Top 5 indie tracks of the week

July 23, 2013 in Blues, Folk, Free downloads, Hip Hop, independent bands, Indie, Instrumental, Psych Pop, Rap, Rock, Southern Rock

Blocktreat – “Guitalellotine” {Instrumental} + Free download

Because we’re a sucker for independent British Columbian artists and alliteration, our buddy Brandon’s band Blocktreat has just released a brand spankin’ new instrumental tune which was posted on his Soundcloud account last week. If you dig it make sure you download it, son!

Colin Easthope – “Scenic Route” {Folk} + Free download

Speaking of Blocktreat, apparently Brandon helped produced this Vancouverite’s new album Timothy Lake, which they recorded at Brandon’s family cabin this past winter. You can download the song for free in the player below, but make sure you give Colin some “Like” love on Facebook while you’re at it too.

The Miracle Fade – “Sun Smile” {Psych Pop}

The Virgins’ “Rich Girls” was a guilty pleasure of ours a few years back, so we were pretty stoked when we got this submission from one of their past members Wade Oates. Turns out he’s been working as a janitor since he quit the group, but has secretly been creating some glorious tunes ever since. Score!

Charles Warren Orchestra – “Get Out My Way Child” {Blues/Rock} + Free download

If you’re a fan of nitty-gritty Southern Rock vibes (à la Black Keys), then here’s another American duo to feast your ears on. They’re based out of New Jersey and New York City, and they just released their debut EP Church of Charles a few months back. If you happen to live near NYC then be sure to check out their performance at The Bitter End on August 9th (click here for more info).

COMRADE – “Huey” {Rap/Hip Hop}

This Baltimore-based emcee’s music is inspired by his political frustration which came out of a megaphone when he was a youth organizer/activist in high school, but his talents have since grown “from the megaphone to the microphone” as a result. If you want to support his “Soundtrack for the Global Movement” then make sure you buy his music on iTunes.

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Top 5 indie tracks of the week

June 24, 2013 in Electropop, Free downloads, Garage Rock, Hardcore, Hip Hop, independent bands, Indie, Metal, Pop, Rap, Rock

Paul Hayworth – “1990″ {Pop/Rock}

Creepy album covers aside, this Vienna-based artist has a ton of potential, and here at RMD we luuurve independent artists with a ton of potential (who doesn’t?). This track is off his new EP Floorstare Kids which you can purchase for €4 (or each track for €1) via Bandcamp.

Pink Mexico – “Shrub Fuse” {Garage Rock}

At first listen we thought this was a member of our numero uno favourite Canadian band The Two Koreas releasing music under a pseudonym, but turns out it’s an equally talented group from Venice, California. Their new album PNIK MXEICO (yes, PNIK MXEICO) was just released on June 10th, and you can purchase it for $5 at their Bandcamp page.

Speed on the Beat – “Battling Expectations Can Kill You (#BECKY)” {Rap/Hip Hop} + Free download

Even though this Baltimore-based rapper just released a wicked new single “Just Can’t See Myself (Miss Music),” we dug this track so much we just had to give it a shout-out; (plus we’re a sucker for a tune with a hashtag in its title). His new album Songs For… (The Rebirth and Evolution of the Modern Male) doesn’t drop until August 17th but you can buy some of his previously released tracks here.

Neeco Delaf – “Relax” {Electropop}

If you dig Daft Punk, Neon Indian, Passion Pit, Hot Chip, Cut Copy, or all of the above (which isn’t too hard to do), then be sure to check this track out. Neeco is based out of Paris, and if you dig his work you can check out the rest of his tunes over at his Bandcamp page.

Hardbanger – “Shapes of Envy” {Metal/Hardcore}

This is actually the fourth video off the Frenchies’ Foursome Tape EP, which debuted on Revolver earlier this month. The EP is available as a digital release as well as a limited tape edition, and it also comes with unique hand-painted artwork by Gabriel Ruiz (which is also featured in this video). For more info visit their official website here.

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Top 5 indie tracks of the week

May 28, 2013 in Celtic, Electronic, Electropop, Experimental, Folk, Free downloads, independent bands, Indie, Instrumental, Latin Music, Rock, World Music

The TreeSleepers – “True Fiction” {Alternative Rock} + Free downloads

Given that we were just like any other 90s child who was a proud owner of a Tragic Kingdom CD, we fell in love with this band as soon as we heard them. This track is off the group’s debut album which was released on May 25th, and you can stream more of their songs for free here.

La Unica – “Silver Spear Maid Behind The Bar” {Celtic/Latin}

We rarely get any Celtic or Latin submissions, so you best be recognizing that we’re going to be all over this shiznit! The group is based out of Washington, DC, and you can stream a crapton of their other tracks over at their Soundcloud account.

ghSTS & guiTARS – “wATER” {Rock/Instrumental} + Free downloads

Because having a simple band name is sooo 2012, this is one instrumentally independent band to keep your eyes and ears out for in the next coming months. You can download their tracks for free via Soundcloud, or you can purchase any of their digital tracks for as little as $1 here.

