Tuesday, May 31, 2016

R.I.P. Thomas Fekete

Today, it was reported that Thomas Fekete, former guitarist for Surfer Blood, passed away.

Fekete helped to found the band in 2009 along with vocalist John Paul Pitts and drummer Tyler Schwarz. He was with them for each of their three albums and six years. Last year, he was diagnosed with Sarcoma, a form of cancer, and was forced to sit out touring and promotion for their latest album, 1000 Palms.

Fekete's wife started a GoFundMe for his cancer treatment and the band raised money while on tour, some of which ended up stolen along with their equipment. He did not spend his time off-tour idle, releasing a cassette-only album, Burner, at the end of last year.

Today, at the age of 27, he succumbed to his cancer. His wife posted a beautiful message on the GoFundMe page, and fans, musicians, and his bandmates have posted touching tributes to him on social media.

Goodbye, Thomas, you will be missed.

Now, check out his sweet guitar skills!

New Music Friday - April 29, 2016

Be sure to view a list of upcoming releases here!

Essential Full-Length Releases

Britta Phillips - Luck or Magic

Britta Phillips has been performing for more than 30 years, starting as the singing voice of Jem (yes, on the animated series). She would later join the band Luna, and start Dean & Britta with her husband Dean Wareham (also of Luna). Despite her tenure in the industry, this is her first solo album. It is a half-covers album; with five original songs and five interpretations of existing songs. Artists she covers included songs Evie Sands and Cars.

Watch: "Drive"
Watch: "One Fine Summer Morning"

Drake - VIEWS

Although Drake announced the general timeframe for this fourth album months ago, it wasn't until the beginning of the month that VIEWS got it's final title (it was originally Views from the 6), artwork, and tracklisting. Though reviews were mixed, the album has been a smash for him, helped in part by the inclusion of the hit single "Hotline Bling," which was originally released last summer.

Watch: "Hotline Bling"

Imarhan - Imarhan

Imarhan is a Tuareg band hailing from south Algeria who have been performing for eight years. They blend the traditional music of their culture with western sounds (jazz, funk, and rock) that they were also exposed to growing up. This is their debut album.

Watch: "Imarhan"
Listen: "Assossamagh"

Katy B - Honey

Katy B is an R&B singer from London, England. Her music reflects the sounds that have come to be associated with R&B and electronica from across the pond, with elements of garage and dubstep. She released her debut album, On a Mission, in 2011 and a follow-up, Little Red, three years later. On her third album, she works with Kaytranada, Four Tet, and has even brought Craig David out of hiding!

Watch: "I Wanna Be" (featuring Chris Lorenzo)
Watch: "Who Am I" (featuring Craig David & Major Lazer)

Other Full-Length Releases

Brian Eno - The Ship

Listen: "The Ship"
Listen: "Fickle Sun (iii) I’m Set Free"

Dal Niente/Deerhoof - Balter/Saunier

Listen: "Cherubim"
Listen: "Adam+Eve Connection"

A Dead Forest Index - In All That Drifts from Summit Down

Watch: "Summit Down"
Listen: "Myth Retraced"

DOOMSQUAD - Total Time
Watch: "Pyramid on Mars"
Listen: "Solar Ass"

Freeway - Free Will

Watch: "Hot as Ice"
Listen: "First Things First"

John Doe - The Westerner

Watch: "Get on Board"
Listen: "Go Baby Go" (featuring Debbie Harry)

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Nonagon Infinity

Watch: "Gamma Knife"
Watch: "People-Vultures"

Layten Kramer - For the Sun

Listen: "Nowhere to Go" (featuring Kathryn Calder)

Leggy - Leggy

Listen: "Kick the Habit"

Tim Moxam - Soft Summer

Watch: "Bones"
Watch: "Meant to Be"

Yes We Mystic - Forgiver

Watch: "No Harm"
Listen: "Ceilings"

Singles, EPs, Soundtracks, etc.

