[mp3] The War On Drugs - "Comin' Through"

Just the other day I was listening to Wagonwheel Blues, the still-impressive 2008 debut from The War On Drugs, and wondering when we’d get to hear new music from the Philly psyche/folk band. Well, it didn’t take long to find out. News this week from Secretly Canadian is that the band will release Future Weather, an E.P. comprised of 8 new songs, on October 26. “Comin’ Through” sounds a bit cleaner than the songs from the debut – the arrangement isn’t quite as dense and echoed, and singer Adam Granduciel’s vocals aren’t draped in as much reverb. It builds though over its brief 3 and a half minutes, and while the melody and performance may not be as breathtaking, after a handful of listens, as “Taking The Farm” or “A Needle In Your Eye #16”, it’s a solid little jam and definitely something to look forward to over the next few weeks.

MP3 :: Comin’ Through
(from Future Weather. Info here)

[mp3] Bobby Bare Jr. - "Sad Smile"

Country/punk underdog Bobby Bare Jr. has a new record ready to hit the world this week. A Storm-A Tree-My Mother’s Head was written and recorded (in two days) following an accident at his family home involving, well, the three nouns in the album title. You do the math. She’s okay now. Like many of Bare Jr.’s songs, “Sad Smile” both comes on like a self-deprecating joke and tugs at the old heartstrings. Listen below and download here.

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at Drop.io

(from A Storm-A Tree-My Mother’s Head. Buy here)

Bruce Springsteen to Release Comprehensive Darkness on the Edge of Town Reissue

Bruce Springsteen - "The Promise: The Making of 'Darkness on the Edge of Town'" Sneak Peek from Columbia Records on Vimeo.

That early version of “Sherry Darling” with Springsteen and Steve Van Zandt is pretty freakin’ cool, huh? Springsteen’s Born to Run 30th anniversary special edition from a few years back is one of my very favorite reissues. With the remastered original album, a full concert DVD, and a “making of” documentary over 1 CD and 2 DVDs, the package itself was a generous, fascinating look into the creation of what is arguably his most vital work.

Last week came word of the next release from the Boss’s vaults – The Promise: The Darkness on the Edge of Town Story. I always figured that this era of Springsteen’s career was particularly fruitful. He was a prolific songwriter in his prime and, due to some legal issues, there was a 3 year gap between Born To Run and Darkness, a huge amount of time between records in those days. My hunch was right - as far as size goes, the enormous 3 CD, 3 DVD set doubles that of Born to Run and includes a plethora of previously unheard music. It includes the original album remastered for the first time, a 2 CD collection of outtakes and unused songs called The Promise (which will be available separately), a “making of” documentary, and 2 additional DVDs of live performances. The full tracklist is available at Springsteen’s website, as is a stream of the previously unreleased “Save My Love”. Very exciting.

[MP3] Slow Dancing Society - "...and to the dust we shall return"

Slow Dancing Society is the work of ambient musician Drew Sullivan, and at this moment I’m sort of lost in the tranquility of “…and to the dust we shall return” from his new album, Under The Sodium Lights. It’s the perfect soundtrack for a fading Sunday evening such as this. And destruction has hardly ever been as beautiful as in this video by Latvian filmmaker Ieva Balode, which is the only thing keeping my eyes open.

MP3 :: …and to the dust we shall return
(from Under The Sodium Lights. Buy here)

[video] Magic Kids - "Superball"

The throwback bliss of Magic Kids’ recent “Summer” was just a hint of what to expect from their debut. Released this week, Memphis is packed to the brim with similarly joyful, pure-pop delights which, like the above “Superball”, don’t so much pay homage to their melodically-rich, orchestral-pop heroes (Brian Wilson, Herman’s Hermits, Van Dyke Parks, etc) as soak that old-time sound in modern indie-pop songs. 11 songs in under a half hour, each packed with hooks, lush harmonies, and echoes of oldies radio that’ll bring your summer to a close with a bang.

MP3 :: Superball
MP3 :: Summer
(from Memphis. Buy here)

[video] Ted Leo & The Pharmacists - "Bottled In Cork"

Here’s Ted Leo & The Pharmacists’ fairly hysterical send up of punk-rock Broadway musicals ( a la Green Day). Because if there’s anything that needs to be made fun of, it’s crap like that. “Bottled In Cork” is from The Brutalist Bricks, released earlier this year by Matador.

MP3 :: Bottled In Cork
MP3 :: Bottled In Cork (demo version)
(Buy here)

[stream] Beach House - "White Moon"

Beach House have a brand new iTunes Sessions EP available featuring this previously unreleased song as well as live versions of several Teen Dream songs and “Gila” from Devotion. Via Pitchfork.

Beach House - White Moon (Itunes Session) by subpop

Teen Dream got legs:

MP3 :: Norway
MP3 :: Zebra (UK Edit)
(Buy here)

[mp3] Suuns - "Arena"

Montreal’s Suuns will release their debut album, Zeroes QC, through Secretly Canadian on October 12. After a few spins I’m kind of partial to the warped motorik of “Sweet Nothing” or the haunted organ sounds of “Organ Blues”, but “Arena” is a fair representation of the kind of heavy electro/post-rock these guys bring in spades on the record. Produced by Jace Lasek of The Besnard Lakes.

