Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Musique Le Pop

Time Changes
is the debut single from the Norwegian electronic/indie trio Musique le Pop. Hailing from the small town of Fredrikstad, the group consists of Christoffer (known for his eclectic pop group Remington Super 60) Jon (from the electronica act Safariari) and Betty (from the music/performance group Elak Bingo). The band came to be when Christoffer heard Betty singing the line ‘Time Changes’ over and over again while she was applying make-up before running off to a party, and within an hour, the two had recorded a rough draft of the song in their home studio. Chris sent it on to Jon, who added the final elements to the track. Pleasantly surprised with the completed track, and slightly annoyed that they had not worked together like this before, the three officially formed the band, picked a name and started rehearsing. A few weeks later, the track was mixed and mastered and sent away for release.

Reminiscent of say St. Etienne, Club 8, or something in between indie dance, synth pop, and trip hop Musique Le Pop smash all of that up, apparently apply make up to it, and then unleash it upon the dance floor.  The results, despite the quick turnaround time, are great. 

As the song says, time changes and rather than just going to parties, the trio is now working on a full-length album.  But before that's released expect more singles that borderline between dance friendly indie, twee and electronica.  The band also will play their first European gigs this summer.

Stream: Time Changes

LeLe Know It's Partytime

are weird. Lets just get that out of the way right off the bat. Sure they write dance floor destroying tunes but if you just listen to what they're on about (see "No.") they're seriously some demented individuals. This of course means they are instantly awesome.

If you need an equation to break it down for you here you go: Weird + Danceability = awesome.

Anyway, it's been a while since anyone has heard anything from these crazy cats. But as you might have figured out...they’re back. Le Le finally found the time to finish their third and most recent album Partytime after their very successful album Flage back in 2008, that included the smash hit "Breakfast," and it’s follow-up, Marble in 2009 with tracks like "Douchebag Status," and "Disco Monster."  See what I mean about slightly off kilter?

Anyway, just as they're putting the finishing touches on Partytime Whitney Houston drowns.  Well being the fine upstanding gentlemen that LeLe are, they decided to cover, "I Will Always Love You."  It's an absolutely bizarre take on her signature classic.  So have a listen...and don't say we didn't warn you about these guys.

Download: No
Download: I Will Always Love You

Tasty Treats From Pandercakes

Remember Stereolab? Remember early Stereolab? Remember how they took everything arty and somehow made it sound so ridiculously good you could help but ask the question do we not like POP!

Well if you remember all that then you'll absolutely adore Pandercakes. Pandercakes channels their inner Stereolab and then runs that through enough indie pop to make it all sound a bit strange, a bit twee, and quite good.

The band was formed by Joel Floyd and Logan Goldstein on a shared appreciation for musical craftsmanship and sonic experimentation. The subsequent addition of Desirée Richardson and Phillip Soellner focused the group’s attention towards a more melodic, streamlined approach. The name Pandercakes is a comment on the duality of popular music: appealing and accessible, but prone to demean itself in order to gain widespread approval.

You don't have to pander to us or them...but you should at least download, "Paint By Numbers."

Download: Paint By Numbers

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Airiel Play Kid Games

In 1997, Jeremy Wrenn formed a two-man shoegaze project called Airiel. Fast forward to 2012 and the band is four members strong, has toured nationally and internationally, released two singles, five EP's (including a box set), one full length album and tracks for multiple compilations.

Airiel are one of those bands that we swear we know.  Hell, they've been around for fifteen years...we're sure we've heard of them and we probably even have a few of their records somewhere in the archives but for the life of us we can't place the name.  Listening to, "Flashlight Tag," makes it feel like that's OK and that we've just discovered them for the first time all over again.  Not a bad thing...even if we're really 15 years behind.

Recorded and produced by the band itself, Airiel has just finished Kid Games, a brand new four track EP for Shelflife. Bringing in many of the elements that formed Airiel's foundation, Andrew Marrah and Chase Johnson's drum machines and synths make a larger presence. This produced a new sound that keeps the elements that make Airiel great; catchy melodies, lush guitars, danceable rhythms and lasting dreaminess. Kid Games also marks the return of guest vocalist Stella Tran, who's first appearance was on "Firefly" from the Melted EP of the Winks & Kisses box set.

Download: Flashlight Tag

True Violens

A while back Violens came across our desks here at Pop Stereo HQ and while we liked them and gave them a favorable review, they didn't necessarily blow us away. Well, let's just say what a difference a couple of years makes.


Violens' forthcoming album, True, finds the Brooklyn three-piece further amplifying their innovative songwriting with a palette of exquisitely crafted sound. The band's music eludes classification, expertly blending percussive guitar work and silky harmonies, seeking the silver lining yet to be discovered between the sounds we know and love. With a wash of 90s sonic pop drawn from artists like Pale Saints, Cocteau Twins and McCarthy, Violens paint soft watercolor notes across their compositions, adding crucial emotional depth via layered vocal harmonies.

They've grown as a band and you can hear it in every song they write now.  They're gauzy, ethereal, and really good.  After listening to the "Der Microarc," we think you'll agree that they guys are now great.  And that's a True statement.  (don't throw could knock an eye out)

Download: Der Microarc

Monday, March 26, 2012

All You Can Eat Buffetlibre

We've posted tons of stuff from Buffetlibre over the years. They've done so much it's hard to even keep up with these guys. Indie, synth, house, whatever, if they love it they support it. They've donated their skills, their time, and their tunes to causes, charities, compilations and just about anything else that they think is worthy. But who are they?

Buffetlibre is a duo of DJs from Barcelona which, since its formation, have combined their efforts in the most prestigious clubs throughout Europe with a flurry of activity of musical promotion.

