Wednesday, January 30, 2013

the strokes. comedown machine. 3.26.13.

caveman : in the city (stream)

caveman's debut album was one of my favorite albums of 2011. this is the first taste of lp number two, and it's quite a bit different. good, but different. sounds a bit like james mercer fronting wild nothing. listen below.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

autre ne veut : play by play (stream)

i posted on autre ne veut once before, saying that it sounded a bit like a cross between polica and the album that yeasayer just tried to make. this new song is even better, and now it sounds like yeasayer covering miguel covering phil collins. but even if that doesn't sound appealing to you, you should still give this track a listen. and stick with it until about the 2.55 mark, where the thing really opens up. if you're not sold by then, well that's okay, too.

rolling stone has some info on the new mgmt record. you can read about it here. take it with a grain of salt, though, as they seem to have completely lost their ability to accurately describe or credibly critique music over the last decade.
wavves. afraid of heights. 3.26.13.

wavves : demon to lean on (stream)

another solid surf-punk track from wavves' forthcoming lp4. would not have sounded out of place on q101 (or your local alt-rock station) in the mid- to late-90s.

Monday, January 28, 2013

dirty beaches : love is the devil (stream)

tame impala : mind mischief (video)

sounds like the beatles. melting. probably not suitable for work.

frightened rabbit : the woodpile (video)

vibing to this song. sounds a bit like vintage futureheads, which brings me back to the mid-aughts when i was just devouring everything pop/rock related coming out of the u.k. good times.

surfer blood : weird shapes (stream)

rec'd if you like pinkerton-era weezer.

Friday, January 25, 2013

dirty projectors : climax (usher cover)

the strokes : one way trigger (mp3)

new song, possibly off of lp5, which is possibly being released this year. listen below. download here.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

primavera sound festival lineup

not that i'd ever be able to make it to this fest (it's in barcelona), but this has to be the coolest way a lineup has ever been announced.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

kopecky family band : heartbeat (stream)

this is quite the little jam. one of the catchier songs i've heard in a while. if it were a little more polished (although i'm glad it's not), i could easily see this storming the radio.

devendra banhart : never seen such good things (stream)

mellow underwater vibes from devandra's forthcoming lp.

local natives : hummingbird (album stream)

listen to the brand new album from local natives over at itunes.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

wampire : the hearse (stream)

i've listened to this four or five times today, but i still can't tack down what it is that's so appealing about this song. it's fun and loose and sounds like an unreleased 80s movie on vhs.

youth lagoon : dropla (stream)

first song from youth lagoon's sophomore effort. slightly less reverby, still as lush, and the vocals are a little...tougher than, before. although not that tough. all in all, pretty great.

cold war kids : miracle mile (stream)

first single from the band's fourth album. i think the band sounds best when the melodies are super-straightforward and the songs slightly poppy. this is one of those.

Monday, January 14, 2013

foxygen : we are the 21st century ambassadors of peace & magic (album stream)

you can stream foxygen's new and sure to be critically acclaimed new album over at p4k's new interactive album stream site. the site lets you look at album art, read lyrics and watch (in this case, very strange) videos while streaming the album.
as for the album itself, it's a bit of a mixed bag, but that's part of the band's charm. equal parts the kinks, jagger, bowie and mgmt, it ambles along at it's own trippy shambolic pace.
yeah yeah yeahs. mosquito. 4.16.13.

Friday, January 11, 2013

haim : don't save me (video)

female trio haim have been getting a bit of buzz over the past year on the strength of very little output, but most every song they've released (five originals and one cover) has been pretty rock solid. stevie nicks and chairlift comparisons are not unwarranted. check out the decidedly late 90s video for "don't save me" below.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

christopher owens : lysandre (album stream)

listen to the debut solo album by girls' frontman right here. it does not reach the greatness of girls' father, son, holy ghost, but there are a few solid tracks on there.

foxygen : no destruction (stream)

rec'd if you've ever vibed hard to the kinks.
rates of travel in 1800.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

devendra banhart : für hildegard von bingen (stream)

first taste of db's latest album is a sleek and dark little jam that you can stream at p4k.

generationals : spinoza (stream)

somewhere between best coast, built to spill and the drums.

dirty projectors : impregnable question (soundcheck)

Monday, January 7, 2013

ms mr : dark doo wop (video)

song title says it all.

autre ne veut : counting (stream)

this sounds like a cross between polica and the album yeasayer tried to make.

the lone bellow : the lone bellow (album stream)

you can listen to the lone bellow's debut self-titled album in advance of the release date over at npr. if you're one of the people vibing hard to the folk/americana revival that's been brewing the last few years (e.g. mumford and sons, the head and the heart, the lumineers, alabama shakes, etc.), you'll probably find a lot to like here. just a warning: the album is a bit front-heavy.

ra ra riot : dance with me (stream)

hope you're ready for a poppier ra ra riot.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

youth lagoon. wondrous bughouse. 3.5.13.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

born ruffians : with her shadow (stream)

born ruffians red, yellow and blue was one of my favorite albums of its time, and i still revisit it fairly regularly. their last album i thought was pretty unserviceable. here's the first taste of their next album, and it sounds like a pretty great step forward. i'm hearing paul simon all over this one.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

albums of 2012

put your back n 2 it by perfume genius
something by chairflit
visions by grimes
heaven by the walkmen
bloom by beach house
in our heads by hot chip
swing lo magellan by dirty projectors
fear fun by father john misty
local business by titus andronicus
an awesome wave by ∆ (alt-j)
colored emotions by night moves
the carpenter by the avett brothers
the haunted man by bat for lashes

music of 2012

it's that time of year again: list time! i won't bother expounding on year-end listomania yet again, as i have said it before and others have said it better (nick cave had an excellent and still entirely relevant take on the idea of "best" back in 1996, and it is short and absolutely necessary reading as the grammys approach). but my clever loophole is that this isn't a list of the best songs of the year, but rather of my favorite songs of the year. and in this way, i owe them nothing. the songs are just the ones i enjoyed the most this year. they made me dance, or made me happy. they made me sad, or made me sleepy. whatever the mood or emotion or vibe, they made me feel something, which for me is the hallmark of worthwhile music. so read on below. you can stream each song from youtube by clicking on the link, or listen to the entire thing on a spotify playlist right here. songs are in no particular order.

chairlift :: i belong in your arms
a "timeless" pop song in the way some of blondie's best singles were. 100% dated by the instrumentation, but the melody and sentiment are as affecting now as they will be two decades from now. just a shame songs like this are denied airplay in favor of, oh say, this.

tennis :: origins
a breezy am radio-style pop song from the denver duo that wouldn't have sounded out of place next to the temptations in the early 60s.

santigold :: disparate youth
santi's first album was full of hits, but i didn't hear as many on her followup. but "disparate youth" ended up being as strong as anything else she's done thus far.

lumineers :: ho hey
have you had enough of this song yet? i think i have. but every time i hear it, i still can't help but tap my foot and bob my head for all two minutes and forty-three seconds. and while i don't think these guys are able to sustain themselves for an entire album, they're worth keeping around if they can pop out a few more gems like this.

gotye :: somebody that i used to know
the exact same sentiment that applies to "ho hey" applies here.

horse feathers :: fit against the country (click link to download)
neither of the band's recent albums have managed to capture the magic of house with no home, but this song comes close.

arctic monkeys :: r u mine?
good ol' fashion rock song. just all balls.

sam sparro :: happiness
this shows you what pop music can be. there's nothing outside of the box going on here. high produciton value, lots of bells and whistles. but it's got heart. which is why people can (and do) forget every song "co-written" by dr. luke by the time the next song "co-written" by dr. luke comes out. none of 'em have any heart. it's the reason beyonce's "countdown" is better than "single ladies". the latter was catchy as hell, but the former had heart. "happiness" is all heart.

sigur ros :: ekki mukk
an ethereal gob of glacially paced ambient melody.

jack white :: sixteen saltines
you can take jack white out of the white stripes, but you can't take the white stripes out of jack white.

the walkmen :: we can't be beat
this is the track that hamilton leithauser, he of the unshreddable vocal chords, showed that he could croon with the best of them. complete with doo-wop style harmonies.

japandroids :: the house that heaven built
grabs you by the guts from the first second and doesn't let go or loosen up for the next 289.

grizzly bear :: sun in your eyes
dave longstreth of the dirty projectors tweeted to grizzly bear that this was the song everyone was waiting for them to write, and i understand why. it feels like the culmination and combination of every excellent track the band has written thus far, executed to perfection. big and small, warm and icy, melodic and ominous all at the same time.

