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Archive for the category “music you should be listening to”

Five For Your Friday

This week’s edition of Five For Your Friday features tracks from Sarah Jaffe, Fang Island, Menomena, All Wrong and The Plans Change and The Fresh & Onlys. Enjoy!

Sarah Jaffe

Coming out of Denton, Texas Sarah Jaffe self-released her first EP back in 2007. Touring with the likes of Lou Barlow, Midlake and Old 97’s in 2010 Jaffe released her debut album, Suburban Nature, followed shortly after by two more albums in 2011 and 2012. “Clementine” is off her 2010 album.

“Clementine”

Fang Island

Formed in Providence, Rhode Island and later relocating to Brooklyn, New York Fang Island is made up of Jason Bartell, Chris Georges, Michael Jacober, Nicholas Andrew Sadler and Marc St. Sauveur.  Coming together back in 2005 as an art project between Philip Curcuru, Pete Watts and Georges while the three were enrolled at Rhode Island School of Design, the group gained and lost members before settling down into the current five-member design. Describing their music as “everyone high-fiving everyone”, “Life Coach” is from their 2010 self-titled release.

“Life Coach”

Menomena

Based out of Portland, Oregon, Menomena formed back in 2000 between Brent Knopf, Justin Harris and Danny Seim. The group eventually gained member Joe Haege and lost Knopf in 2011 when he decided to focus more on his other musical pursuits, specifically Ramona Falls. Since their formation the group has released three EPs and four LPs. “Wet and Rusting” is off their 2006 EP of the same title.

“Wet and Rusting”

All Wrong & The Plans Change

Consisting of best friends Kassia Conway and Amy Wood, All Wrong and the Plans Change is based in Los Angeles, California. Daughter of a music engineer and producer, Wood grew up around music and began playing in clubs at the young age of 14. “I Get Down” is a track from the duo’s debut homemade album I’m Like Whatever

“I Get Down”

The Fresh & Onlys

Forming back in 2008 in San Francisco, California, The Fresh & Onlys  were originally comprised of Tim Cohen and Shayde Sartin. Later down the road the duo gained additional members including Kyle Gibson, Heidi Alexander and Wymond Miles. Classified frequently as ‘garage pop’, the group has released three albums and two EPs. “Waterfall” is off their 2010 release Play It Strange

“Waterfall”

Five For Your Friday

This week features a collection of quartets and one quintent, featuring tracks from San Cisco, Amatorski, Walk the Moon, The Paper Kites and Headlights.

San Cisco

San Cisco is another indie-pop gem out of Australia. Forming in 2009, the group was previously known as King George, but opted for the change after feedback from friends and fans. Composed of Jordi Davieson, Josh Biondillo, Nick Gardner and Scarlett Stevens, the quartet all attended high school together. Releasing two EPs, “Awkward” is off their latest release of the same name.

“Awkward”

Amatorski

Coming out of Ghent, Belgium, Amatorski formed in 2008. With their name translating as ‘amateurs’, the four-man group has proven to be anything but by making it to the finals of Rockrally (a Belgian rock contest)  as well as having their tack Come Home reach the #1 spot on “De Aferkening” on the radio station Studio Brussel

Walk The Moon

Known for face-paint and wildly energetic shows, Walk the Moon is a four-piece indie-rock group out of Cincinnati, Ohio. Made up of Nicholas Petricca, Kevin Ray, Sean Waugaman and Eli Maiman, the quartet has supported acts such as Weezer and Grouplove. Playing at well-known music festivals such as Lollapalooza, SXSW and Summerfest, they released their debut album I want! I want! at the end of 2010.

“Anna Sun”

The Paper Kites

The Paper Kites are yet another group out of Australia. Composed of Sma Bentley, Christina Lacy, Dave Powys, Sam Rasmussen and Josh Bently, the five create mellow indie folk that “Aim to put a smile on your face and some love in your heart”.

“Featherstone”

Headlights

Forming back in 2004, Headlights unfortunately broke up in January 2012, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy their amazing music still. Comprised of Erin Fein, Brett Sanderson, Tristan Wraight, Nick Sanborn, the quartet was based out of Champagin, Illinois.

