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

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

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

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

Angel Olsen – “Hi-Five” {Alt-Country}

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

St. Vincent – “Digital Witness” {Experimental}

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Libel – “Tomorrow’s Children” {Rock}

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

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

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

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

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

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Top 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 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

{PART 1} {PART 2} {PART 3} {PART 4}

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

{PART 1} {PART 2} {PART 3} {PART 5}

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Top Indie Pop Tracks of 2013 {Part 2}

December 19, 2013 in Ambient, Art Pop, Classic Pop, Dream Pop, Electropop, Experimental, Folk, Garage Pop, independent bands, Indie, Pop, Shoegaze, Top 2013

{PART 1}

Chronic City – “Key Biscayne” ft. Henri Joel {Dream Pop} + Free download

This dynamic dream pop due is based out of Vienna, and apparently they’ve been collaborating with everyone from French indie pop singers to church organists and even tigers! (Really, it’s true). If you like this song you can download it for free by heading on over to their official website.

Hits Of Ocean – “Cereal” {Experimental/Art Pop}

This song is all over the place it’s hard to make sense of it all, but that’s why we love it, oh so much. If you dig this tune as much as we do we highly recommend you stream the rest of their new album It’s Pretty Bright Out There for free here, or buy it for as little as $7 (or each individual track for $1) here.

Cajsa Siik – “The Fix” {Electropop}

Don’t let her unpronounceable name deter you, because this Swedish popster is not one to be missed. Cajsa is based out of Stockholm, and this single was officially released on November 12th via the independent digital label 100 Songs. If you like the tune you can buy it for $1.47 via iTunes here.

Choses Sauvages – “Violence” {Electropop}

Normally we’re not the type to condone violence, but this track proves that sometimes violence can be OK…when it comes to music, that is. Plus this group is from Montreal, and if you follow this blog at all you’re probably well aware that we’re convinced that anything Quebecois musicians touch turns to pure gold. If you dig this track you can download it as a name-your-price download here.

High Safari – “Waves On Waves” {Surf Pop} + Free downloads

Let’s see here…we like safaris, we like waves, and we like free music…so this track was pretty much a recipe for awesomeness. This duo is based out of London, and if you dig their work you can download some of their tracks for free over at their Soundcloud page, but make sure you follow them on Facebook and Twitter too.

Goodman – “Dawdling” {Pop/Rock}

We’ve been keeping our eye on Goodman for awhile now, just because his vocal style reminds us of our hero Julian motherfucking Casablancas. (Not only that, he’s the first artist here at RMD to make our top end-of-year lists two years in a row as well.) This single was released back in March, and you can buy it for as little as $1 over at his Bandcamp page.

Meeka Kates – “Thinking About You” {Pop/Folk} + Free downloads

We’re not the hugest fans of John Mayer, but there’s so many elements and pleasantries going on here it’s safe to say that this track is better than any Mayer song we’ve heard in our lifetime (which isn’t saying a lot, I know…) If you like the song make sure you download it in the player below, or download his entire Junior EP for free via Bandcamp too.

Jazz Mills – “Pop Song” {Classic Pop}

Hailing from Texas, this “lolly pop” songstress sounds so classy it’s hard to believe this track was released in 2013 and not 1964. If you can digs her classic vibe be sure to stream the rest of her self-titled album in full for free via Soundcloud here, and check out her music video for “Little Baby” here.

Easter Island – “Dinosaur” {Dream Pop/Shoegaze}

This dreamy, hazey tune will make you feel as if your’e floating into another dimension while you’re listening to it, so make sure your feet are planted firmly on the ground before you press that play button. The group is based out of Athens, Georgia, and if you like this track you can buy their new two-track EP for as little as $2 here.

Foreign Television – “Longlights” {Dream Pop/Ambient}

2013 was a great year for dream pop (Beach Fossils, Washed Out, Empress Of…need we say more?) and this artist is no exception. Foreign Television is actually a one-man band led by Francis Allen who is originally from Wales but is now based in Moscow, and you can buy his new album Youthless as a name-your-price download here.

