Wednesday, 31 July 2013

New Music: TV On The Radio- Mercy

"Mercy" has been a TV On The Radio concert staple for a couple of years now and the band have finally decided to release a studio version of the song. This track may be the hardest thing they have done since they put out the jock jam "Wolf Like Me"(I've heard that track more than a few times in sports bars). Listen below.

BTW TVOTR are truly an indie band now. They are no longer with Interscope and are releasing their music through band member and producer Dave Sitek's new imprint Federal Prism.

New Music: Hockeysmith- Let's Bang

Hockeysmith are a couple of sisters, Georgie and Annie, who do all of their best work while residing in a caravan (trailer) park in southern England. The misleadingly titled Let's Go is a blissful piece of dream pop that features foggy electronics and distant guitars and a beat that you can very well dance to. Don't let the fade out at the 1:00 mark fool you - the song doesn't end and actually gets better from that point. Listen below

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

New Music: The Band in Heaven- Dandelion Wine + Music Video

I see why these guys named their group The Band in Heaven. They produce some glorious heavenly dream pop music, especially this song. “Dandelion Wine" is jangle pop of the twee-est kind.

The video for the song features the band celebrating some pagan ritual that has bubble blowing, horse heads and half naked women. Watch below.

They have a debut album coming out titled Caught in a Summer Swell, and it will be available September 17th.

New Music: Jonathan Rado- Hand in Mine

All sorts of drama in the band Foxygen these days. We might be hearing a lot more solo material from Jonathan Rado, and a lot less music from Foxygen (I smell a group break up in the near future), if he keeps bickering with band partner Sam France. (And now there is news that Sam France broke his leg while performing last night....yikes)

"Hand in Mine" is a throwback and sounds suspiciously like those old Lee Hazlewood/Nancy Sinatra duets from the 60’s.

The song is taken from the EP, Law Order, which is out September 3rd via Woodsist.

Monday, 29 July 2013

New Music: Haim- The Wire

The Los Angeles all female trio Haim have released a new song today and it sounds kinda familiar. The drum track seems to be lifted straight from The Eagles song “Heartache Tonight". The similarities end there though, as the song turns into a lush harmonic indie pop treasure and big juicy chorus. Listen below:

No word on a new album yet from these lovely girls. Looking forward to it.

New Music: Los Porcos- C.F.W.

WU LYF refugees Los Porcos have released another catchy song that makes you feel you want to get on a yacht and travel around the world. We've already heard the songs "Do You Wanna Live?" and "Jesus Loves U Baby", and now they have come out with the funky psychedelic "C.F.W." , which is the first official single from the band.  Listen to the song below:

Sunday, 28 July 2013

New Music: Jeff Buckley & Elizabeth Fraser- All Flowers in Time Bend Towards the Sun

At the time of Jeff Buckley's death, the iconic singer-songwriter had oodles of unreleased material including demos, bootlegs, and live concert recordings. A lot of these recordings have been leaked over the internet over the years and are widely available on sites like YouTube.

One of those songs was a duet Buckley did with Elizabeth Fraser of the Cocteau Twins titled "All Flowers in Time Bend Towards the Sun". There is not much information about this song other than the fact a tape of the track was discovered in Buckley's personal collection. Buckley's mother, Mary Guibert, who now owns the right to the singer-songwriter's music has stated that she will never release the song. On Jeff Buckley's website a fan posed a question to Mary regarding putting the song out and she stated "I agree with all of you that "All Flowers In Time" is a lovely song, but we never had a proper studio recording of it, and the demo recordings we had were too personal and not suited to past projects." That is too bad because it is such a lovely song. Listen below:

Friday, 26 July 2013

New Music: Classixx- All You're Waiting For (Featuring Nancy Whang) + Music Video

It's Friday....time to dance into the weekend!!!

I love Nancy Whang!!! She turns ordinary dance tracks into something special.

LCD Soundsystem and The Juan Maclean singer Nancy Whang is enlisted to help out on Classixx’s latest track “All You're Waiting For". The L.A. dance duo even let her star in the music video for the song. Watch below:

New Music: Army Navy- Crushed Like a Car

Justin Kennedy and his indie power pop trio Army Navy are crushed these days. Not crushed like feeling disappointed but Crushed as in the name of their new EP and "Crushed" as in part of the title of their new single "Crushed Like a Car".

