Monday, 23 December 2013

2013 Year in Review: Top 30 Albums

In the wake of my Top 75 songs of the year, below you will find my Top 30 albums of 2013. Once again they are in alpha order with exception of the Top 5.

Happy Holidays!!! and see you in January.

Favourite Albums
Arcade Fire- Reflektor
Arctic Monkeys- AM
Austra- Olympia
David Bowie- The Next Day
Braids- Flourish//Perish
Courtney Barnett- The Double EP: A Sea Of Split Peas
Cults- Static
Diana- Self Titled
Factory Floor- Self Titled
Foals- Holy Fire
Foxygen- We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace and Magic
Frankie Rose- Herein Wild
Fuzz- Self Titled
Haim- Days Are Gone
Joanna Gruesome- Weird Sister
The Knife- Shaking The Habitual
Mazzy Star- Seasons of Your Day
Janelle Monáe- The Electric Lady
No Joy- Wait To Pleasure
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark- English Electric
Still Corners- Strange Pleasures
Washed Out- Paracosm
Wild Nothing- An Empty Estate
Yamantaka//Sonic Titan-Uzu
Yeah Yeah Yeahs- Mosquito

5. Young Galaxy- Ultramarine. Young Galaxy keeps moving further and further away from their space rock beginnings. With the help of producer Dan Lissvik, this Montreal band made the best "Swedish" album of the year.

4. Vampire Weekend- Modern Vampires of the City. Number 1 on a lot of music websites and blogs. Just shows you how much this band has matured without changing their sound that much.

3. Chvrches- The Bones Of What You Believe. A great pop debut from the Scottish electro trio led by the spunky lead singer with the sugar coated voice, Lauren Mayberry.

2. My Bloody Valentine- mbv. Thought this album would never happen. I remember the night when the announcement was made and how social media reacted. Anybody and everybody who are My Bloody Valentine fans were trying to get into the band's website to download the album. Once I was finally able to get the LP, I stayed up all night listening to it. Well worth the wait.

1. Favourite Album of The Year: Savages- Silence Yourself. A vicious debut from the London post punk band. These ladies brought it with a ferocious mix of influences including Siouxsie, Patty Smith, Wire, Gang of Four, PJ Harvey and the Riot Grrrl scene.

2013 Year In Review: Top 75 Songs

Another fine year in music is coming to an end. Gonna do things different this year and list my 75 favourite songs in alphabetical order instead of a countdown. Countdowns are kind of silly.....but I will point out my track of the year. You can listen to 65 of the songs in the playlist at the bottom of the post.  Links are provided for tracks that were not available for the playlist.

My favourite albums, gigs and other fun stuff will be forthcoming in another post.....

Favourite Songs:

Alpine- "Gasoline"
Arcade Fire- "Awful Sound (Oh Eurydice)"
Arcade Fire- "Reflektor"
Arctic Monkeys- "Do I Wanna Know?"
Arctic Monkeys- "Arabella"
A$AP Ferg- "Shabba"(Ft. A$AP Rocky)
Austra- "Home"
Courtney Barnett- "Avant Gardener"
Courtney Barnett: "History Eraser"
David Bowie- "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)"
David Bowie- "Where Are We Now?
David Lynch (Ft. Lykke Li)- "I'm Waiting Here"
Dirty Beaches-"Casino Lisboa"
Beck-" I Won't Be Long"
Braids- "Amends"
Braids-"In Kind"
Brendan Canning- "Bullied Days"
Chelsea Wolfe- "The Warden"
Chvrches- "Recover"
Classixx-"All Your Waiting For" (Ft. Nancy Whang)
Cults- "High Road"
Cults- "I Could Hardly Make You Mine"
Daft Punk-"Get Lucky"
Diana- "Perpetual Surrender"
Dum Dum Girls- "Lost Boys & Girls Club"
Elephant- "Skyscraper"
Factory Floor-"Fall Back"
Foals-"Bad Habit"
Foals-"My Number"
Foxygen- "No Destruction"
Foxygen- "San Francisco"
Haim-"The Wire"
Jagwar Ma- "The Throw"
Joanna Gruesome-"Sugarcrush"
Keep Shelly In Athens- "Madmen Love"
Keep Shelly in Athens-" Oostende"
The Knife- "Full of Fire"
The Knife- "A Tooth For An Eye"
M.I.A.-"Bring The Noize"
Janelle Monáe- "Dance Apocalyptic"
My Bloody Valentine- "New You"
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds- "Jubilee Street"
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark- "Metroland"
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark- "Night Cafe"
Phoenix- "Entertainment"
Poliça- "Tiff" (Featuring Justin Vernon)
Poliça- "Chain My Name"
POND- "Giant Tortoise"
Primal Scream- "2013"
Prince Innocence- "Golden Hour"
Pure Bathing Culture-"Pendulum"
Frankie Rose- "Sorrow"
Savages- "She Will"
Sleigh Bells- "Bitter Rivals"
Splashh- "Sun Kissed Bliss"
Still Corners- "Berlin Love"
Toy & Natasha Khan- "The Bride"
Kurt Vile- "Wakin On A Pretty Day"
Vampire Weekend- "Diane Young"
Vampire Weekend- "Ya Hey"
Warpaint- "Biggy"
Warpaint" Love Is To Die"
Washed Out- "It Feels Alright"
Washed Out-"Paracosm"
Wax Idols: "AD RE: Ian"
Wild Nothing-"A Dancing Shell"
Yamantaka//Sonic Titan- "One"
Yeah Yeah Yeahs- "Despair"
Yeah Yeah Yeahs-" Sacrilege"
Young Galaxy- "Pretty Boy"
Youth Lagoon-"Dropla"

