Top new videos: Coldplay, Kings Of Leon, HAIM, Owen Pallett + Pacman as a sad, heartbroken alcoholic

March 6, 2014 in Ambient, Electronic, Garage Rock, independent bands, Indie, Pop, Rap, Rock

Coldplay – “Midnight” {Ambient/Electronic}

Coldplay’s video for their brand spankin’ new and surprisingly electronic single “Midnight” is shot in negative exposure-style, but that’s what happens when you marry a Negative Nancy like GOOPY Gwenyth Paltrow…The video was directed by Mary Wigmore, who is also the godmother of Chris Martin’s daughter Apple.

Owen Pallett – “The Riverbed” {Alternative Rock}

If you’ve ever thought to yourself “hmmmm I’m in the mood to watch a video of an old man doing a strange Rocky-like workout in his boxers,” well now you can. The video stars Pallett’s real-life uncle Jim Pallett as he goes on a date with an older woman wearing a tacky fur coat and red nail polish (if this is what being an old man is like then I’m so happy to not be one right now…)

Liz Lawrence – “Health & Safety” {Pop/Rock}

Now remember kids: Always remember to speed when driving on the highway, kiss dudes with ridiculously large moustaches, take more drugs than a 60s hippie, and dance like your feet are on fire. At least I think that’s what this video is trying to teach me about health and safety…

Drunken Draculas – “Some Of My Best Friends Are Vampire Hunters” {Indie/Garage Rock}

I was in a pretty shitty mood until I feasted my eyes on this highlariously horrible video, which features boogying cats, cute men sitting in bathtubs, Elvis wigs and soooo much more. This track is off the group’s new EP which was released on February 28th via Totally Wired Records.

Thick As Thieves – “Ghosts” {Pop/Rap}

After having a night of doing the horizontal tango with a hot blonde, Pacman wakes up reminiscing of happier times with the woman who broke his heart AKA Pacwoman. Pacman then tries to distract himself by going on a drinking binge and playing a game of shit baseball with his buddies, until he sees Pacwoman canoodling with some human in the park. Poor Pacman…

Kings Of Leon – “Temple” {Rock}

Off the album of the same title of what I imagine myself doing to the lead singer on a daily basis, this new single of Kings Of Leon comes with a video comprised of shots of America’s country music capital AKA Nashville (or Nashvegas to all you hipsters out there…) Plus we get a glimpse of Anthony’s new beybeh that he created with his supermodel wife. Cuteness all around.

HAIM – “If I Could Change Your Mind” {Pop}

I’m still trying to get my head around the fact that according to a new study, at least four U.S. states hate HAIM more than R. Kelly and Chris Brown, but not everyone in the world can be fans of sweet and delicious cheesy music videos like this one I suppose…

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

Top new videos: Kate Nash, Cut Copy, London Grammar + Pussy Riot getting arrested (again)

February 27, 2014 in Alt-Country, Alternative, Electropop, Garage Rock, Pop, Psych Folk, Psychedelic Rock, Punk

Pussy Riot – “Putin Will Teach You How To Love” {Punk}

Remember when the Russian Cossacks opened up a can of whip-ass on Pussy Riot in Sochi last week? Well turns out the band was filming the event for this music video the whole time. The song is in Russian so naturally I don’t understand a word that they’re saying, but they’re probably singing about [CONTENT REMOVED AS PER PUTIN'S REQUEST]

London Grammar – “Hey Now” {Alternative Pop}

I’m still not entire convinced that London Grammar’s vocalist Hannah Reid isn’t a man, just because I haven’t heard female vocals that deep since Jared Leto formed that group with the shittiest name ever. Either way this new video of theirs is a great watch, and has enough floating orbs to make the Most Haunted team get in, up and all around that shit.

Ciara O’Neill – “Dead, Black” {Alternative Pop/Folk}

Now see here Ciara, I know we only just met, but the next time you release a mind-blowing, out-of-this-world music video that does my head in give me some fair warning beforehand OK? This single is off her debut EP, and if you like her work you can follow her on Facebook and Twitter and check out her YouTube and Soundcloud too.

King Black Acid – “I’m Rolling Under” {Psych Rock}

Besides the fact that this music video is visually hypnotic and has a story line focused around “time travel, trans-humanism and the dream life inside of a song,” it also features a crapton of downright scary sights like dinosaurs, strange tribal dances and a dude that looks like John Denver. Creepy stuff.

Cut Copy – “We Are Explorers” {Electropop}

Alright Cut Copy, you’ve already impressed me with your amazing neon ways, so why must you torture me with even more neon awesomeness? The video stars two Indian In The Cupboard-like 3D printed cutout characters taking a stroll around Los Angeles, and was created by Masa Kawamura, Aramique, and Qanta Shimuzu.

