Friday, 30 August 2013

New Music: Keep Shelly in Athens- Flyway

By now, you can tell I am am big fan of Keep Shelly in Athens. "Flyway" is the fourth song I have posted this year and the third since July. Not much more I can say except I wish September 17th would hurry up and come so I can listen to their full debut album At Home. Meanwhile listen to their latest below:

At Home is out September 17th via Cascine.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

New Music: Some Minor Noise- Aeroplanes + Coffers

Toronto boy/girl electro duo Some Minor Noise are going to get obvious comparisons to Crystal Castles, the most famous male/female electronic duo from that city. The pair uses the same expansive electronic sound and dark lyrics as their contemporaries, however singer Jayne Void's voice is far more relaxed than the screechy Alice Glass. Listen to their two new songs "Aeroplanes" and "Coffers" below:

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

New Music: Frightened Rabbit- Radio Silence

I am looking forward to seeing Scottish indie pop group Frightened Rabbit in concert when they return to Toronto in October. Their ever increasing popularity requires them to play bigger venues every time they come here, and I think this might be their third concert in Toronto in the past year.

The band recently announced that they are following up the wonderful Pedestrian Verse with a new 5 song EP titled The Late Night, Death March (already released in Britain). “Radio Silence” is a great new song from that release. The mini album will be out September 10th in North America.

New Music: PINS- Get With Me + Lost, Lost, Lost

Over the last few years the U.S. has spawned many indie lo-fi all girl groups, most notably The Dum Girls and Vivian Girls, but that trend tended to stay in America and we never heard this style of music from any artists from least until now. PINS is a British band that  could be mistaken for one of those aforementioned American bands. The band shares the same post punk fuzzy and angular guitar sounds and mixes it with 60's girl group harmonies. Take a listen to the songs "Get With Me" and "Lost, Lost, Lost" below:

PINS will release their debut album, Girls Like Us, September 30th via Bella Union.

Monday, 26 August 2013

New Music: Young Galaxy- Crying My Heart Out

Montreal synth pop band Young Galaxy last spring released Ultramarine, one of my favourite albums of the year, so far. The LP contains a collection of some of the best indie pop tracks of the year including what I believe is the song of the summer. Seriously, YG's "New Summer" is way better than "Blurred Lines" or that Daft Punk song everybody is into.

Now Young Galaxy are poised to release a deluxe edition of the LP on September 24th via Paper Bag. There will be a bunch of extras including this song “Crying My Heart Out”, a dance pop song that has New Order written all over it.

New Music: Sundays- World We Own + Hope It's Enough

Introducing Sundays, (not to be confused with 80's indie pop band The Sundays) a Vancouver electro soul artist who has just dropped her first two singles "World We Own" and "Hope It's Enough". The music is intimate and the voice is very beautiful and even though her music is more stripped back, Sundays has all the ingredients to follow in the footsteps of up and coming indie stars Grimes and Lorde.

Sundays will release her debut, self-produced EP Eros & I in the near future. Meanwhile, download, lay back, and take in the two beautiful new songs below:

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Five Star Songs: Sisters Of Mercy- This Corrosion

Seriously....go see the movie The World's End. It may not be the best movie of the year but is sure is the most fun. It might also be proved to be the best soundtracked film of the year and if you are fan of British music from the late eighties and early nineties this is a must see movie. I think I counted at least fifteen songs throughout the film plus a couple more over the end credits, including tracks from The Soup Dragons, Teenage Fanclub, Suede, The Sundays and The Housemartins, plus major scenes revolving around Primal Scream and the Sisters of Mercy.

The lead character in the film named Gary King -played by Simon Pegg - is a forty year old slacker who wants to relive his early years by gathering up his old friends and going on a pub crawl bender. The first scene in the movie revolves around Primal Scream's "Loaded" which is a track that starts off with the sampled lines "Just what is it you want to do. We wanna be free. We wanna be free to do what we wanna do. And we wanna get loaded. And we wanna have a good time." that is taken from the Peter Fonda film The Wild Angels. This happens to be the King's philosophy in life and plays a another part in a scene later in the film.

The character Gary King is also a big Sisters of Mercy fan and sports the band's T-shirt throughout the film. Although, Pegg's character is proven to be pathetic for being a forty year old man who never grew up, his style of wearing goth clothes still made him look pretty cool.  The one Sisters of Mercy song in the movie is "This Corrosion" and it doesn't appear to the end credits.

You can read a great interview with the movie's director, Edgar Wright, regarding the soundtrack at Indie Wire.

Friday, 23 August 2013

New Music: Poliça- Chain My Name

Way back in April Minnesota synth pop band Poliça released the brilliant, Justin Vernon assisted, electro R&B single "Tiff". Now the band are back with "Chain My Name", a single that sounds a lot like the music of that other Minneapolis throwback band (and Poliça side project) Gayngs.

