Sunday, August 31, 2014

New Music Tuesday - August 19, 2014

Be sure to view a list of upcoming releases here!

New Full-Length Releases

Castanets - Decimation Blues

My first exposure to Castanets was seeing 2004's Cathedral available to check out at the Bloomington Main Library. I was intrigued by the album artwork and picked the CD up. Over time, I realized the music didn't strongly appeal to me, but with this new record, I'm giving the band another try. After hearing just a few of the first tracks from the album, I knew I was more in love with their crazy folk style.

Watch: "Tell Them Memphis"
Listen: "Out for the West"

Electric Würms - Musik, Die Shwer Tu Twerk

Electric Würms is a side project from Wayne Coyne and Steven Drozd of The Flaming Lips. The band was established as an outlet for music that was (somehow) too weird for the main project. The band's oddball association with Miley Cyrus is already starting to show through on the record's title, Musik, Die Shwer Tu Twerk translates (pretty much) to "music that's hard to twerk tu."

Listen: "The Bat"
Listen: "Transform"

Jason Feathers - De Oro

When Justin Vernon isn't recording for his main project, Bon Iver; or one of his side projects, Volcano Choir or The Shouting Matches; or providing vocals for James Blake or Kanye West, he has yet another project. Here, he teams up with rapper Astronautalis, S. Carey, and Ryan Olson (of Gayngs) for his latest act, Jason Feathers.

jj - V

jj is a Swedish indie pop band who became favorites of many music publications a few years ago with the release of their first single and album, nº 1 and nº 2. I never got around to checking them out at that time, but kept hearing their name pop up with nearly every new release of theirs. This time, I decided to jump into their music. And, yes, I do like it; indie pop seems too simple a description of their sound; it has a good beat and is a bit experimental.

Watch: "All White Everything"
Listen: "Dean & Me"

Kimbra - The Golden Echo

Kimbra first rose to prominence providing duet vocals for Gotye's 2011 smash single "Somebody That I Used to Know." It was also around that time that she released her own debut record, Vows. The young New Zealander is now putting out her follow-up, full of catchy and upbeat pop songs.

Watch: "90s Music"
Watch: "Love in High Places"

Literature - Chorus

Literature is a Philadelphia-based band with a sound reminiscent of a myriad of 1960s British rock and pop acts. The connection to 60s music is pretty strong; the band utilizes several recording techniques, such as true-tape flanging, which were created in that decade.

Listen: "The English Softhearts"

Museum of Love - Museum of Love

The end of LCD Soundsystem was sad for many fans of the iconic electronic band. Thankfully, the band lives on in other great acts, including Hot Chip, The Juan Maclean, and Museum of Love, which all include former members of the band. Museum of Love is made up of Soundsystem drummer Pat Mahoney and Dennis McNany. They released their first single, "Monotronic," about a year ago; this is their first album.

Listen: "In Infancy"

Other New Releases

Captain Murphy - "Cosplay"

Captain Murphy is the rapping alter-ego of producer and electronic musician Flying Lotus. Under this name, he is releasing the 11th entry in 2014's Adult Swim singles series.

Watch: "Cosplay"

Julia Holter - "Don't Make Me Over"/"Hello Stranger"

Julia Holter has become known for an experimental ambient sound with her dreamy, airy vocals; I wouldn't have guessed Dionne Warwick as one of her influences. She covers a song by the singer as an A-side to one of the tracks from her last album, Loud City Song, which itself is also an R&B cover (originally by Barbara Lewis).

Listen: "Don't Make Me Over"
Listen: "Hello Stranger"

Julia Holter - Tragedy Reissue

Tragedy was Julia Holter's debut album, based on the play Hippolytus, which was originally released in 2011 (the album, not the play). Coming with the release of a couple of covers in her latest single; it's nearly the third anniversary of the record.

Watch: "Finale"

Ryan Adams - 1984

Adams will be releasing his self-titled come-back album on September 9. But before that, he is putting out the follow-up to his 2003 single, "1974."

