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 tracks: Friendly Fires, Mac DeMarco, Fucked Up, Say Lou Lou + the return of Pepper Keenan

March 19, 2014 in Dream Pop, Electronic, Free downloads, Hardcore, independent bands, Indie, Metal, Psych Pop, Psychedelic Rock, Punk, Rock

Say Lou Lou – “Everything We Touch” {Dream Pop} + Free download

Admit it, you just said “Lou Lou” out loud. But confusing band names aside this track is nothing short of amazing, and mirrors other dream pop masters like Empress Of and Fear Of Men (only with a tad of cheese on the side). If you like the track you can download it for free over at the band’s website.

Oliver Wilde – “Play & Be Saved” {Psych Rock/Pop}

We’ve been going through a mad Mac DeMarco phase as of late, so anything that sounds like our fellow Vancouver Islander gets a nod from RMD. Oliver Wilde (or Oscar Wilde reincarnated for lazy readers like my dumb ass) is based out of Bristol, and is currently prepping for the release of his new album Red Tide Opal In The Loose End Womb which is out on May 5th.

Mac DeMarco – “Brother” {Psych Pop/Rock}

Well speak of the devil…our favourite fellow Vancouver Islander is back with a brand new single which is off his highly-anticipated Salad Days release, so I guess it’s time to stop listening to “Passing Out Pieces” on repeat now. DeMarco has certainly achieved a cult-like following over these past few years, but 2014 has proven to be a very magical Mac DeMarco year indeed thus far.

Friendly Fires & The Asphodells – “Before Your Eyes” {Indie Rock/Electronic}

We’re pretty familiar with Friendly Fires (because, duh) but this is the first we’ve heard of The Asphodells (AKA Andrew Weatherall and Timothy J Fairplay). Either way this collaboration between the two groups is pretty mindblowing; but with trancey psychedelic harmonies, danceable, synth-happy beats and a tribal backbone how could it not be?

Down – “We Knew Him Well” {Metal}

In case you didn’t already know, Down is the sludge metal supergroup consisting of Phil Anselmo of Pantera and Pepper Keenan of Corrosion Of Conformity; so if that didn’t already win you over I don’t know what will. This track is off their forthcoming EP Down IV – Part Two which is due out on May 13th via ADA.

Fucked Up – “Paper The House” {Punk/Hardcore}

Well colour me surprised: Fucked Up are back with a brand new record called Glass Boys which is being released on June 3rd via Matador (in the U.S.) as well as Arts & Crafts (in Canada). The news has already had a trickle effect in the Canadian musicverse, so if the rest of the album sounds anything like this tune you best be expecting the release to pop up on every end-of-year-list imaginable.

To listen to the track click here.

The Folk – “In Silence” {Alternative Rock} + Free download

The Folk’s “Rules Of Youth” was one of our favourite submissions of 2012 and we still find ourselves returning to it from time to time; so we were pretty stoked to see that the Ontario-based group is releasing new material. This new track of theirs has some mean-clean early Smashing Pumpkins/Tegan and Sara vibes to it, and if you digs it you can download it for free here.

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Top new videos: The War On Drugs, Franz Ferdinand, Dum Dum Girls + Against Me! gets Davos Seaworth-ed

March 18, 2014 in Americana, Classic Rock, Electro, Electropop, Experimental, Pop, Rock

Dum Dum Girls – “Are You Okay” {Pop/Rock}

The latest music video from Dum Dum Girls (which happens to share the same words my friend said to me after he found me passed out on the sofa listening to Too True) is actually an 11-minute short film starring…you guessed it: Dee Dee Dum Dum! Apparently the story was written by Bret Easton Ellis (of American Psycho fame) and also stars Shiloh Fernandez (The EastRed Riding Hood), and Sophia Marzocchi.

Franz Ferdinand – “Fresh Strawberries” {Pop/Rock}

Franz Ferdinand seem to really be pushing the strawberry motif as of late – maybe they’ve been dabbling in the same psychedelics John Lennon took in 1966? But surprisingly enough this new music video of theirs doesn’t have one single strawberry in it! Well there might have been; but I was too distracted watching FF bang-down-flip-it-and-reverse-it to notice.

Against Me! – “Black Me Out” {Rock}

A new Against Me! video is here for my numero uno favourite song off Transgender Dysphoria Blues, which means I finally have some visuals to go along with the song that inspires me to scream “I’M GONNA PISS ON THE WALLS OF YOUR HOUSE” at random points throughout the day/night. Plus the kinda-sorta lyric video also features a few Game of Thrones-like scenarios here and there which make for a grimacing watch.

