Friday, March 30, 2007

Wilco

"Impossible Germany"








If Wilco weren’t a band full of forty-somethings with families, I’d tell you that Sky Blue Sky is their “grown-up” album. Gone are the band’s experimental ventures into radio noise and feedback. Sky Blue Sky is all summer and sun simplicity. “Impossible Germany” rides in on trio of guitars, each winding out thin, care-free riffs. Jeff Tweedy sings some lovely nonsense: “Impossible Germany, unlikely Japan/Wherever you go, wherever you land”. The song, not unlike the rest of the album, would have fit perfectly with the FM gold from the 70’s. But before they let you get too relaxed, new guitarist Nels Cline decides to show off his chops with a guitar solo before the start-stop riffing of the other guitars drop in to back him up. It’s a lovely, relaxing song-- the stuff Sunday afternoons are made of.



Download >>Impossible Germany

Robyn

"Konichiwa Bitches"/Trentemøller Remix






I don’t know what the deal is, but there’s been a slew of “retro-releases” this year. The latest is a track from Robyn’s 2005 self-titled album, released on 3/19 as the Konichiwa Bitches EP. 2005 people! I shouldn’t complain, even though I would imagine everyone and their mother have heard “Konichiwa Bitches” by now. If not, here’s your chance to witness the best white-girl rap of the 00’s. Let’s be clear, Robyn is not a rapper, and doesn’t rap on any other songs. The song is a novelty gem referring back the 80’s when rap was fun, and a sense of fun won over “real” rhyme skills. Although the original track holds its own, it’s the Trentemøller remix that makes fire feel like a sea breeze….it’s just that hot. Trent has pretty much established himself as one of the best remixer’s in the game. The remix shifts the rhythm from the strict hi-hats of the original to a looser kick drum/double clap combination. He doesn’t settle for just one style though, he brings in the classic electro beat on the second verse. From the chunky hard-rock power chords to the low one-note surf-guitar, it’s a complete overhaul of the original track, and some may argue that it’s even better.



Download >>Konichiwa Bitches

Download >>Konichiwa Bitches- Trentemøller Remix

Thursday, March 29, 2007

LCD Soundsystem

"Someone Great"






It’s funny to say something like “Vintage Techno”, but LCD Soundsystem has made art of the term on his latest album Sound of Silver. On one of the album's centerpieces, “Someone Great”, James Murphy has ingeniously combined the sounds of the electronic past into a shoulder rolling groove anthem. The LCD Timemachine travels onward from the influences of the 70’s punkmen to the knowingly flashy and somewhat fascist New Wave era. The song blends the computer rock of Kraftwerk, a Bowieesque melody, and even R2D2 (yes the droid) squeaks and pops with a bass line that sounds like you plugged an American made electric trampoline into a European socket. Which is just a long winded way of saying it’s a pretty chill song that’s also really danceable. The song spans about six and a half minutes, but you’ll be pulling shapes so hard you won’t even notice.



Download >>Someone Great

Arctic Monkeys

"Brianstorm"






So the boys from the U.K. are back with their sophomore album Favourite Worst Nightmare. The album, being their first release since their overnight trip to semi-superstardom, is eagerly anticipates by critics, but not for the reasons you’d think. Most critics are waiting to tear these boys apart in an attempt to de-construct the hype machine they helped build themselves. The second go-round usually finds a popular band on the defense, trying to disprove the “lightning in a bottle” theory. In this case, the Monkeys let the music talk, pounding away on their guitars as if it may shield them from the forthcoming attacks. Alex Turner sounds comfortable though, singing in his usual nonchalant, snotty tone. Apparently, the critics aren’t the only one the Monkeys have to worry about. There’s obviously someone in their very own circle that’s too-cool-for-school, and I’m guessing his name is Brian (“Brian, top marks for not trying/So kind of you to bless us with your effortlessness/We’re grateful and so strangely comforted”). Only time will tell if Favourite Worst Nightmare, or even the Monkeys themselves will outlast the backlash. On the other hand, seeing how they refuse to cooperate with the press (their MySpace headline is “Don’t believe the hype”), they probably wouldn’t care if everyone forgot about them anyway.



Download >>Brianstorm

Digitalull: Your Weekly Electronic Fix

The Field- From Here We Go Sublime





Axel Willner has been releasing vinyl singles for a couple years now on Kompakt (yes we love this label, we do) and thank god, he has finally done everyone a massive favor and made a big ole' pleasure palace of an album. Here are two standout tracks for your soon to be gooey ears to behold. Oh, and the rest of the tacks on the album rip just as much as these, so do yourself a favor and get it....soon.

"The Deal" starts up with some thump your ass bass and a little sprinkler system hi-hat dashed in just to make sure your hips are shaking. An angel parts the clouds to remind you, yes you are listening to heaven. What is she saying? This somehow doesn't matter because the feeling is the goal here and by now bliss has already set in. Oh , there's more. Stuttering air pockets rush by the soothing synth lines and the angel, she just keeps on going like the energizer bunny. Minimal-tech never felt this good, and even with the repetitive 10 minutes that ensues, it never gets boring. Set in the latter half of From Here We Go Sublime, it seems perfect on its own or as a genuine pace setter for the album as a whole. Enjoy greatly.



Download >>The Deal

"Little Heart Beats So Fast", track number four off of said album, serves as the blatant sex anthem. Following the semi-melancholy "Good Things End", this is a good rebound song. Guttural heaves of affirmation start us off on the way to ecstasy along with a very playful melody that begins feminine, which entwines with and eventually ends in masculine deep pulses. The foreplay tails off and, well, I think you can see where this ends up. Warm fluttery waves blow the hair back just gently behind the ear and come to the crossroads of some hard pounding deep house beats. The two mesh together into the very rhythmic vibration that we shall call the musical "O" face. A male voice overcomes the female with his reply of, who-knows-what-word-he-keeps saying in assurance that he too is having the time of his life. Fortunately this lasts longer than a minute (5:25 to be exact) and this is the exact opposite of that one night stand you deeply regret for the rest of your life.



Download >>The Little Heart Beats So Fast


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Battles

"Atlas"






I’m going to lose some of you with this one. “Atlas” is weird, there’s no denying it. It sounds like a stadium jock-jam, or possibly a Disney parade gone all wrong. The drums are heavy on the downbeat and the vocals heavy on helium. It’s a seven minute romp full of rolling toms and short, repetitive guitar licks. It’s would be a kick ass soundtrack for some choreographed metal machine dance. Imagine it: pistons pumping up and down, a conveyer belt moving in stop-motion ultimately manufacturing some evil toy no kid in their right mind would ever want to play with. Alas, this dance is for grown-ups only. Although it may not be for everybody, it’s a surefire winner for those with an appetite for music with an experimental edge. It’s bound to rock somebody’s boat.



