For me, 2011 is looking really exciting. It seems like the guys with guitars are taking aim at the rest of us, and really letting loose. Yet another release I’m excited for comes from Obits, who will be releasing their new record, Moody, Standard and Poor via Sub Pop on March 29th. My favorite reason to get super excited here is that singer/guitarist Rick Froberg used to jam in Drive Like Jehu and Hot Snakes. Much like those two groups, Obits always seem on the verge of kicking you in the face via heavy percussion and sharp-edged guitars, but as age has taught them some restraint, they’ve honed their chops just enough to keep it all cohesive. One listen to the drums here, though not necessarily experimental, more just pounding, and you’ll probably be tapping your feet at your desk. We’re cool with that.
Download: Obits – You Gotta Lose [MP3]
If you haven’t caught onto this by now, you definitely should. The Forms are finally returning this year with Derealization, set to be released in February as a Double LP, which will include their first album, Icarus. It’s got some pretty sweet guest spots, including one Matt Berninger. Personally, it’s really striking to hear how different, yet familiar, his voice sounds on this track. I’m not sure if it’s the recording or what, but I know that it seems a bit rougher–I toally dig it. Just add this to the string of hits coming your way in February. Sure, it’s only six songs, but you buy it on vinyl, and it’ll be well-worth it. And expect to see the band in Austin around SXSW.
Download: The Forms – Fire To The Ground [MP3]
Are you ready for the next big thing folks? Well, if you haven’t already heard, we’re pretty sure that the next big thing is going to come from Dream Diary, a Brooklyn band with a whole lot of jangle, a touch of British homage, and a dash of twee. Yep, pretty much sums up exactly what you’re looking for right? Well, the band plan to release their album, You Are the Beat, on February 15th via Kanine Records. If this single below is any indicator of things to come, we expect more exceptional tunes to be coming our way in the very near future. Oh, and you can also check out another track over at Spinner.
Katy Goodman can typically be identified by her participation with Vivian Girls, but let’s not let her rest on those laurels. She also works diligently on various projects, one of which is La Sera. Prior to the release of her self-titled album, which comes out in February on Hardly Art, Katy’s putting out another single, as a follow-up to last year’s. The effortlessness that seems to accompany the melodies in her songs really makes me wish she had more of a hand in writing VG tracks, as everything here feels more spontaneous, and less mapped out, sonically. If you haven’t gotten into La Sera yet, now is your chance folks.
Download: La Sera – Devil’s Hearts Grow Gold [MP3]
It seems lately that Atlanta has been churning out music left and right, yet I haven’t quite heard the same sonic palette that I hear when listening to Carnivores. They’ve just released their latest record If I’m Ancient, and it’s got such a jangling light-heartedness that I’m slowly falling in love with the album. There’s a bit of slow moving classic rock enchantment, yet the trading off between male and female vocals definitely gives you that hook to draw you deep into the songs. It’s youthful, yet there’s a wash of depth/darkness that seems to encompass the whole release. It’s been perfect listening to this on such a cold rainy day hear in Austin. Even if it’s sunny in your town, you’ll still enjoy what these guys have to offer.
Download: Carnivores – Salts To Mine [MP3]
Not really sure how I feel about the name of this group from Mississippi, but I’m definitely positive that I’m feeling their raucous tunes. Bass Drum of Death will be releasing their album GB City through Inflated Records on February 22nd. Listening to the album’s single, it recalls a more energetic Black Rebel Motorcycle Club back in the early days, bringing plenty of pounding rhythmic grooves wrapped inside of an edgy wall of noise. This appears to be the year when slinging the rock kicks back into gear full time, and Bass Drum of Death is just going to bring it twice as loud. Check it out, you know you wanna.
Download: Bass Drum of Death – Heart Attack Kid [MP3]
Out of the ashes of Marked Men comes Mark Ryan, pushing through with his own group, Mind Spiders. The band will be putting out their self-titled album on January 25th via Dirtnap Records, which basically guarantees goodness with their releases. On this first single you get a little hint of garage grittiness filling it up, but the pacing provides a little bit more of a straight power-pop feel to it, allowing the band to capture both audiences. Yeah, it’s a short track, but if you give it a listen, it definitely feels like there’s so much more than 1.8 minutes of rock n’ roll here. And did I mention they’re from Ft. Worth? Who woulda thunk it?
Download: Mind Spiders – No Romance [MP3]
It’s going to be a huge year for Captured Tracks, and it’s got me super giddy sitting here at my desk. They’ve got releases from Minks, The Beets and who knows what else. One band I don’t know a great deal about, but I’ve been jamming all day via P4K is Craft Spells (not to be confused with Cast Spells). Sure, it’s got that club-disco swing groove to it, but you mix that with a bit of far-off vocal effects and you’ll have me swinging my arms from side to side. Honestly, that’s probably not such a bad thing, and a decent way to kick off the weekend. Maybe it’ll help get you started. And you’re sure to find more hits like this on March 1st when the band releases their full-length, Idle Labor.
Download: Craft Spells -After the Moment [MP3]
I’m not even going to pretend that listening to Toronto’s Wildlife doesn’t sound remarkably like another Canadian act, they may or may not exist anymore. Regardless, this is actually what I wish that band sounded like. Wildlife have just released their album, Strike Hard, Young Diamond, and it’s full of gems precisely like this one. You’ll find soaring melodies all over the place, not to mention that throaty yelp that’s evident throughout this song. Still, despite the somewhat ramshackle approach, it all ties together nicely, making this song, and the whole affair incredibly infectious, as all albums should inevitably be. Am I right?
Download: Wildlife – Stand In The Water [MP3]
I’ve been waiting for several weeks to get a little sample of new work from The Papercuts, after Sub Pop announced they would be bringing Jason Quever on board for his new album. Thankfully, Stereogum got it out before I went crazy, so we’ve got it here for you. The record, Fading Parade, comes out on March 1st, with this single hitting stores on February 1st. Jason’s music has really blossomed since his first album, adding more textures, blending his melodious voice, and each time, topping his previous output. His progression continues to lead me down a path of great enjoyment, so give this tune a try.
Download: The Papercuts – Do What You Will [MP3]