Saturday, September 27, 2014

New Music Tuesday - September 9, 2014

Be sure to view a list of upcoming releases here!

New Full-Length Releases

Avi Buffalo - At Best Cuckold

Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg began to make a name for himself with the release of his debut album, Avi Buffalo, in 2010, which got him the attention of several music publications. It allowed him to perform at that year's SWSW, and got him an opening act position for Modest Mouse. It took a little while, but he is following that up. I started listening to him this year; to me, his sound is what you would get if Woods' lead singer switched over to indie pop.

Watch: "So What"
Listen: "Memories of You"

BANKS - Goddess

BANKS has been described as the fashion industry's new favorite artist. It seems fitting, her style is slick and she produces a kind of polished R&B/pop that's appealing, but also dark and vulnerable. She's picked up a fair amount of attention and accolades leading up to her first album and even I, who obviously listens to a lot of different things, have been anticipating this release following some amazing early singles.

Watch: "Brain"
Watch: "Beggin' for Thread"

Busdriver - Perfect Hair

Busdriver is the stage name of rapper Regan Farquhar. He's been active in the underground hip hop scene for well over a decade, releasing his first record, Memoirs of the Elephant Man, in 1999. His latest record features guest vocals from Open Mike Eagle, Aesop Rock, and Danny Brown.

Watch: "Ego Death"
Watch: "Colonize the Moon"

Chris Thile & Edgar Meyer - Bass & Mandolin

Chris Thile is a pretty busy musician. He was one of the founding members of Nickel Creek (who recently rebanded and released a new record) and of Punch Brothers, and has released a number of solo records. This isn't his first outing with bassist Edgar Meyer, who is one of his idols. They first partnered in 2008 for an eponymous record, then again in 2011 for The Goat Rodeo Sessions, which also included Yo-Yo Ma and Stuart Duncan.

Listen: "Tarnation"

Death from Above 1979 - The Physical World

Death from Above 1979 is a dance-punk band who released a well-received debut album in 2004, then fairly promptly broke up. They reformed three years ago and this is their first record since getting back together. They would have been named just "Death from Above" if it weren't for the founding of James Murphy's record label around the same time as their band formation; the label itself was renamed to its abbreviation, DFA. The band kept the "1979," which I think makes things just a little more interesting.

Watch: "Trainwreck 1979"
Listen: "Government Trash"

Delta Spirit - Into the Wide

Delta Spirit became one of my favorite bands in 2008 with their debut album, Ode to Sunshine. Their follow-ups to the record proved a little disappointing for me, but I'm still interested in keeping track of their new music. Into the Wide is their fourth record, which takes their folk rock/Americana sound to a much darker place.

Listen: "From Now On"
Listen: "Live On"

Hiss Golden Messenger - Lateness of Dancers

Hiss Golden Messenger is a duo which has been around since 2007. Their sound is a broad combination of a variety of genres, which spans from dub to gospel. On their fifth record, they get some help from members of Megafaun and Mountain Man (though not the members who comprise the band Sylvan Esso).

Watch: "Mahogany Dread"
Listen: "Lucia"

Interpol - El Pintor

It's been a little since we've heard from Interpol; two years after releasing Interpol, the band went on a hiatus in order to focus on other projects. The most we heard was from frontman Paul Banks, who released an album as Julian Plenti and even, not kidding, a hip hop mixtape. The hiatus only lasted a couple of years, the band is back together, minus one member, bassist Carlos Dengler.

Watch: "All the Rage Back Home"
Watch: "Twice As Hard"

Jhené Aiko - Souled Out

At the young age of 26, Jhené Aiko has already been an active performer for more than a decade. She got her start contributing vocals to the R&B group B2K and as a member of Gyrl with her sisters. She's continued to make a name for herself as a guest vocalist on Drake's "From Time" and performed the track with him on Saturday Night Live. Now is a good a time as ever to fully break out as a solo artist, which is what she's doing just a year after working with Drake.

Listen: "Promises"
Listen: "W.A.Y.S. (Souled Out)"

Justin Townes Earle - Single Mothers

Justin Townes Earle has gone through a lot over his past couple of albums. He quit drinking sometime after the release of his 2010 album, Harlem River Blues, and got married in 2013 between this album and his 2012 album, Nothing's Going to Change the Way You Feel About Me Now. With all of his experiences and with each consecutive records, he becomes a stronger songwriter and performer.