Download >>Atlas

The Late Cord

"Lila Blue"






Usually, the consensus is that the Brits get all the good music first. This is normally the case, but one of the few exceptions are The Late Cord, whose debut mini album Lights From The Wheelhouse has been available in the states since July of last year, but is just now seeing the light of day in the U.K. The duo consists of John Mark Lapham and Micah P. Hinson, whom both moonlight as one-half of The Earlies. The EP’s lead off track, “Lila Blue” is an excellent display of the bands deep, sonically rich pallet. The layers build endlessly: pump organs, accordions, pink noise, and fragmented waves of static. A little over the five and a half minute mark, the wash of noise parts ways for a group of guitars, which in turn lure the song into a gentle, hypnotic state of serenity. It’s emotionally charging and entirely calming at the same time. Songs like "Lila Blue" make it extremely difficult not to get lost in your own imagination-- don’t be alarmed if you have a hard time finding your way back to reality.



Download >>Lila Blue

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Marissa Nadler

"Silvia"/"Dying Breed"






I’ve been going to sleep to Marissa Nadler’s Songs III: Bird On The Water every night for the past month. This has actually been a challenge. Although it’s perfect for sleeping, it’s also easy to get wrapped up in the songs themselves. The stories in the lyrics, the subtle use of not-so-folk instruments among other elements create the kind of warm, inviting environment perfect for study and slumber. “Silvia” is a prime example. The song’s circular finger picking is rooted in a typical folk progression supported by not only one, but several different types of organ. It actually sounds a bit like Vashti Bunyan, with its airy melody floating somewhere above the ether. The rusted feedback that haunts “Dying Breed” is an unlikely pairing with the plucks of acoustic guitar that underscore Nadler’s lyrics. The sweet melody masks the sorrow; "Frank this song is for you love, and for your curly hair/Your earthly days have passed you by/Where, oh where did you go when they took your bones?". Simplicity has always been the greatest strength of folk music. It has also kept most folk music from being appreciated, seeing as how a passing listen cannot differentiate one folk song from another. Only when given the attention they deserve can the depth of artists like Marissa Nadler be truly understood.



Download >>Silvia

Download >>Dying Breed

Get to Know: Under Byen (Under the City)





Do you hate injustice? I do. Well I say, down with injustice! YEAH (fist pump)! Under Byen is a band who has been criminally overlooked this side of the Atlantic; to right this injustice we bring you four songs of golden purity. Formed in 1995, this Danish band has five albums and two EPs to their name, the latest being Samme Stoff Som Stof (Same Fabric As Fabric), and I bet you've never heard of them. Every lyric is sung in Danish, intentionally because they feel this is how they can create better music; however this is definitely not a deterrent to have a listen and gain a new favorite band to brag about to your friends. Current members include: Henriette Sennenvaldt (vocal), Sara Saxild (bass), Thorbjørn Krogshede (piano), Nils Gröndahl (violin/saw), Morten Svenstrup (cello), Morten Larsen (drums), Stine Sørensen (drums), and Anders Stochholm (band doctor). That's right, two drummers and a saw. Never has home depot seemed so sexy. Other instruments featured include organ, clarinet, lapsteel, and accordion.

Hints of Portishead, Bjork, Sigur Ros, and Mum come to mind; but alas, they do have their own sound and in this humble reviewer's opinion are much less boring than mum, less creepy than Sigur, more consistant than Portis, and more in depth than Bjork. U.B. specializes in everything from orchestral indie pop, downbeat, chamber, electronica, classical piano, feedback driven mood setters, and lush-ass-knock-you-into-a-dream-state epics. Oh, and Henriette Sennenvaldt's voice could make you fall in love, with what or whom exactly is yours to decide.





Download >>Den Her Sang Handler Om At Få Det Bedste Ud Af Det Download >>Af Samme Stof Som Stof

Download >>Mission Download >>Vinterbørn

Monday, March 26, 2007

The National

"Fake Empire"






If there was a number one contender for the most anticipated album you may never have known you were anticipating, Boxer, The National’s follow up to 2005’s Alligator would be it. If you’ve already felt bombarded by the onslaught of high-profile releases this year, you’re not alone. You can take comfort in the fact that the next release from this Brooklyn band will quietly make its way to the top of year-end polls without too much fuss or overexposure. The first track from the album, “Fake Empire” acts as the perfect opener and leaves the overly-dramatic intro for the bands with something to prove. “Stay out super late tonight, picking apples, making pie/Put a little something in our lemonade, and take it with us, we’re half awake in a fake empire” Matt Berninger sings in his usual smooth baritone. Although the song lazily accepts belonging to the culturally mislead, it’s somehow comforting instead of disconcerting. “Turn the light out, say goodnight, of thinking for a little while/Let’s not try to figure out everything at once.” It sounds a slacker’s excuse for lack of activism, but it may actually be an honest piece of advice.



Download >>Fake Empire

Timbaland

"Release" (feat. Justin Timberlake)






Oh Timbo, you tease! Of course you’re pre-album release single “Give It To Me” wet our appetites for the futuristic funk-filled Shock Value, but surely you knew that “Release” was the bona-fide club banger no one would be able to resist. The song wastes no time on theatrics. After a three-seconds of beat boxing, the beat drops and pretty much takes over any control you thought you had over your bodily movement, so move your body must. Rhythmically inclined or not, inhibitions are shed and dancing ensues. It doesn’t hurt that the song’s got JT’s name attached to it, but you’d never know it unless somebody told you. My guess is that Interscope will probably push the grammatically challenged Sexyback/My Love mash-up “What I Are” as the next single, but it would be impossible to keep the stereo-panned cowbell and lock-step groove of “Release” out of the clubs. And as everybody knows by now, when the cowbell knocks….you’re bound to open up.



Download >>Release

Friday, March 23, 2007

Album Review- Armchair Apocrypha


Andrew Bird
Armchair Apocrypha
8.4/10


There’s an aura of darkness that surrounds Andrew Bird's Armchair Apocrypha that unites each song into a cohesive album. Where The Mysterious Production of Eggs had sweet, familiar melodies and quick, catchy hooks, Armchair Apocrypha seems to be more of a complex, lonely, and sad album. Though at the same time, Andrew Bird continues to write satisfying and moving ballads with incredibly cinematic themes and lyrics.