Favourite Track Of The Year: Young Galaxy- "New Summer"

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Five Star Songs: Aztec Camera- Walk Out To Winter

It's only the second day of winter, and in Toronto, the weather has been absolutely abysmal. Last weekend - a week before winter even started- the city had a huge snowstorm which left it blanketed in 20 centimetres of the white stuff. As soon as all of that snow melted another storm came barreling in from Texas and has left the city plastered in ice. The storm blew in last night and has left thousands of downed trees and multiple power outages in its wake. Not a good start to a season that is often unpredictable in this area of the world.

Canada is often stereotyped as a cold, snowy land where we only get warm weather four months of the year. In many parts of the country that is true, but in Southern Ontario there have been many winters where we have received little to no snow. I remember a couple of years ago laughing at our friends in the Northeast United States who were hit with several Nor'easter storms. This left cities like New York and Boston snow bound while just a few hundred kilometres away in Toronto we were enjoying unseasonably warm weather, and what precipitation did fall was mostly rain.

Now it looks like it is our turn to suffer. December has been extremely cold and stormy and it looks like we may be in for the winter long haul. Might as well embrace it, after all, winter can also be very beautiful.

Scottish indie pop band Aztec Camera knew this and wrote one of the best winter love songs ever. "Walk Out to Winter" was written by the genius Aztec Camera singer Roddy Frame, and was featured on the band's 1983 LP High Land Hard Rain. How could you not like lyrics that are as genius as this:

"Met in the summer and walked 'til the fall
And breathless we talked, it was tongues
Despite what they'll say, wasn't youth, we hit the truth

Faces of Strummer that fell from the wall
But nothing is left where they hung
Sweet and bitter, they're what we found
So drink them down"

Listen below:

Friday, 20 December 2013

Music From The Inbox (December-Part 2): Featuring The Aikiu, Saintseneca, Painted Palms, Angel Haze + More

This is my last new music posting of the year. There will be two "best of" posts forthcoming before Christmas, but this is the last post that will feature new music. See you in the New Year.

Artist: The Aikiu
Song: "Win" (Featuring JD Samson)
Country: France
Genre: Electropop
Album: Win EP
Release Date: Out Now
Label:  Atlas Chair/Sony France
Further Information: The song features guest vocals from JD Samson who has been involved with both Le Tigre and Men.

Artist: Ambassadeurs
Song: "Make Me"
Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Electronic
Release Date: Out Now
Label:  Self Released-

Artist: Saintseneca
Song: "Visions"
Country: United States
Genre: Indie Rock/Folk
Album: Dark Arc
Release Date: April 1st
Label:  Anti-

Song: "Wander"
Country: United States
Genre: Indie Rock
Label:  Heist or Hit

Artist: Angel Haze
Song: "A Tribe Called Red"
Country: United States
Genre: Hip Hop/Rap
Album: Dirty Gold
Release Date: December 30th
Label:  Island
Further Information: The album was originally due out in March, however the artist decided to leak the album and now the release date has been pushed forward to next week.

