Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Terracotta Blue

I think one of the most impressive things about Terracotta Blue is the consistency in which he is able to put out new music.  Ever since I've subscribed to his new releases on Bandcamp there has been a bombardment of e-mails.  The previous time I wrote a post on him was last December, and since then he has put out like, what....26 EPs?!  I can't keep up!  To add to how impressive he is, it should also be noted that the music he releases is actually very good, and conditions are no different on his Skylines EP (which came out today).  Skylines is the product of a mix of various genres and styles of music, in it we see chillwave, electronic, and downtempo influences.  Parts of it are even a little glitchy, an approach that he seems to have been using more frequently as of late.  I've posted two songs, "Nature" and "32nd Floor" below.  If you like them you can hit up both Bandcamp and SoundCloud for streams and downloads (he loves givin' away the freebies).  Facebook is also good.

 Nature by Terracotta Blue

 32nd Floor by Terracotta Blue

N8 ST9

I'm not exactly sure what N8 ST9's intention was when making his new single "Shooting Star", but what I can tell you is that he sends you on a spacey, 7-and-a-half minute expedition through all kinds of music formats.  The Santa Cruz native says that he came up with the song after a spiritual awakening, and that this is his true sound.  So what is that sound?  It begins as a spacious, almost minimalistic, piano ballad that simply seems to float aimlessly in existence.  We're then strapped down with the introduction of a more pronounced drum beat, followed by a wobbly synth that drifts in and out with a mind of its own.  In a strange way it is beautifully melodic, and undeniably hypnotizing.  Then it's almost halfway through the song that we're given a dose of lyrics, which precedes a build-up to what sounds like a dance anthem.  To say the least, it wasn't what I was expecting.  Luckily, it doesn't get too out of hand that it loses the base character of the track.  I don't think I've heard anything quite like this in a long time, and if nothing else it's inarguably creative and definitely interesting.  Either way, I enjoyed it very much, and I'm excited to hear what comes next in his repertoire.  After taking a listen below, you can reap the benefits of a free download at his SoundCloud.  You can further show him some love by visiting his Facebook or Twitter.

 Shooting Star by N8 ST9

Monday, July 30, 2012

Father Sculptor

As discussed in my previous post about Father Sculptor, the band has announced that it will release a song every fortnight throughout the summer.  Yes, it's an ambitious task, but it's one that they've been keeping up.  The latest they've put out is "Aristide", which is a great study on fun and transforming guitars, an attribute which probably influenced NME to relate them to The Smiths.  "Aristide" is a little more sunny and bright than the previous "Frances", which took on a bit of a darker tone.  I've posted the stream for "Aristide" below, which will be offered as a free download on August 13th.



Trails and Ways

Hailing from the great state of California, the Oakland natives that comprise Trails and Ways have officially released the follow-up to their successful debut single "Nunca".  Their new effort, "Mtn Tune", follows much in the footsteps as its predecessor, putting forth laid-back guitar licks on a faster, uptempo backdrop. One thing that Trails and Ways adds to "Mtn Tune" is the emphasis on female vocals, which flow perfectly with the rest of the song. When putting it all together, "Mtn Tune" functions beautifully to coexist with summer chill sessions, beach drives, or just about any kind of get together you can think of.  Obviously, it's great to listen to solo as well.  I've posted a stream of "Mtn Tune" below, so be sure to check that out.  You can grab a download of it at SoundCloud, and after you've done that you can 'like' them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.  Go do what you gotta do.

 Mtn Tune by TRAILS AND WAYS

Friday, July 27, 2012

Cruiser

Cruiser is the solo project of Philadelphia native Andy States, who started his work in a walk-in closet.  It's from these demos that he caught the interest of Jeremy Park, who produced Youth Lagoon's wonderful The Year of Hibernation.  As a result, he offered to produce State's EP, which ended up being the Cruiser EP that was released on May 28th of this year.  As it has been stated, the purpose of Cruiser is to make you feel good, and with summery, beachy melodies embracing the whole release, it's hard not to have a smile on your face.  The friendly guitar lines and giddy rhythms are easy to soak up, making the 6-song EP an absolute delight to get through. Something else that will make you smile is that the EP is offered at a name-your-price basis at Bandcamp, so head over there and grab that.  For a sneak peak at what he has to offer, I've put the opener "The Fritz" below to check out.  Enjoy everyone!



Lonsdale Boys Club

To follow up a recent Lonsdale Boys Club post, as well as a more recent Twin Shadow post, I figured it'd be best to fuse the two together.  In preparation for their new single on September 2nd, "Ready To Go", and their debut album after that on September 10th, Lonsdale Boys Club has put out a remix to Twin Shadow's "Golden Light", the opening track off of Confess.  To describe it in simplest terms, the mix is just what you would expect if "Golden Light" was intended to be a club track from the beginning.  For those who are fans of Twin Shadow, there is probably something you can take away from this. Have a listen to it below, and then don't be hesitant to hit up the SoundCloud for a free download.