Five For Your Friday

Here’s five random songs for your listening pleasure… featuring tracks by Little Red, Dead Man’s Bones, Generationals, Buried Beds, and Indian Trails. Enjoy!

Little Red

Out of Melbourne, Australia Little Red is a five piece pop/rock band that started back in ’05. In 2008 the group won the Australia-wide music competition ‘Garage to V’. Having toured with acts such as Vampire Weekend and Spoon, the quintet is comprised of Adrian Beltrame, Quang Dinh, Tom Hartney, Dominic Bryne, and Taka Honda. “Slow Motion” is off their sophomore album Midnight Remember.

“Slow Motion”

Dead Man’s Bones

Aside from being a heart-throb to women across the globe, Ryan Gosling makes up one half of the group Dead Man’s Bones. Alongside Zach Shields, the duo met back in ’05 but it wasn’t until 2009 that the two release their self titled debut. Performing under the alias “Baby Goose” Gosling and Shields recorded Dead Man’s Bones with the assistance of Silverlake Conservatory Children’s Choir.

“My Body’s A Zombie For You”

Generationals

Forming in 2008, Generationals is an indie-rock group out of New Orleans, Louisiana. Composed of Ted Joyner and Grant Widmer, the duo were originally members of the group The Earnes Era and founded Generationals following the break-up of their previous band. Releasing their debut album in 2009, the pair have released two albums and an EP.

“Greenleaf”

Buried Beds

Originally starting in 2004 as a duo between Eliza Jones and Brandon Beaver, Buried Beds eventually grew into a group effort when the pair were joined by Thomas Bendel, Tom Mallon and Hallie Sianni in 2004. Somewhere down the road, Mallon left the group to take on his new job as a father and Buried Bed gained Dave Harley.

“Breadcrumb Trails”

Indian Trails

Based in Lahti, Finland, Indian Trails is a indie quintet made up of Jouni Mathias, Nico Henry, Leo Richard,  Joel Aleksi and Antti Mikael. Releasing their single “Lights” in 2011, the group says they draw influence from summer nights and 80’s music. With the this song’s undeniably catchy rhythm, it will be hard to keep your feet still.

“Lights”

Five For Your Friday

This week’s Five for Your Friday features songs with an underlying theme… let’s see if you can guess (really, it should be obvious). Featuring tracks from Robert Guion Lowery, These United States, tUnE-YaRdS, Blizten Trapper and Bear Hands. Enjoy!

Robert Guion Lowery

Robert Guion Lowery is a local musician in Louisville, KY. Formerly a guitarist and bassist for the group Zgowonto Lizards, Lowery is now the vocalist of Demise of the King in addition to being the guitarist for Rusty Old Crows. Surprisingly recorded entirely on an iPhone, his cover of Fiona Apple’s “Criminal” off his upcoming release …is a Real Girl.

“Criminal (cover)”

These United States

Made up of Jesse Elliott, Justin Craig, Aaron Latos, Anna Morsett and J. Tom Hnatow, These United States released their first album back in 2008. Recording in various locations (Elgin, IL, Iowa City, IA, Lexington, KY, just to name a few) the group has released 4 albums and is set to put out their fifth in June of this year. “Honor Amongst Thieves” is off their 2008 release Crimes.

“Honor Amongst Theives”

tUnE-YaRdS

Merrill Garbus is the mastermind behind Lo-Fi/experimental group tUnE-YaRdS. Originiating in Conneticut, Garbus composes music through the use of layering and an assist from bassist Nate Brenner. Started back in ’06, tUnE-YaRdS has released two albums and three EPs.  “Gangsta” is off the 2011 release w h o k I l l.

“Gangsta”

Blitzen Trapper

Starting back in 2000, Blitzen Trapper is a seasoned experimental folk group from Porland, Oregon. Made up of Eric Earley, Erik Menteer, Brian Adrian Koch, Marty Manquis and Michael VanPelt, the quintet has released six studio albums and two EPs. “Black River Killer” is off their 2008 album Furr.

