by Rex

Top new videos: Interpol, Blood Orange, The New Pornographers, Kate Nash + A.C. Newman doing the Vogue

August 8, 2014 in Alt-Country, Alternative, Country, Electropop, independent bands, Indie, Indie Rock, Punk, Rap, Rock, Soul by Rex

White Lung – “In Your Home” {Punk/Rock}

I don’t want it to look like I’m pissing in your cereal and telling you it’s raining, but this is pretty much the most epic video we’ve ever feasted our eyes on. Racing on human-sized horses, eyeballs dripping out of eyeballs, drummers wearing John Entwistle costumes…oh White Lung, please stop. (No actually, please don’t).

The New Pornographers – “War On The East Coast” {Electropop/Rock}

Our second favourite gingery musician (after Josh Homme, of course) has dropped the solo act and returned to his beloved not-so-New Pornographers, and invites viewers to watch as general mayhem unfolds around him. A.C. Newman is so badass he can walk past riots in the streets and couples dry humping on cars and still manage to perfectly Vogue his own lyrics. That’s pretty impressive.

Christopher Owens – “Nothing More Than Everything To Me” {Country/Rock}

I’m still not entirely convinced that Christopher Owens isn’t a Kurt Cobain hologram putting on a performance during the epic Grease prom scene, but that’s besides the point. The video was directed by actor Max Minghella and the track is off Owens’ forthcoming LP A New Testament (out September 30th).

Spanish Gold – “Day Drinkin” {Alt-Country}

This video features two things that I’m scared of the most: Rihanna being called a music icon and an N’Sync Reunion creepy clowns, and creatures lurking in deep, dark mysterious waters. Nothing like a music video starring a creepy clown to get this music blogger “day drinkin’”…

Blood Orange – “High Street” ft. Skepta {Soul/Rap}

Blood Orange continues to release music videos off that album with the creepy-as-fuck cover, and that’s alright by me. The video follows Dev Hynes and the London-based rapper Skepta as they wander through the streets of London, and end up in front of a bunch of double decker buses. Yeah we don’t get it either.

Captain Baby – “Olive In The Ocean” {Indie Rock}

Have you ever had the most intense desire to slap different coloured paint all over your friend’s faces? Well luckily these guys took that genius idea and made it into a music video. Just a warning: Harmful chemicals may have been ingested/inhaled during this video-making process.

Kate Nash – “She Rules” {Electropop}

It may not be much (unless you’re into multi-coloured awesomeness), but at least you can be amazed with how well Kate Nash’s new hair matches her orange-y outfit for a few minutes of your life. At least this go around there’s no bitchfests on the beach, oh and PUPPIES!!!!

Interpol – “All The Rage Back Home” {Alternative Rock}

It was news to me that Interpol was going  be releasing some new music this year, and what do you know….their music still makes me want to jump off a cliff because of its sadness. The video was co-directed by vocalist Paul Banks and Sophia Beer, and the track is the leading single off their new album El Pintor which is out in September.

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by Rex

Top 5 indie tracks of the week

July 24, 2014 in Alternative, Ambient, Electro, Experimental, Free downloads, independent bands, Indie, Metal, Noise Rock, Pop, Psych Pop, Rock, Tribal Pop, Tropical Pop by Rex

Candy Darling – “Money” {Pop/Rock}

If you’re a fan of The Kills then you should definitely check these guys out. Plus their lyrics are easy to remember as well…(but is it “Joe’s money?“) The group is based out of Bristol, and although this single isn’t being released officially until September 1st you can pre-order it here.

Missiles of October – “Don’t Panic” {Noise Rock/Metal}

Speaking of Empire Records…was it just me or are there some intense Gwar flashbacks going on in this track? Anywaythatwasepic, the band is based out of Brussels and you can by their new release of the same title as a name-your-price download over at their Bandcamp page.

Distant Cousin – “Floating Above Nothing” {Electro/Ambient}

Distant Cousin’s name keeps on popping up here, there and everywhere (or maybe it’s because they kept sending us e-mails to check out their tunes…but are we ever glad they did!!) Their debut EP won’t be available on iTunes or Bandcamp until later this month, but in the mean time you can follow them on Facebook and Twitter and stream their tunes for free here.

Yus – “Superbeats” {Psych Pop}

It doesn’t really drop until over halfway through the song, but we’re totally digging the tropical, New Animal vibes going on in this track. Yus’ brand-spankin’ new album Talisman was released on June 23rd, and you can buy it for as little as $3.50 here.

