Top new videos: Johnny Cash, Pixies + The Pain Of Being Pure At Heart’s nasty little twitching problem

March 26, 2014 in Alt-Folk, Alternative, Country, Electro, Pop, Rock, Soul

Johnny Cash – “She Used To Love Me A Lot” {Country}

Wait, hold up. If Johnny Cash is dead and he’s still releasing new music videos, does that mean he’s “dead-dead” or “Tupac-dead”? Cause there’s a big difference between the two…Anyways, don’t be expecting a present-day Johnny Cash to show up in this video because he’s like, you know…dead.

Kind Of Creatures – “Quiet/Loud” {Pop/Rock}

I don’t know much about Kind Of Creatures because I only just discovered them this past week, but there’s two things I know for sure after watching this video: 1. They have a pretty mean Strokes vibe and 2. They have a pretty mean fanbase too. I can almost smell the old lady perfume from here….

Fly Moon Royalty – “DNA” {Electro/Soul}

If may not have the frills of a high-budget music video (unless you count the frilly facial make-up…) but we couldn’t help but get wowwed by the interpretive dance moves and different people mouthing the song’s lyrics while staring straight into the camera. Is it just me or do you feel like you’re getting eye-fucked throughout this video?

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – “Simple And Sure” {Pop}

I’m not sure what they’re serving at The Pain Of Being Pure At Heart’s dinner party, but everyone seems to be twitching up a storm. The GIF-inspired video was directed by Bangs, and the track is off their forthcoming album Days Of Abandon which is out on May 13th via Yebo.

Pixies – “Snakes” {Alternative Rock}

A part of me wanted to hate this new Pixies EP trilogy because I’m all about Kim D. like that, but Frank Black keeps on being just so damn awesome. The video for “Snakes” is less of a music video and more like a cops-and-robbers/Breaking Bad-style thriller starring a bunch of papier-mâché’d peeps which overall makes for a highly entertaining viewing experience.

Zebastian Swartz – “Me And My Brother” {Alt-Folk/Rock}

The latest music video from Stockholm’s Zebastian Swartz tells a touching story of a young lad who bumps into some creepy black mascot thingy in his backyard, and then later that night the creepy black mascot thingy comes back to haunt him…literally. It’s all pretty gripping and I’m sure there’s some sort of underlying metaphor behind the storyline, but I was too busy being fascinated by the 8-year-old’s impressive facial hair…

 

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

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

Coldplay – “Midnight” {Ambient/Electronic}

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

Owen Pallett – “The Riverbed” {Alternative Rock}

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

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

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

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

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

Thick As Thieves – “Ghosts” {Pop/Rap}

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

Kings Of Leon – “Temple” {Rock}

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

London Grammar – “Hey Now” {Alternative Pop}

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

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

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

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

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

Cut Copy – “We Are Explorers” {Electropop}

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Top 5 indie tracks of the week

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

Pleistocene – “The Band” {Pop/Rock}

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

Darrin Bradbury – “Swordfish” {Folk}

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

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

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

InDaze – “Equidistant” {Reggae/Rock}

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

No Kill – “Stand” {Alternative Rock}

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trust – “Capitol” {Electrogoth}

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

To listen to the song click here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To listen to the song click here.

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

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

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Top Indie Electronic Tracks of 2013 {Part 2}

December 17, 2013 in Ambient, Chillwave, Disco, Electronica, Experimental, Free downloads, House, Jazz, Reggae, Synthpop, Synthrock, Techno, Top 2013, Trip Hop, Tropical Pop

{PART 1}

Neonfaith – “Darkest Light” {Electropop} + Free downloads

Fact: Whenever the word “neon” is included an electronic act’s name you just know they’re going to be packing some hard-hitting electro punches (Neon Indian, anyone?) The group is based out of Jamaica/New York City, and if you like their work you should take advantage of all those free downloads on their Soundcloud page.

Slack Armada – “Your Majesty” {Ambient/Experimental}

Sometimes we can get a little (OK..REALLY) overwhelmed with the number of submissions we receive on a daily basis, but little did we know that this little gem was hidden amongst the bunch of e-mails we had to spend hours and hours and hours sifting through. This track is off the Chicago-based artist’s new four-track EP which you can buy as a name-your-price download here.

