Moving Pictures: Fleet Foxes | Florence + The Machine | Black Lips | Penguin Prison | Breton | North Highlands | Jamuel Saxon | Suuns |
Thanks for waiting!
The cities are awfully grey this week.
The talented brother-sister pairing that make up Nashville’s The Breedings are back and offering a new free single from their debut record Laughing At Luck, and it’s a winner. “Everything You Wanted” has a dynamite horn section, and still runs on the powerful voice of Erin Breeding and the knack for arrangement her brother Willie possesses. The combination of horns and organ, coupled with a steady guitar melody, give the song a wonderful warmth that’s easy to settle into. Erin and Willie, who we featured earlier this year, are going to be touring the Midwest early next year, and I’m hoping to catch one of their shows. I bet it’d be a lot of fun.
We are less than three weeks away from The Black Keys bestowing their second album in a two-year span, with El Camino set to hit stores on December 6, just in time to make a run at people’s Best of 2010 lists and all the cool kids’ holiday wishlists for Santa Claus. A short time ago, we brought you the new album’s first single “Lonely Boy,” and just a couple of days ago the grooviest dudes from Akron uploaded the single’s B-side, a rollicking fuzzy blues number called “Run Right Back.” What causes more blues than the fickle nature of a pretty lady, the kind who always pulls you back in. It fits — stylistically and thematically — with “Lonely Boy,” and I still can’t wait for El Camino to be under my tree very soon.
The downtrodden synth-pop of Keep Shelly In Athens is somewhat mesmerizing. There’s an eclectic blend of all kinds of electronic elements that seems to create this dreamy soup for ears to swim in. Their new EP Our Own Dream has been out for 10 days now, and everything I’ve heard has lulled me into some kind of weird stupor, where I feel as though I’m wandering through a forest just before the sun has set in the sky, and there’s that weird twilight that casts everything in odd shadows. What I’m trying to say is, it’s largely about a mood with this Grecian band, and I dig the vibe they’re putting out.
This video is kind of adorable, as it features nothing but shots of a cutie-patootie toddler wandering around in natural settings, generally having a good time. It’s about as trippy as the song itself, which is a track by ABADABAD remixed by Keep Shelly In Athens. Check out the video and a few KSIA tracks below, and soak in the strange peace.
Los Angeles band Saint Motel have gotten an impressive amount of mileage out of their wonderful first single “Puzzle Pieces,” garnering blog and mainstream buzz for the song and getting an mtvU premiere for its quirky and inventive video. For what feels like forever, we’ve been waiting for a new track, and today quartet have obliged with the song “At Least I Have Nothing,” a far more guitar-driven number than “Puzzle Pieces,” which immediately drew me in with its piano hook. By the title, one would think this new song is a tongue-in-cheek rant, and really it is. The upbeat tone just disguises it for awhile:
At least I have nothing, nothing to tie me down…
I had such high hopes for the minds of our generation,
if we had some goals we could reach out and take them.
Except we’re apart, no movement to follow.
We are just stuck inside their business model.
I can’t wait for a full-length from these guys. For now, download “At Least I Have Nothing” below for a real treat.
At first, Boston-by-way-of-D.C. duo Mike and Cody drew me in with nostalgia. Upon listening to the first few tracks on their self-produced EP Let’s Go!, I immediately flashed back to the synthier-pop days of Hellogoodbye, a mainstay of the musical phase I get all heartsick for every now and then. But I give these guys credit for really impressing me with a song like “Headphones On,” which builds with a low-key guitar melody, some lo-fi vocals and subtle percussion, and then ratchets up just a bit with some catchy drumming and then cuts loose nicely with some echo effects and a little synth-and-guitar bridge. While they lean toward the unabashedly digitized side of electro-pop on a handful of Let’s Go!‘s seven tracks — and still manage to impress — “Headphones On” is the clear-cut example of the pair’s hard work on the short-player and ability to construct a traditional, good old-fashioned rock(ish) song. The whole EP is available for free on their bandcamp page, and you can grab “Headphones On” as well as “Everything You Do” below.
Long story short, I could see many of these songs blowing up on any campus — or commercial for that matter — radio station.
I was thrown for a loop when delving into the music of Damien Jurado. He’s been flying just below the noticeable surface since 1995, and those that are lucky enough to know his music, are the faithful diggers who mine for gold and treasure. Jurado is such a thing, with huge sprawling tracks in his left hand, and minute wisps of song in the dominant right. My head didn’t turn his way until I heard/saw “Caskets” from his 2008 album Caught in the Trees. The song and its video are so effortlessly and casually disturbing, I was scared off while at the same time glancing back in admiration. It was really good, but in a “yeah Beethoven is great!” kind of way.
And here we are at 2011’s close, and I’m just noticing Mr. Jurado again. He’s releasing his TWWWWelth LP, Maraqopa (pronounced mara-kopa), February 21st, but yesterday we got a preview of the opening track “Nothing is the News.” It’s retrofitted with the wandering guitars from Jurado’s left hand, but it’s also decidedly fixed in a circle of distortion, featuring plenty of squawks and outside noise interference that keeps the vocals the way the Seattle native likes them: secondary.
Also, the top photograph was taken by one Tom Roelofs, who has a swell talent for such things. We love it, and you should visit his site for some more eye candy.
Here’s an album trailer that features Jurado recording a song with label mate Richard Swift. See if you can pick out which song it is from the tracklist below.
1. Nothing Is the News
2. Life away from the Garden
4. This Time Next Year
5. Reel to Reel
6. Working Titles
7. Everyone a Star
8. So on, Nevada
9. Museum of Flight
10. Mountains Still Asleep
(Maraqopa is available 2/21/12 from Secretly Canadian)