Killers Walk Among Us – “Bonjour Tristesse” {Alternative Rock} + Free download

This band is like a mix between Placebo (but with better vocals), The Two Koreas and Joy Division, so naturally we fell head over heels for this track. If you like the song you can download it for free in the player below, but we highly recommend you buy it via iTunes here.

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by Rex

Top new tracks: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Simian Mobile Disco + Jesse F. Keeler’s moustache

July 22, 2014 in Classic Rock, Electronic, Garage Pop, Garage Rock, Pop, Punk, R&B, Rock, Synthpop, Synthrock, Techno by Rex

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – “Fault Lines” {Classic Rock}

I find it hard to stomach any new Petty tune unless it involves a sitar or spells out G-L-O-R-I-A, but for this track I’ll make an exception. This is actually the fourth single Tommy and his Heartbreakers have released off their new album Hypnotic Eye, which is due out on July 29th.

Death From Above 1979 – “Trainwreck 1979″ {Synthrock}

The best dynamic duo in Canada’s musical history (true story) already fooled me once by letting me believe they met in prison (they totally didn’t), so I was hesitant to believe that this new DFA 1979 album would ever see the light of day…but here it is. This is the first single off their forthcoming album The Physical World which is being released in September, but still no word as to whether Jesse F. Keeler’s moustache will make an appearance or not…

Eugene McGuinness – “Heart Of Chrome” {Pop/Rock}

As much as I loved 2012′s “Harlequinade,” I’ve been feasting my ears on my future husband’s brand-spankin’ new album, which is certainly setting the bar high for any future Eugene release. This is the second single off Chroma which was released on July 7th via Domino.

Gateway Drugs – “Give Me Your Love” {Synthpop}

With all the blatant LIES they tell you about gateway drugs there’s one fact I can tell you for sure: This band has more cheesy 80s going on than the entire decade itself; (I think I’m in love). The group is based out of Cape Town, South Africa, and if you like their work make sure you give them some “Like” love on Facebook here.

Part Time Pilots – “Tally Ho Amigo” {Punk/Rock}

Pardon my bad Spanish, but why in the “infierno” didn’t I know about Part Time Pilots already? The group is from Northern Island, and this track is off their latest release of the same title which you can buy for £7 (or each individual track for £1) here.

Caribou – “Can’t Do Without You” {Electronic/R&B}

Channeling the likes of How To Dress Well, Caribou is at it again with this new leading single which is off his forthcoming album Our Love. The release isn’t out until October 7th, but in the mean time you can check out some other Caribou tuneage on Dan Snaith’s Soundcloud page.

King Tuff – “Eyes Of The Muse” {Pop/Rock}

This past year just didn’t feel right without any new high-pitched King Tuff tunes squealing back at us through our headphones, so luckily Kyle Thomas is back with a brand new album (appropriately titled Black Moon Spell). The tune has some classic major-turned-minor/Beatles-style chord progressions going on; September 23rd can’t come soon enough..

Ex Hex – “Don’t Wanna Lose” {Garage Rock/Pop}

I’m still hung up on whether Ex Hex sounds more like Thee Oh Sees or an ADHD Chrissie Hynde…but we’re loving it nonetheless. The trio was founded by the former Wild Flagger/Helium-er frontwoman), and this track is off their forthcoming release Rips.

Simian Mobile Disco – “Tangents” {Techno}

Heyyyyy what do you know, Simian Mobile Disco is back with a brand new track; (well actually it’s been listed as a music video; but let’s get real here…this ain’t no music video). This single is off their new album Whorl which is being released on September 9th via Anti-Records.

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by Rex

Top 5 indie tracks of the week

July 18, 2014 in Americana, Dream Pop, Folk, Free downloads, Garage Rock, Hip Hop, independent bands, Indie, Rap, Rock by Rex

Mincer Ray – “A Pickaxe From My Mom” {Pop/Rock} + Free download

It may be a little rough around the edges but we can definitely hear a lot of promise in good ol’ Mincer Ray. (Have you heard the demo version of “Drain You”? I rest my case.) Plus his Mom sounds like a badass as well. If you like the song you can download it for free in the player below.

Split Wigs – “Body Double, Body Trouble” {Garage Rock/Americana}

That creepy-as-hell album cover was enough to have the memory of listening to this song ingrained in our brains (and nightmares) permanently, so luckily the song is pretty impressive as well. The band is based out of Nashville, and you can stream their tracks for free over at Rhed Rholl Recordings’ Bandcamp page.