The track is taken from their forthcoming new album, Shulamith, which is out October 22nd via Mom + Pop.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

New Music: Touch Illusions- When I Get Back

This post is kind of a favour....

Touch Illusions is the alter ego of Toronto singer-songwriter Patrick Smith, an up and coming Toronto folk artist who used to play in local indie rock band The Streetlights (now Achille's Will).  Patrick has left the indie rock world (temporarily?) and decided to go in a more acoustic experimental direction. The result is a new album of dark psychedelic vocal and instrumental tracks. Listen to the song "When I Get Back" below and if you like it check out his self titled album on Soundcloud.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

New Music: Color War- Obelisk

More dark music on the blog today, this time from synth pop Brooklyn duo Color War. The icy cold electro shoegaze of "Obelisk" may remind you of artists like Austra, M83 or  even The Knife. The pair will be releasing their debut album, It Could Only Be This Way, some time before the end of the year. Listen below:

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Goth Girls: New Music From Anna Calvi, Zola Jesus, & Chelsea Wolfe

Why not include all of these talented women together in one post.....

The goth pop singer-songwriter trend seems to be in vogue within the indie world these days. Within the next few weeks we can look forward to dark icy releases from Anna Calvi, Zola Jesus and Chelsea Wolfe and that is on top of the excellent LP's that have come out in the last year from Bat for Lashes, Rachel Zeffira and Austra. Listen to three new songs from these artists below:

Anna Calvi- Eliza

From the album One Breath which will be out October 8th in the UK via Domino and hopefully sometime in the fall in North America.

Zola Jesus- Fall Back

Zola Jesus' new LP, Versions is out today. The LP is mostly classical rearrangements of Zola Jesus songs by JG Thirlwell but there is one original piece on the album titled "Fall Back".

Chelsea Wolfe- The Waves Have Come

"The Waves Have Come" is the third single from Chelsea' Wolfe's much anticipated new album Pain is Beauty. The record will be out September 3rd via Sargent House.

Monday, 19 August 2013

New Music: The Darcys- Muzzle Blast

"Muzzle Blast" is the second single from The Darcys' forthcoming new album Warring. These guys are musically hard to pin down, which is a good thing. Their first album was indie rock with undercurrents of shoegaze and then they did something completely different and made a cover record of jazz rock legends Steely Dan's album Aja. Now the band have gone in a darker, artier direction with hints of post rock for both "The River" and now "Muzzle Blast." Listen below:

Warring is out September 17th via Art & Crafts.

New Music: Heavenly Beat- Complete

Just over a year ago John Pena (former bass player of Beach Fossils) and his synth pop project Heavenly Beat released the wonderful, unappreciated Talent LP. Now Pena is back with a new song and news of a new album, Prominence, which will be out on October 15th via Captured Tracks.

"Complete" uses the same summertime Balearic synth pop formula as the songs on the first album which is perfect for the last waning days of the season. Listen below:

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Five Star Songs: Bauhaus- Terror Couple Kill Colonel

This little gem came up on my iPod the other day.....

 "Terror Couple Kill Colonel" is unmistakably goth and is the third single released from the dark UK band Bauhaus. The song was inspired from the Red Army terrorist group that used to operate across Europe and were responsible for the murders of both prominent and innocent people.

Friday, 16 August 2013

New Music: Yuck- The Middle Sea

British indie rock band Yuck have released another awesome single plus the band have announced they will put out their sophomore album, Glow and Behold, in October. We have already heard the aptly name "Rebirth", the first new music the band have released without Daniel Blumberg, and now comes "The Middle Sea" a fantastic crunchy guitar pop track that will have Yuck fans asking Daniel who? Listen below:

Glow and Behold is out October 1st via Fat Possum.

Nw Music: Yamantaka//Sonic Titan- One

Apparently experimental Montreal band Yamantaka//Sonic Titan are absolutely amazing to see live and their shows are more performance art than rock concert. I have always wanted to go see one of their shows but have never got around to it. The self described "noh-wave" band love playing Toronto so I'm a sure I'll see them sooner or later.

They are also incredible in the studio, making some of the weirdest experimental sounds in pop music today. Their simply titled new single "One" is anything but simple. The track starts out slowly with Iroquois chants and then breaks into a swirling mess of goodness that features loud metal guitars, operatic voices, crazy lyrics and more aboriginal chants.  The mixture of all these ingredients make the song a beautiful prog rock/psych freak out, stand out. Download the track below:

Yamantaka//Sonic Titan will release their new album UZU on October 29th via Paper Bag/Suicide Squeeze.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

New Music: Blouse- No Shelter + A Feeling Like This

Ooooh...didn't realize there is a new Blouse LP on the way. The band released "No Shelter" a few  weeks ago and now they have put out another great new single titled "A Feeling Like This." No more synths for these guys. The band now ride the dream pop waves over angular guitars and the familiar voice of Charlie Hilton. Listen to both songs below:

Blouse will release their new album Imperium on September 17th via Captured Tracks.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

New Music: Diane Coffee- Hymn

No, Diane Coffee is not the name of a Vampire Weekend song. It is actually the name of Foxygen drummer Shaun Fleming’s new musical project.  With inner turmoil affecting his other band perhaps it is wise for Fleming to have something to fall back on.