While the end of the world is not a new subject for Andrew Bird, the way in which he’s dealing with it is. On The Mysterious Production of Eggs’ “Tables and Chairs,” he revels in an afterlife filled with “pony rides and dancing bears” and even promises that there’ll be snacks in the end. On Armchair Aprocrypha, the Apocalypse doesn’t seem to have been so cheery. The albums final cut, “Yawny at the Apocalypse” could either be an incredibly mournful and sad elegy to a life well lived, or a dissident, non linear anthem to surviving an ended world. It is an awfully moving piece of music, led by Bird’s weeping violin melody that pierces the heavens, no matter where you may be.

True to his form, Andrew Bird hasn’t lost his sense of humor completely. A charging track on Armchair called “Dark Matter” is a classic Bird song, filled with whistles, awesome harmonies, pizzicato strings and a seemingly ridiculous theme: the board game Operation. Though, just like the game, there’s something in there that you can dig out, musically and lyrically. Other songs have equally familiar Bird lyrics about lacking the proper chemicals to function and fighting for the right to have musicals and cities.

Andrew Bird is one of today’s most seminal artists. He is a genius musician who wraps his heart, fingers, arms, and head around multiple parts and instruments. When playing live he normally tours with a drummer, and without missing a beat, plays each vocal and instrument part live using a looping pedal. This formula, used by others, but mastered by Bird, creates a unique theatrical experience for the audience. As the listener of his albums you imagine each part as played by Bird. The song “Scythian Empire” emphasizes his originality and transcends musical trends today. An exceptional arrangement of piano, guitar, strings, and Bird’s signature dreamy vocals provide a lovely antitheses in a song that lyrically deepens the apocalyptic theme with images of “Black tar rain and hellfire” falling on a crumbling empire.

Despite a few slow spots, some recycled material, and the occasional mumble-singing that Bird is prone too, Armchair Apocrypha contains some beautiful music with wonderful lyrics. It solidifies Andrew Bird as one of music’s most unique and brilliant artists, one that deserves to be recognized and celebrated. His music, however thematically destructive, is ultimately healing. Though, you might not want to wait too long to take it in, because if you’re a disciple of the prophet Bird, it all might just come to an end soon.





Download >>Scythian Empire

Download >>Dark Matter

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Voxtrot

"Ghost"






Voxtrot. Oh…my sweet little Voxtrot. What will happen when you're too big to notice me? Will you still sing songs about me? Or will you let the fame go to your head and then sing about how you let our love go by the way side?

Oh…shit…sorry…..awkward.

Well Voxtrot has finally recorded an Honest to God album, one with more than 5 tracks. One select track from the forthcoming, self titled album called "Ghost" melts this fan boy's heart like he's never heard "The Boy with the Arab Strap". It's strange to say it's a classic Voxtrot song, given that they haven't released a proper L.P. yet, but it is. They're two and a half e.p.'s are enough to languish a style and repertoire that's familiar, quotable and recognizable. "Ghost" is congruent with that style; jangly guitars, a proficient and choppy rhythm section, and strings that don't overwhelm the song but highlight and lift "Ghost" to an emotional height we could rest our heads on. Though, it's Ramesh Srivastava's storytelling at the center of the band that drives all of these components into a cohesive unit. On "Ghost" he pleads, "I don't ever want to be a lone like this" to some lover that refuses to have him. Ramesh has an incredible knack, like Michael Stipe, Stuart Murdoch, and (gasp) Morrissey before him, to not only fit a large amount of words into a short selection of music, but to tell a poetic, complex story in a pop song. “Ghost” has a beautiful melody that floats on top of the song's rhythms to guide you in and out of each chorus and verse.

I'd be careful if I were you. Voxtrot is an extremely addictive band. You don’t know it yet, but by the end of the day, you'll have listened to "Ghost" more than ten times, discovering something new each and every listen, which is a mark of a truly great band. The only unfortunate thing is you'll have to wait until the end of May to enjoy the rest of Voxtrot, which I'm sure I'll file under "semi-unhealthy obsessions for 2007". Good luck.





Download >>Ghost

Ola Podrida

"Instead"/"Cindy"






Certain songs are made for headphones. Sometimes loudspeakers just aren’t able to communicate the tender, subtle details that inform the calming beauty of songs like “Instead”. When I first got a hold of the song (Ola Podrida have had songs floating around the blogosphere since April of last year mind you), I was immediately struck by its intimate simplicity. The softly sung vocals whisper away any troubles, quietly coaxing you to “Save yourself instead”. It’s soothing, delicately layered pillow-pop tailored for daydreaming. Conversely, “Cindy” finds the band embracing a louder approach. It starts off nicely with a simple guitar and the same intimate vocals, but eventually the band turn up the volume after Cindy turns on a fire. “It was the prettiest thing she though she had ever seen/A thing in which to believe,” from there on the song builds layers of messy guitars until there’s no space left in the mix. As unruly as the music gets, it still somehow manages to be just intimate as “Instead.” You clearly visualize Cindy’s fascination with the fire play out in your mind through the song’s vivid narration. After a year of anticipation, Ola Podrida’s eponymous debut hits the shelves 4/24 in the U.S. I’m going to go ahead and say it was already worth the wait.





Download >>Instead

Download >>Cindy

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I'm From Barcelona

"We're From Barcelona"






Admit it; you never really wanted to grow up. If you think about it, the only two things that forced you out of adolescence were nature and peer-pressure. If it weren’t for puberty and your elders demanding you to “grow-up”, you would probably happily remain in the ignorant bliss of childhood. I’m From Barcelona’s 29 member collective is led by 30 year old Emanuel Lundgren, and neither he, nor his fellow Barcelonans have yet to embrace the maturity that ruins adulthood. Most of us are conditioned to suppress our childish behavior, but I’m From Barcelona (actually from Sweden) chooses to embrace its youthful giddiness instead. The buzz surrounding the band has already come and gone since the original release of their album Let Me Introduce My Friends in Sweden last year, but now that the U.S. release finally hit stores yesterday (3/20), domestic fans can finally afford to see what the fuss was about without the extra cost of the import. And while I can’t endorse an entire album of its nature, “We’re From Barcelona” definitely has its moments. Lines like “We’ll aim for the stars/We’ll aim for your heart,” might cause some to naturally gag at such silly cheese-ball sentiments, but your heart need not be too soft to give in to the sugar-rush of a chorus. Besides, the song barely runs past the three minute mark. It’ll be over before you know it and you’ll be pressing repeat trying to figure out what you missed. As for the hard-hearted tough guy, let this song be the hug you’ve been secretly wanting all along.



