Thursday, December 27, 2012

Summerays

The last time that I checked in with Summerays, the solo man Luke Teeters' newly released single had me feeling nostalgic about my college life and the graduation of some of my good buddies. But that's what beach rock tends to do to me, instill some nostalgia, and Teeters is wonderful within this style of music.  In preparation for the release of his debut album, Summer Daze, Summerays has premiered yet another winner through the blog Start-track.  The leading single is called "Ahoy There!", and it's what you'd expect from an idea born in the sandy coasts by the water.  The short, sun-filled, feel good ditty is accompanied with another new song, "Sunshine", which has been released via a music video.  Have a listen to both below, and then visit Facebook for more information.  Bandcamp and SoundCloud also have some additional tracks from previous releases.  And remember!  Keep an eye out for Summer Daze, which will be released Bandcamp style on January 1, 2013 on a pay as you want basis.  Get ready!


Friday, December 21, 2012

CIRC

Ahhhh yes, the last Friday before the Christmas holiday week kicks in to full gear.  Well as the stress builds leading up the 25th and shopping crowds pack into malls like sardines, here's a little gem to help you take your mind off things.  "Fairy Flash", the new song from the French producer CIRC, is a hypnotic lullaby of sorts, attacking the seratonin receptors of the brain.  As the busy shopping times are upon us, let this cradle you in a blanket of warmth.  Head over to SoundCloud for some more tracks.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

EIMIC

EIMIC is a little tough to figure out; the band is currently located in Moscow, and as such a majority of their information is in Russian.  I can't speak the language, and I sure can't read it, so finding out about them is a little more difficult than usual.  With this in mind, here's what I am able to tell you: the group contains three members, they've released two LPs in the past (4 and Automatic Movements), and they've recently released a new song called "Illusion". Judging from their photos, it also seems like they've been around the block a few times, having already garnered a pretty steady following.  Their pictures display large, elaborate light shows complete with backdrops dedicated to their name, and seem to show that they've played in festivals that have attracted nice volumes of people.  I could see "Illusion" fitting that mold very well, for the sound is massive and ambitious.  Using some electronics to help their point, EIMIC (which stands for Everything Is Made In China) is able to create an arena-filling, atmospheric rock ballad that is driven home with distorted, fuzzy guitar licks.  Put on some nice headphones and you're in for an experience!  I've posted "Illusion" below, including the psychedelic music video if you're interested.  Afterward, check out more of their stuff on SoundCloud, with more info coming at you from TwitterFacebook, and their homepage.  Happy deciphering!


Work Drugs

The Philly glo-fi group Work Drugs has begun prepping music fans for their 2nd album, so consider yourselves lucky, because that means new songs.  Arriving in time before the apocalypse, the band has put out a new single in celebration of their two year anniversary, "Young Lungs".  At least now we have two days to enjoy it before the world ends.  "Young Lungs" contains a lot of what you would expect from Work Drugs; it's a smooth, synth-filled jam complete with their newfound tool, the sax.  The difference is that "Young Lungs" is one of their noisier, more complex tracks to date.  Here, you won't find much empty space, and it's nice to see that extra capacity being used.  As mentioned before, "Young Lungs" will appear on their sophomore album, which is slated for a 2013 release.  Have a listen to it below to get a first taste.  For more, you can visit their respective FacebookTwitterBandcamp, and SoundCloud pages.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

THAT WORK

Over the past couple of the weeks I've begun to realize that New York City's disco-infused group THAT WORK is one of the metro's best kept secrets.  Having only released three songs without an EP or album to their name, the band appears to be hidden with only 228 followers on SoundCloud and 390 likes of Facebook.  I am sure those numbers are going to skyrocket in the upcoming months, for these guys are just too good for them not to.  Their most recent song, "Act Like You Know", carries a synthy flare much in the same light as Holy Ghost!  When stripped to the bone, THAT WORK's material is indebted to older disco influences yet also finds ways to incorporate sounds that are much more relatable to the modern era.  "Act Like You Know" continues this pattern, coming across as an edgy, cutting jam that leaves the perfect amount of room for a dancing option. I've posted their new song "Act Like You Know" below, along with an older track entitled "Secret Lover".  Check out their SoundCloud for other songs and remixes, and then hit up Facebook for any extra info.  Enjoy!



Thursday, December 13, 2012

Hints

Drawing inspiration from bands like Tears For Fears, The Church, and Orange Juice, it didn't take much for me to imagine what kind of sound the Brooklyn band Hints were trying to go for. What I wasn't expecting was how well they were going to go about it.  Hints, a four-man group, is pretty new to the scene, having just released their first single Vol. 1 on November 20th. Despite this, the band has already displayed a wonderful sense of craftsmanship; they sound confident and self-assured about the style they're trying to achieve, putting out two songs that are consistent in the jangly, bass-heavy, upbeat new wave genre that dominated the '80s.  The first track on the single, "Ritual", even includes a wonderfully constructed guitar solo that sets up "Built a Church" quite fashionably.  The great thing about Vol. 1, though, is that it's not a exact replica of what you would expect from the era they're indebted to.  Hints are not about the overdone synths, the cheesy dream effects, or the corny lyrics, for at the base of it all they're a fantastic rock band as well, extending a welcoming hand even to those who may be turned off from the '80s no matter what the cost.  Check out "Ritual" and "Built a Church" below, and then head over to their Bandcamp to snag a free download.  For more info you can jump on over to Twitter or have a visit to their homepage.  Enjoy!



Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Potpourri of Pearls

Philadelphia's dance pop band Potpourri of Pearls writes the kind of music that makes your ears perk up.  Soaked with influences of disco and '80s-era synth pop, Potpourri of Pearls has a quirky style that is unusual in just about every aspect. Their debut album Why does Coco cry?, which came out in late November, will keep you guessing around every track.  Part of the reason for this is that their music contains dozens of elements and goes through a multitude of changes.  Just listen to "Shadow on My Shoulder"; at times the song seems void of sound, almost coming across as no-wave, while at other moments it's entrapped in a haze of atmospheric synths.  Sometimes it's a mix of both. At the very least I've got to give credit to them for experimenting, they've certainly created a unique, and oddly catchy, world within their album.  To get a hold of Why does Coco cry? you can head over to their Bandcamp.  You can also take a visit to their SoundCloudTwitterFacebook for more.  While you're doing that, take a listen to "Diamond Harbor" and "Shadow on My Shoulder" below.



Monday, December 10, 2012

Stumbleine

Stumbleine has been around for a while, dishing out beautiful atmospheric dream beats at a high rate since 2010.  Whether it be a single, EP, or full-length LP, Stumbleine has dominated the front page of Bandcamp's chillwave tag, partly due to the incredibly expedient distribution of material.  There has been so much, in fact, that a large majority of prior output has been removed from the internet, and yet there still remains an adequate pool to experiment with and listen to.  While I have not followed Stumbleine voraciously throughout this time, I must say that this year's new album, Spiderwebbed, is the most-developed and cohesive that I've heard so far.  I had always liked Stumbleine, but over time I began to feel he had fallen into a repeating run-of-the-mill chillwave sound, a common problem within the genre.  Spiderwebbed proves me wrong, putting my money where my mouth is; from start to finish we're treated to an inescapable dream-filled landscape of swirling electronics, the main element being the swirling, spacious synths that soar to striking heights.  Each track delivers its own charm, switching tempos and alternating tones, to give a remarkable listening experience.  He has also added subtle accents of dub beats, which have really paid off, presenting Spiderwebbed with a unique flare.  Enough of me, to actually listen to or buy the album take a visit to Bandcamp, and then head over to Facebook to show some love.  For a sneak peak I've posted three of my favorites below; "If You", "The Corner Of Her Eye", and "Kaleidoscope".  Enjoy!

If YouThe Corner Of Her EyeKaleidoscope

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

New Animal

Today I was introduced to the Atlanta-based duo New Animal, and while I might be a tad tardy on this one it's better late than never, right? The band consists of members Kris Hermstad and Derek Burdette, two dudes who have been buddies since their middle school days.  Despite all the years, they didn't collaborate musically until 2010, after which they put together three releases over the course of a year, including a self-titled debut.  The range in their songwriting is impressive, touching upon a multitude of genres and writing styles including kraut rock, lo-fi, and electronic expressions.  What caught my eye, though, was their most recent single "Falling Up", which came late this summer.  If this is the culmination of everything they've done then I can't wait to hear what comes next.  In an atmospheric haze of psychedelic pop, "Falling Up" is an emotional reflection on "the ability to let go", an idea that is captured using somber tones mixed with a high-pitched, brooding vocal track. Check it out below, then hit up their homepage or Facebook if you want to learn more. Spinner is offering a free download if you choose to use it.

 New Animal - Falling Up by Old Flame Records

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Beach Fossils

Don't you love it when your day gets off on the right foot?  I woke up today, quite unenthusiastically, expecting a day full of bullshit classes when all of a sudden I found out that Beach Fossils had announced a new album and single.  In one full swoop my day became much, much better.  With bassist John Pena involved in his solo act Heavenly Beat and lead guitarist Zachary Cole Smith doing his DIIV shindig the past year, I wasn't sure when this was going to happen.  Alas, the answer is here now; Clash the Truth will be released on February 19th, 2013 via the always brilliant Captured Tracks.  Along with the announcement they have also released the first single from the forthcoming LP entitled "Careless".  It's instantly recognizable as a Beach Fossils brainchild, utilizing carefree guitar riffs that glisten with every pluck.  The track is also drenched with lush atmospheres, indicating that we might see a bit of a divergence from their past work. Have a listen below, and then pick up your gift of a free download here.  Snag it while you can!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Hazy Mountains

Around a month ago I posted on the then new single, "New Wings", that was released as a compilation of Villa Kang and Hazy Mountains.  I had known about Villa Kang for quite some time prior as I had covered him on previous instances, but Hazy Mountains was a relatively new name to me.  I went to do a little investigative work and ended up downloading his second EP, Lapis Lazuli.  The days following this have been wonderful, and exploring his music has become quite a treat.  What really put me over the edge in helping me realize this was the last track "Window Vision", which I first heard while blasting in my car on a late night drive.  To fully appreciate this song, and much of his others, you've got to listen start to finish.  "Window Vision" is a perfect example of the never-ending sprawl Hazy Mountains tries to achieve, using soaring synths to set aside an expanse of dreamy spaces.  The wait, the growth, the build...it's all worthwhile.  Have a listen to "Window Vision" below, then be sure to head over to Bandcamp to grab it.  There, he is also offering a new album called Breeze, something I'll most definitely be checking out in the future.



