Friday, September 28, 2012

Kjartan Bue

For this Friday's segment we're going to tone it down a little bit.  I'd like to present Kjartan Bue, a half-Danish half-Norweigan folk singer who is currently residing in Copenhagen.  Everything about Bue comes across as very poetic, whether it be represented in his music or in the background story of his forthcoming album.  His new single, "Old Woman", is a great representation of this. His hushed, comforting vocals play along wonderfully with the soft guitar picking in the background.  His method of delivery, as well as the accompanying lyrics, paint a beautiful image of something that may otherwise be considered austere.  This comes to us as the first taste of Bue's album called Man Running Backwards (set to be released on November 15th), which was created in an eastern facing room at his father's farm at Moon Mountain.  Each day he sat and went to work with a view looking out over three grazing Icelandic horses, which isn't the worst place to create a LP.  Poetic, no?  I've placed the song "Old Woman" below for your listening pleasure, so be sure to check that out.  To listen to some more of his tracks, head on over to his SoundCloud.  There is also an abundance of information available at his Facebook.  Happy weekends ya'll!

 Old Woman by Kjartan Bue

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Strange Talk

I'm back!  And there's nothing better than returning to work after a week in the sweltering desert in the middle of nowhere and then being greeted with an energetic and lively track that subsequently removes you from the realities of the world once more.  When you listen to "Cast Away" by the Melbourne four-piece Strange Talk, you become completely absorbed in its delivery, its draw, and its message.  In this sense, Strange Talk has landed upon a gem; "Cast Away" is friendly to listeners of all ages and genres, delivering relatable qualities that dodge the pattern of recycled pop garbage.  For this, Strange Talk has successfully been able to carve out a unique enough niche to garner the attention of people all over the interweb.  In these days, that means the world.  I'm confident that the infectious synth washes will win you over, too.  "Cast Away" comes to you as the first single off of their debut album, which is due out in the early months of 2013.  Coinciding with the audio release of "Cast Away" is the music video for it, something you can thank Nylon Magazine for debuting.  I've posted the video for "Cast Away" below, but if you want the usual audio stream I've included the SoundCloud player below it.  Since I know you'll be tempted, you can learn more over at FacebookTwitter, or listen to more of their work at SoundCloud.  Get listening!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Work Drugs

The awesome Philly band Work Drugs has just announced their newest, and also last, single off of their Absolute Bearing LP.  It's called "Council Bluffs" and it "borrows on themes of social injustice, westernization, and the frustration that often accompanies songs of social protest".  It contains the classic smooth vibe that Work Drugs has done so well in solidifying.  You can check out the album here on Bandcamp.  Work Drugs also has outlets on FacebookTwitter, SoundCloud and a homepage, so be sure to check those out.  "Council Bluffs" is streaming below.  Have a good weekend everybody!

Unfortunately, I'm not going to be around next week on a count of I'll be camping in a desert in the middle nowhere until next Saturday.  Posts will resume when I return to civilization.  Try not to miss me too much.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


The new track "Licksss" by Harlem's beat maker Solice is only a tad over two minutes long, but there are plenty of things that can be done in that duration of time.  One is procreate; the song is ultra-smooth and seductive, calling all sexuality to arms.  It's like the foundation of a Barry White tune if trip-hop was cool in his day.  Another is smoke ganja-herb; you can spark a bowl in less than two minutes, so why not accompany it with some steady and catchy beats?  You can also go to sleep; the soulful vocal samples are like sweet lullabies to that suave rhythm, thus inducing an expedient slumber.  There isn't much known about Solice and his future endeavors, but I'm sure that's all bound to change soon.  You can check out his SoundCloud to listen to his tracks, and you can also reach him on Twitter, so be sure to take some visits to those.  In the meantime I've posted his two songs below, the new "Licksss" and the older "Dirty Knees", so go ahead and give it the ol' college try.

