A few weeks back we were fortunate to premiere the first single off the new Birds of Night tune, and now they’ve returned with another smoldering indie rock groover. The Denton band’s newest tune has them in the territory of early TV on the Radio, exploring the range of the vocals, yet there’s some continued progression of the seemingly non-stop soloing guitar; it creates a sensation of consistently being pushed forward, consistently enjoying yourself as your fueled by the sputtering energy. Their self-titled LP will be out on April 21st, so keep a look out.
Download: Birds of Night – Asleep in the Pine [MP3]
Wilsen is a relatively new band from New York city fronted and creatively run by the lovely Tamsin Wilsen. As a new debut LP is coming soon, Tamsin and her band are sharing a preview of their material with this beautiful track “Garden”. One can find elements of Feist in the song combined with some backing beats that drop at all the perfect moments. A truly great introduction to this young artist.
Stay tuned with more information on a debut LP dropping sometime later this year.
Peel back my layer of punk rock epidermis and you’ll find blood running with the sound of twee. It makes sense then that I’d be super excited about the new Looper album, Offgrid; Offline. The outro track on the new effort is perfect, wrapping up the song in a super light-hearted atmosphere, yet still holding onto that fire that warms your heart. It’s a really simple number, but sometimes those are the most efficient songs for maximizing a great melody. Look for this tune as part of the release of the group’s five album box set, These Things, which Mute is releasing next week.
Download: Looper – Outro (TipToe Home) [MP3]
I debated posting this tune, seeing as I’ve posted three other singles from Turn to Crime. But, that being said, this might be my favorite of all of them, which pretty much means we’re all going to enjoy jamming out to their LP, Actions. This here is the title track of said album, and it’s sort of like an upbeat version of Elvis Depressedly (which happens to be one of my favorite acts at the moment). There’s also sort of an 80s vibe, Phil Collins did the production or something. Please do yourself a favor and grab the record from Mugg & Bopp on April 28th.
There’s really too many shows to narrow it down to two or three best bets. We’ve got friends band playing left and right, so all we can do is encourage you to attend some sort of musical event…even if its just for a bit. Without further adieu, here’s a list of rad shows you could hit up.
I hadn’t really heard of the angular post-rock of Fist City until this latest single bounced into my inbox, yet it’s sloppy in all the right places, making it the perfect tune for this Friday. There’s definitely an inner tenacity in the band’s sound (especially if you look at the title of the single, “Fuck Cops”), and things are loose enough in both the playing and the recording that it fills you with just enough angst to have a little fun doing something dangerous. They’ll be releasing Everything Is a Mess on June 23rd via Transgressive Records.
Listening back to this latest tune from Vows, I’m finding this odd mixture where Caribou meets the world of the Flaming Lips. It’s a strange sensation, sometimes pulsating with electronic magic, yet still holding onto what one would call a sense of oddity. The oddball sensation definitely permeates through this track, yet the groove ultimately fulfills your listening needs, giving you a little bit more oomph in your step. Soon Enough Love, their next release, will be released later this summer via Vermont’s Section Sign Records.
I have an inkling that it’s going to be a really good year for the trio that is Guantanamo Baywatch. They had a really good buzz both before and after SXSW, and the more we hear from their forthcoming album, the more we here at ATH are falling in love. Their latest track has the band falling in line with like-minded artists the Shivas or Shannon and the Clams; the bands all have a knack for blending elements of garage rock with the purity of doo-wop. It’s the sort of tunes you’d play to let your folks get hip to your good tastes. Look for Darling…It’s Too Late, their latest, on May 12th by way of Suicide Squeeze.
Over the past five years, we’ve seen many stages of Toro Y Moi as expressed through Chaz Bundick’s prolific musical career. He’s had ups and downs through this journey of soulful indie and synth pop. What For? makes for his fourth LP under this moniker, and its one filled with a mix of tracks to delight in their pop grooves.
Opening track, “What You Want,” is a good expression of what the album as a whole holds for you in that the song blends a few genres while holding onto that distinctively groovy Toro Y Moi sound. Its got licks of cutting high and low electric guitar, streaming synths that fill in the gaps. You also get Bundick playing around a bit vocally, with some exclamatory yips and yalps. While I like this song as an opening track, as it eases you into the music, I am far more interested in the second track “Buffalo,” which sounds like a mix of a 70’s disco track mixed with the indie pop of today. Lyrically, this song plays around even more than the first one, running with the disco-vibe, and Bundick spits out couplets super quickly: “And you see the buffalo/just another one in the road.” The track also utilizes start and stop to create some drama, and just that easily you’re hooked.
The singles that we’ve already been graced with hearing make up the majority of the standout tracks on the album. Take “Empty Nesters,” as an example of pretty straightforward indie pop track, but a good one nonetheless. Later on there’s the positively groovy “Spell It Out,” which has got to be one of my favorites, if not my favorite track from this album because it grips you and holds you for its duration. The guitars on here are funky and psychedelic, swirling around the song with ease, almost giving you a bit of an Ariel Pink feel to it. Building on itself, the song really goes for that disco-pysch rock feel to it, blossoming into something you can surely get your feet dancing to.
The problem with What For? is that the good tracks really shine above the rest of the album. You’ll find yourself skipping airy tracks to get to those meaty grooves on which Bundick shines. When the album is good, it’s really good, but when you’re not in those solid tracks you can easily lose focus on the music at hand. In the future, the challenge for Toro Y Moi is to create a more cohesive work, but for now I’m okay with skipping some tracks now and then.
While I’m always a sucker for music on the folksier side of things, often I’m not easily impressed by all kinds of this music. Rather, I wait for those tracks that really knock me off my feet, and “Forest Fires” is one of those. Axel Flóvent is an Icelandic gentleman who is putting out a new EP on May 25th that shares the same title of this track from it. Once you listen to this song you’ll know that you’ll have to pick that up; this track ebbs and flows naturally but with a force behind the acoustic guitar and entrancing vocals that push the boundaries of what you expected from a folk song.