Artist: Painted Palms
Song: "Here it Comes"
Country: United States
Genre: Psych Pop
Album: Forever
Release Date: January 14
Label: Polyvinyl

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

New Music: Hibou- Hide Away

It's a cold, snowy night outside and along comes indie pop artist Peter Michel, aka Hibou, to warmly brighten all of our days up with his latest single "Hide Away." This is the first song he has released since the excellent Dunes EP earlier this year. This track is slightly different than those songs, as the jangle rock has been replaced by tropical sounding guitar, and the sound has more of an electro pop feel, however Hibou's magnificent washed out, dream like melodies are still in place. Listen below:

Hibou is working on his debut album which should be out early in 2014.

Music From The Inbox (December-Part 1): Featuring Peggy Sue, Pillar Point, JF Robitaille + More

Just because the year is coming to an end doesn't mean that there isn't any new music to listen to. As a matter of fact it is busier than normal right now. I will have to do two posts this December to include all of the great stuff that has been forwarded to me. Another post will becoming up before Christmas. Meanwhile, check these new songs out below:

Artist: Dearly Beloved
Song: "Living Proof"
Country: Canada
Genre: Alt Rock
Album: Hawk vs. Pigeon
Release Date: Out Now
Label:  eOne Music
Further Information: The album actually came out in 2012 and features guest appearances by Broken Social Scene's Brendan Canning and Sloan's Patrick Pentland.

Artist: Peggy Sue
Song: "Idle"
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Indie Rock
Album: Choir of Echoes
Release Date: January 28th

Artist: JF Robitaille
Song: "Cry (To Keep From Laughing)"
Country: Canada
Genre: Singer-Songwriter
Album: Rival Hearts
Release Date: Out Now
Label: Universal

Artist: Pillar Point
Song: "Eyeballs"
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Synth Pop
Album: Self Titled 
Release Date: February 25th
Label: Polyvinyl
Further Information: Singer Scott Reitherman has also been involved with indie pop band Throw Me The Statue.

Artist: Mystery Twins
Song: "The River"
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Stripped down Indie Rock
Album: "Poetry Sucks!" Anthology/Compilation
Release Date: Early 2014
Further Information: The duo consists of Doug Lehmann, on guitar/vocals and Stephanie Brush on drums/vocals. They've been playing together for over a decade as one half of The Clutters, who early on caught the attention of David Fricke and filmmaker Cameron Crowe.

The "River" will be included on the Poetry Sucks!" Anthology/Compilation that Third Man Records is putting out early 2014. This is curated by Ben Swank and Chet Weise featuring a collection of poetry and short stories accompanied by a record.

Monday, 16 December 2013

New Music: EMA- Satellites

When I saw South Dakota indie rocker Erika M. Anderson, aka EMA, play the Garrison here in Toronto back in 2012, she came across as one of the nicest, down to earth people performing in music at that time. She was very open and confident on stage and shared a lot of personal thoughts with the audience. And then after that gig she just kinda disappeared.

Well now she is back and seems to be a bit of an angrier mood, at least musically. Her newest single "Satellites" has a real goth like feel with Anderson upgrading her alt rock sound with added electronics and a thumping industrial beat. Listen below:

The track is taken from EMA's upcoming new album The Future's Void which will be out in the spring via Matador.

New Music: Ummagma- Rotation + Live and Let Die

After winning the Alternative Eurovision prize earlier this year, Ukrainian-Canadian dream pop band Ummagma are not resting on their laurels and have released a brand new double A-side single titled "Rotation"/"Live and Let Die". "Rotation" is the more electronic of the two songs and features a slow build up of wailing synth lines that leads into fuzzy, textured, grandiose dream pop. Meanwhile, " Live and Let Die" is maybe the funkiest song I have heard from the duo. The rhythmic track has really cool choppy guitar riffs, bombastic drums and I think I am not wrong in comparing this to some of Broadcast's poppier songs. Take a listen below:

The single is just the beginning as Ummagma plans to release more singles in 2014 on German label Emerald & Doreen RecordingsThe new single is now available on iTunesJuno DownloadAmazonBeatport and other major digital platforms. 

