Top 5 indie tracks of the week

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

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.

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Top 5 indie tracks of the week

February 17, 2014 in Alternative, Classic Rock, Folk, independent bands, Indie, Pop, Reggae, Rock

Pleistocene – “The Band” {Pop/Rock}

Pleistocene is hands-down one of the most badass rock groups we’ve come across so far in 2014 (because if an album cover with a picture of an astronaut riding a pterodactyl isn’t badass, then I don’t know what is). This track is off their impressive new release Ontario Girls which you can buy for $7 here.

Darrin Bradbury – “Swordfish” {Folk}

This artist is so deliciously folky I wouldn’t be surprised if Bobby D writes a “Song To Darrin” sometime in the near future; (plus his tunes have epic lines like “You and what army man cause everyone here sucks;” – now THAT’S my kinda music). Darrin is originally from New Jersey but now based in Nashville (because of course), and you can buy his new album True Love as a name-your-price download here.

Howlin’ Hoffman – “Turn Around” {Classic Rock}

When Jared Dymbort wrote to RMD reminding us that he was the “scary monster and video photographer guy” we covered back in 2012 and wondering if we could cover his new “60s/Beatles/Rolling Stones-esque” project, we just had to give them a shout-out; (he had us at “scary monster and video photographer guy”). You can buy this track for $1 here or their new EP as a name-your-price download here.

InDaze – “Equidistant” {Reggae/Rock}

InDaze has been crafting some wicked head-boppin’, blunt-smokin’ reggae tunes since forming only just last year, and they are currently promoting the release of their debut album IDZ. If you dig their fusion vibe make sure you give them some “Like” love on Facebook and follow them on TwitterTumblr and Instagram too.

No Kill – “Stand” {Alternative Rock}

This “loud and lo-fi” Brooklyn-based group with “girl-guy harmonies, reverb soaked guitars and noisy guitar pop influences” certainly have a lot of promise, so if you like to keep tabs on the best up-and-coming independent bands then keep your eyes and ears on these folks. This track is off their latest release New Dirt, and you can buy it as a name-your-price download here.

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Top new videos: Gardens & Villa, Metronomy, Villagers + Tegan and Sara/The Lonely Island in Lego form

February 13, 2014 in Americana, Classic Pop, Electro, Pop, Psych Folk, Psychedelic Rock, Rock, Synthpop

The John Steel Singers – “MJ’s On Fire Again” {Psych Rock}

Don’t be fooled by its song title because this dizzying video has nothing to do with MJ or MJ being on fire at all. Before you press play prepare yourselves for a “holy crap are the walls moving? No, they’re not. Wait…they totally are” moment (or for me, five entire moments).

Gardens & Villa – “Bullet Train” {Synthpop}

Sweet baby Jesus this video is so amazing, I think I just drooled all over myself. The 80s nostalgia, the cheesy special effects, the dude’s sweet dance moves on a random railway track at 0:31, the pink flamingos…anyways, where was I?

Tegan and Sara ft. The Lonely Island – “Everything is AWESOME!!!” {Pop/Dance}

We didn’t cover this track when it was released a few weeks back just because it was way, way too much cheese for us to handle (and that’s saying a lot coming from us); but the fact that the two acts pulled a White Stripes circa 2001 by being featured in this video for The Lego Movie soundtrack makes it slightly more cool…right?

Isle of Rhodes – “Tic Toc Take II” {Synthpop/Rock}

We love love loved everything about the music video for the band’s 2013 single “Islands,” but the fact that this one comes with a synth serenade? It’s just too good to be true. And yes it’s cheesy as hell, (but that’s why we love it oh so much).

Metronomy – “Love Letters” {Classic Pop}

As soon as we read that the famed Michel Gondry directed this video (famed from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) we just knew this video was going to be packing some visual punches. With smartly-crafted shots from cut-out walls, the classic vibe to go with the classic Elton-John-mixed-with-Paul McCartney sound, this video perfectly captures everything we loved about the track.

Villagers – “Occupy Your Mind” {Electro/Rock}

Not only did this video blow my mind because it’s the best track I’ve heard from Villagers in like ever; it was also quite a shock seeing the sweet-spoken Villager getting all serious and political and stuff. In the video description it says: ”Please find attached a song written for you, your mother, your father and your gay brothers and sisters in Russia.” Ummm…okay?

