Monday, October 31, 2011

Det Vackra Livet

Johan from the rather amazing Swedish label, Labrador, has a tale to tell about the new band Det Vackra Livet. Rather than me ruining the story, here's the tale straight from Johan's

Philip called me up a day in September 2010. He was working on songs for the third The Mary Onettes album as far as I knew, so I was surprised to hear he had written two songs in Swedish that he wanted me to hear. He sent “Kristallen” and “Juni berättar” over … and I was instantly blown away of their verve and beauty! I immediately pleaded him to an album with Det Vackra Livet.

The coming two months Philip sent me one or two news songs every week, each one of stunning quality. The whole album was finished in less than eight weeks time and one has to wonder where the inspiration came from.

It turned out he had been going through his grandmother’s memories over the summer and the little everyday stories had affected him deeply. He had also discovered the works of Swedish/Finnish poet Claes Andersson (now a member of parliament in Finland) and become inspired by his way of writing.

And somewhere there in the summer of 2010 - among poetry, memories and sentimental flashbacks - Det Vackra Livet was born. /Johan, Labrador Records

Download: Askan

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Alan Wilkis Makes Prints

Alan Wilkis is a busy man.  He works with a lot of people.  Rather than trying to explain it all to you, I'll just let him do that.

PRINTS is a series of singles by Brooklyn-based recording artist and producer, Alan Wilkis. For each song or “print,” he first writes an instrumental piece and then collaborates with a different vocalist, sometimes together in the studio and sometimes via the web, until the “print” takes its shape. By drawing both himself and his collaborators out of their respective comfort zones, Alan hopes to push each “print” to new and unexpected heights.

Alan chose to name the project, PRINTS, largely because a “print” implies a certain beautiful simplicity, as well as an ability to stand alone as a piece of art. “Printing” can also refer to the act of rendering a recording session into a single audio file. Also, “prints” and “Prince” sound alike... and Alan really likes Prince.

Download: Come and Go (ft. TheKickDrums)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dempsey Wins!

Niels Pederson and Adam Abildgaard have been playing music for a little over 5 years, but it was only about a year that they began to make music as Dempsey. They both went to high school together in Davis, California and until recently, both lived there (Adam moved to San Francisco about 6 months ago). After parting ways with the third member of their previous band Dempsey came into being with Niels and Adam continuing to make music but taking it in a completely different direction.

After aimlessly making a few tracks together, Adam created the beginnings of what is now “Late Night” and decided their sound had been found. Nine months and a lot of hard work later they have now released their first EP, and are already in the preliminary stages of their next. Despite the bit of distance between the two, they maintain a collaborative dynamic through constant file sharing and frequent trips up and down the PCH.

Sounding like what would have happened had the Mark Gardner out of Ride fell out of love with the Byrds and in love with synthesizers, listening to Dempsey is like listening to "Chrome Waves" through a "Time Machine."  Hazy post apocalyptic dream pop for the synthesized generation is what these guys are all about and that's something worth taking a Ride for.

Download: Late Night

Thursday, October 20, 2011

BEEEEEEP Art, Let's Dance!

Fuck Art, Let's Dance! is Romeo Sfendules (Guitar) and Tim Hansen (Drums) who operate as a highly motivated and brilliant team behind the dynamic, inspired and ridiculously young singer Nico. FUCK ART, LET’S DANCE! manage to create a make believe utopia of intense electronic beats and driving atmospheric guitars.

A sugar rush of synthetics and beats, FALD are a rush of everything to the head all at once.  One can't help but think of someone like Figure meeting Barcelona if they were German while trying to place where FALD are coming from.  It's all very upbeat and filled with pop thrills from the get go and so ridiculously catchy you might need an antibiotic to help clear your brain.

Download: The Conqueror 
Download: The Conqueror (aUtOdiDakT Remix)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Lets Go Swimming

Trenchurian is Rian Trench from Dublin-based Solar Bears, whilst Swimming are Nottingham's finest purveyors of dark pop - a quintet fronted by John Sampson and his brother Peter. Swimming's single Neutron Wireless Crystal is out on 16 October, ahead of their debut album Ecstatics International on 7 November.

