[video] La Sera - "Never Come Around"

La Sera - Never Come Around from Brady Hall on Vimeo.

Just in time for Halloween comes this comically grotesque video for “Never Come Around” from Katie Goodman’s latest Vivian Girls side project, La Sera. There’s a full length coming in early 2011, but Hardly Art will release the “Never Come Around” 7” on November 16.

MP3 :: Never Come Around

(from Never Come Around 7”. Info here)


[video] The Drums - "Me and the Moon"

The Drums - "Me And The Moon" (Stereogum Premiere) from stereogum on Vimeo.

Bad hair. Lame clothes. Terrible dancing. Besides being one of the year’s best pure indie/pop songs, the new video for The Drums’ “Me and the Moon” doesn’t have a lot going for it.

MP3 :: Let’s Go Surfing

(from The Drums. Buy here)


[live recording] Soft Black - Live @ The Cake Shop 10/21/10

Check this out – hot on the heels of their excellent We Scattered Light EP, NYC Taper recorded Soft Black's performance at the CMJ show they organized and produced. The brief 4-song set, which features “I Am An Animal” from last year’s Top 10 worthy The Earth Is Black as well as a brand new song from the band's forthcoming 2011 follow up, is available as a free download on their site. Go get it.

MP3 :: We Scatter Light
(from We Scatter Light. Stream and buy here)

MP3 :: I Am An Animal
MP3 :: The Lions
(from The Earth Is Black. Info here)

[mp3] Millionyoung - "Calrissian"

Millionyoung is code for Florida’s Matt Diaz, who’ll be releasing his debut full length, Atmospheric Beast, early next year on Old Flame Records. The first single is called “Calrissian”, which is awesome for more than just the what-the-fuck Star Wars reference of the title. Combining vintage 60s melodies, very of-the-moment electro-pop sounds, and bells that sound like they fell off Santa’s sleigh, the track is easily one of the better things this whole chillwave movement has produced. Listen below, then head to the Hype Machine and find a place to download it.

Millionyoung-Calrissian by Old Flame Records


[mp3] Tapes n' Tapes - "Freak Out"

Perhaps no band this side of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah rode the rise-of-the-music-blog hype wave higher and fell harder than Tapes n’ Tapes. After a critically adored 2006 debut called The Loon had the internet christening them as the next big thing, the band released a snoozer of a sophomore album in ’08 called Walk It Off (which, to its credit, has the killer single “Hang Them All”) that essentially sent them back to oblivion. Now for round 3. The Minneapolis band will release Outside in January on their own Ibid Records, and “Freak Out” is the first single. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come - sounds pretty good after a handful of listens.

MP3 :: Freak Out (via)

(from Outside. Info here)


Introducing: Evenings

Keep an eye on the music of 20-year-old UVA student Nathan Broaddas - his first release as Evenings is utterly addicting. The North Dorm EP (named for where it was recorded, obvs) is made up of scratchy, ambient, soft-beat electronic instrumentals that sneak into your head and latch on tight. It’s the perfect soundtrack for late night walks or early morning drives and is available as a free download at the Evenings’ Bandcamp page (see below). Also in the works is an upcoming 7” for Double Denim Records – home also to Seapony (scroll down or click here for that one). No official info as of yet on that one, but hopefully I’ll be able to share something from it in the near future. Until then enjoy this:

MP3 :: Still Young

(from North Dorm. Download here)

Here’s the video for another track, “Babe”

[mp3] Lykke Li - "Get Some" / "Paris Blue"

New music today from Sweden’s Lykke Li. The provocative “Get Some” b/w “Paris Blue” 7” will see physical release in the near future, but you can download both halves of the single over at her website right now for free. Go get some. No word yet on a new album, but it seems likely we’ll hear more from Li early in 2011.

MP3 :: Get Some/Paris Blue (follow link)


[mp3] Girls - "Heartbreaker"

Today the guys in Girls announced the upcoming release of the Broken Dreams Club EP on True Panther. The 30 minutes of new material that comprise the EP is their first since last year’s critically acclaimed debut, Album. Broken Dreams Club will be released on 11/22 and features the band exploring new sounds, including horns, pedal steel, and “psychedelic effects”. “Heartbreaker” is available below for the price of an email. Pre-order the EP here.