Cappa Regime – “After The Disco” {Disco/House} + Free downloads

This trio of DJs consisting Jake Kasheta, Shane Sherzai, and Rob “Electric” Enea have been turning a lot of heads in the electronic musicverse, and word is on the street that they plan on releasing collaborations with none other than Del The Funky Homosapien (yes, Del The Funky  Homosapien) and Moe Green. If you like their tuneage you can download a crapton of their tracks for free here.

Panic Girl – “Breathe On” {Electronica/Trip Hop}

From her white-painted face to the Portishead-ish trip hop drumbeat, we love love loved everything about this track, not to mention that the creepy-as-fuck video suited the subtle, chilled out beat perfectly; (dem drums tho….). This single is off her wicked new record Lowlands, and we highly recommend that you dish out some of you hard-earned cash and buy it for €9.90 here.

Dane Gill – “Happy Place” {Electronic/Reggae}

What do you get when you mix together chilled out reggae with some electronic backbeats? Well besides a can of a whole lotta awesomeness you also get this track, of course! This track is off his latest release (appropriately titled My Name Isn’t Skrillex) and you can buy it for $7.45 here.

Ambisonic – “Manitou” {Electronica/Synthpop}

With creepy Wampire-like synths layered on top of piano chords, hypnotic drumbeats and vintage bass foot pedals (drooooool….) what’s not to love? This dynamic duo is based out of Toronto, and you can buy their tracks for as little as $0.99 via iTunes here, or stream a ton of their songs for free over at their Soundcloud page.

COINS – “On Your Lips” ft. DOLLS {Electropop/Dubstep}

Normally we’re not a fan of overly popalicious tunes, but with this track’s dubstep backbone (not to mention its memorable lyrics…) we ended up giving this track a second chance, and are we ever glad we did (sweet baby Jesus are we ever…) This track was released as a single back in September, and you can buy it for as little as $0.99 via iTunes here.

xSDTRK – “powDer” {Chillwave}

This is one of those tracks that will stick with you once you listen to it for the first time, and its melody can get trapped in your head for days if you’re not careful. (And where is he from? Montreal, duh!) If you dig his work make sure you give him some “Like” love on Facebook and check out the rest of his tunes on Soundcloud too.

PolyEmory – “HydraFauna” (Boerd remix) {Electronica/Ambient} + Free download

Because PolyEmory is all mysteriously anonymous and whatnot, all we know about him/her is that he/she knows how to craft a tune you can just get lost in (oh and the band was founded in the year 1750 too…) If you like this tune then make sure you check out the rest of his/her tracks via Soundcloud here.

Hello Phones – “The One” {Synthpop}

We’ve already covered Hello Phones in one of our Top 5 Indie Tracks of the Week posts, but we loved them so much we just had to give it another shout-out (“Hello, Hello Phones? The synthpop genre called and they wanted us to tell you to never stop making music, like ever.”) This track is off their new album Future City which you can buy for $7 here.

Ozaka – “Go By” {Electronic/House} + Free downloads

This upbeat, pick-me-up kind-of-song made us want to put on !!!’s Rolling Stones-inspired short-shorts and boogie on down, just because we’re hardcore electro nerds like that. Ozaka is based out of Cologne, Germany, and if you like his work you can download two of his tracks for free over at his Bandcamp page.

Dorine Levy – “There For Me” {Electropop}

This tune starts off all poppy-like, but then morphs and builds into this electronica extravanza that’s so awesome it will make you want to put on a panda hat and randomly dance around a bonfire on a beach (oh, wait…) Dorine is based out of Montreal/Tel Aviv, and you can buy her new album Underwater for $9.99 via iTunes here.

Naapo – “Fall Out” {Techno/House} + Free downloads

Listening to this song made us feel like we just chugged a glass of happiness and swigged it down with a few Prozacs, but that’s what shiny, happy Australian music is all about! Naapo is based out of Melbourne and he’s only 24-years-old, so if you want to give this dude all the credit he deserves then give him some “Like” love on Facebook and check out the rest of his tunes via Soundcloud.

Diesel Kass – “Au Noir” {Electronic/Trip Hop} + Free downloads

We don’t understand a word she’s singing (only because we didn’t pay attention in French class as a youngin’) but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy this track for all it’s worth. (Plus only the Frenchies know how to create the most chilled-out music known to mankind). If you have some time on your hands be sure to check out the rest of their wicked tracks on Soundcloud and take advantage of those free downloads.

