by Rex

Top 5 indie tracks of the week

April 23, 2014 in Americana, Electropop, Free downloads, Funk, Garage Rock, Indie Pop, Indie Rock, Shoegaze, Soul by Rex

A.J. and the Jiggawatts – “Get Wild” {Funk/Soul}

Now that you’re done overdosing on cheap chocolate and questioning how in the hell a day when Jesus was tortured to death would become a fun holiday for children, you can now think about more important things: Feasting on some funky soul music. This track is off the group’s self-titled, debut album which you can buy for $7 here.

Отстой –  ”Дальше только даунхилл” {Garage Rock}

OK so maybe we’re guilty of choosing this track because we like to pretend we can read Russian lettering and whatnot, but this band’s nitty-gritty garage feel is something we can totally get hung up on right now. This group is actually a one-man-band based out of St. Petersburg, and you can purchase his new three-track album for as little as $1 via Bandcamp.

Breanna Barbara Arneson – “Mirage Dreams” {Americana}

Apparently this artist recorded her new album on her iPhone (Ed. note: That’s some Jack White shit right there), and although originally the release was meant for only her friends and family she randomly started getting booked through her website because she’s awesome like that. If you dig the track you can buy it for as little as $1 on her Bandcamp page.

Malandros – “Writer’s Block” {Indie Pop/Rock} + Free download

This track was described to us as a “springtime rock submission,” and now that we’ve given it a listen we can see why. The group (consisting of three Texans and a Belgian) have just released their debut EP titled Turned Around, and on a totally kick ass and related note: They’re opening for Woods this tour. No biggie.

Suzy Blu – “Blu” {Electro/Shoegaze}

If you’re a fan of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Blondie, or anything else that is nothing short of mindblowing, then be sure to check this Leeds-based artist out. This track is off her brand spankin’ new EP Blu which was released on March 11th via Russian Winter Records, and you can buy the EP for as little as £2 here.

 {Like RMD on Facebook} {Follow RMD on Twitter}
{RMD on Google+} {RMD on Soundcloud} {RMD on Pinterest} {RMD on Tumblr}

by Rex

Top new videos: Klaxons, Cloud Nothings, Wild Beasts, Born Ruffians + Josh Homme getting drunk with Asians

April 9, 2014 in Alternative, Blues, Classic Rock, Electropop, Folk, Funk, Indie Folk, Industrial, Pop, Punk, Synthpop by Rex

Queens Of The Stone Age – “Smooth Sailing” {Alternative Rock/Funk}

Whether it’s in an abandoned house in the desert or at a random karaoke bar, Josh Homme always knows where to find the party. The night starts off with Homme drinking, karaoke-ing and golfing his way through the night with a bunch of Asian businessmen until things take a weird turn… (as they usually do after a night of heavy drinking). I wonder if they listened to “I Think I Lost My Headache” the morning after?

Wild Beasts – “A Simple Beautiful Truth” {Electropop}

Everyone’s been buzzing about this new Wild Beasts video (which actually looks like it was filmed in the same place where that scorned, gingery wildling shot Jon Snow with a few arrows. (yes, I’m obsessed). But moving on to bigger and better things: Dude, those dance moves and glowing pants are totally blowing my mind right now.

Cloud Nothings – “I’m Not Part Of Me” {Pop/Punk}

Dear, isn’t life in Cloud Nothing’s new music video just swell? I mean really: Flying musical notes, hearts, nail polish and snapchats; all just some of the many things going on at this girl-crazed, pajama party-themed music video. And what do you think girls do at pajama parties? Pull out a ouija board, of course!

Katie Bulley -”Up & In” {Blues/Classic Rock}

Forget about the fancy frills and special effects, because personally I would rather watch a collection of classic rock greats flash across my screen in this new ironically-titled video from the Hamilton songstress. Bobby D, an open chested Robert Plant and oh Yoko are just some of the many famous faces you’ll see coming out of the woodwork – plus a few shots of Bulley doing her own impersonations as well.

Bedouin – “Bright Lights” {Indie Folk}

Given that her Cat Powery sound has been described as music for the “cyber gypsy,” it seems fitting that Bedouin’s new music video dances around a nomadic storyline. The video follows two women as they sleep in motels, wait at a bus stop, dance around in a flowery top…you know, the usual traveller’s stuff.

Born Ruffians – “Oceans Deep” {Pop}

This new video from Born Ruffians has some mean Animal Collective vibes thanks to those glowed-out, scary-as-hell face masks/costumes. It’s actually a surprisingly happy song for a video filled with the creepy-crawlies, so if you’re not a fan of spiders, insects or creepy things with wings then this video may not be for you.

Klaxons – “There Is No Other Time” {Synthpop}

Dear God: Is this what cheesy synthpop heaven looks like? Because I have no idea if there’s any place on this Earth where the clouds are made of delicious, mouth-watering cheese and there’s massive mirrored cubes sitting randomly on every block…yeah we don’t get it either.

 {Like RMD on Facebook} {Follow RMD on Twitter}
{RMD on Google+} {RMD on Soundcloud} {RMD on Pinterest} {RMD on Tumblr}

by Rex

Top new tracks: Jack White, Tori Amos, Hot Chip, Radio Moscow + Alicia Keys ft. Kendrick Lamar

April 3, 2014 in Alt-Country, Blues, Classic Rock, Disco, Funk, Indie, Indie Rock, R&B, Rap, Rock, Synthpop by Rex

Hot Chip – “Atomic Bomb” (William Onyeabor cover) {Disco/Funk}

All this Crimea/Cold War 2.0 talk has got me thinking…isn’t it about time we heard some new Hot Chip? Well turns out I wasn’t alone in that thought, because the Londoners decided to contribute a tune for the upcoming William Onyeabor Remixed release which is coming out on Record Store Day (AKA April 19th). Other artists featured on the release include The Vaccines, Caribou’s Daphni and many, many more.