[mp3] Seapony - "Dreaming"

I’m loving this jangly, sun-drenched new tune from Seattle’s Seapony. It’ll be on their upcoming, limited edition 7” along with a pair of b-sides, “So Low” and “Late Summer”. Double Denim Records has the honors. This release follows their free self-titled 3 song EP from earlier this year, which is still available at the band’s Bandcamp page.

MP3 :: Dreaming (follow link)

(from Dreaming 7”. Pre-order here)


[stream] Earl Pickens & Family - "True Too"

PHW favorites Earl Pickens & Family have released the follow up to last year’s terrific cover of The Joshua Tree. Gathering finds the PA roots band spreading out the lead vocal duties more than ever – Earl sings lead on about half of these songs with the rest split between Bruce W. Derr & Jessie Yamas. Once again Pickens reveals his loyalty to traditional American music on these ten songs, mixing banjos, fiddles, & mandolins with gorgeous harmonies and sharp songwriting. “True Too” is an instant classic, a heart-felt call for something pure in this world. Have a listen:

Stream :: True Too

(from Gathering. Buy here)


[mp3] La Sera - "Never Come Around"

La Sera is the solo side project of Vivian Girl Katy Goodman (aka Kickball Katy) and “Never Come Around", which has been going around for a week or three now, is the girl-group inspired first single. The song will appear on an upcoming 2011 full length, while b-side, “Behind Your Eyes”, is an exclusive to this single. Hardly Art will release the 7” on November 16.

MP3 :: Never Come Around

(from the Never Come Around 7”. Info here)


[mp3] Secret Knives - "Black Hole"

Ash Smith, the one man band behind Wellington, New Zealand’s Secret Knives, passed along his new electro-pop album, Affection earlier this week. I’m yet to really dive into the whole thing, but I’ve spun the lead off track, “Black Hole”, a bunch of times and find myself diggin' it more every time. The song has a long instrumental lead-in that’s practically bi-polar – going back and forth from achingly pretty and windswept to something more, well, whacked-out, like Dan Deacon’s knob-twisting hysterics. Once the vocals kick in the song settles for the former, but it’s those crazy-ass sound effects that keep bringing me back. Check out a free download of “Black Hole” below and stream the rest of the album here. Affection is available as a free download from A Low Hum Records.

MP3 :: Black Hole

(from Affection. Available here)


[mp3] Kurt Vile - "In My Time"

MP3 :: In My Time
(from In My Time 7". Info here)

Introducing: Quiet Lights

This week Brooklyn’s Quiet Lights are dropping a free digital 7” in anticipation of their full length debut, The Big Fear, which drops in early 2011. These two songs – “Ablaze” and “Twice Today” - mix breathy, slightly-out-of-focus female vocals in lush dream-pop settings. They’re a strangely gorgeous pair of tunes, and offer the promise of more good things to come from this band in the not-so-distant future. Follow the links below to download the songs over at the Quiet Lights’ Bandcamp:

MP3 :: Ablaze

MP3 :: Twice Today

(from the digital Ablaze 7”. Info here)


[stream] Cee Lo Green - "Old Fashioned"

Cee Lo Green has done it again on this throwback slow jam from his upcoming album The Lady Killer. First there was the great video that accompanied the cool Motown groove of “Fuck You”, one of the best expletive-laden pop songs you’ll ever hear, a few weeks back. Now there’s “Old Fashioned” – which relies on purer sentiments and evokes the classic soul legends of the past. It couldn’t be more aptly-named, but Green says it best himself, “It’s right on time and it’s timeless, and it’ll be right here for always.” Have a listen:

Cee-Lo Green - "Old Fashioned" by Some Kind of Awesome

The Lady Killer drops November 9th. Order it here.


[mp3] Bikini - "A Cheerleader"

Lefse Records just sent over this electro-pop gem from Bikini. Their upcoming RIP JDS EP is due out in November. Don’t have much info yet about these guys other than they’re a NY duo and that this song has been on repeat here for about 15 minutes now - my daughters are smiling and dancing around to it. I hope it's not a sign of things to come that they enjoy a song by a band with that name, but we've got a long way to go before we have to worry about shit like that. More from these guys soon, hopefully.