Friday, 13 December 2013

New Music: Snowbird- Porcelain

Here, in this part of the world it is cold, dark and this weekend we are expecting a large snow storm to make things even more wintry. It may not show it on the calendar, but winter is definitely here. It is a good time to stay indoors and chill to some great music.

Snowbird are a new duo who make music that is perfect for listening to at this time of the year. The project consists of Cocteau Twins' Simon Raymonde and singer Stephanie Dosen, who you may know from her collaborations with José González, Massive Attack and The Chemical Brothers. The couple will release their debut album next month and they enlisted some musical heavyweights to guest on the record including Ed O'Brien and Phil Selway of Radiohead, and Ed Pullido of Midlake. "Porcelain" is the first single from the LP and it is a stunningly, beautiful piece of music. Watch the wintry video for the song below:

Moon will be out in January via Bella Union.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

New Music: Mode Moderne- Strangle The Shadows + She, Untamed

A couple of new songs from our favourite Vancouver post punk group Mode Moderne. The band will release a brand new record titled Occult Delight in January and the songs "Strangle The Shadows" and "She, Untamed" are the first taste of the new LP. The latter track retains that New Order/Joy Division sound that made them so good on last year's Strange Bruises EP and for "Strangle The Shadows" they have added some jangle rock to the mix which adds an air of dreamy mystification to the band. Listen to the two songs below:

Occult Delight will be available January 21st via Light Organ Records.

Monday, 9 December 2013

New Music: Swervedriver- Deep Wound

Maybe My Bloody Valentine started something when they finally released their long delayed album mbv earlier this year.  First, Neal Halstead helped form Black Hearted Brother, a band that is more akin to his 90's shoegaze band Slowdive than the folk music that he has been known for lately. Now, another former Creation shoegaze band is putting out new music. Swervedriver is back with the new single "Deep Wound", and they have brought singer Mark Gardener of fellow Creationists Ride, along for the ride (sorry for the pun). Actually, the song has been around for a little while now. It was available as a 7"inch single on the band's summer tour and they performed it live on Fallon last year. Listen below:

Your move Reid brothers.....

You can purchase the song from Swervedriver's bandcamp or from iTunes.

New Music: Warpaint- Biggy

"Biggy" is the second track to be featured off of Warpaint's upcoming new self titled album. The song is a little bit more subdued than the earlier "Love is to Die", but it is still a genius track. As a matter of fact, I don't think Warpaint has ever sounded better than they do on the this ghostly song. Listen below:

Warpaint will be available January 21st via Rough Trade.

Friday, 6 December 2013

New Music: The Orwells- Dirty Sheets

Happy Friday. Let's get the weekend started right with some dirty garage rock and a sexy burlesque video courtesy of Chicago band The Orwells. Enjoy.

"Dirty Sheets" will be released on 7" in January via Atlantic.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

New Music: Lanterns On The Lake- The Buffalo Days

Lanterns On The Lake are another band who released a song earlier this year, and who I am just learning about now thanks to a music video. The band could be best described as symphonic, especially when you listen to "The Buffalo Days", the first single from their sophomore LP Until The Colours Run. Watch the video for the anthemic track below:

The new record is already out in the UK and will be available on this side of the pond January 14th.

Monday, 2 December 2013

New Music: Twist- Where To Lie

The very busy Brain Borcherdt of Toronto indie band Dusted, and more notably the electronic group Holy Fuck, has a brand new project collaboration called Twist. Joining him in the collaboration is Twist is a new project conceived by Laura Hermiston, singer from the excellent garage rock band The BB Guns, and she enlisted Brian to help her record the music. The first taste of the duo's music, "Where to Lie" is a lo-fi charmer that features a simple guitar riff backed by Hermiston's beautiful, soft voice. This song has actually been kicking around since last March but recently the couple released a shiny new video for the track. Watch the video below and grab a free download of the song.

