The moment after a long weekend trip, bouncing between couches and hotel beds, when you finally get home and collapse into your own bed.
The moment when you know you hate spooning but find someone who, all of the sudden, makes you want to spoon entirely too much.
The moment when you’re laying on the beach, it’s overcast, and then the sun bursts through the clouds and turns your skin into a natural heating pad.
The moment when you get into bed with fresh, clean sheets just dressed.
Those feelings are akin to what your ears will go through listening to Brooklyn via Portland’s MY BODY and their new track “New Cat” we’re stoked to premiere. With sensual, warming vocals that have the edge of Phantogram blended with the quaalude qualities of Dido, this duo are deft at creating electronically ethereal, slow burning songs. They’re planning to release an EP soon that I need to get my hands on, because this syrupy synth sound has loads of potential when perfected like this:
Here’s a terrifically funny video for Caged Animals’ equally great song “Cindy + Me” that features the band’s lead singer in a twisted psychiatric facility run by baboons. Obvious parallels abound to Basement Jaxx’s “Where’s Your Head At?” by veteran director McG, but that doesn’t take away from hilarity.
Directed by the Latin-Grammy-winning(!!) Carlos Lopez Estrada.
The co-founder of Rawkus Records, home to Black Star and Talib Kweli to name a few, has sauntered off onto a solo journey releasing his own material under his own name Brian Irving. For a guy that’s been instrumental in developing the careers of Frank Ocean and Dr. Luke, I was naturally intrigued to hear what kind of sound Irving could create. “Eyes Wide” is a track that passes back-and-forth between lo-fi dreariness and funky glitchiness, quickly evoking the sonic similarities to Tame Impala and that’s a comparison I’ll gladly listen to.
I’ve spent much of this morning absorbing the absolutely gorgeous, sweltering new EP from London’s Garnets. It’s just four brilliantly minimal tracks that creep into your soul so nearly undetectably that you’d hardly notice if not for the skin-splitting shiver working its way down your spine. Fans of The Antlers will be particularly charmed. Here’s the opening track:
Garnets’ latest EP, Towns, is available now for just a few squid »
What do you get when you take members from Nite Jewel, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, and Wild Hunt (among other projects) and lock them in a room with a few sequencers, laptops and samplers? Samps is the result, and their first collaboration is the song “Plans”. If you’re a fan of Black Moth Super Rainbow this is just what you need:
You can grab this on very very limited vinyl by heading to Gloriette Records’ facebook page and sending them a private message.
Listen to UMO take on the Otis Redding classic, recorded in May at BBC’s studio in Manchester, UK. UMO embarks on a US/EU/US tour, check the dates here ».
If you haven’t given UMO a shot for whatever reason, “Swim and Sleep (Like A Shark)” is easily one of the songs of the year. The album isn’t as consistent as I would like, but that’s one hell of a song.
If there’s one thing we can all agree about Chris Laughman, the man behind Wise Blood, it’s this: even if you aren’t his biggest fan, when he’s on fire everyone feels the burn. “Alarm”, from his upcoming debut LP id, is easily one of the best tracks he’s produced in about four years of trying (via Stereogum).
Pair one of the year’s best beats, including alarm sounds crafted from deftly mixed horn samples, with Laughman’s terrifying narrative about getting revenge on a club that kicked him out, and that’s why “Alarm” is one of the best tracks of the year so far. I’ve always noticed a bit of an ego from Wise Blood, in interviews, on stage, in his music… but maybe it really is the id, the uncoordinated, instinctual drive of your subconscious. It’s what contains the basic human desires, wants and needs present at birth. Anyone can cultivate an ego, but it takes a real boss to be a passenger to your next-level-ness. Maybe someone should tell Kanye?
Nah, keep that bitch in the dark.
id is out 6/25 via Dovecote. Vinyl here »
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Well this was unexpected. After BODYWORK wowed us earlier this year with a rather unstoppable track called “Tame”, we mostly expected the English newcomers to release another single or two, get signed, maybe an EP, tour with the xx and then release a debut a year later… you know, the ushe‘. Behold, there’s still room in this hyper-connected world for the rare surprise or two and BODYWORK’s debut LP The Grind is full of ‘em.
