Friday, January 31, 2014

Listen to New Track From Yuck- "Athena"

In advance of their forthcoming Southern Skies EP, Yuck has released "Athena", a shoegazy track that draws influence from a mix of 90's alt-rock, and dream pop. After weathering some serious lineup changes in 2013, Yuck continues their transformation from lo-fi upstarts to melodic indie rockers. Check out our review of their first self-titled album here.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Stream Be Forest's New Album, "Earthbeat"

Hailing from Pesaro, Italy, Be Forest first began making waves in 2011 with their debut album Cold, and subsequent success opening up for Japandroids on their European tour. Their follow-up, Earthbeat, won't hit the streets until February 4th, but is now available to stream on Soundcloud. The intricate layering of soft female vocals with reverb-heavy guitar and tribal drum beats makes Earthbeat a solid sophomore release- and Be Forest a band to watch in 2014. Also check out their video for "Captured Heart"-

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wye Oak Announces Shriek

Baltimore, Maryland's indie-folk duo Wye Oak announced their follow up to 2011's critically acclaimed Civilian today. The LP is titled Shriek and will be out on Merge Records on April 29. The band has also shared a synth and fuzzy guitar-infused track from the album called "The Tower" which debuted on NPR's All Songs Considered Podcast yesterday. Check it out for yourself below.

Watch Weeknight's Music Video for "Dark Light"

Electronic duo Weeknight will be releasing their debut album Post-Everything on March 4. In the meantime, check out their enigmatic video for "Dark Light", and enjoy the slow-burning synth groove and interlocking male-female vocals that permeate the track.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

I Break Horses- Chiaroscuro REVIEW

Chiaroscuro marks the compelling and confident return of I Break Horses, the Swedish pop outfit of Maria Linden- last seen touring alongside M83 on the strength of their 2011 debut album, Hearts. Linden and company have since refined the shoegaze atmospherics of their predecessor into a sophisticated package of pop sensibility. In the collective shadow of 2013’s near-overdose of female-fronted synthpop, what Chiaroscuro manages to accomplish is no easy task. I Break Horses somehow avoids the banal, formulaic potholes that hinder (and will continue to hinder) similar artists in this genre, crafting a collection of hook-laden songs that sound both inspired and freshly familiar.

During some of the more ambient moments on Hearts, I Break Horses threatened to indulge itself to the point of prematurely floating away.  But for an album filled to the brim with a variety of mood-illiciting synthscapes, Chiaroscuro feels remarkably grounded and finite. It’s not until seven-minute closer “Heart to Know” where Chiaroscuro officially decides to tap into the ambient psychadelia that haunted (in a good way) their freshman release. The result is a punchy, sometimes-volatile brew of stormy, neo-gothic beats echoing both Deep Cuts-era Knife and the more contemporary sounds of Glasser. Linden alternates between textures of underlying darkness and uptempo buoyancy, no doubt to reflect the true meaning of “chiaroscuro”- an Italian term translated to “light/dark”.  Tracks such as the sweeping, tour-de-force “You Burn” and the unnerving “Berceuse” put this terminology of contrasting composition to the best use- elsewhere, on the catchy and electrifying “Faith”,  Linden grants the listener an exciting jolt of dark Crystal Castles-esque dancefloor ravepop. While the concept behind I Break Horses’ second album may not exactly be the freshest of ideas, Linden’s songwriting and execution lend Chiaroscuro an unexpected gravitas that resonates with the listener long after “Heart to Know” fades into the ether.       

Albert Hammond Jr. Releases Video for "Strange Tidings"

Albert Hammond Jr. takes a dizzying spin through the streets of Paris in his new video for "Strange Tidings", off his latest EP AHJ. Juxtaposing frenetic camera work with an impassively cool Hammond, the video speaks to the type of confident introversion that can produce a chorus proclaiming, "If I'm guilty, I'll walk away".

Monday, January 27, 2014

Mogwai- Rave Tapes REVIEW

With Rave Tapes, Mogwai sacrifices some of the diversity of sounds and texture that can be found on most of their earlier albums in favor of creating a tighter-sounding set of tracks, held together by ominous synths that naturally mesh with their trademark guitar orchestrations. But while Rave Tapes boasts some excellent moments, it's hard to shake the feeling that the album could have used a few more surprises. 

Mogwai keeps things firmly mid-tempo throughout, and tracks build to upper-mid-level peaks, but no higher. The standout track "Remurdered", with it's twisting synth line, propulsive kick drum, and rising waves of guitar feedback, seems to be the exception that proves the rule. It's a menacingly fun ride among a collection of songs that seem introverted in comparison. It's immediately followed by "Hexon Bogon", which sounds ready to follow in it's footsteps until the song ends suddenly at two-and-a-half minutes in, just as things are getting interesting. 