His first single “Hymn” is full of 60’s garage and psych influences which makes it sound not too much differently than Foxygen.

The track is taken from the album My Friend Fish, which is out October 29th via Western Vinyl.

New Music: Cults- I Can Hardly Make You Mine

Finally, after seeing Cults live several times over the last few years and growing tired of hearing the same songs, there is something to look forward to from the NewYork alt pop band. Yesterday they  put out a great new single titled "I Can Hardly Make You Mine",  plus there is a new album on the way in October. The band have gotten grittier with this song sounding a little bit like their relatives in Guards; however Madeline Follin's beautiful saccharine voice stills shines brightly over the grungieness. Listen below:

Cults will release their new LP Static on October 15th via Columbia.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

New Music: Phèdre- Ancient Nouveau

It is always great to promote new bands from my hometown of Toronto, especially when a really terrific song like "Ancient Nouveau" comes along. The track comes courtesy of Phèdre an electro pop band who released a pretty decent self titled album last year and are poised with a follow up LP, Golden Age, that will be out in October. Listen to the first single from the album below:

Golden Age comes out October 1st via DAPS/Discos Tormento.

Monday, 12 August 2013

New Music: Stars- Wishful

There is a new radio station here in Toronto called Indie 88 that bills itself as- you-guessed it- an indie rock station. The station is still in its infancy but it seems to be formatted like all other commercial radio - that is have a playlist of 20 to 30 songs and play them over and over again. There are some good bands being played like Cults and Chvrches, but then again there is a lot of crap (Imagine Dragons, Mumford & Sons, Lumineers to name a few)

The station is commercial free right now which gives them time to mix in a lot of older songs. Unfortunately, the older music is limited as well, because they have only been playing the big alternative bands (Radiohead, Oasis, Death Cab, Weezer etc....). Once the station starts airing commercials you know the older music will be the first to be cut.

One of the few highlights of Indie 88 is that they bring in a special guest each day to play their favourite songs or a playlist of new music they are listening to. As an example, today's guest was Stars' singer Torquil Campbell and not surprisingly he played an eclectic mix which included Classixx, Sean Nicholas Savage and The Shout Out Louds. So maybe there is hope for this radio station yet. Plus it is still 50 times better than anything on Toronto's airwaves right now.

As for Campbell, it was perfect timing to be today's special guest because it gave him the opportunity to promote Stars new single "Wishful". The lovely new wave track features the sweet voice of Amy Millan which cascades over the usual beautiful synths that Stars are known for. Listen below:

"Wishful" b/w of "The Light"will be released on limited edition 7" September 10th via ATO.

New Music: The Preatures- Is This How You Feel? + Manic Baby

The Preatures are a another really good Australian group poised to take the other side of the world by storm. The Sydney five piece have just released a new EP titled Is This How You Feel?, which contain five songs of alt pop sugary bliss. Listen below to the title track which has lead singer Isabelle Manfredi doing her best Feist imitation and then watch the Scissor Sisters-like music video for the song "Manic Baby".

Friday, 9 August 2013

New Music: MGMT- Your Life Is A Lie + Music Video

"Your Life Is a Lie is the first preview from psych pop band MGMT new LP. Maybe we should start calling their music freak psych because their songs are starting to sound more and more like The Flaming Lips with every new release.  Watch the video for the song below which is just as strange as the music.

MGMT will release their new self titled album September 17th via Columbia.

New Music: The Julie Ruin- Ha Ha Ha

With the release of "Oh Come On", the first single from Kathleen Hannah's new band The Julie Ruin, it sounded like she was going back to her punk rock Bikini Kill roots. Now the band have released a second single titled "Ha Ha Ha" that reminds of the music of Hannah's other group, the dance punk band Le Tigre. At least both songs retain a punk aesthetic. Listen below:

The Julie Ruin will release their new LP Run Fast on September 3rd via TJR Records.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

New Music: Black Hearted Brother- (I Don't Mean) To Wonder

Wondering when the last time former Slowdive leader Neal Halstead plugged in his guitar before this year. The man has been making acoustic folk music for years now and a lot of people have given up on there ever being a reunion of the iconic shoegaze band. Slowdive is still on the back burner for now, but this week we learned that Halstead has put folk on hold and gone back to his electric guitar. He has joined a couple of buddies to form a new supergroup to make some seriously loud spacey shoegaze. The new band is called Black Hearted Brother and also features Mark Van Hoen of Seafeel and Nick Holten of Holten's Opulent Oog.