Here’s the album’s title track:
Download The Grind right here for free »
I’ve been really high on Mood Rings since they released the best EP of 2011 with Sweater Weather Forever, and I guess I’m not the only one. The folks at Mexican Summer took notice and are now setting to release the Atlanta trio’s debut LP, VPI Harmony, on June 25th. Mood Rings have released a few new songs recently, but “The Line” might be the most promising since 2011′s “Indian Hills” »
Previously: “Promise Me Eternity” MP3
I’m always fascinated by bands that win Grammys in other countries and have little traction in the USA. Such is the case for Swedish outfit Karl X Johan, winners of the “Best Music Video” Swedish Grammy in 2012 and are now expanding their sound with catchy new single “Never Leave Me”. Well produced and with more layers than your mom’s lasagna, “Never Leave Me” drives forward with scattershot percussion and pop infused percussion that HAS to be what M83 would sound like if he snorted a line of Crystal Light powder. Spin it:
Orlando’s dream pop troupe Saskatchewan is back with another beaming track from their upcoming debut LP. “Spellbound” takes a rather balearic turn, locking glittery guitars into a cool, crisp percussive groove that burns dazzlingly like a frosty comet’s tail. Check it out:
Occasion is Saskatchewan’s gorgeous debut LP, out now via Father/Daughter Records. Grab it here »
TV Girl is back after last year’s The Wild, The Innocent, The TV Shuffle LP, released through Das Racist affiliate label Greedhead, with a self-released EP titled Lonely Women. Here’s a brand new single, “She Smokes In Bed” (via Stereogum), that continues their hot streak of syrupy-sweet, ghetto-tech indie-pop jams laced with brilliantly sardonic lyrics »
You can preorder Lonely Women at TV Girl’s bandcamp page »
Denver’s 25-year-old bedroom electronic artist James Cooley, better known as Mesita, follows up last year’s excellent The Coyote LP with another promising four-track EP called XYXY, self-released and available at a price of your choosing. Here’s a standout track, “Kingston”, overflowing with percolating instrumental loops and head-spinning vocal entwinements »
Former IGIF hypeworthy babies are teething so hard they pulled a King Kong and said, “Fuck yo airplanez!” when I told ‘em to open wide for the airplane of food, bzzzzzzz! I’m not sure if the tear in my eye is due to almost losing a digit or watching Pure Bathing Culture blossom before my eyes and sign to Partisan Records, for the sake of my manliness I’ll say the latter. New tune “Pendulum” is a catchy track that sounds like what would happen if a less guttural Neko Case booked a one-way ticket on a catamaran to Kokomo with nothing but sunshine and harmonies powering her sails.
Leonard Cohen vocals and a Microphones simplicity are always going to produce a winning combination for me, and “Joyce”, with Woulfe’s slightly wobbly, unstressed vocal delivery and straightforward three-chord song structure do it all very well. Its lack of complication, with the exception of the song’s well-layered middle and final fifths, put added focus on pretty, familiar lyrics like “I thought I felt the wind but it was only your breath / clutching my skin, finding new depths.”
Also, gotta give credit to a kid who writes a love song with semi-tangible James Joyce references: “The heaventree of stars hung with humid nightblue fruit.” – from Joyce’s Ulysses.
“Joyce” is from Tim Woulfe’s upcoming debut LP, The Uncouth Swain (itself a John Milton reference). Pick yourself up some highly limited, handcrafted vinyl here »
New Zealand’s Glass Vaults absolutely floored us in 2010 and a year later in 2011 with a pair of excellent freely released EPs, Glass and Into Clear, respectively. They’ve been quiet for a couple of years but recently came back with a complete stunner of a track called “Ancient Gates” that takes their brand of ebullient art rock to epic new levels. You don’t want to miss this one:
As much as the true definition might suggest, I’m not sold on the idea of a crescendo being all about volume, or simply filling the empty space with more of what’s already there. To me, great crescendos adapt as they grow. Bass and drums fill the voids above which lighter instruments and sounds simply hover. New sounds add confusion and excitement while those in the first half of the song fade in and out. There must be dozens of sounds in “Ancient Gates”, a masterful patchwork song with secrets ripe for uncovering. Song like this tend to be my favorites– as I learn to pick out the more hidden or whitewashed, the song’s personal meaning changes along with its literal structure. It’s the definition of exciting, interactive music.
If Glass Vaults released an LP filled with songs of this calibre, I’d have my album of the year.
If you aren’t too busy listening to the freshly streaming/leaked new Daft Punk album, this is fully deserving of your attention:
Here’s a newly released single from AZ/LA duo Calvin Markus and Travis Bunn a.k.a. Dead Times. “Centuries” is head-spinning future-r&b of the most original sort, grown organically from earthy percussion as much as sped up vocal samples, and with their first single “Feel” this officially makes Dead Times two-for-two:
I guess I would be abiding some sort of subconcious stereotype if I said, “Well, I did not know that music from the Grand Cayman sounded like this!” It’s an accurate statement all around, since singer/songwriter Natasha Kozaily has a unique style that fits somewhere between trips down the rabbit hole with Alice and guest appearances with Mickey on Fantasia. Whimsical and driving, but with rich layers and powerful voice to push it home.
As if the Gainesville scene, championing the likes of Hundred Waters, Levek, and Conveyor, needed another love child, but we’re not complaining. Morningbell actually could be the parental figures in this analogy, now on their sixth album with the upcoming Boa Noite, an eclectic indie rock record that stretches from Broken Social Scene to the Small Faces. “Yes Wonderful Things” is the album’s vibrant opening track, brimming with chipper orchestral bits and enough freneticism to churn our unusually cold spring into the summer we deserve:
After listening to this track repeatedly, I was trying to figure out what specifically was sticking with me. Was is inventive lyrics like “the roof of my mouth sprung a leak and secrets seep out when I speak”? Maybe the deliciously vintage sounding call and response of the song’s title? Maybe the immense production that overflows with horns, strings, bells, well paced drums and elated vocal harmonies? Well no, it’s not one of those, it’s all of them. “Yes Wonderful Things” is as addictive an indie rock song as you’ll find in 2013.