On Dead Waves is the project of Polly Scattergood and James Chapman (Maps), who together are making a bit of apocalyptic/doom folk music. The track below, “Blue Inside,” is a great example of the power that this kind of genre can pack;there’s a layer of haze over the whole track that adds a bit of drama to the usual folk sounds. Vocally, Scattergood commands the tune with a bit of help from Chapman on the chorus, but her voice comes across as fragile and tender, quivering in all the right places. The electric guitar that accompanies the choral arch is cutting and sharp, juxtaposing with the whispery vocals. This single is being released viaMute Records and we can expect a debut album from these two sometime in spring of this year.
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New Order is a very important band to me. You people know that. It was one of the shows at Austin Music Hall that will make me miss that place when it is leveled.
As many artists from that pivotal time in my musical life have fallen apart or lost their way, New Order is kind of back to being themselves. No matter how much anyone laments Peter Hook‘s departure, the band has held on the sound that defined it’s later releases once free of Joy Division era material. …and I like those records. It should be a surprise that I am on board for the new self-produced record, Music Complete via Mute, that has the band finding inspiration by working with people like Brandon Flowers, Iggy Pop and Elly Jackson. The fist single “restless” is just straight up New Order. It is a level-setting single that I have a feeling preludes a more up and down affair when listening front to back.
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]
For as long as I can remember, I’ve admired the work of Liars. Their records never once sound the same, yet they always have some linear links to previous works. On their latest they continue to explore some of the more electronically influenced moments of their catalog, but it’s the hook during the chorus that really grabbed me. It’s built as a danceable moment that could really unite those in attendance at a show, though I’d be remiss if I didn’t wish they threw it down just a bit harder…perhaps that’s awaiting in the live set. You can grab their new record, Mess, on March 25th, then plan on including it in some year-end lists. They’ll also be appearing at Austin’s Psych Fest.
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It’s often hard for bands to grab a foothold in the United States, but after spending some time with the most recent Big Deal record, I think it’s only fair that I offer up their new single to you guys. June Gloom was released earlier this summer on Mute; it offers this clever blend of traditional male/female indie rock with a coat of that new shoegaze tradition. It’s both loud and restrained at once, providing listeners a chance to smile while they’re battered with walls of noise. Take a chance on these guys; you won’t be let down.
Download: Big Deal – Swapping Spit [MP3]
Big Deal is a band that I took a liking to after we shared their new song “Teradoctol” with you guys a few months ago. Today we get another taste of new material with latest single “Dream Machine”. I hear sounds similar to bands like Races mixed with more electronic based groups like Purity Ring. Either way, this band is growing on me with each and every spin.
New album June Gloom will be released on June 4th via Mute Reocrds.
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This new track “Your Life, Your Call” from Junip is a bit of a new turn sonically from what you might expect from the band. Sure it still has the hushed vocals from Jose Gonzalez, but the synth heavy bass is definitely something of a new bit for Junip. What’s created is a really interesting experimental sort of folk song that manages to make you nod your head along to that nice bass track.
A new self-titled album from the band is out April 23rd on Mute Records.
Download: Junip – Your Life, Your Call [MP3]
Perhaps one of the best things about our site is that it belongs to us, so we can post whatever we like, which is why I feel like this new piece from Apparat is definitely worthy of some mention. It’s a creative piece of pop music, based around Sascha Ring’s interpretation of a theatre production of War & Peace. It’s a pretty lofty goal to set a whole album based on such lofty note, but this is precisely what he’s done with Krieg Und Frieden (Music for Theatre), which will see a digital release from Mute Records on February 19. Lofty as it might be, it’s also equally as beautiful. Sit back and enjoy.
Download:Apparat – A Violent Sky [MP3]
We’ve long been admirers of Liars; they seem untouched by their peers, always exploring their own sonic pallet. Luckily, they have an incredible live show to back up their ridiculously respectable musical chops. You’ll all get a chance to glimpse them in Austin this week (if you’re here, that is). But, to top that off, we’ve got a killer contest brought to you by the friendly people at Mute Records that will allow you to win a package with all the band’s works, and a bonus disc of their latest, Sisterworld, with reinterpretations from the likes of Thom Yorke and Devandra Banhart. Leave us a comment with your favorite SXSW moment, and we’ll select 3 winners! Contest will end Tuesday, March 16th 12 PM CST. Good luck.
Make sure to make it out to these SXSW dates:
3/18 @ Insound Day Party – 4 PM & 3/19 Billions Showcase – 1 AM
We bet that closing set at Antones will be one of the best moments of SXSW!
Modey Lemon was one of the more intriguing artists I caught a few years back at SXSW. Their particular blend of post-punk was the perfect dosage of rock n’ roll that I needed. Now they are headed our way again this Saturday night at Emos. They’ll be accompanied by The Strange Attractors, Manikin and Black Panda.
For those in need of a good evening, check out this guaranteed show. As usual, doors at 8, show at 10. You can get a good sample of their tunes by checking them out personally.