The only real oddity on the album is "Repelish", which is overlaid with a tongue-in-cheek monologue describing the supposed satanic messages hidden in Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven". Why Mogwai decided to include such a tired rock 'n' roll story trope on this track - delivered flatly and with zero character - is anyone's guess. If you can ignore this scene-stealing distraction, the song's repetitive chord progression hints at the unexplored potential of what could have been a seriously compelling track.

Mogwai may not be pushing their limits on Rave Tapes, but does that mean they've made a sub-par album? Certainly not- Rave Tapes seethes with caged energy, and is rich in dark atmosphere. Sonically, the arrangements and overall mix create an attractively organic feel- full of purring bass, resonant guitars, and drums that feel warm and dark even when they're being pummeled. This is the sound of a band that is usually heralded as "expansive" or "cinematic" packing their imposing sound into a dark basement. It's a concentrated dose of Mogwai that should leave fans satisfied, but some of these songs could simply use a little more room to breathe.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Listen to Baths' Remix of Grizzly Bear's "Will Calls"

Check out electronic artist Baths' glitched interpretation of Grizzly Bear's recent single "Will Calls", complete with skittering beats and a danceable choruses.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Watch Disclosure's New Video for "F for You", Featuring Mary J. Blige

Disclosure have released a new video for the reworked version of their single "F for You", featuring a vocals from none other than Mary J. Blige. You can also check out the original version of the single here, which was released last year off their acclaimed debut album, Settle.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Watch Painted Palms' New Video for "Forever"

Check out San Francisco psych-pop duo Painted Palms' video for the title track off their recently released debut album, Forever. Find our previous review of Painted Palms' Canopy EP here.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Listen to "Nothing Ordinary" from Lucius

Lucius is fronted by dual vocalists Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig, who blend girl group harmonies with garage-rock rhythms. Listen to the stormy "Nothing Ordinary", off of their 2013 debut album Wildwoman.

Watch Cass McComb's Haunting Music Video for "Unearthed"

The third of four videos to be released in January from Cass McCombs, "Unearthed" provides a visually engrossing backdrop for the spare, album-closing track from 2013's Big Wheel and Others. Patience is rewarded when watching this solemn and reflective piece of micro-storytelling.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

New Track from Youth Lagoon- "Worms"

The Space Project is a newly launched collection of songs from Lefse Records, featuring 14 artists incorporating genuine recordings from outer space into new compositions. The first track to be released is Youth Lagoon's "Worms", which sounds as appropriately far-out as any song that samples audio from the rings of Uranus ought to be. Trevor Powers had few reservations about diving headlong into psychedelia on Youth Lagoon's last album, Wondrous Bughouse, and yet "Worms" somehow manages to push the kaleidoscopic themes even further.

Check out our review of Wondrous Bughouse here.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Warpaint- Warpaint REVIEW

For the most part, Warpaint’s followup to 2010’s The Fool lacks the sultry hypnotism of their debut, instead opting for a more direct approach; at least, that’s how things seem at first. Much has been written on how Warpaint would focus on drummer Stella Mozwaga’s ground-floor involvement, representing the Los Angeles foursome in the purest sense (hence the eponymous namesake). From the get-go, the spotlight shines brightly on Mozwaga, kicking off with “Intro”- a nearly two-minute percussive showcase surrounded by layers of groovy, ambient feedback. It’s a nifty mission statement as to what lies ahead; however, it it isn’t long before we’re once again mired in Warpaint’s tradmark haze of slithery momentum and elegantly jarring time signatures.  

Produced by Flood on Rough Trade Records and mixed mostly by the legendary Nigel Godrich, Warpaint’s first four tracks are so mysterious and exciting- highlighted by single, the Blonde Redhead-ish, “Love is to Die”- that it’s initially frustrating when the pace threatens to circle itself.  However, a languid midsection is buoyed by “Disco//Very”, an LCD Soundsystem by way of Alice Glass-type banger, a track so damn enjoyable that it manages to prop up the album's second half while simultaneously emphasizing it’s flaws. These missteps are further clarified when more closely evaluating Warpaint's predecessor. With The Fool, the band cast no illusions about the distance they kept from the listener; their debut was an ethereal siren song of cemetery foreplay. Warpaint, on the other hand, is an album with an identity crisis- it wants to embrace, but only at arm’s length. And while, on paper, this may sound like an intriguing concept, the ambition of Warpaint’s execution can occasionally exceed it’s grasp. The result is an equally fascinating and frustrating album that struggles to overcome a tendency to mute it’s most powerful moments.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Watch Relations' New Video for "Take No Sides"

Brooklyn-based trio Relations have released a new video for their song "Take No Sides". With tightly-wound synths and edgy guitars racing throughout, the track manages to keep things fun while pulsing with nervous energy. Relations' forthcoming EP, Songbirds, will be released on 100m Records this spring.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Bass Drum of Death Release New Track "Black Don't Glow", Announce Tour Dates

Crank up Bass Drum of Death's new track "Black Don't Glow" and get your daily fix of overdriven garage-fuzz rock. The band as also announced a short run of tour dates starting at the end of the month.