The trio have combined to make a new album titled Stars Are Our Home which will be released October 22nd via Slumberland. Listen to "(I Don't Mean) To Wonder", the first single from their debut album:

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

New Music: Keep Shelly In Athens- Oostende

Following hot on the heels of "Recollection",  Keep Shelly in Athens have come out with another great single from their highly anticipated new album At Home. The band have mastered that John Hughes soundtrack synth pop formula - the beautiful "Oostende" proves no exception with its combination of icy synths and dreamy vocals. Listen below:

At Home is out September 17th via Cascine.

New Music: The Stargazer Lilies- We Are The Dreamers + Endless Days

The Stargazer Lilies are a new shoegaze/dream pop band that was started by two former members of psychedelic dance band Soundpool. With their new group, guitarist John Cep and singer Kim Field are still making psychedelic music, but in a more traditional, late 80's style of play.

The duo are about to release their debut long player We Are The Dreamers that was recorded with the help of Thomas Fec, the mysterious dude behind the freaky psych pop band Tobacco. Thankfully, the band doesn't employ the incredibly irritating vocoder that Fec uses with his own music. The sound is strictly beautiful, dreamy reverb on these two tracks. Listen below:

We Are The Dreamers is out September 10th via Graveface Records.

Monday, 5 August 2013

New Music: Braids- Hossack

"Hossack" is the latest song to be previewed from Braids new album Flourish//Perish. The song is a brilliant, short but sweet, piece of experimental indie pop. Listen below.

The album will be out August 20th via Arbutus/Flemish Eye.

New Music From The Inbox: Featuring Writer, Black Onassis, Tired Pony & The Lucid Dream

Holiday Monday here in Toronto...good time to check out the latest submissions in my E-mail in-box and pay it forward.

Travis Trevisan from the San Diego shoegaze band Tape Deck Mountain wrote to me about the group Writerwho are signed to his new record label Nineteen98. The band is fronted by a brother duo, James and Andy Ralph, who make psych pop music that could be easily compared to the aforementioned Tape Deck Mountain or a band like Guards. As a matter of fact, Paul Kostabi (the step father of Guards Rich Follin and Cults Madeline Follin) helped out with the recording of their new single "I Make Neon".  The 7" will be released August 31st on Nineteen98. Listen to the A side to the singe, "IE" below:

Black Onassis is a UK indie rock band that is fronted by former Kasabian member Chris Karloff. The song "Brain" doesn't sound too far off from his former band- that is psych rock mixed with a hint of electronica. Listen below or download the track for free.

Tired Pony is an indie super group that features REM's Mike Mills, mega-producer Garret “Jacknife” Lee, Richard Colboun of Belle & Sebastain and singer Gary Lightbody from Snow Patrol. Those expecting the anthemic over the top music of Snow Patrol will be surely disappointed. Their single "All Things All at Once" is straightforward folk rock. Listen below:

The band have an album due out October 1st via Lightbody's Heaneyville label.

Finally, another psych rock band from the UK. The Lucid Dream are getting some major attention from the British music press including a feature interview with the Quietus. Listen to their song "Heading For the Waves" below:

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Five Star Songs: Dirty Projectors- Two Doves

Lots of love for this song over on my Tumblr page. The post has a total of 118 notes (and counting)....Not bad!!!

After "Two Doves" started getting all of this attention on Tumblr, I decided to do a little bit more research on the song. The only thing I knew about the track was that it is a an album cut from the excellent Bitte Orca LP and it features the beautiful voice of Amber Coffman.

It turns out the MTV Hive website has an interesting post on the song, and all of the influences Dirty Projectors songwriter David Longstreth used to come up with it. Longstreth used bit and pieces of various songs from 60's artists, most notably Nico and her track "These Days" which was originally written by Jackson Browne. Interesting article - read more here and listen below.

Friday, 2 August 2013

New Music: Cut Copy- Let Me Show You

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

Australia's best dance music crew are providing the beats tonight with their brand new single "Let Me Show You." And if that isn't enough for you the Cut Copy are planning on releasing a new album in the fall.

Careful with the music video. It is one of those psychedelic, strobe, epileptic seizure inducing clips.

New Music: Frankie Rose- Sorrow

This news just made my Friday......

Frankie Rose has announced she is following up her awesome 2012 album Interstellar with a brand new LP this fall. The record is titled Herein Wild and will be available September 24th via Fat Possum.

The first single, "Sorrow" sounds even more post punk than anything she recorded on Interstellar. I guess she has left that lo-fi garage music in the dust and fully immersed herself in the magic that is dream pop. Listen below: