Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Morning Teleportation


When you listen to so much music on a daily basis, I think it's only natural that you start becoming a bit more of an aural snob. Not in a 'my musical taste is considerably superior to yours' kind of way, but songs that may have appealed a few years back start getting nonchalantly skipped for their lack of groundbreaking invention, and only the most ear-catching make it through a full play....sort of like musical Darwinism....

Well not only did Bowling Green KY quintet Morning Teleportation's track Expanding Anyway make it through a full listen, but it's been pretty much solidly on repeat since then. The piece de resistance of the track is very much vocalist Tiger's (STRONG name) frantic delivery, but instrumentally the track is also hugely accomplished, and sound-wise they're a massive breath of fresh air.

Download the track for free below, and if you still need any further conviction of the group's talents, then check out the video below of their Letterman performance a couple of months back

Morning Teleportation - Expanding Anyway


Gotye - new track


Breakup's a bitch. Thankfully, the brilliantly named Aussie Wally De Backer a.k.a. Gotye has channeled all associated emotions into new jam Sombody That I Used To Know - including one of the most massivest choruses of the year so far.

The track features rising starlet Kimbra, and is the first insight into upcoming album Making Mirrors, due out in August.  

Friday, 17 June 2011

Shark?


Poor old question mark. With bands such as Therapy? and Why? achieving prominence in the 90's, it was loving life. Having a ball. But since the turn of the century, its grave nemesis, exclamation mark, has been hogging the limelight. Panic! At The Disco, The Go! Team, Holy Ghost!, hell even '!!!' (pronounced chk-chk-chk....of course). But question mark can hold its head high with its recent representation, Brooklyn's Shark?.

So with the name waffle out of the way, what do these chaps sound like? Well, they are very much a mix of Garage Rock and Post-Punk in equal measure. Two unusal genres to splice, but I think thats why it's such an effective sound. The influences are clear to hear - Sonic Youth, Joy Division, The Pixies, and a healthy dose of Interpol's Paul Banks in front man [insert name here]'s vocals, yet nothing sounds contrived.

Get your ears around a couple of their track below, and if what you hear pleases you head on over to their Bandcamp page where you can pick up debut album True Waste.   

Shark? - Down Low
Shark? - Shark?

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Bon Iver - 'Calgary' // vid and Thunderlust remix


Having already waxed nuff lyricals about Bon Iver's upcoming, self-titled, sophomore full-length, I'm just going to let the music do the talking. Below is the new video for Calgary, as well as a handy remix from seemingly little-known Northampton, MA producer Thuderlust, which brings a lil retro Electro, cosmic sum'n to the track.


Bon Iver - Calgary (Thunderlust Remix)

The Weeknd - new track 'The Birds (Part 1)'


Hot off the press....a new 'un from Toronto Future Rn'B musician Abel Tesfaye aka The Weeknd. First mixtape House Of Balloons, released earlier this year, was a stellar effort and if The Birds (Part 1) is anything to go by then I'm sure upcoming second effort Thursday won't be too shabby either. I've heard murmurings of both major label and MAJOR collaboration interest, so no doubt Abel will be an interesting guy to keep your eye on in coming months.

The Weeknd - The Birds (Part 1)

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Gardens & Villa


Secretly Canadian is rapidly becoming one of my favorite labels. Not only are they home to the likes of Yeasayer, Here We Go Magic, JJ, and The War On Drugs but, not content to rest on their laurels, this year alone they've also gone and signed Painted Palms and, more recently, Santa Barbara's Gardens & Villa

The latter are a five-piece formed back in 2008, and their laid-back brand of Electronically-tinged, Funk-influenced Indie very much reflects the chill vibe of the coastal city in which they live. Black Hills and Orange Blossom, below, are tracks written around driving grooves and memorable chorsues, and I can't wait to hear more once their debut self-titled album drops on July 5th.

