Afghan Whigs – “Matamoros”

I guess it’s only natural that the reunited Afghan Whigs had been as overlooked as the 90s Afghan Whigs. Among all of the reunions that have happened over the past few years, this one seemed to get very little hype, but produced a record worth of the legend of the band. And maybe that was the problem. Where many reunions have led to huge letdowns, Do To The Beast is a logical continuation from where the band left off with 1998′s 1965. And “Matamoros” is one of the best examples of Greg Dulli and co’s continued brilliance.

Share

Julia Holter – “Don’t Make Me Over”

Originally written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, and performed by Dionne Warwick, Julia Holter’s cover of “Don’t Make Me Over” is a colossal beauty!

A new double A side 7″ from Julia Holter set for release on August 19 (North America) / July 28th 2014 (Rest of the world).

A Don’t Make Me Over (Written by Burt Bacharach / Hal David; originally performed by Dionne Warwick) LISTEN: bit.ly/dontmakemeoversc
AA Hello Stranger (Barbara Lewis) LISTEN: bit.ly/hellostrangersc

Pre-order and receive an instant download of both tracks
7″: smarturl.it/dontmakemeover7in
iTunes: smarturl.it/dontmakemeover7mp3

juliashammasholter.com/
www.facebook.com/pages/Julia-Holt…/153196178042232
twitter.com/JULIA_HOLTER

Share
the-antlers-cover-familiars

Featured Album: The Antlers – Familiars

the-antlers-cover-familiars

The Antlers
Familiars

Label: ANTI-
Released: 2014

1. Palace
2. Doppelgänger
3. Hotel
4. Intruders
5. Director
6. Revisited
7. Parade
8. Surrender
9. Refuge

In the clouds he freely floated above all that which once brought immense pain.

The further down the Talk Talk-influenced rabbit hole that The Antlers fall, the less exciting they’ll become to much of their original audience that stepped aboard when Hospice blew up. Burst Apart was clearly the transitional effort leading to Familiars. it’s hard not to miss the energy and vulnerability of their earlier releases, but The Antlers make up for it with the development of their musical sensibilities. Familiars is gorgeous, spacious, and filled with an atmosphere not dissimilar to Talk Talk’s final two albums. The mood remains peacefully adrift in the clouds with tensions hardly rising beyond a whispered cry. This lack of tension keeps Familiars from reaching Spirit of Eden‘s heights, but it’s a beautiful album regardless, and one that should age gracefully.

RIYL: Talk Talk, Slowdive

Share
81-A10Ury3L._SL1500_

Featured Album: Warpaint – Warpaint

81-A10Ury3L._SL1500_

Warpaint
Warpaint

Label: Rough Trade
Released: 2014

1. Intro
2. Keep It Healthy
3. Love Is to Die
4. Hi
5. Biggy
6. Teese
7. Disco//very
8. Go In
9. Feeling Alright
10. CC
11. Drive
12. Son

Through the thick fog, a colorful display of lights seductively shined through, luring the convoy astray.

Released way back in January, Warpaint’s sophomore effort is already a distant memory in the age of the internet which cuts away at the shelf life of anything in its path. When people were raving about Warpaint’s debut The Fool, I felt like one of the few who didn’t find love at first listen. Naturally, Warpaint has been far more appealing to me and yet hasn’t gotten nearly as much love from the press. The band seems to be at their best when combining ethereal vocal with poppy rhythms. I cannot help but think of a certain classic female-fronted 4AD band covering the Slits most groove oriented material (or ESG for that matter). Like a hazy fog of color, the songs somewhat blend into each other, which keeps it flowing seamlessly, but may also take away from the ability of individual tracks to stand out.

Favorite songs: Love Is To Die, Disco//very, Son

RIYL: ESG, Cocteau Twins, Mazzy Star

Share

Walking Bicycles – “Eyesore”

From the city of Chicago, Walking Bicycles have returned with a claustrophobic beast of an album. Their latest single “Eyesore” a fast paced buzz saw cutting through a dense wall of sound.

To Him That Wills The Way Tracklisting:
1. Impending Doom
2. So
3. Eyesore
4. Vitamin Z
5. War Paint
6. Faster Than Light
7. Words
8. The Messenger
9. Boethius
10. Badada

Upcoming Tour Dates
6/20 – Chicago, IL – The Hideout Inn
8/11 – Chicago, IL – The Empty Bottle (Album Release Show)

Share
Unicycle-Dead-Age-digital-1000x1000

Featured Album: Unicycle Loves You – The Dead Age

Unicycle-Dead-Age-digital-1000x1000

Unicycle Loves You
The Dead Age

Label: Mecca Lecca
Released: 2014

01. Falling Off
02. We Never Worry
03. Suicide Pizza
04. Silent Minus
05. Face Tattoo
06. JAWS
07. Bad News Club
08. Endless Bummer
09. Any Daydreaming Morning
10. Grownups
11. X-ray Glaze
12. The Dead Age

Everyone was having a great time until the chainsaw wielding maniac arrived at the school dance.

