Monday, January 30, 2012


The Swedish quartet Francis is another band I am quite envious of.  Friends since childhood, they are now writing music, touring Europe, and producing records on an island in a storage room for boats that they built themselves.  How cool does that sound?!  What's more is that after the release of their debut album Lekomberg, We Were Kin last June, the person they toured with was Kristian Matsson, a.k.a. the brilliant The Tallest Man On Earth.  According to them, all of this was inspiration to start recording again quickly.  Hence, we are treated to the single "Traktor" from the upcoming EP This Must Be Blood due out February 27th.  The track has an instant likability; with an affable guitar riff and gentle vocals, "Traktor" is a mellow pop jam with a catchy, floating chorus.  You can find a download of the song at SoundCloud, where there is a B-side remix of "Traktor" by Simian Ghost.  There is a stream of the original below for your pleasure, hope you dig!



So we all know the story by now; last fall songwriter Lana Del Rey releases her debut single "Video Games" to as much critical acclaim as vilification would follow.  Encasing herself in a mysterious mystique and embracing her unique voice, Lana Del Rey seemed to explode onto the scene.  Out of nowhere, her YouTube video had 23 million views!  This led to an SNL performance that news anchor Brian Williams called "one of the worst outings in SNL history", as well as waves of critique from indie enthusiasts.  Regardless, you can still feel its impact as people remaining talking about the song and Lana Del Rey's potential future.  One such example is a cover by Resistor, which is the new solo project of Steve Goldberg, who has put his twee band Steve Goldberg and the Arch Enemies on hiatus for a more electronic touch. "Video Games" is one of his first works, and it's neat to see how he incorporates more of a video game soundtrack to back the name.  In doing so, the outcome is an enjoyable synth pop rendition that retains the breezy chorus of Del Rey's version.  Listen to it on SoundCloud below, where he also offers a free download.  Enjoy!

 Video Games by Resistor

Friday, January 27, 2012

Agent A

When I receive something in my inbox under the "experimental" category, there are moments when I worry.  For you see, experiments can go wrong. Yet I feel like it's high risk high reward, because when it's right it can be oohhhhhh sooo good. Space Junk by Agent A can be classified as such, a bedroom production that really, really rips. Cameron Scanlon, the man behind Agent A, cites influences such as John Maus and The Flaming Lips for Space Junk, and when you give it a listen it really shines through.  The heavy use of synthesizer speaks directly to Maus's modus operandi while the fun and creativity he has with them sustains the playful creativity of The Flaming Lips.  To put it simply there's just a lot of cool stuff on here with a ton of subtly addictive movements.  Like a lot of experimental musicians, it may take a listen or two to sink in, but once it does it fits very well.  I'm having so much trouble deciding which songs to post below, so I'll just throw three on there; "Slow Crush", "Karma Delight", and "The Light Shined To Space". Do with them what you will.  Download the album for free over at his Bandcamp.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Work Drugs

Work Drugs, a favorite over here at Audio Splash, just released a new single from Aurora Lies called "Daddy Bear" no less than 24 hours ago.  Since I've started following them, the Philly-based outfit has put out song after song of nostalgia-glazed dream pop.  On this, they kick the tempo up a little bit and experiment with some falsettos, making another great track to add to their line-up.  Keep an eye out while they play shows with Umphrey's McGee in Boston, Philadelphia, and Baltimore from February 10-12, more details here.  So check out "Daddy Bear" below, where they're offering it for a free download at SoundCloud.

 Daddy Bear by Work Drugs

Pevin Kinel

I've been searching the internet up and down for more information regarding Pevin Kinel, who kindly sent me an e-mail the other day.  Truth is, I can't find much.  Both his MySpace and Facebook sites lead to his homepage, which has some blog updates by not much background info.  It seems as though this Kinel character is some mythical force that swooped down and dropped "Dusty", his new single, right into my lap.  I'm happy the music stork did this though, because the track is a great electronic piece that lays some nice support for a downtempo vibe.  While some of the sounds are kind of industrial, I like how he uses those to actually make something laid-back.  It doesn't hurt that he includes a sick bass line...I'm such a sucker for those.  I've put "Dusty" below, and watch out for his album Syntactic Sugars, which is due out this spring.  The track is downloadable here.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Foreign Orange