Gardens & Villa - Black Hills
Gardens & Villa - Orange Blossom

They've also got a brilliantly bizarre video for Black Hills:

The Rapture - 'How Deep Is Your Love'


The Rapture are back with a banger! While we have to wait until September to hear The New York Disco-Punks' new album In The Grace Of Your Love, new track How Deep Is Your Love presents us with an exciting preview into what we can expect from their 4th full-length, released through the ever-awesome DFA i.e. who just lost LCD Soundsystem - "meh, we'll just go and sign The Rapture, no biggie".

Download the track for free below, and also check out what I think is a pretty rad idea for a low-budget-at-best promo vid for the track.

The Rapture - How Deep Is Your Love

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Sleeper Agent


While there may not be a sure fire formula on how to go about writing a contagious hook, it's much easier to tell upon listening to a band whether they've got the gift or not. Considering that my first experience of Kentucky's Sleeper Agent was about half an hour ago - in which time I've smashed out a few emails and walked down the road and back to get a sandwich, yet have barely been able to process a thought due to the constant repition of Get It Daddy in my skull - I'd say that's a resounding pass.

While I agree with comparisons to an early Jack White, the sextet also remind me a little of The Vaccines - if they were good, and from the Deep South that is - while there's also an element of Givers in there, quite possibly due to the unashamedly feel-good nature of the tracks. This is heavily melodic, Southern-fried Garage-Pop of the highest order.    

The above-mentioned Get It Daddy is the track that seems to have done the web rounds so far, while Proper Taste is a newer, and possibly even more exciting, number. An upcoming support tour with Cage The Elephant, record deal with Mom+Pop, and debut album Celabrasion coming out on August 16th suggests hugely exciting times ahead for this lot.     

Monday, 13 June 2011

Rockwell Knuckles


Continuing the blog's recent Hip-Hop theme, I present to you St Louis MC Rockwell Knuckles. I liked the guy even before hearing his music, upon discovering he's named his most recent mixtape You're Fucking Out, I'm Fucking In (Eastbound & Down anyone?) The music itself only strengthened my respect for Rocky - Play Catch in particular a monsterous potential hit in the making. The way he switches between singing and rapping is particularly impressive, but really there are a number of exemplary elements in this track - his flow, the lyrical witticisms, the ethereal backing track, as well as some huge melodic hooks thrown in there for good measure. That mixtape title may not be much of a joke after all. 

Rockwell Knuckles - Play Catch

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Big K.R.I.T. - Country Shit (remix) ft. Ludacris & Bun B vid



Although Big K.R.I.T.'s recently released Return Of 4Eva was a bit of a dissappointment after last year's outstanding K.R.I.T. Wuz Here, the mixtape ends with a banger in the form of a remix of Country Shit - in my opinion one of the best Hip-Hop tracks of the past few years. This one features Ludacris and Bud B, tho with the quality of the backing track you could have Rebecca Black spitting over it and it'd still be a jam.

K.R.I.T. premiered the video for this new rework the other day, and is worth a watch if nothing else for the sheer amount of poultry devoured by Luda.

Friday, 10 June 2011

(yet another) Catch-up post

I've been touring with Bravestation for the past few weeks and, while life on the road is hardly condusive to staying on top of the latest offerings of the blog world, the guys had the pleasure of sharing the stage with some great acts, and a couple of mammoth journeys have given me plenty of times to aurally ingest a new album or few. Here's the best of it:

Stage Buddies

PEACE
Bblood video
While Birmingham's Indie scene is in a healthy state with these chaps and Troumaca leading the way, they've got a real Oxford feel to them as new track BBLOOD especially combines the contagiously tropical riffs of Jonquil with (and I know they're getting a little tired of this comparison) some of the darker, almost Shoegaze-y elements of Foals' Total Life Forever.

Toyger
Toyger - Letter Bombs
As well as having the Math thang down to a tee, this young Middlesbrough group have a natural knack of writing a catchy hook, and are some of the nicest dudes you could ever hope to meet. Another act for fans of Foals.

