Top new tracks: Austra, Tori Amos, two new Michael Jackson songs + Bob Dylan covers Frank Sinatra

May 14, 2014 in Classic Pop, Country, Electronic, Electropop, Hardcore, Jazz, Pop, Punk, Witch House

Bob Dylan – “Full Moon & Empty Arms” (Frank Sinatra cover) {Classic Pop/Country}

Good ol’ (as in “really old”) Bobby D. is still churning out tuneage at his ripe age, and despite the fact that it’s a tad on the boring/graspy side you can’t really go wrong when it comes to a classic music god covering another classic music god. And because Bob is the music snob that he is (c’mon…we all know it…) you can only stream the song over at his official website.

To listen to the song click here.

Michael Jackson – “Loving You” + “Blue Gangsta” {Pop}

I feel bad feeding into this posthumous, money-making MJ scheme just so Jermaine Jackson can pay off his child support debt, but the fact that “Loving You” was originally recorded during the 1987 Bad sessions and Timbaland/J-Rocc added their own little touch to the tune helps a teensy bit. The tracks are off MJ’s second(!) posthumous album Xscape which was released yesterday.

Klaxons – “Show Me A Miracle” {Electropop}

Klaxons are back with a tune that happens to share the same words I said to myself before I pressed the play button (they have been releasing some cheesy-as-fuck singles as of late…) But then again James Murphy did help produce their new album and we do have a nasty little LCD Soundsystem bias in case you haven’t figured it out already. This is the fourth single off their third release Love Frequency which is out on June 16th.

Fucked Up – “Led By Hand” ft. J Mascis {Punk/Hardcore}

Don’t let our kind, apologetic exterior fool you, because Canadians can be pretty fucked up and hardcore. (Have you been to a metal concert in the Prairies? I rest my case). This is the second single off the group’s forthcoming album Glass Boys which is being released on June 3rd via Matador.

Austra – “Habitat” {Witch House/Electronic}

Austra is about to make our summer for a second year in a row thanks to their new EP coming out on June 17th, and I’m so damn excited about it I want to ride into the forest on a black horse and participate in a strange Wiccan ritual. (Okay so maybe I’m not THAT excited…). This track is off their EP of the same title which is being released by Paper Bag Records (in Canada) and Domino (everywhere else).

Tori Amos – “16 Shades Of Blue” {Electronic/Pop}

We were caught off-guard by the electronic backbone laced throughout this track (that’s some real Benjamin Button shit right here…) and it just goes to show that Tori Amos can tap into any new movement and perfect it gracefully. This is the third single from her hot-off-the-press album Unrepentant Geraldines, with the first two being “Trouble’s Lament” and the live radio rendition of “Selkie.”

Ruby My Dear – “Nell” {Jazz/Pop}

Normally we hate jazz with a fiery passion but the tinges of Chantal Kreviazuk and Tori Amos in this track ended up winning us over. The group is led by the “Australian-born, New York-based indie jazz darling” Gabbi Coenen, and they’re currently prepping for the release of their second EP which is out later this year.

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

Top 5 indie tracks of the week

April 8, 2014 in Dream Pop, Folk, Free downloads, independent bands, Indie, Indie Folk, Pop, Psychedelic Rock, Roots, Synthpop

Who Are You Lutra Lutra?? – “The Memory Too” {Indie Folk}

I have no idea who Lutra Lutra is (OK I lied – I totally Googled that shit two seconds after hearing this track), but Who Are You Lutra Lutra?? are a Frenchy Berlin-based who self-produce their own albums and even organize their own tours. (This is about as indie as it gets, folks!) This track is off their second EP White On White which you can buy for €7 (or each track for €1.25) over at their Bandcamp page.

The Feel Bad Hit Of The Winter – “Lend A Hand” {Rock}

I wouldn’t be a true-blue Josh Homme stalker Queens Of The Stone Age fan without giving this track a good mention (“Feel Good Hit Of The Summer” anyone?) This group is based out of Kansas City, and you can buy their new self-titled album for $8 (or each individual track for $1) over at their Bandcamp page.

Roladex – “Anthem For The Micro-Age” {Synthpop}

With descriptions like “Italo-disco” “Kraut-rock” and “the love child of Pet Shop Boys and Kraftwerk” it was only a matter of time before we fell for this synthpoppy duo. The group is originally from Texas but now based in Seattle, and if you want to buy their latest release (Anthems For The Micro-Age) for as little as $8 click here.

Toui Manikhouth – “Flowers In Zara” {Folk/Pop} + Free downloads

Acoustic tracks can be a hit or miss with us (just because we’re snobs like that), but the amount of talent behind a tune like this one is undeniable. Toui is based out of Hamilton, Ontario and recorded his new three-track acoustic This Service EP in his basement. If you dig his work you can download the entire release for free (or as a name-your-price download) over at his Bandcamp page.