The Derevolutions – “#Hashbags” {Hip Hop/Rap} + Free download

We’re used to hearing some pretty dope happy-go-poppy rock tunes from The Derevolutions, but now the Boston-based group decided to throw us a hippity hop track out of left field…and we’re totally loving it right now. The lyrics, the trumpets, the random coughing…there’s nothing we didn’t love about this track. If you have some extra time make sure you like the band on Facebook here.

Christian Lee Hutson – “Mess” {Folk/Americana}

With all the alternative/indie/whatever folk submissions we get on a regular basis, it’s nice to get one with some true-blue, no-funny-business-folky vibes. This track (which he describes as “another chapter in the long and tedious tale of the exorcism of my egomania” is off his forthcoming album Yeah Okay I Know, and you can check out the rest of his tuneage here.

Dream Lake – “Let Us Stay In The Light” {Dream Pop}

We’ve been long overdue for a dreamy pop tune, and luckily the appropriately-named and Grimes-sounding Dream Lake delivered. The group is based out of Sweden (because of course), and if you like the song you can buy it for just over $1 here.

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by Rex

Top new videos: Santigold, Liars, FKA twigs, Pink Mountaintops, Twin Peaks + a German heavy metal girl

July 4, 2014 in Alternative, Electronic, Electronica, Garage Rock, Industrial, Pop, R&B, Rap, Rock by Rex

Pink Mountaintops – “Second Summer Of Love” {Garage Rock}

Never in a million years would I have thought that Stephen McBean could throw a lyrical cue card in a music video better than “The King Of Throwing A Lyrical Cue Card In A Music Video” himself Bob Dylan. I’m pretty sure Bobby D wouldn’t ride a skateboard on fire or throw random items in fire pits, though. Bobby D is too much of a snob for that.

FKA twigs – “Two Weeks” {R&B/Electronic}

I found it odd that Stereogum got their uptight, self-righteous panties in a bunch about this video, but now that I’ve seen it I totally get it: Because the folks over at Stereogum have penises, that’s why!

Santigold – “Kicking Down Doors” {Pop}

The music video for “Kicking Down Doors” is more like a mini-movie. No, really. And yes, Santigold thinks she’s special enough to do the mini-movie-scene-in-a-music-video now. Should we expect any less from an artist on the cola-themed World Cup compilation Pepsi Beats Of The Beautiful Game. I mean, really?

Liars – “Pro Anti Anti” {Electronic/Industrial}

It’s strange to see Liars all up-close-and-personal since we’re used to seeing them hide behind a warped Whoopi Goldberg-like mask…but the melting-of-faces vibe of the video definitely ties in with the artsy-fartsy album cover. I think…

To watch the video click here.

The Shanks – “German Heavy Metal Girl” {Alternative Rock}

I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting a German heavy metal girl in the flesh, but after watching this video it’s safe to say that they’re definitely waaaaay more badass than Canadian heavy metal girls, and that’s saying a lot. (Especially Canadian heavy metal girls from the Prairies…)

False Colors – “Behind Yr Face” {Electronica/Rap}

This video is one hell of a trip and we’re still not sure what to make of it all. (Something about airplanes, the planet earth and slave work?) Let’s just all smile and nod and pretend like we know what’s going on, shall we?

Twin Peaks – “Flavor” {Rock}

The latest music video from Chicago’s Twin Peaks highlights the best of summertime in ‘Merica: Drinking beers, swimming in pools, hotboxing vans and driving off cliffs….wait…what? “Victims of the U.S.A.” indeed…

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by Rex

Top new tracks: Alt-J, The Shins, Bleached, The Vaselines + Metallica wants your money again

June 29, 2014 in Alt-Folk, Alternative, Americana, Blues, Electronic, Folk, House, Indie Pop, Metal, Pop, Rock by Rex

Metallica – “Lords Of Summer” {Metal/Rock}

Ruh roh…looks like Lars Ulrich needs a new swimming pool!! No word yet as to whether the track will be included on the Metallica’s forthcoming and highly-anticipated LP, but seeing that it’s listed as a “garage demo,” chances are another final studio cut of the track may be in the works.

The Vaselines – “One Lost Year” {Pop/Rock}

Kurdt’s beloved Vaselines are back with a new track which seems to be written about the year I discovered Chilean red wine…Anywho, this track is off their new LP V For Vaselines which is being released on September 29th, and the release is also said to feature Stevie Jackson of Belle & Sebastian as well as Frank Macdonald of Teenage Fanclub.

The Shins – “So Now What” {Indie Pop}

The Shins continue to be all pleasant and stuff with a track that definitely has some “where have you been all my life?” vibes. The single is off the new Wish I Was Here soundtrack which also features the likes of Bon Iver, Coldplay and Cat Power. And because The Shins are NPR snobs you’re going to have to go here to listen to the track before listening to a short advertisement. Because of course.