Alicia Keys – “It’s On Again” ft. Kendrick Lamar {R&B/Rap}

Now that Alicia Keys has unrolled those nasty braids I can finally take her seriously without focusing on her hair all the time. Anyways, all you Spider-Man fans are probably five steps ahead of me in knowing that Ms. Keys and Mr. Lamar will be contributing this track for the new Spider-Man 2 soundtrack, but it was news to me. The soundtrack isn’t out until April 22nd, but you can pre-order it by clicking here.

Yuko – “While You Figure Things Out” {Indie Rock}

Oh, Yuko, has it really been three years since you’ve released some new tuneage? Time sure flies when you’re listening to music that isn’t Yuko… This is the first single off their accurately-titled album Long Sleeves Cause Accidents which is being released on April 7th via Unday Records.

Tori Amos – “Trouble’s Lament” {Baroque Pop}

If you follow the gingery Amos you’re probably well aware that she gets all fired up and ginger-like about Satan and God and stuff, and it looks like nothing has changed with this new tune of hers. Either way it’s pretty good for a woman who’s 50-years-old (Wait…what?) This track is the first single off her forthcoming album Unrepentant Geraldines which hits the pavement next month.

Jack White – “High Ball Stepper” {Alt-Country/Rock}

The oh so minimalistic Jack White is back with a brand new solo LP which is coming out in June and being released on (you guessed it) his glorious label Third Man Records. Apparently the record will come with a 40-page art and lyric book poster, a postcard, a 7″ of demos, and even a few angry handwritten letters to his arch-nemesis Dan Auerbach…OK so maybe the last part isn’t necessarily true…

Tomas Barfod ft. Gruff Rhys – “True To You” {Synthpop}

We’ve been keeping our eyes and ears on Gruff Rhys ever since we heard the Welshman’s highly-addictive “Gyrru Gyrru Gyrru,” (although he’s probably best known as being the brains behind Super Furry Animals). This collaborative track is off the upcoming Record Store Day 7″ which will only be released in the UK and Denmark (sorry, suckers!!)

Radio Moscow – “Death Of A Queen” {Classic Rock/Blues}

It’s about time we came across some hard-hitting, badass rock & roll, and this song is about as rock & roll as it gets. This track is off the group’s fourth studio album Magical Dirt which is being released on June 17th via Alive NaturalSound Records, and if you like their work you should follow them on Facebook here.

{Like RMD on Facebook} {Follow RMD on Twitter}
{RMD on Google+} {RMD on Soundcloud} {RMD on Pinterest} {RMD on Tumblr}

by Rex

Top 5 indie tracks of the week

March 3, 2014 in Alt-Folk, Alternative, Americana, Disco, Electronic, Experimental, Free downloads, Funk, independent bands, Indie by Rex

The Two Koreas – “Can Explain” {Alternative Rock}

The fact that I’m sitting in a pile of my own piss might have already given it away that our numero uno favourite Canadian band has FINALLY released the EP they were hinting at when we interviewed them a couple of years back, and to say we’re excited is an understatement. To buy their LP Winner EP for as little as $4 (or each track for $1) click here.

Sam Sniper – “Something To Say” {Americana/Rock}

This vocalist sounds just like Adam Duritz from Counting Crows (minus the nasty dreadlocks/singing about how he wants to be Bob Dylan and buy himself a grey guitar, of course) and his voice swooned us within seconds of pressing that play button. The band is currently running a Kickstarter to fund the release of their album on vinyl this summer, so if you want to help some brothers out click here.

Ang Low – “Voodoo Woman” {Experimental/Electronic}

This Afrobeat/world music-ish song is as trippy as Ween’s “Voodoo Lady,” and that’s saying a lot. Low is based out of Brooklyn, New York, and this wicked song is off his brand spankin’ new and debut EP (which hits the pavement on March 31st via Luv Luv Luv Records).

Uaxyacac - ”Double Seeker” {Experimental/Electronic}

A tribal, belly-dancing kind of beat, a Liars/Grimes vibe and enough layers and textures to make you feel as if you’ve floated onto another planet for a few minutes…have I given it away that this group is Quebecois yet? This track is off their Double Seeker album which was released in December, and you can buy it for $5 here.

Few Friends – “You I’m Moving To” {Disco/Funk} + Free downloads

Who needs “a few friends” when you can listen to funkalicious tunes like this? This is actually only the second song the band has released to date, so if that impressed you as much as it impressed me you can download the song for free in the player below and give the group some “Like” love on Facebook here.

{Like RMD on Facebook} {Follow RMD on Twitter}
{RMD on Google+} {RMD on Soundcloud} {RMD on Pinterest} {RMD on Tumblr}

by Rex

Top new tracks: Brody Dalle, Klaxons, Todd Terje, Pink Mountaintops + Karen O teams up with Ezra Koenig

February 11, 2014 in Dance, Disco, Dream Pop, Electrofunk, Electrogoth, Electronic, Funk, Garage Rock, Jazz, Pop, Punk, Rock by Rex

Brody Dalle – “Meet The Foetus/Oh The Joy” {Alternative Rock/Punk}

After ditching both the Rancid rip-off project The Distillers and the QOTSA rip-off project Spinnerette, Josh Homme’s baby mama shocked everyone when she announced she was going solo in 2014. Apparently “Meet The Foetus” features Shirley Manson on vocals, which is ironic seeing that the Garbage frontwoman contributed back-up vocals for QOTSA’s Lullabies To Paralyze album and all…And for the record: I’m totally not jealous that Brody is banging Josh Homme. Not. At. All.

Pink Mountaintops – “North Hollywood Microwaves” {Garage Rock}

Steve McBean’s Pink Mountaintops just revealed their first new song in five long years, and turns out “North Hollywood Microwaves” deserves just as much love as the microwave responsible for heating up greasy food when you’re hungover and incapable of moving ten feet in either direction. (Yes the song is THAT good). The song is off their new album Get Back which is being released on April 29th (in the U.S.) and April 28th (in Europe).

Todd Terje – “Delorean Dynamite” {Electronic/Disco}

We’re going to be all over any new Todd Terje tune like Putin is all over murdering Sochi’s forcibly abandoned stray dogs, but with a track and video like this and a scruffy face like that can you really blame us? It’s not as disco-y as we would have hoped, but the tune has enough synth bassline to make Jesse F. Keeler proud. Oh and P.S. don’t forget Terje’s new album It’s Album Time comes out in April.