Walt & Vervain – “Mind Too” {Experimental/Electropop}

We couldn’t find much info about this mysterious solo artist, except that her name is Sofia, she’s based out of France, and she releases her music independently. (And she has some mean Empress Of vibes going on too). You can buy her new EP as a name-your-price download here, and to check out the animated video for her other awesome tune “Babe’s Lair” click here.

Dan Mills – “Instant Crush” (Daft Punk cover) {Folk/Electronic}

We always had a soft spot for indie artists who know how to do a cover properly, and although we try to include as much original independent music as possible, this track was so awesome we just had to give it a shout-out. If you dig this tune then make sure you give Dan some “Like” love on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.

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Top new videos: Foals, Beach House, Phoenix, The Knife + Marcus Mumford joins a biker gang

March 14, 2013 in Dream Pop, Folk, Pop, Progressive Rock, Psych Pop, Rock, Top 2013

Beach House – “Wishes” {Psych Pop}

What’s more surprising than actor Ray Wise riding around on a horse and sporting a pair of flashy gold pants is the fact that Eric Ware of Tim & Eric directed this video, which is pretty mindblowing in itself. But more importantly….is it just me or is Ray Wise kinda hot in those pants? Just sayin’.

Mumford & Sons – “Whispers in the Dark” {Folk/Rock}

This video is technically four mini-music videos, each of which follow the four different members as they make their way to one of their own gigs. It’s a pretty cool concept but the whole “Marcus Mumford rides a motorcycle alongside members of a biker gang” seems a little far fetched for me, but he did marry Shia LaBeouf’s sloppy seconds so I guess that makes him a semi-badass.

The Knife – “A Tooth For An Eye” {Experimental/Electronic}

The Knife’s new music video stars a young girl (with some crazy French braid action going on) leading an all-male interpretive dance class as they practice one of their routines. To say that some of their moves are impressive is an understatement, and the video is so awesome I don’t even know where to start…but let’s just say that Napoleon Dynamite would be proud.

Foals – “Late Night” (NSFW) {Rock}

It’s a snowy night in Romania; folks are sitting in a hotel lounge lighting up their cigarettes and getting tanked (business as usual). But meanwhile some shit is going down in the hotel rooms above, (like fornicating, death by hanging, pathetic face slapping, the works), and things get real bloody (hence the NSFW…you’ve been forewarned).

Phoenix – “Entertainment” {Pop/Rock}

This was totally not what I expected from a new Phoenix music video (Asian hipster buns say whaaa?) but it’s still a good watch nonetheless. The video takes place during different time periods in Japan, Korea and China, and also draws on a crapton of cultural Asian references (like Samurai Swords and K-Pop…you know, the important stuff).

Vanity – “Sleeping Tears” (PAGANS pt. I) {Prog Rock}

This is actually one of two short films being released from the Italian prog rock group, and it is packed full of shots of “epic battles, esoteric pilgrimage and terrible revelations.” (Editor’s note: Okay then!) This is the first of two music videos in the PAGANS series being released by the band, and supposedly the sequel (appropriately titled PAGANS pt. II)  will be revealed very, very soon.

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Top 5 indie tracks of the week

February 18, 2013 in Alternative, Electronic, Folk, Free downloads, Hip Hop, independent bands, Indie, Metal, Psychedelic Rock, Rap

Little Brain Attack – “The Call of Life” {Psych Rock} + Free downloads

We don’t usually get a lot of awesome Parisian psych rock submissions, so when we do we jump on that shit. They’ve got a mad Brian Jonestown Massacre/Black Rebel Motorcycle Club vibe going on, so if you can dig it be sure to check out their other tunes on Soundcloud and download their music for free via their Bandcamp page.

Plankwalker – “Mystery Remains” {Metal/Electronic}

Any group describing themselves as a “pirate ‘band’” is going to peak our curiosity, especially if they write that they used the Sony PlayStation’s MTV Music Generator to craft their “pirate-themed” tunes. The track is off their debut album From the Depths which was released last June, and you can purchase each track for $1 here.`

Blatant Neon Ion – “We Just Don’t Know When” {Folk/Rock} + Free downloads

Even though he’s busy being a junior at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MIC), this independent, Baltimore-based artist somehow managed to find the time to release an album in the midst of his studies. You can buy his album as a name-your-price download or get all of the tracks for free here.

Luke Faulkner – “Pingu Wobbles” {Electronic}

OK so yet again we’re drop-naming one of our friends in our top indie tracks series, but we have to give credit when credit is due; (plus Rex is an awesome friend like that). Luke is based out of Ilfracombe in Devon (AKA the mecca for the bassline electronic genre in England), and you can follow him on Twitter and Tumblr here and here to stay up to date on his art and other random musings.

DPDontPlay – “Terrorism” {Rap/Hip Hop}

This Washington, DC-based artist is currently prepping for the release of his brand new mixtape (appropriately titled Propaganda) which features Raheem DeVaughn and a crapton of exclusive tracks from producers like Chink Santana and DJ Khalil. If you dig his work then make sure you follow him on Twitter @DPDONTPLAY.