 Twin Shadow - Golden Light (Lonsdale Boys Club Remix) by Lonsdale Boys Club

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Coasta

One of the EPs I've been I've been listening to a lot recently is the self-titled debut Coasta, which would obviously be by the band Coasta.  For a start-up band (one that formed this year) the production quality on Coasta is incredible; it's extremely clean and easy to hear, a characteristic which doesn't get much credit when it's there but is terribly noticeable when not.  Besides this technicality, Coasta does an incredibly good job of fusing genres to create a unique ambiance. First and foremost they're indie rock, but there are also folk, pop, and alternative undertones that aid in keeping everything feeling new and fresh.  From start to finish, Coasta manages to hook you and carry the listener through its duration without feeling bored or cheated on your time.  To get a hand on the EP, you can visit their Bandcamp, and for any further information you can head over to their Facebook.    "The Slide" and "Young Blood", two cuts from Coasta, posted below. Hit it up!




Aylen

In early March I had the pleasure of writing up on Aylen, who had just completed a remix on Distantt's "Infinity".  I instantly fell for the track, as did my friends who I played it for at parties and the like. Today he has officially released a new single "On Fire", which comes in EP format when the remixes of it are included.  The track "On Fire" has been in Aylen's arsenal for quite some time now, but it was used exclusively for his live performances.  He has said that this song was actually his "secret weapon", but that it was about time to make it available to the public.  So there ya have it folks, the secret is out!  "On Fire" categorizes itself nicely with Aylen's lineup; obviously it's very uptempo, intended to move your feet, and includes all aspects that make great moombahthon, including plenty of "hype vocals, bass, and laser sounds".  I've posted the original below, as well as my favorite remix of the collection, by Xristo.  Stream them below, but then head over to SoundCloud to get all of them permanently secured onto your hard drive.  More on Aylen can be found here, and likewise for Xristo here.  Happy Thursday ya'll!

 Aylen - On Fire (Original Mix) by Aylen

 Aylen - On Fire (Xristo Remix) by Aylen

The Other Tribe

I was lucky enough to be hit up this afternoon by The Other Tribe, a group from Bristol, who put out a remix of their song "Skirts" by Don Diablo.  If the original didn't have enough dance motion to it, Don Diablo certainly made the cut with his injection of dubstep flare.  The main basis of the song remains similar, but the breakdown is totally different.  Both work well for summer bangers, and I myself look forward to drinking underneath the beats of both versions.  I've posted the two of them below, so go ahead and have a look!

Skirts by The Other Tribe

Twin Shadow

As all of you are probably aware by now, Twin Shadow has officially released his sophomore album Confess to some very good reviews. While I don't feel like it has quite the hook that Forget did, it's still incredibly well-done and will certainly place high on my year end list.  It's evident in Confess that he's trying something new, pushing for new ideas and new atmospheres.  A lot of the time he's successful, as a whole Confess comes across as more jagged and rough, not always as smooth or groovy as Forget.  Anyway, I'm sure if you're reading this you've probably already heard it, and if not I am confident you will soon.  I just wanted to show some love for what has become one of my favorite songs this year, and may honestly be my favorite Twin Shadow song ("I Can't Wait" being the competition) of all-time, "Beg For The Night".  So here you are, enjoy!


Beg For The Night

Daddy Lion

While Logic and Ableton may take the cake when it comes to advanced music production software, it's still possible to put out high quality material with the free program Garageband.  How do I know this?  Experience; I've listened to Daddy Lion's debut album Habitat, which was recorded using the software in a bedroom in Columbia, South Carolina. The collection is a well put together conglomerate of social criticisms and self-confessions, all to the tune of some wonderfully crafted melodies and sophisticated textures.  Habitat puts forth an obvious lo-fi feel to it, which to me is a genre that helps add intimacy to music.  This mainly establishes the atmosphere though, the style of songwriting is much more indebted to '90s alternative rock, and even some indie rock from that time period (a lot of which is actually lo-fi).  All in all though, through this release it seems as though Daddy Lion is looking for some answers, some kind of revelation about the world.  "I am a driver out upon an alien road, I follow signs that lead me to a place I do not know" is sung in "The Driver", while we hear "In a quiet town, passing as anybody around, I'm confused as such, you don't wanna get near my touch" in "Werewolf".  The more you listen, the more it becomes obvious that there is ample analysis going on.  You can get a start by taking a listen to "No Solution But Resolution" and "Electric Malaise" below.  If you like what you hear, Bandcamp offers a free download (bargain!!), following which you hit the ol' "like" button on his Facebook.







Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Turtle Giant

I really wish there was more information on the timeline of Turtle Giant's formation. What I can tell you is this; the three-piece formed in São Paolo, Brazil only to now be located in Macao, China. Quite a long way from home, and I'd love to know the details of how they got from Point A to Point B, but for now all I have to settle on is their music, which isn't too upsetting.  Earlier this year the group put out a single called "We rd Sound", which has a fuzzier kind of '60s sensibility to it.  Either way you look at it, the general sense derived from it is way more old school, like something you'd find randomly on an old vinyl in your garage. Although it's distantly separated (in terms of time of release) from the single, Turtle Giant has a new EP coming out on September 18th, which unfortunately does not have any released tracks (yet).  Therefore it would seem like "We rd Sound", which doesn't appear on the forthcoming EP, was simply a treat to hold us over.  For more information you can check out their homepage here, Facebook here, or SoundCloud here.  Almost all of these contain streams.  In the meantime check out "We rd Sound" below.  Enjoy!