Anna Wise - The Feminine: Act 1

Watch: "Precious Possession"
Watch: "BitchSlut"

Baby in Vain - For the Kids EP

Watch: "Martha’s View"
Listen: "The Urge"

Chloe x Halle - Sugar Symphony EP

Watch: "Drop"
Listen: "Fall"

Damon Albarn - Wonder.land

Listen: "Secrets"
Listen: "Me"

Haybaby - Blood Harvest EP

Listen: "Pig"
Listen: "Joke/Rope"

Holy Ghost! - Crime Cutz EP

Watch: "Crime Cutz"
Listen: "Compass Point"

Ingrid Michaelson - "Hell No"

Watch: "Hell No"

Nai Harvest - "Just Like You"/"Jelly"

Watch: "Just Like You"
Listen: "Jelly"

Red House Painters - Old Ramon Reissue

Listen: "Wop-a-Din-Din"
Listen: "Byrd Joel"

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Upcoming Album of the Week (Ending May 28)

Radiohead may have surprise released A Moon Shaped Pool a couple of weeks back, but we all know what fans have really been waiting for... the scarf version. That long-awaited release was dropped Friday (honestly, though, it is a good-looking scarf). Head over to my Upcoming Releases page to check out other upcoming albums, which may or may not include clothing items!

This was a big week for new album announcements, which included the debut album, For All We Know, from British singer NAO.


NAO got her start in the music industry as a backing vocalist for Kwabs and Jarvis Cocker, and was a member of The Boxettes before releasing a couple of well-received EPs in 2014 and 2015.

Months before the album's announcement, NAO released the first single, "Fool to Love." Along with the album's announcement, she released the second single, "Girlfriend."

For All We Know is set for release on July 29.

Also announced this week:

The Album Leaf - Between Waves (August 26)
Alex Somers - Music from the Film Captain Fantastic (July 8)
The Amazing - Ambulance (July 22)
Cass McCombs - Mangy Love (August 26)
Cymbals Eat Guitars - Pretty Years (September 16)
Dinosaur Jr. - Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not (August 5)
Jack & Amanda Palmer - You Got Me Singing (July 15)
Jenny Hval - Blood Bitch (September 30)
Mac Miller - Best Day Ever Reissue (June 3)
Marvin Gaye - What’s Going On Motown: Reimagined EP (June 24)
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - TBA (September 9)
No Joy - Drool Sucker (July 15)
Phantogram - “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore” (June 16)
Ramones - Ramones Deluxe Edition Reissue (July 29)
Son Lux - Stranger Forms EP (June 17)
The Strokes - Future Present Past EP(out now)
Thee Oh Sees - A Weird Exits (August 12)
Unknown Mortal Orchestra - “First World Problem” (out now)
The Veils - Total Depravity (August 26)
Wild Beasts - Boy King (August 5)

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Upcoming Album of the Week (Ending May 21)

The indie-fication of late night is upon us! Although I haven't yet watched the episode, Courtney Barnett was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live this weekend! She released an amazing album last year, but there is more amazing music to come. Check out what I'm excited for on my Upcoming Releases page!

This week, M.I.A. confirmed what many fans felt was coming and announced plans to release her fifth album, possibly titled Matahdatah. The announcement came during a Periscope Q&A.


M.I.A.'s last album was 2013's Matangi, but she's released a number of songs in the time since. Last summer, she released a video, "Matahdatah Scroll 1 Broader Than a Border," that featured two new songs. Later in the years, she put out "Borders" and earlier this year, two more new songs, "Boom ADD" (a diss track directed at the NFL) and "Rewear It" (to promote H&M's clothing recycling program).

The album, which will have 12 tracks, has been submitted to her label. Hopefully, the album will be coming in July.