“Black River Killer”

Bear Hands

Having opened for the likes of MGMT, Les Savy Fav and Vampire Weekend Bear Hands is an experimental/indie rock outfit out of Brooklyn New York. Forming back in ’06, the group is made up of Dylan Rau, TJ Orscher, Ted Feldman and Val Loper. The quartet has released two EPs and one studio album, “Crime Pays” is off their 2010 release Burning Bush Supper Club

“Crime Pays”

The Week’s Release: 3/26-4/1

This week’s edition of The Week’s Release features Civil Twilight, Miike Snow, Oberhofer, Poor Moon and Races.

Holy Weather by Civil Twilight

Forming in 1996, Civil Twilight hails originally from Cape Town, South Africa but has since relocated to Nashville, Tennessee.  Composed of Richard Wouters and brothers Steven and Andrew McKellar, the trio started of rehearsing in garages and local churches.  Having their music featured in a variety of television shows such as Without a Trace, House and The Vampire Diaries, Civil Twilight has released two albums.

With a driving acoustic guitar phrases, choruses full of dark synth and OOOs and electronic beats, Holy Weather isn’t necessarily what people were expecting from Civil Twilight. While the electronic phrases don’t necessarily fit at times, the songs start to grow on you.  7.75/10

What the Critics Say:

Civil Twilight‘s latest release Holy Weather is a unique work to behold. Each of the tracks on the album are unique in their own special way.” –Tania of The Owl Mag

All of this dreariness and sappiness pulls down Holy Weather, making it only a small improvement from Civil Twilight, and not enough for me to increase the score from 6 to 7.” – Outside The Aggregator (6/7)

Despite the criticism, “Holy Weather” is taking Civil Twilight in the right direction and might be a stepping-stone to bigger things in the future.” – Michael Bragg of The Appalachian Online (2/4)

“It’s Over”

“Fire Escape”


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Five For Your Friday

This week’s edition of Five For Your Friday features tracks from Kishi Bashi, Cymbals Eat Guitar, Quiet Company, The Jealous Sound, and The Dirty Dishes. Enjoy!

Kishi Bashi

Founding member of Jupiter One, Kishi Bashi is the self-produced and recorded project of multi-instrumentalist K Ishibashi. His solo endeavor started in 2011 with the release of his debut EP Room For Dream.  Previously touring with Regina Spektor, Ishibashi is currently touring with of Montreal.

Cymbals Eat Guitar

Founded in 2008, Cymbals Eat Guitar released their debut album just one year later. Made up of Joseph D’Agostino, Matthew Miller, Matt Whipple and Brian Hamilton, Miller and D’Agnostino began making music together back in high school.  Taking their name from a Lou Reed quote, the group currently calls New York home

“…And the Hazy Sea”

Quiet Company

Coming out of Austin, Texas, Quiet Company has been making music together since 2000. Holding the title of first band signed by Grooveshark, the group has released four albums. Having toured with the likes of What Made Milwaukee Famous and Dear * The Headlights, Quiet Company is comprised of Taylor Muse, Thomas Blank, Jeff Weathers and Matt Parmenter.

“You, Me & The Boatman (Truth Is, I’ve been Thirsty All My Life”

The Jealous Sound

Forming in 2000 from the members of various 90’s bands including Knapsack and Sunday’s Best The Jealous Sound is currently composed of Blair Shehan, Bob Penn, Nate Mendel and Pedro Benitio. Releasing  their latest album at the beginning of this year, The Jealous Sound has released two EP and two LPs.

The Dirty Dishes

Hailing from Boston Massachusetts, The Dirty Dishes is a rock outfit that combines elements of various genres, like psychedelic and grunge, to produce sounds that have landed them on the lists of “Bands to Watch in 2012” for many.

“Hush”

The Week’s Release: 3/19-3/25

This past week witnessed the release of a number of albums… Here is a recap of a few, including new albums from Choir of Young Believers, Lost in the Trees, Tanlines and an EP from Daniel Rossen.