Alt-J – “Hunger Of The Pine” {Alternative}

I find it very not-so-odd that I accidentally typed “Hungover On A Plane” for my first attempt at typing out this song title…but moving on. This new Alt-J tune is off their forthcoming sophomore album This Is All Yours, which is being released on September 22nd.

Manu El Chino – “Musich Machine” {Electronic/House} + Free download

We can’t help but love a song that is hard to pronounce but we try anyway because it makes us feel all cultured and stuff. (Plus the track has an LCD Soundsystem bass to boot.) Oh and the dude is from Corsica AKA a French island in the Mediterranean Sea. Swoooooon.

Jenny Gillespie – “Child Of The Universe” {Alt-Folk}

If you want to feel like this but don’t want to feel like this, then definitely give this song a listen; (but we’re warning you now…the tune certainly has a case of the Sharon-Van-Etten-sads with a slight Celtic tinge). Gillespie is based out of San Francisco, and this track is off her new album Chamma which was released on June 3rd on her own label Narooma Records

Bleached – “For The Feel” {Surf Punk}

Fuck whoever the crappy contenders are for writing the official 2014 summer song, because “For The Feel” is where it’s at. The song is off the band’s new EP which is due out on July 22nd (digitally) as well as September 16th (on vinyl).

Darrin Bradbury – “A Life Spent Pissing In The Wind” {Folk/Americana}

And just when we thought it couldn’t get better than “Swordfish,” Darrin goes ahead and croons “I’m just looking for a place to die…” (Tear). This track is off his new release Death In My Left Ear which he wrote in between two legs of a whopping 35-day tour, and you can buy the release as a name-your-price download here.

 

Hailer – “Cold Outside” {Pop/Rock}

This song was probably-more-than-likely not written in the past two weeks because it’s been hotter than a sweaty nutsack where I’m living; (then again the band is from Australia so….). If you like their work you can follow the band on Twitter here.

Jonny Debt – “Purple Heart” {Rock/Blues}

Not only is this song pretty damn awesome, it also has a touching story behind it as well. Apparently Jonny wrote the first part of this song for his high school girlfriend before it sat on a shelf collecting dust for years, and then after getting back together with her he decided to finish it off. If you like this track you can by it for as little as $1 over at his Bandcamp page.

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by Rex

Top new videos: OK Go, Coldplay, Trampled By Turtles, England In 1819 + four dudes on a porch, posing

June 28, 2014 in Alt-Bluegrass, Alt-Folk, Bluegrass, Electro, Electropop, Folk, New Wave, Pop, Rock, Synthpop by Rex

Coldplay – “A Sky Full Of Stars” {Electropop}

I never really had a thing for Chris Martin after he married GOOPY Gwenyth Paltrow and named his first-born Apple, but now that I’ve watched this video…um….yeah…it sure is nice to see Chris Martin so smiley and happily divorced isn’t it?

Cylvia – “Cylvia” {Pop/Rock}

This video is kind of hilariously entertaining in a creepy, Theon Greyjoy kind of way (oh and wiping blood off black high heels is officially my new personal term of badassery). The group is based out of Los Angeles and you can check out the rest of their tuneage here.

OK Go – “The Writing’s On The Wall” {Electropop}

OK here we go again with another unforgettable OK Go video as they continue to blow my mind visually in ways I didn’t think were possible. OK, OK Go, we get it. You’re so incredibly awesome and putting together a music video that must have taken months to perfect…

Exwhy – “On Our Own” {Pop/Rock}

You can always count on me to find watching four cute musicians standing on a porch and doing nothing in particular highly entertaining; (on the reals though…they sure know how to strike a pose though don’t they?) The group is based out of Atlanta, and if you have some extra time on your hands you should check out their other music video for “Tangerine” here.

England In 1819 – “Pine” {Synthpop}

What’s more confusing than figuring out what in the hell happened in England in 1819 is figuring out how these cheerleaders didn’t suffocate from all that fog…but I digress. The video tells a touching story of a smitten nerd with an infatuation with harps one girl in particular, and it definitely gives a tug at the ol’ heartstrings…

Hello Phones – “Hey You” {Electro/New Wave}

Why hello there, Hello Phones (it just never gets old…or does it?). This video was everything we hoped any new Hello Phones video would be like; with lightning bolts, horizontally-striped outfits, what looks like a cheetah sweatshirt….Yeah, it’s safe to say that this video is a visual delight.