Ghost Lake – “I Thought You Were My Friend” {Indie Pop/Folk}

If you’re not familiar with Ghost Lake, then you probably didn’t read our coverage on his wicked track “Late Spring Morning Sunlight,” which we played on repeat throughout the whole spring/summer seasons of 2012. So as soon as we saw that the Swede was releasing some new pop-happy tunes we got all over that shit. If you like the track you can buy it as a name-your-price download here.

Hippy – “Cat Resort” {Garage Pop}

Hippy’s new album Almost Live blew us off our feet with its awesomeness, and has been one of our numero uno favourite indie records to come out of 2013 thus far. You can purchase their new album as a name-your-price download here, but make sure you give them some “Like” love on Facebook while you’re at it too.

Swords – “All The Boys” {Electropop}

This Irish trio (consisting of Diane Anglim, Ian Frawls and Jarlath Canning) first formed back in 2010, but have been causing a stir in the Irish underground scene ever since the release of their debut album Lions & Gold. You can buy the album for €8.99 via iTunes (or each individual track for €0.99), but their tunes are also available on CD Baby and Google Play as well.

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Top Indie Rock Tracks of 2013 {Part 3}

December 9, 2013 in Alternative, Americana, Classic Pop, Classic Rock, Experimental, Free downloads, Garage Rock, independent bands, Indie, Pop, Psychedelic Rock, Punk, Rock, Roots, Surf Rock, Top 2013, Tribal, Tribal Rock

{PART 1} {PART 2} {PART 4}

Dr. DeVito – “Too Ghoul For School” {Alternative/Surf Rock}

After listening to this track we became kinda-sorta obsessed with this group; (and by kinda-sorta we mean Carrie Mathison in Homeland-style obsessed – just because we’re nerds like that) This track is off their latest album Ghoul Days which was released in July, and you can buy the track for as little as $1 here.

Hey Majesty – “Bag Of Doughnuts” {Psych/Tribal Rock} + Free download

Only the Quebecois can master the art of combining Americana, psychedelic/tribal rock and synthesizers, (and even convince us that the only two things better than a big of doughnuts are this song and video…yes they’re THAT good). If you dig this track (as you should) you can download it for free here.

White Summer – “Head In The Sand” {Rock/Blues}

This track is so good it made us want to jump on the next plane to Melbourne and stalk the band until our dying days, but a broke Canadian girl can only dream. Plus the band has a ton of Triple J love, which should tell you right there how good their music is. If you dig their work make sure you give them some “Like” love on Facebook here.

Gran – “Brain Freeze” (NSFW) {Psych/Tribal Rock}

This here is one of the most phallic of all phallic music videos we’ve ever laid our eyes upon and has the capacity to give you a “brain freeze” just watching it; (so yeah, in case you didn’t already get the hint this video is NSFW). The band is based out of Vienna and you can buy the track for as little as €1 via Bandcamp.

The Rebel Light – “Jukebox Dream” {Classic Rock/Pop} + Free download

Given that we’re such huge fans of Shannon and The Clams’ “Rip Van Winkle,” it was love at first listen as soon as we heard this track. Plus the group must be inventors of a time machine because they’ve obviously been transported from the 1960s or some shit. If you like the tune you can download it for free (or buy it as a name-your-price download) here.

Saint Clare – “Goodbye To The Ghost” {Garage Rock/Pop}

It’s a pretty rare occasion when a garage rock band manages to pull off incorporating a saxophone into one of their tunes, so for that reason alone this band deserves as much credit as they can get. If you like the tune as much as we do then you can buy it as a name-your-price download over at their Bandcamp page.

Coastgaard – “Kings” {Indie Rock}

Listening to this song is like drinking a smooth glass of the warm fuzzies (which may or may not have something to do with the the shots of smiling, happy children running alongside a beautiful ocean, but we digress…). This track is off their self-titled album which was released back in April, and you can buy it for $8 here.

