Top 5 indie tracks of the week

January 28, 2014 in Electro, Folk, Free downloads, independent bands, Indie, Psychedelic Rock, Rock, Tribal, Tribal Rock

Vows – “Come Over My Way” {Indie Rock} + Free download

We’ll always have a soft spot for Vows because they were submitting their tunes to us when we were still a baby-blog crawling around in our own crap-filled diapers trying to get this site off the ground. But they’ve come a long way since then (and not us, obviously), and being the gracious independent musicians that they are, they’re making this track available as a free download here so get on it.

Moths & Locusts – “Slumper” {Psych/Tribal Rock}

Nanaimo may be known as being the hometown of Diana Krall, but if this band keep up the good tuneage then Moths & Locusts Square will be kicking Diana Krall Plaza’s ass in no time. This track is off their debut album Mission Collapse In The Twin Sun Megaverse (yes, Mission Collapse In The Twin Sun Megaverse), and you can buy it for $8 here.

Bombs Into You – “Evasive Me” {Electro/Rock}

The nitty, gritty Placebo fan in me fell in love with this track as soon as I heard it just because the dude sounds like a carbon copy of Brian Molko (minus the androgynous/heroin-y look, of course). The group is based out of Portland, Oregon, and you can download some of their tracks for free over at their Soundcloud page or buy their new album Shake for $5 via Bandcamp.

Selsbak – “The Only Way” {Folk}

It’s not everyday we come across a wicked Icelandic folk submission (actually so far it’s just been one day…) so listening to Selsbak for the first time was a very special treat indeed. Plus they also used a crapton of “slightly non-traditional instruments” (like the tenor guitar) to record their latest album which certainly brings up the coolness factor. This track is off their debut album White Pines which you can buy for €6 here.

Jargon Party – “Lucy Melanie” {Psych Rock/Pop} + Free downloads

Jargon Party is actually a one-man-band led by Zach Lewis, who wrote all the songs, played all the instruments, and recorded every song on his new album all by his lonesome. He has three of his tracks available for free downloads at his Soundcloud page which we know sounds fine and dandy and all, but we highly recommend you buy his new album for $8.91 (or each track for $0.99) via iTunes here.

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Top new videos: Damon Albarn, Pixies, Disclosure, YACHT + Surfer Blood serving psychedelics

January 23, 2014 in Alternative, Art Rock, Dream Pop, Electronic, Experimental, Jazz, Pop, Psychedelic Rock, Rock, Synthpop

Surfer Blood – “Say Yes To Me” {Pop/Rock}

Let’s just forget the fact that Surfer Blood’s vocalist is working as a waiter and handing out colour-changing condiments to customers at a restaurant, let’s talk about that sexy-as-hell palm tree shirt he’s wearing. And the lesson of the story here folks is to always accept food from a palm tree shirt-wearing stranger named John Paul Pitts.

Pixies – “Blue Eyed Hexe” {Alternative Rock}

It doesn’t take much to get my attention (glitter, puppies, bearded men who look like Jesus…) so watching this video from start to finish made my head explode just because there are so many random things going on. (Think: “Sledgehammer“.) From Tarot cards, creative doodles on random people’s faces, brains flying around on wings, brain with eyes, a brain snake…you get my drift.

YACHT – “Plastic Soul” {Experimental Synthpop}

The cheesy awkward close-ups, random home video shots of nothing particularly exciting, and the bright-coloured wall in the background with skeletons painted on it…Who is YACHT, where did they come from and why haven’t I heard of them before?? Turns out they’re on James Murphy’s DFA Records AND they’re from Portland, Oregon. Now this is starting to make a lot of sense…

Damon Albarn – “Everyday Robots” {Alternative Pop}

Well lookie, lookie here: It’s some solo Damon Albarn! You know…the dude from Blur and that cute little ape (AKA “2D”) from Gorillaz? The folks over at NME are going to have a field day with this one now that Albarn is pursuing a solo career, but anything is better than their neverending/unjustified Arctic Monkeys coverage.

