Top new tracks: Franz Ferdinand, Foster The People, Sky Ferreira, Robyn + Moby remixes Washed Out

March 4, 2014 in Ambient, Dream Pop, Electronic, Experimental, Folk, Free downloads, New Wave, Pop, Psych Folk, Rock, Synthpop

Washed Out – “All I Know” (Moby remix) {Electronic/Dream Pop}

It’s refreshing to see that Moby is doing something other than rubbing his bald head all day, but the fact that he remixed one of our numero uno favourite tracks from 2013 made us fall in love with him like it was 1999 all over again. His version contains a perfect blend of the two elements both artists bring to the table: Trancey background music, and dreamy, melodic foreground music. Goodness all around.

Sky Ferreira – “Rancid Girl” {Pop/Folk}

I’m more of a “Queens Of The Stone Age Girl” myself, but to each their own I suppose…This previously unreleased track was written by Ferreira as well as Jon Brion, Cass McCombs and Blake Mills (known best for his collaborations with Fiona Apple), and no word yet as to whether it will be included on an upcoming release.

Zhala – “Prophet” ft. Robyn {Electronic/Experimental}

Say whaaa?? Robyn pinning her name to a song that isn’t bubble gum pop? Honestly though…I’m surprised as hell that Robyn knew how to pull a Knife…Anythatcameoutofnowhere, apparently Zhala is the first artist to release music under Robyn’s label Konichiwa Records who isn’t Robyn, so that should tell you right there how Swedishly special she is.

WATERS – “Got To My Head” {Pop/Rock}

It ain’t no “For The One,” but this track is still another great reason as to why the group is well worthy of their KANYE KAPS LOCK band name. The track is a little to poppy to be rock, and a little too rock & roll to be pop, but I’m always a sucker for music that toys with my head like that. If you dig the tune make sure you give the group some “Like” love on Facebook here.

Franz Ferdinand – “Erdbeer Mund” {Synthpop/New Wave}

At first I really, really liked Franz Ferdinand. Then I started to really, really not like them. But after hearing this track I’m totally head over heels in love with them!!!!! This isn’t the first time we’ve heard FF pull a lyrical German on us (“Darts Of Pleasure” anyone?) – and this whole time we thought this song was about some sorry sucker with a really unfortunate first name…

Yuko – “The Idealist” {Psych Folk}

Oh, Yuko. I am so glad that this tune’s presence graced my Inbox this past week. It’s haunting, gripping, and everything we could want out of a psychedelic folk tune. This track is off her forthcoming record Long Sleeves Cause Accidents which is being released in April.

Foster The People – “Pseudologia Fantasia” {Pop}

This new Foster The People track isn’t as much “Pumped Up Kicks” as one would hope it would be, but not all songs can be about a man named Robert using a six shooter gun to kill a bunch of kids. Either way I’m still stoked about the group’s new album Supermodel which is being released on March 24th.

Dead Heart Bloom – “Broken Babylon” {Ambient Rock} + Free download

Can’t say that I’ve ever heard an “ambient rock” song before this, but I feel privileged to say that Dead Heart Bloom broke my cherry on that genre front. This track is off the group’s latest EP So It Goes and you can buy it for as little as $4 here.

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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.

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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 5 indie tracks of the week

February 10, 2014 in Ambient, Chillwave, Dream Pop, Electro, Folk, Free downloads, independent bands, Indie, Pop, Rock, Synthrock

Mu – “To Be Young” {Dream Pop/Electronic}

Oh Mu, where have you been hiding in Vancouver this whole time? Seriously though: The trancy backbeats, the Feist-like vocals, the dreamy pop atmosphere…as if we needed any more reasons to be proud to be British Columbian. This track is off their new self-titled debut EP which you can buy as a name-your-price download here.