Teki-Toe

Teki-Toe is the stage name for Tenju Sato, a musician who hails from the great city of La Jolla, California. Besides this, there isn't much to be found on him; there's no Facebook, MySpace, or Bandcamp.  He has kept himself well under wraps. We're lucky enough, though, to be treated to his wonderful work over SoundCloud, in which he attempts to make a "unique blend of digital synthesizers, warped instrumentation, and pitched vocals to create a dark, chilled atmosphere". Well, it wasn't more than 12 hours ago that Teki-Toe released "PC on the Television", a new track which follows the aforementioned rubric.  Coming forward with a more chill approach, "PC on the Television" is wonderful for those late-night haze sessions.  Have a listen to it below, but don't forget to head over to his SoundCloud for some free downloads.

 PC on the Televison by Teki-Toe

Kal Marks

Whoa.  Talk about the beauty of strong, raw, build-and-release rock; the kind that drills into your head and doesn't offer any points of escape.  When it comes to tension instilled in a fuzzy psychedelic landscape, the Boston trio of Kal Marks know exactly what they're doing. Their newest EP, Piss of the Century, was released on July 19th to the beat of heavily distorted guitars, clamorous drumming, and confident songwriting. When listening to it, I can't help but feel like it's a statement, and it's hard not to when edgy guitar rhythms are piercing through the middle of the song.  This is just a focal point though, it's impossible not be engulfed in the syrupy sludge that surrounds a majority of the tracks.  In this sense, it's important to note that Piss of the Century is wonderfully complex, taking the listener through a series of different motions all in the same song.  This goes back to the idea of build-and-release, where certain sections speed up and slow down, become loud and then soft again, all at the stop of a dime.  And then there is "Born Again", the most sedated ballad on the whole thing, which is a simmering strum tune that offers a nice chance to breathe before "Piss of the Century" starts up the raucous again.  If you're in for the journey, you can access it on Bandcamp, and if you want to keep up to date you can do so on their homepage.  In the meantime, "My Guitar" and "Born Again" are available for stream below.




Monday, July 23, 2012

Prince of Pressure

This one comes to you from north of the border in the form of Montreal's Prince of Pressure, a band consisting of three members who have known each other since childhood.  The group has just released their first single, entitled "Noise In the Night", and have done so independently via the wondrous use of the internet.  The main message of the track is not being afraid to live your life on the run, and judging by the name "Noise In the Night" I get the sense that it's about finding that particular urge within you that sparks inspiration...particularly within the romance department.  If nothing else, they've sparked my interest in future releases, so I'll definitely be standing by with open ears.  The stream is available below, so make sure to have a listen to that. I've already liked their Facebook page, so you can follow suit here, while both SoundCloud and Bandcamp offer free download options, so make sure to snag those up!


Summerays

In a time when my friends are graduating, moving away, and starting their lives, I remain a slave to the American college system.  What's a better way to describe this period that an upbeat ode to missed friends?  That's exactly what the song "Toyohashi" touches upon, and to the tune of a friendly surf pop ballad.  The track is set to be released as a side-A to a 7" on July 31st by the Cleveland group Summerays, which is a brainchild of the 22-year-old Luke Teeters.  Whenever I hear something beachy or surfy like this, my mind automatically relates it to Beach Fossils, which wouldn't be too distant of a comparison.  The main difference is that "Toyohashi" is very clean and twangy, separating itself from the garage style that Beach Fossils tends to incorporate.  I've posted it below to stream, and if you like it be sure to check out the studio's page to preorder it.  Bandcamp also has some past releases that you can check out!

 Summerays "Toyohashi" (Side A) by CoolSummerRecords

Friday, July 20, 2012

Western Walk

It wasn't too long ago that Western Walk released his first EP to the world of Bandcamp, on March 6th of this year Future, Mirror starting making its rounds throughout the internet to some good praise.  It was just over two months later that Tobi Soetan, the solo man behind Western Walk, put out Fade Into Oceans in what was his debut album.  In the world of Bandcamp where some great music can get buried, I'm lucky to have stumbled across this find.  I like his style; a lot of his songs are driven by a bold, outstanding, and most importantly infectious synth line with backing hazes that envelop the track in a dreamy state.  For someone who is writing and producing all of the songs by themselves, and releasing a full album a mere two months after an EP, the result is wholly satisfying and definitely worth a few listens.  I've posted two songs below, "Swim" and "Beyond" for your listening pleasure.  If you wanna grab Fade Into Oceans, you can do so at a name-your-price basis at Bandcamp, or you can stream other tracks on his SoundCloud.  You can follow him on Twitter, but if you don't have one then you can like him on Facebook or check him on MySpace.  If you don't have any of those then you're out of luck, and why are you on the internet?