Ryan Hobler – “See What You’re Doing To Me” {Psych Folk/Americana}

This beautifully-shot video and its soothing “Americana Noir” track ended up tugging at the teensy-weensy little heartstrings I have left in me during the week of this god forsaken holiday (or as I like to call it, the holiday-that-shall-not-be-named). The track is off his brand spankin’ new album The Elusive Yes and you can buy the single for $0.99 via iTunes here.

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Top new videos: Black Lips, St. Vincent, Angel Olsen, Bleeding Rainbow + burgers; delicious, juicy burgers

February 4, 2014 in Alt-Blues, Alt-Country, Alt-Folk, Alternative, Blues, Experimental, Grunge, Indie, Pop, Psychedelic Rock, Rock

Bleeding Rainbow – “So You Know” {Pop/Rock}

Have you ever wished you could turn back time like Cher? Well the guy in this music video did…(kinda). The video starts off with some lonely looking fellow flipping through old photographs of his ex during happier times, but then soon develops into some crazed, photo-manipulation-turned-time-travel storyline. It’s some pretty thought-provoking shit.

Angel Olsen – “Hi-Five” {Alt-Country}

Given that I’ve been listening to this track over and over and over again since we first discovered it a few weeks back, I was pretty stoked to see that Angel Olsen went ahead and released a video for the jaw-dropping tune. But I still have some lingering questions; like “why did she draw on her hand like that?” “Where did those arms come from?” and “Will I get sued for stealing her epic choreography the next time I’m on the dance floor?”

St. Vincent – “Digital Witness” {Experimental}

This is some Benjamin Button shit with St. Vincent and the new Wayne Coyne locks she has going on, but I digress…When we first caught a glimpse of the cover of St. Vincent’s new album and her Flaming Lips hairdo glory, we just knew she would be packing the visual punches for the first music video off the record, and pack the visual punches she certainly did.

Adult Jazz – “Springful” {Indie Rock/Experimental}

Apparently this video was inspired by the novel Siddharthabut I’m starting to wonder if the whole point of this video was to make me seethe with jealousy over the fact that this dude is special enough to be carried around by four cute boys all day like royalty. If only all my retail therapy sessions could be like this…

Sebadoh – “State Of Mine” {Alt-Folk/Rock}

Sebadoh is getting all political and stuff with this new music video and we’re totally L-O-V-I-N-G it!!! The video tackles everything from the economy, sexism, the American Dream, the stresses of jugging parenthood and marriage…Actually now that we think about it we may have read into it a little too much – maybe it’s a story about a depressed businessman who’s obsessed with babies?

Minor Alps – “Waiting For You” {Pop/Rock}

If you’re feeling the Valentine’s Day humbug then you best be preparing yourselves, because this video is all about the lovey-dovey “awwws” and everything that goes along with it. The video stars both members of Minor Alps (Matthew Caws and Juliana Hatfield) with their storyline romantically intertwining as they make their way around the city.

Libel – “Tomorrow’s Children” {Rock}

We love us some animated videos, but damn…this shit went way, way over our heads. The falling stars (or are they snowflakes?) the synchronized swimmers (or are they people with just really bad fashion?) and the person pulling the sun straight out of the sky (or was it just a massive yellow ball?) Yeah we don’t get it either.

Black Lips – “Boys In The Wood” {Psych Rock/Blues}

What’s so scary about sex, drugs and rock and roll? Well you’ll soon find out after watching this horror-movie-of-a-music-video. And of course being the Black Lips that they are there’s a whole lotta NSFW going on here, so if you have delicate eyeballs (and eardrums) then proceed with caution before you hit the play button.

Teen Daad – “Have A Bite” {Rock/Grunge}

They may not be Quebecois, and they may not be buddy-buddy with Jamie Oliver, but what this band has going on in this music video could possibly be as epic as Epic Meal Time. The juicy burgers, the slimy Nutella, the mouth-watering ice cream…There are so many temptations going on in this video it’s hard to keep track of them all. Who knew that Nutella getting trapped in a beard could be so damn sexy?

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Top 5 indie tracks of the week

January 28, 2014 in Electro, Folk, Free downloads, independent bands, Indie, Psychedelic Rock, Rock, Tribal, Tribal Rock

Vows – “Come Over My Way” {Indie Rock} + Free download

We’ll always have a soft spot for Vows because they were submitting their tunes to us when we were still a baby-blog crawling around in our own crap-filled diapers trying to get this site off the ground. But they’ve come a long way since then (and not us, obviously), and being the gracious independent musicians that they are, they’re making this track available as a free download here so get on it.

Moths & Locusts – “Slumper” {Psych/Tribal Rock}

Nanaimo may be known as being the hometown of Diana Krall, but if this band keep up the good tuneage then Moths & Locusts Square will be kicking Diana Krall Plaza’s ass in no time. This track is off their debut album Mission Collapse In The Twin Sun Megaverse (yes, Mission Collapse In The Twin Sun Megaverse), and you can buy it for $8 here.

Bombs Into You – “Evasive Me” {Electro/Rock}

The nitty, gritty Placebo fan in me fell in love with this track as soon as I heard it just because the dude sounds like a carbon copy of Brian Molko (minus the androgynous/heroin-y look, of course). The group is based out of Portland, Oregon, and you can download some of their tracks for free over at their Soundcloud page or buy their new album Shake for $5 via Bandcamp.

Selsbak – “The Only Way” {Folk}

It’s not everyday we come across a wicked Icelandic folk submission (actually so far it’s just been one day…) so listening to Selsbak for the first time was a very special treat indeed. Plus they also used a crapton of “slightly non-traditional instruments” (like the tenor guitar) to record their latest album which certainly brings up the coolness factor. This track is off their debut album White Pines which you can buy for €6 here.

Jargon Party – “Lucy Melanie” {Psych Rock/Pop} + Free downloads

Jargon Party is actually a one-man-band led by Zach Lewis, who wrote all the songs, played all the instruments, and recorded every song on his new album all by his lonesome. He has three of his tracks available for free downloads at his Soundcloud page which we know sounds fine and dandy and all, but we highly recommend you buy his new album for $8.91 (or each track for $0.99) via iTunes here.

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Rex Manning Day’s 10 Most Anticipated Albums of 2014

January 27, 2014 in Album News

10. Outkast – TBA

It didn’t surprise me too much when I heard that Outkast would be reuniting for a 40-date festival tour, (only because that’s what two talented musicians who have haven’t been making music together for awhile should do….except Simon and Garfunkel, of course). But to find out they were releasing a new LP made their reunion extra, extra special. Maybe André 3000 will write a sequel to “Ms. Jackson” and call it “Kiss My Glittery Ass“? Because that would be awesome.

9. Sharon Van Etten – Are We There?

Listening to Van Etten’s last record Tramp made me want to sit in a dark room, light some candles, chug back a bottle of wine and feel like a WO-MAN (Shania style). In the same vein as Cat Power and Fiona Apple, Van Etten’s songs stand for empowerment, depth, passion, and intense heartache fueled by the complacent asshole who broke your heart into tiny little pieces. Apparently her new album is going to be released in May, and although not a lot of information is being released about it yet, the Tumblr-er of F Yeah! Sharon Van Etten has been posting a few speculations here and there, so if you’re a fan I would check that shit out.

8. Modest Mouse – TBA

It’s been seven long years since Modest Mouse released their last album We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank, which is pretty much the equivalent of a lifetime in the music world. Vocalist Isaac Brock could have been chilling in a flooded basement for all we know, or the bassist could have pulled a Weezer and disappeared off the face of the planet. My point is, is that I just don’t know what to expect from this new Modest Mouse album, but that doesn’t make me any less curious. It could be shit, it could be (in the words of Simon Cowell) “forgettable” or it could be totally MIND-BLOWINGLY-AWESOME!! Either way the suspense is killing me, and I can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store for MM.

7. The New Pornographers – Together

Living in British Columbia during the early 2000s, it was hard to escape the amazing wrath of The New Pornographers. Initially I only gave them a chance because I was beyond-obsessed with Ryan Dahle (AKA the brains behind Age Of Electric and Limblifter), the brother of drummer Kurt Dahle (who also drummed for Age Of Electric). But eventually their melodic and ridiculously happy music grew on me, and if anything off their new album sounds like “Bones Of An Idol” or “My Rights Versus Yours” I’ll be a happy camper. The album is being released on May 4th via Matador, and will also feature contributions from Beirut, St. Vincent, an Okkervil River and the Dap-Kings.

6. Tokyo Police Club – Forcefield

If I didn’t hear the band’s leading single off the album (“Hot Tonight”) a couple of weeks back, then TPC (as us hardcore fans like to call them) would have been way higher up on this list. But as soon as I pressed the play button my heart sunk. Where’s the sporadic drum beats? The trancey piano chords? The chorus of people chanting in the background? AnyTPCPleaseComeBackToMe, I’m still curious to see what the band has in store, I just hope they don’t let my fragile little music nerd heart down. The album is being released on March 25th via Mom + Pop (in the US), Dine Alone (in Canada) and March 24th via Memphis Industries (in the UK).

5. Liars – Mess

2012 just wouldn’t have been complete without seeing that warped energize bunny doing all sorts of sexual and kinky moves on my computer screen. And in all honesty, I wasn’t expecting to like their last album WIXIW (which is technically pronounced as “Wish You” but I like to incorrectly call it a word sounding similar to “Worcestershire”) as long as I did, but that lovely mullet eventually swooned me, and I’m still listening to “Brats” on repeat to this day. So in a classic case of “sweet baby Jesus YES!,” finding out that some new Liars would be coming our way in March made me piddle in my panties a little. The album will be out March 24th/25th in the U.S. via Mute.

4. Grimes – TBA

With a unique sound combining the electronic, industrial, noise rock and R&B genres, and a voice that I can only describe as sounding like a lispy chipmunk whose been sucking on helium balloon for the past four days, Grimes’ music was definitely not my cup of tea when I first heard it; but her last album Visions eventually grew on me. Apparently Grimes (real name Claire Boucher) wrote Visions holed up in an apartment for three weeks high on amphetamines, and it’s obvious once you focus on the amount of layering and texturing going on in the release. Her new album isn’t due out until September, but in the mean time you can stay up to date on any Grimes-related news on Boucher’s Tumblr page.

3. Thee Oh Sees – TBA

It seems like only last week we were talking about how much we loved Thee Oh Sees 2013 album Floating Coffin (oh wait, it was last week), and it also seems like only last year we were talking about how much we loved their 2012 album Putrifiers II (oh wait, it was last year). So the fact that the San Francisco-based psych rockers plan on releasing yet another release this year, despite the fact that they’re supposedly taking a hiatus (*tear*) gives us hope that this won’t be the last album we’ll hear from them.

2. Black Lips – Underneath The Rainbow

The almighty Black Lips are coming back for another round, and I can’t wait to hear what the drugged-up lunatics have been up to since we last heard from them. With any new Black Lips album there’s always going to be some kind of experimentation, new vocal arrangement or a strange high-pitched (and slightly annoying) sound that I’ve never heard before, so I’m expecting a lot of surprises and delights from this new record. The album (appropriately titled Underneath The Rainbow) was recorded with Tommy Brenneck (of Budos Band) and Patrick Carney (of The Black Keys), and is being released on March 18th.

1. Julian Casablancas – Voidz

The Strokes are DONE, man. And the sooner everyone gets over it, the better. They fulfilled their RCA contract, Albert is off quitting heroin and working on his own solo career, Fabrizio is busy getting over Drew Barrymore, Nick Valensi is knocking women up with twinsies, and Nickolai is being silent, as usual. So as far as I’m concerned, Julian has every right to keep releasing solo material. Apparently he was bummed how his last album Phrazes For The Young did buzz-wise, but clearly he didn’t hear my telepathic message saying “OH MY GOD JULIAN YOUR SOLO WORK IS SO AMAZING I WANT TO HAVE YOUR BABIES AND WALK AROUND IN THE DARK AND LISTEN TO YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR PHILOSOPHIES ON LIFE!!!” Yeah, I’m pretty stoked.

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Top new tracks: Tokyo Police Club, Drive-By Truckers, Broken Bells + Kevin Drew sings about good sex

January 22, 2014 in Alternative, Americana, Art Rock, Classic Rock, Disco, Electrogoth, Experimental, Garage Rock, Indie, Nu Disco, Pop, Punk, Rock, Southern Rock, Sunshine Pop, Synthpop

Tennis – “100 Lovers” {Sunshine Pop}

Ain’t no polar vortex gonna bring this duo down! This track is exactly what we needed to hear on a cold, miserable January day (where my East Coasters at??) and just like any other Tennis song, this one acts like an instant anti-depressant. This is yet another track off their new EP Small Sound which you can buy for $4.99 here.

Drive-By Truckers – “Pauline Hawkins” {Southern Rock}

Listening to the Drive-By Truckers always brings out the redneck that is hidden deep down within the depths of my soul, and this track is no different. This song first debuted on Rolling Stone earlier this month, and is off their 10th LP English Oceans which is due out on March 4th via ATO.

Tokyo Police Club – “Hot Tonight” {Pop/Rock}

As any non-Canadian will tell you, Tokyo Police Club are kind of a big deal in Canada (just because every non-Canadian I’ve ever met has never heard of them). This track is waaaay poppier than what we’re used to hearing from the band, so now we’re curious as to what else we’ll be hearing off their new album Forcefield (which is out on March 25th in the US/Canada and March 24th in the UK).

The Coathangers – “Follow Me” {Garage Rock/Punk}

Yes, I only decided to check out this track just for the sheer fact that their name is “The Coathangers” – so sue me. (No, please don’t). Either way I’m glad I did end up checking this track out, because turns out they’re one of the most badass all-female punk groups I’ve ever come across in my life. Plus their new album is called Suck My Shirt – it doesn’t get more badass than this people.

Kevin Drew – “Good Sex” {Pop/Rock}

What’s better than good sex? Being a Broken Social Scene fan and finding out that Kevin Drew is releasing his sophomore album this year. (And no, that isn’t an over exaggeration). This song is off his new LP Darlings which is being released on March 18th via one of our numero uno favourite record labels Arts & Crafts.

Trust – “Rescue, Mister” {Electrogoth/Synthpop}

Trust (AKA Austra’s sideproject-that-couldn’t-possibly-compete-with-Austra-but-still-comes-pretty-damn-close) has a brand spankin’ new track that is dark, mysterious and deliciously synthy – everything we’ve grown to love about the band since we first heard their impressive debut album TRST back in 2012. Their new LP Joyland is being released on March 4th, so mark those electrogoth calendars!

Broken Bells – “After The Disco” {Nu Disco/Pop}

Get those cheesy synth hats on and ready, because there’s so much happy-go-lucky synth going on in this tune it’s hard to keep track of it all. In case you didn’t know, Broken Bells is the baby of James Mercer from Danger Mouse and the Shins, and they’ll be putting on their new album of the same title on February 4th.

St. Vincent – “Digital Witness” {Experimental/Art Rock}

We’re ashamed to admit that we didn’t discover St. Vincent until her collaboration with Talking Heads’ frontman David Byrne, and we’re so obsessed with the collaborative album we still can’t imagine Ms. Clark without a bony jaw as seen on the Love This Giant album cover. There’s a lot of depth and texture going on this track which is way, way out there even for St. Vincent standards; it’s no wonder why Byrne wanted to collaborate with her.

ceo – “Wonderland” {Indie Rock}

We can’t explain why we like this song as much as we do. Maybe it’s the Vampire Weekend elements, or perhaps it’s even the not-so-subtle classic elements with all sorts of different instruments getting thrown into the mix. Either way it’s a musically delightful and stimulating track, and now we can see why so many indie music bloggers have been buzzing about it.

The Men – “Pearly Gates” {Classic Rock}

We’re not too sure what to make of this track, which makes us even more excited for The Men’s upcoming album just because now we don’t know what to expect. (The Men are tricky like that…Alright boys, you have our attention!) This is the first single off their forthcoming album Tomorrow’s Hits which is out on March 4th via Sacred Bones.

Hospitality – “Rockets & Jets” {Alternative Rock/Electronic}

This track slacks a bit on the production side which is not what we’re used to hearing from the band, but Amber Papini’s pleasant voice smooths it all over (as always). And just when you think you have the song figured out, halfway through it goes into full-on Metric-mode, which overall makes for a pleasurable listening experience. The band’s new album Trouble is out next week via Merge Records.

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Top 5 indie tracks of the week

January 21, 2014 in Alternative, Blues, Classic Rock, Free downloads, Garage Rock, independent bands, Indie, Psychedelic Rock, Rock

Gypsy Wig – “People Like Me” {Afrobeat/Pop}

Forget about the fact that they’re fans of Empire Records and their name is “Gypsy Wig,” what really peaked our curiosity about this New Jersey-based group was the fact that their sound is inspired by classic rock, afrobeat and folk music. This track is off their self-released EP which was put out a few months back, and you can buy it for as little as $3 here.

Passenger Peru – “Dirt Nap” {Alternative/Psych Rock} + Free download

This track is so impressive we found it to be less of a “dirt nap” and more like taking a long, glorious sleep; (which may or may not have something to do with the fact that it’s the kind of track that you can just get lost in…) This tune is off their forthcoming self-titled release which is due out on January 28th, and you can pre-order it for as little as $5 here.

[V] – “Numbers” {Indie Rock} + Free download

Apparently this group plans on releasing four cassette tapes with home recordings for their upcoming project, so naturally we were so intrigued by the “cassette” part we just had to give them a listen. The track gives off some mean, not-so-clean lo-fi Nirvana vibes, plus it’s available as a free download – what’s not to love? (Oh and P.S. you can follow the band on Tumblr here).

Electric Zoo – “Color Of My Blues” {Blues/Classic Rock}

We’ve been keeping our eye on Israel’s Electric Zoo since we covered them back in 2012, so we felt a pang of guilt and embarrassment when we saw that they released an album back in November without us even noticing. This track is a perfect blend of The Black Keys, The Sword, The White Stripes, and a whole lotta other psychedelic awesomeness mixed  together into one, but if you have some time be sure to check out the rest of their album Diamonds In The Sand here and we promise you won’t be disappointed.

Kings of Lowertown – “Mississippi Flood” {Garage Blues}

Kings of Lowertown are another band we’ve already covered here and here, so it didn’t surprise us too much that the Ottawa-based group started off 2014 with a bang by releasing this badassery tune. This is the first track off the group’s upcoming EP which was produced and engineered by the famed Jordon Zadorozny in Pembroke, Ontario; and although the EP isn’t due out until later this year you can buy it as a name-your-price download here.

Top Tracks of 2013 {Part 4}

January 14, 2014 in Alternative, Americana, Country, Dream Pop, Electronic, Electropop, House, New Wave, Pop, Psych Pop, Psychedelic Rock, Rock, Shoegaze, Sunshine Pop, Top 2013, Traditional Country

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

Girls Names – “Hypnotic Regression” {New Wave}

This song is so deliciously 80s you can almost picture Emilio Estevez playing with the strings of his hoodie and Ally Sheedy crunching up potato chips in her sandwich…but I digress. Plus the song sounds like The Cure and Joy Division meshed together perfectly; Oh and if Cage The Elephant needs any tips on how to write a chorus properly they should take a note from this track.

Quilt – “Arctic Shark” {Psych Pop}

We were in a rush the first time we discovered this song, and we were so wowed by it that we made a mental note to ourselves to come back to the song and listen to it again, just in case it was all a dream. And after watching this video a second time we can honestly tell you that yes, it was a dream. A wondrous, flowery, colourful dream:

Pearl Jam – “My Father’s Son” {Rock}

Pearl Jam’s new record sucked monkey balls, but it would have sucked major monkey balls if this track wasn’t included on it. It may start off sounding like any other basic Pearl Jam rock song, but the chorus does all these interesting twists and turns via Vedder, which makes it one of the most memorable tracks on the album by far.

Tennis – “Mean Streets” {Sunshine Pop}

Tennis has been on the receiving end of a lot of review hate for their lacklustre live shows, but this song proves that the sunshiny duo are best listened to through headphones and/or speakers. (Well actually, Tennis is really best listened to on a sunny, warm day while you’re chillin’ on the beach sucking back double piña coladas…but anyways). Sounds like recording in pajamas really paid off!!