Painted Palms – “Forever” {Alternative Rock}

Fact: If any music video stars a long-haired vocalist singing in slow motion, then there’s going to be some instant swoon/bias coming from us. Not only that, their music sounds like late-Beatles-mixed-with-Jagwar-Ma-then-crossed-with-Tame-Impala. Is this what heaven is like??

Temples – “Mesmerise” {Psych Rock}

We knew of this track’s exceptional existence late last year, but having a music video to go with it brought our love for the song out in full-force. (It’s no wonder why fancy-pants Noel Gallagher is a fan of the band…) The video was shot by Benjael Halfmaderholz and the track is off their new album Sun Structures.

Disclosure – “Grab Her” {Electronic}

We all know what it’s like working with total asswipes in an office who have no social skills whatsoever (and if you don’t know what it’s like consider yourself lucky) because this video gave us some some strong PTS from our post-University days. One thing we learned after watching this video (besides never working in an office again) is that gravity works in mysterious ways…as you will see in the last 30 seconds.

Trentemøller – “Gravity” {Electronic/Alternative Rock}

Not only does Inside Llewyn Davis actor Oscar Isaac star in this music video as an obsessive car pooler, the video also stars Lower Dens frontwoman Jana Hunter who eventually sweeps the car pooler off his feet…literally. At first glance/listen this video may seem all dark and mysterious, but by the end of it we were reaching for a kleenex (don’t judge).

Glasser – “Shape” {Dream Pop/Electronic}

This video is one of the best we’ve come across so far in 2014 thanks to some wicked, liquidy sci fi effects. It kind of has some Oblivion vibes going on (only this video was more enjoyable because we didn’t have to spend our time thinking about the whackjob behind the face and enjoy the art of it all instead). Plus the video made us feel dark, cold and alone…so yeah, it’s great!

Wild Beasts – “Wanderlust” {Experimental/Art Rock}

Like a twisted version of Community, this video follows the storylines of four characters (The Thief, The Good Lady, The Quarterback and The Girl), as they move in slow motion, and was directed by the Barcelona-based collective NYSU. Also on an unrelated/related note, “don’t confuse me with someone who gives a fuck” is officially my new anthem quote for 2014. 

King Krule – “A Lizard State” {Alternative Rock/Jazz}

The male ginger/punk version of Amy Winehouse is back with a classic black-and-white-shot video which draws in inspirations from Alfred Hitchcock (and by “draws in inspiration” I mean “actually uses a clip from Hitchcock Presents at the start of the video”). The video also reflects the classic Hitchcock film Dial M For Murder, and was directed by Jamie-James Medina.

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Rex Manning Day’s Top 10 Albums of 2013

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

10. Cage The Elephant – Melophobia


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

9. Elvis Costello and The Roots – Wise Up Ghost


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

8. Thee Oh Sees – Floating Coffin

Thee Oh Sees Floating Coffni

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

7. of Montreal – Lousy with Sylvianbriar


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

6. The Black Angels – Indigo Meadow

Black Angels Indigo Meadow

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

5. The Knife – Shaking The Habitual

The Knife Shaking The Habitual

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

4. Jagwar Ma – Howlin’

Jagwar Ma

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

3. Austra – Olympia


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

2. Wampire – Curiosity


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

1. Arcade Fire – Reflektor


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

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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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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 Indie Americana/Folk Tracks of 2013 {Part 3}

December 16, 2013 in Alt-Blues, Alt-Country, Alt-Folk, Americana, Bluegrass, Blues, Country, Folk, Free downloads, independent bands, Indie, Industrial, Psych Folk, Rock, Rockabilly, Roots, Southern Rock, Top 2013, Traditional Country

{PART 1} {PART 2}

Scott Rudd – “Bullshit Love” {Folk} + Free download

Maybe it’s the lo-fi drums or the chorus of people yelling “BULLSHIT!!!!” but this song got stuck in our head for weeks after we covered it in one of our Top Indie Tracks of the Week posts. If you dig the song as much as we do then you can download it for free in the player below, or buy his new album Lonely Life for $8 here.