Trampled By Turtles – “Are You Behind The Shining Star?” {Alt-Bluegrass}

This video has some nice stop-motion action going on, not to mention a ton of floating blue stars, exploding bubbles of colour and even banjos…who knew being Trampled By Turtles could be so awesome? If you digs it make sure you give them some “Like” love on Facebook here.

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by Rex

Top Tracks of 2014 {Part 1}

June 19, 2014 in Alt-Country, Classic Rock, Electro, Electronic, Free downloads, Hip Hop, Indie Pop, Indie Rock, Pop, Psychedelic Rock, Punk, Rock, Soul, Sunshine Pop, Synthpop, Top 2014 by Rex

Tennis – “Cured Of Youth” {Sunshine Pop}

Tennis could release a track about a steaming pile of poo we’d still be all over that shit (well not in the literal sense or anything…), and even though this track is off their 2013 release we couldn’t help but sneak a little Tennis in here; (it was officially released as a single in 2014 after all…) This track is off their Small Sound EP which you can purchase here.

Sisyphus – “Rhythm of Devotion” {Electronic/Hip Hop}

Now that we’ve gotten over our “no, their band name isn’t symphillus” moment, we fully immersed ourselves in this hippity hop-y single; (and the fact that Sufjan Stevens is involved with the project may have had a little something to do with it). The band also features the likes of Son Lux and rapper Serengeti.

Shark Week – “Go West” {Alt-Country/Indie Rock}

We all have that one friend who is totally and utterly obsessed with sharks, so the next time your friend goes on an on and on about shark statistics or their Richard Dreyfuss obsession, put on this track to distract them for a few minutes; (every little bit helps right?) The group is based out of Toronto/Oshawa, Ontario, and if you can digs it make sure you give them some “Like” love on Facebook here.

Django Django – “Porpoise Song” (Monkees cover) {Psych/Classic Rock}

Django Django always had a classic Beatles/Tame Impala kind of vibe going on, so them covering The Monkees made a whole lotta sense in our eyes. The track was released as a single on marbled vinyl 7″ for this year’s Record Store Day.

Eugene McGuinness – “Godiva” {Pop/Rock}

We wouldn’t be a true-blue Eugene stalker (true story) without drooling all over this video that has “O” faces galore, but turns out the track is almost as epic as 2012′s “Harlequinade.” Almost. Apparently his forthcoming album Chroma is described as “a direct, stripped-back guitar album,” and it’s being released on July 7th via Domino.

Slates – “Taiga” {Punk/Rock}

Given that Slates is from one of the coldest cities in Canada (AKA Edmonton) it’s not too surprising that this video of theirs oozes Canadia (the snow, the AC/DC poster hanging up in the window, etc. etc.) The single is off their album of the same title which was released back in February, and you can stream it in full here.

Bipolar Sunshine – “Team” (Lorde cover) {Indie Pop} + Free download

Not only did we just discover a band with one of the most epic names ever, we also discovered a pretty impressive Lorde cover that’s available as a free download (#Winningx3). And in case you didn’t know already, the group is led by Adio Marchant (of KiD BRiTiSH), and you can watch the video for their most recent single (“Where Did The Love Go”) here.

Frank Ocean ft. Diplo & The Clash – “Hero” {Soul/Electronic} + Free download

Frank Ocean is one of those artists who knows how to grasp an emotion perfectly, and this track is proof Franky boy’s voice can suit any genre. If you like the tune as much as we do make sure you snag that free download in the player below.

Black Bananas – “Physical Emotions” {Synthpop}

My love for this track goes well beyond the video (80s-like synth, dudes jumping out of boomboxes and doing the robot…need I say more?) The single is off their brand spankin’ new album Electric Brick Wall which was released on June 24th via Drag City.

SLEEP SLEEP – “Take The Money & Run” {Electropop/Rock}

We’re still not entirely sure what this video is about (but the technological sci-fi vibes seem to suit the track perfectly…) The track is off their latest release Gospel which was released back in April, and you can buy it for €7.99 here.

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by Rex

Top Albums of 2014 {Part 2}

June 17, 2014 in Album reviews, Alternative, Dream Pop, Electronic, Experimental, Folk, Funk, Garage Rock, Indie Rock, Industrial, Pop, Post-rock, Psych Folk, Psych Pop, Psychedelic Rock, Rock, Shoegaze, Soul, Surf Pop, Surf Rock, Top 2014, Tropical Pop, World Music by Rex

{PART 1}

Angel Olsen – Burn Your Fire For No Witness

angel-olsen-announces-new-album-burn-your-fire-for-no-witness

Burn You Fire For No Witness came out of nowhere for us, and although Angel Olsen’s name has been floating around the interwebs for the past few years, we are proud to say this album broke our Angel Olsen cherry. There’s some songs that sound like Patsy-Cline-meets-Nirvana, while others sound like a younger, just-as-intense version of Sharon Van Etten; so if you’ve only dabbled around in one or two songs off the release then be sure to dabble around in the rest.