If you know this band they use life's little moments for inspiration in their music. It was Kennedy's heartbreak that led to Army Navy's last release, The Last Place, and this time they are using a near horrible accident as a theme for this EP and the song "Crushed Like a Car". Although, after listening to the track, crush could have a totally different meaning, as in I think I have a crush on this song. Listen below:

Army Navy will release the Crushed EP on August 20th via The Fever Zone

Thursday, 25 July 2013

New Music: Chelsea Wolfe- We Hit a Wall

Chelsea Wolfe is quickly becoming my new female singer obsession. ( one of umpteen crushes I have had on female musicians over the years).

Wolfe is supposedly going in a new electronic direction on her new album, Pain is Beauty, and the first single, "The Warden", was indicative of that. However, on her latest track, "We Hit a Wall", Wolfe has gone back to her roots with the creation of a dark beauty of a song that features gloomy guitars, tribal rhythms and downcast lyrics. Listen to the tormenting song below:

Pain is Beauty is out September 3rd via Sargent House.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

New Music- The Darcys- The River

The Darcys are one my favourite Toronto bands. These guys released an amazing self titled debut LP a couple of years ago - which they gave away for free - and then recorded a tribute to the Steely Dan record Aja, creating an LP that covers each song on that iconic album.

"The River" is the first single to come out from their second album of original material. The sparse synth inflected song with afro beat bass reminds me a little bit of Foals. Listen below:

Their new album, Warring, is out September 17th on Arts & Crafts.

New Music: Pure Bathing Culture- Dream The Dare

Last May, Pure Bathing Culture helped kick off the hot and lazy season with their summer anthem "Pendulum". The Portland duo are back with another swooning track from their forthcoming new album Moon Tides. The simple "Dream The Dare" is a little folk ballad that is amped up with synth layers and reverb. Download the song below:

Moon Tides is out August 20th via Partisan Records.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

New Music: Yuck- Rebirth

"Rebirth" is Yuck’s first new music since lead singer Daniel Blumberg left the band to launch his solo career and his new project Hebronix. Hebronix released his debut album a couple of weeks ago to little fanfare and average critical reviews. On the aptly named “Rebirth" Yuck sound like they don’t miss Blumberg. Their music has shifted slightly and they now sound a little bit more British shoegaze and less 90’s American college rock. Download the song below:

New Music: TV Ghost- Elevator

TV Ghost are a new discovery for me even though they have put out a couple of albums over the last few years.  If their newest track "Elevator" is any indication, then I will have to go back and listen to their earlier stuff because this song is really good. The gothic song starts off with a wall of shimmering guitar and then descends into hellish darkness courtesy of lead singer Tim Gick's seismic voice. Listen below:

Monday, 22 July 2013

New Music: Divine Fits- Chained To Love + Ain't That The Way

Apparently Divine Fits have already released these songs digitally..... I will have to seek them out.

Meanwhile, the indie super group has put out lyric videos for both songs. As usual, I prefer the Dan Boeckner song, "Chained to Love", due to my undying love for his previous band the Handsome Furs.  "Ain't That the Way", as sung by Spoon front man Britt Daniel, ain't too shabby either. Listen below:

Both songs will  be available on Double A-side 12" vinyl July 23rd (tomorrow) via Merge.

New Music: Porcelain Raft- The Way Out

Porcelain Raft , aka Italian synth pop artist Mauro Remiddi, is back with a brand new single and much anticipated second album that is titled Permanent Signal. On Porcelain Raft's last album, Strange Weekend, there was a song called "The Way In" and now Remiddi has released that track's polar opposite- or at least the title opposite-the aptly named "The Way Out." Remiddi now makes his home in New York and he was there during Hurricane Sandy last year. This song is his reflection on that natural disaster and the effects it had on New York City.  Listen to the anthemic new single below:

Permanent Signal is out August 20th via Secretly Canadian.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

New Music From The Inbox: Featuring Incan Abraham, The Minx, Straw Bear, The Rebel Light and Spooky Fish

It's time to clean out my inbox again. Here is some pretty cool music that has been submitted to me over the last few weeks.