Crissi Cochrane – “And Still We Move” {Pop/Jazz}

Our inner 90s teenager still has faith in Windsor’s music scene because of the epicness known as The Tea Party (no, not the political organization silly…) but now our faith in the Ontario city has officially been restored thanks to this sultry songstress. This track is off her new album Little Sway which you can buy for $9.90 via iTunes here.

Trust – “Capitol” {Electrogoth}

If you’ve already been turned off by Trust’s dark and mysterious vocals when we covered another one of their singles last month, then this track probably won’t win you over either, but for us fans…it’s glorious. We’re officially counting down the days until March 4th when Joyland officially drops, just so it can help us get through these next few months waiting to hear about a new Austra album.

To listen to the song click here.

Klaxons – “Children Of The Sun” {Alternative Pop}

Klaxons are churning out single after single as of late, only this one is slightly different than the one we covered last week. I don’t know what’s in the water where the Klaxons are living because this track is pretty mindblowing in an “out there” kind-of-way. Now we’re really curious as to what to expect from their new album.

Hydrogen Sea & Imaginary Family – “All That Keeps Us” {Dream Pop}

We weren’t too surprised when we read that these two acts wrote this song together during one random night in Brussels, only because Brussels is a magical city like that. This track is off the Unday Records’ first compilation titled Music For Undays which also features new tunes from Trixie Whitley, Yuko, Flying Horseman and many more.

Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes – “Sun Goes Out” {Pop/Rock}

Daniel Ellsworth and his Great Lakes have been making the rounds on the interwebs since 2010, but now they’re prepping for the release of their sophomore album Kid Tiger which is out on March 4th. This track was engineered by the Grammy Award-winning Vance Powell who previously worked with Kings Of Leon, Jack White and The Whigs).

Karen O & Ezra Koenig – “The Moon Song” {Pop/Rock}

It’s a very special day indeed when the Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman decides to release a song with her fellow New Yorker/Vampire Weekend vocalist as a single, which is off the new movie soundtrack for Owen Pallett’s Her (starring Joaquin Phoenix). You may remember the original version of the song we covered last September, but with a little Ezra touch this version may possibly surpass the awesomeness of the original, and that’s saying a lot.

To listen to the song click here.

Drift Static – “I Say, You Say” {Electronic/Funk}

Berlin’s Drift Static has been remixing everyone from Of Monsters and Men to Fatboy Slim, but now he’s focusing on releasing his own original tunes to the masses. Just this one track alone covers the dubstep, funk, electronic and hip hop genres, and after listening to it we can’t help but look forward to hearing what the future has in store for Mr. Drift Static.

{Like RMD on Facebook} {Follow RMD on Twitter}
{RMD on Google+} {RMD on Soundcloud} {RMD on Pinterest} {RMD on Tumblr}

by Rex

Top new tracks: Lana Del Rey, The Presets, Cloud Nothings, We Have Band + CHVRCHES covers Bauhaus

January 30, 2014 in Alternative, Classic Pop, Disco, Dream Pop, Electronic, Electropop, Free downloads, Funk, Grunge, Pop, Psychobilly, Rock, Rockabilly, Shoegaze, Surf Rock, Synthpop by Rex

Lana Del Rey – “Once Upon A Dream” {Classic Pop}

Haters gonna hate, but Lana Del Rey is still around, still making music, and still sounding pretty damn awesome. The track will be featured in the upcoming Sleeping Beauty-inspired film Maleficent starring the homewrecker/orphan collector Angelina Jolie (you can watch the trailer for the film here).

De Lux – “Make Space” {Disco/Funk}

We always dig a song that makes us want to pull some hip shoulder-poppin’ moves (like the ones seen in the sexy-as-hell Flight of the Conchords intro), but this pick-me-up of a song certainly put an extra pep in our step on this cold January day. This single is off the band’s forthcoming album Voyage which is being released this spring.

The Presets – “Goodbye Future” {Electronic/Funk}

Blame it on the Random Access Memories-overload, but the start of this tune instantly turned our musical boner off just because of its “Lose Yourself To Dance” similarities. But if you agreed with the joke that is the Grammy Awards then you’ll probably enjoy this track more than we did. Luckily the tune picks up after the first 30 seconds and starts to sound more like The Presets we’ve grown to love over the years.

Cloud Nothings – “I’m Not Part Of Me” {Pop/Rock}

Well colour-me-not-surprised-at-all, Cloud Nothings are prepping to release what is bound to be yet another memorable album, and apparently it hits the pavement on April 1st. This track sounds like classic, lovable Cloud Nothings, and we’re hoping that it will only be a matter of time before the track gets some Magic School Bus-inspired video treatment.

The Rebel Set – “Monster” {Surf Rock/Psychobilly} + Free download

Coming from the land of Big John Bates, we’re always on the lookout for a new and wicked psychobilly track, and luckily this Phoenix-based group delivered. Not only is their new album called How To Make A Monster!, it was also released on a label called Burger Records (as well as their own label Silver Hornet) on January 21st. If you dig the tune make sure you snag its free download in the player below.

The Love Junkies – “Chemical Motivation” {Alternative Rock/Grunge}

Forget about that highlarious album cover (actually, please don’t) because this song is equally as epic. It may start off with a little pop-on-rock edge, but then blasts into some rough and gritty grunge during the chorus to keep listeners on their toes. Apparently this single was self-produced, recorded and mixed by the band in the vocalist’s old bedroom of his parent’s house, and will be featured on their upcoming EP.

We Have Band – “Someone” {Electropop}

Anything with a DFA Records stamp is going to get a whole lot of slobber all over it from us here at RMD, but the fact that it’s by the same band who wrote this wicked tune makes it extra special. This single is off their forthcoming album Movements (inspired by LCD Soundsystem, perhaps?) which is being released on April 28th via Naive.