Van Pi – “Dreamroof” ft. Anna Speller {Experimental/Electropop}

Dutch experimental poppers have decided to bless me with a video that covers all of my personal heaven cliches: Walking on the beach barefoot in the sand, snow glistening like glitter on the ground, balloons floating up into the sky and…hold up, why did a naked person flash across my screen for two seconds??

The War On Drugs – “Red Eyes” {Americana}

In The War On Drug’s latest music video the band acts as judges in a talent show in order to recruit future bandmates, only the contestants aren’t exactly “rock star” material; (AKA old people, desperate hoola hoopers…you name it) IMO Adam Granduciel should have won the competition just for convincing me that he’s really Bruce Springsteen in a brown wig after a ton of cosmetic surgery…but anyways.

The Men – “Pearly Gates” {Classic Rock}

When I first heard this single awhile back I thought to myself that something was missing…and now I know what: A badass music video with a wild police chase, of course! If you didn’t think The Men were badass before, then this music video will certainly change your mind…

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Top 5 indie tracks of the week

March 11, 2014 in Dream Pop, Electronic, Free downloads, Garage Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Punk, Shoegaze, Synthpop

Korean Drama – “Jimmy” {Punk/Garage Rock}

This one-minute-long track is more badass than any punk song we’ve ever covered here at RMD, and if this is what Korean drama actually sounds like then Kim Jong-un better watch his 100% backed-up ass yo!! (J-Jimmy?) Their forthcoming cassette release Reply 1994 isn’t due out until May, but in the mean time you can follow them on Twitter here.

Costado – “Capricorn One” {Shoegaze/Psych Rock}

It’s been a little slow on the shoegaze front so far in 2014 (actually it’s been more like slower than molasses in January kind-of-slow…) so as soon as we hear a good shoegazey tune we jump all over that shit. This group is based out of New York, and you can check out the rest of their work over at their Bandcamp page.

Luha – “Lullaby” {Electronic/Dream Pop}

With a sound that crosses between Radiohead and The Cranberries and vocals similar to that of CHVRCHES and Purity Ring, it’s safe to say that Luha has all the ingredients any music blogger could hope for when it comes to independent submissions. And because this chicka deserves waaay more Facebook “likes” than 95, you can follow her on Facebook here.

Film/Noir – “Sirens” {Synthpop/Dream Pop} + Free download

This London-based artist is only 19 years old, so the fact that he managed to create such a mind-blowing, out-of-this-world electronic tune is pretty impressive for someone at such a ripe young age. His new EP isn’t going to be released until this summer, but if you’re as impatient as I am you download this track for free in the player below.

Manfred Kidd – “Lights” {Alternative Pop}

We’re getting some pretty wicked Passion Pit vibes from this track, which is the first single off the Gothenburg-based group’s forthcoming EP. Plus they recently recorded some tunes in a 19th century inn as well as in a cabin on Sweden’s West Coast archipelago which makes them extra badass. If you like this tune you can buy it for as little as $0.99 via iTunes here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WATERS – “Got To My Head” {Pop/Rock}

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

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

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

Yuko – “The Idealist” {Psych Folk}

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

Foster The People – “Pseudologia Fantasia” {Pop}

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

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

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

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Top 5 indie tracks of the week

February 25, 2014 in Alternative, Chillwave, Electronic, Free downloads, Hardcore, independent bands, Indie, Pop, Punk, R&B, Rock, Shoegaze, Synthpop

M.S.A. – “Waste Of Life” {Punk/Hardcore} + Free download

Any Canadian music nerd will tell you that the hardcore music scene in the Prairies is pretty badass, so as soon as we read that this punk group was based out of Edmonton we had to prepare ourselves for a whole lotta whoop ass before we hit the play button (and we highly suggest you do too). And if their badassery didn’t make you piddle in your panties and run and hide into the nearest corner from embarrassment, you can check out the rest of their tracks here.

Neeco Delaf – “Odyssey” {Chillwave/Pop}

We’re not a huge fan of the good ol’ autotune, but Neeco Delaf knows how to pull it off just right (or maybe we’re biased because we’ve already covered one of their tracks here?). Either way any electronic geek will appreciate the chilled-out R&B vibe of this tune. Make sure you check out the rest of their tunes on their Bandcamp page and give them some “Like” love on Facebook.

Soonar – “All Made Of Parts” {Alternative Rock/Shoegaze}

With a riff that could get you hooked in seconds, these “dinosaurs of Dutch indie rock” managed to pull together a vibe that sounds like all of my favourite rock ‘n roll songs put together into one; so for that reason alone they deserve a good shout-out. You can check out the highlarious music video for the track below, but if you like this song you can buy it as a name-your-price download here.

