Let's go 2K!!."

And the remixes deliver...and if that's not enough there's a video to boot. There's a whole multi-media experience here at your fingertips. Rather than me rambling on about it...hop to it. Downtempo/synth pop craziness has never sounded quite like this...

Download: Tip Of Your Tongue (Keep Shelly in Athens Remix)
Download: Tip Of Your Tongue (Blood Diamonds Remix)
Download: Gone Blind (Nowa Huta Remix)
Download: Porcelain Raft - Tip Of Your Tongue (Blackbird Blackbird Remix)

Porcelain Raft - Tip Of Your Tongue from ACEPHALE on Vimeo.

Piece De La Resistance

La Resistance is the brainchild of Greg Summerlin, who after releasing several solo albums on Superphonic Records formed the new Birmingham, Alabama band with three friends that have played with him over the past several years. The band’s debut album, Philosophy, recalls various musical influences from the last three decades. Greg is joined by Wil Drake on drums (formerly of Moses Mayfield – Columbia Records), Jake Blount on bass and Erin Tumlin on keys and vocals. Greg’s previous three albums received much critical approval and had songs that appeared in numerous TV shows and movies, including network placements on ABC and NBC.

As Greg began writing songs for Philosophy, he felt his new musical vision should be a band project and enrolled his friends to help him take the album in this direction. Some of new songs have been described as being “indie gothic pop” due to the grandiosity of the arrangements and to the synths and drum loops taking center stage in many of the tunes. The ten new songs by La Resistance represent some of Greg’s most creative and innovative work to date, which can be explained somewhat by the fact that Greg himself produced this record and had creative control over all aspects of recording and production.

It shows as well...or at least it does on the single, "Understanding." Sounding like something out of the hazy days of early 90's British pop, the song is straight out of the baggy / shoegazing pages of NME. Sounding something like the Dylans meets Edipussy, the band mix psychedelics with grooves and achieve pop bliss. If the album is half as good as this single, we're all in for a treat come February when Philosophy is released.

Download: Understanding

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Babies Raise A Ruckus

The Babies' songs are roughed up jewels that come from the same cloth as Hazelwood/Sinatra, VU/Nico, Pisces/Linda Bruner & other dream marriages. The band will tour the West Coast again in January, where theyʼre temporarily relocating for the winter to write their second record, before going to Europe in the spring of 2011.

They're a bit lo-fi, a bit shambolic, and they look like hell, but darn do they sound good. The Babies don't spend a lot of time crying (or burping) but they do spend a lot of time playing some mighty good lo-fi indie pop that seems like it was recorded in a bedroom on a minutes notice.

Download: Run Me Over

J Mascis Preps Solo Album

It’s all but inconceivable that J Mascis requires an introduction. In the quarter-century since he founded Dinosaur (Jr.), Mascis has created some of the era’s signature songs, albums and styles. As a skier, golfer, songwriter, skateboarder, record producer, and musician, J has few peers. The laconically-based roar of his guitar, drums and vocals have driven a long string of bands–Deep Wound, Dinosaur Jr., Gobblehoof, Velvet Monkeys, the Fog, Witch, Sweet Apple–and he has guested on innumerable sessions. But Several Shades of Why is J’s first solo studio record, and it is an album of incredible beauty, performed with a delicacy not always associated with his work.

Every track, every note even, bears that distinct Mascis watermark, both in the shape of the tunes and the glorious rasp of the vocals. Ten brilliant tunes that quietly grow and expand until they fill your brain with the purest pleasure. It's due out March 15th and until them, this single literally is not enough.

Download: Not Enough

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Peo De Pitte Returns...

After the lauded success of his much sought-after remixes (Sidney Samson's Riverside and Telepopmusik's Beathe); Peo De Pitte has picked up and resprayed arguably the biggest hit of the year.... Congorock's inimitable Babylon!

The original, for whom has missed it, is off A-Trak's Fools Gold label!

Twisting and re-imagining the beats into something new that explodes out of the box into a dance floor consuming beast that will devour you. Chopped, filtered, and bangin' from the get's a nice rework.

Download: Congorock - Babylon (Peo de Pitte featuring Chronz RD Remix)

Beni Why You Do This?

Trying to wrap your mind around Beni is like trying to get a grip on a ghost. He's an energy flash, a light that never burns out, a juvenile joker and an ageless oracle. He's a man that has lived a thousand lives, a connoisseur and a curator, an aesthete and the ultimate modern artist.

A lifetime of inspiration and two and a half years in the making, Beni's forthcoming debut album was written and recorded in various studios and bedrooms in Sydney, New York, LA, Paris, Berlin, Tokyo and Barcelona; at various airports and hotels along the way; on countless flights; on trains between Hiroshima, Osaka and Kyoto, and in a rickety-ass farmhouse in the French countryside.

The result is Beni's singular vision of dance music filtered through life and love, and a soundtrack to a journey with no end in sight. It's an attempt to capture the atmosphere of house music's infancy in Chicago and New York. Marshall Jefferson, Larry Levan, Francois K, Ron Hardy, Frankie Knuckles: for Beni, this is where it all began.

Keep your eyes and ears peeled for the first single from the album, It's A Bubble, backed with a slew of white-hot remixes and released early 2011. In the meantime enjoy his most recent mixtape...

Download: December Stadium Mix

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Fol Chen Keep Busy

2010 has been a busy year for Fol Chen with the release of their second full length Part II: The New December, a pair of remix EP's and tours with Liars, !!! and The Apples In Stereo, but they've got a few more surprises in store before the year is over. The band recently took a trip to St. Petersburg, Russia when they were invited by CEC Artslink for a special performance. The day after the show the band held a workshop where they invited local musicians to help them create samples, loops and sounds for a song that they'll release next summer.