Fans of Washed Out, Starslinger, Gold Panda, Baths and the like should be drawn to this in a pre-gazing, dream pop way. It's all shimmery with a slight 80's hue and is rather incredible and with names like Neurtron Wireless Crystal, Swimming are destined to be on a Dr. Who episode.

Download: Neutron Wireless Crystal (Trenchurian Remix)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Yelle Comes To The States

French dance-pop purveyors Yelle returned with their long awaited second album, the exotically addictive Safari Disco Club, this past March. Adding depth and experience to the sweet & sour pop cocktail found on their acclaimed 2007 debut Pop-Up, Yelle found themselves in a more reflective mood and with a few new tricks up their sleeves. They kept busy, covering Robyn 's “Who's That Girl” as part of the iTunes international exchange, while Robyn covered their track “A Cause Des Garçons” in return. They were also were asked by Katy Perry to remix her hit single “Hot n Cold,” which led to them supporting her UK tour in April.

Yelle recently announced their return to the states with a Fall Tour that kicks off in Los Angeles on November 10th, and wraps up in Philadelphia on December 10th, hitting the likes of New York, Brooklyn, San Francisco, Miami, Baltimore, and others, along the way. Additionally, Yelle has also announced the arrival of Safari Disco Club Remixes, set for a 11/2 release on V2/Cooperative Music USA/Downtown Records

Download: Comme un enfant (Second Date remix)

Grimes Has A Vision

Claire Boucher, who was born in Vancouver, Canada, came to Montreal in 2006. Her experience as a performer is deeply embedded in the DIY loft culture of Montreal, where Grimes, Claire's artistic export, was one of the prominent figures in the scene surrounding Lab Synthèse - a 4600 square foot re-appropriated textile factory. She developed in a scene where punk ethos and pop music collide, resulting in a distinct sense of community, religiosity and psychedelic revelry.

Visions arises as Boucher's fourth release in less than two years. Her debut album, Geidi Primes (2010), was followed by Halfaxa (2010), which was arguably one of the first witch-house or lo-fi R&B releases and most recently she issued Darkbloom earlier in the year.

Visions sounds as if Tron got lost in a cold stark post CPU world ruled by indie pop kids in anorak's.  It's twee but it's also harsh and minimal and while that sounds like a bit of a strange combination it works and works well.   Claire's voice is something special to hear and with the synthetic atmospherics meandering behind it her songs take on something even cooler.

Download: Oblivion

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Out Of The Races And On To The Big Broom

RACES (formerly known as Black Jesus) formed in the fall of 2009 after singer/songwriter Wade Ryff escaped the sweaty grips of multiple bands, the San Fernando Valley and a real life witch. Originally formed as an impromptu group assembled for a one time performance, this haphazard ensemble of 6 musicians decided to continue playing together and see what opportunities came their way.

Despite still have a really bad name, the band's music is ridiculously good.  Sweeping, slightly large in scope, and so full of emotion that they seem to be sponsored by Kleenex RACES are very good at what they do.  This is indie rock gone wide screen and it's awesome. Their EP, Big Broom, will be released on November 15th and we're willing to race you to it.

Download: Big Broom

Enjoy Merge's Hospitality

Merge will release the self-titled debut album from Brooklyn's Hospitality on January 31.

Formed in 2007, Hospitality has evolved from a bedroom project to a 4-piece collaborative group destined to take over the world...or maybe just some corner in Brooklyn. The angular, intricate, and intelligent compositions of Hospitality signal a sophisticated new pop voice.

Singer Amber Papini’s idiosyncratic songwriting and incisive lyrics coupled with the band’s rich arrangements on its self-titled debut explore youth, New York, and the bittersweet commingling of past and present in a way that feels just right, right now.

Download: Friends of Friends

Friday, October 14, 2011

New Navy Set Sail

From the 'whistle while you work' opening of 'Zimbabwe', the summer grooves of 'Tapioca' to the dramatic crescendo of 'Oceans', New Navy’s debut ‘Uluwatu’ EP demonstrates the Australian bands powerful songwriting ability and consistent style.