Incan Abraham- "Tuolumne"

This song premiered over at Spin a couple of weeks ago but you can listen to the track here to. The rising LA psych-pop group is releasing their new LP Tuolumne/Whidbey on White Iris Records Aug 6th.

The Minx- Forest Bank

British band The Minx are being championed by Steve Lamacq at BBC Radio. He stated they sound like "a mix of The Buzzcocks and The Undertones" and he is pretty spot on. Listen below:

Straw Bear-Snobbery

This song from UK band Straw Bear is also being heralded at the BBC. This time from a whole host of DJ's including Huw Stephens and Tom Robinson. This track sounds like a folkier version of Belle & Sebastian.

Finally a couple of Soundcloud submissions from bands that I don't know too much about.

The Rebel Light- Jukebox Dream

Beautiful indie pop from Los Angeles indie pop band The Rebel Light.  According to the band they recorded "Jukebox Dream" by themselves throughout various rooms in their house. Listen below:

Spooky Fish- I Dream of Color

Spooky Fish are/is a Toronto based electronic experimental act. This sounds a little bit like UK dub step artist Burial. Hear more over at Bandcamp.

Music Video: Her Vanished Grace- Turn It Over

Some news from our friends Her Vanished Grace from last week....

Firstly, they released a new video for their beautiful song"Turn It Over" from last year's Star Crossed LP. If you are a fan of The Cocteau Twins then this song is perfect for you. Watch the video below:

Secondly, lead singer Charles Nieland released a solo work, UNDER DARK, a collection unsettling ethereal landscapes. The tracks on UNDER DARK are a series of live improvisations using Electric Guitar, Transistor Radio, GR-33 Guitar Synth, Steel Guitar, Trumpet and a variety of looping devices and effects. You can listen to the album or pay what you can for it over at the band's Bandcamp site.

Five Star Songs: Hot Chip- Playboy

"Playboy" may be the funniest and quirkiest songs that UK dance band Hot Chip have ever written. As a matter of fact, the song appears on their debut album Coming On Strong, and when that LP was released a lot of people thought they were a bit of a joke act. The reason was that they were a bunch of white electro nerds who wrote silly songs and were influenced by stylized hip hop and R&B. If you look at the lyrics of "Playboy" you can see why. The song starts with a T.S. Eliot quote from the The Wasteland and then transforms into comical macho rap bravado- but the kind of bravado only a bunch of geeky British musicians could exert. A rap song (errr...electro pop song) that gives a shout out to Yo La Tengo.....perfect.

April, the cruelest month
I reckon this much could be a contender
There's only so much sorrow a man can take
I can't change my face, don't you remember

You know when I was on the road

That me and you was on the rocks, so low
Should never have got talkin' all that jive
Now there's only one way for me to stay alive

Drivin' in my Peugeot, hey

20 inch rims with the chrome now, hey
Blazin' out yo La Tengo, hey
Drivin' 'round poppin' with the top down, hey

Drivin' in my Peugeot, hey

20 inch rims with the chrome now, hey
Blazin' out yo La Tengo, hey
Drivin' 'round poppin' with the top down, hey

So long to contentedness

I reckon next time I'll march in favor
So long I've felt a blessedness
No more is this a taste I want to savor

I know how I dig you on

You can know only see, so far
But never was there more to say
Less, to do, before, turn away

Drivin' in my Peugeot, hey

20 inch rims with the chrome now, hey
Blazin' out yo La Tengo, hey
Drivin' 'round poppin' with the top down, hey

Friday, 19 July 2013

New Music: Keep Shelly In Athens- Recollection

Finally, we get news that Grecian synth pop act Keep Shelly in Athens are going to release an album. The LP is titled At Home and will be out September 17th via Cascine and “Recollection" is the dreamy new single. Listen below:

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

New Music: White Poppy- Daydreaming + Wear Me Away

Two beautiful tracks from up and coming Vancouver dream pop artist White Poppy, aka Crystal Dorval.