The Dismemberment Plan – “Invisible” {Alternative Rock}

The first 30 seconds of this track really threw us off guard. Is it rap? Is it classical? Is it Alt-J trying to pull a quick one on us? Not to mention that it has a perfect blend of Frightened Rabbit-like vocals, Stooges-like piano chords, and a Duncan Sheik-like chorus…what’s not to love?

Billie Joe Armstrong & Norah Jones “Long Time Gone” {Traditional Country}

We were already digging Billie Joe Armstrong’s and Norah Jones’ collaborative Everly Brothers cover album before the news broke of Phil Everly’s death, so we’ve been blasting the record ever since we lost one of the world’s best harmonizing geniuses. This is one of our favourite tracks on the album, but if you have some time on your hands check the rest of the album out and you won’t be disappointed.

Whitley – “TV” {Rock/Americana}

Sure the chorus leaves a lot to be desired…but that dark, gloomy American riff tho. Whitley is a one-man-band led by the Australian musician Lawrence Greenwood (although he is often joined onstage by a few other talented peeps for his live shows), and if you like this tune as much as we do you should give him some “Like” love on Facebook here.

Dr. Dog – “The Truth” {Blues/Rock}

It may not be the most memorable song the first time you listen to it, but after a few listens it gets stuck in your head for days, and then weeks (or in our case…months). We’ve already professed our profound Dr. Dog-love here, so instead of boring you to death you should really just press that play button, sit back and enjoy the ride.

Toro Y Moi – “Say That” {Electronic/House}

This South Carolinan cutie pie has been a huge, huge thing in the indie world over the past few years, so naturally a lot of indie kids hopped all over his new album (us included). The song was our favourite off of the album, and is all over the place musically, lying somewhere in between R&B, electronic, trance, old school house, and a bunch of mellow awesomeness.

I Break Horses – “Denial” {Dream Pop}

We’re still riding our dream poppy haze from last year, and while Empress Of kept us going throughout this past spring, it was “Denial” that wet our delicious dream pop appetite throughout the second half of the year. Them Swedes never fail to impress.

Queens of the Stone Age – “If I Had a Tail” {Alternative Rock}

We’re not going to deny that QOTSA’s 2013 album …Like Clockwork was just …meh, and despite our QOTSA tattoo and our heads being so far up Homme-boy’s ass we’re not afraid to say it. But this was hands-down the best (and only?) good track on the album, so we have to give a shout-out when a shout-out is due (especially when Josh Homme’s sexyness is involved…)

The Mary Onettes – “Hit The Waves” {Alternative Pop}

We first checked out the band because we thought their name was “The Mary Omelettes,” but this group proves you don’t need an accidentally hilarious name to get our attention (well….) This here is another tune that defined our 2013 thanks to the mad Cure vibes and 80s nostalgia.

Washed Out – “All I Know” {Dream Pop}

Looking back at 2013 it would be hard to imagine our year without “All I Know” and the close-up of Victor’s blubbering face at the start of this music video. And as much as we loved Washed Out’s latest album, nothing beats this leading single off the record.

Zero 7 – “On My Own” {Electropop}

This song may start off just like any other Cut Copy or !!! song, but Londoners are full of surprises like that…and they certainly know how to craft a great electropop tune. This track is off the duo’s 12″ of the same title, and you can stream a crapton of their songs for free over at their Soundcloud page.

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Top Tracks of 2013 {Part 3}

January 9, 2014 in Alternative, Ambient, Big Band, Electro, Electronic, Gypsy, Gypsy Punk, Jazz, New Rag, Pop, Psychedelic Rock, Rock, Surf Rock, Top 2013, Tribal, Tribal Rock

{PART 1} {PART 2} {PART 4}

Vampire Weekend – “Blurred Lines” (Robin Thicke cover) {Pop}

I always feel guilty and ashamed whenever I listen to (and like) Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” but we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief now that Vampire Weekend have released their own version of the hit song. If Vampire Weekend likes it that means it’s OK for us to like it too, right?

N’to – “After Laughter” {Electronic/Ambient}

We came across N’to by accident (and what a lovely accident it turned out to be), and ever since we discovered him we’ve spent hours upon hours sifting through his tunes on his YouTube account. But after careful consideration we thought we’d share this track with you, just because “The Sand Dealer” was released in 2012 (boooo-urns).