In 2008, Unicycle Loves You launched into the indie rock stratosphere with their self-titled debut. It was a slick indie pop album that always made me think of a cross between The Cars and New Pornographers. Since then, Jim Carroll has distanced himself from the record, but it’s undeniable that that album was loaded with great melodies and pop hooks, plus “Highway Robbery” could have been a hit single. Two years later, the much more atmospheric and cohesive Mirror, Mirror displayed an immense level of growth for the band. It was a synth pop rock record with colorful washes of sound. They still sounded like the same band, but with a more unique personality than their debut.

Leading up to 2012′s Failure, Unicycle Loves You joined the humble beginnings of Mecca Lecca‘s music collective. Demos revealed a much more raw, heavy sound coming from the now trio. What once was characterized by a shiny polish had rusted over into something far more dangerous. Carroll’s lyric had grown more clever and cynical and yet their grasp on the wonder of melody was as tight as ever.

If you played someone each album, they might have been able to distinguish that Unicycle Loves You and Mirror, Mirror were by the same band, but the sonic transformation on Failure would have been much harder to link to its predecessor.

Finally, here we are in 2014. Jim Carroll and Nicole Vitale have moved from Chicago to Brooklyn, and were joined by a new drummer Dennis Lehrer. One might predict that such changes may have led to another major shift in change on their new album The Dead Age. Instead, The Dead Age takes everything that worked on Failure and thrives to perfect it. Jim Carroll’s guitar buzzes, explodes and bends through space and time as though he were trained by guitar Yodas Thurston Moore and J Mascis. This is the first Unicycle Loves You record that really feels like a guitar record, and it’s quite a good one. And despite similarities to Failure, standout tracks such as the riffcentric “JAWS,” hazy shoegazing “Any Daydreaming Morning” and epic finale “The Dead Age” prove that this is an entirely new and well-rounded feat for a band unwilling to settle on repeating the same stale ideas.

Share

Bear In Heaven – “Time Between”

Time Between is the first song to be released from the forthcoming Bear In Heaven record Time Is Over One Day Old.
Released on August 5th (4th in the UK) on Dead Oceans / Hometapes.

Pre-order the album at: bit.ly/BIHmerch

On tour (buy tickets at: bit.ly/BIHshows)
Mon. Aug. 4 – Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade (record release show)
Wed. Aug. 20 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
Thu. Aug. 21 – Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair
Fri. Aug. 22 – Washington, DC @ Rock and Roll Hotel
Sat. Aug. 23 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle (Back Room)
Sun. Aug. 24 – Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West
Tue. Aug. 26 – Baton Rouge, LA @ Spanish Moon
Wed. Aug. 27 – Houston, TX @ House of Blues (Bronze Peacock)
Thu. Aug. 28 – Austin, TX @ The Parish
Tue. Sept. 2 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echoplex
Wed. Sept. 3 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
Fri. Sept. 5 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
Sat. Sept. 6 – Spokane, WA @ Bartfest
Sun. Sept. 7 – Seattle, WA @ Chop Suey
Wed. Sept. 10 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St. Entry
Thu. Sept. 11 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
Fri. Sept. 12 – Columbus, OH @ A&R Music Bar
Sat. Sept. 13 – Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe Tavern
Sun. Sept. 14 – Montreal, QC @ La Sala Rossa
Tue. Sept. 16 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
Wed. Sept. 17 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
Thu. Oct. 2 – London, UK @ XOYO
Fri. Oct. 3 – Brussels, BE @ Beursschouwburg
Sat. Oct. 4 – Paris, FR @ Espace B
Sun. Oct. 5 – Amsterdam, NL @ Bitterzoet
Mon. Oct. 6 – Cologne, DE @ Club 672
Tue. Oct. 7 – Berlin, DE @ Berghain
Thu. Oct. 9 – Copenhagen, DK @ Ideal Bar
Fri. Oct. 10 – Lund, SE @ Mejeriet
Sat. Oct. 11 – Stockholm, SE @ Kagelbanan
Sun. Oct. 12 – Goteborg, SE @ Pustervik
Mon. Oct. 13 – Oslo, NO @ John Dee
Tue. Oct. 14 – Bergen, NO @ Landmark
Thu. Oct. 16 – Aarhus, DK @ Atlas
Fri. Oct. 17 – Hamburg, DE @ Aalhaus

Share
Hamilton-Leithauser-Black-Hours

Featured Album: Hamilton Leithauser – Black Hours

Hamilton-Leithauser-Black-Hours

Hamilton Leithauser
Black Hours

Label: Ribbon
Released: 2014

1. 5 AM
2. The Silent Orchestra
3. Alexandra
4. 11 O’Clock Friday Night
5. St Mary’s County
6. Self Pity
7. I Retired
8. I Don’t Need Anyone
9. Bless Your Heart
10. The Smallest Splinter

The soirée lasted late into the night.