HABITS – “Splendor Of The Panic” {Synthrock}

As soon as we opened this band’s submission e-mail we were instantly swooned when we saw the words “bass-synth” and “Beck-meets-LCD-Soundsystem,” only because we have an awesome bias like that. This track is off the Los Angeles-based group’s debut album Unselves In Arrival which is being released on Fleeting Youth Records/How To Be A Microwave on February 25th, and you can pre-order the release for $5 here.

edapollo – “Tisno” {Ambient/Chillwave} + Free downloads

This Bristol-based electronic producer only just released his debut EP earlier this month, but his sound is so developed and detailed a part of me wonders if he’s secretly N’To trying to pulling a quicky on us. The EP (titled Shallow Swell) was released via Bad Panda Records, and you can download the entire release for free over at his Soundcloud page.

The Duke Of Norfolk – “The South” {Folk}

This band’s main-man (AKA Adam Howard) has released seven (!) EPs since 2011, but being the true-blue music nerd that he is he decided to rework the best songs from his discography and release them on a new album. The release Birds…Fly South! was released on February 4th, and you can buy it for $7 (or each individual track as a name-your-price download here).

FILAGO – “Funnel” {Pop/Folk}

This French-Swedish singer/songwriter is currently based in Paris, and after making wicked tunes with Erevan Tusk he’s decided to focus his attention on this new Band Of Horses-sounding project. This track is off his new EP The Blue Part In The Flame which was released last month, and you can buy it for €5 (or each track for €1) here.

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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.

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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 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}

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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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Top Albums of 2013 {Part 5}

January 8, 2014 in Album reviews, Alt-Country, Alt-Folk, Alternative, Ambient, Americana, Art Pop, Art Rock, Electronic, Experimental, Folk, Garage Rock, Industrial, Pop, Progressive Rock, Psych Folk, Psych Pop, Psychedelic Rock, Rock, Surf Rock, Top 2013

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Generationals – Heza

generationals heza

RIYL: Modest Mouse, Tapes ‘N Tapes

Don’t make the same mistake that we did and think that “Put A Light On” is the only good song on this album before you even listen to it. The entire release is smart and well crafted from start to finish, and you just don’t know what to expect from one song to the next. Plus the songs have a weird habit of switching bars of all a sudden to keep the listener on their toes, and we’re all about being kept on our toes.

To read our “Put A Light On” song review click here

Ducktails – The Flower Lane

ducktailstheflowerlane

We’re ashamed to say that we only just discovered Ducktails this year even though they’ve been around since 2006, so as you can imagine the first time our eyeballs met the beautifully-shot “Letter Of Intent” video we just had to check this album out. It hasn’t been well-received by everyone, but it’s an important release as far as indie music in 2013 goes; plus it’s packed full of dreamy, poppy tunes that blend together perfectly with the pleasant surf rock vibes and classical elements on the record.

To read our review of Ducktails’ “Under Cover” music video click here.

The Flaming Lips – The Terror

the flaming lips the terror

RIYL: Ween, Pink Floyd, Radiohead

We’re used to being surprised by Wayne Coyne and his antics by now, but the fact that The Flaming Lips ventured into extreme, earth-shattering experimental territory with this new album shocked us just as much as the next hardcore fan. This past year we’ve seen a never-ending stream of singles and videos being released off The Terror, and for that reason alone this album defined 2013 for us.

To read our review of the “You Lust” music video click here
To read our song review of “Sun Blows Up Today” click here  

Baths – Obsidian

bathsobsidian

RIYL: Radiohead, The Postal Service

All those electronic hipsters out there (us included) have been drowning in the hot, steamy electronic Baths waters ever since the release of this album back in May, although the band skyrocketed to fame back in 2010. If you’ve been hoping to dabble in a new and underrated electronic album that will leave you feeling bewildered and amused then check Obsidian out.