Kate Nash – “Sister” {Garage Rock/Pop}

Just when I was starting to think that Kate Nash changed her ways when she went from singing about Caroline being a “victim” to drinking, dancing, and writing names in the sand with another girl, she goes and has a bitch fight with this friend of hers before proceeding to have one of those “talks” on the beach. Meeeeow!

Charlie and the Foxtrots – “The Man I Am” {Alt-Country/Folk}

Thick-rimmed glasses, a stand-up bass and a banjo, some sexy scruff and a braided rat tail…as if we needed any more reasons to love Charlie and his Foxtrots. But then the band goes and blows my mind even more by turning back time like Cher back to the Wild, Wild West, Deadwood style. Is this what true love feels like?

honeybird & the birdies – “Perejil” {Psych Folk}

Besides having a name like honeybird & the birdies and a sound described as “psych funk,” the band have also released a beautifully-shot video that comes with a gripping-yet-ironically hilarious story line with a dash of politics getting thrown into the mix too – why can’t all our indie submissions be like this?

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

Top new videos: Thurston Moore, Twin Shadow, Dum Dum Girls + Bend Sinister surrounded by taxidermy

February 20, 2014 in Alternative, Chillwave, Indie, Pop, Rock, Sunshine Pop

Kevin Drew – “Good Sex” {Pop/Rock} (NSFW)

Despite the fact that we’ve been listening to Kevin Drew’s music for years, this is actually the first time we’ve seen him in a music video. But instead of trying not to focus on all the shots of couples foreplaying all we could think was “yup, Kevin Drew seems like the kind of guy who would have good sex.” Don’t judge because my attention span goes to the gutter whenever a bearded guy singing about “good sex” is on my screen…

Bleached – “Guy Like You” {Sunshine Pop}

Flower pedals swirling around in the sun, kitty kats kuddling and kissing (sorry, I had a Kardashian moment) and random shots of insane mosh pits and drunks laying down on the sidewalk. Way to not confuse the hell out of me, Bleached.

Tree – “Stuck Down The Wrong Rabbit Whole” ft. Beat Culture & Lena Kuhn {Chillwave/Pop}

Now don’t go thinking that I’m only covering this band because their name is Tree; I’m covering this band because one of the band member’s middle name is Tree, and that’s pretty badass if you ask me. Plus the music video is more like a short film that features a lot of (you guessed it) TREES! And a dude hallucinating an animated rabbit, of course.

The Notwist – “Kong” {Alternative Rock}

I was secretly hoping that because this song is called “Kong” there would be some kind of King Kong reference in the video, and the video certainly delivered. Lucky thing the dude can swim like a graceful ballerina to safety until…well I don’t want to spoil it for you, but let’s just say there may or may not be a water monster involved. OK well I guess I did kind of spoil it for you just then…

Bend Sinister – “Teacher” {Pop/Rock}

This music video stars not one, not two, not three, but FOUR Jesus-looking Canadian fellows, as well as an organ synth and PUPPIES!!! I’m in Canadian heaven!! Plus the band manages to perform effortlessly in a house filled with taxidermied animals like elk, bears, eagles, you name it. If this doesn’t scream “Canada” then I don’t know what does…

Thurston Moore – “Heavenmetal” {Alternative Rock}

If the name Thurston Moore rings a bell it means that A. You’re familiar with Sonic Youth and B. You’re awesome. In the span of only two minutes this new music video covers all sorts of trippy symbolism like women drawing hearts in mirrors, women slicing up each other’s hands, a typewriter on fire and tarot cards….BUT WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN??

SLEEP SLEEP – “Gospel” {Indie Rock}

Forget about relying on mainstream media to make you so fearful you can’t even step a foot outside your house, because this video covers everything from atomic bombs, homes blowing up, people running for safety as bombs go off in their neighbourhood, and even a cute little boy running around in a cowboy hat. Yup, all-around scary stuff.

Twin Shadow – “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out” ft. Samantha Urbani (The Smiths cover) {Pop}

What’s more awesome than Twin Shadow collaborating with the Friends-y Samantha Urbani to cover a classic Smiths song? You’re right, nothing’s more awesome than that. But this music video comes pretty damn close thanks to the camera being perched on the hood of Twin Shadow’s car.

Dum Dum Girls – “Too True To Be Good” {Alternative Rock}

I wasn’t the biggest fan of Dum Dum Girls’ new album Too True, but at least they’re packing the visual punches for the album’s singles. The video features a ton of gothic, double exposure images of bleeding flowers, not to mention that Dee Dee is sporting some pretty badass shades as well. All around a good watch for any Dum Dum fan.