Thursday, July 19, 2012

We Were Lovers

The last time the Saskatoon duo We Were Lovers released anything more than a single was back in October of 2010 when they put out the self-titled We Were Lovers EP. The cast involved in the production of it was impressive; Chris Coady, who has worked with Beach House, Grizzly Bear, and TV On the Radio, produced and engineered it while mastering was completed by Joe Laporta, who has paired with The Walkmen and Vampire Weekend prior. They've also toured, being showcased at SXSW and NXNE, and have reached both sides of the continent, playing in San Diego as well as New York City.  So...where have they been since that fateful October?  Answer, prepping their new album Pyramids by releasing a new (and free!) single called "Islands".  The song is adorned in beautifully crafted synths and wrapped together with stunning vocals from lead Elsa Gebremichael. It's still not clear when Pyramids will be released, but this tease from We Were Lovers is making me anxious to find out. Have a listen to it below with a download available at SoundCloud or Bandcamp, whichever you prefer.  To keep up to date, hit the ol' like button on their Facebook.

 Islands - We Were Lovers by We Were Lovers

Bravestation

Following up on a post I wrote around two weeks ago on the Toronto group Bravestation, I'm happy to say that their full album Giants & Dreamers has officially been released.  I've been lucky enough to have the opportunity to listen to it a bunch recently, and it's certainly an impressive spin. The overall concept of it is very much similar to their songs like "Western Thrills" and "Signs of the Civilized", two tracks which made their rounds on the blogosphere. The style is what they've described as quirky, tribal pop, descriptors that are quite accurate.  Their sound is definitely unique, so hopefully they're able to carve out a big niche for themselves and we'll get to hear more of their material in the future.  I've posted some favorites from the LP below, "Fluorescent Scenes" and "Kaleidoscope", which you can stream below.  If you want to snag the album, you can do so at their Bandcamp.




The Please & Thank Yous

One of the things I enjoyed most about listening to At Your Merci, the new album from Chicago's The Please & Thank Yous, is that I could perfectly envision a group of friends fucking around with fast, blaring music in a buddy's basement and having a great time doing it.  At Your Merci may not sound like it was recorded at an EMI studio or anything, but I quickly found this to be its appeal.  I know the words are tossed around a lot, but it sounds real and is incredibly genuine.  Just look at the album cover; it looks like one of their friends made it for them, and yet most importantly, it works.  Besides talks on purity, the most weighty consideration is the fact that they're good.  Really, really good.  Uptempo speeds and piercing guitar lines drive most of the songs, and the classic hard rock melodies that act as the foundation for them make the record more recognizable and quicker to pick up on.  Their lyrics are also sportive, perhaps sometimes quirky, at one point singing a song about someone named Aglaia.  Above all the album is just a lot of fun, and manages to contain a lot of crucial punk elements; it puts out a "do-it-yourself" mentality, it's roisterous, catchy, and would be an awesome soundtrack to get shitfaced to in the living room of a college party.  Below I've posted some highlights from At Your Merci, "Dysnomia", "My Guitar", and "Alright Already".  If you like what you hear, Bandcamp is the place to pick it up on a name-your-price basis.  Checckkkk it.








Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hunting Grounds

Jumping back in time three years, the sextet that is currently called Hunting Grounds used to go by the name Howl.  Labeled as "rambunctious high-school buddies", this is more than befitting, and it would seem as though it's this trait that gives them the passion to perform live.  Still back in 2009, it was under this moniker they won the Triple J Unearthed High competition and jump-started their career, adapting to Hunting Grounds and releasing an EP in 2010 (they had another in 2010 still under Howl).  Now, we see the culmination of their history in the form of In Hindsight, their debut album.  Much of their playing style remains constant; they're loud, complex, and do all they can to fill your speakers with wonderfully orchestrated organized chaos.  As they say, their ideas are just as big as their ambition, and it seems pretty clear to me that In Hindsight is a testament to this claim.  I have posted two of my favorites below, "Wings" and "Mind Decays", so go ahead and stream those.  The album is available for stream here, and they also have a homepage which can help link you to all outlets of their social media.

Wings

Mind Decays

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Reeds

This one comes to you nice and piping hot off the press. Released not but a few hours ago is a single from UK's four-piece Reeds, an A-side "Gardening" matched with the "Sea Bed" B-side. Both are remarkably different, "Gardening" being doused with country influences while "Sea Bed" is a way more nostalgic instrumental piece. The two are united under one common branch, though, which would be that their foundations are rooted in acoustic composition.  They also lean more towards a breezy, freewheeling kind of summer groove.  I can see it now, picture a warm summer day, not too hot and with a refreshing wind, perhaps with a ladyfriend, a good smile, and the glistening water of the ocean by your side.  "Sea Bed" just seems to remind me of a great day, maybe time well spent for a day off from work.  The two songs have been released ahead of some new music and live shows later this year.  Below you can check out "Sea Bed", and don't forget to make a stop over at their Bandcamp for streams and downloads.  Facebook is up and at 'em too.



Poppy Brothers

My gosh, I think I could listen to the first 19 seconds of "One" forever.  Luckily, with each spin I get to hear it for just over three minutes.  I'm not sure if it's the right word, but it's just so damn funky! While I'm here singing high praises for "One", it's certainly not the only highlight on the first EP from the Poppy Brothers, Debut. The remaining two songs are also worth listens for sure. Continuing on, Poppy Brothers is certainly a suitable name; to start off, the duo of James and Matthew are indeed brothers, but they're also poppy. What do I mean by this? I mean it in the same way that Electric Guest is poppy, there exists a wonderful pop sensibility but is not quite overpowering to the point where it escapes the "indie" tag. Just have a listen to "Too Far Gone", the latter four and a half minutes of which explodes into a rock guitar rhythm with wailing vocals, very radio-like.  We're bordering on mainstream here!  Of course, I don't mean this negatively, or else I wouldn't be writing this post. Anyway, I've posted my favorite "One" below, but that doesn't mean you can't hit up the ol' Bandcamp to listen to the remaining EP or snag a free download.



Father Sculptor

It starts off slow, slightly dark, oozing emotional syrups of melancholy.  With time we're exposed to sections of lively guitars, more fervent drumming, and waves of backing synths.  Throughout the course of its 5:14 runtime, we're treated to a developing sprawl of varying 1980s styles, which is interesting because the new single "Frances" by Father Sculptor sounds nothing like it would come from that time period.  Regardless, there are elements here that sound just as much post-punk as they do alternative, a strange contrast that actually finds itself uniquely engaging.  That's not even mentioning the deep and cavernous vocals to accompany, the style of which reminds me very much so of Future Islands, who have proven this pairing can come out successfully.  "Frances" is the most recent single to come from Father Sculptor, who are currently busy releasing a new song every fortnight for this summer.  You know what this means...more goodies!  "Frances" will be available for a free download on July 30th, but in the meantime you can stream it below, so go ahead and take a peek.



Monday, July 16, 2012

Jeannot

Not long ago on July 10th, the folk collective Jeannot released a 3-song EP Turner Street, which is a "sampling of songs written over the past year" by band member John Glouchevitch.  The EP carries an extremely mellow tone, utilizing hushed vocals and quiet guitar strums to accomplish a very intimate collection.  Intimacy isn't carried only through the atmosphere of Turner Street, but also slams home that idea lyrically.  Perhaps my favorite, "Anyone You Want", exhibits a desperate display of romanticism, telling the story of someone who is so badly heartbroken that he's willing to be, well...anyone you want.  It's this kind of concept that ties Turner Street together, and I'm not talking about sadness or melancholy, but instead an unquenchable need to love the things around us.  At least that's what I got out of it.  Anyway, the whole thing is available on Bandcamp, so if you're looking for something to calm you down at night, I'm sure this will strike some chords.  Jeannot's Facebook is here, Twitter here, and "Anyone You Want" below.



Lonsdale Boys Club

As you may have heard by this point, Odd Future's Frank Ocean has recently released his follow-up album to last year's Nostalgia, Ultra., which goes by Channel Orange.  Considering that Nostalgia was a mixtape, this marks Ocean's first major label (Def Jam) release and studio LP, and it has received stellar reviews from critics and fans all over the world. With that said, enter Lonsdale Boys Club, who have just recently dropped a remix of "Thinkin Bout You", a cut off of Channel Orange.  LBC has taken the very essence of the original, which is Ocean's wonderfully smooth vocals, and added a more festive back beat to it, thus making it so anyone who complained about "Thinkin Bout You" being too slow now can't have a reason to hate.  Have a listen to it below, and be sure to head over to SoundCloud to download it as well as check out LBC's other remixes.

 Frank Ocean - Thinkin Bout You (Lonsdale Boys Club Remix) by Lonsdale Boys Club

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Jellies and Jams, Weekend List #2

For this week's edition of your weekend Jellies and Jams, the general idea is bonfires. After all, it wouldn't be summer without mention of them.  There's nothing quite like sitting around a good sized fire with a few brews and great company.  Of course, another important aspect of bonfires is good music, which is why we have compiled the list below for you.  In general the songs carried a more laid-back tone and are mainly acoustic, just in case you're faced with the unlikely situation of being left without the token guitar player.  Have a listen to the songs below, and if you like what we've offered go ahead and take them with you for wherever the rest of your weekend takes you.  Hopefully s'mores are involved.

Day Glo by Brazos
Poor Old Ra by The Pica Beats
Gone Tomorrow by Lambchop
The Hand That Rocks The Cradle by The Smiths
Half A World Away by R.E.M.
As Tall As Cliffs by Margot & the Nuclear So and So's

You can grab the list in its entirety here.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Yoko Temple

In the description area for Yoko Temple's debut EP, Yoko Temple, we read that it was "recorded in about 7 different bedrooms over the course of about a year".  This is the first thing that caught my eye, especially because I feel like this is a perfect example of the state music is in today; all you need is a laptop and you can record an album anywhere.  Second thing, of course, was the music, which I found to resemble a lot of the earlier works of one of my favorite musicians Toro Y Moi.  I discovered Toro Y Moi during the apex of chillwave production back in the day, and it's always nice to revisit some of the roots that inspired you in some way.  It wouldn't surprise me if Jevon James, the real man behind the music, developed in a similar way.  To get a taste of what I'm talking about I've posted two songs from the Yoko Temple EP below, "I Got Chills" and "Toasted".  It was released on July 12th of this year, so get a hold of the free download while ya can!




Passion Pit

As I've alluded to before in previous posts, Passion Pit's 2009 Manners is one of my favorite albums of all-time. It may not be because of superior songwriting or mind-blowing craftsmanship, but at the time it was one of the records that launched my interest in music.  It has a special place in my heart.  As such the days leading up to July 24th and the release of their new LP Gossamer have been filled with equal amounts anxiety and excitement.  How could they possibly follow up on their success?  I was trying to prepare myself for disappointment.  Yet the two singles "Take a Walk" and "I'll Be Alright" surprised me. They were new, fresh, and innovative...exactly what I've been hoping for.  To add on to that list, their newest single "Constant Conversations" pushes the envelope even further with some R&B and soul influence.  Nothing what I expected to hear from them, but I'm still feeling the same reward as in the past.  Stream "Constant Conversations" below, and get pumped for July 24th!

Constant Conversations

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Rebel Light

The Catalpa Music Festival in New York City is absolutely stacked this year; Snoop Dogg, The Black Keys, TV On the Radio, Girl Talk, and A$AP Rocky are all included on the bill.  That's quite a list, and so it must be utterly thrilling for the up-and-coming band The Rebel Light to see their names right up there with the best.  How can you further that accomplishment?  You can record the vocals of your breakout song "Goodbye Serenade" in a bathroom accompanied with drum sections played in a shed.  Despite these truths about The Rebel Light, the production is surprising slick and lays down a wonderful foundation (which includes trumpets and xylophones) for the story of a breakup.  "I couldn't tell if you've changed, or does the darkness remain?  I'm just a stranger to you, a picture of someone you knew" are some of the lyrics that grabbed me, and I'm hoping they will hook you also.  Stream "Goodbye Serenade" below, and pick up the free download here.

 Goodbye Serenade by TheRebelLight

Zebra and Snake

The two Finnish-born friends Tapio and Matti, acting under the band name Zebra and Snake, grew up in a small town called Alajarvi, the kind where "everyone knows each other".  So it's curious to see that two people from two different backgrounds within this tiny community would pair up to form a band.  Matti grew up with a self-diagnosed "synthesizer fetish" while Tapio was born in a group of religious Lutherans, but somehow the matching proved to be successful and the culmination of time gave birth to the single "Empty Love Song".  The song is part of their debut album, Healing Music, which is due out on August 20th.  It's backed by hazy synths and fitted with pop undertones, and carries the intention  of a "background [where] there's always something healing or comforting, the atmosphere in the music connects with that phrase".  You can stream the song below, and if you want to you can head over to their SoundCloud for a download.

 Empty Love Song (Radio Edit) by 100% Records

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Peking Duk

A little gem appeared in my inbox a few days ago in the form of an "Old Pine" remix by two young DJs that comprise Peking Duk.  Hailing from Australia, the duo has been quite successful as of late, really making a name for themselves.  Not only have they received support from Steve Aoki, MSTRKRFT, and Tiesto, but their single "Welcome" hit #34 on the ARIA club chart and their remix of "Take A Walk" by Passion Pit garnered more than 70,000 plays in two weeks on SoundCloud (that number is now 87,384).  Their remix of "Old Pine" by Ben Howard (which can be played here) seems to be on a similar track.  It sticks true to the original while doing a good job of creating something new and exciting for fans of Ben Howard and Peking Duk alike.  I also find it refreshing to see a successful remix hitting the blogosphere that doesn't derive from dubstep or techno, so really I think this is one for all kinds of varying music interests.  Stream it below, and hit up their SoundCloud for a free download.  Their main SoundCloud site, complete with other tracks, can be found here.

 Ben Howard - Old Pine (Peking Duk Remix) FREE DOWNLOAD by Peking Duk

Madràs

If you take a look at the album art for Things Can Change, the debut album from the Texas based band Madràs, you will see a beautifully serene, nostalgic, aquatic setting.  That's at first glance; looking closer you will see a faded figure with his arms open, almost like he is embracing the undeniable tranquility being observed.  Looking at it this way, it couldn't be a more perfect cover.  Madràs was first introduced to me as "nothing short of ethereal", which is about as correct as can be.  The two brothers that comprise Madràs have put together a gorgeous compilation of delicate, soft, and dreamy songs that makes it feel like your conscience has been placed on a pillow.  Things Can Change is airy and spacious, and it does quite a good job of developing an environment; "Reprise" is basically a sound collage of nightly insects, and the short "Bangalore" depicts a fuzzy street scene.  These are the accents which help Things Can Change become a whole concept, and it works wonderfully.  It could've been easy to break the streak of these fragile songs, they're so light that it feels like the slightest addition could've destroyed their gossamer qualities.  Luckily, this doesn't happen.  I've posted two songs from Things Can Change below, "Tracing Paper" and "Once I", so if you want a taste of their careful arrangements and magnificent harmonies, you can do so below.  The album in full can be streamed or purchased at their Bandcamp.