The National Pool – “Better” {Chillwave/Tropical}

This is the kind of song that gets better and better after a few listens, plus it’s got a wicked tropical/Afro beat (à la Reflektor) that made us love the tune even more. The group is based out of Nashville/Baltimore, and if you like this tune as much as we do you can buy it for as little as $0.99 via iTunes here.

 

{PART 1}

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Top 5 indie tracks of the week

October 15, 2013 in Electro, Folk, Garage Rock, Grunge, independent bands, Indie, Math Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Reggae, Shoegaze, Soul

Panucci’s Pizza – “You Know When The Trojans Got That Horse And They Were All ‘Yeah This Is Totally A Gift,’ That’s How Sure I Am” {Math Rock}

Besides the fact that this Philadelphia-based group’s new album Don’t Tip The Delivery Boy is packed full of “twinkly guitar melodies” and “mathy-spasmodic drums,” it also has a ton of song title gems like “Wait, You Know Who Frankie Muniz Is Right?” and “My Imaginary Friend Is STILL Addicted To Pornography” (not sure how we feel about “I Still Haven’t Seen ‘Almost Famous’” though). You can buy the album as a name-your-price download here.

 

WONDERBREED – “You And I” {Garage Rock/Grunge}

We can’t help but dig any band with a “KANYE KAPS LOCK” kinda name (FIDLAR? HELLOOOO!?!), but with Kyuss vibes, heavy offbeat drums and a voice just like Scott Weiland, this band is pretty hard to beat. This track is off the Brooklyn-based trio’s debut EP which was released back in April, and you can buy it as a name-your-price download here.

 

Red Math – “Jah Move” (Hype Mix) {Electro/Reggae}

Thanks to the Nashvillian bass music superstar teaming up with the reggaelicious Messengers of Jah, this tune was officially the first one to break our electro/reggae cherry (congrats guys!) This track is off of the new three-track collaborative release Jah Move which you can purchase for £3.90 here.

Lizabett Russo – “Tonight” {Folk/Soul}

With a unique-yet-strangely-familiar rustic voice (think: Luke Temple meets Amy Winehouse and then criss-cross that with Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine), it will only be a matter of time before those record office big-wigs catch wind of this Scottish songstress. Lizabett is based out of Aberdeen, Scotland, and you can stream her new EP The Traveller’s Song for free here.

Crisis Arm – “Late” {Psych Rock/Shoegaze}

This California-based group just released their brand new full-length album Caterwaul which is packed full of tunes ranging in all sorts of sounds and genres like jazz-punk and experimental/noise rock. If you dig their vibe you can purchase their album for as little as $5 over at their Bandcamp page.

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Album review: The Civil Wars – The Civil Wars {Country/Folk}

August 9, 2013 in Album reviews, Americana, Bluegrass, Country, Folk, Roots

The Civil Wars 2013 album review

REX’S RATING: 7.5 / 10

KEY TRACKS:

“Disarm”
“I Had Me a Girl”
“D’Arline”
“Devil’s Backbone”
“From This Valley”

There’s no denying the musical chemistry between The Civil Wars’ members Joy Williams and John Paul White. With intertwining vocals, and a yin-and-yang sort of songwriting partnership, you can’t help but give your best side-eye when you find out that they’re neither husband and wife, nor brother and sister, but actually happily married to other people. Then you start to wonder how their spouses feel about the obvious connection that exists between the duo, despite the fact that the two members deny ever being romantically involved with eachother.

So when the band announced their hiatus in the midst of their international tour late last year, there were whispers about whether there was some kind of affair which resulted in a civil war amongst The Civil Wars; (sorry, had to be done). But surprise, surprise, they decided to release one more (and possibly final) album, and with its release came a swirl of even more rumours, as the album’s lyrics seem to hint that a little somethin’-somethin” may have gone down between the two since forming the band back in 2009.