Mimi Oz – “To the Ocean” {Psych Folk}

On the one hand this track contains so many harmonies, sounds and vibes (think: Empress Of), yet at the same time the song is delightfully simplistic and understated…now that ladies and gents is what we like to call a “mindfolk.” This track is off the Toronto-based songstress’ latest album Three of Swords which was released this past April, and you can buy the album as a name-your-price download (or the track for $1) over at her Bandcamp page.

The Modern Folk – “Hey” {Psych Folk/Rock} + Free downloads

This group is giving us some mean Paul Simon/Bruce Springsteen vibes, but mixing it together with a whole lotta dirty, raw and lo-fi Americana folky-rock helps makes this track extra, extra special. This song is off the Portland-based group’s latest album American Cave which was released in October, and you can buy it as a name-your-price download here.

Blue & Gold – “Ghost Man” {Blues/Rock}

If the sound of Alison Mosshart’s voice makes you see sunshine, lollipops and rainbows then be sure to check this group out. The quartet is based out of Brooklyn, and if you dig their vibe you can buy this track for as little as $0.99 via iTunes here (but make sure you give them some “Like” love on Facebook while you’re at it too).

Charles Warren Orchestra – “Get Out My Way Child” {Blues/Rock} + Free download

If listening to The Black Keys puts a little pep in your step, then you best be preparing yourself before you hit that play button. This group is based out of New York City/New Jersey, and if you like the song you can download it for free in the player below, and check out the rest of their Church of Charles EP over at their Soundcloud page.

The Schomberg Fair – “Fire in the Dark” {Alt-Country/Psych Rock} + Free downloads

It’s a very rare occasion when an artist successfully combines psychedelic rock with a driven, country twang, but this band manages to pull it off perfectly. If you like the song you can download it for free in the player blow, or you can take advantage of the ton of other free downloads that are available on their Soundcloud page.

Liam Gale & The Ponytails – “Of Letters Lost” {Country/Folk} + Free downloads

An Americana growl, a melody with a hook, a hyperactive acoustic strum…there’s so much going on in this track we don’t even know where to start. The group is based out of Sydney, Australia, and you can download it for free in the player below or check out some of their other free tunes here

Joyce Island – “Dry These Eyes” {Traditional Country}

Sometimes it’s easy to forget just how much we love us some Patsy Cline, but thanks to Best Coast’s new album and this Vancouver-based artist, our Patsy love has been revitalized in 2013. This single was released on her Bandcamp page in April, and you can download it for as little as $1 here.

Colin Easthope – “Scenic Route” {Folk} + Free download

The latest album from this talented British Columbian was produced by our buddy Blocktreat, and any friend of Blocktreat deserves a good nod in our books (not that we’re biased or anything…) This track is the first single off his new record Timothy Lake which you can stream in full over at his Soundcloud page.

Old Baby – “Into The Earth” {Blues/Rock}

It doesn’t take a lot to impress us when it comes to music videos as psychedelically delicious as this one, but the fact that this song contains one of the catchiest blues riffs known to mankind took the “Into The Earth” listening/viewing experience to a whole new level. This track is off their new album Love Hangover which was released via Karate Body Records, and you can buy it for $7 here.

Reichenbach Falls – “Risky” {Alt-Folk/Rock}

We’ve had a soft spot for Reichenbach Falls ever since we covered them in our Top Indie Tracks of the Week post a couple of months back, so as soon as we heard they were releasing some new tunes we just had to give them a listen. You can buy their new album Reports Of Snow for £6 over at their Bandcamp page (or this track for as little as £1 here).

Contron – “Oh Florida (Flawda Livin Abridged)” {Indie Folk}

Once you take off your grammar police hat and open up your mind to an overwhelming amount of lo-fi and raw folky vibes, you’ll come to appreciate this artist for all he’s worth. This track is off his new and appropriately titled unreleased/rarities/B-sides album Drugmusic 2013 (Theme Music For Dying Alone), and you can buy it for as little as $1 here.