Twist - Where to Lie from Twist Band on Vimeo.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Five Star Songs: The Walkmen- Red Moon

Ughh... The Walkmen are the latest great band to announce they are going on the dreaded infinite hiatus. Once again, let's hope these guys will be back sooner rather than later. Writers of some of the best love songs by an indie rock band this century, the band's lyrics seems to possess a certain yearning that could only be perfected by the smoky voice of lead singer Hamilton Leithauser. A great example is the You & Me soft ballad "Red Moon", which, by the way, was featured in a Season 2 episode of Breaking Bad.  Listen below:

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

New Music: Ghost Beach- Moon Over Japan

Not sure how I missed this great tune when it first came out last July. Blink in the music blogosphere and you always miss something, I guess. Anyhow, Ghost Beach have sort of reissued "Moon Over Japan" and have offered it as a free download on Soundcloud. The song is an anthemic, glistening, 80's synth pop jam that comes off like Kim and Jessie era M83 mixed with a hint of Tears for Fears (The bell sound on the track sounds almost exactly like the bell sound in "Shout") and Level 42. Grab it below:

Monday, 25 November 2013

New Music: Temples- Mesmerise

After releasing a couple of great songs in "Keep in the Dark" and "Colours to Life" earlier this year it was about time for UK psych rockers Temples to announce a new album. Last week was that moment and the band came out with the first single from the LP titled "Mesmerise". In the past Temples have been compared to 70's glam rocker T. Rex, but this song sounds more modern and maybe can be best likened to Tame Impala or Pond. Check it out below:

The new album is titled Sun Structures and will be available February 11th via Fat Possum.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Music From The Inbox: Featuring Simian Ghost, Sweet Gum Tree, Velour Modular and More

Oodles and oodles of good stuff to present for you this month. Let's get right to it.

Artist: Simian Ghost
Song: "A Million Shining Colours"
Country: Sweden
Genre: Indie Pop

Artist: Clear Plastic Masks (CPM)
Song: "Baby Come On"
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Blues/Indie Rock
Album: Self Titled EP
Release Date: November 26th
Label: Dine Alone Records

Artist: Painted Palms
Song: "Forever"
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Psych Pop
Album: Forever
Release Date: January 14
Label: Polyvinyl

Artist: Sweet Gum Tree
Song: "Bird Of Passage" (Ft. Isobel Campbell)
Country: France
Genre: Chamber Pop
Album: The Snakes You Charm and the Wolves You Tame
Release Date: February, 2014

Artist: Velour Modular
Song: "Forward"
Country: France
Genre: Electropop
Album: Capsule EP
Release Date: TBD

Artist: Mona & Maria
Song: "Babyflowers"
Country: Norway
Genre: Psych Pop
Album: My Sun
Release Date: Out Now

Artist: Happyness
Song: "It's On You"
Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Indie Pop
Album: Self Titled EP
Release Date: January, 2014

Artist: Eurielle
Song: "Gold"
Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Electropop
Album: The Incarnation EP
Release Date: Out Now

Artist: The Rebel Light
Song: "Jukebox Dream"
Country: United States
Genre: Indie Pop

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

New Music: Dum Dum Girls- Lost Boys And Girls Club

It's hard to believe that this is the first time I have posted a song by the Dum Dum Girls, because I am a huge fan of these ladies. Better later than never. The Dum Dums have announced a brand new album titled Too True which will be out in the new year. The band have gone all dark with the propulsive new single "Lost Both and Girls Club". Even know the lyrics of the song are very eerie, the track is largely anthemic and features the increasingly confident Dee Dee Dum Dum on vocals with her beautiful voice backed by a wall of blistering distorted guitar . Watch the video for the song below:

Too True will be available January 29th via Sub Pop.

Monday, 18 November 2013

New Music: Electric Youth- Innocence

More great eighties sounds from Toronto synth pop duo Electric Youth who are back with a brand new single titled "Innocence". You might know these guys from their excellent "The Best Thing" single which came out in the summer of last year, and you might also remember them from their collaborative track with College, "A Real Hero", for the Drive soundtrack. "Innocence"has that same synth pop iciness that made those other two tracks so fantastic. Listen below:

Electric Youth will release a still to be named new album sometime next year.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

New Music: Death Of Lovers- Buried Under A World Of Roses

Very cold in this part of the world which means it is good time to post something dark....