The National – “I Should Live In Salt” {Alternative Rock}

We’re not going to lie, this song will make you feel all dark, sad and depressed, but feeling sad can be awesome! Well when you listen to this song it can be, at least….We’ve already ranted and raved about how much we loved The National’s most recent album Trouble Will Find Me here, but this track stood out from the rest for us on the record.

Crystal Stilts – “Star Crawl” {Psych Rock}

We’ve been a fan of the Frankie Rose/Dum Dum Girls/Crystal Stilts/Vivian Girls clique for a couple of years now, so obviously we’re going to be all about any new/great Crystal Stilts tune. “Star Crawl” was one of the shining stars (heh) of their latest album Nature Noir, but if you have some time check the rest of the release out because the greatness doesn’t just stop here.

The Polyphonic Spree – “Popular by Design” {Electro/Rock}

This song may have been one of the most-played tracks on our iPod this past year, but it was the video that first caught our attention. If the rest of Yes, It’s True was as good as this song it also would have made one of our end-of-year lists, but unfortunately/fortunately this was the only song off the record that really spoke to us.

La Vida Boheme – “Le Vider Meher” {Indie Rock}

We were instant fans of Tokyo Police Club/Vampire Weekend resemblance, so we thought we’d dig this song for a few days…But days became weeks and weeks became months, and now here we are. We may not understand a word they’re saying because we haven’t finished our ridiculously long/complicated/impossible Spanish course yet, but this band could be singing about refrigerators and Toronto politics for all we care.

Widowspeak – “Locusts” {Tribal/Psych Rock}

We love us some Widowsleep. (They are the lovechild of Frankie Rose and The Black Angels after all…) So it’s great to see that the duo hasn’t stopped the tribal train going for their 2013 EP The Swamps; but with Molly Hamilton’s echoing vocals it’s hard to really go wrong.

Gogol Bordello – “Dig Deep Enough” {Gypsy Punk}

We”ll be the first to admit that Pura Vida Conspiracy didn’t blow our minds as much as Voi-La Intruder (because let’s be honest, that’s a lot of blowing). But this tune was probably one of the most gypsy-sounding tracks on the mostly Latin-influenced album, not to mention that it proves that Eugene still knows how to craft some badass mosh music.

Cold Beat – “Worms” {Surf Rock}

It’s been pretty cold on the surf rock front this past year (besides Beach Fossils, of course). but it’s always refreshing to see a band we’ve never heard of master one of our favourite genres. Plus the video made its debut on our most beloved Gorilla Vs. Bear, so we had an instant bias.

Sleepy Sun – “11:32″{Psych Rock}

Here’s yet another San Fran band to make our end-of-year lists (what are you guys smoking over there??). Up until the release of this track/video back in October we had no idea who Sleepy Sun was, let alone how great they were, so hearing this track for the first time was a double dose of greatness.

Albert Hammond Jr. – “St. Justice” {Pop/Rock}

Albert’s debut solo EP Yours To Keep was great. and by great we mean totally-genius-and-what-the-hell-was-Julian-thinking-when-he-turned-these-tracks down great. So we were relieved to see that Albert seemed to have kicked the can on the drug front and moved on to releasing some wicked new material.

Beck – “I Won’t Be Long” {Alternative Rock}

Oh, Beck, why must you keep on seducing us so? Is there any song of yours that isn’t good? Given that we’re still addicted to that song he wrote for a video game late last year (AKA “Cities“) we needed a new Beck tune to latch on to for the time being.

The Harlequin Dynamite Marching Band – “Loneliness” {Big Band/Jazz}

Out of all the jazzy submissions we receive on a regular basis, not one song has yet to turn our heads like this one; and for that reason along this song has become one of our personal favourite indie submissions we’ve heard this year. OK so the Stealing Sheep connection may or may not have something to do with it, but whatevs.

Yukon Blonde – “Six Dead Tigers” {Pop/Rock}

Yukon Blonde are often overlooked when it comes to British Columbian music ever since Japanadroids exploded onto the scene, but they’ve been gaining a pretty loyal following since forming back in 2005. Being the proud British Columbian that we are, we’ve been creepily keeping our eyes on Yukon Blonde for a few years now…But what do you expect? They’re sexy as hell!

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