To read our Burn Your Fire For No Witness album review click here.
To read our “Hi-Five” single review click here

Mac DeMarco – Salad Days

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We couldn’t even begin to try and wipe our DeMarco-like shit-eating grin off our face the first time we heard this record, and although it may be a little hard to stomach at first (think Ween crossed with Paul McCartney) this album will almost certainly grow on you…if you let it.

To read our Salad Days album review click here.
To read our “Brother” single review click here

Liars – Mess

liarsmess

Don’t be fooled by what looks like a cheerful/colourful Whoopi Goldberg-like hairdo, because what lies beyond the mask is a disturbing, intensely tribal and angst-ridden album that is creepy as fuck; (is this what acid sounds like?) The album may have its low points, but I’m not about to point them out because I’m afraid that warped Whoopi is going to attack me in my sleep when I don’t have my big-girl PJs on.

The Horrors – Luminous

the-horrors-luminous

Maybe it’s because we were waiting, waiting and (yup, more waiting) for what seemed like forever to hear this album, but we pounced all over this shit as soon as it hit the pavement. The album is a little gothic here, a tad experimentally electro here, and it even has a slight Brit Pop edge over yonder, but overall I found the release very familiar (almost too familiar…) with their wicked 2011 album Skying, but you don’t see me complaining…much.

Black Lips – Underneath The Rainbow

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It’s inspiring to know that badassery can sometimes never age, change or dim-down, and the Black Lips are living proof of that awesome fact. From a little hillbilly on “Drive-By Buddy,” a tad poppy on “I Don’t Wanna Go Home” and all awesome-like on “Dog Years,” no genre goes untouched under this rainbow.

To read our Underneath The Rainbow album review click here.
To read our “Boys In The Wood” music video review click here

Beck – Morning Phase

beckmorningphase300

Beck has always been the champion of everything/anything alternative, but this album follows a more mellow, acoustic-ed down version from what we’re used to hearing from Becky boy. (So yeah, don’t go expecting any “Devil’s Haircut” on this one). We gave this album a mediocre review only because of the snooze-fest going on throughout it, but everyone else was slobbering all over it so…maybe it’s just me?

To read our Morning Phase album review click here.
To read our “Waking Light” single review click here

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings – Give The People What They Want

sharon_jones_and_the_dap_kings_give_the_people_what_they_want

So technically this album was released in late 2013, but as any fan knows about the struggles this band has had to endure this past year, the release date kept on getting pushed further and further back. Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months, but now that the album is here we can honestly say the wait was well worth it, so prepare yourselves to get lathered up in some classic Motown vibes.

To read our “Retreat!” music video review click here.
To read our “Retreat!” single review click here.

Bombay Bicycle Club – So Long, See You Tomorrow

BombayBicycleClubSoLongSeeYouTomorrow300x300

This release is less of an album and more like a variety of different cultures jammed into one record, and the worldly delight on tracks like “Feel” and “Come To” made us return to the album again, and again. It hasn’t spawned too many singles or videos yet, but don’t let that deter you…because if you’re a hardcore BBC fan (as if there’s any other type of BBC fan…) you won’t be left disappointed.

To read our So Long, See You Tomorrow album review click here

Real Estate – Atlas

realestateatlas

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Flower Lane fan just as much as the next Ducktail groupie, but I couldn’t help but dive right into this album. It’s pleasant, familiar and soft around the edges (like a furry little puppy) and has a ton of subtle guitarwork that often goes overlooked on the critic front. There’s a slight bend in the alt-country direction here and there, but overall the band continues to raise the bar in the dreamy poppy-rock genre.

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

Mogwai – Rave Tapes

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The first track we heard off the album was the almighty “Simon Ferocious,” so naturally the bar was set really, really, really, really high (like a bird flying in the sky…and if you watched the video you’ll get what we’re rambling on about). There’s some dark and deep electro all throughout this album that’s intensely hypnotizing, so much so that it doesn’t need any fancy frills to back it up; (you know…like, vocals?)

To read our “Simon Ferocious” music video review click here.