Download >>We're From Barcelona

Benoît Pioulard

"Fir"






Pioulard’s new 7 inch release, Fir, reminds me of that one rainy day when a light came down from the heavens and told me that music was meant for rainy days when a light comes down from the heavens. Something about Ben’s voice tells me it’s ok to be a little passive sometimes. His lyrics suggest that the power of observation is largely underrated, and should be. Drowsy, yet still strangely uplifting, the new track blends the same acoustic guitar, dream-like synth and lazy vocals that made his past work on Précis so enticing, but adds some new elements. This track progresses into a resounding bass drum, a hammered dulcimer and hand claps that seem to encourage the other more exotic percussion instruments out of hiding. There is something satisfyingly Eastern about this track. Call it Crouching Tiger, Hidden Pioulard… or just call it good. At the very least it’s a great taste of what is to come from this deceptively versatile artist.





Download >>Fir

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Kings Of Leon

"Ragoo"/"Fans"






Say what you want, I don’t care. I’m not embarrassed anymore. Well…I am. But the truth is, had this been 1995, Kings of Leon’s "Ragoo" from their forthcoming third album Because of the Times would have been the most amazing song this overly passionate teenager ever heard (that week). Not only that, but I’d stay up all day and night until I was able to hit ‘record’ on my radio’s tape deck. I’d obsess over the intensely catchy reverb laden guitar riff and fake death every time it was played. I’d contemplate whether or not to learn it on the guitar because I just might “ruin it” for myself. I’d sing the chorus while playing air guitar so embarrassingly loud my neighbors would complain. One of the only ways I can describe this song is to see if you could slough off the last 11 years and regress into a much simpler time. A time when you had only heard those 8 or 9 songs from the 90’s just a couple of times and were still filled with endorphins when they hit the radio. I’m able to say this with confidence because "Ragoo" isn’t simply a 90’s throw back. The song retains some very current independent rhythms, chops, and the insatiable southern groove that KOL have been able to invent and master on Because of the Times. At the same time, they rock out in a way that hasn’t been felt since Matchbox Twenty ruined everything.

On "Fans" we break out the whiskey and head out to the porch. Caleb Followill’s signature squawk accompanies a Zeppelinesque acoustic guitar while we relax in the rocking chairs. If you find yourself moving towards the BBQ, don’t worry, it’s not your fault. Groove master Jared Followill has picked you up with his magnificent bass groove. Two minutes into the song, you’ll be shouting along with rest of the band in perfect time like there’s nothing to worry about.

This band has a knack for inventing hooks that could save your life. Behind the superficiality of their image, there’s something deep, and dark, and smooth behind their music. Something that is ultimately true and from a place that’s as thick as I imagine their native Tennessee to be. So do yourself a favor, when you play these songs get your tape deck out, stick it up to your laptop, and press record. See if they’re as good as you remember.



Download >>Ragoo

Download >>Fans

Tin Hat

"Dead Season"/"The Comet"






It’s never been so hard to classify a group’s sound as it is with Tin Hat (formerly Tin Hat Trio before the departure of accordionist Rob Burger). Chamber folk? Cabaret jazz? They never settle in one place long enough to be aptly tagged. Their last album, Book Of Silk released in 2004 was a genre defying masterpiece, but few took notice. The band’s ability to combine unconventional instrumentation with foreign rhythms created what can only be referred to as a magical blend of instrumental gypsy music. The group’s latest, The Sad Machinery Of Spring explores more of the same experimental flavors, but somehow manages to narrow its scope at the same time. The jangly guitar and bouncing harmonics of “Dead Season” bring to mind some exotic Spanish dance until the trumpet goes into a jazz style solo. The guitar solo, married with treated piano, is extremely impressive as well. “The Comet” is poetry paced like a wedding march, but its overtones suggest that of a funeral. It sounds like the soundtrack to some sad, forgotten piece of Russian literature. Forget your dad’s jazz or the folk music you hear in coffee shops, I’d be willing to declare Tin Hat pioneers of their genre..…if only I could figure out what their genre is.



Download >>Dead Season

Download >>The Comet

Monday, March 19, 2007

El-P

"EMG"/"Drive"






Politics is a dangerous game in hip-hop. It’s easy to grab a hold of the anti-everything bandwagon while it’s still trendy, but much harder to achieve sincereness, or, more importantly, actually resonate with the people amongst infinite other forms of propaganda. El-P’s follow up to 2002’s excellent Fantastic Damage finally arrives in stores tomorrow (3/20) and manages to up the ante on its predecessor. I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead is a dense, masterfully crafted album that approaches its social/political messages from different, slightly subversive angles on every song. The Brooklyn bred producer/rapper creates futuristic hip-hop rooted in the classic b-boy style with lyrics just as dense as the music. "EMG" (Everything Must Go) rides a high pitched cowbell over booming percussion. The beat is fairly elementary with its spacious orch stabs and claps, but check El-producto’s slightly less straightforward commentary on our culture-for-sale society: "I wanna sell you a dream/I wanna see you come apart at the seams." "Drive" chronicles our youth’s quest for freedom and our reckless ability to destroy on the path in between. But not all of it seems to be our fault, maybe it’s just a natural rebellion to the environment we live in ("C’mon Ma, can I borrow the keys?/My generation is carpooling with doom and disease"). I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead may mark the return of "real" hip-hop, something that has been debatably M.I.A. for a while now. One can only hope that this is the spark, and not its last dying flame.



Download >>EMG

Download >>Drive

Secret Mommy

"String Lake"/"Grand About The Mouth"






Imagine making an electronic album without electronics. Not entirely without electronics, obviously mixers and other amplification tools are necessary to make sure the music actually gets heard. But imagine using nothing but acoustic instruments to create something that can only be defined as “Electronic” music. This is the premise for Secret Mommy’s (a.k.a. Andy Dixon) latest effort Plays. Taking parts from impromptu jam sessions, Dixon refits puzzle pieces purposely out of order to create entirely original orchestrations of standard instruments such as violin, piano, guitar, trumpets and bells. The lead off track “String Lake” is centered around a tricky guitar riff and glitched-out kitchen-sink percussion. Violins squeak and screech over bits and pieces of leftover loops cut to sand grain size. Parts of instrumental refrains are left intact, while others are rendered unrecognizable. “Grand About The Mouth” sports a similarly complicated arrangement using ukulele and baritone sax. It also shows off a wordless vocal chopped and spliced into a melodic lead line. Although surely not the first album of its kind, it’s definitely an impressive example of how much creativity can stem from restriction.



