Monday, August 31, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Los Romanticos de Zacatecas
Myspace // "Nuestro Amor" [Audio]
Although most of the recent headlines about Mexico have involved drug wars and murders along the border, the country remains one with a vibrant indie music scene, one that seems to be undergoing quite a renaissance right now, something that economic and political strife is bound to do. It's been quite a mission, but thanks to the help of some great people, I have uncovered a host of amazing new bands coming out of Mexico.
One of those groups is Zacatecas-based Los Romanticos de Zacatecas, who have been influenced by the likes of the Strokes and other similar NY bands. The band's eponymous EP, released this year on netlabel Delhotel Records, is available in its entirety for free on the label's website. The five songs included within are fun, engaging, and honors their influences effectively.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Myspace // "Bestia" [Audio]
It might be political and economic strife or it just may be a good time to be a musician, but it seems as though Mexico is going through a musical renaissance with a host of unique new groups popping up all over the country.
Hailing from Mexico City, three-piece Hello Seahorse! have been playing out for a few years and already have several releases under their belts, and they have played north of the border as well. This year's Bestia is their finest work yet, and shows that the group has a knack for crafting catchy, laid back electronic pop tunes. They are doing a number of dates in central Mexico this summer, but those of you in Chicago, look out for them at Logan Square Auditorium in November.
Check out the video for "Bestia" here.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Myspace // "Elephant" [Audio] // "Wherever You May Go" [Audio]
To be honest, I totally forgot about Mellowdrone. Their early EPs and first album were excellent pieces of dark electronic indie, but in the ultrafast world of new media and the internet, there are five promising new bands every day, and any group that goes dormant for even a few months is bound to be forgotten by many.
When Mellowdrone returned this year, it took me awhile to give them a fair shake. I was buried under by so much other stuff it was tough to pay attention to yet another band.
Listening to their new album, I am liking what I hear. It's pure Mellowdrone -- the band has not lost a step, and for all of you that may have forgotten about them, give them another chance.
Their new album Angry Bear is out now on Coming Home Records.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Myspace // "Don't Be a Jerk, Johnny" [Audio]
Not quite sure how to pin down Brooklyn's The Drums. Could they funtimecore? The tunes are catchy and fun, but in the least cheesy way possible. It makes you wonder how Brooklyn could ever be grumpy when you have a band this positive, that's shining this bright. They somehow filter Britpop through '60s American garage and make it work.
If Surfside 6 were on the air in 2009, we know who would be doing the theme song.
Friday, August 21, 2009
The Rakes New Album Gets a US Release
Myspace // "1989" [Audio]
They emerged at the top of their scene five years ago, and while many of the new wave-redux bands have fallen by the wayside, it seems as though The Rakes have held on with consistently solid material. Their third album, Klang, has been available since March in the UK, but it will get a digital release on 20 October in the US. This will be coupled with a short tour hitting several markets across North America.
OCT 31 - LOS ANGELES, CA - THE ROXY
NOV 1 - SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SLIMS
NOV 3 - SALT LAKE CITY, UT - THE URBAN LOUNGE
NOV 4 - DENVER, CO - THE BLUEBIRD
NOV 6 - MINNEAPOLIS, MN - TRIPLE ROCK
NOV 7 - CHICAGO, IL - DOUBLE DOOR
NOV 9 - TORONTO, ON - MOD CLUB
NOV 10 - MONTREAL, QC - PETIT CAMPUS
NOV 11 - BOSTON, MA - GREAT SCOTT
NOV 12 - NEW YORK, NY - HIGHLINE BALLROOM
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Chew Lips Get Remixed
Myspace // "Salt Air" (Plastician remix)[Audio]
Last month, London-based electronic popsters Chew Lips released their second single on Kitsune, "Salt Air." It's yet another promising statement from the group who have quickly become one of the in demand outfits in England. Posted below is a remix from Plastician, which is unavailable on this single.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Myspace // "Television" [Audio]
My love of former Newcastle stalwarts Kubichek! has only grown since a they disbanded a couple years ago. Three of the four guys went on to form the solid Black Flashes, but nary a peep has been heard from them in quite some time. Recently, former Kubichek! singer Alan McDonald has been playing guitar in Manila Chapter, a band that retains some of the flavor of his former outfit, but also looks into the future with new textures and new sounds. It's early days for them, but you can listen to three choice demos on their Myspace now.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Bombay Bicycle Club "Magnet"
Before this album came out earlier this summer, I mentally picked the songs that I thought made sense as the singles, and so far I've been on point. The concept for this video is simple, but it's also effective in showing the energy of this young band, especially the near epileptic fits of lead singer Jack Steadman. The video's style even has a touch of R.E.M. circa late '80s.
The single is out 14 September in the UK, and their debut album is out now.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Myspace // "Don't Stop Dreaming" (demo) [Audio]
If you're into this sort of thing, Mat Horne loves these guys. If you need a bit more convincing, this Northampton group does quite a bit of synth-assisted rocking, but not in any obvious way. It's not a group that I got on the first listen, but with some time, I started to understand the appeal and now, I really can't get this tune out of my head. Word is that they'll be opening some Miike Snow dates in the UK.