"Daydreaming" is a song that features multi layers of washed out bliss that is accompanied by Dorval's angelic voice while "Wear Me Away" is a shoegaze track that is a little bit more hazy, but still very beautiful. The latter track will be featured on Dorval's new self titled album which is out September 3rd on No No Records while the former track was released on cassette a couple of weeks ago.  Listen to both tracks below and check out the multi coloured psychedelic music video for "Daydreaming":

WHITE POPPY - DAYDREAMING from Crystal Dorval on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

New Music: Mazzy Star- California

I am so excited by the news that we are finally getting a new Mazzy Star album. This announcement comes on the heels of surprise new releases from My Bloody Valentine, David Bowie, Beck, Nine Inch Nails….2013 has been a very good year for reunions and comebacks.

Mazzy Star did release a single in 2011 titled “Common Burn", but now we get news of their first long player in 17 years. The album is titled Seasons of Your Day and will be out September 24th.

Hope Sandoval sounds better than ever on “California", a beautiful acoustic dream pop track that is the first taste of the new album. Listen below:

New Music: Widowspeak- True Believer

Hot on the heels of last year's excellent Almanac LP, Brooklyn dream pop band Widowspeak have announced a brand new EP titled The Swamps. The countrified shoegaze track"True Believer" is the first taste from the new release and is also a good preview for a song that will posted later this evening on the blog from one of the band's biggest influences. Listen below:

The Swamps is out October 29th via Captured Tracks.

Monday, 15 July 2013

New Music: Holy Ghost!- Teenagers In Heat

This song is really great dance track....Why? Because former LCD Soundsystem main man James Murphy co-produced the track. Okay, let's give Holy Ghost! some credit for writing a good song, but thanks to Murphy this is probably better than anything they have ever done. Download the track below:

The track is taken from the album Dynamics which is out on September 10th via DFA.

New Music: Whirr- Drain

San Francisco band Whirr released their latest EP, Around, last week on Graveface Records. The four song mini album includes the song "Drain," an epic, slow-paced, eight minute melancholic track that has the band sounding a little bit like sadcore group Low.  Listen below:

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Five Star Songs: Niki & The Dove- The Fox

"The Fox" by Swedish electro pop band Niki & The Dove keeps coming up on my iPod shuffle and it sounds better and better every listen.

The track is taken from last year's excellent Instinct LP which is available on iTunes.

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark: Live At The Danforth Music Hall

First off, I had no plans to see this gig last Thursday. I had checked the Ticketmaster website a couple of weeks ago and it seemed that they did not have any tickets left. After hearing Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark sounding really good on the CBC Radio show Q earlier in the day - and after having a couple of drinks - I changed my mind and decided that I would try to get tickets through scalpers. Luckily, I checked the box office first and much to my surprise they had tickets.

Note: I was late and missed the opening set by the always excellent Diamond Rings.

Andy McCluskey, Paul Humphreys and band came out at 9:30 PM sharp to the pre recorded sound of "Please Remain Seated," the introductory track off their latest album English Electric. Once the guys were settled they launched into another English Electric song, Metroland, their Kraftwerk-like ode to bad suburban planning. McCluskey seemed happy and energetic while giving high fives to the fans in front of the stage. He announced that “There will be old ones and there will be new ones,” referring to the song selection and sure enough OMD provided a good mix of their classics along with plenty of new songs.

Unlike other bands who regroup after a long hiatus, OMD made the decision that the reunion of their original group would not be a cash grab and that they would record new material. Since they got back together in 2010 they have put out two excellent LPs, History of Modern and the aforementioned English Electric. Most of the older crowd seemed to like the new material but I  did notice some fans who were disinterested. Those people got what they wanted though, and most of the set list was comprised of oldies including my personal favourites "Tesla Girls", "So in Love" and "Enola Gay". The band even played "If You Leave,"the mega hit from the Pretty in Pink soundtrack. OMD don't particularly care for this song but it did make them a lot of money and McCluskey jokingly acknowledged that fact.