Shoegaze touring partners Whirr and Nothing have decided to put some of their talents together and have formed a new band called Death of Lovers. The collaboration have come out with a new single titled "Buried Under A Bed Of Roses", a song that tones down their respective other band's shoegaze. Instead the style is very dark and sounds goth. There is no release date for the single but they have come out with a music video. Check it out below:

Monday, 11 November 2013

New Music: No Joy- Second Spine

This a pleasant surprise!! Montreal shoegaze band No Joy released a new three song mini EP last week titled Pastel and Passed Out. Earlier this year the band put out their excellent Wait to Pleasure LP,  an album that saw the band progressing away from their grungy beginnings. And now their new single "Second Spine" sees that progression go even further into dream pop territory. Listen below:

Pastel and Passed Out is available now via Mexican Summer.

New Music: Nyssa- Swear 2 Me

There were rumours flying around last summer that Toronto garage pop band Modern Superstitions had broken up. If this is true it would be sad and surprising news , after all,  they had just released their debut self titled album a few months earlier which received widespread critical acclaim.

Modern Superstitions' lead singer Nyssa Rosaleen is moving on with her music career and has just released a new song titled "Swear 2 Me." She has taken a different futuristic approach on this song that seems to be the polar opposite of what she created with her band, although her amazing voice is still front and centre.. The electro pop track was created with the help of producer Egyptrixx and has an accompanying stylistic music video that features Nyssa hanging out with a hairy monster. Watch and listen below:

"Swear 2 Me is available for download over at Nyssa's bandcamp.

Swear 2 Me from Nyssa Rosaleen on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

New Music: Veronica Falls- Nobody There

Bonus music from the great London indie pop band Veronica Falls. Their new single "Nobody There"  was released on 7" and sold during their recent Asian tour.  The track will get a proper release on both vinyl and digital download in early December. Stream the song below:

Monday, 4 November 2013

New Music: Elephant- Snowday

The title of this song takes me back to my childhood where I had fond memories of waking up on some winter mornings, looking out the window, and finding a fresh blanket of whiteness on the ground. There would be a bit of anticipation before you turned on the radio, but then the DJ would make the announcement; school was closed and it was officially a snow day.

Elephant transform the happy feeling of that moment into their songs and maybe that is why they named their latest "Snowday". The track is the B- side to "Shapeshifter",  an another excellent song that was featured a couple of weeks ago on the blog.

Really hoping a new album is in the works for 2014 from these guys.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Five Star Songs: Kleerup - Until We Bleed (Ft. Lykke Li)

Just because I am in love with Lykke Li and think that everything song she sings is magical. "Until We Bleed" features Li's beautiful voice and is taken from Swedish producer Kleerup's eponymous 2008 album, an LP that also has songs featuring Swedish leading ladies Robyn and Neneh Cherry.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Music From The Inbox: Featuring Abbe May, Painted Palms, Beastmilk + More

Lots of new music coming into my inbox from all around the world. Here is the best from the last few weeks. Let's keep it simple....

Artist: Abbe May
Song: Perth Girls
Country: Australia
Genre: Electro pop
Album: Kiss My Apocalypse

Artist: Painted Palms
Song: Spinning Signs
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Psych Pop
Album: Forever
Release Date: January 14
Label: Polyvinyl

Artist: Beastmilk
Song: Fear Your Mind
Country: Finland
Genre: Post Punk/ Darkwave
Album: Climax
Release Date: November 29

Artist: Pompeya
Song: Slaver
Country: Russia
Genre: Synth Pop/ Indie Rock
Album: Tropical

Artist: Nova Heart
Song: My Song 9
Country: China
Genre: Synth Pop/ New Wave

Artist: Deep Sea Arcade
Song: Black Cat
Country: Australia
Genre: Psych Rock

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

New Music: Vaadat Charigim- Odisea

Okay, I might be ignorant, but I can only think of one other band that hails from Israel. That would be the dirty psych garage of Monotonix, the craziest live indie band in the world. Now I know two Israeli bands with the introduction this week of Tel Aviv shoegazers Vaadat Charigim. Their new song "Odisea" could easily qualify for both the best and, despite not knowing what the hell they are singing about, the most beautiful shoegaze song of the year. The shimmering guitars on this track are absolutely magical. Judge for yourself, listen below:

The track is taken from their album The World Is Well Lost, which will be out November 12th via Burger.