Thursday, November 29, 2012

Foxtails Brigade

Gifted with a heavenly voice that floats comfortably on top of a beautiful construct of wistful guitars, it's no surprise that the main vocalist of Foxtails Brigade, Laura Weinbach, anchors the San Francisco band's new single "The Unloved".  The tracks comes off of the group's newly released album, Time Is Passed, which actually came out two days ago on November 27th.  "The Unloved" is a delicately put together piece of drifting strings, gently guiding each and every note along slowly.  The subtle picking, accented with drawn out violins and fragile percussion, creates the dreamy wash that looks at the "lonely and forsaken".  The end result is quite gorgeous, and is worth a listen even if just for Weinbach's mesmerizing voice.  I've posted an embed below for streaming with another track available on SoundCloud.  If you're looking for the album Time Is Passed, you can find it on their Bandcamp page.  For a free download of "The Unloved", all you have to do is hit the 'like' button their Facebook.  For more info, you can always make haste towards Twitter or their homepage.  Enjoy!

 The Unloved (Radio Edit) by FoxtailsBrigade

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

the night

It's hard to imagine that the Sydney band the night was once a solo project.  At this time the whole goal was recruiting guest musicians and having them appear on any future releases, which they did in 2008 with an EP. Now, the whole one-man band idea is a distant memory with six members making up the team.  Most recently they've been busy prepping their six track EP, i am, and say., for an early 2013 release, and their driving single is "Like This".  The track solidifies the group as a unit, not a solo endeavor; it's full of sounds that build up and crumble, spreading the strings over a three-and-a-half minute spectrum that simmers as it builds.  "Like This" also includes a tinge of melancholy, the emotion seeping through the empty spaces of the song, thus helping the band sound genuine and honest.  Check it out below, then hit up the SoundCloud and Facebook pages.  You can also visit their homepage, which is chock-full of info.

 the night - Like This by thenightishere

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Neeco Delaf

After a busy afternoon of running around, all I wanted to do was kick back with some music to calm my racing mind.  I was lucky, because Neeco Delaf's new release "Walking Alone" was just what I needed.  The song isn't entirely fresh, though; it appears on Delaf's debut album You Don't Know, which came out earlier this year on October 7th. The version that appears on the LP is largely instrumental, give or take a few whispered vocals, but this recent reenergized rendition incorporates the beautiful voice of Rubyrax, a musician from Toronto.  The addition is absolutely stunning, and it complements the slow, drawn-out beats of the original "Walking Alone".  The track is chill by most standards, giving you a legitimate reason to lay down with a good pair of headphones and close your eyes.  I feel like my brain is dripping with a tranquil serum.  I've posted "Walking Alone" below for you to find out for yourself, then be sure to head over to his SoundCloud for some extra songs.  You can also purchase You Don't Know over at Bandcamp with additional info over on Facebook.  You can snag a free download of the track here.  Enjoy!

 Neeco Delaf - Walking Alone (feat. Rubyrax) by Neeco Delaf

Monday, November 26, 2012

Last Lynx

So I come back from Thanksgiving break and amongst the e-mails I received in my past week of dormancy is one from the Swedish group Last Lynx. Lemme tell ya, the quintet from Stockholm hit it right on the mark...their new song is just what I wanted to hear to kick things back into the gear.  "Killing Switch" is the newest song to come from Last Lynx and the first original tune being released for about 11 months.  The track has instant likability, hooking the listener with a steady drum beat and infectious guitar lick.  The bass helps carry the song throughout its duration, aiding the edgy rhythm in cutting forward.  All in all "Killing Switch" is undeniably catchy, and it's sure to warrant multiple listens.  Have a listen to it below, then be sure to head over to their SoundCloud for more tracks and Facebook for more info on the band.

 Last Lynx - Killing Switch by LastLynx

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Mr. Moccasin

When it came to starting Mr. Moccasin, the duo that comprises the band has been quoted as saying that they wanted their music "to play with impossibilities and chance".  One doesn't need to look far to see why; lead singer Hanna Badalova was born in Baku, Azerbaijan where she developed an interest for poetry, a hobby that would act as a medium for telling the stories of her family fleeing genocide in pursuit of greener pastures in Baltimore.  It is here that she met Jared Fischer, who shared a passion for music and had actually been in a band for quite some time. Somehow, someway, despite starting their lives half a world away from each other, the two met.  Chance; it's what Mr. Moccasin was born from.  While this isn't an entirely uncommon occurrence in the world I mention it because it's important to the band's identity, and it shines through in the group's new single "Black On Black".  Coming from the forthcoming album XAHA, the track is an adventurous dive into the use of atmospheric, guitar-driven rhythms.  "Black On Black" draws a line between rock, folk, and punk, incorporating such styles and sounds without putting too many cards into one genre, instead coming across as universal.  Still, utilizing these aspects Mr. Moccasin is able to create a unique quality that sounds as equally ambitious as it does genuine. Considering their history, anything else would be a surprise.  Check out "Black On Black" below, and then be sure to grab the song for free over on Bandcamp.