MP3 :: A Cheerleader

(from RIP JDS EP. Info here)


Introducing: The Vaccines

U.K. newcomers The Vaccines will release their debut 7” this November, with a full length promised for early 2011. The double A-side “Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra)”/”Blow It Up” is a grand total of 4 glorious rock & roll minutes – the former a Ramones-influenced power-punk no-brainer that clocks in at under 90 seconds, the latter a comparatively epic, heavily reverbed 2:41 of scrappy melodic bliss.. Marshall Teller Records has this one – check out streams of both jams below, and download “Blow It Up” for the steep price of an email after that. Buy the 7” here.

Wreckin' Bar (Ra Ra Ra) by The Vaccines

Blow It Up by The Vaccines


[video] Titus Andronicus - "The Battle of Hampton Roads"

Titus Andronicus FOR NO ONE from FOR NO ONE on Vimeo.

The mighty Titus Andronicus with their beyond epic album closer from The Monitor, “The Battle of Hampton Roads”. Oh my Jesus.

MP3 :: A More Perfect Union
MP3 ::
Four Score And Seven (Part 1)
MP3 :: Four Score And Seven (Part 2)
(from The Monitor. Buy here)

[video] ceo - "Come With Me"

ceo - come with me dir. Marcus Söderlund from Academy Films on Vimeo.

Here’s the official video for ceo’s mesmerizing “Come With Me”. Eric Berglund’s Tough Alliance side project has been everywhere for the past couple of months, and with songs this good it’s clear why.

MP3 :: Come With Me

(from White Magic. Buy here)


The Radio Dept. - Clinging to a Scheme

Sweden’s The Radio Dept. released their second record, Clinging to a Scheme, earlier this year. It’s full of slightly out of focus indie-pop that thrives on lush musical settings and gorgeous melodies. Besides the immediacy of the Jackson 5-by-way-of-Slumberland Records first single “Heaven’s On Fire”, Clinging to a Scheme is a record that benefits greatly from repeat listens and louder volumes. The rest of these songs are the sort that burrow into your head gradually – I’ve had this album since last spring and it’s only in the past 2 or 3 weeks that it’s kind of emerged, to me, as one of the year’s easiest albums to go back to over and again. That could be because it works as a great melodic counter-point to the noise and chaos of Public Strain, another new one that I’ve been listening to a lot, but is more likely the result of the obvious care that has gone into the craft of these 10 songs.

There are a handful of nearly-as-great as “Heaven’s On Fire” skewed-pop songs on the decidedly more accessible first half, such as the slow-burning opener “Domestic Scene” or the deceptively grand “This Time Around”. “A Token of Gratitude” later works as a brilliant bridge towards the record’s back half – beginning with what sounds like a ping-pong beat and featuring a few startling lines about love being “easy come, easy go”, it quickly downgrades into a moody, ambient instrumental coda. This sonic shift is reflected by the more melancolic, yet equally beautiful, songs that show up on the flip side. Fans have found some similarities between The Radio Dept. and Wild Nothing, another band that released a similar set of indie-pop this year. I don’t want to slag them – Jack Tatum’s bedroom-pop vehicle showed great promise on his very well-received (if slightly overrated) debut, Gemini – but Clinging to a Scheme is clearly the better record. If you haven’t caught on yet, well, like me, better late than never.

MP3 :: Heaven’s On Fire

MP3 :: David

(from Clinging to a Scheme. Buy here)


[mp3] The War on Drugs - "The History of Plastic"

We heard The War on Drugs' promising, if surprisingly straight-forward, “Comin’ Through” a few weeks ago. That track was the first single from their upcoming Future Weather EP, the follow up to 2008's excellent psyche/folk debut, Wagonwheel Blues. Today Secretly Canadian released the second – the trippier, 8 ½ minute album closer “The History of Plastic”. Grab it below. Future Weather drops 10/26.