Vinyl Jacket
Painting Stations vid
These guys did a great job of warming up Evolution Festivals main stage with their brilliantly wonky Vampire Weekend meets Everything Everything brand of Indie Pop. With previous play on Radio 1, expect this Newcastle act's stock to rise even further in coming months.

The Naturals
While they may not have hung around to watch Bravestation's set (bitter, me?) I'm willing to forgive as their set was so damn impressive. Techincal, powerful, emotive, and also really rather unique.

Deep Sea Arcade
Deep Sea Arcade - Lonely In Your Arms
Their name seems to be popping up all over the place of late, and for good reason. This Aussie quintet possess a heavily 60's influenced sound, combined with classic songwriting and youthful exhuberance. Of all the great acts coming out from down under of late, they're right up there with the best of them.

Albums

Bon Iver - Bon Iver
Most definitely up there with the best albums I've heard this year. Almost unrecognisable from the raw, stripped back production on For Emma..., Justin Vernon and co have gone for a huge, full, dare-I-say epic sound on this one, and have only gone and succeeded in producing a modern classic, as powerful as it is delicate.

Foster The People - Torches
While not exactly one for the Indie purists, nobody can deny that buzz band du jour Foster The People have an enviable knack for penning a contagious Pop tune. File this one under guilty pleasures, but make sure to keep a note of exactly where you filed it as I can guarantee you'll be re-visiting it more often than initially planned...

TV on the Radio - Nine Types of Light
While it often takes me a few listens to get into a TVotR record, this one was even more of a slow burner. I'm glad that I persisted however, as once you get your head around the record it unravels as further evidence that the band are still one of the most intellegent, and important, around today.

Death Cab For Cutie - Codes and Keys
While not in any way a bad record, Death Cab unfortunately join Friendly Fires and Wild Beasts in releasing albums of late that don't quite match what their immense capabilities. That being said, tracks such as You Are a Tourist and Underneath the Sycamore are up with their best, and the album is certainly worthy of a listen.
  



   

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Heypenny


There are elements of Punk, Blues, Garage and Funk in Nashville TN's Heypenny's sound, but ultimately the unifying factor is that it rocks...hard. Water is four a half minutes of pure energy. Frontman Ben Elkins has a unique, contructively erratic vocal, while DJ Murphy and Aaron Distler provide equally stand-out, techinally accomplished instrumentals. Is it even possible for so many elements of a track to be stand-out, or does that negate the whole concept of stand-out?? Meh. They released A Jillion Kicks in February, which can be streamed via Spotify here.

Heypenny - Water

Chad Valley // Equatorial Ultravox EP


One of the more prominent members of the currently outstanding Oxford scene, Balearic Dream-Pop artist Hugo Manuel aka Chad Valley drops his new EP, Equatorial Ultravox via US/UK label Cascine on June 20. With Hugo's band Jonquil having signed to another US label Dovecote Records last year, it seems thats where his focus is....UK labels step it up!     

Chad Valley - Fast Challenges

Monday, 25 April 2011

Bravestation // White Wolves vid & remixes

New Bravestation content! This is probably the starkest illustration of my editorial laxness over the past few weeks, that I'm just getting to mentioning this now.

The new video for White Wolves was shot deep in the thickets of the Canadian wilderness, and depicts a changing of the times and a modern civilization decimated by strife and uncertainty, resulting in the division of society into tribes.


Remix wise, Vancouver electro/chillwave blog sensation Teen Daze and the hugely talented up'n'coming Brisbane producer Youth give the track two very different treatments. All three tracks, including the original, can be streamed and downloaded for free below.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Catch-up

These past few weeks have been mental. Apologies for the lack of posting, but I just feel like I haven't really had the time. Maybe I need to sharpen my time management skills. Maybe I just need to man up. Either way, here is what I probably would have posted, had I not been not posting.