Also announced this week:

Alt-J - Live at Red Rocks (June 24)
Clams Casino - 32 Levels (July 15)
Likely Stories Soundtrack (May 27)
M.I.A. - Matahdatah (July)
The Temper Trap - Thick as Thieves (June 10)
Trentemøller - Fixion (June 24)

Sunday, May 15, 2016

New Music Friday - April 22, 2016

Be sure to view a list of upcoming releases here!

Essential Full-Length Releases

A$AP Ferg - Always Strive and Prosper

Along with A$AP Rocky, A$AP Ferg has become a pillar of the A$AP Mob collective. He released his debut album, Trap Lord, in 2013, following that up with a mixtape and a number of non-album singles since. His new album showcases the diversity of the current hip hop scene and his own style; at times recalling Kendrick Lamar's consciousness, at others the irreverence of Future.

Watch: "Let It Bang" (featuring ScHoolboy Q)
Watch: "New Level" (featuring Future)

Parakeet - KASA

Parakeet is the side project of Yuck's Mariko Doi. She started the band 2011 with James L. Thomas of The History of Apple Pie. They released their first single way back in 2012, and have been steadily rolling them out since. KASA is their debut full-length.

Listen: "Sugar Rush"
Listen: "Summer Apathy"

Rufus Wainwright - Take All My Loves

Wainwright's lyrics have always had a bit of a Shakespearean quality to them, it would only make sense for him to write music to accompany Shakespeare's work. Released with Deutsche Grammophon to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the playwright's death, Wainwright sets nine of his sonnets to music. The album features a number of other artists, including: Helena Bonham Carter, Carrie Fisher, Florence Welch, and his sister Martha.

Watch: "A Woman’s Face Reprise"
Watch: "When in Disgrace with Fortune and Men’s Eyes" (featuring Florence Welch)

Other Full-Length Releases

Andy Stott - Too Many Voices

Watch: "Butterflies"
Listen: "Selfish"

Guided By Voices - Please Be Honest

Listen: "My Zodiac Companion"
Listen: "Eye Shop Heaven"

We Are Scientists - Helter Skelter

Watch: "Buckle"
Watch: "Too Late"

Singles, EPs, Soundtracks, etc.

Death from Above 1979 - Live at Third Man Records

Listen: "Right On Frankenstein"

Patio - Luxury

Listen: "Arbitrary Numbers"

Shugo Tokumaru - "Hikageno"/"Vektor"

Watch: "Vektor"

Upcoming Album of the Week (Ending May 14)

Well, Azealia Banks sure had herself an eventful week on Twitter (and then on Instagram, and then back to Twitter). She has long passed the point that she can still make music and have people talk about only that. There are still plenty of artists, though, who haven't made themselves unlistenable through terrible attitudes, so head over to my Upcoming Releases page and check some of them out!

It was a fairly slow week for new announcements, at least those that caught my eye. Perhaps with all the surprise releases lately, no other artists want to compete for our attention.

Earlier this year, Wolf Parade, who had disbanded in 2011, got back together and announced a series of reunion shows. Fans were anticipating the announcement of new music, as well, and this week, the band delivered. On Friday, they announced EP 4, their first new collection of music in six years.


During their initial run, Wolf Parade released three albums togethers, the last being 2010's Expo 86. Their decision to go on hiatus was due to the members' desire to focus on other projects. Fans weren't lacking for new music from band members, as each dived right into those other projects. Dante DeCaro and Arlen Thompson both maintain side projects; Dan Boeckner released one more album with Handsome Furs, partnered with Spoon's Britt Daniel as Divine Fits for an album, and started Operators, releasing one EP and one album with them; Spencer Krug released two albums and one EP as Moonface (with another on the way).

Despite the breadth and quality of all of those other projects, I maintain a soft spot for the Wolf Parade line-up. I hope that they continue past this EP with more new music (and maybe schedule a tour date in Cincinnati)!

EP 4 is set to come out Tuesday.