Watch: "Time Shows Fools"
Listen: "White Gardenias"

Karen O - Crush Songs

The songs on Crush Songs were actually recorded by Karen O, frontwoman for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, between 2006 and 2010. It was in that time that she first started breaking out as a solo performer, providing the amazing soundtrack for Where the Wild Things Are. The songs here seem like mere sketches compared to most of the work (even the other solo material) that she puts out, but it's an interesting view into her heart at the time.

Watch: "Rapt"
Watch: "Ooo"

The Kooks - Listen

When The Kooks started, they were known for a similar kind of rowdy post-punk revival exhibited by similar artists such as the Arctic Monkeys. Unlike that band, however, subsequent albums have not strayed far from that sound...until now. Listen sees the band going into a different direction and incorporating pieces of jazz and gospel music. The band has experienced a few changes lately, with a new drummer and production team, so perhaps those have heralded the welcome change in their style.

Watch: "Down"
Watch: "Forgive & Forget"

Robert Plant - Lullaby and... the Ceaseless Roar

It seems rare for performers and entertainers popular in the 1960s to continue making great music decades later, but Robert Plant, former frontman for iconic classic rock band Led Zeppelin, has done just that. He began with the band in 1968, and first struck out as a solo artist in the early 1980s. As a solo artist, he has collaborated with a variety of other artists, including Allison Krauss and former bandmate Jimmy Page, and various backing bands. On his latest release he gets some help from The Sensational Shape Shifters.

Watch: "Rainbow"
Listen: "Little Maggie"

Ryan Adams - Ryan Adams

Ryan Adams used to be an almost-insanely prolific musician. He released just about one album per year between 2000 and 2010. Then, when the 2010s hit, he slowed down a little bit. Now, he is still releasing records at a pace faster than, say, Fiona Apple, but with three years between Ashes & Fire and this, he's starting to seem downright lethargic. He's made it a worthy wait with one hell of an amazing record.

Watch: "Gimme Something Good"
Watch: "My Wrecking Ball"

Simian Mobile Disco - Whorl

From 2010 to 2013, Simian Mobile Disco put out a great number of singles related to their 2010 Delicacies compilation; each one had the name of some strange and exotic food. When they started to put out singles with very different names late last year, I knew something different had to be coming. The newer singles were a build-up to this latest album, their first true new record since Unpatterns two years ago.

Watch: "Tangents"

Tennis - Ritual in Repeat

I knew a good change was coming for Tennis after the release of their 2013 EP Small Sound. While I had enjoyed their earlier work, the shift in sound made for something more unique and mature. They made good on the promises set forth in that short release on their third album.

Watch: "Cured of Youth"
Watch: "Bad Girls"

Other New Releases

M83 - Before the Dawn Heals Us Remixes & B-Sides

M83 re-released their first three albums a couple of weeks ago. Now, to accompany those reissues, they are also releasing remixes and b-sides from the second two of their first three records.

Listen: "Addicted to Self Mutilation"
Listen: "Until the Night Is Over"

M83 - Dead Cities, Red Seas, and Lost Ghosts Remixes & B-Sides

This is the other volume of supplemental music, this one for M83's second album.

Listen: "Tsubasa"
Listen: "God of Thunder"

Mastodon - "Atlanta"

For the 14th installment of Adult Swim's 2014 Singles series, Mastodon partners up with Gibby Haynes, former lead singer of the Butthole Surfers.

Listen: "Atlanta"

Oliver - "Light Years Away"

Oliver is a production duo made up of two men named Oliver, Vaughn Oliver and Oliver Goldstein. They've had some fairly high-profile collaborators including A-Trak and Chromeo. They make a mix of pop, hip hop, and techno.

Listen: "Light Years Away"
Listen: "Fast Forward"

Queen - Live at the Rainbow '74

It's been nearly forty years since Queen's Sheer Heart Attack Tour of fall 1974. Their latest live album was recorded at one of the tour stops, Rainbow Theatre in London on November 20 of that year. The release includes recordings from that concert, as well as a DVD/Blu-Ray disc with extra tracks.

Listen: "Stone Cold Crazy"
Listen: "Killer Queen"

YACHT - "Where Does This Disco?"

It's been a little while since YACHT's 2011 album Shangri-La. The band is making sure their fans don't forget about them, though, with the release of their latest single. The track is available as a digital download, but will also be made available in some sort of object in the band's current tour.

Listen: "Where Does This Disco?"

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

New Music Tuesday - September 2, 2014

Be sure to view a list of upcoming releases here!

