Can you hunt down a jukebox in the wild? It is no easy task, let me assure you. But what is lovely about pursuing this wonderful creature is the tracks that it leaves — they are full of musical goodness, and oftentimes there is no rhyme or reason to what’s left behind.
We’ve been tracking a jukebox recently, and here is a smattering of the treats this tuneful beast has bestowed upon us as if they were nothing special. But we here at TWJ know better. And so we present them to you.
British Sea Power – Zeus: The new song from this Brighton, England group is a rhythmic, rumbling affair that builds tension and releases it in a satisfying fashion. Dramatic, forceful and yet slightly subdued.
The Fresh & Onlys – Waterfall: It took me a few listens to truly love this San Fransisco band’s newest single. They’ve put out three albums in their short two years, and this one, like much of their output, features Tim Cohen getting romantic over jangly, 80’s-style guitars. Solid.
Blank Dogs – Northern Islands: I get a distinct Of Montreal vibe from Blank Dogs. Not sure why. Give a listen and decide for yourself.
Allo Darlin’ – My Heart Is A Drummer: “You’d never know, but my heart is as strong as a drummer” Elizabeth Morris croons on this lovely track. She began playing music after buying a ukulele, and soon formed Allo Darlin’ from a collection of members from other bands. Straightforward, delightful indiepop.
Another great tune from this band
Klaxons – Bad Romance (Lady GaGa Cover): I feel like The Klaxons made this song way more bearable. That’s an accomplishment. Right?
The Head And The Heart – Sounds Like Hallelujah: This Seattle-based band is really talented. They list The Beatles and CSNY as their main influences, and next to “Sounds Like” on the band’s myspace, they write: “melodies, harmonies, shakers, foot stomps, beautiful things, epic things.”
The Bear Romantic – Farmers: The quiet and beautiful tones of strummed guitars and whispered vocals that sound as if they were recorded in a empty theater. Lovely.
Deerhunter – Helicopter: Deerhunter’s sound has constantly changed and evolved during the band’s short life. Its newest album, Halcyon Digest, is a real gem. This song is a slow burn underwater. Does that make sense?
Margot And The Nuclear So And So’s – Lunatic, Lunatic, Lunatic: This is a lo-fi love song for that crazy chick we all know. We’re scared of her, but find her strangely attractive. As always, MNSS is most powerful when lead singer Richard Edwards takes center stage.
A performance for Spin with some of Margot’s former members
The Radio Dept. – The New Improved Hypocrisy: These guys decided to make a political statement about the government in their home of Sweden. If only our mid-term elections ads in the US were this awesome.
Fujiya & Miyagi – Photocopier: Who knew songs about Xerox machines could be so damn funky? This song is from F & M’s 2006 album Transparent Things, but it’s still cool.
Sleeping In The Aviary – Y.M.C.A. (No, Not That One): Sleeping In The Aviary, who hail from Minneapolis, make indie pop that is unpredictable, fun and strange at times. Case in point: The gargling chorus at around the 2:20 mark in this quirky but lovable gem.
Sufjan Stevens – Too Much (radio edit): One of the more talented musicians of our generation takes a deep dive into the electronic abyss with his new record The Age of Adz. This is my favorite of the tracks I have heard from that album, and it is a cacophony of noise from start to finish.
A wonderful live performance of “Casimir Pulaski Day” for KCRW from 2007
The Lonely Forest – Turn Off This Song And Go Outside: This band from Washington state is fun live, as I wrote last week. This song is a power indie-pop jam, and it’s the first tune I’ve heard that actually tells you not to listen to it. Rock.
Agent Ribbons – I’m Alright: This is a song by women who rock. Seriously, this song kicks ass. Just listen. And don’t roll your eyes at me.
Electric Sunset – Soda: I couldn’t really write a better description than this, from the press release about this band, which is the creation of Nic Zwart: “a distillation of ambient music into spiky pop songs with loud synthetic percussion and muscular bass lines.”
Half-Handed Cloud – Set Your Beams: I can’t get enough of this piano-laden, bouncy tune. There’s off-kilter rhythms, silly yet insightful lyrics and instruments galore. It’s so much fun, I have it on repeat right now. And it’s only 2 minutes long, so that’s a lot of plays.
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