 Licksss by Solice

 Dirty Knees by Solice

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Cataracs & Borgeous & Taylor Bird

I think just about everyone knows about the classic song "Let The Good Times Roll", it's the kind that has been immortalized in the annals of music history.  It has been covered a large volume of popular artists and bands throughout its tenure, but I don't think it has been taken quite like this before.  The first piece of the pie is The Cataracs, an artist from Berkeley who has teamed up with the likes of Waka Flocka Flame prior.  The second is Borgeous, a fun and energetic producer who I have written about before for his fist-pumping bangers.  The last contributor is Taylor Bird, another musician from Hollywood.  These three have teamed up to release a remix of "Let The Good Times Roll" featuring the voice of the late great Freddie King, and boy does it bump.  There really isn't much else to say except just that; it will make you want to jump around.  Oh!  That and it's offered for a free download over at SoundCloud.  If you want to give your pregame mix a little boost, this just might do the trick.  Have a listen to it below.

 The Cataracs & Borgeous & Taylor Bird - Let The Good Times Roll Ft. Freddie King by The Cataracs

Lux Lisbon

The debut album from London rockers Lux Lisbon may have been released in January, but their new single "Your Heart Is A Weapon The Size Of Your Fist" is in full-swing.  Coming after the record's success, "Your Heart" is a fast-paced banger with swirling synths, blistering drums, and a passionate vocal track.  Part of what makes the song so appealing is tension-filled build, which starts off as a steady back with muddled lyrics.  It's not until "Your Heart" really breaks free that your exposed to the raw energy and emotion contained within.  During this explosion of sound we're also given insight into the complexity of everything that's going on, truly exposing us to how much of a gem it is.  Have a listen to it below to catch the vibe, and then head over to Bandcamp to snag the rest of their catalogue. There are also some goodies located at their Facebook page.  Enjoy!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Blue Boats

One of the first things that came to mind when I first heard "Summer's Down" by Blue Boats was that I couldn't believe it was the result of a side project.  I'm not talking about a side project from another band, I'm talking about a side project from a totally different field.  Oliver Gale, the real guy behind the name, is a film student over in the U.K.  If I had secondary occupations that resulted in something as good as "Summer's Down" is for Gale, I'd be very satisfied with myself.  Until I find that talent, though, I'll have "Summer's Down" to listen to.  Coming at a time when the seasons are changing and the weather is getting colder, Gale delivers a wonderful surf rock ballad, causing me to reminisce on the days walking down the Californian beach. The official release date for "Summer's Down" is September 24th, but we're lucky enough for him to have given us a plethora of streaming options.  You can listen to it below, or you can head to Bandcamp.  You can also see his other work over at SoundCloud. Facebook and Twitter offer some social media outlets.  Check it!

 Summer's Down by Blue Boats

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Shamefaced Sparrows

To wrap up the week I deliver to you guys a hefty portion of that delicious lo-fi garage rock.  In the case of British duo The Shamefaced Sparrows, though, it's not technically "garage" rock.  On their newest released demos the band is said to have used a battered four-track that "likes to delete songs on its free will" in a basement. They've even said: "We're not even sure exactly how to work the recorder efficiently.  All we can say with even a morsel of assurance is that the red button means record".  It sure sounds like it, for their three new demos are three wonderful tracks that bring to mind older bands like The Kinks or The Velvet Underground.  For all the scrumptious '60s surf rock they've delivered to the internet, all I can say is thank god they figured out how to use that four-track.  I've posted my favorite of the demos below, "Apple Tragedy", with more listens and free downloads available on their SoundCloud.  Happy weekends everyone!