Feather Revs – “Utero” {Psych Rock/Dream Pop}

We’re slightly guilty of checking out this track just because of all this recent Nirvana-getting-inducted-into-the-Rock-And-Roll-Hall-Of-Fame-talk, but it didn’t take long for us to fall in love with its Coldplay-mixed-in-with-U2 vibes. The group is based out of Stockholm, and if you like their work you can stream a crapton of their tracks over at their Soundcloud page.

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

Top new tracks: Daft Punk ft. Jay-Z, of Montreal, St. Vincent + Big Boi rapping about Daenerys Targaryen

March 13, 2014 in Art Rock, Dream Pop, Electronic, Electropop, Hip Hop, Indie, Instrumental, Psych Pop, Rap

Big Boi – “Mother Of Dragons” {Rap/Hip Hop}

Word on the street is that Big Boi is a big boi fan of Game Of Thrones, and that’s kind of a big boi deal in my mind (OK I’ll stop now…) Seriously though, can you imagine Big Boi curled up on a couch crying like a little bitch during The Red Wedding episode? Not that I did that or anything…Anyways, this track is off the new HBO-produced/Game Of Thrones-inspired mixtape Catch The Throne which was released on Friday, and you can find out more info about it here.

Daft Punk ft. Jay-Z – “Computerized” {Electronic/Rap}

I probably wasn’t alone in having a “say whaaaa?” moment when I first heard about Daft Punk collaborating with Jay-Z. If anything I’m ashamed I didn’t see it coming sooner (seeing that famewhores music collaborating nerds tend to team up with other famewhores music collaborating nerds). Some folks were starting to think that the tune was a fake (much like many other supposed “Daft Punk” tracks), but this one is the real deal.

St. Vincent – “Del Rio” {Art Rock/Electronic}

We’ve been so busy with our Angel Olsen, Beck, Sam Roberts (and soon-to-be Metronomy) album reviews we totally forgot that St. Vincent’s new album dropped on February 24th – shocking I know, seeing that Annie and her Wayne Coyne locks are EVERYWHERE at the moment. So listening to this new B-side of hers was a great way to prepare for my Digital Witness listening marathon (which is probably going to last at least two to three months…)

)

of Montreal – “Jigsaw Puzzle” {Psych Pop}

Because Kevin Barnes is Kevin Barnes-like, it seems like every other week he’s pulling some kind of surprise out of his ass that ends up blowing me away. Apparently this tune was recorded during the making of one of our favourite albums of 2013 Lousy with Sylvianbriar, but was left off the release because let’s get real here…no album can handle THAT much awesomeness.

Dfalt – “Untitled Morning #1″ {Electronic/Instrumental}

Here’s something that’s a little different. Apparently this L.A.-based producer is in the midst of releasing a track everyday for his new track-per-day project via Daylight Curfew, and all of his songs released to date are currently streaming on his Soundcloud Page. As of today he’s on “Untitled Morning #25” so if you have some extra time on your hands definitely check that shit out.

How To Dress Well – “Words I Don’t Remember” {Electronic/R&B}

As if having one of the best band names ever wasn’t enough, How To Dress Well AKA Tom Krell is now releasing mysterious tracks as well as prepping for his upcoming tour (which apparently includes openers Forest Swords – kind of a big deal). No word yet as to whether this tune will be included on an upcoming album, but a music nerd can only dream.

)

Fear Of Men – “Outrun Me” {Indie/Dream Pop}

It’s hard to believe that Fear Of Men’s debut album hasn’t even hit the pavement yet seeing that we’ve been such huge fans for what seems like forever now…Loom is going to be released on April 7th via Art Is Hard, and apparently the group will also be releasing a 7″ on April 7th as well. So yeah, March is going to be the longest month ever.

The Range – “Washingtons” {Electropop/Rap}

Apparently The Range AKA James Hinton has been turning a lot of heads in the last year with his wicked electronica, but this is actually the first I’ve ever heard of his project. This track, which perfectly meshes together the synthpop and rap genres (who knew synth and rap went together so well???) is off his new album Panasonic which is out March 25th via Donkey Pitch.

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

Album review: Angel Olsen – Burn Your Fire For No Witness {Alt-Folk}

February 28, 2014 in Album reviews, Alt-Country, Alt-Folk, Alternative, Psych Folk

angelolsenburnyourfirefornowitness

REX’S RATING: 9 / 10

KEY TRACKS

“Hi-Five”
“High & Wild”
“Forgiven/Forgotten”
“Lights Out”
“Iota”

If Emmylou Harris’ and Joan Baez’s future reincarnations procreated and gave birth to a Cat Power who never hooked up with a Scientologist/got into heroin, that would be Angel Olsen in a nutshell. And although I’m a Cat Power nerd through-and-through, Olsen is slowly creeping up to be one of my favourite folky songstresses on my snobby little iPod (and my iPod is VERY particular about what goes on it – it picks the tracks, not me).