New Acts

Of Monsters & Men
Little Talks
Getting a serious amount of web lovin' at present, Of Monsters & Men are yet another great Icelandic band of late. They use the male and female vocal combo extremely well, almost reminiscent of the XX, and have an overall Folk leaning with Gypsy elements.

Daughter
Landfill
Another artist who I've had my eye on for longer than this recent post suggests, I was reminded of Daughter the other day by the ever brilliant Battery In Your Leg. Landfill is off her new EP His Young Heart, and is one of the most eerily beautiful songs you'll hear all year. How she didn't make the BBC Sound of '11 list over Claire Maguire et al is beyond this humble blogger.

Vacationer
Trip
Hype. When I first heard Vactioner the other day through The Wounded Jukebox the other day, there was no other mention to be found on them and they seemed a completely unknown entity. Fastforward 24 hours and it seems you can't hit up a blog without coming across the chilled, blissful, slightly psychedelic vibes of the wonderful Trip. Except big tings from this lot.

Chancellor Warhol
All Alone (feat. Jim Wes)
I'm not sure whether Nashville's Chancellor Warhol is an original beatmaker as well as sampler extraordinaire, but with manipulated cuts this solid, I couldn't be less bothered. Massive summer jam.

The Glass Canoe
First Ideas
These guys remind me plenty of Mad Notes 'Ones To Watch' Lord Huron, via their experimental marriage of both folk and synth, with plentiful dreamy, harmonised vocals. Such a great combo if excecuted well, and these guys have it down to a tee. Debut full-length Chimera is available for free off their Bandcamp. Go.

Algebra
A Sad Pair of Gloves ft. John Moreland
The National's Green Gloves may just be one of the most beautiful songs ever written, and due to it's downbeat nature, not exactly an obvious selection for a rapper to sample. Oklahoma's Algebra has absolutely killed it however, exhibiting both his emcee skills and creative ear.

Seryn
We Will All Be Changed
It's not hard to come across a good Folk-leaning band nowadays, but groups as talented as Seryn are few and far between. Paste Magazine picked We Will All Be Changed in their top 10 tracks of the year so far, and I'd tend to agree, if nothing else but for that exceptional gang-vocalled chorus.

Young Dreams
Young Dreams
The 'Young' prefix strikes again! And guess what....it belongs to another exceptional band. Young Dreams join the list of extremely talented Scandinavian bands currently bossing the blogosphere, with their Tropical Indie Pop sounds. They've apparently got an EP surfacing in the next couple of months, which I'll cover as soon as I get wind of the deets.            

New tracks

Royal Bangs - Fireball (from Flux Outside, out now)
A Lull - Water & Beasts (from Confetti, out now)
The Shivers - Used To Be.mp3 (from More, out May 10th)
Alexander - A Million Years (from Alexander, out now)
Yeasayer - Phoenix Wind & Swallowing the Decibels (both from End Blood, out now)
Dry The River - Bible Belt (from their debut album, on Transgressive, currently being recorded)
Beastie Boys - Make Some Noise (from Make Some Noise, out May 3rd)
Apparat - Ash/Black Veil (from upcoming album, on Mute Records, out this summer)
Childish Gambino - Break (random drop)

Mashups

isosine - Psychosocial Baby (Justin Bieber vs Slipknot
Tumblewolf - Armillistice (Phoenix vs. Lil' Wayne)
The Hood Internet - Ignition (Keep It Remixing Louder) [R. Kelly x Major Lazer]

Remixes

Lord Huron - When Will I See You Again (White Sea Remix)
Britney Spears - Till the World Ends (Adventure Club Dubstep Remix)
Sleigh Bells - Rill Rill (Clique NewTrends Remix)
Yeah Yeah Yeahs vs A-Trak - Heads Will Roll (DJ Icey's Bass Mix)
TV On The Radio - Will Do (XXXChange Dancehall Mix)

Flashback

Toots and the Maytals - Still is Still Moving to Me ft. Willie Nelson

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Nickstape - March '11

March has been an eventful month by all accounts. Chaos in Libya, destruction in Japan, budget cuts and subsequent smashing of shit over here in London. However, all of that has been somewhat paled into insignificance but the discovery in Swansea of a house that looks like Hitler.