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Video: Animal Collective – “Applesauce” {Psych Rock} + tour dates with Dan Deacon

January 29, 2013 in Psychedelic Rock

Applesauce music video

Here’s a mindfuck of a music video to start your day off right.

Baltimore’s Animal Collective released yet another music video for their critically-acclaimed album Centipede Hz starring Lindsey Wixson (who has modeled for the likes of Versace, John Galliano and Alexander McQueen). The video was directed by Gaspar Noé (AKA the brain behind Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds’ “We No Who U R” video), and was apparently inspired by the 1968 film N:O:T:H:I:N:G.

And in case you didn’t already know, Animal Collective will be embarking on a massive tour around North America with Dan Deacon this March; (check out the details after the jump).

Animal Collective + Dan Deacon tour dates (Spring 2013)

March 7 – Boston, MA (House of Blues)
March 8 – Montreal, QC (Metropolis)
March 9 - Toronto, ON (Danforth Music Hall)
March 11 - Cleveland, OH (House of Blues)
March 12 - Covington, KY (The Madison Theater)
March 13 - Nashville, TN (Marathon Music Works)
March 15 - Royal Oak, MI (Royal Oak Music Hall)
March 16 - Chicago, IL (Riviera Theatre)
March 17 - Madison, WI (Orpheum Theatre)
March 18 - Minneapolis, MN  (First Avenue)
March 20 - St. Louis, MO (The Pageant)
March 21 - Kansas City, MO (Midland Theater)
March 22 - Denver, CO (Ogden Theatre)
March 23 - Salt Lake City, UT (Depot)

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Rex Manning Day’s Top Albums of 2012 {Part 3}

December 13, 2012 in Alternative, Baroque Pop, Electronic, Electropop, Experimental, Folk, Indie, New Wave, Noise Pop, Noise Rock, Pop, Psychedelic Rock, Rock, Surf Pop, Surf Rock

{PART 1} {PART 2}

Jack White - Blunderbuss {Rock}

RIYL: The Black Keys, Bob Dylan

Top albums of 2012

Jack White ventures off into solo territory for the first time with his divorce-driven debut album, and this time he’s recruited an all-female backing band to help with his solo efforts. And although it’s easy to compare some of the tracks to his past projects (The White Stripes, The Dead Weather and The Raconteurs), it’s safe to say that Jacky boy is trying to take a new direction with Blunderbuss, which is refreshing for any long-time fan.

Thee Oh Sees - Putrifiers II {Psych Rock}

RIYL: Black Lips, The Velvet Underground

Top albums of 2012

Putrifiers II has easily become one of our favourites this past year, and not only because their sound draws in influences from all the greats; (think: The Doors-meets-Pink Floyd-meets-Velvet Underground). The release takes listeners on a psychedelic listening journey, so if psych rock is your thing then you should give this album a considerable listen and sit back, hold tight and enjoy the ride.

Fiona Apple - The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do {Alternative/Baroque Pop}

RIYL: Tori Amos, Cat Power

Top albums of 2012

Fiona Apple certainly didn’t need a ridiculously long album title and a crapton of hash drama to turn heads this past year, because her latest release (appropriately shortened to The Idler Wheel) has become one of the most talked about albums of 2012. The girl has been around since 1994, so the fact that she’s still being praised by critics deserves recognition.

Wintersleep - Hello Hum {Rock}

RIYL: Matthew Good, Tool

Top albums of 2012

For all you non-Canadians out there who think we hit our peak with Rush and Neil Young, feast your ears on these bad boys. Not just limited to Hello Hum, their entire catalogue is packed full of some great rock tune-age, so if you like what you hear then we highly recommend you check out other tracks like “Jaws of Life,” or “Danse Macabre.”

Deerhoof - Breakup Song  {Experimental/Noise Rock}

RIYL: Yoko Ono, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Death From Above 1979

Top albums of 2012

Whether you like their sound or not, Deerhoof has achieved a cult-like following thanks to their talents of bending the laws of what we know as music. And although we were never really the Deerhoof type, the epic track otherwise known as “There’s That Grin” eventually won us over.

Full album stream:

Mesita - The Coyote {Indie Rock}

RIYL: The Shins, Tapes ‘n Tapes

Top albums of 2012

We’ve come to the conclusion that there’s really no reason not to like this album, especially given that the group’s main man James Cooley released the album independently. Besides the hit single “Onward, Upward,” the release also features a ton of other great tracks like “You or the City” and “Into the Wind,” one of the many album tracks that shows off Cooley’s impressive musicianship.

Mark Lanegan Band - Blues Funeral {Alternative Rock}

RIYL: Nick Cave, Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen

Top albums of 2012

We’ll be the first to admit that we only got into Lanegan because of his involvement with Josh Homme in Queens of the Stone Age/Desert Sessions, but the former Screaming Trees frontman has proven that he’s more than just a contributor. A lot of the songs are a tad on the slower side, but haunting nonetheless thanks to his famous raspy vocals.