If the intent of an EP is to grab your attention, then Ghost Vibrations is a prime model to follow after. Located in Portland, Foreign Orange has made a well-crafted collection of energy-infused rock jams that range from disco to electronica to funk.  We even get a taste of 1960s classic soul with the closer "Losin' You Again".  All in all the release is incredibly playful, an exploration of how many sounds can be borrowed from a spectrum of genres to make something undeniably catchy and striking. From the moment the bass-fueled groove lands on opener "Day By Day Livin", it's difficult not let the whole thing play through.  So Foreign Orange, wherever you may be out there...attention grabbed. You can expect a full release coming out this spring, but for now he has graciously given us the Ghost Vibrations EP for free over at his Bandcamp, so be sure to hit that up before he changes his mind.  In the meantime, I have  two tracks "Day By Day Livin" and "In My Dream" posted below.  Enjoy!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ernest Gonzales

The other day I had the pleasure of listening to Natural Traits, the new album from Ernest Gonzales, known by some as Mexicans With Guns.  Released on January 17th of this year, it has been one of my first full listens of 2012, and easily one of the most rewarding.  I think it's partly due to the fact that I don't know what to make of it. While this may sound bad, I actually mean it in the best way possible; it's chaotic yet concise, danceable and simultaneously put it in most basic words, Natural Traits is fascinatingly interesting.  Gonzales creates epic electronic soundscapes, layering in lively guitar rifts with his already head-bopping beats, which establishes a magnificent contrast between organic rhythms and energetic, synth-produced hooks.  Throughout several tracks Gonzales shows confidence in his builds, adding more and more components to as time goes on until everything feels on full blast.  It's totally intense and totally awesome. "When Synchronicity Prevails" is a perfect example of a song that follows this formula, and it's absolute banger.  I've posted it below, so have a listen to that, and then hit up SoundCloud to listen to the entire album.  As of now, HypeM is also streaming it. Hope ya dig!

 When Synchronicity Prevails by Ernest Gonzales

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

D.B. Rouse

Hands down the best thing I've ever bought with my money was my first car; to say I loved it was an understatement.  I cherished and treasured that thing 'til the day it's suspension gave out and it's ass was dragging over the driveway. Even after I came to the dismal realization that it was no longer drivable, we'd still chill in it late at night, sometimes clearing it to smoke hookah.  Sighhhh, my 1994 Plymouth Acclaim sure was a beauty; parting with it was difficult.  This is why D.B. Rouse's lyrics in "Love Song To My First Car" speaks volumes to me: "It may have been a wreck of worn out rubber and steal, but the whole world just looked better from behind that steering wheel" he sings.  How true it is!  The whole reason I started working at 15 was to get a car by 16, it was a symbol of my new freedom.  Who cares how it looks?  It was my car.  While "Love Song To My First Car" is a fun little ditty, it's a fair representation of Rouse's ability to make honest, down-to-earth tunes, which is effective for his folk (and countryish) persona.  Thus, I suppose it's also appropriate that Rouse's new album And the Music Flowed, Like Blood From the Stereo was recorded, mixed, and mastered by himself in a toolshed on a horse ranch in Austin, TX.  It's rooted in pure Americana, and such is heard when listening to his new release.  Below is "Future In Flames", so feel free to take a listen.  You can download the song below, and if you want an early edition of the full album you can hit up Bandcamp for those goods.  Enjoy!

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Yes Sir Idol

Throwing Yes Sir Idol's new song "Heavy Conscience" on headphones is quite an experience.  Starting off with a strong drum rhythm, the percussion simply pounds into your ears, piquing curiosity of where it could lead.  It's hard to know at the time, but the song will display a variety of moods, shifting in and out of rigid beats and celestial electronic tides.  It's an interesting play, and thoroughly unexpected, but the contrast between a darker, heavier beginning and a lighter, more polished chorus works well here.  As someone who grew up with a multitude of influences, including a fondness of pop, it's cool to see it all mix together in "Heavy Conscience".  The track comes as a single from the debut EP Two Heart Race, which Yes Sir Idol plans to release as a free download on February 6th.  I've posted the song below, but there is also some more music on his SoundCloud for listening.  For people more into the pop side of things, "By Your Side" is an absolute must listen.  Checcckkkk it!

