We’re getting closer and closer to the release of Frank Smith’s brand new record here in January of 2012. The group has already leaked “Monsters,” and in their promise to release three of the tracks, they’ve got “A Decline” for you this time around. From what we’ve been given so far, Before You Were Born will feature a more ornate sound, carefully crafted to evoke maximum emotion from the listener. I really enjoy the way this song unfolds, seemingly alternating the pace of the track without ever losing a bit of the magic. Seems like it should be a great 2012 for Frank Smith.
Download: Frank Smith – A Decline [MP3]
Fresh off the excellent release of New Heaven, Pittsburgh’s 1 2 3 are back with a brand new single, and with that single, they’ll be offering you two brand new tracks. As of right now, I’m pretty sure you can grab these tracks from the band’s site for free, so you’ll need to get your hands on these new jams. However, the single itself is for “Scared but Not That Scared,” which is one of the standout tracks you’ll find on the record. It’s got this cutting guitar line working in and out of these excellent bits of melodic pop. It’s a record filled with hook after hook, so you’ll want to head back and revisit the work from these guys.
Download: 1 2 3 – Scared But Not That Scared [MP3]
Don’t you love when you run across an incredible pop tune that you just can’t get out of your head? This new self-titled EP from The Proper Ornaments is absolutely incredible, and you can definitely find yourself getting carried away listening to it on repeat. For me, it reminds me of a smoother Beach Fossils, with the same sort of drum beat and jangle to the guitar lines, but the vocals definitely are a lot gentler. Those in love with all things jangling and twee will find themselves falling head over heels for this record, so head HERE to get yourself a copy.
Download: The Proper Ornaments – Who Thought [MP3]
Everyone has been talking about the reunion of the “classic” line-up for Guided by Voices since their return to the road last year. And while the January physical release of Let’s Go Eat the Factory Out is still a bit off, the band is pushing out another new single for your ears. This new number is a bit slower than the previous single, but Pollard’s vocals definitely have that tone that made him such a memorable frontman from the beginning. If you’re a true fan, you’re probably on board; if not, you can still get into this track, and band, before the new album hits stores.
Download: Guided By Voices – Doughnut For A Snowman [MP3]
After the release of Upper Air, I am pretty sure that anyone who has had a listening experience with Bowerbirds has fallen totally in love with the group. They create sweeping folk songs, carefully crafted and destined to delight listeners. You might have to wait until March 6th to hear the Clearing, the group’s new record for Dead Oceans, but you can preview a track from the album right now. It’s a really incredible track with singer Philip Moore releasing some incredible harmonies from deep down inside. This should definitely grab your ears and get you stoked for the album’s release.
Download: Bowerbirds – Tuck the Darkness In [MP3]
Often times I get a bit saddened, thinking that the Austin music scene seems to be in sort of a rut, but going back over this year’s releases, I realized there are some definite local gems. One of the ones I completely forgot about is Only Good Bands Have Animal Names by Tiger Waves. Don’t know how I stumbled upon it, but it’s definitely worth a visit. Still, to get to the point, the band released a new single not too long ago, so I thought I’d give it a look see. It’s this building number that trickles ever so carefully, sort of in the manner that Ducktails constructs songs. It’s a song that takes you on a quiet journey, and sometimes, those are the best to take.
Download: Tiger Waves – Take Me Home [MP3]
Man, you’ve got to love it when a band throws caution to the wind and actually goes into the studio without a bunch of pre-programmed tracks to build on. This is just such the case with UK outfit Tribes, who’ve just released their We Were Children EP, which is the precursor to their album, Baby, which should make its way over here in January. From the get go, it’s got a bit of that off-kilter warble that you might remember from early Wolf Parade tracks. Still, they have a gentler side that you’ll find a bit further along in the track, which is where they stay for the most part in the remainder of the song. All in all, there’s definitely a bright side to this offering, so check it.
Download: Tribes – We Were Children [MP3]
Montreal has been known for kicking out some sweet jams, but you typically don’t get something as energized coming from the city as you’ll find here from Sonic Avenues. The group is about to release their new album, Television Youth, on Dirtnap Records on January 15th, just in time for my birthday. Based on this lead single, it’s going to be a bouncy effort, fueled by some grinding guitars that leave a little bit of dirt on the bottom of your shoes. It’s high energy, and highly catchy, which leads me to believe I’m going to have a lot of fun with this full length–hope you do too!
Download: Sonic Avenues – Television Youth [MP3]
I’ve already spent a lot of time over the last month raving about The New Tigers, so when our friends over at Soliti Music sent us two brand new songs, I got a little bit giddy. These two tracks are left over, apparently, from the recording session that created the band’s recent self-titled record. Much like the album, there’s a whole lot of noise living right in your face, but lurking behind it all is the soft pop sensibility that makes the band so dynamic. These are the kind of songs you just want to listen to over and over and over again. Here’s “Toffee,” the first of the two tracks.
Download: The New Tigers – Toffee [MP3]
God, I just can’t get enough of this band! Every time I hear something new, I immediately get excited. The So So Glos are a little bit brash, but definitely energetic, which makes it easy to fall so hard for their hooks. This new track hit the Internet just before Thanksgiving, and I’ve been jamming ever since then, eagerly awaiting news on their upcoming album. These guys seem to just want to have a good time, and sometimes rock n’ roll needs that bit of fun, so here’s to these dudes just kicking out the proverbial jams.
Download: The So So Glos – Son of an American [MP3]