Joe Lewis-Brown – “July” {Folk} + Free downloads

Here at RMD we love us some banjo, and luckily this track is packed full of it. Joe is based out of Southampton, England, and if you dig this tune you can download his new Heal EP in full for free via Bandcamp (but make sure you give him some “Like” love on Facebook while you’re at it too).

Arc & Stones – “Silence” {Blues/Rock}

This track may start off as a classic sounding blues song, but then it morphs into some kind of grunge/90s alt-rock vibe (à la Incubus) and totally blew us away. The group is based out of Brooklyn, and you can stream the rest of their tunes off their new self-titled EP for free over at their Bandcamp page.

{PART 1} {PART 2}

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Top 5 indie tracks of the week

November 5, 2013 in Alternative, Free downloads, Garage Rock, independent bands, Indie, Pop, Rock, Shoegaze, Surf Pop

Bars and Tone – “Makin’ Bacon” {Alternative/Garage Rock} + Free downloads

Being from the same bacon-loving nation as the creators of Epic Meal Time, we can’t help but appreciate a song dedicated to the most delicious, greasy, heavenly food known to mankind. This track is off the group’s recent release Aboard The Floating Palace Of A Good Time Billionaire Volume 1, and you can download the entire album for free over at their Bandcamp page.

Palmz – “Stay This Way Forever” {Surf Pop} + Free download

Apparently Empire Records is one of the band members’ favourite movies, so naturally we returned the favour by becoming instant Palmz fans (future submissions take note!) Palmz is a California-based songwriting project of Lexie Corfiatis, and is said to be influenced by beach mansions, puppy dogs, kitty katz, going to bed at sundown, waking up at sunrise, and $1 movies. If you dig the tune make sure you snag that free download.

Hydrogen Sea – “End Up” {Alternative Pop}

This group is living proof that magical music happens when two Belgians combine “wavy synths” and “gentle beats” with “ethereal vocals” and “moony lyrics.” The duo is led by the multi-instrumentalist PJ Seaux and vocalist Birsen Ucar, and they are currently embarking on a massive European tour to support Gabriel Rios from now until February. For more info on their tour dates click here.

Black Is Bright – “Amiupdown” {Shoegaze}

We’ve been digging the hell out of a ton of Portland-based bands as of late, so as soon as we read that this group is based out of the same city as the almighty Wampire and Unknown Mortal Orchestra we just had to give them a listen. The band is actually a music/art project let by Nick Woods, and the track is off his new five-track album Dust which you can buy as a name-your-price download via Bandcamp.

Little India – “Oola” {Pop/Rock}

This Vancouver-based group won’t be releasing their debut EP Up All Night until November 19th, but they’ve wasted no time in promoting their new music for all it’s worth. The trio consists of Conan Karpinski, Dallyn Hunt and Andrew Dixon, and if you dig their work you can give them some well-deserved “Like” love on Facebook here.

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Top 5 indie tracks of the week

October 21, 2013 in Americana, Electropop, Experimental, Free downloads, Garage Pop, Garage Rock, independent bands, Indie, Pop, Psych Folk, Psychedelic Rock, Punk, Rock, Witch House

The This Many Boyfriends Club – “Alright” {Experimental/Punk}

It may not be everyone’s cup of tea (even if your favourite cup of tea is called “TOTALLY OUT OF THIS WORLD AND CAPABLE OF MAKING YOUR EARDRUMS EXPLODE!!!!!!!!”) This tune is off the band’s new EP Die or Get Rich Trying (and no that is not a typo), and you can purchase the release as a name-your-price download here.

The Modern Folk – “Hey” {Psych Folk/Rock} + Free downloads

Are you a fan of John Prine, Neil Young and/or Bob Dylan? (Stupid question, I know.) Well if you are you then should definitely give this Portland-based artist a listen. If you dig his work you can download his new album American Cave for free, but we highly recommend you purchase it as a name-your-price download or each track for $1 here.