The band also lent a hand to KRCW DJ Eric Lawrence in remixing David Bowie's classic "Golden Years" as a part of KCRW's celebration of the release of Bowie's remastered Station to Station. You can check out the remix right here. Additionally, Part II single "In Ruins" was recently featured in a decidedly NSFW scene between Mary Louise Parker and Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Zack from Saved by the Bell) in an episode of Weeds.

And now the band have recently collaborated with director/animator Nancy Jean Tucker to create a video for Part II standout "C/U" and had the track remixed by the UK producer Star Slinger.

Oh and they're hitting up a few places in January on tour...
01/14 - Chicago, IL - Schubas $
01/15 - Rock Island, IL - Daytrotter
01/17 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th Entry !
01/19 - Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge !
01/21 - Salt Lake City, Utah - Kilby Court !
01/22 - Boise, ID - Neurolux !
01/24 - Vancouver, BC - Media Club !
01/25 - Seattle, WA - Vera Project !
01/26 - Portland, OR - Holoscene !
01/28 - San Francisco, CA - Hemlock Tavern !
01/29 - Los Angeles, CA - The Echo !

! = w/ Friends & Darwin Deez
$ = w/ Twin Shadow, Apache Beat & BRAHMS
* = w/ Exrays, Bret Hamler and the Rodeo & Maus Haus

Download: C/U (Star Slinger Remix)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Douze Where's My House?

Douze is Arnault Douze Esteve, a young 23-year-old Frenchman.

Although he lives in Chantilly, it is Paris that has both inspired and gave birth to his artistic persona.

A protégé of Kris Menace, the pair teamed up in 2009 when Douze co-wrote several key tracks on Kris’ acclaimed “Idiosyncrasies” album including the techno anthem "Scaler", the sultry "Challenger" and the more downtempo "Sensuality".

In 2010 Douze once again joined forces with Kris to write and produce the track "Lockhead", which was picked up and re-edited by Steve Angello for his own Size imprint.

Following this Douze collaborated with another titan of the French house music scene, Alan Braxe, the results of which are still under lock and key in Braxe’s own production vault.

Stepping out on his own Douze released his debut solo EP, Les Paradis Artificiels, on Discotexas earlier this year and now rounds off 2010 with a new EP, Doxology, on Work It Baby that shows off yet more aspects of this young Frenchman's talent, from the yearning synths of "We Got The Love" through to the club anthem "Doxology".

Until someone breaks into Braxe's production vault and unleashes that unreleased work, pick up the two EP's, and just enjoy the sultry laid back funk of Douze's, "We Got The Love." It's like a blast out of the 80's that's to covered in pastels to ignore.

Download: We Got The Love

Little Comets Light It Up

Little Comets won't actually be releasing their new single, Joanna, for a month and a half, but through the miracle of modern technology. You can see the video now and even download an alternate version of the single.

The tune is a moody kind of Futureheads-ish (listen to the chorus) kind of heart breaker that's more syrupy sweet than actual syrup. It's a great tune that hints at just how good Little Comets debut album is going to be.

Joanna is released on January 17th followed a fortnight later by the release of their enigmatically titled debut album In Search Of Elusive Little Comets.

Until then enjoy the vid and minimalistic Joannacapella.

Download: Joannacapella

Regurgitator Throws Up A New Tune

Australian rascal art rockers, Regurgitator, are in no way new to the music industry. In fact they are veterans of the Aussie scene spawning cult classics like 'Polyester Girl', 'I like your new stuff better than your old stuff' and 'Blubber Boy' since their inception as a band in 1994.

So to have these guys back is like a gift before Christmas. Their new single, "Making No Sense," pretty much picks up right where they left off a bunch of years ago. Hitting your straight across the mouth from deep in left field, Regurgitator find grooves in all the weirdest places. It works for them and it makes, "Making No Sense," very addictive in a post-alt-rock kind of way.

"Making No Sense," is part of an ongoing plan to regularly release new material rather than focus on just doing an album. Of course Regurgitator's tongue is still firmly in the cheek and this track will no doubt go down as another classic.

Nice to have you guys back.

Download: Making No Sense

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Lost On The Dead Western Plains

Dead Western Plains is a collective of young artists hailing from Tucson, AZ. They piece together copious influences to create a widely colorful and rich sound; using rhythms that often favor reverie while adding emotive melodies and maverick lyrics that leave behind a sense of wonder and charm.

"Alta" b/w "Gift Horse in the Mouth", recorded for Fort Lowell Records , is Dead Western Plains ' expressionistic debut. The group handcrafted 10+ minutes that lead the audience over hill and dale through winding musical tales of pivotal loss, Armageddon, brotherly love, haunted houses, and passionate crimes. The well-garnered compositions have a kaleidoscope of influences spanning postmodern and romantic composition, pop, hip hop, and electronic artists. "Alta" swells from beginning to end telling the story of a lonely Jesus, a botched attempt at camaraderie, and the epiphanies that come with failure. "Gift Horse in the Mouth", which summons a darker timbre from the quintet, entangles raucous guitars and ominous organs which provide the soundscape for a dire realization; everything comes to an inevitable end and the horrors that arise when one takes this certainty into their own hands.

"Alta" and "Gift Horse in the Mouth" corroborate how Dead Western Plains renders their individual experiences into an imaginative and novel sound. These two tracks, being released as Fort Lowell Records fourth installment (FLR004), shed merely a speck of light on what Dead Western Plains will offer in the future.

Download: Alta