It's been an evenful month in music too, with releases(/leaks) from heavyweights such as The Strokes, Foo Fighters, Lupe Fiasco, The Low Anthem, and The Pains of Being Pure At Heart. Plenty of great singles around too, as well as the promise of upcoming albums from many other big players and hugely promising up'n'comers.

Checks my musial highlights of the month below.

Death Cab For Cutie - You Are A Tourist
Jack Steadman - I Will Change You
Kyla La Grange - Walk Through Walls
Two Door Cinema Club - Undercover Martyn (Daytrotter Session)
White Denim - Anvil Everything
Mad Rad - The Machine
Fucked Up - The Other Shoe
Ra Ra Riot - Too Dramatic (The Morning Benders Remix)
The Naked and Famous - Young Blood (Dave Sitek Remix)
The Good Natured - Wolves
Young Galaxy - Cover Your Tracks
Givers - Up Up Up
Janelle Monae - Tightrope Wondamix (ft. BoB and Lupe Fiasco)
H-Town - They Like It Slow (Star Slinger Refix)
Okkervil River - Wake and Be Fine
Auction - Statues
Avicii - Street Dancer (Original Mix)
Memory Map - Sunburnt And Blown
High Highs - Open Season
Black Light Dinner Party - Older Together
Sam Friend - Part of the Show
Friendly Fires - Live Those Days Tonight
Blind Pilot - One Red Thread (iTunes Session)
The Morning Benders - Cold War (Star Slinger Remix)
Glassjaw - Gold
Joan as Police Woman - The Magic
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Heart In Your Heartbreak
Hollerado - Juliette
Rise Against - Disparity By Design
Childish Gambino - Lights Turned On
Funeral for a Friend - Sixteen
The Strokes - Taken For A Fool
U.S. Royalty - Vacation Vacation
Go Radio - Kill The Beast
Big K.R.I.T. - Country Shit (Remix) [feat. Ludacris & Bun B]
Don Diablo - Animale (Ft. Dragonette) (Why Are We Whispering Remix)
Clock Opera - Belongings
GOBBLE GOBBLE - Boring Horror
TV on the Radio - Caffeinated Consciousness
The Smiles - Cala Cola
The Head and the Heart - Down In the Valley
Bear Driver - Enemy
Childish Gambino - Freaks and Geeks (Star Slinger Remix)
San Cisco - Golden Revolver
Lovett - Heartattack
Bibio - K Is For Kelson
Polarsets - Leave Argentina
NewVillager - Lighthouse

And a few randoms from Soundcloud:




Tuesday, 29 March 2011

new tracks // Death Cab For Cutie, Panda Bear, Fucked Up, tUnE-yArDs, Burial, Big K.R.I.T., Taking Back Sunday & Fleet Foxes

Death Cab For Cutie - You Are A Tourist
As if you needed any assurance that Death Cab's upcoming full-length Codes and Keys (out May 31st) was going to be one of this year's best, here's a preview track from it - You Are A Tourist. As per usual, there's nothing overly complicated about it, but it just works so so well. Ben Gibbard's voice is one of the most distinctive and effectual in Indie today, and coupled with the upbeat harmonies and drums of the track, as well as the contagious guitar riff....winning.


Animal Collective are a band who've never made any bones about the side projects of their members. All extremely talented musicians in their own right, the 4 of them have each contributed a track to a cassette that you've got to buy with a pair of shoes, through Keep. Weird concept...cool music. Here's Panda Bear's effort.