Tideland – “Get Lost” {Rock/Shoegaze}

I’m going to tell you right now: After listening to this song it may get stuck in your head for days, or even weeks; so consider yourself forewarned. The group  based out of Sterling, Virginia (where they’ve made a mark in the underground DIY punk/hardcore scene), and you can buy their new album Lull for as little as $6 here.

The Mary Onettes – “Silence is A Gun” {Dream Pop}

If you followed our end-of-year lists closely (yeah, I know you didn’t), then you’re probably already aware of how much we loved The Mary Onettes’ single “Hit The Waves,” which is off their 2013 album of the same title. So we were pleasantly surprised to find out that the Swedes are prepping for a new “mini-album” Portico which is being released later this year. The track is just as pleasant and soothing, and we can’t wait to hear what the rest of the release is all about.

CHVRCHES – “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” (Bauhaus cover) {Synthpop}

CHVRCHES are all about their covers nowadays and have covered everyone from HAIM, Prince, Whitney Houston and Janelle Monáe, so we weren’t too surprised when we saw that they were giving Bauhaus some cover love as well. This track will be featured in the upcoming film The Vampire Academy, and its soundtrack also includes contributions from Katy Perry, Goldfrapp and Sky Ferreira.

{Like RMD on Facebook} {Follow RMD on Twitter}
{RMD on Google+} {RMD on Soundcloud} {RMD on Pinterest} {RMD on Tumblr}

by Rex

Rex Manning Day’s Top 10 Albums of 2013

January 17, 2014 in Album reviews, Alt-Country, Alternative, Americana, Classic Rock, Electronic, Electropop, Funk, Jazz, Psychedelic Rock, Rock, Top 2013 by Rex

10. Cage The Elephant – Melophobia

cagetheelephantmelophobia

Alright I’m not going to lie: There are only two songs I listened the hell out of on this album, and by “listened the hell out of” I mean played that shit on repeat; all day, erryday. I feel bad ignoring the rest of the songs on the album. Honestly, I do. But when I’m staring down at my iPod and “Halo” and “Take It Or Leave It” are sitting there and screaming “LISTEN TO MEEEEEE!!” I have a weak moment and disregard the rest of the album. But I can’t deny the fact that I’ve been listening to these songs probably hundreds of times each since I first discovered this album a couple of months back, and that deserves some proper recognition. (Not to mention that I expected the band to burn out in a fiery, one-hit-wonder haze after “Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked.”) If it wasn’t for the band’s nasty habit of constructing a limp-dick chorus this album might have been higher up on the list, but either way this release proves that Cage The Elephant aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

9. Elvis Costello and The Roots – Wise Up Ghost

elviscostellowiseupghost

I know, I’m just as shocked as you that this album made our list. Yes, The Roots are great, but I’ve been grimacing at Costello’s tunes since oh, I dunno…1995, but after listening to this album I can honestly say for sure: Costello and his Roots have officially raised the bar for future collaborative albums. Although there are a few skip-worthy tracks like the title track “Wise Up Ghost” and “Tripwire” and the tail-end tracks off the album, “Viceroy’s Row,” “Wake Me Up” and “Walk Us Uptown” make up for it. Anyways, we’ve already ranted and raved about how much we loved this album here and here, so instead of boring you to death with our Costello/Roots collaboration obsession I’ll just say this: If The Roots can act as a musical prozac for someone as old as Costello well then…hey ?uestlove, call me!

8. Thee Oh Sees – Floating Coffin

Thee Oh Sees Floating Coffni

Oh, Thee Oh Sees: Continuing to put out great release after great release, year after year. I know it’s not fair that the band has been getting quadruple the amount of coverage than any other band covered here at RMD, but I just can’t help it! The Kurt Cobain-like squeal on “Toe Cutter – Thumb Buster,” the Pixies-meets-Joy Division vibe on “No Spell” and the hyperactive guitar section that mirrors some vintage Ramones on “Tunnel Time”…there are so many memorable tracks on this album that I never got sick of, which seems like a true rarity these days. But before you give this album a listen I must warn you: It may bring out the hidden ADHD in you and make you want to strip off all your clothes, run out into the street and mosh pit with random people while old people stare at you with a disapproving look and scoff in your direction. Not that it happened to me or anything…

7. of Montreal – Lousy with Sylvianbriar

ofmontreallousywithsylvianbriar

I’ve been a huge fan of of Montreal (heh) for quite some time now thanks to the epicness that is “Wraith Pinned To The Mist” and “I Was Never Young,” but I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve been shying away from the band’s releases as of late because everything I’ve heard from them has just been way, way too out there for me (and that’s saying a lot considering I praise the holy Boognish). So in a classic case of “woooahhh where did that come from?” I was nearly blown off my seat the first time I listened to this album. It’s so…normal! I still can’t believe this is the same Kevin Barnes, who chose a more personal and vulnerable approach to the album, and the end result was nothing short of amazeballs. Not to mention that tracks like “Colossus,” “Belle Glade Missionaries” and “Hegira Émigré” were some of the best alt-country songs I heard all year. I shit you not.

6. The Black Angels – Indigo Meadow

Black Angels Indigo Meadow

There’s so many things I like about this album I don’t even know where to start. From The Doors nostalgia to the continued tribalness…and most importantly, the fact that the group has our numero uno favourite female drummer and is led by a bearded hippie who I may or may not have been crushing on for the past five years because he looks like Jesus (you know how us Catholic girls can be…) But anyways…I’m begging you don’t let The Black Angels fall under the radar with the rest of the Blackie rock bands like The Black Keys or Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, because this group has so much more to offer. Sure their psychedelic vibe hasn’t won over all the critics out there, but from all of us here at RMD: Flower Power on, dudes.

5. The Knife – Shaking The Habitual

The Knife Shaking The Habitual

There are so many tiny little details hidden in this album, I could listen to it hundreds of thousands of times and still discover something new after each listen. From the grunting alien heard on “Full Of Fire,” the addictive riff on “Without You My Life Would Be Boring” to the palette of different drum beats and instruments on “A Tooth For An Eye,” listening to this album is more like travelling across the globe and experiencing all these new and different cultures, ideas, sounds, smells and tastes. But what I loved most about the album was its lyrics and the duo’s passion for using their music as a tool to help bring awareness to political issues that they deem important.