Lower Dens – Nootropics {Alternative/Psych Rock}

RIYL: Beach House, Lou Reed

Top albums of 2012

We weren’t really a fan of Lower Dens’ sound when we first heard it, but after seeing the album pop up left and right on all these end-of-year lists we thought we’d give it another chance. And despite the fact that it’s dark, moody and dreary, it certainly deserves its place on anyone’s top albums list just for the sheer fact that it’s different than anything else being released at the moment.
 

Friends – Manifest! {Electropop}

RIYL: New Young Pony Club, Peaking Lights

Top albums of 2012

This energetic and charismatic quintet are more than just a perfect filler in between New Young Pony Club albums. The fact that the album hasn’t received top-notch reviews while other mediocre ones have remains to be a mystery to us, especially with tracks like “Mind Control,” “I’m His Girl” and “Friend Crush.”

The Brian Jonestown Massacre – Aufheben {Psych Rock}

RIYL: Dandy Warhols, The Rolling Stones

Top albums of 2012

It seems hard to believe that BJM has been around for almost 13 years now. And given that we’re such hardcore fans, we were relieved to hear that time hasn’t hampered with Anton Newcombe’s under-appreciated songwriting talents. Living up to the group’s reputation, their 13th (!) album is packed full of all sorts of references any music nerd will appreciate (like “I Wanna Hold Your Other Hand,” “Blue Order New Monday” and “Stairway to the Best Party.”)

Chromatics – Kill For Love {New Wave/Electronic}

RIYL: Depeche Mode, The Cure

Top albums of 2012

It’s been five long years since we’ve seen a Chromatics release, and this one certainly deserves its place on any end-of-year list. The album is a little raw around the edges, but with tracks like “Lady,” “Kill for Love” or “Back from the Grave” it’s easy to see why Chromatics have got everyone’s tongues wagging this past year.

Here We Go Magic - A Different Ship {Pop/Rock}

RIYL: The Shins, Grizzly Bear

Top albums of 2012

Just because Here We Go Magic’s latest album is all over the place doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t great. And although we’re not huge fans of a lot of the songs, the two leading singles (“How Do I Know?” and “Hard to be Close”) deserve a good nod just for the songwriting and vocals alone. Plus it’s always nice to see Luke Temple return to the Here We Go Magic driver’s seat.

Crystal Castles – III {Experimental/Noise Pop}

RIYL: Sleigh Bells, HEALTH

Top albums of 2012

Before everyone was ranting and raving about Sleigh Bells Crystal Castles were dominating the electronic/noise pop scene. And although their sound may not be for everyone (and the album is a mere 40 minutes in length), there’s no denying that III was one of the most talked about albums of the year.

DIIV - Oshin {Alternative Rock}

RIYL: Editors, Nirvana, Interpol

Top albums of 2012

DIIV (pronounced “Dive”) was formed by the guitarist of Beach Fossils and named after one of the most epic Nirvana songs known to mankind, so forgive us for being biased. Nevertheless, Oshin is a good listen from start to finish, but tracks like “Druun,” “Doused” and “How Long Have You Known?” definitely stand out.

Taken by Trees - Other Worlds {Alternative Rock/Dream Pop}

 RIYL: Best Coast, Sea Pinks, Vampire Weekend

Top albums of 2012

This is the first we’ve heard of the former Concretes frontwoman Victoria Bergsman, but apparently she’s been turning heads in the industry for quite some time now. Other Worlds marks her debut solo release, and features influences from just about every musical genre possible.

Dirty Projectors – Swing Lo Magellan {Experimental Rock}

RIYL: Yeasayer, Toro Y Moi

Top albums of 2012

2012 saw not one, but two releases from the Dirty Projectors (with the second being their About to Die EP). Their compositions are so complex and off-the-wall it’s almost impossible not to be intrigued by the band, and for that reason alone this album deserves all the recognition it can get.

Tennis - Young & Old {Surf Pop/Rock}

RIYL: The Walkmen, Beach Boys, Best Coast

Top albums of 2012

Out of all the bands hopping on the surf rock gravy train, this husband-and-wife duo is the real deal (and not only because their music is influenced by a sailing trip around the Eastern Atlantic). And although they are probably best heard when suntanning on a tropical island, we’re going to go out on a limb and say that this album was definitely our “numero uno” only because it defined our summer of 2012. The album was produced by Patrick Carvey of The Black Keys (and you can definitely hear the influence in songs like “Origins”) and it’s a true travesty that it wasn’t included on every single year-end list.

Full album stream:

 

{PART 1} {PART 2}

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Rex Manning Day’s Top Albums of 2012 {Part 2}

December 13, 2012 in Alt-Country, Alt-Folk, Alternative, Dream Pop, Electronic, Experimental, Industrial, New Wave, Noise Rock, Pop, Psychedelic Rock, Rap, Rock, Shoegaze, Tribal Pop, Tribal Rock, Tropical Pop, Witch House, World Music

{PART 1} {PART 3}

The Walkmen - Heaven {Alternative Rock}

RIYL: Cold War Kids, Bob Dylan

Top albums of 2012

The Walkmen did us a disservice by releasing Heaven in May because we have a golden rule of only listening to their tunes during the winter. So we decided to sit on Heaven until the winter, and are we ever glad we did. With the soulful single “Heartbreaker,” the driven “The Love You Love” and the melodically haunting “Song for Leigh,” these new Walkmen tracks could quite possibly surpass some of our previous favourites from the band (like “The Rat,” “We’ve Been Had” or “Juveniles,” just to name a few).