Black On Black

Monday, November 12, 2012

Josh Kumra

If there is one thing that can be said about Josh Kumra's new single "Waiting For You", it's that his inspiration for the song comes from a wide array of origins.  He uses his raspy vocals to accentuate the underlying blues, acoustic, and rock tones that serve as the foundation.  As "Waiting For You" builds along its path, Kumra creates drum beats and guitar licks that appear to lurch forward in an attempt to escape the speakers its caged in.  The accumulation of these separate elements creates a unique and catchy song, one that makes it clear why he has been growing in popularity across the pond in the U.K.  "Waiting For You" is the first track available to hear from Kumra's upcoming album, which doesn't have a title or official release date yet.  Still, if anything "Waiting For You" clearly displays Kumra's songwriting potential, and will certainly get a majority of people excited to hear the full LP. Stream the track below, then be sure to make some visits to his FacebookTwitter, and SoundCloud.

 Josh Kumra - Waiting For You by JoshKumra

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Backlights

Sometimes it's just nice to get lost in the wash of breezy, jangly guitars and cavernous vocals that comprise the dream pop genre.  The instrumentation has a funny way of lifting the listener skyward, suspended along a journey, until the song gently places us back on solid ground. "Location", the current single from the Brooklyn band Backlights, follows a similar methodology. Starting with slow and delicate guitar picking, "Location" begins to take off near the middle of the song, introducing us to busier noises and more enthused vocals.  The build of energy pulls us in, bringing the listener through a wonderfully serene sonic voyage.  The track comes to us off of the newest EP by the band, High Ceiling Nice Fiction, which was released earlier this year on October 20th.  As of now, Bandcamp is offering "Location" as the singular stream on the EP with other songs available for purchase (as well as the EP, obviously).  I've posted "Location" below, so be sure to check it out, and afterward you can find out more by visiting their Facebook or Twitter.  Dig it!

Location

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Work Drugs

The Philly boys are at it again!  Work Drugs, the glo-fi outift that has steadily increased their popularity over the past couple of years, is out with a new single entitled "Beyond Greenpoint". Singing about the life outside of "micro-bloggers, designer dogs, and high priced haircuts", the new song slows down the tempo and adds their smoothest saxophone to date.  This time around, Work Drugs is coming at you with a little bit of charity as well.  Over on eBay, the band is offering up one test pressing of their new album Delta, which is only one of four copies in existence.  The best part is that 50% of the proceeds go to the Hurricane Sandy Red Cross Fund, a worthy cause in light of the recent storm.  What's more is that Work Drugs has also released a music video to go along with the new track, it's a video collage produced by the Italian artist Marco Scago.  I've posted the video and audio stream below with an available download located on their SoundCloud.  For anyone interested in seeing the band live, they have two shows coming up; one on December 8th in Philadelphia at Ortlieb's Lounge and another at the Glasslands in Brooklyn on December 22nd.  Be sure to check it out!


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Villa Kang & Hazy Mountains

It's been a while since we've heard from Villa Kang, with approximately six months separating his newest single, "New Wings", from his last, "Touch of Evil".  In whatever he has released, Villa Kang has done a great job of allowing atmosphere to seep into his songs.  Even way back on "Hallucinating Arkansas" we feel a sense of space, like his synths are trying ever so hard to break free from the room.  The newest track finds the Toronto producer refining these ideas, and teams up with German musician Hazy Mountains to do so.  The matching is ideal, the glo-fi oriented ambient Hazy Mountains complements the need for Villa Kang's cavernous melodies.  To tie it all together, "New Wings" has a fluttering chorus that acts as both unique and familiar, like something you've heard before that you can't quiteeeee put your finger on.  The song is available for streaming below, but you can head over to Kang's SoundCloud for a download.  He also has Twitter and Facebook.  For more on Hazy Mountains, be sure to visit BandcampFacebook, or SoundCloud.  Enjoy!

 Villa Kang & Hazy Mountains - New Wings by Hazy Mountains

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Aves

A lot of times I get the feeling that garage rock gets misrepresented as being dirty or grungy, and occasionally I get the sense it's a personal attack on a genre I respect so much.  Clearly, that's not the case, and every once in a while I have to remind myself of that.  The Aves, a Brooklyn-based quartet, have helped to further prove this fact with the release of their sophomore Anywhere Else EP. Indebted to older garage acts, The Aves carry that influence and yet are able to morph it into a clean, jangly style.  "In Vogue", the stand out track on Anywhere Else, exhibits the group's ability to tap into a pop-oriented mindset and churn out unique, melodious, and addicting rhythms.  Here, you will find no dirt or grunge, but instead an infectious garage rock tune that warrants one's attention.  Check it out below, and then head over to their page at Mirador Records for a download of the EP.  Happy weekends everyone!