tame impala :: feels like we only go backwards / mind mischief
sounds like the beatles. melting.

titus andronicus :: in a big city
like the replacements covering bruce springsteen. tough to find rock songs as unassumingly anthemic as this one nowadays.

miguel :: adorn
somewhere after marvin gaye's "sexual healing" and before christina aguilera's "dirrty", sensual music about love became sexual music about fucking. and i think we're mostly worse off for it. but miguel and his insistently sludgy bass are doing their best to bring it back.

rhye :: the fall
ditto for semi-mysterious duo rhye. making love can be dirty, but doesn't have to always be dirty.

night beds :: even if we try
best new voice of the year, i think. channeling jeff buckley without trying to be jeff buckley. a fine line to walk, but this guy does it expertly. plus that outro (which is fuzzed out in the video) is breathtaking. and the video is heartbreaking in a way i can't quite understand.

mumford and sons :: babel
i found the surprise breakout band's second album overall to be extremely underwhelming. less than a handful of the great singles they're capable of, the album seemed bloated with slow, hookless filler. but "babel" (the song) was able to hit those same rafter reaching heights the standout singles from their first album did.

passion pit :: cry like a ghost
as sugary sweet as all of the band's greatest songs, but a little darker with knowledge of passion pit main man michael angelakos' mental health issues.

cloud nothings :: stay useless
a punk anthem for anyone that's ever felt overwhelmed by the never-stop-moving monotony of adult life.

fiona apple :: every single night / werewolf
two great (seemingly complimentary) tracks, instrumentally sparse enough to let apple's vulnerable and powerful voice do all the heavy lifting.

kindness :: house
lyrically, one of my favorite tracks of the year.

band of horses :: everything's gonna be undone
one of the more disappointing albums of the year, but this is just a beautiful CSNY-style song.

local natives :: breakers
so good. don't call it a comeback.

twin shadow :: five seconds
the best 80s song written in 2012.

alunageorge :: your drums, your love / watching over you
the future of radio-pop. or at least it should be. one of the smoothest tracks of the year, plus maybe one of the best videos of the year. a strong argument for MTV to return to its roots. plus "watching over you" just to prove that "your drums"'s excellence is not a one off.

sharon van etten :: in line
a slow, meandering lament of a song by one of the most emotionally powerful female vocalists around.

blood diamonds ft. grimes :: phone sex
cotton candy dance floor jam.

ke$ha :: die young
after beyonce, just about the only pop star i'm interested in.

lord huron :: i will be back one day
a dusty, folky gem for wide open spaces and starry nights.

lana del rey :: ride
it sounds a bit like lana del rey covering the killers covering bruce springsteen, but it works. and the way she sings "i'm tired of feeling like i'm fucking crazy" in that ascending falsetto at 3:40 gets me every time.

thee satisfaction :: queens
opening lyric "leave your face at the door, check your swag." was enough to sell me on this one. but the dark roller rink funk vibe keeps me coming back.

the xx :: angels
this lead single from the band's second album made me think that they were going to manage the seemingly impossible task of topping their debut. they didn't quite manage it, but this was still a great song that only the xx could have written.

frank ocean :: forrest gump
2012's wunderkind was undoubtedly ocean. and this was my favorite track off his undeniably good debut.

the orwells :: in my bed
these chicago punks were the closest i could get to filling the void that smith westerns left this year.

hot chip :: motion sickness
after the band's last album, i kind of thought they had lost their mojo. but when they opened this year's excellent in our heads with this absolute monster of a jam, i was more than happy to eat crow.

carly rae jepson :: call me maybe
over 370 million youtube views later, this one probably doesn't need any explanation.

father john misty :: only son of the ladiesman
fleet foxes drummer shows big harmonies and acoustic anthems don't have to be so damn serious/precious all the time. 

grimes :: oblivion
probably the most addictive song this year for me. and the video is capital "K" Kewt. 

grimes :: genesis
probably the second most addictive song this year for me. and the video is as weird and mesmerizing as the music.

beach house :: irene
an argument that these guys could command an arena one day.

dirty projectors :: unto caesar
one of the first songs where the band sounds like they're having fun. 

alt-j :: breezeblocks
endlessly instrumentally and compositionally interesting.

how to dress well :: & it was u
best nearly acapella jam of the year.