New Full-Length Releases

Blonde Redhead - Barragán

Four years after the release of Penny Sparkle, Blonde Redhead are attempting to reinvent their sound. Over their nine albums and 21 years together, they've moved towards a quieter, softer sound. This may be a disappointment for some fans, but I feel that most bands and musicians are more interesting if they evolve their sound over time.

Listen: "Dripping"
Listen: "No More Honey"

Earth - Primitive and Deadly

Earth is a well-established drone metal band who released their first album in 1993. They separated for six years in 1997 and they've been pretty active since. Their latest features guest vocals from Mark Lanegan.

Listen: "From the Zodiacal Light"
Listen: "Even Hell Has Its Heroes"

Jeezy - Seen It All

I've known the name Jeezy for quite awhile, but never been particularly interested in the music. While I'm exploring more hip hop artists and finding any that I liked, I'm also finding that they work with each other... a lot. I'm still not enthralled by his music, but his latest record includes contributions from Future, Rick Ross, and Jay-Z.

Watch: "Me OK"
Watch: "No Tears"

Sinkane - Mean Love

Sinkane is the stage name of Sudanese musician Ahmed Gallab. He worked as a studio musician for such artists as Eleanor Friedberger, Caribou, and Yeasayer. He released a few EPs and albums starting in 2008, but broke out with the release of 2012's Mars. It was a great record, but he's recreating (even improving on) that magic. His music is a fusion of styles, influenced by the cultures that he grew up in, and the music he loves.

Watch: "How We Be"
Listen: "New Name"

Steven James Adams - House Music

Steven James Adams has been performing for more than ten years and was a founding member of the Broken Family Band. This year, though, he's breaking out as a solo musician and enlisting some help from Emily Barker and The Vaccines.

Watch: "Tears of Happiness"

The Vines - Wicked Nature

The Vines rode in on the garage rock wave of the early-2000s and, like many of their contemporaries, faded into seeming obscurity for several years. It's been shorter than it seems, though, their previous record, Future Primitive, was released in 2011. This is still being pitched as a come-back record and is marked by a few big changes in the band. Lead singer Craig Nicholls takes producing credit for the first time and there's been some changes in the band's lineup.

Watch: "Metal Zone"
Listen: "Everything Else"

Zammuto - Anchor

Nick Zammuto part of the duo The Books with Paul de Jong until the project ended in 2012. He released his first solo album following the disbandment, self-titled, in 2012. Anchor is the follow-up, recording with a full band.

Watch: "IO"
Watch: "Great Equator"

Zoot Woman - Star Climbing

Zoot Woman is an electronic synthpop trio from England. They've been together for nearly twenty years, though this is just their fourth album. The band promises that this record is a departure for them, and has allowed them to incorporate all of their individual styles.

Watch: "Don't Tear Yourself Apart"

Other New Releases

God Help the Girl: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

God Help the Girl has been a long-term project for Belle and Sebastian frontman Stuart Murdoch. The project was begun in 2009, when Murdoch brought together a group of female vocalists. That incarnation released a few singles, an album, and an EP; but he had larger sights set. He began developing a script for a movie that starting filming in 2012 and was released this year, starring Emily Browning as the main character.

Watch: "God Help the Girl"
Watch: Trailer

Julianna Barwick - Florine Reissue

Julianna Barwick has become a bigger name in indie music over the past few years, but is not forgetting where she came from. She's re-releasing her first two EPs this weel. Florine was her second release, which originally came out in 2009.

Listen: "Cloudbank"
Listen: "Anjos"

Julianna Barwick - Sanguine Reissue

Sanguine was the performer's very first release, coming out in 2006. It was where she first displayed her use of vocal loops and use of sounds over lyrics. It also serves as a show of how she creates music, allowing ideas to come to her spontaneously, rather than going through writing and re-writing processes.

Listen: "Dancing with Friends"
Listen: "Scary Cat"

Sam Smith - I'm Not the Only One Remix EP

Sam Smith released his debut album, In the Lonely Hour, in June, riding in on a wave of hype created through early singles and guest appearances. He's releasing one of the songs, "I'm Not the Only One," from that record, with a few remixed versions.

Watch: "I'm Not the Only One"
Listen: "I'm Not the Only One" (Armand van Helden Remix)

Vaults - "Lifespan"

Vaults were one of my newly-discovered favorites recently. I absolutely love their take on synthpop and, while they only have a few singles out as of yet, am looking forward to the release of their first record.