Download >>String Lake

Download >>Grand About The Mouth

Friday, March 16, 2007

Album Review- We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank


Modest Mouse
We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank
8.6/10

There's a song on The Lonesome Crowded West called "Polar Opposites" on which Isaac Brock sings "Polar opposites don't push away/And I know I should go but I will probably stay/And that's all you can do about some things/I'm trying to drink away the part of the day I can't sleep away." This, I feel, is an incredible summary of Modest Mouse: nihilistic and drunk. It's really hard to get away from the endless nauseating criticisms, ignorance, and even praise that has been synonymous with Modest Mouse in the last few years. The band's latest album, We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank is great enough to transcend some of these ridiculous criticisms (such as their signing to Epic records in 2000, and their indie cred-killing popularity with the success of 2004's Good News for People Who Love Bad News) and continues to cement Modest Mouse as a significant and important band in both the worlds of independent and popular music.

We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank is a title that suggests a posthumous retelling of some furious, futile battle for survival. Maybe a plague, or maybe an artist's defense of fundamental beliefs. It's a story that is told both with sweetness and spit, with staccato uneasiness and major chord melodies. On the other hand, maybe it's just another meaningless, random, nihilistic statement. Either way, We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank is a great rock album that combines the spit and snarls with the sweetness and the uneasiness. It combines the technical and musical achievements of the old and new Modest Mouse. The album marks a significant point in the evolution of Modest Mouse and the genre of rock music.

The album begins with "March Into the Sea" and the cranking of some old wrecked instrument quickly pursued by Isaac Brock's cackling rage. Though the abrasive rage is soon smoothed over with his "sweet voice" like an apology when he sings "If you think you know enough to know you know we've had enough/And if you think you don't, you probably will". Huh? This is an example of how some of the lyrics on the album recycle old ideas that have been explored on other albums and therefore reduce some songs to nonsensical statements and played out images. "March Into the Sea" is followed by the album's first single "Dashboard", which is a great pop song filled with classic Isaac Brock storytelling, steady beats and sweeping strings. It's a great example of how Modest Mouse continue to evolve, something that would never have been conceivable had they confined themselves to the rigors of indiedom. They probably wouldn't have scored their brand new member, Johnny Marr (one half of the genius behind The Smiths) either.

Johnny Marr's addition to the band is in no way apparent on the record. He has slipped in amazingly as a member of Modest Mouse, as if he too hailed from the Northwest. While a member of one famous band joining another is not new, nor significant (i.e. Ronnie Wood joining the Stones, Pat Smear joining Nirvana), someone of his caliber and age joining Modest Mouse certainly is. Especially since his collaboration is seamless.

One of We Were Dead's… highlights, "Parting of the Sensory" combines much of what was loved about the pre-2000 Modest Mouse, and a lot of what was discovered in the major label studios. The first half of the song is a spacey acoustic number filled out with echo-y hand claps and airy syth, but soon spirals out of control into a fiddle driven, hiss snarling round and knee slapping revolt.

Part of me is frustrated with Isaac Brock, wondering what he has to complain about. Though ultimately, when he makes sense he can be incredibly existential which would leave him with nothing…leaving him to in turn sing about that...nothing. On behalf of the band I'm guessing, because, as the title suggests, most of the songs refer to "We" rather than "I". Sometimes it's as if he's sung himself into a hole such as on "People As Places As People". He sings "We're the people we wanted to know" and "We're the places we wanted to go".

We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank is ultimately one of the most listenable albums, start to finish, that Modest Mouse have released. It's a very diverse and remarkable album. Where some of the lyrics have not evolved as much as the musicality of the band, Modest Mouse continue to rank as an important and relevant force in rock music.





Download >>Dashboard

Download >>Parting Of The Sensory

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Album Review- Person Pitch


Panda Bear
Person Pitch
8.9/10


In my mind, trance music was always a combination of breezy, acid fueled synth lines, female vocals going on about new found love, and basically all other synthetic dance music. Panda Bear bursts through those barriers to create a gorgeous album filled with positive energy sure to appeal to EDM and traditionalist fans alike; while warming the coldest of hearts and filling up the empty of loneliness. The follow up to his last album, Young Prayer, a homage to Panda's (Noah Lennox) father who had passed away, is much more upbeat ("Try to remember always just to have a good time") and quite frankly much more listenable. Five of the Seven tracks have already been released on singles or compilations: “Bros”, “I'm not”/”Comfy in Nautica”, “Carrots”, and “Search for Delicious”; however with great credit to Mr. Bear, you would never think this due to the comforting flow of the album as a whole.

“Comfy In Nautica” immediately evokes thoughts of Brian Wilson harmonies. Complete with hand claps(!), a chanting choir backing…a train(?), a nice wooshing sound and the words "Goodness is having courage/The courage to do what's right". Something more artists should remember when making music, but I suppose if they did, guys like Panda Bear and Animal Collective wouldn't be so special. “Comfy…” ends with a great doom note making you wake up a little from your relaxed slumber. Worry not though little one, the goodness comes right back with “Take Pills”, an excellent mood altering creation, both lyrically and through the song’s progression. It starts with (only guessing here) a wooden photocopy machine underwater and completes with Panda surfacing above the waves gently explaining why drugs may not be needed here, or offering himself up as a cure.

The train departs the station and drops you off at an owl hoot and Panda's voice melted in with some Lo-Fi atmosphere. Part of the genius and humility throughout this album is the vocals are constantly at the same volume in the rear with the music in the front. It is all of the same importance and part of a greater good. The words aren't always intelligible, but that is part of the fun. In listening again, you can pick up new sounds and structure you missed before.