4. Jagwar Ma – Howlin’

Jagwar Ma

I was already listening to “Come Save Me” on repeat for a few months before I immersed myself in Howlin’, but the first time I heard/watched “The Throw” music video something just clicked. Maybe it was the slow motion sexiness, or the vocal range that is so out of this world it’s hard to believe that it comes from a human, but suddenly we “got” Jagwar Ma. It’s weird because if you were to listen to any of these songs individually you wouldn’t even think they were by the same band. The album covers every musical corner and quirk that I love (from tribal and experimental to electronic and poppy rock), and just listening to “What Love” changed the way I listened to how a song can be created just because there are so many different elements, layers and designs going on that you will never get bored listening to it.

3. Austra – Olympia

AustraOlympia

Olympia is a release that marks a considerable change in the band’s musical style, with Austra switching from dark, gloomy witch house to danceable, electropop tunes (but still with the trademark Stelmanis edge, because of course). Even Austra’s primary songwriter Katie Stelmanis (AKA Mozart-in-Bloom) claims she wrote the album differently than she wrote Austra’s past albums by focusing more on the structure of the song instead of its “vibe.” There are still some typical Austra and experimental operatic-like tunes like “What We Done?” and “I Don’t Care (I’m A Man)” although the true gems are found in tracks like “Forgive Me” and “Painful Like.” But what I liked best about this album is that it proves that Austra is constantly evolving and changing, so instead of becoming stale fans are forced to grow along with them.

2. Wampire – Curiosity

wampirecuriosity

This album is packed full of so many different vibes (the psychedelic “Magic Lights” or the Americana-ish “The Hearse”) as well as punches (the keyboards on “Snacks” and the sexiness on “Trains”) it’s hard not to be intrigued by it all. (Oh who am I kidding? The powerful, glowing yellow eyes are what really drew me into the album…) But the organ sounds are what truly sold us on the record, and are so vampire-y is the band actually from Transylvania (or Transylwania? Hard to be sure…) The album as a whole is like a rock essay that’s constructed meticulously, with each song flowing into the next and providing a cohesive structure for the listener to get comfortable with. Let’s just hope that the band doesn’t get a case of the sophomore blues, because Curiosity is going to be pretty hard to beat.

1. Arcade Fire – Reflektor

arcadefirereflektor

I’ll be the first to admit of the Arcade Fire-overload these past few years, and I was ready to shit all over this album once it was released. But given the fact that LCD Soundsystem has officially risen from the grave through Reflektor, I don’t give a flying fuck what people think of Arcade Fire and this new album; they have officially redeemed themselves in the eyes of RMD. Yes, they’ve received more mainstream attention than Lady Gaga and Nickelback combined (OK that might be a slight overstatement), but there’s no denying that Reflektor is to Arcade Fire like what OK Computer was to Radiohead. Well maybe James Murphy being producer has something to do with it…Oh and one more thing: Don’t judge the album by its singles. The end.

{Like RMD on Facebook} {Follow RMD on Twitter}
{RMD on Google+} {RMD on Soundcloud} {RMD on Pinterest} {RMD on Tumblr}

by Rex

Top Albums of 2013 {Part 4}

January 7, 2014 in Album reviews, Alternative, Art Rock, Blues, Chamber Pop, Chamber Rock, Electro, Electrofunk, Electrogoth, Electronic, Electronica, Electropop, Experimental, Folk, Funk, Garage Rock, Hip Hop, House, Pop, Psych Folk, Psychedelic Rock, Punk, R&B, Rap, Rock, Soul, Top 2013, Witch House, World Music by Rex

{PART 1} {PART 2} {PART 3} {PART 5}

Crystal Stilts – Nature Noir

crystalstilts

RIYL: The Velvet Underground, Joy Division, The Jesus and Mary Chain

The Brooklyners have officially wowed us with this third release of theirs, which starts off with the trancey, tribal opener “Spirit In Front Of Me” before it churns through some of the best tracks we’ve heard all year like “Memory Room” and “Sticks And Stones.” If you have some extra time on your hands give this album a listen from start to finish, because hearing is believing.

To read our “Future Folklore” song review click here
To read our “Star Crawl” song review click here

!!! – Thr!!!er

THR!!!LER

RIYL: Cut Copy, Happy Mondays

Maybe it’s because it’s been a great year for electrofunkers (yes, even Daft Punk), or maybe we were swooned by the sexy-as-hell Rolling Stones-inspired short-shorts…oh who are we kidding? What made us really fall in love with this record was this music video, and this music video alone. And once you hit the “play” button you’ll see what we mean…

To read our “Californiyeah” music video review click here.

Arcade Fire – Reflektor

arcadefirereflektor

RIYL: LCD Soundsystem, David Bowie

Just the fact that David Bowie sings on the album’s leading single and LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy produced the album speaks volumes for itself. See what happens when eccentric musicians collaborate together? OK James Murphy, I’ll forgive you for disbanding LCD Soundsystem now;  but only because we know where you truly belong is in the co-producer’s chair.

To read our Reflektor album review click here
To read our “Reflektor” music video review click here

Janelle Monáe - The Electric Lady

janellemonaetheelectriclady

RIYL: Lauryn Hill, Outkast, Erykah Badu

You can always count on Janelle Monáe to bring the crazy-as-fuck visuals with her music videos, but this year she brought the crazy-as-fuckness to a whole new level. With The Electric Lady dominating the R&B releases of 2013, it’s no wonder why Erykah Badu turned her back on her glittery collaboration with The Flaming Lips to work with Miss Monáe.

To read our “Q.U.E.E.N.” music video review click here

Dr. Dog – B-Room

drdogbroom

RIYL: The Band, The Beatles

It was love at first listen as soon as we heard “The Truth”, and although we have a nasty habit of skipping through sappy slow songs, this one helped hook us in within the first 30 seconds of the album…but our listening love didn’t stop there. There’s one great track after another, each with its own unique vibe and hook; not that it’s too much of a surprise though considering Dr. Dog’s massive discography is littered with solid album after solid album.

