New Music from The Papercuts

I’ve been waiting for several weeks to get a little sample of new work from The Papercuts, after Sub Pop announced they would be bringing Jason Quever on board for his new album.  Thankfully, Stereogum got it out before I went crazy, so we’ve got it here for you.  The record, Fading Parade, comes out on March 1st, with this single hitting stores on February 1st.  Jason’s music has really blossomed since his first album, adding more textures, blending his melodious voice, and each time, topping his previous output.  His progression continues to lead me down a path of great enjoyment, so give this tune a try.


Download: The Papercuts – Do What You Will [MP3]

New Music From J Mascis

Legendary Dinosaur Jr. front man J Mascis is gearing up to release a new album of solo material entitled Several Shades of Why.  The album, hitting stores on March 15th via Sub Pop Records, will feature a more singer/songwriter side of Mascis with mostly acoustic tracks.  Below you can find a taste of the mellowed out side of this indie rock great in the form of “Not Enough”.  Enjoy.


Download: J Mascis – Not Enough [MP3]

New Music From No Age

The now famous garage rock indie band No Age just dropped their brand new LP entitled Everything In Between yesterday on the Sub Pop label.  To celebrate the release of their record, the band is offering up this new MP3 of track #3 from the album “Fever Dreaming”.  You can also decide if you want to buy the new joint with a full album stream over on Soundcloud.  It’s a doozy.


Download: No Age – Fever Dreaming [MP3]

More New Music From The Vaselines

As a guy who is greatly looking forward to the second ever Vaselines release coming out this fall, I’m excited to see that the band is offering up this new track “Sex With an X” for free.  This song comes after we already heard new track “I Hate the 80s” from the group’s upcoming Sex with an X LP.  Fans of the band will be glad to know that the first album of new material in over 20 years will come out on September 14th via Sub Pop.


Download: The Vaselines – Sex With An X [MP3]

New Music From Kelley Stoltz

Veteran San Francisco musician Kelley Stoltz is returning on October 12th with an album of new material on Sub Pop Records.  The album, entitled To Dreamers, features material recorded mostly by Kelley himself with the occasional assistance from his live band.  Below you’ll find the first single called “I Don’t Get That” from his upcoming effort.  It’s got a bit of that 60s style British pop to it that I’ve been into recently.


Download: Kelley Stoltz – I Don’t Get That [MP3]

Jaill – That’s How We Burn

Rating: ★★★★ ·

It seems like Sub Pop is on a roll lately giving us lots of rock n’ roll to pump really loudly in our cars, and Jaill is no exception.  The guitar work on their new album, That’s How We Burn,” is meant exactly for that, kicking you in the face.  Okay, so they aren’t mean enough to kick you in the face, but one listen to this record and you’ll find yourself indulging in heavy foot stomping, possibly some air drums.

This year hasn’t seen an album open with such a ridiculously powerful guitar/bass line as “The Stroller.”  It begs  you to get on board right away, pushing you to the limit from the get go.  While singer, Vincent Kircher, might not have a harrowing yell, but his vocals provide the perfect accommodation for the guitar licks. Then you get sucked in with the super-angular guitar pop of “Everyone’s Hip.”  For some reason the vocal delivery recalls nerd pop of the nineties, like a heavy-footed They Might be Giants. All albums should begin with such energy.

“Thank Us Later” demonstrates that Jaill don’t just have to push the limits with pacing and clever guitar chords.  Instead, they allow for space and Kirchner to sprawl all across this song, giving you a bit of time to absorb the tones the group has to offer up. Surely they could amp up this song live to keep the step going, but the fact that they slow it down, gives the album more of a groove.  Following is “Summer Mess,” giving the listener that breather, but in a different manner than the preceding song, going with a more roots folk appeal of strumming guitar, met later on by an ambling electric guitar that walks you to the end of the track, right back into the energy fueled tracks.

“She’s My Baby” brings you back to the rock element of the rock, with quick slicing guitars and steady drum work.  Kirchner seems to go with a bit of a higher pitch here, which might be aided by backup singer Austin Dutmer, who is playing those solid drums.  It’s even got a surf rock guitar line cutting in at the end of the track, probably included to stay on top of the trends.  But, That’s How We Burn is meant to be a well-balanced machine, so while you have those rockers, you also find that slower tracks serve as a counterbalance to the record, like “Baby I.”  It’s got the feel of a high school prom band, but one that’s really good, playing nice jangling guitar lines with a bit of boogie to it all.  Everything here just works perfectly.

