Admittedly, I’m a huge Teenage Fanclub fan, so much so, that I freaked out when I bought the recently re-issued Bandwagonesque a few weeks back. Now, frontman Norman Blake has joined with Euros Childs (of Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci) to create Jonny, and they’ll be releasing a self-titled album on Merge Records, which is out digitally Feb. 1st, and in stores on April 12th. They’ve also put up a free EP, which you can get over at Merge by clicking HERE. If you go with this small sample, its going to be a splendidly soft-spoken pop affair–just the kind of I love to rave about.
Download: Jonny – Gloria [MP3]
There’s been all kind of mystery surrounding the new record from Akron Family, titled S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT. You’ll find the album in stores on February 8th in the US from Dead Oceans, and the mystery is beginning to unfold. We’ve got yet another new track from the group to give us more insight into the release itself. Also, the band’s released a whole bunch of tour dates, which include heading to our fair city of Austin in April, though there is a gap during the favored SXSW, so maybe we’ll get a chance to hear this killer new stuff sooner rather than later. Give this new jam a listen.
Download: Akron Family – So It Goes [MP3]
The time is almost upon us for the great return of I Was a King. Their new album, Old Friends, is heading your way January 25th, and while we’ve previewed some tracks, this is one of the standouts from the record, though I admittedly love it all. It’s got a little bit more exploration than their traditional power-pop, using horns to build the wall of sound behind their sugary coating. Like many of the songs on this album, it gets right to the point, hitting you over the head with pop simplicity at its best. This band definitely deserves your adoration, so go ahead an revisit their last self-titled album, then jam to this track, that way you’ll be ready to get blown away come the end of January.
Download: I Was a King – Someone is Waiting [MP3]
While most of the Australian bands we’ve been following have had a fairly similar sound, that can’t be said for Townsville’s The Middle East. They’ve been rather quiet since their EP came out in 2009, but there is hope on the horizon for fans. They’ve got a new single, “Jesus Came to My Birthday Party,” and its absolutely fantastic. It’s a low-key folk experiment from the start, but the song bursts forth about a minute into it, and from there you’re riding a magic carpet of soloing guitars and fuzz, all the way to the end. If they can write such warm tracks filled with this kind of spirit, then I can’t wait to see what else they’ve got in store for us all in 2011.
Download: The Middle East – Jesus Came to My Birthday Party [MP3]
We’re in love with Ty Segall, in case you didn’t know. We’ve caught him several times this year on tour, and included his latest, Melted, in our Top Albums of 2010. Over the brief little break from the music world, we missed Ty’s recordings for the wonderful Daytrotter site. The session includes a slew of unreleased tracks, so fans of Ty will definitely be into this. If you’re not already a fan, it will give you a chance to see Ty at his most raw, as he definitely lets loose several times throughout the session. Personally, my favorite is the smoother “Who Are You,” which comes as the last song of the recording. You can check out the rest of Ty’s set at Daytrotter.
Download: Ty Segall – Who Are You [MP3]
While I can’t say there is too much info out there on the scene, it sure looks like Tampa is getting things going, in regards to rock n’ roll. Creepers is yet another band (I posted on Bear Mountain a bit ago) from the region offering up new tunes. As of now, this looks like just a single you can grab for free, but keep your eyes and ears posted. Personally, I really like the way the band builds up the track, using a pounding drum beat and warm guitar texturing before bounding off into the lyrical section of the track. This is definitely a fun track, so give it a try.
Download: Creepers – Vicki [MP3]
It’s been a really miserable day, weather-wise, in Austin today, so it’s only fitting that I’m here to give a shout-out to one of Austin’s rising bands, Bloody Knives. The group is a duo, and deal predominantly with sort of an electronic rock element, but not in a cheesy manner. There is an underlying sense of urgency, accompanied by doom in the driving beats, yet the melodic vocals that pop in and out of the track below provide the perfect bit of balance for listeners. You can, and should, get your hands on this track when you purchase the group’s split 7″ with Me You Us Them. And, if you like what you hear, you can get a free album from the group on their SITE, though we encourage you to go with the pay option to help support the artists.
Download: Bloody Knives – I Was Talking to Your Ghost [MP3]
Okay, so this isn’t exactly the newest tune from the Danish group (predominantly a man and friends), The Migrant, but in a busy years, I accidentally glanced over the late November release of Travels in Lowland. But, it’s now becoming one of my favorite records, spinning a great deal around the house as the cold slowly creeps into my bedroom. When you listen to the album’s opening track “The Organ Grinder” you’ll find that there’s gentle guitar strumming, strong wavering vocals, and a step-up in tempo mid-track. All such things are indicative of great beauty and wonderful moments that fill the rest of the album. Take one listen and I’m sure you’ll feel the same.
Download: The Migrant – The Organ Grinder [MP3]
You haven’t heard of Munch Munch? Yea, neither had I until a few days ago when I stumbled upon them by accident, searching the nets. I come across this incredible sound; to me, it seemed to hint at a bunch of white Britons doing their best to emulate TV on the Radio. It had that same similar shifting in time signatures, if only for brief moments, driving rhythms, and darkly operatic voices that just soar. So I checked out their album, which may not be out in the States yet, and Double Visions really does deliver through and through. It’s wonderful when you stumble upon something such as this, so I thought I’d return the favor to our good readers.
Download: Munch Munch – Wolfman’s Wife [MP3]
When I briefly spoke to Jesse of Gentleman Jesse at his show this year over at Beerland, he said he had a slew of 7″ coming our way. The first came off Douchemaster, while the most recent, You’ve Got the Wrong Man, just came out on Hozac Records. Of course, it’s all leading up to a new GJ&HM release that’s supposed to come out in 2011. His tracks are always short and sweet, full of jangling guitars, rocking that simple power-pop straight at you in under 3 minutes. It’s what made me love punk, and it’s what definitely gets me excited about everything Jesse, and his men, put together. Try out one of the new tracks, and then hit up Hozac so you can get your hands on it.
Download: Gentleman Jesse – You’ve Got The Wrong Man [MP3]