Stereodyssey – “Deep Space” {Synthpop} + Free downloads

This music-making machine of a project has released not one, but two new EPs in this month alone (Memory Bank EP and Memory Bank Vol. II Moon Songs EP), so clearly this dude means business. “Deep Space” has been our guilty pleasure this past week, but we recommend you listen to his other tracks on his Soundcloud and Bandcamp pages (where all his tunes are available as free and/or name-your-price downloads).

Family Photo – “Eureka” {Alternative Pop}

This song is more like a stir fry of a variety of different sounds ranging from alt-folk, indie, even a dash of electronic and classical elements, which is fitting seeing that the five-piece hails from all corners of the U.S. like Oregon, Ohio and Boston (although they’re now based in Sacramento). This track is off their latest release All We Ever Do which was released via Stereocure.

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Top new tracks: Suzanne Vega, Thee Oh Sees, Little Dragon, Blitzen Trapper + MØ covers the Spice Girls

February 18, 2014 in Alternative, Classic Pop, Classic Rock, Dance, Disco, Electronic, Electronica, Experimental, Free downloads, Nu Disco, Pop, Psychedelic Rock, R&B, Soul

Suzanne Vega – “Don’t Uncork What You Can’t Contain” {Alt-Folk}

Not only is that “doo doo doo-doo doo doo-doo doo” singer back, she’s also sampling 50 Cent and sounding good whilst doing so too. The fact that she’s releasing her first album in seven (!) years is shocking enough, but Suzanne is full of surprises like that…And yeah I’m totally going to write this song title on the five bottles of red wine that are stashed in the corner of my room right now…

Blitzen Trapper – “Coming Home” {Classic Rock/Soul} + Free download

This new Blitzen Trapper single is so classic rock you can almost see a sweaty Joe Cocker swaying to it while he’s hopped-up on drugs; plus it’s available as a free download on Soundcloud. #Winning! The song is off their seventh studio album (appropriately titled VII) which was released last September.

MØ - “Say You’ll Be There” (Spice Girls cover) {Electronica/R&B} + Free download

Denmark’s R&B songstress Mø surprised everyone by covering the classic Spice Girls hit that I know you can still recite all of the lyrics to (don’t be ashamed, now). Hearing the track after so long was bittersweet for me seeing that the song was released before David Beckham cheated on me/knocked up Posh Spice, so listening to this song again opened up a lot of 90s wounds to say the least…

Young Widows – “Kerosene Girl” {Psych Rock}

This track is so deliciously dark and gothic, just listening to it is like getting a kick to the face; (so it just goes to show that sometimes, just sometimes, getting a kick to the face can be awesome). The track is off the group’s forthcoming album Easy Pain which is being released on May 13th via Temporary Residence.

The Juan Maclean – “Get Down (With My Love)” ft. Nancy Whang {Nu-disco/Dance}

The Juan Maclean collaborating with Nancy Whang is more than just a classic poet-and-didn’t-know it scenario, because if you follow the LCD Soundsystem/DFA Records’ circle closely then you’re probably already aware that both these artists have been making epic tunes with James Murphy for quite some time (and any friend of LCD Soundsystem’s is a friend of RMD’s). This track is off The Juan Maclean’s new album which is due out this summer.

Spiritualized – “Always Forgetting With You (The Bridge Song)” {Electronic/Classic Pop}

This song was released a few weeks back and somehow it slipped through our fingers…but by the grace of the musical gods we stumbled upon it by accident a few days ago. Combining a wide range of genres we’ve never heard combined before (like classic doo-wop pop, electronica and space rock), this track is off their new record The Space Project which is out on Record Store Day (AKA April 19th).

Thee Oh Sees – “Penetrating Eye” {Experimental/Psych Rock}

Now that Thee Oh Sees have announced that they’re taking a well-deserved (but much-despised) hiatus, we’re going to suck up any new material we can get until then. This song is off one of our most anticipated albums of 2014 Drop, which drops (heh) on April 29th via Castle Face Records.

Little Dragon – “Klapp Klapp” {Synthpop}

This tune starts off like the intro to Joy Division’s “No Love Lost,” but then out of nowhere morphs into a spectacular synth wonderland, Swede style. (I think I’m in love). The track is the first single off the band’s new album Nabuma Rubberband which is being released on May 13th in the U.S. and May 12th everywhere else.