“Bros” kicks in next, the last half of songs with roots of Animal Collective. Echoing chanting, random & off the wall noises, and rhythmic acoustic guitar flutter about. Somehow this concoction miraculously makes you want to dance along with them amongst the campfire. “Good Girl/Carrots” starts off hectic and ends up being an ode to a self realization that we are just fine. In spite of the fucked up world around us and the people who want to knock us down, everything is ok in our head. In between you get the gift of explosions off in the distance, jack-in-the-box clangs, misty showers, and birds chirping. I cannot make this stuff up. “Search for Delicious” fades in to keep making us believe that we are truly in a deep state of hypnosis. Wobbly vocals, tasers, and friendly haunting spirits float around the ears. “Ponytail” ends up with soft piano and a heartbeat enveloped with "When my soul starts knowing, I am as I want to be and I never will (repeat, repeat) stop caring". It's a gentle lesson that reaches beyond age and status.





Download >>Comfy In Nautica

Download >>Bros

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists

"La Costa Brava"






Ted Leo really is a bad ass. Sometimes I forget how refreshing it is to hear a great freakin’ straight ahead rock song, which is really what this power chord, palm-crunch verse chorus verse, balls-out treble-up song is about; refreshing yourself. Sometimes all you need is a vacation on the beach to salvage your love, or, as Mr. Leo and his Pharmacists plead on "La Costa Brava", "Everyone needs a Sunday some days/Everyone needs to take some time away". I nearly crapped my pants when the song started. I’ve just been so used to that lovely gentle string, maybe piano, maybe the Sufjan crooning opening…no. The song starts with blaring, almost frustrated guitars, a riff which returns in the quick chorus, slapping you in the face saying “Wake up Man!” There must be something forcing these (almost) aging indie rock heroes to bring their songs to that six minute breaking point. Unlike Doug Martsch, Ted Leo avoids the endless, seemingly pointless jamming, and continues on with his lyrical story, adding simple melodic guitar riffs over dueling vocals making “La Costa Brava” not only bad-ass and fun, but interesting, listenable, and over before you know it. Ted Leo’s prescribing a nice day on the beach with him today. I suggest you take it. You’ll feel great.





Download >>La Costa Brava

Mahogany

“Neo-Plastic Boogie-Woogie”






What is up with these dudes? Every time I go to the Miz for some blazin’ hot trizzaks, all I get is this sissy-pop indie crap. Where’s the RAWK?!?!? Sorry dudes, it’s so much easier to love something fun and upbeat. Honestly, it’s a much easier sell as well. So the latest in a string of fun-loving upbeat pop comes from Brooklyn’s Mahogany. “Neo-Plastic Boogie-Woogie” is Belle and Sebastian gone shoegaze. It’s all summer and sunshine amidst a gray storm of reverb. How they managed to dress such a bouncy, sugar-coated core in such grave scenery (or is it the other way around?) is anybody’s guess, but they did. Sweeping envelopes of guitar serve as the backdrop for handclaps, piano, and other melodic musings, but the playful vocal melody is what really lodges the song into your memory. Trust us, it will be much easier to clap along and smile rather than scoff and grimace.





Download >>Neo-Plastic Boogie-Woogie

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Justice

"D.A.N.C.E."/"Phantom"





Everybody’s looking for the new Daft Punk, no one ever thought to look in Daft Punk’s own backyard. French electronic duo Justice is here to get the masses moving again. The act is set to release their next EP “D.A.N.C.E.” on 4/16 through Ed Banger Records. The label happens to be run by Busy P, who manages Daft Punk as well as Justice. Coincidence? Methinks not. “D.A.N.C.E.” and “Phantom” are two highlights from the EP. “Phantom” comes equipped with the fattest of synths and a sick arsenal of slap bass. It opens with stuttering robot talk before the heavy one-two drum rhythm kicks in. Lead lines jump in and out in a cut-and-paste fashion before the mothership-synth lands to clear the dancefloor, only to bring back the funk harder than before. “D.A.N.C.E.” sound like The Go! Team fronting a disco outfit. A school of kids persuade you to “Do the D.A.N.C.E.” backed by retro-chic 70’s style string stabs. Apparently, this version of “D.A.N.C.E.” is only a demo, which leads me to wonder how the final version could be any better. One can only hope. In the mean time, shut up and robot.





Download >>D.A.N.C.E.

Download >>Phantom

The Magic Numbers

"This Is A Song"






It starts off beautifully; xylophone and old-time radio style piano trapped in twilight with waves of backwards guitar. It’s sooooo romantic (insert finger in mouth and gag…….here). Yeah, for the first minute, it sounds like one of those songs where star-crossed lovers sit side by side staring into the infinite night sky, right before the Jetta logo pops up. But seriously, The Magic Numbers could make fertilizer sound romantic. Most of the subject matter ranges from broken hearts to breaking hearts, but there’s always a doe-eyed sense of innocence and hopeless romantic idealism. The second single “This Is A Song” from the bands sophomore album Those The Blokes is another link in a long chain of love-gone-bad songs, but leaves the woe-is-me to a minimum. The song also finds them relying less on their Mamma’s and the Papa’s influenced harmonies and more on a tight song structure and driving backbeat. The harmonies are still there, but they support more than show off. The lyrics are typical M.O.R.; “I've been falling apart/Broke every rule from the start” and “Maybe it’s over but over is not a word that you know”, but overall, it’s sad, catchy, and easy to love.





Download >>This Is A Song

Monday, March 12, 2007

Marnie Stern

"Put All Your Eggs In One Basket And Then Watch That Basket!!"/"Every Single Line Means Something"






Marnie Stern is intense....and she’s a girl. Usually the two don’t mix very well, at least not in modern society. Fortunately for Marnie, it’s her music that’s intense. The girl can shred on guitar. It’s not your typical classic rock pentatonic scale style shredding, it’s a maniacal, hyper-active staccato. It punches in sharp, repetitious jabs to the face which, at first, leave you completely disoriented. Once your face swells up and numbs to the pain, you’re able to face the assault head-on and appreciate its brutal delivery for what it is: completely original guitar work. “Put All Your Eggs In One Basket And Then Watch That Basket!!” and “Every Single Line Means Something” are only mere samples of Stern’s experimental, but impressive guitar work on her debut In Advance Of The Broken Arm. Both serve as accessible points-of-entry to better prepare you for the onslaught of spiky, multi layered axe abuse. Rhythm support is provided by Hella’s Zach Hill, who manages to punish his drum kit just as brutally as Stern does her guitar. “Every Single Line…” is the most straightforward, where both guitar lines stay fairly strict to the eighth-note attack. “Put All Your Eggs…” contains some fairly impressive lyrics beneath its crowded layers of riffage; “Time is all that keeps us blind/We dance around these sleepy rhymes /Yes I'll keep this stance/No I don't believe in chance.” Marnie sings. Whatever you do, don’t write her off as a “pretty good for a girl” type talent. Her skills on the six string are on par with a majority of the males you hear in rock bands today. In fact, a majority of males probably wouldn’t be able to handle Marnie’s entire album. I guess there’s nothing like a woman’s touch, no matter how much it burns.