Fucked Up - The Other Shoe
Fucked Up seem to have thie unique ability to completely defy genres....it's very rare to find a band loved by Indie, Metal, Rock, and Hardcore fans in equal measures. Well they seem to be aiming to break down more walls with upcoming '18-track punk opera', David Comes to Life, out June 7th. While 'interesting' will likely be the word on many people's lips when it comes to describing the album, first glimpse The Other Shoe suggests that it could be really quite brilliant too.

tUnE-yArDs - Powa
So I may have been going a bit OTT on this lot recently, but I just find there's something so captivatingly weird/brilliant about Oakland CA's tUnE-yArDs, and in particular vocalist Merril Garbus. Powa tends to plod along a little and doesn't neccessarily have the energy of excitement factor of Bizness, but frankly, what does? Another extract from upcoming w h o k i l l, out April 19th through 4AD.


Though slightly tainted by the DJs' incessant natterings over the top, Stolen Dog and Street Halo are ominous signs of things to come from the untouchable Burial. Hyperdub are apparently releasing a 20-minute EP shortly, featuring these 2 tracks.

Big K.R.I.T. - Country Shit (Remix) ft. Ludacris
Mississippi's Big K.R.I.T. has been so kind as to give away new mixtape ReturnOf4Eva in exchange for just an email address from his website. What I've heard so far doesn't seem to quite reach the lofty heights of his material on last year's sublime K.R.I.T. Wuz Here, although I'm loving this remix of Country Shit - one of my favorite songs of last year, across any genre. He's even managed to rope in Luda to do his thang on the track.

Taking Back Sunday - El Paso
Maaaaan, I thought I'd kicked this whiole emo thing. Apparently not, as I just couldn't resist posting on Taking Back Sunday's new jam El Paso. As a band I grew up listening to, I think they're one of the few groups in the genre still around today who are making music of quality and integrity. I can 100% guarantee that not everyone will agree with this however....

Fleet Foxes - Bedouin Dress
Whether it's an intentional strategy or not, cuts from Fleet Foxes' upcoming Helplessness Blues seem to be flooding on to the web. All very encouraging stuff, and one track that I heard this morning in particular, Lorelai, is a beaut. In the absense of an MP3 or Soundcloud link to post, this'll have to wait, but for now here's Bedouin Dress - not their strongest to date, but still enough to whet the appetiate a little sum'n.

Monday, 28 March 2011

The Morning Benders // Japan Echo EP


Following the tragic occurences in Japan over the past few weeks, Brooklyn's The Morning Benders have launched a fantastic new initiative to raise money for the Japan Society's Eathquake Relief Fund - offering a new 8-track EP in exchange for donations starting at $5. Not only is this a great cause, but it's also a top EP - featuring two new tracks Better in Blue and Little Riot, as well as remixes of tracks from big Big Echo from some of the best remixers in the game, including Star Slinger, RAC, and Wild Nothing. You can stream a few of the tracks below, and head to their website to make a donation and download the EP.



Friday, 25 March 2011

Polarsets


Although not traditionally considered as one of the UK's musical hot spots, Newcastle has recently been pumping out nuff talent - predominantly of the Indie variety. Little Comets are problaby the most well known example in recent years, but bands such as Mammal Club, Vinyl Jacket, and Let's Buy Happiness are further case studies of a city currently on a run.

Well you can now add Polarsets to that list. They remind me Two Door Cinema Club in a number of ways - the vocals of Rob Howe, the angular, stabbing guitars, and the general youthful exhuberance of their sound, but they also incorporate a tropical/afrobeat vibe - not dissimmilar to the aforementioned Little Comets.

Download a few of their tracks below, including a great remix by Thomas Sasgtad and Hawkins, and stream a couple of others including the Kitsune released Sunshine Eyes. I get the feeling these guys would be a lot of fun to see in a live setting too, so be sure to check out whether they'll be playing a town near you.

Polarsets - Morning
Polarsets - Leave Argentina
Polarsets - Leave Argentina (Thomas Sasgtad and Hawkins Remix)


tUnE-yArDs // Bizness vid + new track


Possibly my favorite song of the year so far, tUnE-yArDs have just premiered a suitably bizarre video for Bizness. 