New Navy balance sparkly guitars with front man Ben McInerny's smooth vocals, delivering strong bass-lines and breezy indie grooves to great effect. Sounding like a version of Foals or The Whitest Boy Alive on permanent vacation, the band fuses "world music" vibes with hooks that are far too easy to latch on to and come up with something refreshing.

Download: Tapioca

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Twiggy Frostbite Hides In The Darkness

One of our favorite bands around here is easily Twiggy Frostbite.   Sort of a splinter group of The Deer Tracks every once and a while something appears from them that leaves us in awe.   It's completely random when they show up.  In fact, we don´t know exactly when, what or even if something will happen with these guys but this is how it goes when you give an artist total freedom. No demands on format, no deadlines. no nothing...

The saga of these occasional songs is something that we don´t understand the beginning of nor the end.  It's just continued at random intervals and while we dwell into it´s beauty we can not help to wonder what will happen next. I guess that only Elin, Anna-Karin and Emma knows the answer to that question. The question is if it really matters, as long as they present such amazing fragments of beauty.

Download: In Darkness Lights Are Out

It Pays Rewards For Equal Dreams

(Aaron Pfenning, Co-Founder of Chairlift) has debuted the brand new Eddie Mars remix of his single Equal Dreams featuring Solange Knowles and Blood Orange aka Lightspeed Champion. Released through DFA Records digitally and in 12" vinyl this past summer.

Pfenning assumed the name Rewards (a moniker he's actually used since 2003), after he spent the better part of last year touring with We Are Scientists, Brandon Flowers, Suckers and Warpaint, and released three broodingly romantic singles ("I Used To," "What a Loser" and the achingly beautiful "Two Cardinals").

Now here he is on DFA making some rather lush, Creation-ish, synthpop that people like Justice have no clue how to make!

Download: Equal Dreams Feat. Solange Knowles (Eddie Mars Remix)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sea Pinks Have Excellent Peripheral Vision

Sea Pinks are a three piece from Belfast, UK formed in 2010. Singer and guitarist Neil Brogan began to write and record songs as a side project from his other band Girls Names(in which he is the drummer) and put out a cassette album Youth is Wasted,  in September 2010 on his own label, CF/Records

The band went on to record their first studio EP a few months later.   Peripheral Vision was released in January 2011 on 12” vinyl also on CF/ Records. Like the tape, the EP quickly sold out in a matter of weeks. Now, nearly a year later, the band return with their second full length album Dead Seas which includes 10 brand new songs as well as Peripheral Vision for those who missed it the first time.

While still being rooted aesthetically in 60s garage and 80s indie pop the new songs, explore ideas around decay and renewal (both emotional and physical) as embodied by the imagery of the sea and water in general.   While that may all sound heady and overly thought's not...and the songs have a fantastic jangle about them which sort of hides the fact that they can kind of be depressing.

Download: Fountain Tesserae

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Clubfeet Have The Last Words

Clubfeet return with their newest single, "Last Words," another piece of melancholic pop from the Melbourne (via Cape Town via Biarritz) band.

The single has been remixed by some of their friends and you don't want to miss these. Indie producer Andrew Maury, aka RAC, drops a chunky, catchy mix that works equally well in clubs, on the radio, at home, or through the sound system at the local planetarium while extremely high.

Next up, London-bases The C90s turn in a remix that is synth-heavy, twisting and turning into a slab of pop-funk that will shake any and all booties.

For those of you headed to CMJ they'll also be playing everywhere...
Tues. Oct. 18th, 8:00pm - ICM Talent Showcase at Canal Room (285 West Broadway)

Tues. Oct. 18th, 10:30pm - All Things Go Official CMJ Showcase at Dominion (428 Lafayette St.)
Wed. Oct. 19th, 2:30pm - Big Hassle Free Showcase at Pianos (upstairs) (158 Ludlow St.)
Wed. Oct. 19th, 11:00pm - Nicky Digital's Unofficial CMJ Showcase at Ella Lounge (9 Avenue A)
Thurs. Oct 20th, 1:00pm - Sounds Australia '2 For The Showcase' at Kimmel Center, NYU
(60 Washington Square South, 10th FL)
Sat. Oct. 22nd, 2:50pm - Aussie BBQ at The Delancey (168 Delancey St.)
Sat. Oct. 22nd, 11:59pm - Official CMJ Showcase at Kenny's Castaways (157 Bleecker St.)