BDoD on tour-

1/29 – St. Louis, MO @ Firebird
1/30 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
1/31 – Lakewood, OH @ Mahall’s
2/01 – Toronto, ON @ Silver Dollar
2/02 – Montreal, QC @ Casa Del Popolo
2/03 – Boston, MA @ Great Scott’s
2/04-05 – Brooklyn, NY @ Union Pool
2/06 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat
2/07 – Boone, NC @ Boone Saloon
2/08 – Jackson, MS @ Martin’s Lounge

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Listen to "Rough Detective" from the Dead Weather

Previously available only on 7" vinyl from Third Man Records, the Dead Weather are now streaming their latest track, "Rough Detective", via Spotify. Jack White and the rest of the Dead Weather plan to release two-track singles for the rest of the year, ultimately culminating in a new album in 2015.

Also check out the recently released "Open Up (That's Enough)"-

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Watch the Fan-produced Official Video for "All Wash Out" by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

"All Wash Out" is the simple and gentle closing track to Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros sophomore album, Here. The similarly graceful video that the band recently released as their official video for the song was created by fan Sophia Glaser, who tragically passed away after completing her captivating work for a music video contest. The band also published an emotional letter from Glaser's sister Luna on their youtube page.

The band's self-titled third album was released last July.

Real Estate Release "Talking Backwards", Announce New Album Release Date

Real Estate have announced that their third full-length album, Atlas, will be released on March 4th through Domino Records. As a preview of what's to come, the band also released the new single "Talking Backwards." True to form, the track is a breezy mix of clean, chiming guitar lines and laid-back vocals. Check out our earlier interview with Real Estate here.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Listen to Lily Allen's New Track, "Air Balloon"

With the release date for Lily Allen's next album still to-be-announced, Ms. Allen continues to build buzz with her latest single "Air Balloon". Allen previously released a music video for the album's first single, "Hard Out Here".

CHVRCHES cover Janelle Monáe's "Tightrope"

While being honored as a "Billboard's rising star of 2013" at the recent Billboard Women in Music event, electro-soul diva Janelle Monáe was treated to a cover of her song "Tightrope", performed by electro-pop trio CHVRCHES.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Glasser Releases Music Video for "Shape"

Seemingly drawing visual inspiration from 80's airbrush art and 90's CGI, "Shape" transports Cameron Mesirow - the artistic persona otherwise known as Glasser - into a stark metallic world that plays with ideas of purity, symmetry, and spatial relationship. Directed by Jonathan Turner and produced by The Creators Project, it bears a number of stylistic similarities to the previously released video for "Design"- not to mention the cover art for Interiors.

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Knife to Tour North America, Play Coachella

The Knife- whose concept epic Shaking the Habitual was our #4 record of 2013- will not only be playing at this year's Coachella (April 11-13, 18-20), but they have also announced that this will coincide with their first-ever North American tour. The Shaking the Habitual live experience has made it's rounds through Europe over the past year earning an undoubtedly polarizing reputation with it's penchant for "danceoke" and "absurdist aerobics". Those stateside will find out for themselves soon enough as a list of dates should be announced soon. In the meantime, check out the Knife's 13-minute documentary below on the making of Shaking the Habitual.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Watch Washed Out Perform "All I Know" on Letterman

Washed Out made their television debut on The Late Show, performing "All I know" off of their recent album Paracosm. Check out our earlier interview with Washed Out's Ernest Greene here.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Stream Broken Bells- "After the Disco"

Broken Bells (the duo of The Shins' James Mercer and Danger Mouse) will be releasing their second LP, After the Disco, in the next few weeks (either next Tuesday the 14th or Feb 4th- there have been conflicting reports). You can now stream the eponymous title track- which is the second track released from the album following the Bee Gees-flavored "Holding On for Life". Both tracks are below.

Watch the Entire Last Show of Grizzly Bear's "Shields" Tour

After over a year of shows in support of 2012's Shields, Grizzly Bear's tour culminated in an impressive performance at the Sydney Opera House on January 5th. Watch the entire concert here-

Monday, January 6, 2014

The War On Drugs - Red Eyes

The War On Drugs will be back with a brand new album titled "Lost In The Dream" which will be released in March. It will be featured on the Secretly Canadian label and the first track from the album is 'Red Eyes'.  It is a great listen and it picks up right where Slave Ambient left off. If 'Red Eyes' is any indication at how the entire album will sound, The War On Drugs are in for a fine 2014.