HAIM – Days Are Gone

haimdaysaregone

RIYL: Feist, Paramore, Fleetwood Mac

We’ve been getting drips and drabs of HAIM since as far back as November of last year, and it seemed like everywhere we turned HAIM’s long luscious hippie locks were waving at us. This record was the perfect buffer for us while we wait for Stealing Sheep’s next record, and like ‘em or  love ‘em Days Are Gone certainly deserves its place on any end-of-year list.

To read our song review of HAIM’s “Edge” click here

David Bowie – The Next Day

davidbowiethenextday

RIYL: The Kinks, LCD Soundsystem

If the music of 2013 was a popularity high school contest, David Bowie, James Murphy and Arcade Fire would have been the “cool kids” this year. We may not have been the hugest fans of the album, but The Next Day pushed a wave and ripple effect in the music community, and lived up to Bowie’s knack for tailoring to the weird, eccentric and oddball target audience.

To read our “Love is Lost” (Hello Steve Reich mix by James Murphy) song review click here
To read our”Valentine’s Day” song review click here
To read our The Stars (Are Out Tonight)” music video review click here

Austra – Olympia

AustraOlympia

RIYL: Grimes, The Knife, Bjork

Set up like a broadway musical and starting with the “what-the-fuck-was-that” opener that immediately draws the listener in, this album is all over the map musically. The listener is taken on an electropop (“Forgive Me” and “Home”) before finishing with the mysterious “I Don’t Care (I’m A Man)” and “Hurt Me Now.”

To read our Olympia album review click here.
To read our “Home” music video review click here.
To read our “Home” song review click here.

Belle and Sebastian – The Third Eye Centre

belleandsebastienthethirdeyecenter

RIYL: Iron and Wine, of Montreal

Belle and Sebastian have always had a specific kind of sound that isn’t well received by everyone, but with a palette of different instruments scattered all throughout this record, it was hard not to be mesmerized by the rarities release. From psychedelic rock to alternative folk and world music, this album is so musically diverse we don’t even know where to start, but to dumb it down in laymen’s terms The Third Eye Centre is basically a poppier version of Arcade Fire’s Funeral or Neon Bible.

To read our review of the “Your Cover’s Blown” music video click here

Action Bronson – Saab Stories

actionbronsonsaabstories

RIYL: Ghostface Killah, Das Racist

Once we took our feminist hats off and got over the atrocious album cover, we came to appreciate what all the Saab Stories fuss was about, just for shock value’s sake alone (these are Miley times we’re living in, after all). It proves that sometimes EPs can provide just as much punch as a full-length, and it’s easy to see why all my fellow music bloggers were ranting and raving about it.

To read our review of “Morey Boogie Boards” click here

Cut Copy – Free Your Mind

Free Your Mind

RIYL: New Order, Holy Ghost!, Chromatics, Happy Mondays

Out of all the electropop releases of the year, Cut Copy’s Free Your Mind stood out from the rest for us in 2013 (yes, even after seeing !!!’s sexy short-shorts). But this album is filled with so much more than just electropop sounds and proves that Cut Copy are more than just an electropop band; but motivational speakers for electronic-loving hippies (in a nutshell).

To read our Free Your Mind album review click here

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

edwardsharpeandthemagneticzeros

RIYL: Buffalo Springfield, Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane

All the haters must be smoking crack (or not smoking enough, in the eyes of Toronto mayor Rob Ford that is) because this album is some of the best Americana we’ve heard all year. With a specific, narrow and cohesive focus, yet bordering on everything from classic rock, psychedelic rock and soul, Edward Sharpe and his Magnetic Zeros have brought fresh eyes to an older sound yet again.

No Age – An Object

noageanobject

RIYL: Joy Division, Eric’s Trip, Black Flag

With the Sub Pop stamp of approval, No Age have torpedoed their way onto the top of the 2013 punk charts with this record, but don’t let the “punk” label fool you. The album features everything from nitty, gritty garage rock to surprisingly melodic and catchy rock, and even a little tribal and electronic action on “An Impression.” Oh and you can stream the album in full for free below. (Thanks, Sub Pop!)

The Weeknd – Kiss Land

theweekndkissland

RIYL: Michael Jackson, Frank Ocean

His voice and vibe may be drenched in R&B, but it was the electronic backbone of this record that made us fall in love with it. From the electronic/experimental track “Adaptation” to Drake’s cameo on “Live For,” it’s clear why so many peeps consider Kiss Land to be 2013′s response to last year’s channel ORANGE. Plus he’s from Toronto, so we may or may not have some kind of Canadian bias about the album.

To read our review of The Weeknd’s “Live For” music video click here
To read our “Kiss Land” song review click here

Blood Orange – Cupid Deluxe

bloodorangecupiddeluxe

RIYL: Prince, Frank Ocean

Blood Orange’s outstanding new record Cupid Deluxe was perhaps overshadowed by its interesting cover…but Cupid works in mysterious ways like. With its November release the album just barely cut this year’s end-of-year-lists, but there’s no denying Blood Orange’s place in 2013 considering he was busy remixing everyone from Friends to Drake (love that shit).

To read our song review of Blood Orange’s remix of Friends’ “That Way” click here.
To read our song review of Blood Orange’s remix of Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home” click here

{PART 1} {PART 2} {PART 3} {PART 5}

 {Like RMD on Facebook} {Follow RMD on Twitter}
{RMD on Google+} {RMD on Soundcloud} {RMD on Pinterest} {RMD on Tumblr}

by Rex

Top Albums of 2013 {Part 3}

January 6, 2014 in Album reviews, Alternative, Blues, Classic Pop, Classic Rock, Dream Pop, Electrofunk, Electronic, Electropop, Free downloads, Funk, Hip Hop, Industrial, Jazz, Metal, New Wave, Pop, R&B, Rap, Rock, Soul, Top 2013, Tribal, Tribal Pop, Tribal Rock, Trip Hop, Uncategorized by Rex

{PART 1} {PART 2} {PART 4} {PART 5}

Cage The Elephant – Melophobia

cagetheelephantmelophobia

RIYL: The Stone Roses, Weezer

Melophobia is everything Arctic Monkeys’ AM shoulda-coulda-woulda been if them Monkeys weren’t too busy ripping off the rock gods to notice that they were ripping off the rock gods, but I digress. If you didn’t like Cage The Elephant the first time around you may not get your mind changed just yet; but let’s get real here: “Take It Or Leave It” alone could possibly surpass The Strokes’ “Take It Or Leave It,”  (which is saying a lot coming from us).