Zoot Woman - "Don't Tear Yourself Apart"

Zoot Woman will be releasing their fourth album later this month. In anticipation of that release, they are putting out the first single from the record.

Watch: "Don't Tear Yourself Apart"

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

New Music Tuesday - August 12, 2014

Be sure to view a list of upcoming releases here!

New Full-Length Releases

FKA Twigs - LP1

FKA Twigs has made a name for herself over the past couple of years, both with her music and her unique look. Since 2012, she's released of a couple of EPs and a few singles. LP1, as the name suggests, is her first full-length album. She's made her way up from a back-up dancer to one of the most anticipated and exciting artists of the past few years. She plays a bit like a female counterpart to artists like The Weeknd, many of her songs are about sex, but her music seems so much more mature and sensual.

Watch: "Two Weeks"
Watch: "Pendulum"

Mirel Wagner - When the Cellar Children See the Light of Day

Wagner is a Finnish-by-way-of Ethiopia singer and songwriter, and this is her second album; first since signing with Sub Pop Records. Her voice is haunting, the lyrics are dark, instrumentation is sparse. Her style has gained her comparisons to a variety of other musicians, including (take this as you may) Lana Del Rey, Mark Lanegan, and Nick Cave. The comparisons are well-deserved, the young performer makes music that sounds like its been around forever and even she seems beyond her years.

Watch: "The Dirt"
Watch: "Oak Tree"

Willis Earl Beal - Experiments in Time

Beal was gaining a lot of traction in his career when he released his sophomore album, Nobody knows.last year on XL Recordings. Turns out he wasn't very happy signed to a label and broke away from them earlier this year, feeling that the label didn't support the types of people that he made his music for. He hasn't resigned to a new label, but is releasing his latest effort independently. It is available digitally through CD Baby.

Listen: "Traveling Eyes"
Listen: "Until We Die"

Other New Releases

Architecture in Helsinki - Places Like This Picture Disc

Places Like This was Architecture in Helsinki's third studio album and my first introduction to the band several years ago. It's getting re-released today on vinyl as a picture disc.

Watch: "Like It or Not"
Watch: "Heart It Races"

Blur - Live at the Budokan

This was Japan-only live album from the iconic Britpop band. It was recorded during a show in Tokyo almost twenty years ago. The album was initially released in 1996, but is now seeing an international release.

Watch: "Yuko & Hiro"
Listen: "Girls & Boys"

Lucki Eck$ - "Weightin' On" (featuring Danny Brown)

Lucki Eck$ is a rapper out of Chicago. He's worked with another artist releasing new music today, FKA Twigs, and even features on one of the album's tracks. For his new single, he gets some help from the more established Danny Brown.

Listen: "Weightin' On"

Sunday, August 17, 2014

King Krule - "A Lizard State"

King Krule takes inspiration from Alfred Hitchcock's Alfred Hitchcock Presents in the music video for "A Lizard State". He includes clips from an episode the show to open and close the video, but also replicates them throughout the video itself.

King Krule's debut album, 6 Feet Beneath the Moon, was released in August of last year.

Check Out: Vaults

Ever since seeing Poliça live at The Southgate House Revival, I've become more obsessed with female-led synthpop. While Poliça may be the best entry in the genre (tied, perhaps, with Chvrches), several other bands have popped up as great examples.

Vaults is one of the latest bands to come around. So far, the band has released just a couple of singles, but were recently signed to Virgin EMI and will be putting out their first single for the label in early September!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Future Islands in Indianapolis

When: August 9, 2014
Where: The Vogue Theatre in Indianapolis, IN

The Show:

Future Islands made their network television debut in a now-famous performance on the David Letterman show back in March. The video of that performance, along with an NPR interview soon after turned me into a fan of the band almost overnight, and convinced me that their live performances could be nothing less than amazing.

I got my opportunity when the band announced their summer tour with dates in Indianapolis and Columbus. The morning of the Indianapolis show, I bought my ticket and planned for a evening drive to one of my favorite cities.