 

Spiritualized - Sweet Heart Sweet Light {Rock}

RIYL: Lou Reed, The Stooges, Spoon

Top albums of 2012

Spiritualized has been a breath of fresh air to the rock music scene this past year, and although the album isn’t too much of a veer away from their previous releases, it’s still a good listen if you’re like me and nostalgic for the good ol’ days when rock was still popular.

Beach House - Bloom {Dream Pop}

RIYL: Cocteau Twins, PJ Harvey, Broadcast

Top albums of 2012

These Sup Pop superstars have been around for quite some time now, but this latest release has been on the tip of everyone’s tongue this past year. Pitchfork even described the album has being ”almost too perfect,” and although we wouldn’t go that far there’s still no denying its place in 2012.

Trust – TRST {New Wave/Electronic}

RIYL: Joy Division, Austra

Top albums of 2012

If it wasn’t for the Austra connection we may have completely overlooked this group, and despite its creepy cover this album has slowly become one of our Canadian favourites this past year. It may be a bit of a grower, but if you’re a true-blue electronica/new wave nerd then this album deserves a good listen.

Hospitality – Hospitality {Alternative Pop/Rock}

RIYL: Metric, Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton

Top albums of 2012

Hospitaity’s self-titled album is everything Metric’s Synthetica should have been. It’s strange, yet catchy, and each track is diverse enough to keep you interested (such as the Deerhoof-ish “Friends of Friends” or the hauntingly beautiful “Argonauts”).

Woods - Bend Beyond {Alt-Country/Rock}

RIYL: Dandy Warhols, Brian Jonestown Massacre

Top albums of 2012

We fell in love with Woods as soon as we heard their smash hit “Cali in a Cup” but turns out this album has a ton of other great listens like the uplifting “Is It Honest?”, the psychedelic “Cascade,” or the sitarish “Size Meets the Sound.” It’s almost as if the album is a combination of all the awesome songs you’ve been listening to over the past few years, only with a unique and different twist.

The Mynabirds - GENERALS {Alternative Rock/Tribal Pop}

RIYL: The Dead Weather, The Kills

Top albums of 2012

This surprisingly solid album is packed full of all sorts of greats, like the leading single “Generals” or the tribal-ish “Disarm.” Primary songwriter/vocalist Laura Burhenn has stated in past interviews that GENERALS is actually a concept album based around her own political views and opinions, which is refreshing given that the group hails from Washington D.C.

A Place to Bury Strangers – A Place to Bury Strangers {Noise Rock/Shoegaze}

RIYL: Joy Division, The Raveonettes

Top albums of 2012

The latest album from these Liverpuddlians has become yet another overlooked release this past year for whatever reason, but if you were as disappointed in The Raveonettes’ latest album as we were, this album could restore your faith in the lo-fi, noise rock genre.

Simian Mobile Disco - Unpatterns {Electronic}

RIYL: MSTRKRFT, Daft Punk, Digitalism

Top albums of 2012

Unpatterns has spawned one awesome single after another over this past year, such as “Put Your Hands Together,” “Seraphim,” “A Species Out of Control” and “Cerulean.” One of the members (James Ford) is a well-known producer in the music industry, and has worked with the likes of Peaches, Arctic Monkeys, Florence and the Machine and Klaxons.

Full album stream:

Father John Misty - Fear Fun {Rock/Alt-Country}

RIYL: Fleet Foxes, Band of Horses, Iron & Wine

Top albums of 2012

Fleet Foxer Father John Misty (AKA J. Tillman) deserves a spot in any end of year list despite the fact that some anti-hipster hipsters think it’s “hipster’ to be a fan of his tunes. But regardless of whether you’re a country fan or not, this guy has helped rejuvenate the alt-country scene and pave the way for many country-ish artists over the past year, so I’ll give credit where credit is due.

Dum Dum Girls - End of Daze {Alternative Rock}

RIYL: Vivian Girls, Best Coast, Frankie Rose

Top albums of 2012

Hardcore fans have been waiting patiently for the group’s End of Daze EP release, and despite its sleepy singles (and “Crimson and Clover” rip-off) the album has done fairly well on the reviewing front. Ranging from garage rock, gothic and dream pop, the tracks on the album have more depressing and darker vibes than their previous releases, but is still a good listen.

Moon Duo – Circles {Tribal/Psych Rock}

RIYL: The Black Angels, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

Top albums of 2012

The fact that Circles has been overlooked by a large majority of other music bloggers remains to be a mystery to us. The album is packed full all sorts of surprises and solid rock anthems drenched with psychedelic layers and tribal rock influences, but with a Wooden Shjips connection do you really need any other reason to dig them?