By this point in the year, you’re searching for an album that erases the ones before it, and for just a minute, That’s How We Burn will cleanse your soul.  It erases popular trends, focusing on what it’s all about, solid drumming and great guitar lines.  Jaill have now established themselves as a band to be reckoned with, and we should welcome them to the fold, as this piece of work shows they deserve it.


Download: Jaill – The Stroller [MP3]

New Tunes from Jaill

It seems like August is shaping up to be a month for guitars, and well, minimal electronic intrusion. One of those bands, Jaill, is ready to prep the release of their new album, That’s How We Burn, with our friends over at Sub Pop.  While their latest single has hints of modern post rock, the rest of the album has a nostalgic sound to it, one that sounds like The Feelies on speed.  Guess that’s my impression. Whatever the sound, you’ll surely fall for this band.


Download: Jaill – The Stroller [MP3]

New Music From The Vaselines

That’s right folks, The Vaselines are returning in 2010 with their first record of new material in over 20 years.  The duo plan to release new LP Sex with an X on September 14th via Sub Pop Records.  Until then, enjoy the first MP3 of new song “I Hate the 80s” which also just happens to be the title of a terrible Duran Duran song.  This song is sure to remind you why The Vaselines rule.


Download: The Vaselines – I Hate The 80s [MP3]

Blitzen Trapper – Destroyer Of The Void

Rating: ★★★½ ·

ATH Favorite and Portland, OR’s own Blitzen Trapper are back with their latest from Sub-Pop; the ominously titled Destroyer of the Void. The task of following up 2008’s critically acclaimed Furr was no easy one. Following in such momentum of an impressive record and equally hyped tour however is easy with the laundry list of talents and influences which Blitzen Trapper wear proudly on their sleeve. The last time we spoke to the band during ACL in 2009, they told us they were going to highlight more piano and it quickly becomes apparent with their latest they held true to form.

From the first notes of the title track to the last not on ‘Sadie’, the record as a whole is very piano heavy utilizing once again strong song writing fundamentals from Eric Earley. ‘Destroyer of the Void’ (the song) shows in no uncertain terms the sampling of everything in their bag of tricks. These influences and genres include piano ballads, strong off-kilter harmonies, good old fashioned rock, a little country thrown in for good measure, and as always strong songwriting fundamentals. On the second track, ‘Laughing Lover’ the piano is again the focus and this time it is the catalyst for wonderful layering techniques that are quickly becoming the band’s new trademark sound. ‘Below the Hurricane’ and ‘The Man Who Would Speak True’ form a good 1-2 punch with slow intros building into a tempo that the band seem to thrive in, similar to that found on ‘Black River Killer” from Furr. Solid harmonica play starts in the former and continues through the latter creating wonderful flow and consistency. If Earley is good a one thing as heard in the release, it’s creating compelling stories.

From there, the group deals with duality on ‘Love and Hate’ and again on ‘Heaven and Earth’. The latter finally shows more of the heavy blues sound listeners grew used to on such releases as Wild Mountain Nation. This change in pace is short-lived however, with Earley back into piano ballad mode with the latter.  The high point for this listener comes a little halfway through the album starting off with ‘Dragon’s Song’ and its bluesy, almost Shin’s worthy instrumentation, into a wonderful duet with Alela Diane on ‘The Tree’, and topping it off with ‘Evening Star’, perhaps the most lasting and single-worthy track on the entire release.

Overall, the album is much quieter and subdued than any previous release. That may not be the best thing to keep a relatively new and hungry fan-base appeased, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing either. It shows some growth into not relying too heavy on one idea and for Earley, shows the continuous drive for writing the perfect song. Though I continually refer back to Furr and Wild Mountain Nation in years past, only time will tell if this album holds the same staying power. On first taste, the momentum gained by the band following Furr is slowed a little by this release, but only sidelines it slightly. The strengths of Blitzen Trapper are growing and they do many things very well.  This release definitely fills the void left by Furr, but Destroy? That may be a little presumptuous.

Free EP From Grand Archives

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]

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