Rhine Gold by Choir of Young Believers

Orchestral/avant pop group Choir of Young Believers is the project of Jannis Noya Makrigiannis, a singer, guitarist and writer from Denmark. Winning “Best New Act” in 2009 at the Danish Music Awards, Choir of Young Believers is a combination of musicians Makrigiannis brought together following the breakup of his band, Lake Placid in 2006. Consisting of 7 members, the group has released two EPs and two studio albums.

Featuring steady high octave piano rhythms and thunder claps, Rhine Gold is one of those album that you like more and more with each listen. So much is packed into just eight songs, you find something new each time. Heavily reverbed guitar give the album a somewhat psychedelic feel, however just when you think you’ve figured them out Choir of Young Believers changers it on you and introduced acoustic guitar with what sounds like a swarm of stringed instruments. 7.75/10

“Sedated”

“Patricia’s Thirst”

What the Critics Say:

“With this record, he and his choir may very well have found that desired breath of fresh air without abandoning the immensely solid groundwork of album #1.” – Chris Coplan of Consequence of Sound (3.5)

“Still, a band aiming for the sky will hit the roof on occasion, and overall Rhine Gold is an excellent outing for this Danish choir. Even as I conclude this review the album is still growing on me; while I do think there are some problems with it, by the end of the year I could come around and embrace it as one of 2012’s strongest offerings”  – Brice Ezell of PopMatters (7/10)

There’s ambition, surprise and innovation. It’s just that it feels like COYB go on autopilot at certain times, which detracts from the album as a whole.” – Andrew Kennedy of Drowned in Sound (6/10)

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Five For Your Friday

An eclectic mix this time around, featuring tracks from Capital Cities, Retribution Gospel Choir, Trombone Shorty, White Lies and Movits! Enjoy!

Capital Cities

Electro Pop/Rock Dance duo Capital Cities, is made up of Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian. The two connected via craigslist in 2008 when Merchant was searching for a collaborator and found Simonian. In 2011 they released their debut EP and their hit single “Safe and Sound” landed a #2 spot on Hype Machine.  With an infectious beat and horn fanfare, its difficult not to dance to this track.

“Safe And Sound”

Retribution Gospel Choir

Indie rock group Retribution Gospel Choir   is a trio out of Duluth, Minnesota. Comprised of Alan Sparhawk, Steven Garrington and Eric Pollard, both Sparhawk and Garrington are members of the band Low. Having released two studio albums Retribution Gospel Choir is known for being loud and energetic and their track “Hide It Away” is just that.

“Hide It Away”

Trombone Shorty

Troy Andrews aka Trombone Shorty has been playing the trombone since 6 years old. Having attended the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts, Andrews has quite the impressive resume: featured member of Lenny Kravitz’s horn section, played alongside U2 and Green Day, held the #1 spot on Billboard’s contemporary jazz chart for 9 weeks and much more. Andrews has released 8 studio albums and 4 live albums.  Mixing an incredible horn section with distorted guitar and constant bass line,”Hurricane Season” is off his 2010 album Backatown.

“Hurricane Season”

White Lies

Forming in 2007, White Lies is an indie rock outfit from Ealing, London. With the line up including Harry McVeigh, Charles Cave and Jack Lawrence-Brown, the group has been playing together since their early teen years under the name Fear of Flying, however in 2007, the trio decided that they needed a new name to fit their new sound, and thus White Lies came to be. With an irresistible foot tapping beat, synthesizer, and subtly echoed vocals “Death” is full of life (ha ha, but really).

“Death”

Movits!

Playing a unique combination of swing, jazz and hip-hop, Movits! is a Swedish group that formed in 2007. Based in Luleå. Sweden, the group consists of Johan Rensfeldt, Anders Rensfeldt and Joakim Nilsson. Gaining popularity in the US in 2009 after being featured on The Colbert Report, the trio has released two album.  “Äppelknyckarjazz ” (literally translated as apple swiper jazz or scrumping jazz) is off their 2008 album of the same name.

Äppelknyckarjazz

Five For Your Friday

It’s that time again… This week’s Five For Your Friday features tracks from A.A. Bondy, Cloud Cult, The Coral, Sea Wolf and Fanfarlo. Enjoy!

