When you first press play on the new single from AU, you get the feeling that it’s going to be that sort of sprawling track that ambles on and on, but you’ll soon learn that there’s more to it than that, as the band jumps off into a quick paced romp of their own liking. It’s the unexpected twist that makes the group so enjoyable to listen to time and time again. You can find this track and others on the band’s upcoming Both Lights LP, which will land in stores on April 3rd by way of Hometapes. If anything, at least give the group credit for moving outside the typical pop structures.
Download: AU – Solid Gold
Stephen Paul Smoker might not be a name you’ve heard of, but listening to this new track, I’m going to reach out and say he’s crafting some pretty interesting stuff. There’s a bit of dark psychedelia working in this track, but it still seems to maintain a very organized pop structure. At times you’ll find him meandering with minimal musical accompaniment other than some atmospheric guitars in the background; it creates quite a hypnotic little state carries you to the end of the number. Definitely something you should check out, and if you dig it, you can pick up his album Ripe Fruit on March 20th via Kilo Records.
Download: Stephen Paul Smoker – Green City [MP3]
A few years back, angular dance rock was all the rage. And while we might have moved away from that a bit, it’s nice to hear some people still getting their dance-rock on nowadays. Such is the case with the Beautiful View, who will be releasing their debut album, life is beautiful, this week on Requiemme Records. This song features that ringing guitar you might remember from Bloc Party, as wll as a steady pounding rhythm section keeping it moving for your dance floor preferences. One thing’s for sure: this record’s going to get your feet tapping!
Download: The Beautiful View – The Horseman [MP3]
I’m a label loyalist, so when our friends at Hardly Art send something our way, I’m pretty much guaranteed to like it. Perhaps that leads me to make judgmental errors in regards to what’s good and what’s not, but in the case of Black Marble, I think I’m right on with this one. The vinyl release of their Weight Against the Door EP will be out on Valentine’s Day, and I hope it features just as many darkened tracks as this number. Musically, it’s just a steady, almost simple, electronic production, but the vocal vibe creates that sort of haunting feeling you had as a kid when you first listened to Joy Division…or more recently Blank Dogs. Taste it.
Download:Black Marble – Pretender [MP3]
Every once in awhile the Brits steal our homegrown bands beneath our noses, promoting some of the best in America without us even knowing. It happened with the Strokes, and now it’s happening with Howler, a Minneapolis group. They’re record America Give Up comes out next week via Rough Trade, and it’s a pretty solid collection of pop tracks. NPR even praised it as an album full of stand alone singles, so I had to give it the good old college try. The number below is definitely one of those tracks with hooks galore, giving listeners a bottle full of fun. Surely this tune will make your day just a little brighter.
Download: Howler – Back of Your Neck [MP3]
When bands come at you with a press release with loads of references and name-dropping, sometimes you get a bit skeptical. Can they really fit that all into one album? Regardless of allusions to modern acts, what I do know is that I fucking love this track from Adam & the Amethysts. It features non-traditional percussive stylings, rising harmonies and a pleasant overall vocal. Such things generally make me happy on most days. You can find this little number on the band’s new record, Flickering Flashlight, on March 27th here in the US via Kelp Records. Enjoy this splendid sample.
Download: Adam & the Amethysts – Prophecy
One of my favorite acts over the last few years has been Field Music, as well as the various bands that have been spawned from the group like The Week That Was. They always have a way of manipulating their musical work, and often play with the vocal registry in order to create intense rhythmic emotions. As me near closer to the release of their latest album, Plumb, more songs are coming out our way, and this one just hit today (via RS). It’s been a slow day so I thought I’d toss it up to you folks, see how you like it. The new album hits stores on February 21 via Memphis Industries.
Download: Field Music – A New Town [MP3]
I know, I know, I’ve been harping on Tiger Waves quite a bit, but it’s deserved love I’m throwing at these up-and-comers. The more tracks they let me have, the more I can’t wait to sink in my chair and absorb the whole album. As we get closer to the release of Don’t Be Yourself, more tracks are coming your way, and they’re nothing short of incredible. Just listen to the rising pop beauty in this new song, accompanied by sunny coastline vocals. The track below will be featured on the band’s single as the A Side, and soon enough we’ll have the whole record! Oh, and if you want to catch the band live, they’ll be playing next Thursday at Frank, but don’t worry, I’ll be sure to remind you about that one!
Download: Tiger Waves – A Smirk And A Smile [MP3]
Just in time for Valentines Day, you can pick up this incredible reissue of the Tronics classic Love Backed by Force. Sure, it came out decades ago, but you can definitely throw it right into the current mix, and it would fit right along side bands like Beat Happening or Television Personalities–both solid bands in my book. The good people over at Whats Your Rupture will be releasing the album February 14th for all you fans of art-pop, and if you’re in love like I am, they’ve also got a sweet shirt from the band’s heyday that you can pick up as well. Start your day off right with this track.
Download: Tronics – They’re Talking About Us [MP3]
Last year I raved about the self-titled debut from Mind Spiders, so I was really excited when I found out the band would already be releasing their new album Meltdown almost less than a year later. Said record is set to come out on February 21st via Dirtnap Records, and you’ll definitely find some differences this go around, at least if this first preview is any indicator. Their last effort was pretty straight forward rock n’ roll, but here you’ll hear a little bit of a scuzzier performance from the band, reminiscent of Blank Dogs. It’s coated in some sort of dingy wash, yet that’s not going to take away from the fact that the band still know how to kick out the jams. For me, it’s Jay Reatard meets Mike Sniper, which equals awesomeness to the max!
Download: Mind Spiders – Wait For Us [MP3]