Totem Tabou – “Bête Faxée” {Experimental Rock]

Here’s yet another great Quebecois group to pin to our top end-of-year lists! These Montrealers only released their debut album Hublot last month, and they’re already been turning a lot of heads in Quebec’s underground music scene. The album is currently available as a name-your-price download at their Bandcamp page, but you can also buy the track individually here.

Nathan Clarke – “What You Need” {Pop/Rock} + Free downloads

This artist has some mean Smiths/Libertines vibes going on, which isn’t surprising seeing that they’re all from the same island (you know, Great Britain?) This song is off his new album Sentimental Jamboree which was just released a few days ago, and you can download the entire album for free here.

 

The Bats Pajamas – “You Get By” {Psych Rock} + Free downloads

Toronto’s Bats Pajamas are the bee’s knees, and if you don’t believe us all you have to do is press that play button below (but make sure you prepare yourself for a creepy-as-fuck music video before you do…) This track is off their Just Ripe EP which was released in August, and you can download it for free over at their Bandcamp page.

Foolish Atoms – “Weapons For The Dance” {Alternative Rock}

Foolish Atom’s brand spankin’ new album A Crack In The Glass Eye is packed full of all sorts of musical surprises, so if you like this tune as much as we do then we highly recommend you listen to the rest of their release here. You can also buy the album for £4.99, and give them some “Like” love on Facebook while you’re at it too.

Subtitles – “I’m Gonna Get Spooned By You” {Garage Rock/Punk}

When this band wrote to us they described themselves as a “three-piece garage/punk/demon doo-wop band,” and after listening to their tunes we can see why. This track is off their new album Just A Little Bit Brighter which was released this past September, and you can buy it for as little as £2 over at their Bandcamp page.

Hiroshima Shadows – “Human Animal” {Punk/Rock}

This wicked track starts off all Walkmen-y, and then bolts into some kind of crazy, full-fledged screamy punk tune, so to say that this song is a mindfuck in itself is an understatement. The tune is off their self-titled album which was released this past summer, and you can purchase it as a name-your-price download via Bandcamp here.

The Static Tones – “Firecracker” {Alternative Rock/Blues}

Like a mix between The Black Keys and The Sword, this trio (consisting of Dan Couillard and brothers Joshua and Ian Nelson) are based out of Coeur d’ Alene in Idaho, and they just released their three-track EP DEATH a couple of months back. The EP is currently available as a name-your-price download here, but if you dig their work make sure give them some “Like” love on Facebook too.

Wish List – “I’m In A Quiet Room” {Experimental} + Free download

These Pennsylvanians only just released an EP this past summer, and they’re already started working on a new full-length album which is bound to turn a lot of heads in the indie music world. The EP is titled I Wish My Life Was Based On A True Story (true that), and you can buy it as a name-your-price download over at their Bandcamp page.

{PART 1} {PART 2} {PART 4}

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Top new videos: Daft Punk, Soundgarden, two new Pearl Jam videos + Moby in a mariachi hat

September 5, 2013 in Alternative, Disco, Electronic, Electropop, Funk, Garage Rock, Pop, Psych Pop, Rock

Daft Punk – “Lose Yourself to Dance” {Funk/Pop}

The video may be only a minute long, but seeing that that’s about as long as my Random Access Memories attention span I’ll quit my bitching for now. So….are all the Daft Punk hipsters going to like, get dreadlocks now? Because that would be totally awesome.

Moby – “The Perfect Life” ft. Wayne Coyne {Psych Pop/Electronic}

This track/video is living proof that great things can happen when a bald hippie collaborates with a hairy hippie, because Moby teaming up with the glitter-burned Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips has been nothing short of amazing. The goth choir members and obese bearded bikers in red speedos were pretty epic, but where my teletubbies at?

Soundgarden – “Halfway There” {Rock}

Now that Chris Cornell has reunited with Kim Thayil’s long, luscious locks, it’s time for us 90s grunge nostalgics to suck up all the new Soundgarden material we can get. The band doesn’t make an appearance until the end of the video, but that doesn’t mean you can’t sit back and enjoy a little sci-fi action in the mean time.