Palehound – “Pay No Mind” {Pop/Rock}

Palehound’s name has been floating around the music blogverse since last year, and with Silverchair/Soundgarden similarities and an upbeat girly-rock vibe with a 90s edge, it’s easy to see why so many bloggers have been making a fuss out of them. This track is off their new 7″ which is out on February 25th via Exploding In Sound Records.

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Top new tracks: Lana Del Rey, The Presets, Cloud Nothings, We Have Band + CHVRCHES covers Bauhaus

January 30, 2014 in Alternative, Classic Pop, Disco, Dream Pop, Electronic, Electropop, Free downloads, Funk, Grunge, Pop, Psychobilly, Rock, Rockabilly, Shoegaze, Surf Rock, Synthpop

Lana Del Rey – “Once Upon A Dream” {Classic Pop}

Haters gonna hate, but Lana Del Rey is still around, still making music, and still sounding pretty damn awesome. The track will be featured in the upcoming Sleeping Beauty-inspired film Maleficent starring the homewrecker/orphan collector Angelina Jolie (you can watch the trailer for the film here).

De Lux – “Make Space” {Disco/Funk}

We always dig a song that makes us want to pull some hip shoulder-poppin’ moves (like the ones seen in the sexy-as-hell Flight of the Conchords intro), but this pick-me-up of a song certainly put an extra pep in our step on this cold January day. This single is off the band’s forthcoming album Voyage which is being released this spring.

The Presets – “Goodbye Future” {Electronic/Funk}

Blame it on the Random Access Memories-overload, but the start of this tune instantly turned our musical boner off just because of its “Lose Yourself To Dance” similarities. But if you agreed with the joke that is the Grammy Awards then you’ll probably enjoy this track more than we did. Luckily the tune picks up after the first 30 seconds and starts to sound more like The Presets we’ve grown to love over the years.

Cloud Nothings – “I’m Not Part Of Me” {Pop/Rock}

Well colour-me-not-surprised-at-all, Cloud Nothings are prepping to release what is bound to be yet another memorable album, and apparently it hits the pavement on April 1st. This track sounds like classic, lovable Cloud Nothings, and we’re hoping that it will only be a matter of time before the track gets some Magic School Bus-inspired video treatment.

The Rebel Set – “Monster” {Surf Rock/Psychobilly} + Free download

Coming from the land of Big John Bates, we’re always on the lookout for a new and wicked psychobilly track, and luckily this Phoenix-based group delivered. Not only is their new album called How To Make A Monster!, it was also released on a label called Burger Records (as well as their own label Silver Hornet) on January 21st. If you dig the tune make sure you snag its free download in the player below.

The Love Junkies – “Chemical Motivation” {Alternative Rock/Grunge}

Forget about that highlarious album cover (actually, please don’t) because this song is equally as epic. It may start off with a little pop-on-rock edge, but then blasts into some rough and gritty grunge during the chorus to keep listeners on their toes. Apparently this single was self-produced, recorded and mixed by the band in the vocalist’s old bedroom of his parent’s house, and will be featured on their upcoming EP.

We Have Band – “Someone” {Electropop}

Anything with a DFA Records stamp is going to get a whole lot of slobber all over it from us here at RMD, but the fact that it’s by the same band who wrote this wicked tune makes it extra special. This single is off their forthcoming album Movements (inspired by LCD Soundsystem, perhaps?) which is being released on April 28th via Naive.

Tideland – “Get Lost” {Rock/Shoegaze}

I’m going to tell you right now: After listening to this song it may get stuck in your head for days, or even weeks; so consider yourself forewarned. The group  based out of Sterling, Virginia (where they’ve made a mark in the underground DIY punk/hardcore scene), and you can buy their new album Lull for as little as $6 here.

The Mary Onettes – “Silence is A Gun” {Dream Pop}

If you followed our end-of-year lists closely (yeah, I know you didn’t), then you’re probably already aware of how much we loved The Mary Onettes’ single “Hit The Waves,” which is off their 2013 album of the same title. So we were pleasantly surprised to find out that the Swedes are prepping for a new “mini-album” Portico which is being released later this year. The track is just as pleasant and soothing, and we can’t wait to hear what the rest of the release is all about.

CHVRCHES – “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” (Bauhaus cover) {Synthpop}

CHVRCHES are all about their covers nowadays and have covered everyone from HAIM, Prince, Whitney Houston and Janelle Monáe, so we weren’t too surprised when we saw that they were giving Bauhaus some cover love as well. This track will be featured in the upcoming film The Vampire Academy, and its soundtrack also includes contributions from Katy Perry, Goldfrapp and Sky Ferreira.