Hamilton Leithauser’s vocal pipes were always a defining feature of The Walkmen, so it should be no surprise that his debut solo album doesn’t sound far removed from his former band. The Walkmen always found a way fit the influence of 60s pop crooners into their rock songs. On Black Hours, Leithauser’s love for that classic sound shines even brighter. Surrounded by lush arrangements, it’s an album that fits alongside the work of Harry Nilsson, Gene Pitney and Roy Orbison as much as it does anything contemporary.

Share

James – “Moving On”

From their new album, La Petite Mort (out now in the UK), “Moving On” is further evidence that James is still one of the world’s most underrated musical acts.

Share
everyday_robots_album_packshot_high_res_3

Featured Album: Damon Albarn – Everyday Robots

everyday_robots_album_packshot_high_res_3

Damon Albarn
Everyday Robots

Label:
Released: 2014

1. Everyday Robots
2. Hostiles
3. Lonely Press Play
4. Mr. Tembo
5. Parakeet
6. The Selfish Giant
7. You and Me
8. Hollow Ponds
9. Seven High
10. Photographs (You Are Taking Now)
11. The History of a Cheating Heart
12. Heavy Seas of Love

The robot boy was found in the African jungle and raised by natives, who taught him about love and heartbreak.

After an extensive career with Blur, The Gorillaz and more than a handful of other projects, Damon Albarn finally released his first solo album this year. Combining his melancholy songwriting with electronic and African influences, Everyday Robots is an extremely cohesive effort that brings together a lot of the aspects that have made Albarn a legend while keeping him fresh all these years. It’s a very relaxed record with funky bits and pieces, but mostly Albarn at his most somber. “The Selfish Giant” is undoubtedly the heart and soul of Everyday Robots, ranking among the best songs Albarn has ever recorded.

Share

Top 10 Albums of 1999

1.
13-4e53cfaf1b5f8

Blur
13

Drugs, religions, foreign travels, none of them could suppress the pain of his broken heart.

2.
item

Sigur Ros
Ágætis byrjun

Exploring a strange alien universe with no prior knowledge. This place is surreal, indescribable, a little intense, but infinitely rewarding.

3.
Summerteeth-cover

Wilco
Summerteeth

All of the things the Beach Boys were afraid to elaborate on with Pet Sounds.

4.
btssecret

Built To Spill
Keep it Like A Secret

When Randy got done describing eternity, he moved on to a general astronomy, which seemed far more straight forward.

5.
279369

Ol’ Dirty Bastard
Nigga’ Please

When Rick James arrives, a party breaks out on the welfare line.

6.
10_700_700_mrg164

East River Pipe
The Gasoline Age

Observing the fascinating day to day life of of the troubled lower class.

7.
covers4u.net

Flaming Lips
Soft Bulletin

An alternate state of being in which the surreal brings clarity of body and mind.

8.
california-4fee289c052f9

Mr Bungle
California

When we got bored of studying the brain disorders of schizophrenics, we took up surfing.

9.
Beulah-When-Your-Heartstrings-Break

Beulah
When Your Heartstrings Break

A sun-soaked cross country roadtrip to the west with your best friends and the perfect mixtape of classic 60s psych pop.

10.
0045778654765

Tom Waits
Mule Variations

Out near the swamp sits a strange old man who claims to have the answers you’re looking for.

Share
CST103_5x5_300dpi

Featured Album: Ought – More Than Any Other Day

CST103_5x5_300dpi

Ought
More Than Any Other Day

Label: Constellation
Released: 2014

1. Pleasant Heart
2. Today, More Than Any Other Day
3. Habit
4. The Weather Song
5. Forgiveness
6. Around Again
7. Clarity!
8. Gemini

The anxiety gripped him with intense ferocity while in the midst of grocery shopping.

Every year or two there’s a record that comes to remind everyone that the old rock quartet formula of guitar, bass, drums and vocals (and in this case keys) can still be presented as something fresh. The influences are pretty clear spreading from the gods of post-punk (Wire, Television, This Heat, The Fall) to the origins of emo (Cap’n Jazz, Fugazi, etc). At times Tim Beeler sounds like Tim Kinsella in yet another band. “Today More Than Any Other Day” is the first sign that this is more than just another post-punk throwback. Starting with a slow minimal jam, giving in to a whisper two minutes in, the song suddenly charges forward with Beeler announcing the name of the song in spoken vocals. What follows seems to be a marriage of Fugazi and Shellac’s mastery of dynamics. The song is both loose in spirit but airtight, creating an energy and tension often lacking in modern rock record. From here on out, More Than Any Other Day is a perfectly concise high point for rock music. Combining variety with cohesion, it’s an album with more than enough ideas to keep it interesting while never wearing out its welcome.

Share