 Heavy Conscience by Yes Sir Idol

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Elen Never Sleeps

The growth of new technologies has opened up so many doors for blooming musicians; it never ceases to amaze me what people are able to create within their bedrooms.  Add that with the glory of the internet, and you can send your music anywhere.  Hence is the case with Elen Never Sleeps, a solo project who recorded his whirling measures at home in Tokyo and delivered them right into my inbox.  Due to this, I have been exposed to his new "My Aquamarine/Spinning Wheel" single which he released on Bandcamp on January 6th.  Elen Never Sleeps is a good example of how not all chillwave sounds boring and monotonous, for he makes well-constructed, hazed out jams with a smooth finish.  For my first day of the semester, the sedated waves of synthy goodness eased the ominous blitz of work that is sure to come my way.  I've posted "My Aquamarine" below, so feel free to take a listen and head over to his Bandcamp for some delicious freebies.

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Friday, January 13, 2012

Sunsets and Hearts

After two EPs, one released in 2009 and the other in 2010, the band Sunsets and Hearts have unleashed their first full-length entitled Altered Faze.  As the leader of the project, Car Gonzalez used music as a natural form of expression for the events in his life during the later portion of 2010.  Altered Faze is a snapshot into Gonzalez's state of mind during that time, he has written that he made the LP with "how [he] truly felt at the time", which gives such a release much more meaning. Thus, it also provides a kind of narrative, one which seems as beautiful as it is heartbreaking.  Many of the songs on Altered Faze deal with an idea of love, an idea which becomes referred to in the past tense during the album's progression.  "In this visible light, I hope it brings us closer now" is sung in the album opener "Crystal Prisms V Visible Light", "I put my touch on your skin, it's all I need, it's all I'm worth, 'cause I'm yours" is stated later on "Col0ur Collider", while Gonzalez says "You were gorgeous, I was so alive...I miss you too" on the final track "Nesia Noir". The evolution of a relationship is there, but we never really learn how it finishes, which is interesting considering the "I miss you, too" lyric in "Nesia Noir", a statement that implies there still is some reciprocation for his feelings.  What's great about the album is taking these concepts and comparing them against the instrumentation, which creates a spacey landscape of brooding guitar lines and pronounced drum beats.  Occasionally there is an interesting contrast against all of these aspects; the utilization of synths and electronics, something that adds a surreal or alien feel to this world in Altered Faze. With such an added texture one must ask, was it a dream?  Was it all too good to be true?  The audience may never know for sure.  Either way, Car Gonzalez engineers a fantastically thought out and pure album with magnificent storytelling.  He deserves a lot of credit for such an engaging listen.  Check out "Memories of an Apparition" and "Replica" below, then run over to Bandcamp to grab the album.  He also has a homepage for more info.


Memories of an Apparition

One more mention before the start of the weekend, I'm now on Twitter!  You can follow me by clicking below...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Little Jungles

The British Columbian outfit Little Jungles started off the New Year right with the release of their first single off their forthcoming album I Would Kill For Some Sunlight.  On January 1st they dropped "Nothing Will Grow" on us, which is enough of a tease to get me anxious for the LP coming out in spring (shit...I have to wait that long?).  The track is a slow-burning lo-fi jam which resonates with a good dose of psychedelia, a sound which appears to mark a period of growth for the band.  Last year's album Wuts Goin Thru Yer Head was a fuzzier, more distorted assortment of noise rock impulses, even the cover art is messier and more chaotic.  This isn't bad to say the least, but the cleaner "Nothing Will Grow" simply seems to mark a new direction.  We can refer to the album cover once more, the art for the new song is wayyy simpler.  Whether this is merely a coincidence I'm not sure, but I'm pumped to see where the rest of the album leads and whether it remains consistent with the mellower, shimmering guitar lines of "Nothing Will Grow".  Either way, get excited for I Would Kill For Some Moonlight out this spring!  I know I am!