Download: Last Words (RAC Remix)
Download: Last Words (c90s Remix)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Monarchy Don't Want to Dance With You

Summer might officially be over, but please don't tell Monarchy this as they apparently still think it is mid June.  This is ok.

You see, Monarchy are back with another synth-pop gem, You Don't Want To Dance With Me, due for release in late October. After the undeniably catchy summer single Maybe I'm Crazy, the duo slow things down with the irresistible YDWTDWM (say that three times fast), featuring guest vocals from Britt Love.

The song's pulsating bass line and hypnotic, layered synths provide the perfect backdrop to showcase Britt's sultry sound as she duets with Monarchy's Ra Black.

Riding on the success of their critically acclaimed debut album Around The Sun and with this killer single (completely new and re-worked) set to do the business, Monarchy's year looks like closing on a high even if they still think it's June.

Download: You Don't Want To Dance With Me (Vivien Remix)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Caseworker Takes On A National Runner

It's not every day you hear a song about a long-distance runner from Ethiopia, much less one that sounds like a long lost Ride tune. But in the case[The] Caseworker that's exactly what they've written.

With ‘National Runner’, [The] Caseworker have an instant pop classic on their hands. The song’s consummate balance of drone and chime features a heady mix of hypnotic guitars and driving rhythm section, all perfectly offset by Conor Devlin’s starry-eyed vocal. Learning that the track is an ode to famed Ethiopian Olympic long-distance runner Miruts Yifter makes all the more sense after being doused in its heady atmosphere.

It's an awesome tune for someone that's famous for one heck of an Olympic race and if it's any indication how the rest of their music sounds we're in for a marathon.

Download: National Runner

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Learn The Tennis System

The noisy, earnest legacy of the Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, and Ride lives on in the expansive, catchy-as-hell pop songs of Los Angeles’ Tennis System.
Matty Taylor (vocals and guitar), Misha Bullock (drums and, on occasion, guitar), Christopher Norman (guitar and, on occasion, drums), and Guylaine Vivarat (bass) are masters of loud and dirty anthems, but rising above the noise that blankets them are Taylor’s beautifully sung, dreamy lyrics inspired by both love and art. Listen hard, and through the distortion, threads of melody emerge; these are picturesque songs, full of woe, optimism and yearning.

Working with Ryan van Kriedt (Asteroid No. 4 and The Dead Skeletons), the band experimented with cello, bells, xylophone, synths and organ to add dimension and complexity to its sound.  The result of that experiment is called, Teenagers and it features the tune Arcane.

Download: Arcane

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

World's End Girlfriend Finds Seven Idiots

World's End Girlfriend is a Japanese composer whose work blends complex sound structures with beautiful melodies, reaching from electronic glitch to jazz-infused rock to modern classical. Captivating, enthralling and like nothing you’ve heard before, WEG makes for a surprising yet central addition to London contemporary music label Erased Tapes (Ólafur Arnalds, Peter Broderick, Nils Frahm, Rival Consoles).

World's End Girlfriend hails from Nagasaki Kyushu, Japan and currently resides in Tokyo. Fascinated by his father's classical music collection, he began his foray into sound at the tender age of 10, creating his early compositions on keyboard, guitar, tape recorders and computers. To date he has composed more than 600 songs, for the most part unreleased testaments of his early experimentation.

Brand new album Seven Idiots shifts seamlessly from catchy pop hooks to elaborate orchestrations and brutal IDM drones, it's an irregular pop album to say the least.  Think Bis without vocals on acid and you kind of have an idea where  World's End Girlfriend is coming from!

Download: Teen Age Ziggy