A.A. Bondy

Formerly of grunge group, Verbena, Scott Bondy is now the front man and sole member of A.A. Bondy. Short for August Arthur Bondy, A.A. Bondy came into existence in 2003 after Verbena disbanded and Bondy took refuge in upstate New York and recorded “stripped-down indie folk”. Mixing and recording his debut album in a barn, Bondy has released three albums. “I Can See the Pines” , full of acoustic guitar and subtle harmonies, is from his 2009 album, When The Devil’s Loose.

“I Can See the Pines”

Cloud Cult

Minneapolis, Minnesota experimental indie group Cloud Cult  began in 1995 as the solo project of Craig Minowa. Producing fantastic music and protecting the environment while doing so, Cloud Cult release their albums via a self-created non-profit record label that utilizes the most environmentally friendly means available.  With strings, moving acoustic phrases and raw vocals, “Journey of the Featherless” is from the album Feel Good Ghosts.

“Journey of the Featherless”

The Coral

Forming more than a decade ago in 1996, The Coral are an indie group from Holylake, England. Mixing psychedelic, indie rock, old school country and folk rock, The Coral create an interesting and unique sound. Simple acoustic strums and synthesizer come together and make you want to move in “In the Morning”.

“In The Morning”

Sea Wolf

Led by Alex Brown Church, Sea Wolf began back in 2003. Sea Wolf came to be when Church wrote songs that didn’t fit the genre of his other band Irving, so he start performing them as Sea Wolf accompanied by various backing musicians. Sea Wolf has released an EP and two LPs, “Dew In The Grass” is off the 2009 album White Water, White Bloom.

“Dew In The Grass”

Fanfarlo

Indie-folk group Fanfarlo was formed back in 2006 by Simon Balthazar and Giles Davis, however, Davis left the group before they released any music. Currently based in London, Fanfarlo takes it’s name from a Charles Baudelaire novel and is comprised of Amos Memon, Cathy Lucas, Simon Balthazar, Leon Beckenham and Justin Finch. Featuring crescendos ending in cymbal rolls, faint synthesizer and tempo changes, “Luna” is bound to get stuck in your head.

“Luna”

The Week’s Release: 3/5-3/11

The past week was host to a number of album releases, here’s a recap of a few, including albums from Andrew Bird, Bowerbirds, Good Old War, Miniature Tigers, Mona, Now, Now, and Yellow Ostrich as well as an EP from MMOTHS.

Break It Yourself by Andrew Bird

Born and raised Chicagoan, Andrew Bird, is singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist began learning the violin when he was four. Releasing his début album,  Music of Hair, the same year that he graduated from Northwestern University, Bird has released seven solo albums. Bird’s solo career was the result of a his band’s, Andrew Bird’s Bowl of Fire,  inability to open at venue in Chicago.  With his band mates unable to perform, Bird took the stage on his own; his success prompted him to pursue a solo career.

Chalk full of string plucking, polyrhythms and Bird’s signature whistling, Break It Yourself is what we’ve come to expect from Bird. Ending with what sounds like controlled wind chimes and crickets, the album fades off and leaves you with a satisfactory conclusion: 7.75/10

What the Critics Say:  Metacritic gave Break It Yourself a score of 79 indicating generally favorable reviews.

The end result then, is the sound of Bird settling down, becoming comfortable with his music and letting it come off as natural, without losing the sense of enjoyment and the hypnotic dynamism of his core elements”  – Ray Finlayson of Beats Per Minute (79%)

Stepping back from the throes of this umbilical soul-searching, Break It Yourself is Bird’s most consistent work to date. By playing it straight and singing it even straighter, he’s created an intensely listenable and emotional album that’s impossible not to relate to” – Billy Hamilton of Drowned in Sound

The emotional urgency energizes his fluid multi-instrumental elocution and learned metaphors; sometimes it sounds like he’s burning an effigy of his ex in the quad at iTunes U” – Jon Dolan of Rolling Stone (3.5/5)

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