Friday, August 14, 2009
[Photo Credit: Sam Seager]
Myspace // "Don't Spit at Her Face" [Audio]
Whether it's pop or indie, I can't really say, but there is really something effortlessly classic about the tunes that London-based Stricken City create. Their quirkiness rarely, if ever, becomes too obnoxious for their own good, and it allows them to fit in nicely next to bands like Amazing Baby and Land of Talk.
The band are set to release an 8 song EP through Pure Groove on 12 October, a gatefold CD/DVD package in very limited physical quantities. Pre-order your copy now and get a high-quality digital download on 14th September. A U.S. vinyl release will follow on 3rd November through The Kora Records.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Blood Red Shoes in the Studio
[Photo Credit: Tom Beard]
Myspace // "Carry Knots" [Audio]
A band that we have covered ad nauseum since their very early days, Brighton duo Blood Red Shoes are in the studio hard at work on their second album, which as far as I know has no release date or title. They were nice enough to record two video diaries which will give you a peek into the process. For more updates, check out their Twitter.
Studio Diary - Part One
Studio Diary - Part Two
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Myspace // "Another Girl" [Audio] // "I Wanna Be Free" [Video]
Like an artifact ripped straight out of the early '80s, Russian band Manicure have crafted an eponymous debut album of memorable post-punk tunes. It makes one wonder if this is another area of eastern Europe that could become a hotbed of indie rock, much like Poland and Slovenia have in recent years.
The band's debut EP is available here if you can read Russian. As for the album, you can hear it on their Myspace page, but I am in the dark on purchasing it -- an email to the band has gone unanswered.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Spindle + Wit
[Photo Credit: Luke Thornton]
Myspace // "New Skin of Mine" [Audio]
We know that London outfit Spindle + Wit are active and gigging, but why does their Myspace page go untouched? Do they not want people finding out about them? Maybe they want to remain a secret, but really, that would be just a shame. It appears that the real action is taking place over at their blog, where you can read about recent mentions in The Fly or a brushes with fame with Pixie Geldof.
The band is another folk-pop group to keep an eye on, one that spreads a bit of sunshine on the sound mastered by Mumford and Sons, amongst others. Their video for "Bring Out the Sun" (no word on completion date) will feature Noel Fielding reprising his moon character from The Mighty Boosh.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Lightspeed Champion: New Song
Myspace // "Heavy Purple" [Audio]
Feeling a bit wistful, I decided to browse some of the old Lightspeed Champion videos on Youtube, at least the proper ones, as each one of has something special about it that makes me feel all warm inside. "Tell Me What It's Worth" reminds me of walking around London, and the pure joy that it gives me, while "Midnight Surprise" is one my favorite songs. The concept of the video could easily fall flat on its face, but the finished product works brilliantly.
"Tell Me What It's Worth"
Mr. Hynes has moved from London to Brooklyn and is working on his second album. "Heavy Purple" is a teaser of what's to come, and while it may exhibit a bit too much of Prince, it's still a killer song. According to him, it "sounds nothing at all like the album, just a bit of fun..."
Friday, August 07, 2009
The Depreciation Guild "Dream About Me"
Myspace // "Butterfly Kisses" [Audio]
Like a hidden gem plucked out of the '90s shoegaze heyday, Brooklyn's the Depreciation Guild seem to do the sound better than most of the original purveyors. This is the band's latest single, which is available on Kanine Records now.
This video, directed by Jack Ferry, is an excellent companion piece to the song and fits the band's image perfectly -- you really couldn't ask for anything more in a video.
Thursday, August 06, 2009
Myspace // "I'll Take My Chances" [Audio]
London trio takes the sound that Metronomy mastered and runs with it in new and strange directions. Over the course of one song the band comes off as both creepy and precious, which is perfectly fine for a night out at the club. This is electronica that is more concerned about hooks and melody than your local popster, but the band isn't afraid to throw you for a loop either -- they don't want you getting too comfortable.
While their tunes on Myspace are merely just a start, it seems to be a pretty damn good one to me.
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Myspace // "Wonder Weapon" [Audio]
Promising Fleet-based band Arthur called it quits on 22 July, an important piece of news I missed until today, thanks to being on the road for ten days. This was a real letdown as these guys were really coming into their own with their latest batch of songs. Here's the posting from their Myspace page:
Dear friends and fans....
We write this regretfully to inform you that we have decided to call it a day,due to personal reasons within the band.
We would like to thank everybody so so much for all your support over the last 4 years, and for making it worthwhile.
We have had great times which will not be forgotten, and we hope you will never forget us.
I am sure in the future that we will all be involved in music in some way or another.
Anyway...here are two new songs we recorded a month or so ago.
Love to all,
Most of the band's previous output is available for free from this link.
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Entrepreneurs: New Songs
Myspace // "A Zillion Million Ameros" [Audio]
Since Elle Milano parted ways late last year, former frontman Adam Crisp has only gotten busier. He's been involved with several remixes, has two electronic projects, and a more traditional band, the Premarital Sect. He's been fooling around in one of those electronic projects for a number of years, and it seems as though that 2009 has really seen his vision be fully realized. Electronica is not all about partying, and Crisp understands that this only makes the music better.