To read our song review of Baths’ “Ironworks” click here

of Montreal – Lousy With Sylvianbriar

ofmontreallousywithsylvianbriar

RIYL: The Flaming Lips, Beck

of Montreal have been doing our head in for about eight years now with all their crazy, out-of-this-world musical ways, so it was refreshing to see Kevin Barnes come back down to Planet Earth and live among the rest of us. The album was surprisingly listenable and even more enjoyable, and the handful of memorable songs on this album could be some of the best tracks we’ve heard from the band in a long, long time.

To read our Lousy With Sylvianbriar album review click here.

Girls Names – The New Life

girlsnames

RIYL: Joy Division, Sea Pinks, Beach Fossils

Even though we always have been, and always will be a bigger fan of their sister project Sea Pinks (because of “Fountain Tesserae,” of course), this album stuck with us since its release in February. It’s muted and understated, yet doesn’t stray too far away from 2011′s Dead To Me. 

Sigur Rós - Kveikur

sigur-ros-kveikur

RIYL: Mogwai, Volcano Choir

We always have to keep our eyes on sneaky Sigur Rós, because as long as they keep on making good music/creating good music videos we will never, ever be bored. Who cares if you can’t understand a word they’re saying half the time and that only one of the songs on the album lasts less than four minutes, this album proves that Sigur Rós will never get stale, and they never get bored. Who needs Kjartan Sveinsson anyways?

Washed Out – Paracosm

Washed Out

RIYL: The Flaming Lips, Tame Impala

When “All I Know” was released as a single back in October, it seemed like all the music blogverse was buzzing about it. And there’s no doubt about it, ”All I Know” is hands-down the best track on the album, but there’s a few other hidden gems in there as well. Plus Ernest Greene has a knack for making us feel like we’re floating down a river in a dream…anyways.

To read our “All I Know” music video review click here

Fuck Buttons – Slow Focus

fuckbuttons

RIYL: Portishead, Air

With a band name like Fuck Buttons do you really need any other reason to check them out? Well now you do, because with their 2013 album Slow Focus geting such rave reviews by both fans and critics alike, it was hard not to take notice to the band this year, epic names aside or not.

To read our “Brainfreeze” music video review click here

Julia Holter – Loud City Song

Julia holter loud city song

RIYL: Empress Of, Fiona Apple

Sharon Van Etten’s Tramp made our year last year, so as 2013 drew to a close we were frantically searching for its replacement…but we didn’t have to search for long. Loud City Song is packed full of so many delights which range from art pop to avant garde and even experimental and electronic and have vibes that are some of the best we’ve heard all year.

Justin Timberlake – The 20/20 Experience

justintimberlake

RIYL: Michael Jackson, Prince

If it wasn’t for The Lonely Island and Timberlake’s hilarious Fallon sketches we may have overlooked this album altogether. But hatred of mainstreamed egos aside we just couldn’t deny The 20/20 Experience‘s place in 2013, and J.T. certainly left a mark whenever he released or performed any track off this album. Looks like married life and Jessica Biel are suiting Mr. Timberlake after all (not that we’re jealous or anything…)

Said The Whale – Hawaii

saidthewhalehawaii

RIYL: Sam Roberts, The New Pornographers

We can’t help but have a soft spot for these Vancouverites; and they’re certainly up there with White Lung and Japandroids as some of the most notable bands to come out of Vancouver in the past decade or so. Plus you can always count on them to be entertaining; whether you end up getting mesmerized by their harmonies, laughing at their music videos, or sobbing like a little girl as you reach for a box of kleenex,… (don’t judge) this is the kind of album that can awake all of your emotions.

To read our song review of “I Love You” click here

Wampire – Curiosity

wampirecuriosity

RIYL: Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Tame Impala

We wish we could say that we discovered Wampire by accident this past summer, but really it couldn’t have been by accident given that every respectable music blog was giving them a fair amount of shout-outs. From the glorious album cover to the almost Doors-like keyboards on “The Hearse,” “Orchards” and “Snacks,” this album was one of the most intriguing and inviting releases we came across in 2013.

To read our review of “Spirit Forest” click here

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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

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