Monday, 28 October 2013

New Music: Warpaint- Love Is To Die

California indie rock band Warpaint announced today that they will release their new self tilted LP early in 2014 and the band also shared the first single, "Love is to Die",  from the record. Listen to the haunting new track below:

The ladies got some heavy hitters to help with production duties for the new record. The majority of the songs were recorded with Depeche Mode producer Flood and Nigel Godrich helped out with two other tracks on the album. Should be good.......

Warpaint will release their self titled new recorded on January 21st via Rough Trade.

New Music: Dot Dash- A Light In The Distance + Music Video

Washington D.C. post punk band Dot Dash are back with a new song and accompanying music video. "A Light in the Distance" is a raw punk song with a sound that harkens back to the late seventies and early 80's when bands like The Stranglers, The Buzzcocks and Wire ruled Britain's indie air waves. Watch a live performance of the song and then head on over to Dot Dash's bandcamp to download the track for free.

"A Light in the Distance" is taken from the album Half-Remembered Dream which is out now via Ottawa label The Beautiful Music.

A Light in The Distance from Dot Dash on Vimeo.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Five Star Songs: Lou Reed- Street Hassle

R.I.P. Lou Reed.....

"Street Hassle" is a three part opus about life on the streets of New York City. The track features Bruce Springsteen and is taken from the album of the same name. Eleven minutes of brilliance.

Friday, 25 October 2013

New Music: Los Campesinos!- Avocado Baby

Welsh indie rockers Los Campesinos! are all set to drop their fifth studio album No Blues next week. "Avocado Baby" is the second single to be featured from the LP. Listen to the morbid, but fun, indie pop track below:

No Blues is out October 29th via Wichita but if you want to hear it early you can stream the new album over at Pitchfork.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

New Music: Elsa- In Two

Another great new Toronto band that I am more than happy to present to you. This time it is the dream pop four piece group Elsa, a band that Fucked Up's Mike Haliechuk and his record label have taken under their wing. These guys make wonderful hushed, fuzzy indie pop that make the grey autumn days of October and November bearable. Watch the video for their reverb friendly new song "In Two" below:

The band have a 4 track EP titled I Do that is available now via One Big Silence.

Elsa - In Two from Colin Medley on Vimeo.

Monday, 21 October 2013

New Music: Invasions- Rosy

Toronto indie rock band Invasions are set to release their sophomore album this week (September 25th) and if their first single "Rosy" is any indication these guys will be getting a lot more attention in the near future. This song has a definite 60's psychedelic surf rock vibe and it brings to mind classic Canadian groups Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet and The Sadies. Listen below:

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Five Star Songs: Frightened Rabbit- Swim Until You Can't See Land

Finally caught Scottish indie pop band Frightened Rabbit in concert the other night even though this is the third time the group has played Toronto in the last couple of years. Both of their earlier shows at The Mod Club and The Phoenix sold out quite quickly and it was tough to get tickets. This time the show did not sell out and the vacuous venue The Kool Haus looked only half full. The band played a lengthy 1 hour 45 minute set made up of songs form all of their albums and EPs, not just songs from their recent LP Pedestrian Verse.  They even reluctantly played their biggest hit, the celibacy celebrating song "Keep Yourself Warm" even though singer Scott Hutchinson stated that at the beginning of the tour that they were not going to play it.

One song I was disappointed they didn't sing was "Swim Until You Can't See Land", my favourite track off of The Winter Of Mixed Drinks LP. The track can be interpreted as a redemption song for someone who is trying to forget the past. It's a song that anyone who has ever ended a relationship or hit hard times can appreciate, especially if they are trying to overcome that adversity. Listen to the track below:

Friday, 18 October 2013

New Music: Toy- Join The Dots

Usually at this time of year any new song releases or new album news are few and far between. Autumn is a time for the major blogs and music magazines to get their year end lists together and it is rare for them to preview new music unless it is for a 2014 release. There are always exceptions of course, and this year the UK psych band Toy have announced a late year release that will certainly make some people wait to put out their "best of" lists for 2013.

