New Video From Mideau

MideauSometimes when I’m trying to find things to post on the ‘ol interwebs, I come across music that I wouldn’t normally think I’d be into, but something about it just strikes a chord.  Today that song is “Maude” from Salt Lake City based indie pop group Mideau.  The song is a number that reminds me of an almost chilled out version of Phantogram or even old school indie rockers Headlights with a bit of an electro twist.  Of course the sweet jam has an accompanying video that compliments the track nicely.

Check out the video after the jump.

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Great New Pop Track From Communions

front_digiCommunions is a Copenhagen based band that both Lankford and I posted about back in October of last year.  I hadn’t heard much from the band since that time so imagine my surprise and delight when the band just sent over this awesome new track “Out of My World”.  I don’t know about you guys, but I continue to dig the beautifully quirky take on pop music.

Communions finally have a new self-titled EP due out in June on Tough Love Records.

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New Music from Panther Ray

prayPop centric sounds are being spun all around the Internets nowadays, but I really like what the folks in Panther Ray are offering up today.  They’ve got a brand new single that vaguely resembles the enthusiasm of early Pains of Being Pure at Heart, though they’re relying less on classic indiepop tropes and more on the guitar-infused alternative stylings.  The track has just enough noise to blow out your speakers, but comes home to roost with the cool quality of the vocals.  You’ll be able to hear their new album, Ripple, on April 24th via Forged Artifacts.

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Ghostface Killah & BadBadNotGood

Ghostface-Killah-and-BadbadnotgoodMiss the old days of Wu-Tang Clan when all they did was rap over samples of 1970s soul and R&B songs (and it didn’t sound shoehorned)? The closest thing you’ll get to that now is the new collaboration between Wu-Tang member Ghostface Killah and Canadian jazz instrumental hip-hop band BadBadNotGood. Since Ghostface is the only member of Wu-Tang to still closely resemble that sound, this match up made the most sense. The album is half instrumental and half performances from Ghostface Killah, with a handful of guest artists, including Danny Brown and MF Doom. The album can be purchased on cassette, CD, or vinyl via the Lex Records website, or purchased digitally on iTunes. The entire album can be streamed below.


Another Fine Piece from Marie Davidson

maryLooking back, or listening back, at the buzz from SXSW, several of our friends consistently through Marie Davidson at us, hoping we could get a chance to check her out.  After spending quite a bit of time with her new album, Un Autre Voyage, I can definitely get behind the hype, so it’s only fair that I share her latest single.  While constructed largely as an unraveling electronic piece, her spoken vocals add an extra layer that makes the song impactful.  Don’t look for her to hit you over the head with throbbing beats, but rather let her guide you through the caverns of her work.  Holodeck Records releases the new album on April 14th.


Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin Preps New Album

11084198_10153257811924309_235022017089551527_oYea, that’s right, everyone’s favorite Missouri band with a ridiculous name, SSLYBY, is back with a new track and details regarding their next album, The High Country, which is set to come out June 2nd on Polyvinyl Records. They’ve got a new song to share from that upcoming release, “Step Brother City,” whose style embodies that early 2000’s straightforward alternative rock and has just the kind of spunk to it that you need for this Monday. You can preorder the album here.

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Looper Offer New Music

bloopWhile Looper is busy prepping the release of their 5 CD box set, These Things, it would be a shame if people didn’t realize that the set includes Offgrid: Offline, which is a brand new album.  They’ve unleashed one of the tracks off that new piece, and it’s exactly what I’ve come to expect from the group; there’s layering of samples, but it is all meant to underlie the sweet structured pop that’s been a focal point in the band’s experiments with modern music.  Mute will be releasing the collection on April 14th, and rest assured, I’ll have it in my hands by the end of that day.


Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell

sufjanRating: ★★★★½

For years now Sufjan Stevens has been a household name, a staple when it comes to indie rock with both art and folk influences. While he has carved out his own space in terms of genre, defining himself with distinction, his sound has manifested itself in varying directions under the umbrella of his sound. Carrie & Lowell is a deeply personal retreat back into the quietest reaches of Sufjan Stevens‘ musical spectrum, one that enchants and charms with its elegant lyrics and gentle sound.

Nothing that Sufjan Stevens ever does musically is simple. After more than a decade of releases from this man it’s fairly easy to make this statement, but when you listen to this album, the effortlessness of the music is what is striking and powerfully emotional. Upon first listen, it’s sort of difficult to truly grasp just what you’ve got your hands on, as Stevens’ style is exceedingly graceful and smooth. Yes, it sounds lush and gorgeous, his whisper of a voice uttering euphonious lyrics atop often just one other musical element, be it the plucking of a guitar or a bouncing piano part; the sound is akin to that you would hear in a gentle lullaby. While the sound is soothing, it’s also deeply haunting, but this is the quality that you perhaps don’t truly and totally latch onto on your first go round.

But on your second or third pass through the album, or maybe even once you’ve reached the final track on Carrie & Lowell, you begin to feel exactly what Sufjan wants you to through his arrangements of indie folk. Tracks like “Should Have Known Better,” and “All of Me Wants All of You” are sing-songy, the lyrics are subtle but brilliant, giving you one liners that come across like poetry “I should have known better/ nothing can be changed/ the past is still the past/ the bridge to nowhere.” And then there are the deeply dark tracks like “Fourth Of July,” and “No Shade In The Shadow of The Cross.” The former of this pair is a gut-wrenching track in which Stevens traverses through memories of his fallen mother, uttering what sounds to be pet names amidst the other images of her last days. The latter is emotionally distressful and you can hear the desperation behind the lyrics: “I’ll drive that stake through the center of my heart,” or “fuck me, I’m falling apart.” Here he is, emotionally and musically raw, spilling his soul to you like he would the pages of his journal, but these things are brilliant and apt, reaching out to you through your headphones or from the speakers of your car or stereo.

There’s not a song on this album that you’ll ever want to skip: they all fit together like melancholy powerful puzzle pieces of Stevens’ life and childhood that he has retrospectively assembled to reveal he’s missing some vital pieces. Carrie & Lowell, as melancholy as it is, is a mighty work of art, one that I’ll be revisiting again and again.


Fall In Love with Double Denim

doubledIf you love the song below, you better jump on over to Art Is Hard Records to pick it up, as they’re keeping the run on this new Double Denim 7″ really small…only 25 hand-cut copies.  It’s bedroom pop for sure, but it’s the perfect sort; there’s this great little wash over the vocals, with just enough of a beat to propel the song through it’s meandering Captured Tracks-esque guitar lines.  It’s brevity will keep you coming back again and again to fall in love with it just as much as I did.  He’s also got this wonderful little EP on Bandcamp too.


Download: Double Denim – Wide Open [MP3]

SxSW 2015: 24 Beats Per Second

All Things Must PassI already talked about several docs and the features I took in, no it is time for the music docs to take the stage. From the obscure and the hidden, the backbone of the beat, to the rise and fall of an empire and the rise of a movement, let’s take a look at what you need to keep an eye out for in the coming months. I am hoping a few will make it to the Alamo Drafthouse so you can hear them as much as see them. All hail crowd-funding.

Click past the break for the rundown.

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