Also announced this week:

Clarke:Hartnoll - 2Square (June 10)
Fleetwood Mac - Mirage Deluxe Reissue (July 19)
MSTRKRFT - Operator (July 22)
Metronomy - Summer 08 (July 1)
River Tiber - Indigo (June 24)
Speedy Ortiz - Foiled Again (June 3)
Thee Oh Sees - Thee Oh Sees - Live in San Francisco (July 1)
Will Butler - Friday Night (June 17)
YG - Still Krazy (June)

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

New Music Friday - April 15, 2016

Be sure to view a list of upcoming releases here!

Essential Full-Length Releases

Cate Le Bon - Crab Day

This is the fourth album overall from this Welsh singer. Her last solo album was 2013's Mug Museum, though she partnered with Tim Presley as DRINKS and released Hermits on Holiday last year. She does not stray far from her usually unusual style on this record.

Watch: "Wonderful"

J Dilla - Diary

J Dilla's career spanned just over a decade and three albums. Though he passed away in 2006, more music has been released since his death than before. With this album, he intended to focus on vocals over production, and to work with some of his favorite producers. It was shelved due to record label frustrations, but many of those producers, and other rappers, came together to finally complete and release the record.

Watch: "The Sickness"
Listen: "Gangsta Boogie" (featuring Snoop Dogg & Kokane)

PJ Harvey - The Hope Six Demolition Project

PJ Harvey has never been one to shy away from social issues and her latest album is no exception. She takes on the subject of housing projects in the US; specifically the HOPE IV project, which was seen to hinder affordable housing more than help it. Though her choice of subject did not come without criticism, the album has become the latest critically-acclaimed release in her celebrated career.

Watch: "The Wheel"
Watch: "The Community of Hope"

Sam Beam & Jesca Hoop - Love Letter for Fire

I often forget that Iron & Wine is just a stage name, one that Sam Beam has been performing under for over a decade. This is actually the first album of his credited to his real name. He continues a recent streak of collaborations, this time working with Jesca Hoop, who has also been performing since the early aughts, as well (though under her own name).

Watch: "Valley Clouds"
Watch: "Every Songbird Says"

Suuns - Hold/Still

I first became enthralled by Suuns' music five years ago, following their debut album, Zeroes QC. They've continued to impress me with their subsequent releases, including last year's self-titled collaboration with Jerusalem in My Heart. Their music remains hypnotic and pulsing, but they take on a more polished sheen on this record with the help of producer John Congleton.

Watch: "Paralyzer"
Watch: "Translate"

Other Full-Length Releases

Ashley Shadow - Ashley Shadow

Watch: "Tonight"
Listen: "Tired"

The Coathangers - Nosebleed Weekend

Watch: "Nosebleed Weekend"
Watch: "Watch Your Back"

Dave Harrington Group - Become Alive

Watch: "White Heat"
Listen: "Become Alive"

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros - PersonA
Watch: "No Love Like Yours"

Listen: "Wake Up the Sun"

Har Mar Superstar - Best Summer Ever

Listen: "Youth Without Love"
Listen: "Anybody’s Game"

Kevin Morby - Singing Saw

Watch: "I Have Been to the Mountain"
Watch: "Dorothy"

Sturgill Simpson - A Sailor’s Guide to Earth

Watch: "In Bloom"
Watch: "Brace for Impact (Live a Little)"

Singles, EPs, Soundtracks, etc.

Doused in Mud, Soaked in Bleach

Listen: Young Widows - "Negative Creep"
Listen: Robotic Empire - "Love Buzz"

Eskimeaux - Year of the Rabbit EP

Watch: "Drunk"
Listen: "Power"


Watch: "The Hunt"

John Frusciante - Foregrow EP

Listen: "Unf"
Listen: "Lowth Forgue"

Snakehips - All My Friends EP

Watch: "All My Friends" (featuring Tinashe & Chance The Rapper)
Listen: "Money on Me" (featuring Anderson .Paak)

Transformers Roll Out

Listen: Mew - "Count to Ten"
Listen: Mount Holly Art - "Roll Out"