Watch: "Lifespan"

Monday, September 8, 2014

Glasser - "Shape"

Glasser makes good on the promise presented in the title of the track. Shapes are used to distort a seemingly normal setting into a surreal landscape. A simple seaside home turns into an undulating silver mass. And, I don't know about anyone else, but it reminds me a bit of Alex Mack

Glasser released her sophomore album, Interiors, in October of last year.

Check Out: Ibeyi
When Cuban percussionist and member of Buena Vista Social Club Anga Díaz passed away in 2006, he left behind twin girls Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi, who were 11 at the time. In their childhood, they learned to play the same instrument, the Cajón, as their father and have now started a musical career of their own.

They take many cues from Yoruba culture, which has a high incidence, and reverence for twins. Their music is rooted in Yoruba folk songs and even their name is taken from the Yoruba word for twins.

In their music are elements of soul and folk. There's a spirituality to their sound; it sounds a bit like it could be used to soundtrack some kind of ceremony. They've released one EP, Oya, and are working on a debut album.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

New Music Tuesday - August 26, 2014

Be sure to view a list of upcoming releases here!

New Full-Length Releases

Ariana Grande - My Everything

Pop tends to be a difficult genre for me. It's easy to deride the genre as being vapid and impersonal, and just bad music. Aside from a few favorite acts (like Adele and Lily Allen), I've tried to stay away. However, I'm recognizing that there is some good in even Top 40 hits. Ariana Grande has been making a name for herself in music since last year's Yours Truly and has some really enjoyable songs out on her follow-up. Sure, it's prototypical pop, but it's fun and easy to listen to.

Watch: "Problem" (featuring Iggy Azalea)
Watch: "Break Free" (featuring Zedd)

Basement Jaxx - Junto

Junto is the seventh studio album from Basement Jaxx, but the first since they released Zephyr in 2009. The band started performing tracks from the album in late 2011 and have released a number of singles (some from the record, others not) since that time.

Watch: "Never Say Never"
Watch: "Galactical"

The Bug - Angels & Devils

The Bug is the recording name of British producer Kevin Martin. He has put work under a number of different names (God, Techno Animal, and Ice), but he started using The Bug in 1997. While he's been active for over twenty year, it was some of the guest artists on this latest record that caught my attention. Featured here are Death Grips and Liz Harris (known for her work as Grouper).

Listen: "Void" (featuring Liz Harris)
Listen: "Save Me" (featuring Gonjasufi)

Cassie Ramone - The Time Has Come

Like sometimes bandmate, Kevin Morby, Cassie has been gradually reducing the number of people named in her projects. She began as a member of Vivian Girls (which disbanded earlier this year), then released a couple of records with Morby as The Babies. This is her first solo record. Although she is performing under her own name, she's still worked with other musicians on the record, mainly Ariel Pink, known for his own work as Haunted Graffiti.

Listen: "Hangin On"

Cayetana - Nervous Like Me

Cayetana is an all-girl punk band based out of Philadelphia. The band has been around for a few years, but Nervous Like Me is their first record. The band opted to focus on touring and built up a strong fan-base over their first few years together. I heard about them from Stereogum, an online magazine that's become a great source for new music. One listen and I, like many others, became hooked.

Watch: "Hot Dad Calendar"
Listen: "Serious Things Are Stupid"

Cymbals Eat Guitars - LOSE

Cymbals Eat Guitars were one of my favorite things (music-wise, at least) of 2011 and were also one of my favorite live shows of the year. The wait between records has seemed longer than it actually was, since not much was heard from the band in the time between. The inspiration for the tracks on the record came following the death of lead singer Joe D'Agostino's friend Benjamin High.

Listen: "Jackson"
Listen: "Warning"

J Mascis - Tied to a Star

When not recording with his bands Dinosaur Jr. or Sweet Apple, or working on a solo record, J Mascis remains a busy guy. Last year, he recorded a duet with Sharon van Etten for a John Denver tribute record and more recently provided guitars for Strand of Oaks Heal. He's back with a new solo record, a following to 2011's Several Shades of Why.

Watch: "Every Morning"
Listen: "Wide Awake"

Johnny Aries - Unbloomed

Johnny Aries is a member of The Drums, for which he provides guitars and backing vocals. While that band will be releasing a new record later this month, Mr. Aries is putting out his debut now! While still sporting the jangly, pop-infused style of his main act, his sound is reminiscent of The Smiths. Judging by the song titles, I'm guessing the tone and content of the songs evokes that classic band, as well.