Even before its release fans and critics were already preparing to go over the album’s lyrics with a fine tooth comb to pinpoint exactly why the duo decided to call it quits. With songs focusing on unrequited love, heartache, loneliness, and desperation, the lyrics make the possible affair pretty much undeniable. On the closing song “D’Arline” (which was recorded on Williams’ iPhone) White belts “There’s so much I’m dying to tell / You’ll always be the only one / Even when you’re not;” and on “Same Old Same Old” (which Williams herself said was written about “the ache of monogamy”) they both sing “I’m gonna name names / I’m gonna call us out / I’m gonna say it / If you won’t”

Ooooooh do tell!

The duo even try to get all sneaky-sneaky by fitting a French song in the mix, (“Sacred Heart”) which they apparently wrote in a flat in Paris with the view of the Eiffel Tower in the distance. (And if that ain’t a recipe for an affair then I don’t know what is…) The lyrics may all be in French, but don’t worry, I FreeTranslation.com’ed that shit, and after reading the song’s broken translation I can only assume that something went down in the “City of Love.” (OK I’ll take my detective hat off, for now…)

So did they or didn’t they? That is the question. And unfortunately it’s that exact question that distracts listeners (AKA me) from giving this record the credit it truly deserves. I can respect the fact that the bickering/fighting/flirting/fucking/whatever inspired some pretty intense songs on the album, but somehow, somewhere, the music got lost and the dramatics took over. If I wanted to listen to an album full of the “wah-wah’s” I would listen to Chad Kroeger sing about his mommy-and-daddy issues, thank you very much.

But as a result of all these constant, neverending melodramatic hints that pop up again and again and again on the album, the listener is forced to spend too much time focusing on the lyrics instead of the music, which is a damn shame given the number of solid tunes on the release like “I Had Me a Girl,” “D’Arline” and “Devil’s Backbone.” One of the most buzzed about tracks on the album would have to be the Smashing Pumpkins cover “Disarm,” which has such eloquent harmonies you just know Billy Corgan is rubbing his bald head somewhere wishing that he and Courtney Love had chemistry like this.

And as impressed as I was after listening to the album, I wasn’t exactly surprised. It was everything I expected it to be (dramatically paced songs laced together with heartwrenching melodies and lyrics, romantic and religious undertones, etc. etc.). I was secretly hoping there would be more tracks like “I Had Me a Girl” (which Williams describes as having “Southern Gothic tones”); but alas, the duo were clearly thinking about other things when creating this album, and it shows. And besides the fact that a good portion of the album is covers and recycled songs (like “Oh Henry” and “From This Valley”), there were also waaaay too many sleepy slow songs on the release for my liking. (But if you’re a sucker for their “braided” harmonies then you’ll probably be more appreciative than I was).

But overall I think this album will become one of the most talked about releases of their careers; (think: Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours meets Nirvana’s In Utero). I just can’t help but be bitter with the talented duo for falling prey to the stereotypical crash-and-burn that comes with heightened fame, and the fact that they’re shoving a melodramatic “unrequited love” album down my throat only to deny that they were ever romantically involved is some borderline Lady Gaga shit.

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Top 5 indie tracks of the week

July 31, 2013 in Ambient, Americana, Chillwave, Dance, Electronic, Free downloads, independent bands, Indie, Instrumental, Punk, Rock, Surf Rock, Synthpop

42 Ford Prefect – “These Are Not the Waves You’re Looking For” {Surf Rock/Punk}

First off, this group’s take on the Star Wars theme song is totally blowing our minds right now. And second, this video stars a surfing Darth Vader and a go-go-dancing Stormtrooper which pretty much makes it the best music video OF ALL TIME!!! If you dig the tune you can buy their new self-titled release for $5 over at their Bandcamp page.

The Affordable Grand – “Addicted” {Synthpop/Dance} + Free download

This group is led by a dude named Evan who apparently works as a “desk monkey” during the day and a “pretend DJ/V-neck aficionado (‘you rip my Deep-V, this is my favorite Deep-V!’)” at night. (Ed. note: You had me at the first “Deep-V”). You can download the track for free in the player below.

Red Light People – “Vive Le Roi” (Five Knives remix) {Electronic}

The artist mysteriously known as Red Light People has revealed a brand new remix of a Five Knives track for a remixing contest via Indaba Music. The winner of the competition will get $1,000 as well as an official release on Red Bull Records, and if RLP doesn’t deserve to win then no one does; so make sure you vote for this remix by clicking here. (DO IT).