Coldplay – Ghost Stories

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One would think that the album following the divorce of Chris Martin and GOOP-y Gwenyth Paltrow would sound more along the lines of sunshine, lollipops and rainbows, but Martin has gone all dark, introspective and electro on us…and we’re totally loving it right now. You see folks: Sometimes divorce can be a good thing! In the music world, that is.

To read our “Midnight” music video review click here
To read our “Atlas” single review click here

Wild Beasts – Present Tense

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If you have an acquired taste for the likes of Joy Division, Xiu Xiu and How To Dress Well, then let us proudly introduce Wild Beast’s new album to you. After giving it a listen we can definitely see what the fuss is all about thanks to the spaced-out vocals you can just get lost in…(AKA Volcano Choir-lke). If more tracks sounded like “A Simple Beautiful Truth” we probably would have liked the album more, but hey, not every song can be equally as epic.

To read our single review of “A Simple Beautiful Truth” click here.
To read our “Wanderlust” music video review click here

Sam Roberts Band – Lo-Fantasy

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It’s been a good year for Sammy (although not so much for his beloved Habs…) and this album goes to show why Sammy pinned the “Band” to the end of his name these past couple of albums. The release is reminiscent of Chemical City and Love At The End Of The World, and waaaay more intense than Collider, so for that fact alone we give Sammy a double “A” for being “astonishingly awesome.”

To read our Lo-Fantasy album review click here

{PART 1}

 

by Rex

Top Albums of 2014 {Part 1}

June 9, 2014 in Album reviews, Alternative, Americana, Blues, Disco, Electronic, Experimental, Folk, Garage Rock, Hip Hop, Pop, Psych Folk, Psych Pop, Psychedelic Rock, Punk, R&B, Rap, Rock, Soul, Top 2014 by Rex

{PART 2}

St. Vincent  - Digital Witness

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It seemed like everywhere we turned St. Vincent’s glorious purple-hazed, Wayne Coyne-like locks were waving back at us, and now that we’ve given the album a listen we highly recommend that you give her hair a wave back. The album has a complex arrangement of a variety of instruments (or what sounds like instruments…) and from the title track to the wicked opener “Rattlesnake,” it’s clear that 2014 will always be remembered as the year of St. Vincent.

To read our “Del Rio” single review click here.
To read our “Digital Witness” music video review click here

Quilt – Held In Splendor

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Held In Splendor has a classic case of “Don’t Judge An Album By Its Singles,” because the gems on this release go well beyond “Tie Up The Tides” and “Arctic Shark;” (although those tracks definitely deserve a nod as well…) There’s some classic 60s, hippie-dippie shit spread out all up, in, under and throughout the album, so if CSNY is your thing then definitely check this record out.

To read our “Arctic Shark” single review click here
To read our “Arctic Shark” music video review click here

The Black Keys – Turn Blue

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C’mon. We all know this album was going to make this list so let’s get it over and done with shall we? The duo has been churning out new singles faster than Jack White can churn out hate-ridden e-mails about Dan Auerbach, after all. In case you haven’t figured it out by their not-so-obvious (as in totally obvious) album cover, The Black Keys are all like, trippy now and stuff; but there is an avoidance of redundancy. Slightly. At least they’re not ripping Jacky-boy off…right?

To read our “Fever” single review click here

The Roots – …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin

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For two years in a row now The Roots have made our top end-of-year album lists (with the first being 2013′s collaborative album with Elvis Costello Wise Up Ghost), but with a sexy-as-hell drummer like ?uestlove what do you expect? Hopefully the second half of 2014 leads to a lot more singles/mindfucking videos off this album, because each and every track is pretty damn impressive.

To read our “Understand” music video review click here.
To read our “When The People Cheer” single review click here

Damon Albarn – Everyday Robots

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There’s nothing sadder than watching one of your favourite rock stars age (Bob Dylan anyone?) but at least Albarn is aging the right way and not letting his never-ending creativity go to waste. But let’s get one thing straight: If you’re looking for Blur you’re not going to find it here, because Brit Pop is DEAD man; and Albarn has moved on from not-so-subtlety writing about heroin to penning a song about a Tanzanian elephant…but I think I’m still following…

To read our “Mr. Tembo” music video review click here
To read our “Everyday Robots” music video review click here

Pink Mountaintops – Get Back

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You didn’t thing we were going to let a Vancity gem like this one slip through the cracks did you? On the reals though…I’m pretty sure it’s biologically impossible for Stephen McBean (yes, that’s his real name) to release something bad, and there’s no such thing as a bad Pink Mountaintops album. Really. There’s variety and flavour, emotion riddled with nostalgia, not to mention tinges of alt-country on “Through All The Worry” and synth on “Wheels” – what’s not to love?

