Thursday, January 27, 2011

Phantom Power

After releasing 7 EPs in 2010, Eric Littman of Phantom Power has just dropped his first of 2011 called You Are Who You Meet on January 20th.  Working out of an oversized closet attached to his room, Littman makes some laid-back and easy listening indie pop, sometimes working with dreamy distortion and other times creating danceable disco-like beats.  The song that stood out to me most out of his recent 9-song collection falls under the latter, a catchy psych-riff called "Free Thought Just Can't Be".  Take a listen to it below, hope ya'll dig it.

Free Thought Just Can't Be

You can download the whole thing for free over at his Bandcamp.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cut Copy

Zonoscope, the new release by Cut Copy couldn't have come at a better time for me.  Literally two days before I left for my study abroad in Spain, I received news that it had leaked early.  I had always worried about what the music situation would be like abroad; I didn't know if acquiring it was going to be something hard to do, and people who know me or read this blog already know that I love Cut Copy.  Getting this album was of the highest priority.  If their previous album In Ghost Colours was in the form of a woman, I'd probably marry her (that's not weird to say, is it?).  So knowing that'd I'd have it to listen to in Spain was relieving.  The best part, though, was that it was good.  Really, really, really good!  In the weeks leading up to my first listen, I experienced nightmares about the possibility of it being terrible.  Yet instead it provides an interesting crossroads between In Ghost Colours and their future releases, perhaps a transition of sounds (like the 15 minute "Sun God", maybe a hint towards their forthcoming songs?). I had constantly read about how they wanted Zonoscope to introduce more organic percussion and create something different from In Ghost Colours, which they definitely accomplished to a degree.  Still, they stuck to many of the similar elements that made In Ghost Colours so great.  For example, the flow in Zonoscope is incredible, and is done so well that the entire record almost becomes one, its own entity.  It's truly a great album, to be listened to start to finish.  With all of this going on, Zonoscope has been on repeat and is playing on my iTunes/iPod constantly. With the early release, I'm lucky to have the chance to listen to it when exploring Europe, and it has already become the soundtrack for my early travels...couldn't ask for anything better.

Pharoahs & Pyramids


If you get a chance to listen to album, it's definitely highly recommended!  As mentioned before, I am currently studying abroad in Spain.  I still plan on keeping up the blog while I'm away, but I don't think I'll able to update it as often.  I will do my best, though, so stay tuned and I apologize for the gap in posts.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


2011....a new year with a new promise of great music and high ambitions.  For a while I debated which album would be the first to usher me into this new time span, and came up with Kaputt by Destroyer.  Even though it leaked several weeks early, I didn't have much interest in listening to it before I heard the song "Chinatown", which I found myself loving.  I figured it to be a good introduction to 2011, despite the fact that I had no idea what I was getting in to (I have not heard any of the previous Destroyer albums).  In the end, I found the album to be very enjoyable; a record full of smooth jazz elements and loud whispered vocals.  With his light use of saxophones and flutes, he is able to a create a very dreamy and atmospheric background, features which are present in the majority of his tracks.  In many portions of Kaputt, he carries the airy environment from song to song, where the flow can make the album seem ambient at points.  This is especially exemplified in the long "Bay of Pigs", an 11-minute journey through Destroyer's disco, jazz, and rock influences.  When all is said and done, it becomes a record you can get lost in....a very pleasant listen.  You can check out favorites "Chinatown" and "Kaputt" below.



Hope ya'll dig it!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Collagé Party

Sometimes I love thinking about how music goes from person to person.  As one of my good friends describes it, music can be seen as a gift, constantly exchanging hands and connecting people through an unseen force.  Collagé Party is an example of this, something that came to me unexpectedly, yet also brought instant joy.  I was hanging with my buddy playing some video games over some music when I heard some sort of disco-infused beat pop up on his playlist.  It sounded like something similar that I had heard before, yet at the same time was completely unfamiliar and new to me.  I may have been caught off guard, but a wonderful musical artifact had just exchanged hands and was placed into my lap.  I was instantly addicted, and I immediately turned to my friend and asked what it is.  The song was "Feel Alright", and it was by someone I had never heard of before, Collagé Party.  Such obsession of the song brought me to do a full out Google search on the band, which turned up little results, except for a MySpace, where I was able to listen to some of their other stuff.  Needless to say, I was very impressed. In writing this post, I tried to figure out some kind of way to describe their music, and the best I could come up with was "garage-synth".  A majority of their stuff is like a low-budget ambience, mixed together with many electronic elements, like it was produced in a rustic cabin or out in someone's backyard.  The scratchy recording definitely gives off an old-school feel, and for some reason it makes it sound more personal to me.  Still though, "Feel Alright" reigned supreme for me, which grabbed my attention immediately and sucked me in with its dance-tinged rhythm.  Now, since music is a gift, I offer it to anyone in the blogosphere who may have interest.  Have a listen to it below.

Be sure to check out the MySpace for some more tunes.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Soft Black

Inspiration for music, or just about anything that involves creativity, can come from a multitude of different sources.  Whether it's childhood memories or another person's work that stirs the innovative region of the mind, just about everyone is unique.  For example, take the band Soft Black, who are known for making music based on lead singer's Vincent Cacchione's nightmares.  Their promotional song "Lions" is no different, which came from a dream of a brutal lion clash in the African savanna.  At first, a song about nightmares may sound dark and gloomy, perhaps a little gothic.  This isn't the case, instead the music sounds raw and down to earth, or as Soft Black describes as "unapologetic" and "unfeigned".  "Lions" sounds pure, going back to the days of classic rock where all you needed was a guitar, bass, and drums, making it a great song to show live.  This may be a reason why they've decided to endorse the track on the Green Screening Project, which is a medium provided by indie-label director Drew Norton to allow up-and-coming bands to shoot a music video and "bring their sound to life".  Included in the project is a band I've written about previously, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr..  Check out the video of "Lions" below, with an MP3 of the performance they have offered for free.