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trust – “Capitol” {Electrogoth}

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

To listen to the song click here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To listen to the song click here.

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

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

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

Album review: Bombay Bicycle Club – So Long, See You Tomorrow {Indie Rock/Tropical Pop}

February 7, 2014 in Album reviews, Alternative, Experimental, Indie, Tribal, Tribal Pop, Tropical Pop, World Music

bombay bicycle club album review

REX’S RATING:  9.5 / 10

KEY TRACKS:

“Feel”
“Come To”
“It’s Alright Now”
“Overdone”
“So Long, See You Tomorrow”
“Carry Me”

In the same vein as Vampire Weekend, Animal Collective and the other “Club” band Two Door Cinema Club, Bombay Bicycle Club are a prime example as to how the word “indie” can be used as an adjective. Their song constructions have always gone against the norm of what mainstream music sounds like, so instead of feeling comfortable with the familiarity of the music, the listener ends up asking themselves all sorts of questions like “is that a human or a keyboard?” or ”why did they put that drum beat there?”

You know that feeling when you listen to an album from start to finish and the vocals get annoying by the fifth or sixth song? Not happening here. Do you know what it feels like when you drift in and out of consciousness because an album is boring you to death? Nope, not happening here either. On So Long, See You Tomorrow there’s instruments that have never been combined before, harmonies that have never been used before, and song constructions that have never been heard before. There’s variety and experimentation, yet after a few listens the weirdness of the album becomes familiar and comfortable, and soon you find yourself getting lured into the pleasant melodies and tropical vibe. It’s like a big warm indie hug.

The album immediately jolts the listener’s attention with the worldly and trancey opener “Overdone,” but it doesn’t stop there. There’s a buried treasure hidden in each and every track on this album; you just need to listen hard to find it. Take “Carry Me,” for instance. For the first 30 seconds of the song I found myself frantically searching for the back beat because it’s all over the place (think: “Flashbulb Eyes“) but once I got comfortable with the rhythm I ended up discovering the beat halfway through…and let’s say just it was an epiphany-kind-of-moment.

But what impressed me the most about this album was how there’s so much variety and fluctuation, yet the band somehow manages to stay cohesive throughout the record. Just the opening track alone tackles the classical, world music, rock and psych folk genres, and is packed full of so many layers, details and instrumentation it awakens the senses immediately. There’s the poppy-but-pleasant “It’s Alright Now,” the hippity hop on “Home By Now,” the psych rock masterpiece of “Come To,” and “Home By Now” has so many Nintendo beats you can almost see Alice Glass bouncing around on a stage singing to it.  And don’t be fooled by the chick-flicky vibe of “Luna,” because the badass bass makes a belated entrance during the last 30 seconds of the track.

But one of the shining stars on the album would be its eighth track (“Feel”) which contains a ton of pleasant Vampire Weekend similarities and world music elements I felt like a whole new person after listening to it for the first time. Oh Bombay Bicycle Club, are you trying to tease me with your worldly musical knowledge? Because it’s totally working.

The only skip-worthy track on the album would be “Eyes Off You,” (did their happy pills wear off halfway through the album or something?) and “Whenever, Wherever” may start off a little boooooooring but picks up slightly midway.

One thing’s for sure: This album is not for the lazy listener. So if you’re looking for an album you can put on in the background during the American Idol commercial break or while you’re looking up new vegetarian recipes of Pinterest, then this is not the album for you. So Long, See You Tomorrow and its sister album Reflektor have jump-started a new worldly tropical music trend in the indie music world, and I predict that in 2014 we’ll be seeing a lot more similar sounding releases. (But shhh…don’t tell the hipsters).

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

Top new tracks: U2, Klaxons, Beck, two new Fear Of Men songs + The National cover Perfume Genius

February 6, 2014 in Alternative, Free downloads, Garage Rock, Indie, Pop, Rock, Synthpop

U2 – “Invisible” {Pop/Rock}

Bono joked that U2 is “on the verge of irrelevance,” but I find that hard to believe seeing that Bono and The Edge are EVERYWHERE! They’re all over the Super Bowl, various charity organizations…Bono might even be under your bed right now! All proceeds of this track go to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS and you can buy it for £0.99 here.

Fear Of Men – “Alta” + “Waterfall” {Alternative/Indie Pop}

Did the day after Valentine’s Day come early or something? Because this week we’ve heard not one, but two new (and great) Fear Of Men songs, both of which are off the band’s debut album Loom. The release is out on April 21st in the UK, and April 22nd in the US, so mark those music nerd calendars!

