Another New Jam from Cayucas

It seems that we’re in for a whole lot of infectious pop if things continue to go as planned for Cayucas.  They are releasing their debut 7″ for Secretly Canadian this month, and this tune is another that wears a bright sunny influence.  It’s almost got a tropicalia feel to it, which definitely is something that I enjoy.  If you listen closely you can hear the warm backing vocals just barely pushing through, creating an effect that only strengthens the relaxed feel of this song.  I’ll have no problem playing this number over and over again.

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Sunny Pop from Cayucas

We love pretty much everything that’s being put out by Secretly Canadian, and this new release from Cayucas is surely going to be another hit we’ll adore for some time.  The recent signing has an upcoming 7″ featuring two tracks to give us all an introduction to the band.  This first taste is just what you’d expect a California pop band to construct, full of vibrant energy and tasty melodies.  It sort of sounds like the meeting ground between The Drums and Generationals, both bands we fawn over, so how could we, and you, not love this?


Download:Cayucas – Cayucos [MP3]

New Jam From Taken By Trees

Wow, this new song “Dreams” by lovely lady Victoria Bergsman, a.k.a. Taken By Trees, is one mighty fine piece of work.  The song somehow manages to get better each time I listen to it with its building reggae-esque rhythm section and breezy guitar parts.  You also have to mention the always lovely voice of Bersgman and her simple yet still perfect approach to delivery.  This song appears on a 12″ EP of same name that will feature some extended instrumentals and remixes along with this fancy new track.  That 12″ will be out August 7th on Secretly Canadian.


Taken By Trees – Dreams

New Tunes from Yeasayer

As we draw closer and closer towards the release of the new Yeasayer album, Fragrant World, which comes out in August via Secretly Canadian, more tracks are starting to hit the Internet, building a swell of excited fans. The first track “Henrietta” was definitely a summer banger built for grooving.  This round, the group seems to have a more soulful approach, unfolding a bit slower.  It’s definitely a different spin on the group’s electro art pop, but I admit that I’m really feeling this jam…so I’m sure that the rest of the Internet will be clamoring for more Yeasayer.  A few short months and we can all have the whole record in our hands.


Download:Yeasayer – Longevity [MP3]

Show Preview: Here We Go Magic @ the Parish (6/19)

Date Saturday, Feb 15th
Location The Parish
Doors 800 pm
Tickets $12 from Frontgate

We’ve been huge fans of Here We Go Magic for years, so we’re always going to encourage you to get out and see their live shows.  The group’s got something going live, with Luke Temple orchestrating vibrant music with his band, creating joying pop music that everyone can appreciate. They come into town supporting their recent release, A Different Ship, which came out a short while ago on Secretly Canadian.  Also making an appearance will be Austin’s Hundred Visions and Moonlight Gram, who I can’t seem to find anything on, but I love a good Field of Dreams reference.  See you Tuesday folks.


Download:Here We Go Magic – Make Up Your Mind [MP3]


Exitmusic – Passage

Rating: ★★★½☆

Exitmusic is a New York City band consisting of Aleksa Palladino and Devon Church that combine to create stormy electronic pop. Using layers of sound, these two are big on emotive music, hoping to generate forms of sound that moves their listeners in some way. A few years back they released the From Silence EP, which dubbed Exitmusic as dark, enigmatic and swirling. Passage, their recent effort, looks to refine these hooks and build ups to something with a bit more control.

If you aren’t careful, the first song will swallow you whole in its drama. Pushing six minutes, “Passage” goes a lot of places, exploring big build ups to drastic cut offs in the waves of sound that crash over one another. The track starts out on a quieter note, until it begins to build to one of its first crescendos and you can start to see the unbridled power that is created when these two come together, giving all they’ve got. Everything comes together in a cathartic build, and then suddenly all falls away in an explosive burst of sound that seems like it would fit as perfect background music to a movie montage. It’s a beast of a song, but Extimusic tames it to a manageable one, teetering on the edge of out of control with cymbals crashing and vocals peaking.