The Missouri-born but Chicago-based 27-year-old had already released an EP Strange Cacti in 2011 as well as a debut album Half Way Home the following year, but the first time I heard of her was when her new album’s leading single “Hi-Five” was released, and it immediately caught my attention (because obviously). Ever since then her name started popping up here, there and everywhere in the music blogosphere, and it was clear that Burn Your Fire For No Witness was to become one of the most talked about releases of 2014.

But given the vibe of the single, I was expecting the album to have a lot more of a twangy, country feel, so I was surprised to hear Olsen cover an umbrella of different sounds, genres and vibes on her album ranging from vintage folk, tribal rock and even 90s grunge. ”White Fire” has a lot of tracey Leonard Cohen thrown into the mix, “High & Wild” is the only non-Black Angels song I’ve heard come close to sounding remotely similar to the Black Angels, (is Olsen secretly their drummer or something?) and “Forgiven/Forgotten” sounds like something straight out of a grunge record from the 1990s.

Because there’s a lot of variety in the album, almost too much, the ebb and flow of the album isn’t as settling as one would hope it would be. The album starts off with a bang, then dips slightly at “White Fire,” and although it reaches it peak halfway through, it then slowly peters out into a boring folk territory around the last few tracks. So in other words, Burn Your Fire For No Witness has a nasty case of the “Shuffle Syndrome.” If you play this album on shuffle it’s great, but listening to it from start to finish gets redundant.

Now don’t go thinking that I didn’t like the album, because that couldn’t be further from the truth. I just can’t help but hold Olsen to a much higher standard after hearing what she’s capable of, and somehow I get the inkling that with a little more time and/or encouragement this album could have followed through in being absolutely perfect with no flaws whatsoever. It’s as if an “A” student submitted an assignment worth a “B-.”

Nevertheless there are still countless qualities in this album any music nerd will enjoy. It’s very, very vintage and very, very lo-fi, and the tunes are short, but get to the point and don’t beat around the bush. There’s also a ton of sharp melodies heard on songs like “Iota” and “Lights Out” – a track that made me pull a Paul McCartney circa 1964 when he first started plunking out the melody to “Yesterday” on the piano. “Does this song sound familiar to you? I swear I’ve heard this before...”

But what I liked most about the record was how philosophically deep it was, and like any other true-blue folk release, it tells a touching story and has a ton of classic one-liners like “if all the world could see it with one eye / in perfect colour to the perfect sky” and “some days all you need is one good thought strong in your mind” made me sit back and strike a pose like this.

And I’m warning you now: The album may or may not leave you with an extreme case of the sads. Not “sad” as in crying sad, but the kind of sad you feel when you find out Phillip Seymour Hoffman died, or when you realize that Justin Bieber is from the same country as you. So in other words, total and utter despair and no hope for the future. So if you’re prepared to dive deep into the well of heartbroken foreverness, then light some candles, grab a box of Kleenex, put Downton Abbey on pause and prepare to get blown away.

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

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.

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

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?

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

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.

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

Top Tracks of 2013 {Part 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!

{PART 1} {PART 2} {PART 4}

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

Top Albums of 2013 {Part 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

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

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

Top Albums of 2013 {Part 4}

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

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

Crystal Stilts – Nature Noir

crystalstilts

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

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

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

!!! – Thr!!!er

THR!!!LER

RIYL: Cut Copy, Happy Mondays

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

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

Arcade Fire – Reflektor

arcadefirereflektor

RIYL: LCD Soundsystem, David Bowie

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

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

Janelle Monáe - The Electric Lady

janellemonaetheelectriclady

RIYL: Lauryn Hill, Outkast, Erykah Badu

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

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

Dr. Dog – B-Room

drdogbroom

RIYL: The Band, The Beatles

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

HAIM – Days Are Gone

haimdaysaregone

RIYL: Feist, Paramore, Fleetwood Mac

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

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

David Bowie – The Next Day

davidbowiethenextday

RIYL: The Kinks, LCD Soundsystem

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

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

Austra – Olympia

AustraOlympia

RIYL: Grimes, The Knife, Bjork

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

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

Belle and Sebastian – The Third Eye Centre

belleandsebastienthethirdeyecenter

RIYL: Iron and Wine, of Montreal

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

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

Action Bronson – Saab Stories

actionbronsonsaabstories

RIYL: Ghostface Killah, Das Racist

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

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

Cut Copy – Free Your Mind

Free Your Mind

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

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

To read our Free Your Mind album review click here

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

edwardsharpeandthemagneticzeros

RIYL: Buffalo Springfield, Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane

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

No Age – An Object

noageanobject

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

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

The Weeknd – Kiss Land

theweekndkissland

RIYL: Michael Jackson, Frank Ocean

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

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

Blood Orange – Cupid Deluxe

bloodorangecupiddeluxe

RIYL: Prince, Frank Ocean

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

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

{PART 1} {PART 2} {PART 3} {PART 5}

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