MP3 :: The History of Plastic

MP3 :: Comin’ Through

(from Future Weather. Info here)


Women - Public Strain

Women’s enigmatic self-titled 2008 debut was the rarest of jumping off points –a fully-realized artistic statement that came out of nowhere. Drawing on some of post-punk’s usual suspects for inspiration (VU, Wire, This Heat, even British Invasion), and mixing harsh white-noise with soaring pop melodies, Women was unlike any other album released that year. It was the type of record that had some irresistible individual moments – “Shaking Hand” and “Black Rice” spring to mind – but many of the songs were of the kind that took multiple listens to navigate and appreciate. Once that happened though, it was clear you were listening to a young band that was a force to be reckoned with. The record gained the Calgary four-piece considerable attention, and, for the follow up, they once again decided to work with fellow Canadian Chad VanGaalen as producer.

The result doesn’t make any concessions toward accessibility. Public Strain is an even denser recording than its predecessor that further blurs the line between melody and noise. Where Women contained the “pop” songs and the “noise” songs, Public Strain contains the Women songs – equal parts of each throughout. A few weeks ago I said Cotton Jones’ Tall Hours in the Glowstream might have the most fitting title of any album I’ve heard this year, and the same might be said of Public Strain’s cover image. A harsh, white-out blizzard scene captures the near-claustrophobic aesthetic of these eleven songs perfectly. Cold, distant, and challenging (with, perhaps ironically, an opening drone of a song called “Can’t You See” that is among its most opaque), the album lacks a song with the immediacy of a “Black Rice”. What it has instead are eleven dissonant songs full of buzzing feedback and obscured melodies that, after time to sink in, prove to be equally inspired as those on their debut.

MP3 :: Eyesore

MP3 :: Narrow With The Hall

(from Public Strain. Buy here)


[video] Antoine Dodson - "Bed Intruder Song"

I’m sorry if this is old news to you, but last week a friend of mine posted the above video on his Facebook page and I thought it was kind of hysterical – watched it a bunch of times and laughed my ass off over and over. I remember thinking that Antoine needs to be famous pronto. I mean, there’s reality television, and then there’s something like this that’s more real and better than any of it that sneaks onto some local news broadcast in Huntsville, AL.

Then earlier today my niece had the above “auto-tune” remix on her page, and, well, he might be on his way. Yes, it’s official. Auto-tune makes everything better, and Auto-Tune the News is onto something here. The story of Antoine Dodson has a happy ending – he’s an internet sensation, he has a t-shirt line, a friggin’ ringtone, and he’s back in business school:


[mp3] Perfume Genius - "Learning"

Lovely new song from Perfume Genius, whose debut Learning is available through Matador. By the way, anyone know what the folks at Matador have been up to lately? Seems kind of quiet around there…

MP3 :: Learning

(from Learning. Buy here)


David Shane Smith - Perfect Forms

This past summer David Shane Smith quietly released the follow up to last year’s excellent Cloud Pleaser. That album, in hindsight, seems like a culmination of Smith’s apocalyptic early work – a collection of 3 or 4 increasingly professional sounding recordings that focused on tales of urban and environmental decay. Perfect Forms finds the L.A.-based electro/folk songwriter focusing more attention, in his words, on the “social and spiritual and not so much about the surroundings or the physical.” The change of thematic direction is certainly welcome, as Smith proves to be a more versatile writer than he’s shown in a while (the few who’ve heard his homemade Love Songs collection are already in the know). Sonically, Perfect Forms once again balances avant-garde folk, harsh electro/noise, and stripped-down, programmed beats. “Creatures”, which wouldn’t sound out of place on a mid-90’s Bjork album, might be his most affecting song yet. On it he uses a simple organ riff, a chugging start/stop industrial beat, and one of his finest vocal performances yet to paint an evocative picture of nightlife on the dark L.A. streets. Though overall it’s a longer, denser, more challenging record than Cloud Pleaser, Perfect Forms nonetheless has numerous songs and moments that stand up to his best work. It’s another exciting step along the way from this ever-evolving outsider artist.