As far as songs on Passage go, the first track is by far the most dramatic in nature, and thankfully. While it has its place, if every song was as pushing as the opener, this album would feel distant and maudlin. This tightrope walk between accessible and melodramatic is the very substance of this album. You have songs like “The Modern Age,” on which Palladino’s vocals are close and easy to listen to; they are powerful, yet subtle in their confidence. The build on this song is manageable, easing into and out of climaxes with the help of soft percussive elements and hooking guitars. On the other side of this spectrum, Exitmusic lose themselves a bit on album closer, “Sparks of Light.” This number drags on, the echoed vocals and dull instrumentation leaving me a little bored.

However, there are still a number of catchy, cathartic songs that live up to the delightfully broody name that these two have earned for themselves. Depending on your personal state of mind, these songs may coat you in layers of glorious ambivalence, or murky heaviness. See for yourself.

Here We Go Magic – A Different Ship

Rating: ★★½☆☆

When Here We Go Magic first jumped onto the scene, it was clear that the work was mostly done by Luke Temple.  But, through two albums it has become clear that the band’s blossomed into more of a group effort. So with their third proper release, A Different Ship, would the title indicate a final change in the music itself? The answer to that question can go both ways, and therein lays the problem.

“Hard to Be Close” is the first track, and while there’s that inherent beauty that you find in Here We Go Magic tracks, but it seems rather subdued.  The percussion is fitting and tight, as I expect from a group of this stature, but there’s not a whole lot else to the song; it’s missing that, oh how do you say, magic. They follow it up with “Make Up Your Mind,” a groovier number than the rest, yet still missing that extra bit of emphasis that early HWGM numbers like “Fangela” contained.  It’s something that seems to be stuck in the overall emotion of A Different Ship.

Take, for instance, “I Believe in Action,” a song that definitely has a bit of a groove living within it, but for some reason, that sound is completely contained within, never being unleashed. Perhaps this is the sort of jam that unfolds before your eyes in the live setting (if you’re to go off the song’s ending), but the recording just doesn’t have a kick to it.  In fact, there’s really not a kick to this entire affair; it’s a slow burner to say the least.  I guess in my listening experience with the band this is the most subdued they’ve come across on record…and that might only be my perception.  Still, Here We Go Magic do possess the craftsmanship to write upbeat tunes that catch your ear.

“How Do I Know” is the lone standout jam.  From the moment Luke Temple sings, you get the feeling that he’s more passionate in this performance than he is on any of the other tracks within A Different Ship.  Even the percussion seems a bit more pronounced on this one, giving a more vibrant mood to the listener.  Honestly, this is the reason I adore the band as a whole, and I think I expected more gems like this one.

I know that bands are allowed to grow and progress throughout their careers, and that’s always appreciated, and in the very least, understood.  Sometimes, however, a group can take it too far, and I feel as if that’s what Here We Go Magic did on A Different Ship.  They took a turn in their recording that may sound cleaner than previous outings, but it left out some of the group’s strengths.  If you’re looking for a calmer, steadier version of the band, you’ll probably find this meets your fancy, but if you’re a nostalgic fan of the group, you might be a little let down. Better luck next time.


Download:Here We Go Magic – Make Up Your Mind [MP3]

New Music From Here We Go Magic

Does Luke Temple ever sleep?  It really doesn’t seem that way.  The guy is constantly recording, touring, and putting out new music as a solo musician and with his steady outfit Here We Go Magic.  This new tune “Make Up Your Mind” features a pretty funky beat on top of the typical Temple/HWGM chanting verses.  A new album from the band, A Different Ship, is due out May 8th on Secretly Canadian.


Download: Here We Go Magic – Make Up Your Mind [MP3]

New Jam From Damien Jurado

It’s always a good day when we get sent a new tune from long time favorite around here Damien Jurado.  This time the tune is called “Nothing is the News” and is more of a jamming psych style song compared to what we are used to from the singer songwriter.  A new album entitled Maraqopa is due in the later part of February via Secretly Canadian with this song and 9 more in tow.  Enjoy.


Download: Damien Jurado – Nothing is the News [MP3]

New Jam From Richard Swift

I’ve been a big fan of Richard Swift and his music since he first started creating music for the world to hear at the beginning of this decade.  Well today I was sent a new song from Swift called “Whitman” which can be heard and downloaded below.  The song appears on a new EP called Walt Wolfman due out this fall on October 18th via Secretly Canadian.  If you have yet to get into this guy’s music, I suggest you do so now fool.


Download: Richard Swift – Whitman [MP3]

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