Another funny moment happened near the end of the first set when McCluskey stated that he was tired. He had good reason to be exhausted because the band were stuck on an airplane for 20 hours due to Toronto's shitty weather earlier in the week. McCluskey did get his second wind, finished the last two songs and with the crowd shouting O.M.D. over and over again the guys seemed reenergized and ended with a three song encore that included two more classics, "Secret" and "Electricity".

If you are in Toronto and you missed them, OMD will be back at the same venue on Friday July 19th. Go see them.

Set List:

Please Remain Seated 
Tesla Girls 
History of Modern (Part 1) 
(Forever) Live and Die 
If You Leave 
Night CafĂ© 
Joan of Arc 
Maid of Orleans 
Our System 
Kissing the Machine 
So In Love 
Sister Marie Says 
Sailing on the Seven Seas 
Enola Gay 


Walking on the Milky Way 

Friday, 12 July 2013

New Music: White Hills- In Your Room

This band has a lot going on.....

White Hills are a space rock band from New York City who are quite busy these days. Not only do they have a new song, they are about to go on tour with The Cult and if that isn't enough the band are  appearing in a Jim Jarmusch vampire movie with Tilda Swinton.

Listen to the band's newest song, "In Your Room" and make sure you turn the volume up really high. The track is also available for download on SoundCloud.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

New Music: Diana- Perpetual Surrender + Music Video

"Perpetual Surrender" is the title track from Toronto synth pop band Diana's forthcoming debut album.  The track is an understated, sexy affair that embraces the saxophone talents of Joseph Shabason, a musician who has also worked with Destroyer.

The band put out a a video for the song today that features a kaleidoscope of images of lead singer Carmen Elle. Watch below:

Perpetual Surrender will be released August 20th via Paper Bag/Jagjaguwar.

New Music: FUZZ- Loose Sutres

Ty Segall side project FUZZ have been fucking around for a while now and have released several cool singles. Now Segall has gotten serious with his new project with the announcement of a new self titled LP. The first single from the album, "Loose Sutres," just straight out rawks!! It features both a bass and drum solo in the middle of the track, and has one of the meanest guitar solos I have heard all year. Download below:

FUZZ will be out October 1st via In The Red.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

New Music: Au Revoir Simone- Somebody Who

Its been four years since we’ve heard any new music from synth pop ladies Au Revoir Simone.  "Somebody Who" is the first single released from their forthcoming new album, Move in Spectrums, which is out September 23rd via Moshi Moshi.

New Music: I Break Horses- Denial

Swedish synth pop duo I Break Horses are back with a dreamy new single that will be released in limited edition white vinyl some time in the near future.  "Denial" is a slight change in direction in sound for the couple as they move from the electro shoegaze used on their 2011 LP Hearts to a more synth pop sound, but that doesn't mean they have strayed too far from their dreamy beginnings. Listen below:

Monday, 8 July 2013

New Music: Hookworms- Always/ Today + Radio Tokyo

Hookworms are a four piece indie rock band from Leeds who are starting to get a lot of attention in their native Britain and now are making some waves on this side of the pond. The band specialize in making psychedelic rock of the spacey kind, a la Spiritualized and Spacemen 3.

They released their debut LP, Pearl Mystic, back in March in the UK and now they have announced a global release on September 3rd via Weird World Records. The epic eight minute long"Always/Today" is the first taste of the new LP- download the song below plus listen to a bonus non album track' "Radio Tokyo" that also really good.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Five Star Songs: Spiritualized- Cop Shoot Cop

Just because.....

The epic psychedelic space rock closing track from Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space.

Cansei De Ser Sexy- Live at The Mod Club

While all of Toronto’s hipster elite were fawning over Zooey Deschanel at the She & Him concert Thursday night, Brazilian electro pop group CSS were playing before a small crowd at The Mod Club. That was lucky for me because I got to stand in front of the stage to watch one of the most enigmatic front women (Lovefoxxx!!!!) in music today. Last night’s show was one of the funnest gigs I have ever been to and I was left wondering why it took me seven years to see this band.

It is always good to begin a concert on a winning note and CSS did that with “Art Bitch", the sexually overt electro punk song from their self titled debut album. With lyrics like “My art is called egocentric soft porno,” and “Lick, Lick, Lick my art tit" how can you go wrong. Those words perfectly describe the music of the band and their theatrics for the show.