I drove to a friend's house who lives just a couple of miles from the venue. I decided to walk the rest of the way to The Vogue (get my steps in)! Though there had been many bands who played there in the past that I'd wanted to see, it was my first time actually being inside. The venue doubles as a dance club and had some lounging space to either side of the floor and two floors of bar and viewing space.

I was able to meet up with a friend at the concert who I only discovered was there when I Facebooked my presence at the show. His wife commented that I should look for him since he was there as well. It's always great to have a concert buddy!

The opening act was a new band named Operators, the new project of Dan Boeckner (of Wolf Parade, Handsome Furs, and Divine Fits). They performed a short set of songs from their debut EP. Boeckner seems to hit gold wherever he goes; this new band was incredible. Boeckner has a fairly distinctive voice that made their sound obviously his, but with synthpop undertones to replace the more guitar-driven sounds of his past bands.

Next, the main act came on. Sam Herring and company put on one hell of a show. He showed off some of the dance moves debuted on late night, and introduced some new ones, as well. I've also never seen a singer as interactive; he talked paragraphs to us, shook hands, and placed hands on shoulders. He was a joy to watch

The band primarily performed from their most recent, Singles, but also played songs from their back catalog.

Mini Setlist:

Operators - "True" (from EP1)
Future Islands - "Balance" (from On the Water)
Future Islands - "Fall from Grace" (from Singles)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

New Music Tuesday - August 5, 2014

Be sure to view a list of upcoming releases here!

New Full-Length Releases

Bear in Heaven - Time Is Over One Day Old

Time Is Over One Day Old is Bear in Heaven's fourth album overall, and second with the Dead Oceans label. For their latest, the band strove to rid themselves of what they've become over the years and create something new. Of course, they've always done something a little different with each record and this one is no different. There are elements that remain the same; they keep their unique mix of percussion and electronics, mixed with John Philpott's somewhat nasally vocals.

Watch: "Time Between"
Listen: "Autumn"

Owl John - Owl John

Owl John is the new side project of Frightened Rabbit's lead man Scott Hutchison (I guess he likes his woodland creatures). He decided to focus on the solo act following nearly ten years as a part of his main band. With the help of his record label, Atlantic, he was able to avoid the common trap of writing and recording for his primary act after their tour ended. They allowed him to focus on and record this solo album; and do so in such a way that prevented it from sounding too much like his previous work.

Watch: "Hate Music"
Watch: "Red Hand"

Partynextdoor - Partynextdoor Two

Partynextdoor is the stage name of Jahron Brathwaite; one of the latest performers of the indie subset of R&B. He is signed to Drake's record label, OVO Sound; and enlists his help on a few tracks. This is the young performer's first studio album, but with friends in such high places, he's sure to have a good career ahead of him.

Watch: "Recognize" (featuring Drake)
Listen: "FWU"

The Rosebuds - Sand + Silence

The Rosebuds are another act with friends in high places. For this album, they got some help from indie rock's ombudsman Bon Iver (aka Justin Vernon), who performs on a track from the record. Think of it as a bump, the indie folk band, who have been performing for well over a decade, are seeing a new level of attention and acclaim for this latest release. Of course, we well know by now that Vernon has a good ear, and this band is worth a listen!

Listen: "Blue Eyes"
Listen: "Esse Quam Videri"

Spoon - They Want My Soul

It's been a little while since we've heard from this iconic Austin-based indie rock band. Spoon released their last album, Transference, way back in 2010. In the time since, lead Britt Daniel released albums with two new bands; 2012's A Thing Called Divine Fits (with Divine Fits) and 2014's Fragmented World (with Split Single). Both of those were great, but it's even better to see him back with his main act and proving that he still has some great work to put out with them!

Watch: "Do You"
Watch: "Inside Out"

Tuatara - Underworld

Of all of the former member's of the now-defunct R.E.M., Peter Buck remains the most active (at least musically). Since the 2011 split of his most-known act, he has released two solo records, and now is putting out a new release with (once-) side project Tuatara. The band also includes members of The Minus Five, Critters Buggin, and the Screaming Trees.

