In 2009, Efterklang was one of our band’s to keep an eye on in 2010, and they lived up to our expectations with their new album Magic Chairs. Now we’ve got news that the Danes are releasing a free EP with their mutant band, SlaraffenKlang, made with friends Slaraffenland. Some of the tunes on the five song EP are mash-ups, while some are just joyous jams for you to enjoy with your friends. So instead of listening to those new Arcade Fire tracks (as they’re mediocre at best), take a listen to this killer ensemble group. Get your copy of the free EP HERE. You can also just enjoy this killer track from the Magic Chairs.
Download: Efterklang – Modern Drift [MP3]
Way back in November Hot Hot Heat announced that they were in fact still around and prepping a new album of dance floor ready hits. Well now the band is ready to drop said LP, Future Breeds, next week on Dine Alone Records. Latest single from the upcoming album “Zero Results” shows even more promise of a grown up dance pop sound from Hot Hot Heat.
Download: Hot Hot Heat – Zero Results [MP3]
Sweat, tie-dyed underwear, one heel and a bunny mask–oh yea, and the best garage rock being put out today! Ladies and gentlemen Nobunny is going to rock your socks all the way off and then impregnate your girlfriend. I just caught him in Oklahoma City last night and left in a Pabst induced stupor wishing that more bands would leave it all out on the stage like these guys did. You can catch Nobunny headlining at Beerland Thursday night for $6. Masks on kids.
Corey.Ayers runs Hulktrhash, and is a sometimes writer for ATH.
Download: Nobunny – I Am A Girlfriend [MP3]
Just a short 18 months ago, Seattle based group Mt. St. Helen’s Vietnam Band released their suprising debut LP on the world. Now the band is already prepping new release Where the Messengers Meet for a drop date at the end of the summer on the Dead Oceans label. Here’s wonderfully produced and epic style first single from that release “Leaving Trails”. Count me as on board for this one.
Download: Mt. St. Helen’s Vietnam Band – Leaving Trails [MP3]
In what seems an endless stream of choral, men’s folk group releases in the past year or so (i.e. The Avett Bros., Mumford and Sons to name a few), another has come along with a highly impressive entrance; this time from across the pond. Coming in with their debut album via 4AD, is the quartet (+ two) Stornoway, hailing from Oxford. Their debut album is chockfull of beautiful vocal arrangements and tight folk instrumentation, including a healthy string section, a scholarly intelligence, and a distinctive character to today’s folk music.
Although Stornoway resonate folk in its purest sense, few folk groups can convincingly croon about the topics of which these Oxford lads converse. The opening track, ‘Zorbing’ gives the listener a good sense of the experiential disconnects. (Try to make it through the whole video without feeling nauseous.) Zorbing if you weren’t aware “is the recreation of rolling downhill in an orb”. This track was the first single to catch the airwaves several years ago in the U.K.. The release only whet the appetite for hungry ears, though only recently are they getting much attention states-side. Correspondingly to this rather obscure hobby, the album slowly rolls along a gentle slope in a graceful and joyous manner. The addition of organ and harpsichord on ‘Fuel Up’ makes this song a dense, catchy tune. The violin and piano intro combined with the stark vocals give ‘The Coldharbour Road’ a more dark, haunting, and bitter tone but the track builds into a warming glow like a lantern on a dim-lit ocean-side.
While listening to ‘We Are the Battery Human’ and a healthy dose of banjo with barber shop quartet vocals is the perfect soundtrack to jump in the Lorry with a group of mates and drive aimlessly after a few pints. This reaction is similar to the way the record as a whole feels. It’s carefree and simple but with a sophisticated tone about it. ‘Watching Birds’ is without a doubt the heaviest anthem on the record. It’s a barn burner with the accompaniment of a kazoo! The title of this track refers to the fun fact that lead singer Brian Briggs holds a PhD in Ornithology, the study of birds. Supposedly during their live sets, he likes to teach the audience of habits of birds and their characteristics, though I have to see this to believe it.
The group slows the tempo back down for ‘On the Rocks’, a slow building ballad focusing more on the vocals and beautiful songwriting. Before long, the snare drum beat accelerates into a locomotive pushing the song along with wonderful harmonies and the vocals grow into a goose-bump inducing crescendo. On ‘Long Distance Lullaby’, the bell tolls for the final track and an echo of “good night” and a wonderful send off for one of the finest debut records to come wafting in the winds from the UK in a long time.
Download: Stornoway – Zorbing [MP3]
Despite my indifference to their latest album Keep in Mind Frankenstein, I still dig the sounds created by Seattle band Grand Archives. To celebrate their upcoming summer tour, the boys are offering up a free download of a short 3 song/1 video EP entitled The Story So Far… Each song on the EP is taken from a different Grand Archives release. I’ll reminisce a bit with “Miniature Birds” from the bands steller self-titled Sub Pop debut.
Download: Grand Archives – Miniature Birds [MP3]
As I prepared to get my rock on for this week at Chaos in Tejas, I was just browsing through labels and looking for new releases by some of my favorites, like Hozac Records. They’ve got several bands coming our way this week, but more on that at another time. I want to talk about this catchy little single by Sleepovers from Chicago. I mean, you throw that old school rock n’ roll sound together with some handclaps and you’re bound to catch my interest. You judge the goodness.
Download: Sleepovers – Secret [MP3]
Tim Fite is an artist whose music has been labeled as quirky, all over the place, and even sometimes offensive. The guy also loves creating his tunes and then giving them away for free to the masses. His latest free album, Under the Table Tennis, somehow fits into all those categories while still being oddly catchy. You can of course download this new 14 track album, featuring silly/weirdly memorable tune “WYNPM”, for free on the man’s website.
Download: Tim Fite – WYNPM [MP3]
Once again Montreal is giving birth to another new band sure to make waves on our side of the border, Parlovr. The group is releasing their self-titled debut on June 8th here in the States, and it will include this track “Sandwalking.” It has a real loose rock n’ roll feel to it, which means the band is sure to be incredible live, not to mention providing us with an energy-fueled debut LP. Personally, it sounds a lot like The Constantines, and that’s a compliment.
Download: Parlovr – Sandwalking [MP3]
I”ve been a fan of Adam Franklin since early on in Swervedriver‘s career, and he just keeps coming up with new ideas and new albums that I always find myself fawning over. His latest endeavor is called Adam Franklin and the Bolts of Melody. The group has a new album titled I Could Sleep For a Thousand Years, which comes out on June 29th. The first single “Yesterday Has Gone Forever” is coated in Franklins smooth vocals, and recalls the pristine power pop of the 90s. If this song doesn’t get you in the mood for relaxing in the shade while you’re trying to avoid the heat, then I don’t know what will.
Download: dAdam Franklin and the Bolts of Melody – Yesterday Has Gone Forever [MP3]