I can't wait to hear upcoming album w h o k i l l, out April 18th - it's going to be all kinds of mental. Another cut from the album, entitled Gangsta, surfaced a few weeks ago. I'm struggling to get my head round it, although there's no denying the infectiousness of that chorus. I think that could be a common theme for the albums - tracks that finely tread the line between genius and atrocious.  

tUnE-yArDs - Gangsta

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

new Friendly Fires


St Albans' Friendly Fires are set to follow up their massively successful 2008 debut with new album Pala, out May 16th through XL Recordings. New single Live Those Days Tonight provides a sneak peak into what's to come, and if it's anything to go by then the band's contagious brand of balearic disco is showing no signs of slowing up. With the sun streaming in through the window this morning, I can picture listening to this, half-cut at a summer festival....it can't come soon enough.   

Friendly Fires - Live Those Days Tonight


Tuesday, 22 March 2011

new tracks // White Denim, Cults, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Bear Driver, The Chemical Brothers

White Denim - Anvil Everything
Woah, this has got me extremely stoked for upcoming album D, out May 24th. Previous preview track Drug left me feeling a little underwhelmed, but this...this pushes all the right buttons for me. White Denim at their techincal and contructively-erratic best.

Cults had to be one of last years most hyped bands - their contagious, uplifting brand of dream-pop turning many a head across both sides of the Atlantic. Wall of Sound won't have done anything for this rep leading up to their self-titled debut, out May 30th. The song starts in a blissfully relaxed, meandering fashion, while the chorus retains a Pop-y element but seamlessly introduces cruchy guitars and swirling electronics to give it a wall-of-sound feel. Awesome.    

  
Another band with an upcoming debut under a large weight of expectation are Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., who take their name from a NASCAR driver...as you do. Morning Thought is a track off It's a Coroprate World, due June 7th, and is a lovely mix of Folk, Psychedelic and Indie.

Bear Driver - Enemy
Bear Driver are a 6-piece from London, by way of Leeds, who sound remarkably like Arcade Fire. But if you're going to sound like anyone, why not the Canadian Grammy-slayers? This is some really high-quality, intellegent Indie music with expertly harmonised, mixed gender vocals, bright instrumentals, and possibly the best whistling since Mike and the Mechanics. That chorus is a catchy one too, mind. 
The Chemical Brothers - Hanna's Theme (vocal version)
If you're going to challenge Daft Punk, you need to do it well. Fortunately, in composing the score for upcoming film Hanna, The Chemical Brothers haven't just done that, but if anything they're probably done it better than DP (unfortunate acronym, their fault not mine) from what I've heard. Hanna's Theme is one cut from the movie, and is nothing short of stunning. 

new Fleet Foxes


Got some more Fleet Foxes for ya! Last month they gave us a sneak preview of upcoming album Helplessness Blues with the title track, and they've just given another insight with the strangely named Battery Kinzie, premiered yesterday evening by excitable kiwi Zane Lowe. This cut is a more upbeat, foot-stomper of a jam, not far removed from what The Low Anthem did so well on Smart Flesh - although comparing Fleet Foxes to others seems almost disrespectful. Helplessness Blues will see the light of day on May 3rd through Sub Pop.

Fleet Foxes - Battery Kinzie

Monday, 21 March 2011

High Highs


I don't know whether this is a movement or a coincidence, but there seem to be a variety of bands emerging out of the States at the moment with a post-Grizzly Bear feel to them. Plenty of emphasis on the raw sound of the acoustic guitar, yet with a psychedelic edge and dreamy consistency, while maintaining a really high vocal quality. We Are Trees were one such band that started making waves towards the end of last year, and more recently New York's equally-promising High Highs have been making a name for themselves. Two duo show a remarkable music maturity considering their ages, as well as a formidable appreciation of effective vocal harmonies. One more reason I'm bummed out that I could make SXSW....as if I needed any more.