I've survived the Twitter world for 4 days now.  Whew, still going at it....

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tarik Sabar

To the left is the man of the hour, Tarik Sabar, posing with his main toy, the Roland MV-8800.  It's partly thanks to this device that Sabar is able to cut and mix a multitude of '70s and '80s soul vinyls in order to reconstruct some damn good instrumental hip-hop.  His new release, Soul Beats For Lonely Nights, proudly puts his talents for finding memorable hooks and captivating vocals on display. With laid-back harmonies and firm beats, Sabar also exhibits his ability to create a relaxing and soothing set of plunderphonics.  It's a little something to sit back and soak in, but with enough bounce to get your head nodding up and down a bit.  You can have a listen to Soul Beats For Lonely Nights over at his Bandcamp, where you can also download the long play for free.  Since each track flows in and out of each other, it's probably best listened to as a whole anyway.  If you'd like to just skip to that, pick it up here.  In the meantime, below are some highlights for you to chew on.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Blah Blah Blah

I was thrown for a loop when I first started listening to Blah Blah Blah's "Why Am I The Only One Laughing".  As the track leads in, the audience is treated to a post-punk rhythm comparable to something like Bloc Party or Interpol; I was just waiting for the guitars to explode or (lead singer) Solomon David's vocals to rupture into a low roar.  What hooked me, though, was the fact it didn't.  Doing so would've sounded too obvious, too cliché if you will.  Rather, the whole track remains smooth and glossy while David's vocals glide over the melody and drift between falsettos.  Needless to say it was a welcomed surprise, giving the song an original taste.  It also serves as an effective backbone, and a proper introduction, to their Thank You Thank You EP, which came out August of last year.  Acting as the EP's most recent single, it's congruent with the mood the band is trying to establish, a playful and fun atmosphere that delivers a whole bunch of creative energy.  Don't take my word for it, have a listen to the whole thing over in the music section of their Tumblr.  It's also available on iTunes.  Check out "Why Am I The Only One Laughing" below, and then be sure snag the free download before it's too late.

Why Am I The Only One Laughing

As mentioned yesterday, I'm new on Twitter!  I'm already getting excited about the possibilities, it's going to be a lot of fun.  If interested, you can follow me below!

The War On Drugs

One day into Twitter and I'm loving what it can do.  Signing on today, I saw it circulating around the web that The War On Drugs was going to be releasing their "Come to the City" single from last year's Slave Ambient, which is due out January 24th.  But alas, the news keeps getting better! The B-side contains a brand new song, "Don't Fear the Ghost", which excites me considering how much I loved Slave Ambient.  The track has a different feel to it, though.  Part of what made last year's LP so incredible was the vastness it was able to create, a spacious folk-rock set that looks forward to the horizon...but "Don't Fear the Ghost" is a mellower, slow churning haze of distortion.  This seems to make it sound tighter, and not quite as open, as their previous work.  While it may appear to be a slight change of pace, the result is still fantastic.  These guys have truly become one of my favorites.  Take a listen to "Don't Fear the Ghost" below!

 The War on Drugs - Don't Fear the Ghost by DOJAGSC

Monday, January 9, 2012


Over a year ago on November 3rd, 2010, I had the luck to interview Sky Hiker, an ambient musician from Brussels, in what was my first interview ever.  As he proved to be such a kind person with a strong enthusiasm for music, I wrote up on him only 3 weeks later about his fantastic newly released single.  His songs were great, and his talent palpable.  Yet as I studied abroad and put the blog on hiatus, I lost the ability to follow him as closely as I once did. Apparently the Sky Hiker project waned as well, until he decided it was time to close it.  But with closure, there starts a new beginning!  After spending 6 months away from his synths, he decided to revamp the project and start anew with a fresh concept he calls Hyker.  The idea is very similar; relaxed, dreamy, instrumental music that aims to recreate "something from beyond", but with differences in the approach.  While he still produces original compositions, Hyker now remixes as well as samples...if you listen carefully you may hear accents from bands such as Radiohead, Aphex Twin, and the Chemical Brothers.  In order to wash out what he calls the simplistic tendencies of Sky Hiker, he hopes to further explore those techniques.  The result is wonderful, Hyker retains the tranquil nature that made him so appealing in the first place, but also mixes in new tactics that allow him to sound fresh.  Have a listen below to see the culmination of his work!  You can also head over to Facebook to keep updated, or Soundcloud to keep an eye on new material.  Enjoy!