Kings of Lowertown – “Shotgun Preacher” {Americana/Rock} + Free download

We already covered another Kings of Lowertown ditty earlier this year, but we dug this new single so much we just had to give them another shout-out (plus their new album was produced/engineered by Jordon Zadorozny, who we’ve already professed our love for here and here). This is the first official single off their EP 60 More Miles which is being released in October.

Chemists – “Fashion Moon” {Ambient/Chillwave} + Free downloads

There’s so many layers, sounds and textures going on in this track it’s hard to keep track of them all, but you can definitely hear tinges of world music, dream pop, and even experimental jazz. The group (also known as 化学者) is led by Danny Bozella who is based out of Virginia, and if you like his music you can follow him on Facebook, Tumblr and Soundcloud.

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Top new tracks: Elvis Costello & The Roots, The Civil Wars + Vampire Weekend covers “Blurred Lines”

July 24, 2013 in Alternative, Electronic, Folk, Free downloads, Funk, Indie, Pop, Post-Punk, Rock, Shoegaze, Synthpop

The Civil Wars – “Dust to Dust” {Folk/Pop}

Well Civil Wars fans, judging by the lyrics of this song it doesn’t look like John Paul White and Joy Williams will be kissing and making up anytime soon, so you best be enjoying their new tunes while they last. This song is off their forthcoming (and probably final) album which is due out August 6th, so make sure you mark those music nerd calendars before you sob into your tissues.

To listen to the tune head on over here.

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

Vampire Weekend surprised everyone by covering Robin Thicke’s catchy summer pop anthem for BBC’s Live Lounge a few days ago. The tune has been one of our guilty mainstream pleasures over the past few weeks, so the fact that our favourite indie champions have covered it makes us feel a teensy weensy bit better about liking it in the first place (don’t judge).

Elvis Costello & The Roots – “Walk Us Uptown” {Rock/Funk}

Up until the release of this song we had no idea that Elvis and Costello and The Roots (you know, the band Questlove drums for) will be releasing a collaborative album on September 17th. The release has been titled Wise Up Ghost, and if the rest of the album sounds anything like this track it’s bound to be pretty damn epic.

Mesita – “Vigilant” {Indie Pop/Electronic} + Free download

Mmmmmesita (AKA James Cooley) has always been all over the place musically, but this track takes it to a whole new level. Given that Cooley just released another single (“Firesign“) a few weeks ago, it doesn’t look the independent artist is going to be slowing down anytime soon. (To check out the music video for the song click here).

Holy Ghost! – “Teenagers in Heat” {Synthpop}

Now that LCD Soundsystem has kicked the can it’s nice to hear some new music with a James Murphy credit pinned to it. The song was co-produced by the LCD Soundsystem mainman and is off the group’s new album Dynamics, which is being released on September 10th through Murphy’s label DFA Records.

Dr. Dog – “The Truth” {Alternative Rock/Soul}

The Philadelphia rockers are back at it again with their eighth (!) studio album B-Room, which is due for release on October 1st. Apparently their new album draws in inspirations from the classic soul and R&B genres, which is a stark contrast to what we’re used to hearing from band (not that we’re complaining or anything).

Summer Camp – “Fresh” {Synthpop}

Besides having one of the best band names ever, with this latest tune the Brit duo have provided us with enough cheesy synth to last a lifetime; (well…until they release their new self-titled album this fall, that is). The release is due out on September 9th and is being released by Moshi Moshi.

Crystal Stilts – “Star Crawl” {Post-Punk}

It’s been two long years since the release of the Brooklyn post-punkers’ almighty EP Radiant Door, so we were pretty stoked when we found out that they will be releasing a new album this September. This is the first single off their new album Nature Noir which is due September 17th on Sacred Bones.

No Age – “An Impression” {Indie Rock}

This Los Angeles-based group won’t be releasing their new album An Object until August 20th (or August 19th in the UK), but we’ve already heard not one, but three new tracks off the new release. If you like the song make sure you give the album’s two previously released tracks a listen here and here.

Yuck – “Rebirth” {Shoegaze/Rock} + Free download

We were pretty bummed when we read that frontman Daniel Blumberg parted ways with the group earlier this year (although he has been making some pretty wicked solo tunes as of late), but the band has since picked up a new vocalist and are currently prepping for the release of their new album. No further details have been released as of yet, but in the mean time you can download this track for free over at their official website.

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