Tanlines - Mixed Emotions {New Wave/Tropical Pop}

RIYL: Vampire Weekend, Battles, Depeche Mode

Top albums of 2012

Forget the fact that we have a girly crush on the band members, this album is a good listen from start to finish. Featuring everything from world music and afro beats, to delicious synths and tropical pop influences, here’s to hoping that Mixed Emotions isn’t the last we hear from the band.

Django Django – Django Django {Electronic/Alternative Rock}

RIYL: Beta Band, Hot Chip

Top albums of 2012

Django Django is dope. (And we’re not just saying that because the drummer is brothers with a Beta Bander). Sure the two singles off the album stand out from the rest of the tracks, but “Hail Bop” and “Default” are so, so awesome that it would be impossible not to give a nod to the album.

Purity Ring – Shrines {Electropop}

RIYL: The Knife, Austra, Grimes, Emily Haines

Top albums of 2012

Living up to Montreal’s thriving electronica scene, Purity Ring’s debut album is nothing short of amazing. With influences ranging from the dream pop, witch house and electronic genres, their sound is unique and refreshing, and often overlooked because of recent fame of fellow Montrealer Grimes.

Death Grips - The Money Store {Experimental Rap} 

RIYL: Shabazz Palaces, Kendrick Lamar

Top albums of 2012

Their sound may not be for everyone, but if you follow the latest trends in the indie music world you’ve probably heard of Death Grips at some point or another. Their sound is intense to say the least, so if experimental rap is your cup of tea then Death Grips deserve a place on your iPod pronto.
 

Ultraista – Ultraista {Electronic/Industrial}

RIYL: Radiohead, Beck

Top albums of 2012

Ultraista AKA the brainchild of the long-time Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich has been causing a stir this past year, and not just among hardcore Radiohead fans. Thanks to Godrich reigning in the talents of vocalist Laura Bettinson and drummer Joey Waronker (formerly of Beck and R.E.M.), this album has certainly stood out from the rest in 2012.

Stealing Sheep  - Into the Diamond Sun {Psych Folk}

RIYL: Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

This Liverpool trio takes mega-harmonizing to a whole new level and can certainly give CSNY a run for their money. Describing themselves as “pagan pop,” the group has taken the music world by storm thanks to their lo-fi, DIY, 60s style sound.

Said the Whale - Little Mountain {Pop/Rock}

RIYL: Sam Roberts, Sloan

Top albums of 2012

Their sound may be a tad poppy for our tastes, but the fact that they’re from our home province and appropriately brag about it in their songs….now that’s just special. Little Mountain has everything a good album should have, so if you’re going to give this band a try I recommend you listen to the album from start to finish instead of limiting your listening experience to just one track.

{PART 1} {PART 3}

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Rex Manning Day’s Top Albums of 2012 {Part 1}

December 13, 2012 in Alternative, Bluegrass, Dance, Electronic, Electropop, Experimental, Folk, Funk, Garage Rock, Grunge, Hip Hop, New Wave, Pop, Psychedelic Rock, Punk, R&B, Rap, Rock, Soul, Top 2012, Tropical Pop

{PART 2} {PART 3}

King Tuff – King Tuff {Rock}

RIYL: The Kinks, Big John Bates, T. Rex, Sam Roberts

Top albums of 2012

This bearded beast of a man with a high pitched voice came out of nowhere for us, but his self-titled album is hands-down one of our favourites of the year. From the poppy “Keep on Movin’” to the folky “Break the Rules” or the rockabilly-ish “Stranger,” no genre goes uncovered on this epic release.

Full album stream:

Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs - Trouble {Electronic/Dance}

RIYL: Cut Copy, LCD Soundsystem, Digitalism

Top albums of 2012

It was love at first sight soon as we saw Orlando Higginbottom sporting a giant feathery costume in the “Tapes & Money” music video, but after listening to his album it’s evident that this dude is a force to be reckoned with. He is a son of an Oxford professor and only 26 years old, but he’s been a prominent member of the English electronic scene for some time now thanks to his impressive producing/DJing skills.

Chairlift - Something {Electropop}

RIYL: Yeasayer, Secret Machines

Top albums of 2012

All you bloggers out there who have been leaving this album out of your year-end lists should be ashamed of yourselves. The album is packed full of all sorts of gems (like “Sidewalk Safari,” “Wrong Opinion” and “Frigid Spring,” just to name a few) but the duo has easily become one of the most talked about groups of the year thanks to the release of the interactive music video for “Met Before,” and a Japanese version of their track “I Belong in Your Arms.”

First Aid Kit - The Lion’s Roar {Folk/Bluegrass}

RIYL: Alison Krauss, Punch Brothers, Joni Mitchell

Top albums of 2012

This sisterly duo is living proof that the Swedes can pull off a better Americana than most American musicians. The duo first caught our attention with the almighty “Sailor Song” but their latest album (which was produced by Mike Mogis of Bright Eyes) proves that there should be a lot more to come from the young Swedish sisters.