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Top new tracks: Tokyo Police Club, Drive-By Truckers, Broken Bells + Kevin Drew sings about good sex

January 22, 2014 in Alternative, Americana, Art Rock, Classic Rock, Disco, Electrogoth, Experimental, Garage Rock, Indie, Nu Disco, Pop, Punk, Rock, Southern Rock, Sunshine Pop, Synthpop

Tennis – “100 Lovers” {Sunshine Pop}

Ain’t no polar vortex gonna bring this duo down! This track is exactly what we needed to hear on a cold, miserable January day (where my East Coasters at??) and just like any other Tennis song, this one acts like an instant anti-depressant. This is yet another track off their new EP Small Sound which you can buy for $4.99 here.

Drive-By Truckers – “Pauline Hawkins” {Southern Rock}

Listening to the Drive-By Truckers always brings out the redneck that is hidden deep down within the depths of my soul, and this track is no different. This song first debuted on Rolling Stone earlier this month, and is off their 10th LP English Oceans which is due out on March 4th via ATO.

Tokyo Police Club – “Hot Tonight” {Pop/Rock}

As any non-Canadian will tell you, Tokyo Police Club are kind of a big deal in Canada (just because every non-Canadian I’ve ever met has never heard of them). This track is waaaay poppier than what we’re used to hearing from the band, so now we’re curious as to what else we’ll be hearing off their new album Forcefield (which is out on March 25th in the US/Canada and March 24th in the UK).

The Coathangers – “Follow Me” {Garage Rock/Punk}

Yes, I only decided to check out this track just for the sheer fact that their name is “The Coathangers” – so sue me. (No, please don’t). Either way I’m glad I did end up checking this track out, because turns out they’re one of the most badass all-female punk groups I’ve ever come across in my life. Plus their new album is called Suck My Shirt – it doesn’t get more badass than this people.

Kevin Drew – “Good Sex” {Pop/Rock}

What’s better than good sex? Being a Broken Social Scene fan and finding out that Kevin Drew is releasing his sophomore album this year. (And no, that isn’t an over exaggeration). This song is off his new LP Darlings which is being released on March 18th via one of our numero uno favourite record labels Arts & Crafts.

Trust – “Rescue, Mister” {Electrogoth/Synthpop}

Trust (AKA Austra’s sideproject-that-couldn’t-possibly-compete-with-Austra-but-still-comes-pretty-damn-close) has a brand spankin’ new track that is dark, mysterious and deliciously synthy – everything we’ve grown to love about the band since we first heard their impressive debut album TRST back in 2012. Their new LP Joyland is being released on March 4th, so mark those electrogoth calendars!

Broken Bells – “After The Disco” {Nu Disco/Pop}

Get those cheesy synth hats on and ready, because there’s so much happy-go-lucky synth going on in this tune it’s hard to keep track of it all. In case you didn’t know, Broken Bells is the baby of James Mercer from Danger Mouse and the Shins, and they’ll be putting on their new album of the same title on February 4th.

St. Vincent – “Digital Witness” {Experimental/Art Rock}

We’re ashamed to admit that we didn’t discover St. Vincent until her collaboration with Talking Heads’ frontman David Byrne, and we’re so obsessed with the collaborative album we still can’t imagine Ms. Clark without a bony jaw as seen on the Love This Giant album cover. There’s a lot of depth and texture going on this track which is way, way out there even for St. Vincent standards; it’s no wonder why Byrne wanted to collaborate with her.

ceo – “Wonderland” {Indie Rock}

We can’t explain why we like this song as much as we do. Maybe it’s the Vampire Weekend elements, or perhaps it’s even the not-so-subtle classic elements with all sorts of different instruments getting thrown into the mix. Either way it’s a musically delightful and stimulating track, and now we can see why so many indie music bloggers have been buzzing about it.

The Men – “Pearly Gates” {Classic Rock}

We’re not too sure what to make of this track, which makes us even more excited for The Men’s upcoming album just because now we don’t know what to expect. (The Men are tricky like that…Alright boys, you have our attention!) This is the first single off their forthcoming album Tomorrow’s Hits which is out on March 4th via Sacred Bones.

Hospitality – “Rockets & Jets” {Alternative Rock/Electronic}

This track slacks a bit on the production side which is not what we’re used to hearing from the band, but Amber Papini’s pleasant voice smooths it all over (as always). And just when you think you have the song figured out, halfway through it goes into full-on Metric-mode, which overall makes for a pleasurable listening experience. The band’s new album Trouble is out next week via Merge Records.

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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

cagetheelephantmelophobia

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

elviscostellowiseupghost

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

ofmontreallousywithsylvianbriar

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

AustraOlympia

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

wampirecuriosity

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

arcadefirereflektor

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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