Oh Sweden how I love you. Sometimes you’re soft and gentle, then other times you’re noisy and chilling. RA definitely gets the nod for the noisy side of things. They’ve got this wall of guitar noise that shreds your speakers; it sounds dangerous (like what you remember IceAge sounding like before they were boring). They’ve completed their debut, Scandinavia, after working through a ton of singles, so I wanted to get this out there on your radar. Adrian Recordings will be handling the release on March 3rd of this year.
I came across the band while looking into the current status of Math and Physics Club (one of my faves). Unlikely Friends is a band made up of its members, as well as those of BOAT, specializing in hook-laden indie rock. There’s a bit more distortion than one would expect, but you can still hear the jangle ring of the guitars, as well as the warm tones of the vocal delivery…so I’m hooked. Solid Gold Cowboys, the band’s new album, will be out this week courtesy of Jigsaw Records.
I’ll be honest and say that after this band put out their first record, back in 2008, that their music lost the same kind of forceful spirit that Visiter seemed to embody. Each following record they put out pulled me in with a single or two, but failed to put together something cohesive enough to really stick as a staple in my listening catalog. Individ is as close as San Francisco duo Meric Long and Logan Kroeber have come to duplicating the success of that first record.
Now, Individ doesn’t simply duplicate the same exact sound that these two began with, but repurposes the original style and tweaks it in a new controlled chaos that works for this rustic and forceful core sound. The tracks feel more refined but not any less exciting; they build and change, emotive and powerful. On a whole, the songs grow on each other, and the album is a true slow burner, picking up strength and peaking at the end. That’s not to say that the early numbers aren’t interesting: opener “Precipitation” is a long number that reboots and refreshes your memory of The Dodos. This song starts loosely and then gets tightened as it goes, mirroring the progression of the album as a whole. Long and grittily buzzing guitar noises welcome you, and then those infamous full and But before you know it, the band turn the corner and bust into full force, from subdued and controlled to a full sprint or a dance around the fire. This is the sound that you came to know and love early on from these guys and its back.
“Competition” marks the place in the album where The Dodos really hit their stride and only go up from here. This track is among the shorter and snappier numbers of stripped and energetic rag-tag rock that the band offers on the record, with its extra full sounding lead guitar sharply carrying the track, backed with a secondary cutting riff. In addition this song is completed with a vocal part that moves past the usual softness and into an emotive and interesting state. After this you get other wonderful songs like the sweetly melodic “Goodbyes and Endings,” that utilizes the full drums to juxtapose with the high yells of the chorus. Then there’s “Bastard,” a completely understated track that feels like The Dodo’s doing some extra lo-fi action a-la The Velvet Underground.
Soon you’ve reached the end of this forty-minute adventure, and while this album takes a lot of positive steps in a direction that seems natural and right for the band, Individ has a little trouble taking off, and some tracks are lackluster. However, the growth and attributes that this album contains overall outweighs the mediocre and leaves you ready to spend more time with The Dodos once again.
Normally, I’m not the type to share with you long tracks, but when I heard this sprawling exercise in ambient/minimalist alternative music, I had to tell you about Nite Fields. This four piece from Brisbane are on the cusp of releasing of album, Depersonalisation, on Felte Records in a few weeks, but this song is the perfect reason to get excited and preorder the record; it begins oh-so-slowly with the smallest amounts of sound and over the course of seven minutes it develops into a soaring alternative rock song. The sleepy and deep vocals crawl through the track alongside the lush percussion and elegantly angular electric guitars, making it natural and easy progression. The pacing is perfect, leaving you completely enraptured in the slowness and still hooked when the band picks up the pace towards the end.
A couple of months ago, I told you about London’s Dan Carney and his folk pop project, Astronauts. I shared with you his Four Songs EP, but today I’ve got a single that was recently released, “In My Direction.” This track is from Astronauts’ debut album, Hollow Ponds, which is available now for your listening pleasure, and it combines a lot of quality elements of both of those aforementioned genres to win your heart. It’s got a subtle acoustic guitar riff at its core, layered soft vocals and builds through its course, adding in more detail and elements as it grows. Enjoy its understated goodness and pick up Hollow Ponds here.
A lot of people say that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and sometimes that same philosophy holds up in the musical world. The Rotaries are a New York three piece outfit that focus on making classic indie rock tunes. When I say classic indie rock, I mean the kind that bands like accessible kind The Strokes and Arctic Monkeys have created over the years. You know, super prominent lead vocals, electric guitar riffs weaving in and out of the melody, usually a catchy chorus. Well, “Town Light” from the band below will surely remind you of those aforementioned bands and maybe peak your interest with its crisp precision and lo-fi spin. Look out for the bands upcoming EP, On The Outs coming to you in March.
Friday’s are meant to be fun. Celebrate the weekend. Celebrate a brief respite from stress and all that. What’s the best way? Finding a track that’s invigorating and kick ass, then turning it up real loud while you get ready to hit the town or have friends over or whatever floats your fancy. This new tune from Cafeine is going to be that tune for you today, so just get ready to add it to your playlist already. His album New Love is coming out on February 17th, and it’s a genre-hopping collection of guaranteed good times. If you’re into those.
Download: Cafeine – Electric [MP3]
It’s been a little bit since we’ve heard from Vetiver, but they’ve always been a personal favorite of mine, so I’m happy to hear new music coming from the Cali band. Andy Cabic, the man behind the music has completed the work on Complete Strangers, the group’s new album (or his new record, really). This single is the sort of infectious folk-influenced pop songwriting that I find rather endearing; there’s a nice bobbing bass line working beneath, with slide guitar working in and out of the song itself. All the while, Cabic excels with his genial vocal delivery; it’s every bit an afternoon in Cali. Easy Sound releases the LP on March 24th.
|Location||The Mohawk (inside)|
|Tickets||@ the door: 6$/8$ Under 21|
So it’s cold and rainy… the perfect excuse for you to stay home tonight and watch a movie like a loser, right? WRONG. Tonight at The Mohawk inside, locals Reservations are going to bring their delicate folk tunes to your ears, and you don’t want to miss them. Jana Horn’s beautiful vocals accompanied by soft acoustic guitar and those swelling drums are sure to make for the perfect warming ambiance. Tickets are cheap and this full night of music includes Ama and a split EP release of Dwight Smith and Nathan Wilkins (Hikes). If you weren’t already persuaded, listen to the track below and it will help you make up your mind.
There’s no doubt in my mind that I’m a huge indiepop fan; it’s what I clamor for on a daily basis, and the one thing I miss in Austin (give or take a few bands). So, I went to hit up a show at Cheer Ups last week to catch one of those acts, Rose Selavy. They were great, and I expected they would be; they’re still a fairly new band in town, working through the early stages, but I have no doubt they’ll make waves soon. But, immediately following them was Expert Alterations from Baltimore. One word to describe their sound: classic. There was jangle, bubbling bass, steady percussion and a little bit of reverb on the vocals. Honestly, it made my night, so here I am a week later imploring you to keep an eye on the band. Here’s their most recent cassette that should give you reason to love them.