Download >>Put All Your Eggs In One Basket And Then Watch That Basket!!

Download >>Every Single Line Means Something

Gui Boratto

"Beautiful Life"






There are some songs that get you pumped up just from the first 10 seconds. This isn't one of them, "Beautiful Life" takes about 45 seconds. Off of Chromophobia by Gui Boratto, the Brazillian composer winds off his very distinguishable Kompakt release with some sweet nostalgia; making you think back to the first time you went joyriding at night, saw Hi-Def for the first time, or had your puppy fall asleep in your arms (think Vitalic mixing an M83 track ). Hardcore music cynics might say the heavy synth is ultra cheese, but with dreamy female vocals nonchalantly repeating the title of the track with some cymbal and left-right rhythm mixed in for good measure, this can be your dose of anti-depressant for the day. The middle brings in a passive aggressive build up and swings back the chorus with louder bass, flooding your inner ear with bliss. The end brings you to Gui's cruise control where he takes his hands off the wheel and lets you settle in, ready to press the back button and wonder why eight minutes went by so fast. It's a rare song that is perfect for both kinds of people who love the sunset and sunrise........or if you're just really drunk and only have a pillow to hug.



Download >>Beautiful Life

Friday, March 9, 2007

Album Review- The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse


The Besnard Lakes
The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse
8.2/10

Sometimes we’re just too eager. We want what we want, and we want it now. No matter how good it may be, we don’t want to wait too long for anything. Fast cars, fast food, everything happens so quickly. People actually get offended when you recommend books. Books? Who has time to read books?!?!

People like this should stay away from The Besnard Lakes new album, The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse. Each song takes its sweet time unfolding, assembling layer upon layer of fuzzed out psych-rock goodness. The influences are obvious: Pink Floyd’s space rock, Beach Boy’s harmonies, and Spiritualized’s dense, ambient dream-pop. Thick, crunchy guitar lines usually hold down the lower end, while striking orchestral arrangements give depth, beauty, and originality to the music. The album only has eight songs, and each song takes its time navigating through the psychedelic foliage and wall-to-wall reverb. The band is primarily comprised of husband and wife duo Jace Lasek and Olga Goreas with a rotating cast of musicians. They had the advantage of recording in their home studio in Montreal, giving them unlimited time to tweak until they created the album they wanted. Luckily, their time and effort has paid off very well.

“Disaster” starts the album off politely, with Jace Lasek singing “Baby I got some words for you.” Orchestral horns, pizzicato strings, and tremolo guitar create a warm and welcoming environment for the first two minutes, until a guitar rips through the sky and strings begin to fall downward. It isn’t hard rock per se, but rocks out nonetheless. “And You Lied To Me” shows the most obvious traces of Pink Floyd. The chorus struts majestically with ascending twin guitar lines. Three-quarters into the song, the band disappears into thin air before returning to deliver a slow-burning scorcher of a guitar solo. They spend the rest of the song in a fiery blaze before leaving us with the sound of some strange synth you never knew existed before.

“Devastation” is one of the few tracks that doesn’t waste time getting to the good stuff. A chorus literally sings “Devastation” like it’s the messiah over laser-light show synths. Even the drummer(s) get some, giving a multi-kit encore-worthy workout. The album ends with “Cedric’s War”, which is distinctly lighter than the seven songs that precede it. It sounds like a bouncy British pop song, but the most direct influence would be The Beach Boys. It’s an interesting way to close an album where the most common themes seem to be disaster and devastation. Even the title is an apocalyptic reference. But just like the proto-psychedelic space-rock of the seventies, maybe we’re not supposed to take it so seriously.

No matter how hard they rock, the music still exists in a partial state of serenity. It’s dense, yet spacious at the same time, causing a hypnotic undercurrent of sound and silence. You could probably fall asleep to it, and that’s not a bad thing. …Are The Dark Horse isn’t an instantly gratifying album. It’s a slow-burning incense. The embers gently fall before they dissipate into the ether, and you should enjoy every minute of it while it lasts.





Download >>Disaster

Download >>Devastation

Thursday, March 8, 2007

M. Ward

“To Go Home”






I'm thinking of making a new mix CD to sell on TV. It'll be called "Indie Love Anthems (Just to Let Her Know)". They'll be songs that make you drive really fast to your girl's house, bang on her door, scoop her up, and drive even faster towards the sunset. The title track on M. Ward's latest single/EP, To Go Home is one song that'll definitely be featured. Originally written by one Daniel Johnston, this version is an incredibly dynamic recording. The track blends M. Ward's signature dreamy hallway vocals with a bed of synth, topped with strong, clear, love-pounding guitar and piano accompaniment (there's even a sweet-ass drum solo at the bridge). "I'll be true to you, oh you know I will" he declares with guest vocalist Neko Case, and a simple, though passionate chord progression. The song is ultimately annalistic, juxtaposing the sublime with the awful truth; "God it's great to be alive/ Takes the skin right off my hide, to think I'll have to give it all up someday". He yearns for a love that he knows he might sabotage. Coming from Daniel Johnston, this is a tragic thought, but M's delivery and performance of “To Go Home” gives it a sense of passion and frivolity. It gives us a lesson on how to wear a heart on a sleeve properly. We might not get hurt so bad if we know that before it starts, it's probably not going to work out. So why not pound on some pianos and bang on some drums, and say how you feel anyway.



Download >>To Go Home

Electrelane

"To The East"









No joke, this song starts exactly like Arcade Fire’s “Rebellion (Lies)”. Ok, it’s not something that necessarily had to be pointed out, but I couldn’t resist. Besides, they’re opening for them in Europe in support of their new album No Shouts, No Calls (due May 8th), so there’s your parallel reference. “To The East” builds on layers of charging drums over organ and guitar. It’s a puffy cloud of powder-soft pop waiting for you to get lost in. The lyrics yearn for some lost friend or lover, begging them to come back from wherever they left to. Or maybe lead singer Verity Susman is willing to meet them in the middle. “It’s not so far away, but it could be home” she sings à la Nico. It all sound pretty sad when taken out of context, but the song is actually kind of fun despite its forlorn nature.