!!! – “Californiyeah” {Electropop}

It’s been a long four months since we first witnessed Nic Offer’s sexy short-shorts, so as you can imagine our mental boner went off as soon as they made their triumphant return in this new !!! video. The video was shot by the band’s soundman in Japan, and apparently security kicked them out of a glass elevator during filming (all of which was captured on tape, of course).

Belle and Sebastian – “Your Cover’s Blown” {Electropop}

If the chick in this new B&S video looks oddly familiar…it’s because she’s the famed Hannah Murray, known best for her roles in Skins and Game of Thrones (you know…one of the many daughters of Craster who gets impregnated by her father and then makes a run for it with Sam? Not that we’re fans or anything…)

Pearl Jam – “Mind Your Manners” {Garage Rock}

This new Pearl Jam video is giving us some mean “Do the Evolution” flashbacks, so if you’re a hardcore PJ fan (who isn’t?) then you’ll appreciate it more than other non-hardcore PJ fans (losers). Apparently this video was fan-made and was released shortly before Mosquito Studios went ahead and released their own animated version of the video (check it out after the jump).

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Top new videos: David Bowie, Franz Ferdinand, Fiona Apple, Pussy Riot + Nick Offerman pissing on stuff

July 30, 2013 in Alternative, Classic Rock, Dream Pop, Garage Rock, Pop, Punk, Rock

FIDLAR – “Cocaine” (NSFW) {Garage Rock}

Have you ever had the sudden urge to smash your iPhone with a hammer, drink copious amounts of booze, and then urinate all over everything you see? (People and dogs included). Well take a note from Nick Offerman’s book! Although he should really see a doctor about that fizzling spray action situation…

Fiona Apple – “Hot Knife” {Alternative Pop}

Hide yo stash, cause Fiona Apple is back after that pesky little drug arrest scare, and with a new video for a track called “Hot Knife” to boot. Apparently the video was directed by her ex Paul Thomas Anderson who previously directed many of her other videos including “Across the Universe,” “Fast As You Can,” “Limp” and “Paper Bag.”

Volcano Choir – “Byegone” {Alternative Rock}

Justin Vernon of Bon Iver has revealed the first official video for his side project (AKA that band with a name that would make L. Ron Hubbard proud), and although nothing too exciting happens in it the tree-hugging-Canadian in me can’t help but suck up all the naturistic elements in the video. Michinori Saigo directs.

Washed Out – “Don’t Give Up” {Dream Pop}

Washed Out’s brand new video is actually more like an orgasmic visual experience (thanks to the use of nature documentary footage and slo-mo close-ups of fascinating creatures and organisms). Keep ‘dem eyes peeled for the Toucan Sam and Chester Cheetah cameos!

London Grammar – “Strong” {Alternative Pop}

Get ready for a case of the “awwwws,” because as much as we hate to admit it this video’s storyline was so touching it even tugged at our cold Canadian heartstrings for a little bit. (No it didn’t. Okay, it totally did.) If dressing up as a robot and putting on a glorious fireworks display for your daughter isn’t true love, then I don’t know what is.

Franz Ferdinand – “Love Illumination” {Alternative Rock}

In this day and age when the use of Illuminati symbolism is a sign that a musician is desperately grasping at straws to be relevant again, I’m a little disappointed in FF for continuing with the never-ending Illuminati references (that shit is getting old). But hey, if it works for Madonna and KAPS LOCK “YEEZUS” KANYE then it can work for anyone…

David Bowie – “Valentine’s Day” {Classic Rock}

This new Bowie video is proof that all you have to do is put on a white shirt, strum a guitar and sit in an old building to make a classic music video that everyone will love; (well only if you’re David Bowie, that is). We better watch what we say because we wouldn’t want him staring us down with his one blue eyeball again…

Pussy Riot – “Как в красной тюрьме / Like a Red Prison” {Punk}

While two Pussy Riot members (Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina) are still sitting in a Russian prison, the remaining members of the feminist group have released a new video targeting the Russian oil industry (and Vladimir Putin too, obviously). The video features both Russian and English subtitles, and you can access them at the bottom of the player below.

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