Toy only released their epic self titled debut a year ago and now they have already returned with the follow up, Join The Dots, which is scheduled to be released on December 10th via Heavenly Recordings. Listen to the monumental eight minute title track below:

Monday, 7 October 2013

New Music: Anna Calvi- Suddenly

Looking forward to Anna Calvi's new album One Breath, which is out this week via Domino. "Suddenly" is her latest single, a track that shows off her powerful singing voice like no other song has done before it. Anna may be shedding the comparisons to P.J. Harvey and inviting new comparisons to Florence Welch. Listen below:

New Music: Brendan Canning- Bullied Days

"Bullied Days" is a serenely beautiful track from Broken Social Scene member Brendan Canning's new LP You Gots 2 Chill. The song features Daniela Gesundheit, lead singer of fellow Toronto band Snowblink. Listen below:

You Gots 2 Chill is out now.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Five Star Songs- Asobi Seksu- Walk On The Moon

So sad to hear that dream pop/shoegazer band Asobi Seksu have announced they are going on indefinite hiatus. The group made the announcement on their Facebook page last week by posting "Thanks for all the memories guys. Hope to make more down the line. We miss you all.” which left fans thinking they were breaking up. However, they later clarified their statement by writing “Saying goodbye for the forseeable future, but we may write for Asobi again in a couple of years…” (Ironically, the last thing the band did was release a cover of Japanese sludge metal band Boris's song "Farewell.") 

Let's hope that they get plenty of rest in the next couple of years and that they come back even stronger.

"Walk on the Moon" is my personal favourite Asobi Seksu song. The track is taken from their 2004 debut self titled album.

Friday, 4 October 2013

New Music: Elephant- Shapeshifter

Last February we were introduced to London indie pop duo Elephant via their masterful, soaring song "Skyscraper". After a quiet few months the couple have just come out with their latest track "Shapeshifter", a song where singer Amelia Rivera commands "take me to your room" despite the fact she is in a bad relationship. The song has an air of nostalgia that is paired with modern day dream pop. Listen below:

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

New Music: The Forest & The Trees- Putting Down The Gun

Here is another in a long line of Swedish bands to bestow us with indie pop greatness. The Forest & The Trees are set to release their second album some time in the near future. Meanwhile, listen to their new single "Putting Down the Gun" which hopefully be part of the new LP.

Monday, 30 September 2013

New Music: Phantogram- Black Out Days + Celebrating Nothing

After a quiet couple of years New York state electro duo Phantogram have recently come out with two new singles titled "Black Out Days" and "Celebrating Nothing." These two new tracks are as good as, if not better, than any of the songs released from the big electro bands of the moment. Perhaps it is time for Phantogram to break it big and join the ranks of other recent success stories like Passion Pit and Chvrches. They are well on their way. Listen below:

The band's self titled EP is out today (September 30th) via Republic.

New Music: Woman's Hour- Darkest Place + Thunder

Woman's Hour are a four piece synth pop band heralding from London UK. Their music lies somewhere between The xx and Still Corners, which is to say a sound that employs the use of a female singer over minimalist synths and gentle guitar. Their newest single, "Darkest Hour" b/w "Thunder" will be available October 22nd via Luv Luv Luv Records. Listen to both tracks below:

Friday, 27 September 2013

New Music: Odonis Odonis- Are We Friends

Back in March, Toronto punk trio Odonis Odonis released "Intelligence",  one of the best hard rock tracks of the year. After releasing their latest EP Better earlier this year, the band have just come out with another hard charging single titled "Are We Friends", a song that uses the same combination of searing punk rock mixed with thumping industrial drum beats. Listen below:

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

New Music: Sleigh Bells- You Don't Get Me Twice

"You Don't Get Me Twice" is a slightly more subdued track than "Bitter Rivals", the first single and title track from Sleigh Bells' new album. The new track is more melodic than most of the band's earlier output from their previous two albums, but the song still maintains that Sleigh Bells edge courtesy of Derek Miller's maximum guitar riffage. Listen below:

Bitter Rivals will be released on October 8th via Mom + Pop.

New Music: The History of Apple Pie- Don't You Wanna Be Mine?

Way back in January British shoegaze pop band The History of Apple Pie released their impressive debut album Out Of View to much critical acclaim. Apparently they are already working on a follow up, and just to let us know that their band are still around, they have just put out a one off single titled "Don't You Wanna Be Mine?" Listen to the new track below that contains a musical ménage à trois of fuzziness that features lead singer Stephane Min's sweet voice sandwiched between the excellent guitar stylings of Jerome Thomas and Aslam Ghauri.

“Don’t You Wanna Be Mine?” is out 10/14 on Marshall Teller.