Passion Pit - Gossamer {Electropop/Experimental}

RIYL: Cut Copy, Hot Chip, Queen

Top albums of 2012

It’s clear that the group’s primary songwriter (Michael Angelakos) has channeled his bipolar condition into one epic album, because Gossamer is pretty much one big theatrical performance. The album is pretty much a 2012 version of Tommy because all of the tracks could easily be made into a Broadway musical.

 

The Babies - Our House on the Hill {Rock}

RIYL: Pixies, Tapes ‘n Tapes

Top albums of 2012

Deliciously raw around the edges (because that’s how we like it here at RMD), The Babies quickly became one of our favs this past year thanks to this release. With hints of surf/garage rock and hit tracks like “Moonlight Mile,” “On My Team” and “Get Lost” (plus the Meg White-ish “See the Country”), this album is easily one of the best (and underrated) rock albums of 2012.  

Liars - WIXIW {Experimental Rock/Electronic}

RIYL: The Prodigy, Nine Inch Nails

Top albums of 2012

Even though we’re not a huge fan of the entire album, no 2012 list would be complete without a mention of WIXIW (which is somehow pronounced as “Wish You”). With constant electronic drones and heavy vocals, the album is complex, fascinating, unique and strange. Plus we’re a sucker for the mullet.

 Kendrick Lamar – good kid, m.A.A.d city {Hip Hop/Rap}

RIYL: Schoolboy Q, Danny Brown

Top albums of 2012

We haven’t come across many hip hop fans who aren’t a fan of Kendrick Lamar’s latest release. And even though he’s been releasing music independently for the majority of his career, good kid, m.A.A.d city was the first to be picked up by not one, but three different labels (Top Dawg, Aftermath and Interscope).

Animal Collective – Centipede Hz {Psych Rock}

RIYL: The Flaming Lips, Ween, Panda Bear

Top albums of 2012

We’re not going to lie, a lot of the tracks off this album are nearly un-listenable, but the Ween lover in us can’t help but drink the delicious Animal Collective kool-aid. Not only do they know how to mix up a crapton of genres, they also know how to test musical boundaries and explore new sounds. Plus the songs that are good are really fucking good, like the experimental “Wide Eyed” or the mind-blowing single “Today’s Supernatural.”

The Dandy Warhols – This Machine {Alternative Rock}

RIYL: Brian Jonestown Massacre

Top albums of 2012

Realistically This Machine is no different than any of the group’s previous releases, which means that if you’re a hardcore Dandy Warhol fan like we are you’re probably going to like the album from start to finish. But of course with any release that is nearly identical to the previous one you’re going to see some bad reviews from critics. Doesn’t mean we have to listen to them though.

Deftones - Koi No Yokan {Grunge/Rock}

RIYL: Alice in Chains, Tool, Black Sabbath

Top albums of 2012

Is anyone as shocked as we are that the Deftones are still making awesome music? They’ve been around since 1988, and despite the fact that a lot of rocker fans are claiming that grunge is an “aged” music genre, Deftones are living proof that grunge can still be cool even if Kurt Cobain is dead and plaid shirts went out of style ten years ago.

Frankie Rose - Interstellar {New Wave}

RIYL: Vivian Girls, Dum Dum Girls, Best Coast

Top albums of 2012

Frankie rises from the Vivian/Dum Dum Girls ashes and proves herself as a solo artist with this brand new release. The leading track off the album (“Know Me”) should be familiar to a lot of you music nerds out there, but other awesome tracks off the album include the 60s style “Candy” as well as our personal favourite “Night Swim.” The only thing missing is her epic cover of The Strokes’ “Soma” (as heard on the Stroked covers album).

Cloud Nothings - Attack on Memory {Punk/Garage Rock}

RIYL: Ramones, The Strokes

Top albums of 2012

Cloud Nothings have proven themselves as one of the hottest punk bands in the music scene today. Songs like “Cut You” and “Fall In” really show off the band’s songwriting talents, but other favourites include the Bleach-ish “No Sentiment,” the instrumental “Separation,” and let’s not forget the hit single “Stay Useless” (which also comes with an epic music video). To stream Attack on Memory via Soundcloud click here.

David Byrne & St. Vincent – Love This Giant {Experimental Funk}

RIYL: Talking Heads

Top albums of 2012

Pitchfork joked that David Byrne would collaborate with anyone for a bag of Doritos, and even though he’s already worked with the likes of Brian Eno, Arcade Fire and Paul Simon, his collaboration album with St. Vincent proves that this is some of his best collaborative work yet. You have to give credit to two completely different sounding artist who can sit down and write an entire album together, but if it wasn’t for the fact that they are both big stars this album may have slipped under the radar.

Grizzly Bear – Shields {Alternative Rock}

RIYL: Deerhoof, Caribou

Top albums of 2012

Easily one of the most talked about albums of 2012, Shields has been ranted and raved about left and right in the music blogosphere. After receiving lukewarm reviews for their previous releases (Horn of Plenty, Yellow House and Veckatimest), it’s nice to see that the band is finally getting the credit they rightfully deserve.