Frankie Rose – Herein Wild

frankierosehereinwild

RIYL: Dum Dum Girls, Vivian Girls, Joy Division

Frankie is one of those rare artists who never fails to disappointment no matter what album or project she’s working on. Her sound is unique yet reliable and familiar, and technically it’s no different than her 2012 album Interstellar, but anything remotely similar to that kind of awesomeness is bound to be mindblowing.

To read our review of Frankie Rose’s cover of The Damned’s “Street Of Dreams” click here
To read our review of Frankie Rose’s “Sorrow” click here

Beyoncé - Beyoncé

beyonce

RIYL: Destiny’s Child, Mary J. Blige

It shocked the shade out of us when we found out that Beyoncé released a new visual album with zero promo or teasers beforehand at all, and honestly…it’s pure genius! With all the Artpop/shit/Random Access Memories album promos being shoved down our throats all year, this album is proof that Jay-Z’s wife The Big B. doesn’t even need all that Artpop-like hoopla thankyouverymuch.

Nine Inch Nails – Hesitation Marks

ninhesitationmarks

RIYL: Prince, Depeche Mode, Marilyn Manson

We can all collectively sigh in relief now that Trent Reznor put How To Destroy Angels_ on the backburner to work on some fresh, new NIN. (Okay well maybe his side project wasn’t that bad, but nothing beats new NIN, especially new/good NIN).

To read our Hesitation Marks review click here.
To read our review of “Copy of A” click here

To read our review of the “Come Back Haunted” music video click here

White Denim – Corsicana Lemonade

whitedenim

RIYL: The Black Keys, The Raconteurs, The White Stripes

White Denim sounds so much like the The Raconteurs we can’t help but wonder if Jack White is being all sneaky-sneaky on us (as always) and releasing music under a secretive name (sometimes not always). The album is kind of all over the place – almost jazz-like, but mixing that together with a blues/rock foundation makes the album stand out for the rest of the blues/rock releases of the past year.

To read our review of White Denim’s “Pretty Green” click here.

Camera Obscura – Desire Lines

cameraobscura

RIYL: Stars, The xx

Camera Obscura have earned a massive, massive following over the years, (similar to that of their Canadian twinsies Stars), and this album certainly helped catapult their cult-like fame even more. The album is packed full of happy, feel-good-lucky tunes that warmed our cold Canadian hearts, and for that reason alone deserves recognition in itself.

To read our review of “Troublemaker” click here.
To read our review of “Fifth In Line to the Throne” click here.  

Jagwar Ma – Howlin’

Jagwar Ma

RIYL: Kasabian, Django Django, Beta Band

“Come Save Me” was the first track to break our Jagwar Ma cherry, and we became so obsessed with the tune we thought we’d give the rest of the album a listen…and are we ever glad we did. There are a couple of poppish songs similar to the leading track (like “That Loneliness”) but there’s also a few experimental, tribal tracks hidden in the mix as well (e.g. “What Love” and “The Throw”).

Elvis Costello And The Roots – Wise Up Ghost

elviscostellowiseupghost RIYL: The Roots, Van Morrison

Costello has been collaborating with The Roots AKA Jimmy Fallon’s “backing band” for quite some time, but working together for a new Costello record brought the art of genius collaborations to a whole new level. Without The Roots, Wise Up Ghost could have easily been another snore-inducing adult contemporary album we’ve been hearing all too much of from Costello as of late, but throw a little ?uestlove funk into the mix and you’ve got yourself a winner.

To read our Wise Up Ghost review click here.
To read our review of Elvis Costello & The Roots’ song “Walk Us Uptown” click here

MGMT – MGMT

MGMTMGMT

RIYL: of Montreal, The Flaming Lips, Empire Of The Sun

We were half expecting MGMT to go down in a fiery, 2004 neon-lit haze, and although a lot of people seem to be on the fence about it we were actually surprised at how much we enjoyed the record. It doesn’t sway too much away from MGMT’s usual electropop formula, but we have to give credit where credit is due: They haven’t lost their neon touch.

To read our review of MGMT’s “Alien Days” click here

Deafheaven – Sunbather

Deafhaven Sunbather

RIYL: Ash Borer, Vaura Metal

Don’t be fooled by its pinkish exterior, because Sunbather was hands-down one of the most badass metal releases of the year, and its tracks have been circulating around the music blogverse ever since it was released back in June. Oh and PS you can download their single “Dream House” for free in the player below.

Paul McCartney – NEW

paulmccartneynew

RIYL: The Wings, The Beatles, Mark Ronson

Sure, Sir Paul may or may not have used five young producers as a crutch for this record (OK, he totally did) but it was a total genius move on his part. Some tracks were a little ho-hum, but other tracks like “On My Way To Work” and “Alligator” prove that Paul has still got what it takes, and will hopefully remind this younger generation who the real genius was behind Sgt. Pepper’s.

To read our album review of NEW click here.
To read our song review of “New” click here

Cults – Static

cultsstatic

RIYL: The Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, Beach House

It seemed like everywhere we turned Cults’ glittery GIF album cover was shimmering back at us, and because we easily get mesmerized by SPARKLES!! we eventually gave into the hoopla and checked this album out. The release is clearly 2013′s answer to Beach House’s Bloom, and although the high-pitched vocals can be hard to stomach, if you can put up with Grimes for three minutes you can put up with anything.