Tyord – “Humility” ft. CoMa {Witch House} + Free download

We wouldn’t be a true-blue Austra fan without giving any witch house submission a well-deserved shout-out; plus you can download the song for free – what’s not to love? The track is off the producer/performer’s new Rituals Religions Relations EP which isn’t out until 2014, but in the mean time you can follow him on Twitter here, and give him some “Like” love on Facebook here.

Hello Phones – “Candy Love” {Electropop} + Free download

We instantly fell in love with Hello Phones (because hellooo, they’re called Hello Phones!) The single is off their sophomore album Future City which is being released in December, and the release was mixed by none other than the Grammy Award-winning recording engineer Benedetto Nino Caccavale (Busta Rhymes, Justin Timberlake).

Saint Clare – “Goodbye to the Ghost” {Garage Rock/Pop}

Like a mix between two of our numero uno favourite Canadian bands (Clothes Make the Man and The Two Koreas), this Ottawa-based group describe themselves as being “too poppy to be considered garage rock, but to fuzzy to be considered just pop.” The track is off the band’s new EP Half Holy which is out on October 22nd.

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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 Tracks of 2013 {Part 2}

June 3, 2013 in Alternative, Dream Pop, Electro, Electronic, Electronica, Electropop, Experimental, Free downloads, Garage Rock, Goth Pop, Grunge, Jazz, Pop, Psych Folk, Psychedelic Rock, Rock, Synthpop, Top 2013, Witch House

{PART 1} {PART 3} {PART 4}

Queens of the Stone Age – “I Appear Missing” {Alternative Rock}

Given that Era Vulgaris’ first single made us “sick, sick, sick” we were prepared to cringe when we heard the first single off the band’s new album Like Clockwork. But surprisingly this track isn’t actually that bad, and it’s restored our faith in…Whatever, we’re not even going to hide our bias because of our profound love for the ginger.

Stealing Sheep – “Shut Eye” (Thom Alt-J remix) {Electronic/Psych Folk} + Free download

Thom Green AKA the drummer of the triangle band started off the year by remixing one of our favourite tracks from one of our favourite bands, Liverpool’s Stealing Sheep. There’s slight hints of the original track hidden in the remix, but the triangular twist takes the song to a whole new level.

Lana Del Rey – “Summer Wine” (Nancy Sinatra cover) {Pop/Jazz}

I know the words “Lana Del Rey” will turn any hipster’s musical boner off, but we have to give credit when credit is due. Sinatra originally recorded the track with Lee Hazlewood back in 1967, and although this version doesn’t sound too much different than the original it’s still better than Del Rey’s cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Chelsea Hotel No. 2.

SUUNS – “2020” {Psych Rock}

The musical talents of the Quebecois strike again, showing the rest of the world how awesome music is done in our country. It may be weird and all over the place, but that’s what happens when you eat copious amounts of poutine.

Holy Ghost! – “Dumb Disco Ideas” {Electro/Synthpop}

The LCD Soundsystem-like drum beats and sound effects, the never-ending synth…there’s absolutely nothing we don’t love about this track. But let’s be honest, no song can be bad if it’s by a band pinned to the DFA Records roster.

Bass Drum of Death – “Shattered Me” {Garage Rock} + Free download

Mississippi’s Bass Drum of Death have been pulling awesome tunes out of their asses left, right and center since forming back in 2008. If you’re a big fan of the Ramones and you haven’t heard of this group yet then that is a sad state of affairs my friend.

Roosevelt – “Around You” {Electronica}

This Cologne-based DJ is yet another Grego-Roman superstar we’ve fallen in love with as of late. Not to mention that the track is so awesome it could almost be Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs. Almost.