Frank Ocean - channel ORANGE {R&B/Soul}

RIYL: Drake, Kid Cudi, Pharrell Williams

Top albums of 2012

2012 has been a big year for Frank Ocean. Not only has his debut album received rave reviews in the press, he also recently admitted on his Tumblr blog that he had fallen in love with another man when he was 19 years old, making him one of the first big African-American hip hop artists to come out as being bisexual.

Sharon Van Etten – Tramp {Soul/Baroque Pop}

RIYL: Cat Power, Fiona Apple

Top albums of 2012

Bordering on the baroque pop, folk, and soul genres, Sharon Van Etten’s latest release has caused a massive stir in the music community. Although many of the songs are a little too mellow for our tastes, Van Etten’s voice takes center stage and proves that she should be considered one of the best female vocalists of our generation.

Tame Impala – Lonerism {Alternative/Psych Rock}

RIYL: The Beatles, Pink Floyd

Top albums of 2012

Everyone got their panties in a bunch when NME listed Lonerism as #1 for their year-end top album list. But we’re going to let you in on a little secret:  The reason why is because, and only because of the legendary track “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards,” which could easily be one of the best tracks we’ve ever heard in our lifetime.

Beat Connection – The Palace Garden {Tropical Pop/Rock}

RIYL: Vampire Weekend, LCD Soundsystem

Perhaps we’re a little biased because their band name references an LCD Soundsystem track, or maybe it’s because we got into this album while lounging on the beach, but Beat Connection is truly one of the most underrated bands of 2012. The album showcases tropical pop at its finest, which makes it even harder to believe that the band is based out of wet and dreary Pacific Northwest.

Grimes - Visions {Electronic/Experimental}

RIYL: Björk, Austra, The Knife

Top albums of 2012

Everyone knows that leaving Visions out of any end-of-year list would be a true crime. Originally from Vancouver (but now based in Montreal), Claire Boucher came out of nowhere for a lot of people in 2012, and there’s no denying the impact she’s had on the electronica music scene this past year.

{PART 2} {PART 3}

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Top new tracks: Soundgarden, Animal Collective, El Perro Del Mar, Local Natives + Unknown Mortal Orchestra

November 5, 2012 in Alternative, Dream Pop, Electronic, Experimental, Folk, Free downloads, Indie, Pop, Psychedelic Rock, Rock

Crystal Castles – “Affection” {Electronic/Experimental}

Crystal Castles fans have been going out ape shit over this brand new track, which is yet another single off their forthcoming LP III. Even though the album isn’t out until November 12th, this is actually the third single off the album (with the first two being “Plague” and “Wrath of God”).

PAPA – “Put Me to Work” {Pop/Rock} + Free download

Papa has been turning heads with the release of last year’s album A Good Woman is Hard to Find,  so we were pretty stoked to see that they posted a brand new track on their Soundcloud page this past week. Apparently the song is going to be featured on their upcoming full-length album which is due out early 2013.

Local Natives – “Breakers” {Alternative Rock}

This new Local Natives track is the first single off the band’s second album Hummingbird, which is being released early next year. The band is currently prepping for a massive international tour; to find out more info on their upcoming dates click here.

School of Seven Bells – “Secret Days” {Experimental Pop/Electronic}+ Free download

Even though this New York-based band just released their third album (Ghoststory) this past February, they’re wasting no time in debuting the first single off their forthcoming EP Put Your Sad Down, which is being released on November 13th.

TRAILS AND WAYS – “Border Crosser” {Dream Pop} + Free download

Apparently this single was written as a love letter between one of the band member’s grandparents, and tells the story of how they immigrated from Europe to the U.S. in 1942; (or as one of the band likes to call it, “immigration dreampop in its finest form”).  The single is off their upcoming full-length debut Trilingual.

Jessica Pratt – “Night Faces” {Alternative Folk}

Not only has San Francisco’s Jessica Pratt been described as “Stevie Nicks singing over David Crosby demos,” word is on the street that Tim Presley of White Fence actually started up a new label specifically to release Pratt’s self-titled debut album.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra – “Swim & Sleep (Like a Shark)” {Alternative/Psych Rock}

Unknown Mortal Orchestra recently announced that they will be releasing their second LP in early 2013 via their new label Jagjaguwar. There’s still no word on the album title or even its official release date as of yet, but the band decided to post the first single off the album anyways. Good news all around.

Animal Collective – “Crimson” {Psych Rock}

Supposedly Animal Collective has been playing this track live for quite some time now (you can listen to the live version here), but the studio version was only just released today. The track is said to be the B-side of their forthcoming “Applesauce” single, which is due out November 13th.

El Perro Del Mar – “Hold Off the Dawn” {Indie Pop}

This is the second single off this Swedish singer’s forthcoming Pale Fire LP, which is set to be released November 13th via The Control Group. If you like what you hear then make sure you stream the entire 10-track album here.

Soundgarden – “Non-State Actor” {Rock}

Whether you like it or not, Soundgarden is back and the release of their first studio album in 16 years is right around the corner. This track was written by guitarist Kim Thayil and Ben Shepherd, and is the second single off their new album King Animal (due out November 13th).

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