 Apple Tragedy (Demo) by The Shamefaced Sparrows

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Natural Shocks

When looking at the cover for Kobayashi Maru, the newly released EP from Toronto rockers The Natural Shocks, what's the first thing you notice?  It's dark and foreboding, displaying nothing but a silhouette, giving weight to the tension of the unknown.  We can't even see the character's face. This sense of being hidden is an interesting one, especially considering that The Natural Shocks were based on a collection of songs inspired by Jim DeLuca's (lead singer) broad fear of death and the finality of it.  That was then, but Kobayashi Maru is now. So what has changed if anything?  If you listen carefully, there are some aspects that are consistent, like in "Chosen Ones" where DeLuca sings "makes you wish you'd live forever / won't regret it / come whatever / and now my days are drifting way", but overall the tone seems to be much more uplifting.  Underneath their heavily reverbed guitar lines lies great pop sensibility and does so in a way that slowly reveals itself.  For some reason, perhaps because the vocals sound slightly lo-fi, I can't shake the '90s alternative rock style.  Either way, in the end it doesn't matter if DeLuca still fears death or remains undercover in the album cover, Kobayashi Maru is a wonderful EP, carefully constructed and proficient in a variety of different sounds.  Best part is that you can snag it for free!  You can do that over at Bandcamp, with other outlets available at FacebookTwitter, and SoundCloud.  I've posted my two favorites, "Daydream" and "Chosen Ones" below for your listening pleasure.  Enjoy!

 Daydream by The Natural Shocks

 Chosen Ones by The Natural Shocks

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Hunting Grouds/Gold Fields

A little less than two months ago I had the pleasure of writing up on Hunting Grounds and their new album In Hindsight.  It was a great release, and now the group has garnered the attention of the Ballarat natives Gold Fields, who have released a remix of the Hunting Grounds song "Flaws".  Seeing as both bands are from Ballarat, an Australian city, it would make sense that the combination of the two flavors mixes so well.  With vocals that bring to mind Cut Copy, it would seem the Australian synth sound carries some parallels.  Thank god it does, because the wonderful remix is one you'll be itching to hear over and over again.  The best part is that they offered a free download of it over at SoundCloud.  For more information on Hunting Grounds, head on over to their Facebook or homepage (which links to other outlets).  Gold Fields can be reached at FacebookTwitter, and Bandcamp, so be sure to pay a visit to those.  "Flaws" remix streaming below!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Angelica's Elegy

It's unfair how our ears can deceive us.  We think they're picking up on everything they can, when in reality they sometimes need a little help. Headphones, for example, are a wonderful boost. Without such assistance, I could have very well missed the subdued piano playing in the background of "When You're Asleep" by the Norwegian group Angelica's Elegy.  The track absolutely soars, lifting white-washed synths to wondrous heights. Mix this with buoyant vocals and a steady drum pattern and you have yourself a shoegazing beauty; surges of noise are complemented with quieter accents, delivering a wholesome contrast that flows effortlessly along its path.  The song comes off of the Cognitive Dissonance EP that was released on August 27th of this year, making it a fantastic late-summer jam as we transition into the cooler fall months.  Have a listen to "When You're Asleep" below, and then be sure to check out the EP available over at iTunes.  More information on the group can be found Facebook, so be sure to show them some love over that way, too.

 ANGELICA'S ELEGY - When You're Asleep by Riot Factory

El Perro Del Mar

Listening to El Perro Del Mar is a bit of a trip.  What she puts out is strangely familiar, when in reality it's nothing you've heard before.  It's for this reason that the Swedish songwriter, Sarah Assbring, has managed to catch my (and many others) attention. The recent push in her output is the result of the incoming album Pale Fire, which is set for a November 13th release date over here in the United States.  "Walk On By", the most recent single to find its way onto the mediawaves, shows her unique craftsmanship with a matter-of-fact, dilly-dallying conglomerate of a meandering bass, delicate percussion, and sneaky horn section.  What ties everything together are Assbring's beautiful nonchalant vocals, adding to the already laid-back track.  I've posted "Walk On By" below, as well as an older song "Innocence Is Sense" to show her capabilities.  Keep an eye out for Pale Fire this November, and in the meantime pay a visit to her SoundCloud and Facebook.

 Walk On By (radio edit) by El Perro Del Mar

 Innocence Is Sense by El Perro Del Mar