 Gui Boratto - Acrostico (Hyker Remix) by Hyker

 The Flight by Hyker

In some other news, I've decided to experiment with Twitter.  I don't have a smartphone and have never tweeted before, but I'm excited to take the step up from being a grandpa with technology and see where it leads.  Click below if you're interested in following!

Friday, January 6, 2012


Admittedly I am not very knowledgeable on the music scene in Moscow, nonetheless the music scene as an entirety in Russia.  Be as it may, I'm pleased to see that the band Galway is shedding some light for me on some of the exploits going on there. After a few demos, the quartet released their first full-length Mria on January 1st via Bandcamp, another New Years gift dropped on us. It's an impressive compilation that combines a few genres like shoegaze (think Radio Dept.), dream pop (think Wild Nothing), and even balearic (think Air France) tendencies in order to form a beautiful haze of lush synths.  Besides this, Galway also does a great job at using catchy guitar lines to float over the fog, the combination of which is quite calming.  This is even true for the more upbeat "Justine", a fantastically written electro jam (and one that I've been listening to non-stop so far in 2012).  I've put two songs from Mria below, and if you dig it don't hesitate to jump over to the ever faithful Bandcamp and snag the whole thaaanngggg fo free.

 Justine by Galway

 While We Laughed by Galway

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Day Joy

I love stumbling upon random finds.  The other day I was visiting Bandcamp to check out an album when I accidently clicked the "dream pop" tag at the bottom of the page.  What did I see on the newly loaded tab?  A moon, seemingly embedded between two mountains, with an elephant walking in front of it.  I noticed the contradiction of the band name, DAY Joy, with a strikingly large moon, a representation of night. Lured by the oddities in the cover art, curiosity took the best of me in terms of what they sounded like.  The result was utterly delightful; a two-song assemblage of indie-folk meets dreams pop complemented with a generous dosage of emotional guitar layering and restrained vocals hoping to erupt and be set free.  The tension developed in "Go To Sleep, Mess" is fantastic, and the breezier "New Ordinary" aids in balancing the strain.  The tracks create the 7" entitled New Ordinary, which is super fresh considering the December 25th release date last year.  It's also the first ever release by the Orlando duo of Michael Serrin and Peter Michael Perceval, aka Day Joy.  So congrats to them on the debut!  I very much look forward to their next pieces of work.  I've posted both songs from the single below, and if you like them you can always do the free download at their Bandcamp.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Guided By Voices

Greetings internet!  Hope everyone has had an enjoyable 2012 so far, I for one have managed to be even lazier than usual, which has been fantastic. But now it's time to end that and do the first write up of 2012.  The post goes to Guided By Voices, who graced us with a New Year's Day present, their new album Let's Go Eat the Factory.  The album, which came out January 1st of this year, is a pretty significant LP for the group.  It marks the first release since the band's 2004 break-up, and more importantly, the first full-length with the original (or as they call it, "classic") lineup since 1996's album Under the Bushes Under the Stars.  As I've written prior, Guided By Voices were important for the indie rock movement in the early to mid 90's, and they're definitely one of my favorites from that era.  Bee Thousand and Alien Lanes are absolute classics.  That's why it'll be tough to judge the most recent Factory, and also why it'll fall under heavy criticism.  With a band like GBV, the expectations are lofty.  Not only are they supposed to be good, but it'll be compared with those timeless LPs they've created earlier in their career.  Luckily, the album is pretty catchy.  They stick with their usual setup, quick snippets of garage rock, lo-fi pop that barely eclipse the 2-minute mark.  The relieving news is that Factory proves lead man Robert Pollard still has some juice left in him. Check a few highlights from it below.

Doughnut for a Snowman

Chocolate Boy