Phantogram – “Bill Murray” {Alternative Rock}

This track is a little less upbeat than what we’re used to hearing from the band, but given that we can’t help but picture Bill Murray’s sad, lost face in Lost In Translation the vibe of the track seems pretty fitting. This is the second single off their new album Voices which is out on February 18th.

The National – “Learning” (Perfume Genius cover) {Alternative Rock}

Just in case you ran out of National songs to listen to (thought no one ever) the band went ahead and covered the classic Perfume Genius track of their 2010 debut album. Apparently the cover will be released as a B-side to the “I Need My Girl” single, which is off last year’s impressive album Trouble Will Find Me. 

Beck – “Waking Light” {Alternative Pop}

Another day, another Beck single. I’m starting to get a sneaking suspicion that we’re going to be hearing a whole lotta Beck this year with his new album Morning Phase coming out on February 25th. It’s about god damn time I moved on from listening to “The New Pollution” and “Broken Train” on repeat…

Wye Oak – “The Tower” {Synthpop}

This new Wye Oak tune sounds less like a song and more like a synthesized reggae masterpiece, and was exactly what we needed to sink our teeth into this week. This track is off their new album Shriek which is being released on April 29th, and apparently the album doesn’t have one second of guitar on it. This should be interesting….

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

We don’t know what’s more surprising: The fact that Klaxons are releasing another album this year, or the fact that the album’s leading single is the most poppiest of synthpop tracks we’ve come across so far in 2014. The track was produced by Gorgon City and is off their forthcoming album which is due out sometime this summer.

To listen to the track click here.

Champ – “Burnt Alive” {Garage Rock} + Free download

After being compared to the likes of Wavves and FIDLAR, this San Diego-based group and now prepping to release their debut self-titled album later this month, and if the rest of the release sounds anything like this track it’s bound to be pretty damn impressive. This is the first single off the album which is out February 18th via Fleeting Youth Records, and you can download the track in the player below.

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

Rex Manning Day’s Top 10 Albums of 2013

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

10. Cage The Elephant – Melophobia

cagetheelephantmelophobia

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

9. Elvis Costello and The Roots – Wise Up Ghost

elviscostellowiseupghost

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

8. Thee Oh Sees – Floating Coffin

Thee Oh Sees Floating Coffni

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

7. of Montreal – Lousy with Sylvianbriar

ofmontreallousywithsylvianbriar

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

6. The Black Angels – Indigo Meadow

Black Angels Indigo Meadow

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

5. The Knife – Shaking The Habitual

The Knife Shaking The Habitual

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

4. Jagwar Ma – Howlin’

Jagwar Ma

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

3. Austra – Olympia

AustraOlympia

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

2. Wampire – Curiosity

wampirecuriosity

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

1. Arcade Fire – Reflektor

arcadefirereflektor

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

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

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.

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

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

Top Albums of 2013 {Part 4}

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

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

Crystal Stilts – Nature Noir

crystalstilts

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

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

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

!!! – Thr!!!er

THR!!!LER

RIYL: Cut Copy, Happy Mondays

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

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

Arcade Fire – Reflektor

arcadefirereflektor

RIYL: LCD Soundsystem, David Bowie

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

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

Janelle Monáe - The Electric Lady

janellemonaetheelectriclady

RIYL: Lauryn Hill, Outkast, Erykah Badu

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

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

Dr. Dog – B-Room

drdogbroom

RIYL: The Band, The Beatles

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

HAIM – Days Are Gone

haimdaysaregone

RIYL: Feist, Paramore, Fleetwood Mac

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

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

David Bowie – The Next Day

davidbowiethenextday

RIYL: The Kinks, LCD Soundsystem

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

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

Austra – Olympia

AustraOlympia

RIYL: Grimes, The Knife, Bjork

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

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

Belle and Sebastian – The Third Eye Centre

belleandsebastienthethirdeyecenter

RIYL: Iron and Wine, of Montreal

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

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

Action Bronson – Saab Stories

actionbronsonsaabstories

RIYL: Ghostface Killah, Das Racist

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

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

Cut Copy – Free Your Mind

Free Your Mind

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

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

To read our Free Your Mind album review click here

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

edwardsharpeandthemagneticzeros

RIYL: Buffalo Springfield, Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane

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

No Age – An Object

noageanobject

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

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

The Weeknd – Kiss Land

theweekndkissland

RIYL: Michael Jackson, Frank Ocean

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

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

Blood Orange – Cupid Deluxe

bloodorangecupiddeluxe

RIYL: Prince, Frank Ocean

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

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

{PART 1} {PART 2} {PART 3} {PART 5}

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