To read our “North Hollywood Microwaves” single review click here

Paolo Nutini – Caustic Love

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One thing’s for sure is Paolo knows how to pen/sing some wicked soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooul music. And in typical Paolo style you can put the album on from start to finish and be entertained throughout. From the finger-snappin tune “Let Me Down Easy” or the more mellow “Diana,” the ebb and flows of this record aren’t just limited to fast or slow songs, but emotional variety and complexity.

To read our Caustic Love album review click here.

Wye Oak – Shriek

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We already knew that we loved us some Wye Oak, but sweet baby Jesus the song “Glory” is amazeballs; (quite possibly the best we’ve heard from the band yet…) And even though we hate jazz with a fiery passion there is some crazy, experimental jazz here there and all over the place, and believe it or not, we L-O-V-E-D it. And whilst still tying back to the band’s roots, they even manage to throw a little #TBT to Elton John circa 1970s into the mix. Where the hell did that come from?

To read our single review of “The Tower” click here

Thee Oh Sees – Drop

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It may only be a measly nine tracks (which isn’t enough for us diehards as we lick our wounds about this supposed hiatus), but as usual, the band always knows how to speed things up, slow things down, and then come toppling down all over the floor in the most not-so-graceful fashion. From the bluesy backdrop underneath some delicious psychedelica on “Put Some Reverb On My Brother” (AKA the new “Stay Gold, Pony Boy”), the addictive riffs, the freaky vocals…oh Thee Oh Sees, you had me at the first “La-la-la La-la-la-la-la” on “Penetrating Eye.”

To read our “Penetrating Eye” single review click here

Little Dragon – Nabuma Rubberband

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Nabuma Rubberband has been hands-down one of the most notable R&B releases of the year (so far), so if that kind of music is your thing like a chicken wing then I highly recommend you spread some sauce all over this shit and munch it all down. Little Dragon’s name was popping up here, there and everywhere these past few months and have been releasing single after single, video after video…so their effort deserves at least a bit of RMD recognition (which I hear is more valuable than gold, FYI…)

To read our single review of “Paris” click here.
To read our “Klapp Klapp” single review click here

Cloud Nothings – Here And Nowhere Else

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Cloud Nothings have always stuck out like an awesome thumb to us, only because most bands that follow the poppy punk train sound like a pile of steaming poo…but not these guys! So whenever we read about a new album, track or Dylan Baldi crossing the street, our interest is going to piqued. Not to mention that Attack On Memory made our top end-of-year-list in 2012 as well. No big deal.

To read our “I’m Not Part Of Me” music video review click here.
To read our “I’m Not Part Of Me” single review click here

Todd Terje – It’s Album Time

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Just when we thought things couldn’t get weirder than a meth addict stringing himself up with Christmas lights, we went ahead and listened to this album. It’s all over the place and experimentally delicious, which is the album’s purpose (I guess…) and there’s some classic Terje disco, jazz, and even some damn flamenco thrown into the mix. But despite its raving reviews it kind of fell flat for us…nevertheless the production was high-quality and it ends with “Inspector Norse.” A cherry on top indeed.

To read our “Delorean Dynamite” single review click here

Sharon Van Etten – Are We There

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We have no shame in hiding our Van Etten obsession (and if you’re judging me right now that means you haven’t listened to this), but this album has everything you would expect from Sharon: Intensity. Depth. Yearning. Heartache. Anger. You name it. Although Angel Olsen was the songstress that had our undivided attention for the first half of the year, it’s time for Olsen to shuffle those cowboy boots on over and let Sharon into the limelight again.

Metronomy – Love Letters

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Metronomy are true Devonians in how they pen a good album, and there isn’t one musical corner left untouched on this release. From classic pop to intense electronica, it’s the kind of album where you could listen to all of the songs and never realize they were by the same artist, let alone off the same album. Oh yeah, and “Boy Racers” is amazing. The end.

To read our Love Letters album review click here
To read our “Love Letters” music video review click here.
To read our “I’m Aquarius” single review click here.  

The War On Drugs – Lost In The Dream

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We may have found it a bit on the snooze-worthy side and it certainly doesn’t match up to the epicness that is Slave Ambient, but there’s no denying that Adam Granduciel is still churning on The War on Drugs Americana gravy train and we’re all about that shit right now. His Phillie brother Kurt Vile may have had 2013 under his thumb with Smoke Ring For My Halo, but hopefully the second half of 2014 sees a string of more singles/videos from Granduciel’s 2014 release.

To read our “Red Eyes” music video review click here

{PART 2}

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