Download >>To The East

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Dntel

"Dumb Luck"






It’s been six years since Dntel (a.k.a. Jimmy Tamborello of Postal Service fame) released his aural masterpiece Life Is Full Of Possibilities. It seems like the news of a new album came from nowhere. But now that we’ve got word that he’ll be releasing his first album for Sub Pop, Dumb Luck, on April 24th, forgive us if we reek of eager anticipation. The lead single and title track "Dumb Luck" isn’t going to help either, it’s just going to make us hungrier. The song comes gift wrapped in a shimmering blanket of white noise. Beneath its fuzzy outer-shell lies a pretty simple acoustic ditty, but the way they're layered you’d hardly think twice about it. A wave of distorted electronics flushes the silence, eventually opening up to allow some melancholic guitar strumming. Although the rest of the album features guest vocalist, Jimmy takes the reigns on this one. It sounds like he’s been taking pointers from his friend Jenny Lewis, “You can’t trust your friends, they will betray you with a love that’s blinding/ And then at the end they may admit that you were missing something.” Musically, it’s sweet, blissful noise candy for your ears. Hardly dumb luck.





Download >>Dumb Luck

Past/Masters- Dismemberment Plan





You need to know about The Plan. They only made one of the most treasured albums in the indie-rock canon. When Emergency & I came out in ’99, it was immediately hailed as an underground classic to the few who had discovered it. It was just as accessible as it was original. They eventually went on to tour with Death Cab for Cutie and were even invited to open for Pearl Jam in Europe. The following album, Change, was released in 2001 to mediocre reviews. To their fans dismay, the band announced their break-up in January of 2003. So you can imagine the tears of joy when The Plan announced that they’d be reuniting for a benefit show in D.C., which basically gave me an excuse to post these songs. The show sold out in minutes.

The Dismemberment Plan made art-rock. They pushed the boundaries of the music, but kept it all familiar enough for modern-rock radio. Of course, they never got any airplay, but don’t be surprised if find yourself wondering if you’ve heard them before. The answer is no, you haven’t, but yes, you should have. “What Do You Want Me To Say” has radio written all over it. The bassline wonders in and out of key, while the guitar remains constant on the down-stroke. It’s a little disconcerting at first, but once you hit the soaring chorus it feels like familiar territory. “You Are Invited” opens with an empty, electronic drum track while Travis narrates a tale of acceptance and individuality. The lyrics are simple, just like the music, but the impact is huge. If its weight is measured in earnestness, then the message will be felt. Emergency & I is filled with countless moments like these. The D-Plan was unlike any other band. There was an infectious energy in the music and a youthful sense of awareness in the lyrics. In the words of my bitter elders: They don’t make ‘em like they used to.





Download >>You Are Invited

Download >>What Do You Want Me To Say

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Dr. Dog

"My Old Ways"/"The Girl"






I’m going to have a hard time convincing you that these aren’t Beatles b-sides, but for once you’re just going to have to just trust me. Given the sixties/seventies style pop sheen, I guess I can’t blame you, especially with lines like “Some things never change or go away/I wait around and now it’s yesterday.” But before you pull out your flower power paraphernalia, you may want to know that Dr. Dog’s second album We All Belong came out in ‘07. Yeah dude, this year. Most retro style bands are met with immediate skepticism, and usually that skepticism is warranted. Dr. Dog won’t be fully forgiven for its shameless imitation of a classic pop/rock outfit, but if they had been around back then, I’m sure they would have been huge. “My Old Ways” has that familiar Sesame Street style piano with an oddly effective vocal melody. “The Girl” opens with ramshackle percussion before swinging into full ELO mode. Sharp guitars punch through the mix while the song marches into heavy fuzz-box territory. They do the retro thing pretty well. Even if they had been around in the sixties/seventies, we’d probably still be listening to them today.





Download >>My Old Ways

Download >>The Girl

Field Music

"Sit Tight"






Smart pop: when the chord changes are clever and the lyrics unusually witty; when the music manages to traverse genre boundaries within milliseconds; when the time signatures seem to have A.D.D. Field Music make smart pop. Hailing from Sunderland, England and sharing Maximo Park’s drummer, Field Music are indie rock’s best kept secret. “Sit Tight” from their second album, Tones of Town, displays the bands musical acrobatics within a well arranged frame. The song jumps from a terse, deliberate drum beat under equally measured guitar lines to a swooping chorus of harmonizing “ahhhs”. Even more unpredictable is the outro, which sounds like a fairy-tale lullaby over vocal percussion. At times, it may seem like the band is too clever for their own good. Then again, maybe the music we’ve been listening to isn’t clever enough.





Download >>Sit Tight

Monday, March 5, 2007

Patrick Wolf

"Bluebells"






I had planned on posting another song from this album. When I listened again, I realized that “Bluebells” perfectly incorporated everything Patrick Wolf has been trying to do over his past two albums. He has always managed to mix folk instrumentation with abrasive electronic beats, but usually one of them hogged the spotlight more than the other. Although “Bluebells” sounds more electronic than anything, it’s actually ripe with acoustic instrumentation. The electronics are decorations, but piano, harp, and various types of guitars are the foundation of the song. “Bluebells” is still shrouded in the dark, theatrical atmosphere that haunts most of Mr. Wolf’s work, but this time it feels easier to peel back the layers and expose the more accessible qualities of the music. The best part about the Wolf’s third album, The Magic Position; there are a dozen more tracks that are just as good as this one.





Download >>Bluebells

Panda Bear

"Bros"






Everybody and their mother’s blog have already declared Person Pitch, Panda Bear’s yet to be released sophomore album, the greatest thing since sliced bread. It’s pretty much guaranteed a spot on every recommended list in the indie kingdom. It may not be very obvious why upon first listen, but beneath the dense lo-fi wall of sound lies intricately layered harmonies and, ultimately, catchy tunes. “Bros” is an excellent example. The music sounds as if its original detail has been washed away in reverb, leaving only a murky impression of what it used to be. It’s a test in “active” listening, once you’re able to see through the lo-resolution layers, a beautiful view awaits you on the other side. Although Panda Bear uses many of the experimental techniques from his original band, Animal Collective, Person Pitch’s strength lie mostly in the song-craft. The full version of “Bros” may be over twelve minutes long, but it never overstays its welcome. Of course, it may take a couple of listens, but once it’s in your system, it’s in there for good.





Download >>Bros