Lovefoxxx came out on stage dressed conservatively in a pair of parachute pants but by the time the band launched into “City Grrl" she ripped them off to reveal a pair of leopard print short shorts. She teased the audience for the rest of the show by hiking the shorts up at times and then covering them up with a black laced chemise at other times.

There was bit of introspection in the middle of the set when Lovefoxxx reminisced about the other time they played The Mod Club back in 2006 and she remembered how proud she was that the members of Death From Above 1979 came to that gig. That led the band laying into a blistering version of “Let’s Make Love and Listen to Death From Above." that would have made Sebastien Grainger proud.

Lovefoxxx was a bundle of dancing joy throughout the set and wasn't afraid to come up to the lisp of the stage. There were times when she was standing right over top of me. She even stopped to flirt with an audience member who yelled out that he was lonely for her. She dedicated the song "I Love You" to him.... Lucky guy.

Could not find a set list for the show. Lovefoxxx handed out the paper set lists to the audience at the end of the gig but I was unable to grab one. However, I do remember several favourites were played by the band including "Move", "Alcohol," "Hangover" and the iPod commercial hit "Music Is My Hot Hot Sex." The encore contained "Alala" and the track with my favourite song title of the year "Frankie Goes To North Hollywood."

CSS ended with a fun song that Lovefoxxx dedicated to the bartender. “I’ve Seen You Drunk Gurl" is a hilarious hip hop duet between Lovefoxxx and bandmate Ana Rezende that brought the show to a awesomely amusing dumb (in a good way) ending.

Friday, 5 July 2013

New Music: Club 8- Hot Sun (Ft. Misfit Mod)

"Hot Sun" is a track off of Club 8's of the critically loved LP Above The City that was released back in May. Now the band has created a more serene version of the dub song featuring the sweet voice of Misfit Mod, aka New Zealand synth pop artist Sarah Kelleher. Listen to the song below and if you like it download the track over at Soundcloud.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

New Music: The Vaccines- Melody Calling

The Vaccines seem to be maturing with each new release. This one off summer single is perfect for the season. Pretty sure the laid back sound of "Melody Calling" won't be permanent for the band but it is a refreshing change. Listen below:

New Music: Holograms- Mediations

It's not often these days that you hear a band that sounds like late seventies/early eighties English punk - most punk rock bands these days are either hardcore, garage punk or pop punk. Holograms are different, and maybe with the help of like minded band Savages they will bring this form of punk rock back into the forefront. Their newest track, "Mediations", sounds like Pink Flag era Wire. Listen below:

"Mediations"is taken from the LP Forever, out September 3rd via Captured Tracks.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

New Music: Beck- I Won't Be Long

Welcome back Beck!! Two brilliant new singles this summer - first with "Defriended" and now "I Won't Be Long. " The latter sounds like it could have been on Sea Change if he had a been a bit happier at the time of writing that album.

Still no word on a new album but apparently neither of the songs Beck released this summer will be on it. "I Won't Be Long" will be out on 12" July 8th which you can order here.

New Music: Chelsea Wolfe- The Warden

Ever changing LA artist Chelsea Wolfe returns with a brand new single and just announced new album. Wolfe initially debuted with The Grime and the Glue LP, a gothic guitar driven album but then changed course last year with“Unknown Rooms: A Collection of Acoustic Songs,” a record of all acoustic songs. Now, the chameleon like singer has gone electro pop with her new single "The Warden." However, even though this song wouldn't be out of place on a dance floor, Wolfe does not lose that aura of darkness around her music.

 Wolfe will release her fourth album, Pain is Beauty, September 3rd via Sargent House.

Monday, 1 July 2013

New Music: Dinosaur Bones- Spins in Circles

Nice new indie rock song from Toronto's own Dinosaur Bones. Singer Ben Fox echos Julian Casablancas on the single "Spins in Circles,"a song that lazily transforms into a layered, fuzzy guitar pop gem. Listen below:

Dinosar Bones release their sophomore album, Shaky Dream, August 6th via Dine Alone Records.