Listen: "This Grave Is My Bed Tonight"

Merchandise - After the End

Merchandise is a band out of Tampa who began getting a lot of attention online a couple of years ago following the release of Children of Desire. They followed that up with 2013's Totale Night. This latest is the fourth record and sees the band drawing from early-90s indie rock sounds.

Watch: "Enemy"
Watch: "Little Killer"

The New Pornographers - Brill Bruisers

All members of The New Pornographers have been fairly busy since the release of their 2010 record Together. AC Newman released Shut Down the Streets; Neko Case had The Worse Things Get...; Kathryn Calder's Bright & Vivid; and Dan Bejar's Destroyer with Kaputt. Despite their busy individual careers, they come back together every couple of years to make a new record. They all make amazing music, but something a little more special special comes out when they're all together.

Watch: "War on the East Coast"
Listen: "Brill Bruisers"

The Rentals - Lost in Alphaville

The Rentals is a band founded by Matt Sharp, former bassist for Weezer. The band released two albums in the mid-to-late 1990s, then quietly broke up. They rebanded is 2005, touring and releasing a number of EPs. They finally return with a new full-length release. Matt Sharp is the only remaining member of the original line-up, but enlists members of Ozma and Lucius, as well as Patrick Carney for this new record.

Listen: "1000 Seasons"
Listen: "Thought of Sound"

Rustie - Green Language

Rustie is a Glaswegian producer who got a lot of positive attention following the release of his 2011 debut Glass Swords. The album made a number of year-end lists, which surprised the musician himself, feeling that the album was experimental playing-around. He aimed to create something more mature for the follow-up, enlisting the help Redinho, D Double E, and Danny Brown on the release.

Watch: "Attak" (featuring Danny Brown)
Watch: "Raptor"

You. - Sunchaser

You. is another band I found out about thanks to Stereogum. This band, with an impossible-to-Google name, hail from New York City. Sunchaser is their third record, first for their new label Dais and with a broader line-up. They make synth-y music with pulsing drums and reflective lyrics.

Watch: "Feral"

Other New Releases

Au Revoir Simone - Spectrums

Au Revoir Simone released their fourth album, Move in Spectrums, in September of last year. In what has now become standard form, this is the remix version of that albums, with contributions from Dubka, Jack Savidge, and NZCA.

Listen: "Somebody Who" (NZCA Remix)

Deafheaven - "From the Kettle to the Coil"

The 2014 Adult Swim Singles Series is still going strong. This new track from black metal band Deafheaven is the 12th out.

Listen: "From the Kettle to the Coil"

M83 - Before the Dawn Heals Us Reissue

French musician M83 (Anthony Gonzalez) is re-releasing his first three records today. Before the Dawn Heals Us was initially released in 2005 and was his third record.

Watch: "Lower Your Eyelids to Die with the Sun"
Watch: "Teen Angst"

M83 - Dead Cities, Red Seas, and Lost Ghosts Reissue

Dead Cities, Red Seas, and Lost Ghosts was M83's second album, originally released in 2003.

Watch: "Run into Flowers"
Listen: "Birds"

M83 - M83 Reissue

M83's self-titled album was his very first full-length. It was originally released in 2001. It's been reissued in the past. The album did not initially get a US release (the band is French), so it was released again in 2005 with a new track, "Slowly." This new reissue retains that newer song.

Listen: "Night"
Listen: "Slowly"

Mark Lanegan Band - No Bells on Sunday EP

Mark Lanegan Band is gearing up to release his 9th studio album in October. Before that, he has put out a new EP, available only on vinyl (unless you pre-order his record on iTunes).

Watch: "Sad Lover"
Listen: "Dry Iced"

Real Estate - "Had to Hear"

Real Estate released an excellent third album, Atlas, earlier this year. "Had to Hear" is one of the tracks from the record. It is released with a cover of a song originally recorded by The Nerves.

Watch: "Had to Hear"
Listen: "Paper Dolls"

Thurston Moore - Sun Gift Earth

Former Sonic Youth frontman Thurston Moore will be releasing his fourth solo record, The Best Day in October. Sun Gift Earth is a cassette-only release from the performer. The cassette is released in a limited run of 700 copies and can be purchased from Big Cartel.

Titus Andronicus - "Stranded (On My Own)"

In early July, Titus Andronicus announced a 7" singles series, to be released every seven weeks. The first was a reissue of one of their very first tracks. This next one is a new track from the band.

Watch: "Stranded (On My Own)"