Parenthetical Girls – “A Note To Self” {Alternative Rock/Pop}

This song wasn’t anything like we expected it to be, but that’s what being a first-time listener of the Parenthetical Girls is all about. Their vibe is like a mixture of all of our favourite bands put into one, yet is still unlike anything we’ve ever heard before.

Austra – “Painful Like” {Electrogoth/Witch House}

Just as we were getting ready to finalize “Home‘s” place in our Top Tracks of 2013 list, the mighty electro goth project known as Austra went and posted this track and it blew us away. If the rest of their new album sounds anything like these two songs then we’re in for a fine treat come June 17th.

Dirty Projectors – “There’s a Fire” {Alternative/Experimental Rock}

We’ve always had a soft spot for these Dirty Projectors because they remind us of the Walkmen crossed with early Iron & Wine, and even a slight tinge of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. This track has got to be the best one we’ve heard from the band yet. How do these guys come up with this stuff?

Empress Of – “Hat Trick” {Electronic/Dream Pop}

There are so many sounds, textures and layers going on in this track you could hear it a million times and still discover something new with each listen. If you dig this tune then we highly recommend you check out her out-of-this-world “Colorminutes” series on YouTube.

Akron/Family – “Until The Morning” {Psych Folk}

If you’ve been debating on diving into Akron/Family’s new album, then this track would be the best way to start your Sub Verses listening experience. The video doesn’t really do the track justice, but when it comes to a song this beautiful no video could ever do it justice.

Still Corners – “Berlin Lovers” {Synthpop}

If you’re as big of a fan of Grimes as we are, then be sure to check this synthy track out. This is the first time we’ve heard of the London-based group, but if they keep up the good tuneage it’s safe to say that the band is going to be around for a long, long time.

{PART 1} {PART 3} {PART 4}

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Top Albums of 2013 {Part 1}

May 27, 2013 in Alternative, Dance, Disco, Electronic, Electropop, Experimental, Funk, Hardcore, Noise Rock, Pop, Psychedelic Rock, Punk, R&B, Rap, Rock, Top 2013, Tribal, Tribal Rock

{PART 2} {PART 3} {PART 4} {PART 5}

The Black Angels – Indigo Meadow

Black Angels Indigo Meadow

RIYL: The Doors, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Velvet Underground

Everyone’s been hating on the Austin Psych Fest founders-of-a-band by calling this album too “flower power-y”, but we’re telling you now all those haters are cray cray! Indigo Meadow is the band’s most cohesive release to date (think: First Impressions of Earth) and shouldn’t be overlooked by any music nerd.

Atoms for Peace – AMOK


RIYL: Radiohead, Ultraista

Maybe it was Thom Yorke’s impressive interpretive dancing skills, but we fell in love with this album as soon as we laid our ears on (and all over) it. It’s really no different than any of Radiohead’s later albums, but all of the songs on the album blend together perfectly from one track to the next, and it’s a great listen from start to finish.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra – II

Unknown Mortal Orchestra II

RIYL: Prince, Tame Impala, Ween

We’re still reeling over UMO’s 2011 album (it did have this epic song after all), so getting some new material from the psych rock gods was a great way to ring in the start of 2013. If you want to see another video off the album which may or may not include some puppet masturbation (yeah, it totally does) we highly recommend you watch the “Swim and Sleep (Like a Shark)” video here.

CHVRCHES – Recover


RIYL: Purity Ring, The xx, Niki and the Dove

Purity Ring best be prepared to hand over their electropop crowns, because the Glasgow-based duo have officially dominated the electropoppy scene these past few months. Just because it’s an EP doesn’t mean it can’t top any of the other albums that have been released this past year, and the track ‘Recover” alone deserves recognition in itself.

My Bloody Valentine – m b v

my bloody valentine m b v

RIYL: The Jesus and Mary Chain, Yo La Tengo

We were half expecting this album to be shitty just because it took the band so god damn long to release it, but after reading all the reviews we thought we’d give it a shot…and we were highly impressed. Now we can see why so many fans were desperate to get their hands on it (and ended up crashing the band’s website as a result).