Taking some time for themselves, the group is still working on their debut album. And judging by the quality of everything else they've done and the sneak peak below I'm sure we're going to be into one hell of a treat. So while they're working on the record (hurry up guys...we're dyin' over here), enjoy, "A Song For Elaine."

Download: A Song For Elaine

Drowning In Broken Water

Broken Water
began when Kanako Pooknyw started hanging out at the house Jon Hanna shared with one of her friends. Hanna was a reclusive sort—the type of guy who had a secret solo career lodged deep inside an old laptop. Pooknyw disarmed the socially anxious Hanna over months of shared cigarettes and stoned banter. Broken Water’s rhythm section—rounded out by the addition of Pooknyw’s good friend, the understated but amply talented bassist Abigail Ingram (also of Congratulations)—is no mere backdrop for Hanna’s loud, impeccably distorted and swirling guitar sound. Every member of Broken Water take turns contributing lead vocals—Pooknyw and Ingram balance things out with a mix of Mazzy Star-like precision and eerie, haunting melodies that can draw a jagged line back to My Bloody Valentine, Cocteau Twins, or even the springy, deadpan vocals of Black Tambourine.

A sometimes noisy, sometimes droning, often pretty and subtly poppy band—is very much a product of its hometown. Shape-shifting over the course of EPs, singles, and full-length albums released consistently since 2009, the band has managed the rare feat of evolution in the service of a signature sound, wild experimentation that ultimately works as a harness, locking down the music’s unique and idiosyncratic internal logic. In other times they're more Sonic Youth than say, Sonic Youth.

Tempest, the new record, will be Hardly Art's seventh release of 2012. Album opener and leadoff single "Drown"--a droplet-sized taste of the beloved band's oceanic expanse of mesmeric, turbulent sounds.

Download: Drown

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Your Foe Is A Man Without Country

A thrilling modern duo with tour de force dynamics in both sound and vision, Man Without Country unveil their debut album Foe on June 5th via Lost Balloon / Cooperative Music.

Man Without Country specialize in an atmospheric, sometimes uneasy sonic palette – their forte, a dark yet uplifting paradox. Glacial guitar ripples are spliced with an eerie synth pulse, yet have the ability to morph into an anthem when you least expect it.

The Cardiff duo of Tomas Greenhalf and Ryan James have been setting their stall since summer 2011, their singles King Complex and Puppets along with mixes for the likes of M83 and Active Child picking up plaudits from key tastemakers both here and abroad.

For such a dynamic sound, it’s impressive that Foe was recorded in the duo’s bedrooms, save for drums and some guitar. Giving the album “an edge and energy” is legendary producer Ken Thomas (Psychic TV, 23 Skidoo, Clock DVA, Sigur Rós) who agreed to mix the album because he loved the songs.

Check out a few tunes for yourself and prepare for the release of Foe this June.

Download: Puppets (Error Operator Remix)
Download: Active Child - Diamond Heart (Man Without Country Remix)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Cub Scouts Earn Their Rank

Cub Scouts
are an energetic 5-piece hailing from Brisbane, Australia who have been crafting their own charismatic style of indie pop for a couple of years. And as could be expected it's fantastic stuff.

Their latest contagious, steel drum-driven single, 'Evie', is an exploration into new sounds and stories. The track is the first single from an upcoming EP recorded with Melbourne producer, John Castle (The Boat People, Washington, The Cat Empire). 'Evie' is something colourful and charming, and is sure to have you singing along before you know it.

Between national tours Cub Scouts found time to put the finishing touches on their upcoming EP, recording a follow-up single, 'Do You Hear', due for release in quick succession. And on their honor it's just as good as their current single...if not more so.

Download: Evie

Friday, March 2, 2012

Bonfire Nights Are Their Own Worst Enemy

What would happen if say The Kills used less drugs, spent say $100 on production, and were Australian? The answer to that question is answered by Bonfire Nights to take that scuzzy sleazy electro garage thing that The Kills do so well and polish it up make it slick and make it sound like a juggernaut.

Bonfire Nights are dirty and rough and tumble but in all the best ways. This is a group that takes boy girl vocals, distortion, synths, and a pile of dirt mix it all together and get one hell of a record.

Their self-titled EP quite surprisingly though was recorded utilizing minimalist ideals even using a four-track analogue tape machine. While the approach was modest, the outcome was an eclectic mix, ranging from the menacing “Own Worst Enemy” to the sparse and dreamy fuzz of “Leave Yourself Open.”

Download: Own Worst Enemy

Canyons Can Wait To See You Again

'When I See You Again', from Canyons' 2011 debut Keep Your Dreams, is a slice of the most relaxed paradise you could imagine. Tribal drums, slinky synth lines, Balearic beats and a little saxophone - the song should come served with a Pina Colada.

The single, with remixes by Nick Zinner (the Yeah Yeah Yeahs), Morgan Geist, DJ Kaos, Sal P with Sean Bee, and Duke Dumont will be available in the US on March 20th.  This of course gives us a good excuse to post something from Canyons and post we shall.  Check out the blissed out sunrise (or sunset) atmospherics of the Duke Damon remix.

As for the rest of the remixes, here they are...
When I See You Again
When I See You Again (DJ Kaos Extended Mix)
When I See You Again (Duke Dumont Rain On Kilimanjaro Mix)
When I See You Again (Morgan Geist Remix)
When I See You Again (Nick Zinner Remix)
When I See You Again (Sal P with Sean Bee Remix)

Download: When I See You Again (Duke Dumont Rain On Kilimanjaro Mix)