To read our review of Cults’ track “High Road” click here
To read our review of the music video for “High Road” click here

Kanye West – Yeezus

kanyewestyeezus

RIYL: Jay-Z, Dr. Dre, Timbaland

Profound hatred and annoyances aside, there’s no denying Yeezus‘ place on any end-of-year list. In a typical “FUCK YOU” move on Kanye’s behalf, the album was recorded in Paris and shockingly starts off with some Eurostyle electronic drones; and as much as we like to make fun of the guy for all the vomit that pour out of his mouth, “hurry up with my damn croissants” is the new “It’s Britney, bitch.”

London Grammar – If You Wait

londongrammarifyouwait

RIYL: Florence and the Machine, The xx

London Grammar is one of those bands that immediately grab your attention as soon as you hear them, and 2013 just wouldn’t have been complete without Hannah Reid’s deep, booming voice groaning in the distance. Just listening to the album will make you feel as if you’re falling down a well of sadness, darkness and depression…so yeah…it’s a great listen!

To read our review on London Grammar’s “Strong” music video click here.

Volcano Choir – Repave

volcanochoirrepave

RIYL: Grizzly Bear, Tom Waits

We could care less about the hipster stamp Bon Iver has been getting, because Volcano Choir is no Bon Iver (OK well maybe a little bit thanks to Justin Vernon…but anyways). Repave has helped Volcano Choir become a band that is best listened to by album instead of by individual song, and we have to give credit to an exquisitely-crafted experimental record that made us feel as if we were being transported to another planet.

To read our review of the “Byegone” music video click here

{Like RMD on Facebook} {Follow RMD on Twitter}
{RMD on Google+} {RMD on Soundcloud} {RMD on Pinterest} {RMD on Tumblr}

{PART 1} {PART 2} {PART 4} {PART 5}

by Rex

Top Indie Pop Tracks of 2013 {Part 1}

December 18, 2013 in Alternative, Chillwave, Dream Pop, Electropop, Folk, Free downloads, Funk, Galactic Pop, independent bands, Indie, Pop, Psych Pop, Rock, Soul, Sunshine Pop, Surf Pop, Top 2013, Tropical Pop by Rex

{PART 2}

Boardwalk – “I’m To Blame” {Dream Pop}

Oh Boardwalk, where have you been all my life? (Well apparently in Los Angeles, but that’s besides the point…) Plus we’ve already covered another one of their tracks in our Top 5 Indie Tracks of the Week series, so that should show you right there just how obsessed we are with this group. This track is off their new self-titled album which you can buy for $8.99 here.

Elastic Bond – “Find A Way” {Pop/Soul}

When it comes to all the countless submissions we receive on a daily basis, this track/band was everything we’ve wanted and more. The group is based out of Miami (hence the Latin-y vibes), and if you like this song you can buy it for as little as $0.99 via iTunes here and check out the rest of their music videos here.

NEW FOUND LAND – “The Hunter” {Pop}

Don’t even bother with those Newfie jokes, because despite this artist’s name this track is actually Swedish pop at its finest. This track is off her Hunter EP which was released back in July, and you can buy the album for as little as €3 (or each individual track for €1) here.

The Fadeout – “Fantasy” {Surf/Sunshine Pop}

If this is what fantasy sounds like then get us the hell out of our reality….ASAP. This Beach Boys-y group is based out of Montreal, and this is the sixth track off their debut LP Shapes Of Animals. You can buy the album for $8.99 over at their Bandcamp page, and follow them on Facebook here.

The Assyrians – “Oceans” {Galactic Pop}

These Assyrians were the first to break RMD’s galactic pop cherry, so we can’t help but have a soft spot for these Milanese. This is the first single off the Italians’ debut album Tundra which was released last month via Foolica Records, and if you’re lucky enough to live in the land of Spotify (sorry, Canadians!) you can listen to the rest of the album here.

The Derevolutions – “We Found That Beat” {Pop/Funk} + Free downloads

We don’t get nearly enough funky submissions, so when we do we jump all over that shit. The song is described as sort of sounding like “1964 and 2014 collided”, and if you’re feeling funky you can stream the rest of the band’s tunes for free (and take advantage of those free downloads) here.

THE TRANQ – “My Heart Is A Yo-Yo” (Coconut Slaying Remix) {Tropical Pop} + Free download

Last year we came across a ton of great tropical pop, but 2013 has been pretty quiet on the tropical pop front…except for these guys. (Plus they’re political and stuff too, so we can digs it.) You can download the track for free in the player below, but make sure you give the band some “Like” love on Facebook while you’re at it too.

Banana Beach – “Mobile Homes” {Electropop} + Free download

Dem Swedes are at it again; swooning us with their ridiculously catchy pop-happy tunes (have the Swedes ever written a bad pop tune…like, ever?) The quintet is based out of Stockholm, and recently recorded their debut EP independently in an office of an abandoned floor inside a factory complex (if that isn’t indie I don’t know what is). If you like the track make sure you download it in the player below.

Mammoth Life – “Building Bridges” {Dream Pop/Rock}

This band’s new self-titled album is so good it was hard to pick just one track, so if you have some time head on over to their Bandcamp page and give it a listen (and be prepared for a case of the warm-fuzzies before you do so). You can buy this track for $1 here, or the entire release for $9.99 here.

Dream Stretcher – “Make Light” {Dream Pop/Chillwave} + Free downloads

With jaw-dropping harmonies, an electronic base spread over a chillwave foundation…there is absolutely nothing we don’t love about this track. This group is based out of Los Angeles, and if you dig this track as much as we do you can download it for free in the player below, and check out the rest of their tunes here.

Iida – “Life Will Kill You” {Pop/Folk}

There’s something about this Swedish songstress’ track that just spoke to us, (which may or may not be because some say the song has a “language of its own”?) This track was released as a single earlier this year on the Swedish record label 100SONGS, and if you dig her work make sure you give her some “Like” love on Facebook.

{PART 2}

{Like RMD on Facebook} {Follow RMD on Twitter}
{RMD on Google+} {RMD on Soundcloud} {RMD on Pinterest} {RMD on Tumblr}