MP3 :: Creatures

MP3 :: Perfect Forms

MP3 :: Beach

(from Perfect Forms. Buy here)


[stream] The xx - "VCR" (Four Tet remix)

After releasing the gorgeous There Is Love In You last winter and a handful of truly excellent remixes since then, it’s safe to say that Four Tet is having a terrific year. Here he is again expanding The xx’s “VCR” into a blissful, starry-eyed 9-minute jam.

The xx - VCR (Four Tet remix) by Four Tet

Stream :: Love Cry
Stream :: Sing
(from There Is Love In You. Buy here)

MP3 :: Angel Echoes (Caribou Remix)

[video] Wolf Parade - "Yulia"

Wolf Parade "Yulia" from NORTH on Vimeo.

Wolf Parade’s Expo 86 never quite clicked with me as I’d hoped, but as usual (IMHO), the best songs belonged to Dan Boeckner. “Yulia” is one of them, and now it has a video that brings Boeckner’s evocative tale of a failed space mission to life. From director Scott Coffey – “During the Cold War at the beginning of the Space Age, the Soviet Union was rumored to have two space programs – one a public program, the other a secret ‘black’ one, in which dangerous and sometimes downright suicidal missions were attempted. Cosmonauts would be shot into orbit without the means or resources to get them home, stranded in an expanding orbit around earth, slowly pulling away, frozen in space for eternity.”

MP3 :: Ghost Pressure

(from Expo 86. Buy here)


[mp3] The Corin Tucker Band - "Doubt"

I’ve been meaning to mention this for a while but haven’t found the time. The Corin Tucker Band (99% sure there’s no relation to Marshall) will release 1,000 Years this week. This is certainly a welcome return to the scene for the former Sleater-Kinney singer and current stay-at-home mom. Have a listen to the charging “Doubt”, available as a free download through Kill Rock Stars, or go to NPR where you can still stream the whole wonderful thing.

MP3 :: Doubt

(from 1,000 Years. Buy here)


[mp3] Avey Tare - "Lucky 1"


Animal Collective’s Avey Tare will release his solo debut, Down There, on October 26 via Paw Tracks. Grab the first single, “Lucky 1”, below via Pitchfork.

MP3 :: Lucky 1

(from Down There. Info here)


Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest

Since 2007’s abrasive Cryptograms, Deerhunter have spent their time evolving from a noise band with severely obscured melodies into a pop-rock band with the occasional noise fetish. 2008’s brilliant Microcastle was a huge breakthrough for the band, capitolizing not on the promise of its predecessor, but on that of the pop-oriented Flourescent Grey EP, which was recorded as Cryptograms was being mixed and readied for release. Over this time Deerhunter leading man Bradford Cox, through both his primary band and the work of his solo project, Atlas Sound, transformed from a divisive online antagonist into one of indie-rock’s most fascinating figures. His obvious appreciation for the history of popular music, sincere love for creating and sharing his deeply affecting songs, and his very public maturation have positioned him as an artist with whom fans can identify with easily. Never has this been as apparent on Deerhunter’s latest, Halcyon Digest – a record that is at once the band’s most stripped-down, diverse, nostalgic, and personal.

There are a lot of nice things that I could say about the new record, but other sites have been eloquently spewing praise over Halcyon Digest for the past 2 or 3 weeks. I don’t have anything particularly unique to add to the discussion that hasn’t been better put in other places, so I’ll keep this brief. “Helicopter”, which had a video a few weeks back and has attracted a handful of remixes lately, is perhaps the record’s best song, but arguments can be made for a batch of the others as well. “Fountain Stairs” and especially the bristling “Coronado” feature shredding horn sections, the gorgeous guitar work on Lockett Pundt’s “Desire Lines” locks into a mesmerizing groove, and there are strong hints of 50s/ & 60s pop surfacing on “Revival” and “Basement Scene”. Overall, there’s not a weak moment – even the weary, sparse “Sailing” has melodies that stick. As No Age also did last week with Everything In Between, Deerhunter have made an album that shows one of indie-rock’s most inventive, exciting young bands growing up and producing a career high point. Halcyon Digest is another of 2010’s very best.

MP3 :: Revival

MP3 :: Helicopter (Star Slinger remix)

MP3 :: Helicopter (Diplo + Lunice remix)

(original “Helicopter” from Halcyon Digest. Buy here)