High Highs - Flowers Bloom
High Highs - Horses
High Highs - Open Season

Thursday, 17 March 2011

The Strokes // Angles preview


Angles, the 4th full-length from New York Indie deities The Strokes, finally surfaces this coming Tuesday March 22nd. There have already been a number of tracks popping up on the internet in anticipation of the release (a few of which can be downloaded below), starting with Under Cover of Darkness - still the most promising cut yet. The album can be streamed in full from The Strokes' website, and listening through it now it seems like the guys have reverted back to the style that made 2001's Is This It? such a hit. Taking on such an iconic effort is never going to be easy, even if you are the bunch that crafted it in the first place, and from the first couple of listens it sounds like they're struggling to replicate its quality. Nevertheless it's still an enjoyable listen, and a cut above the armies of Strokes-replicant bands. Two Kinds of Happiness, Taken For A Fool, and Life is Simple in the Moolight seem like other choice cuts from the album.    

The Strokes - Machu Picchu
The Strokes - Taken For a Fool
The Strokes - Under Cover Of Darkness

Menomena // TAOS video


Although Menomena's 2010 album Mines wasn't quite consistent enough to ensure a place in many publications's Top 5's of the year, the quality of some of the tracks in undeniable - TAOS possibly even the best of them. This new video sees the lead dude biting off way more than he can chew with the ladies, and subsequently getting his ass served. Top track, great video.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

NewVillager


The advantage of music discovery through a relatively faceless medium such as the Hype Machine is the sheer quality of tracks that can pass your ears in any given day. The disadvantage of music discovery through a relatively faceless medium such as the Hype Machine is the sheer quality of tracks that can pass BY your ears in any given day.

While I like to think I've defined my ear over the years to more often than not pick a good track first time up, the reality is that strong songs will often pass me by, either to be rediscovered later, or completely vanish into the black hole that is the internet. NewVillager's Lighthouse was not one of them. And with the intro that it has, was never going to be overlooked, even for a second. At the risk of sounding overly dramatic, this is one of the best, most individual tracks by a new artist I've heard in some time. The Brooklyn duo make contagiously upbeat, quirky Indie Pop awash with triumphant strings, instrumentation, and layered vocals. TV on the Radio seem to be an influence from a creativity perspective, but really it's redundant trying to compare these chaps to anyone as this is very much a NewVillager sound. Love this shit.

Check the video for Lighthouse below, and below that you can download the track, as well as an older song Rich Doors.



NewVillager - Lighthouse
NewVillager - Rich Doors

Burial x Four Tet x Thom Yorke


Nope, not a track by each of them, a track by all of them! Hottest menage a trois in (musical) history? They'll be releasing a 12" on March 21st (I wonder which of them had the idea to make it so short notice....) featuring two tracks including Ego below. Unfortunately it's just a radio rip, but you can still get a measure of the outstanding quality of this collaboration, which takes equal parts of each act's stylings and fuses them excellently.

Burial, Four Tet & Thom Yorke - Ego

Thursday, 10 March 2011

San Cisco


I'm 24 years old....a statement that seemed unfathomable years back. I mean...that's pretty old. Sure, it's not REALLY old. I mean, there have existed older people throughout time. But you compare that to the carefree youth I was...it's pretty old.

And on the subject of carefree youth, I present to you Freemantle, Western Australia's San Cisco. 17 year old Jordi and 18 year old Josh are the main songwiters and vocalists, and the outfit is completed by Scarlett on drums and Nick on bass. On the weekends they play Snes, skateboard and, when they can be arsed, pen fantastic Indie Pop full to the brim with youthful exhuberance, inescapably cheerful melodies and instrumentals, and staggering artistic nouse given their ages.

They've already played Australia's Big Day Out and Laneway festivals, received airplay on Triple J radio around Australia, produced an EP with Matthew Chequer (Little Birdy) and Steven Schram (Little Red, Cat Empire, Little Birdy), and are due to play Brighton's Great Escape Festival. Not bad going ey?

San Cisco - Golden Revolver
San Cisco - Girls Do Cry