 The Aves - In Vogue by Mirador Records

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Dumbo Gets Mad

It was around a year ago that I found myself heavily invested in Elephants At the Door, the wonderful debut LP from the Italian group Dumbo Gets Mad, which for a while served as the provider for my psychedelic cravings.  The opening sax line of "Plumy Tale" still manages to bring a huge smile on my face, partly because its simplicity usually leaves me wondering why no one had come up with it before.  It all seemed so simple!  But then, just like that, they seemed to disappear off the face of the earth.  I heard no news, they didn't hint at any albums, and I never saw new songs.  Yet, today is another day, and just as easily as they vanished they're back on the radar.  Today, the band announced on their Facebook page the release of a new song "Radical Leap", which serves as the first single off of their forthcoming album in 2013 (date and title still known).  For lovers of bubbly, fun, and slightly quirky '60s psychedelic rock, "Radical Leap" is right up your alley.  If it's any indication of what the album will be like, I think we can expect to see them tap even more into their oldies roots, incorporating a baroque pop sensibility that wasn't quite there prior.  I might as well dress you up in a tie-dye tee, throw a headband on and sprinkle on some sunshine dust.  "Radical Leap" streaming below, so go give it a looksy!

 Dumbo Gets Mad - Radical Leap by Bad Panda Records

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Big Tree

Around this time last year, Big Tree was preparing to release their sophomore LP This New Year complete with the addition of a new vocalist and drummer.  Adding the two brought the band count to 5, which made their move out west more of a commitment.  Drawn to the allure of northern California, the group ditched their Brooklyn lives believing that the move westward was necessary for the evolution of the band.  A year later, and here we sit awaiting the release of their new Little EP (due November 16th), a work Big Tree claims pays homage to how California re-directed and re-inspired their sound.  To get into even more detail, the concepts that make up the lead single "Time" are extracted from "the band's altered perception of time on the road", as well as the nostalgia associated with relocating and the excitement of the unknown.  Beautifully voiced by Kaila McIntyre-Bader, "Time" is an amiable and breezy indie pop jam with slick guitars and catchy melodies, making Little an EP to get excited about.  Check out "Time" below, with a download available at SoundCloud.  There is also more to look at in their Facebook and Twitter pages.  Have a happy and safe Halloween everyone!

 Time by BigTree

Friday, October 26, 2012

Fou

Earlier this summer I was introduced to the brothers that comprised the duo MadrĂ s.  They had just come out with their debut album Things Can Change, and what impressed me most was what they did with so little.  Quiet and fragile, the buoyant guitar licks made you feel as though you were floating.  That's why when I heard those same brothers also played in a band called Fou, I was eager to hear what they were all about.  Not surprisingly, the product is fantastic and beautiful. The idea is similar, on Fou's 2-song release Boy the group plays with space, manufacturing ethereal dreamscapes that are both calming and engaging. The set up is also minimal, utilizing your basic guitar-bass-drum trio of instruments. Upon first listen, I likened them to the slowcorers Galaxie 500, another group who stripped down to the fundamental arrangement, succeeding wonderfully.  The main difference between Boy and Things Can Change is that Boy includes much more texture. Piercing guitar slides tend to break the silence much more so than in their previous work, giving the release a gazey feel.  It's great music, and definitely worth a couple of listens.  Plus it's a free download, they're basically handing awesome to you on a golden platter.  I've placed both songs from Boy, "Colour Me In" and "Don't You Know?", below for your listening pleasure.  Afterward, be sure to hit up Bandcamp to snag it.

Colour Me In
Don't You Know?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Colleagues

One of the freshest bands to come to us from Scandinavia is the blossoming Colleagues, who formed earlier this summer.  So far we've only been treated to "Parents' House", which is unfortunate, because afterward you'll only be longing for more.  The debut single is a wonderfully youthful and energetic electropop jam, synths from all angles are constantly jabbing at you in light-hearted fun.  The song really seeks to touch your inner adolescent, just the name "Parents' House" infers an escape to the teenage years.  What really makes the song whole, though, is the implied romance embedded within the lyrics.  The juvenile, innocent fling between the lead and the girl is perfectly relatable, and as the song continues you almost believe that you're flirting with her too. If not, then at least you want to be.  I'm sure she's gorgeous.  I've posted "Parents' House" below for you to listen, and if you would like to follow Colleagues as they continue their quest, you can follow them on Facebook or SoundCloud.  They also have a homepage you can view.  Happy Thursdays!

 Parents' House by Colleagues

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Joel Hood

It's fascinating to see two artists who you respect somehow morph into one singular unit.  What's even better is when that end result is awesome. Take for example Joel Hood, whose gentle electronic arrangements would sound pleasing to just about anyone, and match him with Astronauts, etc., who specializes in comfortable and melodic dream pop.  All you need to do is look at it on paper to see that the pairing is ideal.  Well, around two months ago Astronauts, etc. released "Mystery Colors", his heavenly debut single that seemed to excite the blogosphere.  As we fast forward to the present, Joel Hood has remixed his own wonderful rendition of the hit track.  Still equally as tranquil, Hood's remix lowers the focus on the original's drifting synths and replaces them with his own delicate electronic accents.  You can stream the song below, with a free download as well as other pieces of work available on SoundCloud.  You can also visit his Facebook or Twitter.  One more thing, keep an eye out on November 8th when Hood will make his own "Teardrops" available for free download on Bad Panda Records. Enjoy!

 Mystery Colors (J.Hood Remix) by Joel Hood

Blue Boats

In early September of this year, the U.K. film student Oliver Gale graced us with the wonderful single "Summer's Down", a song that made the transition from summer to fall much more bearable.  Now, Gale has released his newest single entitled "I Am The Only One", a slow-burning ballad bursting with emotion. Whereas previous tracks were more jovial, his new track flexes his songwriting capabilities, putting his melancholy styles on display.  In-between his verses, Gale unleashes high-pitched bellows, indicating what seems to be a cry for help.  In the forefront the lines "you have done enough" are on repeat, exhibiting a sense of anger and sadness.  Yet, towards the end we're treated to an uplifting guitar riff, an infectious rhythm which lifts us from the doldrums and instills hope in the future.  All and all it's a wonderful piece of music, and one that should snag the interest of previous Blue Boats fans.  You can listen to the new "I Am The Only One" below, then be sure to take a visit to his Facebook and Twitter.

 I Am The Only One by Blue Boats

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Trails and Ways

So it has happened, the moment I've been eagerly waiting for has arrived.  Ever since I heard their song "Mtn Tune" earlier this summer, the Oakland band Trails and Ways has been one of my favorite emerging acts as of late.  I felt this was only proven further when they released their Sure Thing EP, a compilation of wonderfully executed covers.  Around this time they promised more material would be on its way soon, a vow which has been fulfilled today.  "Border Crosser" is the first original track they've made since "Mtn Tune", and it's pretty significant considering that it represents the leadoff single from their debut full-length album, Trilingual.  This is our first glimpse at how Trails and Ways is going to fit their lush dream pop styles into a conglomerate, a consistent and fitting conceptual whole. We won't know the complete details until Trilingual drops early next year (exact date still unknown), but from "Border Crosser" we can gather that the band is in touch with their opinions, utilizing music as a medium to put forth their ideals.  Inspired by one member's grandparent's journey to California, we are carried on a melodious voyage that hints at sacrifice and the importance of family.  On "Border Crosser" their verdict is clear: love for one another doesn't, and shouldn't, know any boundaries.  With such meaning defined in the history it's obvious this song is important to them, and as such it would make sense that a statement piece like this symbolizes the kickstart of their first ever LP, the beginnings of their voyage.  I've posted "Border Crosser" below for you to listen to, with a free download available here.  All you need to do is like their Facebook page.  You can also follow them on Twitter, with additional streams at SoundCloud.

 Border Crosser (free download) by TRAILS AND WAYS

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Lazyeyes

Today the Brooklyn quartet Lazyeyes played in their first CMJ showcase, an honor that is deserved for the young band and their well-crafted version of indie rock.  So far we've only been treated to two tracks off their debut EP (which should be released in a month or so), but I've seen a sizable enough sample to declare my excitement for their future.  Lazyeyes sound strangely unique, mixing together elements of fast-paced alternative, guitar-driven punk, and subdued lo-fi.  I'm having trouble figuring it out, which could be part of the reason for my interest in them.  There is a tinge of beachy infusion, something most notably present in "Nostalgia", a beautiful song that rides the same groove Beach Fossils have been fantastic at producing.  The riff that propels the tune is high-pitched and clean while the vocals are blanketed in a film of dreamy fuzz, extending a hand out to those keen on surf rock.  Their other track, "Forever", is similar, except appears to be slightly more complex and slightly more inspired by punk rock.  Either way, both are intriguing examples of summer rhythms, despite the fact they may not appear as such at first glance.  I've posted "Nostalgia" and "Forever" below, so be sure to listen to those. Afterward, feel free to browse their Bandcamp and Facebook.




Tuesday, October 16, 2012

N8 ST9

The last time we heard from N8 ST9 was over the summer when he had just released his debut song "Shooting Star".  The best way to describe it is a hypnotic journey that drifts in and out of wobbly synth lines and drum beats, the kind of music I would find in the soundtrack to one of my dreams.  N8 ST9's newest song "Impact", posted yesterday, has once again sent me into a daze. Although not as long as "Shooting Star", "Impact" packs a punch into its 5:52 duration.  This time around, N8 ST9 diminishes the use of the synth in replacement of grandiose orchestral elements. To set the tone, he implements a calming vocal track that alternates between himself and guest contributor Sarah Rose.  About a minute in the track really begins to take flight, introducing the powerful backbeat that sets the foundation for the soaring string section.  To have a taste of "Impact", all you need to do is click the play button below.  For more on his work you can always visit SoundCloud, although he has also been known to dabble in Facebook and Twitter.

 Impact by N8 ST9

Monday, October 15, 2012

Work Drugs

One of the hardest working bands out there, and one that has become a favorite here at Audio Splash, is the Philadelphia "glo-fi" group called Work Drugs.  For a few years now they have been putting out new material at a constant rate, always leaving their fans with a fresh array of music.  Single after single, EP after EP, album after album, I just can't say I've ever left disappointed.  So it shouldn't come as a surprise that as the hype surrounding their most recent full-length, Absolute Bearing, is starting to wind down, a new track has been dropped on us.  It's called "Tigerbeats" and it comes to us off of the band's forthcoming album, Delta, which is due out later this November on Bobby Cahn Records.  The song was written about a recent night of debauchery at Philly's infamous Barbary indie dance party, which I'm guessing (and hoping) was a great time.  To enter into their world of smooth, hypnotic, feel-good synth atmospheres, you can take a listen below.  You can then hit up SoundCloud or Bandcamp for a free download with Twitter and Facebook available for more info.  Don't forget to keep an eye out for Delta later this November!

 Tigerbeats by Work Drugs

ON AN ON

It wasn't too long ago that the Chicago trio ON AN ON was a quintet in the form of Scattered Trees, a band which wasn't afraid implement common pop tendencies into their releases.  Shortly after the release of their album Sympathy, two members flew the coop earlier this year, thus leaving the remaining three with a decision to either disband or continue onward.  The choice was to move forward, and what birthed from this verdict was ON AN ON's first single "Ghosts".  Everything that you might expect from Scattered Trees seems to have been ditched in their new material; "Ghosts" is a slow-burning dream pop masterpiece, taking sparse percussion swings a la Beach House and overlapping them with raw, poignant strumming in a style that would make Modest Mouse proud.  Initially these elements appear out of place, lacking a particular flow or direction, only to coalesce into a fitting conglomerate of beautiful dream atmospheres and varying textures.  The build up alone is worth raving about, for the melodies that reveal themselves throughout the song's duration are quite memorable.  "Ghosts" comes off of the forthcoming debut album for ON AN ON, which is set to hit the market on January 29th of next year.  In the words of the group, the album will be a "dream-washed textural journey armed with a biting perspective on life, love, and the commonality of loss".  Well, don't need to twist my arm.  You can take a gander at the brand-spankin' new video for "Ghosts" below with the SoundCloud audio underneath that.  Be sure to hit up their Facebook for some more info.  Enjoy!


Thursday, October 11, 2012

NO CEREMONY///

Since the band's beginning, NO CEREMONY/// has been somewhat of a mysterious entity.  Coming to prominence in late 2011, the group released a series of original tracks and remixes online that won major approval in the eyes of the blogosphere.  Diplo and Ellie Goulding even delivered their praise.  At this point no one had any idea who the band members were, and it didn't help that they had never performed live. NO CEREMONY/// let people wallow in their curiosity until May 18th this year when they finally performed live for the first time.  They haven't slowed down, playing alongside the likes of Alt-J and earning slot times at music festivals spread out over Europe.  The momentum is continuing with the release of their new single, "FEELSOLOW".  The track is an electronic piece that rewards frequent listens; at first glance we're led to believe it's a sappy electro-piano ballad with altered reworked vocals reminiscent of James Blake, except the song proves to be different.  We're treated to a slow build-up of layers, including a more pronounced drum beat as time goes on.  Halfway through the song though, the floodgates open and we're bombarded with a wash of synths, keyboards, and other electronic assemblies.  If the whole track was like its second half, it may have even been considered dance music. It's an intriguing piece, and is one that has a strange allure to it.  I've posted the music video below for your viewing pleasure with a free SoundCloud download under that if your heart desires it.  To enter further into their mystical world, take a visit to their homepage.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Tame Impala

A funny thing happened to me a few days ago. Strangely enough, I found myself listening to Lonerism over and over again on repeat. Then, on a whim I purchased Tame Impala concert tickets in a city hours from where I live.  After that I had a curious urge to go online and buy a Tame Impala shirt, followed by some vinyl. Speaking as an addict be forewarned, if you decide to pick up this album (which you totally should), you will find yourself digging deeper and deeper into a black hole of obsession.  Now, I know that I am a mere blogger, but holy smokes these guys have not failed to amaze me around every corner.  Lonerism, their sophomore record, is just as good if not better than the stunningly awesome InnerSpeaker.  They've achieved the same level of psychedelic adrenaline, dug deeper into their '60s roots, and in doing so have claimed throne to the hallucinatory rock reign. The best part about Tame Impala though is that their music goes way deeper than being a Jimi Hendrix imitator; on Lonerism Kevin Parker has proven that he can create original melodies and wandering bass lines that sound ultra fresh.  It's a marvel to behold.  I've posted a favorite, "Mind Mischief", below for you to indulge in.  After that, well...I don't need to say anything else, I'm sure you'll be hooked after listening.

 Tame Impala - Mind Mischief by snawn

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Balto

This past spring the folk group Balto released their debut album called October's Sky, which is based on lead singer Daniel Sheron's experiences of when he abandoned his life in Moscow and went alone into Siberia. It's an incredible story, and it's the same guy who turned out to have jam sessions with his band outside their local library and achieve the name "The Assholes Outside the Library".  In my opinion, that means you're doing something right.  Such would appear to be the case, especially with the release of Balto's Monuments EP which came out last month.  If their jams sounded like this, I don't see how anyone could call them assholes.  Monuments is a piece of folk beauty, employing a wide range of string instruments like guitars, mandolins, banjoes, accordions, and upright bass.  The harmony between all of them blend wonderfully to add a tinge of country to an already easily accessible and interesting folk-driven EP. That's not even mentioning Sheron's vocals, which carry the tunes along effortlessly. I've posted two of my favorite songs below from Monuments, "Gravestones" and "Doves", so be sure to take a listen to those.  Afterwards, their Bandcamp has the rest of the EP, with Facebook and Twitter offering more info.  There is also a main homepage you can run over to.  Dig it up!

Gravestones 
Doves 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Melt Mountain

From the very start with the release of The Midget Party EP in March of 2011, the Greek band Melt Mountain has hovered atop a three-way intersection of psychedelic, dream, and ambient pop.  Rarely flexing the vocal cords, Melt Mountain depends on an intriguing mix of instrumental samples and loops to manufacture dreamy, sometimes trippy, and experimental tracks. And so far, that's all we've gotten a taste of; tracks. The group has yet to release an LP, instead putting out a steady stream of singles and EPs. Their newest release, the "Blossom Dream/Painted Root" single which came out today, is no different.  Both songs fit in perfectly with Melt Mountain's previous work, yet attack at different angles, setting the new single as a prime example of their diversified and exciting portfolio.  The base of "Blossom Dream" is comprised of a beach-like guitar loop, a sedated riff that could appear in a '70s surf video.  Backed by spacious "ooos" and "ahhhs", "Blossom Dream" presents Melt Mountain's breezy, laid-back nature.  "Painted Root" is clearly the psychedelic and experimental counterpart, sounding a little darker and utilizing cloudy synths that come across as more drug-induced. There is no indication of whether these songs will go towards a new album, but they're well worth the listen regardless.  I've posted everything below for your listening pleasure, and if you like what you hear head over to Bandcamp for more offerings of their older material (there is a SoundCloud, although with a limited collection).  Facebook and Twitter are provided as social media.  Enjoy!

 Melt Mountain - Blossom Dream by Melt Mountain

 Melt Mountain - Painted Root by Melt Mountain

Friday, October 5, 2012

Peking Duk

For this Friday's post I'll keep it short and sweet so you guys can go on your merry way for the weekend.  And!  Since we're on the topic of weekends, I think it's a fair assumption to say that everyone has heard/danced/partied to the worldwide hit "We No Speak Americano".  At least I know when I was studying abroad I couldn't enter a bar or club without hearing it three or more times.  I can thank DCUP and Yolanda Be Cool for that, the makers of the dance wonder.  Well now Peking Duk, who I've written about prior, has done a remix of DCUP's new song "I'm Corrupt".  This follows a series of remixes that Peking Duk has completed, and is one that will surely get your Friday moving.  Go ahead and stream it below, then check out SoundCloud for more offerings.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Team Genius

Well, that was a hell of a lot of fun to listen to.  A few days ago the Brooklyn based group Team Genius had an EP Release Day in preparation for the follow-up New York Songs, their forthcoming album.  During the Release Day Team Genius uncorked three separate EPs of varying themes; Whiskey Songs, Pop Songs, and Loud Songs, an ambitious project that covers a lot of ground.  The EPs work though, they're full of character and they stick true to their intended personalities.  As you would imagine, each one has a different feel to it.  Whiskey Songs has a dated novelty and carries a sense of camaraderie, the aesthetic of which sounds like Titus Andronicus.  Loud Songs is...well, louder; the tempos are faster, the reverb a little rougher, and the vocals more projected.  Alternatively, Pop Songs is conventional, containing the melodies and styles the average listener is more associated with.  They may be distinct, but if there is one element that ties all of them together it's friendship and teamwork.  The EPs honestly sound like a blast, like Team Genius had the best time making them.  That sense of fun and creativity really shines through on each release.  I've posted some of my favorites below, and one from each EP: "I Wouldn't Change A Thing" from Whiskey Songs, "All Ours" from Loud Songs, and "Love and Love Songs" from Pop Songs.  As awesome as these are, don't forget about November 6th when the New York Songs LP drops.  You can stream the remaining tracks over at their label's SoundCloud, and if you want more on the band both Facebook and Twitter will do just fine.

 Team Genius - I Wouldn't Change A Thing by Paper Garden Records

 Team Genius - All Ours by Paper Garden Records

 Team Genius - Love and Love Songs by Paper Garden Records

Mt. Wolf

If there were a better word to describe the London quartet Mt. Wolf than 'ethereal', I would use it.  But alas, such a descriptor is non-existent; with gossamer vocals, angelic harmonies, sweeping strings, and deep bass embedded in the music they make, how could there possibly be a more perfect adjective?  The evidence gathered for this conclusion comes from their Life Size Ghosts EP, a 4-song assemblage that exhibits all of Mt. Wolf's heavenly qualities.  The term that they've come to describe it as is "dreamfolk", which just so happens to fit them ideally.  One element to Life Size Ghosts that surprised me were the pronounced beats that appeared out of no where in some of the songs.  In one full swoop they're able to turn a dreamy wash into what sounds like a soulful downtempo track, perhaps along the lines of a darker How to Dress Well.  Either way, Life Size Ghosts is well worth a listen for curious ears, and the good news is that it is streaming over at SoundCloud now, so be sure to have a gander at it.  For more information you can visit the band's Twitter or Facebook.  Below is "Cry Wolf", which comes directly off the EP.

 Cry Wolf by Mt. Wolf