Tame Impala

This is the news I've been waiting to hear for two years now: Australian psychedelic rockers Tame Impala have officially announced the release of their new album, Lonerism, due out in October later this year.  So what's that?  A 3-month wait?  Longer than I would hope, but I don't want to get too selfish here.  Truth is, two years ago in 2010 their debut InnerSpeaker meant wonders to me.  At that point in time it was one of the first albums in a long time that really floored me, and it definitely revamped my interest in earlier 1970s psychedelic artists.  Needless to say, I've been ready for this for a while.  Anyway, enough about me...they announced a new record, so what?  As you can imagine, along with the announcement is a new cut from Lonerism, "Apocalypse Dreams".  Spoiler alert; it's really good.  It's streaming on their website, where you can go for ongoing updates, but if you want to take the quick route you can play it below. Get amped!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Sean's Jellies and Jams, Weekend List #1

Hi and welcome to Sean’s Jellies and Jams for your Summer Saturdays!


First, allow me to introduce myself.  My name is Sean and I am a fellow music fanatic, much like the majority of you that are reading this blog.  I love spreading the good vibes that music opens me up to on to other people, which is why I have been interested in creating playlists on a public forum for you wonderful listeners.  This is this first in what will hopefully be a weekly column I contribute for Audio Splash, where we provide a short playlist for your aural pleasure. Each week we will pick a theme and then select 5 or so songs that all connect back to said theme. These songs will be a mix of both old and new tracks, from the popular to the obscure.  So, I guess we'll see how it goes!  As always, we appreciate your feedback so if you have a suggestion for a theme or song or just want to complain to us, feel free to email us at audiosplashmusic@gmail.com.

And Here. We. Go…

This week’s theme is the journey. And no not that terrible 80s band that everyone seems to love these days, but an actual journey, or a "passage or progress from one stage to another".  Sound and synthesis has brought us to an age where artists really have the capability of not only exploring and progressing melodies but the ability to easily explore, create, and manipulate new sounds. When I think of the journey in music, I think of rich, dense, and exploratory sounds, which bring the listener along for the proverbial ride to that magical place within the artist’s mind. So this weekend, when you embark on your summer trip to the beach or whatever, bring along this playlist and turn your trip into a journey...

Bowls by Caribou
The Bold Arrow Of Time by Tame Impala
Trucker's Atlas by Modest Mouse

Bonus track: Although not the normal style of music found on this blog, I’m actually a huge Phish fan (I know, let the hate mail commence!). I had the great privilege of attending their show this past Tuesday 7/3, where they threw down two stellar sets of music. So as a bonus track for this week, here’s the track "Sand":


If you're interested in downloading the playlist in its entirety, you can do so here. Enjoy!!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Borgeous & Club Life

One of things I try to do if given the chance is post a dance track on the blog before the weekend.  This way you can have an extra song to throw on your playlist for parties, pregames, or whatever the likes may be that make up your weekends.  I was given this opportunity today when I received an original mix of "It's You" by Borgeous & Club Life feat. Sophie Leonard.  As I am sure you would expect, it is an uptempo banger, dressed up in fist-pumping synths and topped off with an addictive little backbeat.  Not to mention, I'm a sucker for dance-tracks like this that feature female vocals.  In this case, Sophie Leonard fits the bill quite well.  I've posted a stream of it below, and luckily they offer it for a free download over on their SoundCloud.  Have a great weekend everyone, live it up!

 Borgeous & Club Life Ft. Sophie Leonard - It's You (Original Mix) by Borgeous Beats

Fierce Creatures

The last time I caught up with Fierce Creatures was over a year ago when they had recently put out their I Mostri Feroci EP, a release that was lavishly decorated in an ornate variety of textures. It was no more than 10 days later that I was on a plane about to start my travels abroad.  Under these circumstances I lost touch with the band's whereabouts. Luckily this all changed the other day when they informed me of the upcoming release of their new album, Catacomb Party, and accompanying single, coincidently entitled "Catacomb Party".  With 7 people completing the band, the single is just as much full as their previous EP; it's loud and slightly chaotic, driven by frantic guitars and boisterous drums.  As they say, "the product is a cultivated art-pop that fluctuates from delicate anthems to soaring ballads", and for anyone familiar with the band this shouldn't come as a surprise.  As I've come to know Fierce Creatures, one thing for sure is that they have a lot of ideas and love to experiment, a valuable trait that works in their favor.  When listening to "Catacomb Party", I think that this aspect of their personality is clear.  Have a listen to it below, and keep a watch out for the Catacomb Party LP tentatively scheduled for an August 7th release date.  SoundCloud has it up for a download.

 Fierce Creatures - Catacomb Party by Paper Garden Records

Kasket Club

According to the e-mail that was sent to me, Kasket Club is the product of two friends who just decided that they wanted to make music together.  The idea really does appear pretty fresh; they're new song "Moody Melody" came out 5 days ago, another called "White Nights" 11 days ago, and their Facebook page was created only on June 25th of this year.  Despite this, their sound feels undeniably stimulating, with "Moody Melody" carrying an edgy, more aggressive style of chillwave to it.  "White Nights" is smoother but doesn't lack a wonderful backing drumbeat to support the spine of the rhythm.  I've posted both of their songs below, and you have access to their Facebook above.  Only thing I'm missing is their SoundCloud link, which you can reach here.  Have a listen to them and get pumped for future songs!  I'm sure they're going to be fantastic.