MP3 :: Arena
(from Zeroes QC. Info here)

The Capstan Shafts - Revelation Skirts

Dean Wells has been creating lo-fi pop/rock gems in the vein of Guided By Voices or early Elephant 6 for years as The Capstan Shafts. After releasing over a dozen homemade CD-Rs, Wells made the jump to Rainbow Quartz and released two full lengths – Environ Maiden and 2008’s Fixation Protocols – which held true to his DIY ethic. The upcoming Revelation Skirts finds Wells using a full band, professional studio, and producer (Matt LeMay) for the first time, but fears of him losing his distinct approach are unnecessary. The new album does sound like some serious effort was actually put into the recording process, but Wells’ penchant for quick bursts of spirited pop songwriting are certainly intact. Revelation Skirts finds The Capstan Shafts stepping up their game with exciting results.

MP3 :: Heart Your Eat Out
MP3 :: Quiet Wars
(from Revelation Skirts. Info here)

[mp3] Wild Nothing - "Golden Haze"

Wild Nothing, who have already released a solid lo-fi shoegaze/jangle-pop debut this year, will release a new EP this fall. Golden Haze will be released by Captured Tracks; check out the title track below, which unsurprisingly lives up to its name:

MP3 :: Golden Haze
(from Golden Haze. Info here)

[video] The Walkmen - "Angela Surf City"

Check out The Walkmen blazing through “Angela Surf City” on Jimmy Fallon the other night. The new song, one of the many highlights from the upcoming Lisbon (Fat Possum, 9/14), hits with more brute force than anything on 2008’s masterful You & Me. The Walkmen are getting set to tour - check out the dates here. Come to NY soon guys.

MP3 :: Stranded (follow link, email needed)
Stream :: Angela Surf City
(from Lisbon. Info here)

Arcade Fire - The Suburbs

“The Sprawl (Mountains Beyond Montains)”, the penultimate track on The Suburbs and captured on film here by the legendary Terry Gilliam at Madison Square Garden, is arguably the biggest departure yet for the Arcade Fire over an already pretty remarkable three-album/half-decade career. The song is a summation of the new album’s overarching themes of fading childhood memories and trying to hold on to the innocent state we all take for granted during our formative years. Musically though, on record, it’s a surprising bit of 80’s-tinged electro-pop sung by RĂ©gine that comes out of nowhere after a string of songs with unusually conservative arrangements during The Suburbs’ back half.

Much has been written over the past several weeks regarding The Suburbs, and the general consensus suggests that it falls somewhere in between Funeral’s indie-rock landmark status and Neon Bible’s handful of killer songs and overreaching world views. That’s a safe assessment, but one that I’m completely on board with - The Suburbs offers a more direct, less overtly dramatic version of the band that works very well over the album’s 16 song-long track listing. As an album, it’s less murky and more listenable than Neon Bible, yet not nearly as exciting or consistent as Funeral. The songs themselves are still epic, no band working today reaches the kind of grandiosity Arcade Fire achieve on nearly every song here (even with the semi-scaled down approach). It’s just that, as he did on Funeral, Win Butler has once again written a batch of big songs about small, personal feelings - ones whose universal images and sentiments are based in the homes, families, schools, cars, and sprawling suburban neighborhoods that so many of us grew up in. You don’t need me to tell you this, but The Suburbs is an excellent record, and, as evidenced by the recent #1 ranking on the Billboard charts, one that’s resonating with all sorts of music fans. Bravo.

Stream :: The Suburbs / Month of May
(from The Suburbs. Buy here)

[mp3] No Age - "Glitter"

Between a recent move and a much needed vacation, I haven’t had a lot of time lately (or motivation, for that matter) to keep up with PHW. But "Glitter", the first single from No Age’s upcoming Everything In Between, is damn a good reason to break silence. The track is equal parts noise and melody, with harsh feedback riding atop a sweet bassline. I haven’t been a huge fan of this band yet, but between this and last year’s Losing Feeling EP, that could be on the verge of changing. Both a 7” and 12” are planned, with different non-album b-sides for each. More details at Sub Pop. Not to be missed:

MP3 :: Glitter
(from Everything Is Between. Info here)

[mp3] The Vaselines - "Sex With An X"

20+ years after their influential debut, Scottish cult favorites The Vaselines will release Sex With An X. Sub Pop have released the title track as a free download.

MP3 :: Sex With An X
(from Sex With An X. Info here)

[video] Phosphorescent - "It's Hard To Be Humble (When You're From Alabama)"

Phosphorescent "It's Hard To Be Humble When You're From Alabama" from Secretly Jag on Vimeo.

MP3 :: It’s Hard To Be Humble (When You’re From Alabama)
MP3 :: The Mermaid Parade
(from Here’s To Taking It Easy. Buy here)