You can check out more of the project here.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Ohhhhh how it all comes full circle!  In mid-September of last year I covered Ducktails and his 2009 album Landscapes in what was my first blog post ever, and now a few months later, here I am writing about his newly released single called "Killin' the Vibe" in anticipation of Ducktails III: Arcade Dynamics (to be released January 18). This is a release that I've had on my radar for quite some time, and there are several reasons I'm excited.  Firstly, I was really into Landscapes, and became pretty accommodated to the record. Since I was such a big fan, I am amped to see what new material he has to offer, and it's always intriguing to see how artists and bands progress from album to album.  Secondly, Ducktails is the solo project of Matthew Mondanile, who also happens to be the guitarist for Real Estate. From listening to many Ducktails songs, it's easy to see the crossovers between the two, and since I also listen to a lot of Real Estate, it's hard to picture Arcade Dynamics as being as disappointment.  And lastly, "Killin' the Vibe" is a pretty sick track.  On first listen it may seem linear and straightforward, but upon multiple listens, one is able to grasp the depth in it....and before long the song will find itself on repeat. Furthermore, "Killin' the Vibe" features the mastermind Panda Bear, which is yet another act that has grown on me over the past couple of months.  Also, as Pitchfork reports, a more "Panda-fied" version of this very song is due out as a single next month. It just keeps getting better and better!  How can I not be pumped?  Feel free to sit back and check it out below.

January 18th will be a great day.  Not only do we get this release, but also the new Decemberists, Braids, Smith Westerns, and Tennis albums are slated for that day. Awesome.  Totally awesome.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


One of the albums that I was really excited to cover in one of my end of year lists was European by the Swedish quartet Sambassadeur (named after Serge Gainsbourg's song "Les Sambassadeurs"). When all was said and done, I placed European as #9 on my list for 2010, so naturally I was excited to get some thoughts down about it.  Although it was released many months ago in mid-February, the record still strikes a great chord within me.  Perhaps one of the most brilliant aspects of it is Anna Persson's lush vocals; pure and resonant, which help drive the songs through the album.  European also utilizes an orchestra of string instruments, in many instances using violins to add a filling backdrop to complete a rich sound.  Another reason the album appeals to me is the overall atmosphere that embodies it; the summery and airy twee pop matching the artwork, cruising on a yacht in July on the Mediterranean.  In essence, it sounds quite European to me.  Below I've posted "Days" and "Small Parade" from European below, hope ya'll dig it.


Small Parade

You can check out more at their MySpace.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Work Drugs

About a month ago I covered the band Work Drugs on the release of their first single entitled "Third Wave", a song whose smooth yacht-rock glo-fi helped illuminate the bleak winter days.  This end-of-the-year surprise from the Philly duo quickly made a huge splash on the blogosphere and became one of my favorite songs to close out 2010.  So naturally when Thomas Crystal (of Work Drugs) announced that a new song would be released on January 9th (today), the music nerd in me was drooling in anticipation.  My appetite was fulfilled with the new jam called "Dog Daze", a quintessential chillwave anthem dedicated to the mysticism over the seemingly invisible pulls of nature.  While the older "Third Wave" was also produced with a golden fuzziness, it managed to include an upbeat tempo that tempted you into tapping your feet, which is a little different from the new release. "Dog Daze" instead alludes more to the chill in chillwave; a slow and hypnotic dream in musical form.  If the release of their album later this year resembles anything like we've seen so far from them, the results could be scary good.  So take a look at "Dog Daze" below, and keep your eye out for their future ventures.  It's sure to be quite a ride.

 Dog Daze

You can download this and "Third Wave" for free at their SoundCloud or Bandcamp.  You can also check out their Facebook or MySpace.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Fierce Creatures

Allow me to immediately start off by apologizing for the lack of posts in the past couple of weeks. The holidays proved to be much busier than I expected, and my time was limited. Unfortunately, I didn't get to do a lot of things with the blog that I would've liked to have done, which I am disappointed about, but so is life.  Yet now that I have time again, I feel it's time to keep on writing and help people with what they are looking music.  So with that said, I would like to introduce you to a band by the name of Fierce Creatures from Fresno, CA.  In July of 2010, the large 7-person group released their debut EP entitled I Mostri Feroci, a 5 track collection full of brilliant layers and musical diversity; a thoughtful representation of the art-rock they set out to produce.  Fierce Creatures isn't afraid to make their songs full and consuming, many of them include a strata of guitars alongside mandolins, bells, and harmonicas.  Many of these sounds come from a classic rock influence, an example of which can be seen in "Phantom Athletes", which includes a riff much similar to a late '60s Rolling Stones composition. When you tie all of these aspects together, you get a well put together sonic journey...25 minutes of Fierce Creatures putting their aspirations on display.  The band states that they want to create songs of "timeless nature", a feeling that you get when you wear "an old sweater you pull from the closet when winter strikes" let's hope they continue their respectable goal with their album release later in 2011 (holy shit, I'm still not used to the '11 tag, what happened to 2010!?!), something I very much look forward to listening to.  Below I've posted their single from I Mostri Feroci called "Satan Is a Vampire", which includes an infectious introductory yell that reminds me of "Wake Up" by Arcade Fire.  Hit it upppp.

 Satan Is a Vampire

Hope ya'll dig it, and if you want more, be sure to check out their MySpace.