 Kasket Club - Moody Melody by KasketClub

 Kasket Club - White Nights by KasketClub

Thursday, July 5, 2012

TAWÐ

I have no idea what the "Ð" in TAWÐ means or sounds like, but what I can tell you for sure is that TAWÐ is the moniker for Vancouver's electronic producer Todd LaPlante, and he can make some serious tunes.  When I completed my first full-length listen of his new NorthWestern Passages EP I tried to think about what it meant to me.  The first thing that came to mind was a giant musical stretch, like I had just woken up from a nap and extended the very tips of my extremities as far as I could until I felt that relaxing tingle down my spine. LaPlante's music, which is entirely instrumental, aims toward majestic levels of space and atmosphere; a lot of the sounds that come from the EP are huge, spacey, and hypnotizing.  I also love how he has a song called "Mountains Beside Me", cause in a sense that's what I picture when listening to it; like a tall peak has pierced into clean air and you feel the refreshing breeze flow all around you.  To catch a glimpse of his electro-prowess, I've placed "Dreamed Of Her" and "Mountains Beside Me" below.  For a free download of NorthWestern Passages you can hit up his Bandcamp, or you can stream some of the goodies on SoundCloud.  He also has a Facebook page, or you can just go to his homepage to find the above links as well videos, his blog, and photography.  Enjoy!




Elen Never Sleeps

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of writing up on the work of solo artist Elen Never Sleeps, who had just released a single.  A few months down the road and we now have his debut EP, Open Air Dance.  The release is still synonymous with the single, utilizing all of the beautiful dreaminess that made him so great in the first place, but this time he has extended his material, which includes experimenting with new complexities within his writing.  Also, Open Air Dance manages to carry a similar theme throughout the play, which I interpreted as "fresh starts".  Each melody and riff seems to symbolize the idea of breaking free and starting anew, especially in "Open Air Dance", where he states he "clearly needs to go somewhere else" before singing his "Open Air Dance" chorus, where he also mentions that he's just "floating around".  The guitar lines also hover right above the backing synths, creating a wonderfully ethereal drive.  "Open Air Dance" also happens to be my favorite song on the EP, so I've thrown that below for all of you interested.  And I have good news!  He offers the whole thing for free here at his Bandcamp.  Pick it up!



Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Vulgar Refund Of The Proverbial Shock

Before you ask yourself anything, allow me to answer a question that is probably searing through your skull right now.  Yes, the image you are viewing to the right of this text is the album cover for Vulgar Refund Of The Proverbial Shock's forthcoming release, entitled AKA.  If nothing else, the picture fits in perfectly with the one word I see constantly popping up on all of their media pages: "peculiar". Allow me to tell you first hand; this is truth.  Yet, peculiar bands have a strange way of captivating you, and I would be lying if I told you I wasn't enjoying their two singles "Emergency" and "Addiction".  VROTPS is a French group in every sense of the word, not only are they from France but they make some serious French-infused electropop shoe-shakers.  It's very upbeat and catchy, edited down a little bit and there is some definite club material to be had.  Not to mention, much like their album photo, they're extremely provocative.  "I like it when I wear your dress, I like the way it feels on me, I like it when I make a mess" is one of the verses in "Addiction", followed by "I like the way you play your game, and all the dirty things you do, I like the way you scream my name, when I give it all to you".  Odd, yes, but I can't deny the fact that I've been jamming out to it today.  It's actually very good.  Anyway, I wanted to give you all some dance music for the 4th of July festivities!  I realized how rude I was in my last post for not wishing you all a happy holiday and relaxing day off. So have fun today at your BBQs, drink lots of beer, and most importantly stay safe!  If you feel like streaming "Emergency", I've placed it below, but if it is the strange "Addiction" you want, I'll link you over to their SoundCloud.  Happy 4th of July everybody!  Enjoy!!

 Emergency by Vulgar Refund Of The Proverbial Shock

The Ludlow Thieves

If you happen to be reading this blog post right now you're most likely a music fan, so you don't need me to tell you that the opening song to an album can be very important.  It sets the table for what's the come and leads the remaining set off with a statement.  When I first heard "To Travel" by New York's The Ludlow Thieves, my first reaction was: "What a great opener!"  And sure enough, as the opener to their self-titled album The Ludlow Thieves, it functions beautifully.  It's a soaring conglomerate of majestic orchestral instrumentation, steady drum beats, and convincing, powerful vocals that was described to me as "Rod Stewart on two packs of smokes".  Truth be told, I tried hard to think of a better way to portray his voice, but I really couldn't, it fits wonderfully.  Despite the fact that the orchestra may sound a bit chamber-like, the guttural chorus brings the track right down to earth. In turn, this makes "To Travel" seem way more like a roots ballad than anything, which allows for a very unique sounding song...and one that works fantastically as their album's opener.  Well, I've gone off and praised "To Travel" to high heaven, but the rest of The Ludlow Thieves is most definitely worth a listen too, so I highly recommend it.  To get an idea of what I'm talking about, take a listen to "To Travel" below, and be sure to visit their SoundCloud for the full release.

 To Travel by theludlowthieves