Listen: "Even Demons Fall in Love"
Listen: "Snake Charmer"

Other New Releases

Jessie Ware - "Tough Love"

Jessie Ware released an absolutely incredible solo record, Devotion, in 2012 (2013 in the US). She will be releasing a follow-up in October, but first, we're getting the album's amazing title track as a single release.

Watch: "Tough Love"

Kevin Morby - "My Name"

Kevin Morby seems to be trying to slim things down for himself. He started his career as a member of Woods, which includes three other members. In 2009, he joined up with Cassie Ramone (formerly of Vivian Girls) to form The Babies. Now, it's just him. He released his solo debut, Harlem River, earlier this year.

Listen: "My Name"
Listen: "We Did It All Wrong"

Lil Silva - Mabel EP

Lil Silva is a young, but prolific, producer and musician who has made a name for himself in working with a number of other up-and-coming musicians. Perhaps most notably, he has worked with the vocalist Sampha; but has also lent his work to BANKS, who is featured on a couple of tracks on his latest EP.

Watch: "Mabel"
Listen: "Don't You Feel" (featuring Banks)

Operators - EP1

Britt Daniel's Divine Fits bandmate, Dan Boeckner, has also been busy since the 2012 release of their record. With Daniel presumably busy getting back together with his main act, Boeckner is exploring new avenues (all of his other former bands are broken up). He has teamed up with Divine Fits drummer Sam Brown and Devojka for his latest project.

Listen: "True"

The Secret Sisters - Put Your Needle Down Deluxe Edition

The bluegrass sister act released an incredible sophomore album in April of this year. This deluxe edition includes a couple of extra tracks from the duo.

Watch: "Lonely Island"
Listen: "Black and Blue"

Teenage Fanclub - Manmade Reissue

Teenage Fanclub have been together for twenty-five years and released nine albums. They've been quiet since 2010, but are re-releasing their last two records. Manmade was originally released in 2005.

Watch: "It's All in My Mind"
Listen: "Cells"

Teenage Fanclub - Shadows Reissue

Shadows was the last Teenage Fanclub record, released in 2010. The album was well-received when it was initially released. Perhaps the reissue of their two most recent records means something new is on the way.

Listen: "Shock and Awe"
Listen: "The Fall"

Wild Beasts - "Mecca"

Wild Beasts released their fourth album, Present Tense, earlier this year. "Mecca" is the latest single release from the album. It is accompanied by a few remixes of the track.

Watch: "Mecca"
Listen: "Mecca" (Juan Atkins Remix)

Zero 7 - Simple Science EP

It's been a pretty long while since Zero 7's last album, 2009's Yeah Ghost. They've released a few singles and EPs since. This latest sees them straying a bit from their downtempo roots and going for something more club-ready.

Listen: "Simple Science"

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Animal Collective in Covington

When: December 5, 2013
Where: Madison Theatre in Covington, KY

The Show:

I first saw Animal Collective live in 2008 when they performed at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago. It was around the time that Strawberry Jam was released. Following the performance, I tried, but failed to really get into their sound. It was wasn't until 2009's Merriweather Post Pavilion that I really started to appreciate the band (both current and previous work).

It would not be until late 2013 that I would get the chance to see them again, following yet another new album, Centipede Hz (2012). They had performed at Bonnaroo earlier that year, but it was one of those late late night shows and I was out like a light way before then.

Their Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky show had been postponed several times already by the time that they were able to make it out. It was initially scheduled for March, but was pushed back due to Avey Tare being sick. It was rescheduled to July, but was again pushed back, due to yet another illness. They were finally able to make it out in December and I'm sure all of the fans there were beyond ready to see them in action.

True to Animal Collective form, the setup of the venue was pretty trippy. Giant teeth adorned the ceiling (similar to the teeth on the cover of their most recent album) and everything seemed to be bathed in a black-light glow.

The opening act was bEEdEEgEE, aka Brian DeGraw (of Gang Gang Dance). His set foretold the weirdness that was to come; he performed his solo experimental electronic music beneath a bug tent. He put on a good show though, performing songs from his debut solo album, SUM/ONE.