Daft Punk – Random Access Memories


RIYL: The Chemical Brothers, LCD Soundsystem

You know, and I know, and the person to the left of you knows that any top 2013 album list just wouldn’t be complete without a mention of Random Access Memories. With over 20 million YouTube hits for the first single alone, I think it’s safe to say that the French robots will be living comfortably in their robot houses for the rest of their robot lives.

To read Rex’s Random Access Memories album review click here.

Tyler, The Creator – Wolf

Tyler The Creator Wolf

RIYL: Earl Sweatshirt, Das Racist

Glorious album covers aside, this dude has become a massive name in the rap community ever since the release of his 2009 album Bastard…and he’s only 22-years-old. But with the release of Wolf the rapper’s fame has catapulted even more, plus he managed to recruit a bunch of big-wigs on the album like Frank Ocean, Earl Sweatshirt, Pharrell Williams, Erykah Badu and many more.

Kurt Vile – Wakin On A Pretty Daze

Kurt Vile Wakin on a Pretty Daze

RIYL: Lou Reed, The War On Drugs

Yes, Kurt Vile is very much still around and very much still making great music. This new album of his contains some of the best work we’ve heard from him in a long,long time: Some tracks are more Cohen-y and Dylan-y than Springsteen-y (too much?) and are some of the most raw and personal tracks we’ve heard from the Phillie superstar yet.

Local Natives – Hummingbird

Local Natives Hummingbird

RIYL: Band of Horses, Fleet Foxes, Two Door Cinema Club

Once Hummingbird was released to the masses it became clear that the time had come for Two Door Cinema Club to shuffle on over and let some other band take over the indie rock scene for a change. The album is slightly heavier/intense than what we’re used to hearing from the band, and with a little help from The National’s Aaron Desnner you can’t really go wrong.

MS MR – Secondhand Rapture

MS MR Secondhand Rapture

RIYL: Florence + The Machine, Bat For Lashes, Phantogram

Everytime a single and/or video was released off Secondhand Rapture it caused a huge uproar in the music blogosphere, and after listening to the album we can now see why. Plus the band’s female vocalist Lizzy Plapinger has rainbow-coloured hair and smurf-like features, what’s not to love?

Foals – Holy Fire


RIYL: The Maccabees, Klaxons, Bloc Party

Usually we try to avoid bands that are getting a ton of airplay on the radio, but Oxford’s Foals are one of the rare groups who deserve all the mainstream attention. Not to mention that with hit singles like “Inhaler” and “My Number,” there was no point in even trying to escape from the Foal’s wrath this year.

Savages – Silence Yourself


RIYL: Joy Division, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Kills

Taking post-punk to a whole new level, the latest album from London’s Savages was praised by both fans and critics alike. Plus all-female bands are usually pretty badass, so we were sold on the group before we even heard the epic track that is “Shut Up.”

James Blake – Overgrown

James Blake Overgrown

RIYL: D’Angelo, Stevie Wonder, The xx

Living in the UK it was hard not to feel the ripple effect coming from Overgrown these past few months. As a matter of fact, his sophomore album has become such a huge thing it might even surpass the hype of his 2011 debut album (and that’s saying a lot).

Pissed Jeans – Honeys

Pissed Jeans Honeys

RIYL: Black Flag, Fucked Up

With a Sub Pop stamp of approval, these hardcore/noise rockers deserved all the credit they got this year because of this release. We could go on and on about how awesome this album is but really it would all be a lie because it boiled down to one reason, and one reason only: This music video – DUH!

Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City

Vampire Weekend Modern Vampires of the City

RIYL: Ra Ra Riot, Tokyo Police Club

The pioneers of the indie rock movement are back, so naturally fans were all a-flutter this past spring when the band started releasing tunes off their new album. But in the end it doesn’t really matter how good or bad the album is, because all Ezra Koenig had to do is bat his luscious long eyelashes for me to be sold on the release.

{PART 2} {PART 3} {PART 4{PART 5}

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