Next was the main act. They quickly proved that the teeth were for more than just decoration. In addition to images and colors being projected onto the screen behind the band, additional images were projected onto the teeth, making them even freakier.

The band performed songs from throughout their catalog, but focused on their most recent release. They made the wait and numerous postponements well worth it; they put on an amazing show.

Mini Setlist:

"Today's Supernatural" (from Centipede Hz)
"My Girls" (from Merriweather Post Pavilion)
"The Purple Bottle" (from Feels)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

New Music Tuesday - July 29, 2014

Be sure to view a list of upcoming releases here!

New Full-Length Releases

Hooray for Earth - Racy

Hooray for Earth first caught my ear with their 2011 debut album, True Loves. They had a experimental style reminiscent of Yeasayer, but sounding even loftier. Three years later, they are releasing the follow-up to that amazing record with the help of a few new band members and less experimental sound.

Watch: "Keys"
Listen: "Racy"

Jenny Lewis - The Voyager

While Jenny Lewis has performed as a solo artist for nearly a decade, she is only now releasing her second true solo record. Her first, Rabbit Fur Coat, was recorded with The Watson Twins and she released a collaborative record with her boyfriend, Johnathon Rice, in 2010. That's not to say that she doesn't enlist some help for her solo work. She has a strong backing band, and still gets backing vocals from her early twin collaborators, and Ryan Adams produced this record!

Watch: "Just One of the Guys"
Watch: "She's Not Me"

Other New Releases

Azealia Banks - "Heavy Metal and Reflective"

Azealia Banks has had some well-publicized issues with getting her record label, Interscope, and especially on getting her debut album released (still no word on that, by the way). Recently, she was able to get released from her record deal. She supposedly has the rights to her music, so we may soon see the long-delayed album and mixtape. Before then, though, she is putting out a new single and accompanying video!

Watch: "Heavy Metal and Reflective"

Beck's Song Reader

Beck released Song Reader as sheet music in late 2012. Since then, its songs have been performed and recorded by a number of orchestras, bands, and other musicians of all ilk. Now, he is releasing a collection of recordings of the book's songs; with contributions from Laura Marling, Tweedy, Jack White, and Beck himself.

Listen: fun. - "Please Leave a Light on When You Go"
Listen: Jason Isbell - "Now That Your Dollar Bills Have Sprouted Wings"

Eric Clapton & Friends - The Breeze (An Appreciation of JJ Cale)

JJ Cale may have passed away about a year ago, but his friend and frequent collaborator Eric Clapton will not forget him. To celebrate his life, and coincide with the year anniversary of his passing, Clapton has brought together a group of musicians to record some songs which Cale had made famous during his career.

Listen: Eric Clapton - "Cajun Moon"
Listen: Willie Nelson - "Songbird"

Future - "Coupe"

Future lends his voice to the eighth track in Adult Swim's 2014 Singles Series. The track also comes with a music video, featuring a variety of animated dancers in the back of a coupe.

Watch: "Coupe"

Joe Goddard - Endless Love EP

Joe Goddard, of The 2 Bears and Hot Chip fame, has put out a number of EPs for the Greco-Roman label. Endless Love is his third contribution; the title track features guest vocals from Betsy.

Watch: "Endless Love"

Rush Midnight - Fix Me Up EP

Rush Midnight released his eponymous debut album earlier this year. He is released one of the record's tracks as a single, and getting the remix treatment from The Treasury, Will Buck, and Floria.

Watch: "Fix Me Up"
Watch: "Fix Me Up" (The Treasury Remix)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Congratulations Sia!

I bet this girl is swinging from the chandeliers right now! Sia (of Zero 7 guest vocals, Rihanna song-writing, and now number-one hit fame) married her beau, film-maker Erik Anders Lang, over the weekend. Details on the nuptials are few, in keeping with the singer's tendency for privacy, but we do know that she is no longer a single girl.
Sia released her latest album, 1000 Forms of Fear, earlier this summer, which included her biggest hit, to date, "Chandelier."