Posts tagged favorite new music

Baby Guru - We Need Some Space

"We Need Some Space" by Baby Guru // Marginalia (Out 3.24.14 via Inner Ear Records)

Baby Guru is a Grecian psych pop band that feels a bit like a band that exists outside of time. One listen to their new single, “We Need Some Space” and you can pick things that might sounds familiar in any of five decades of popular music, but at the same time, it’s exciting and fresh. The swirling psych pop gem starts with an ominous bit of spaced out synth, but then abruptly shifts into into a hazy bit of guitar rock that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Tame Impala record before downshifting into a chorus that sounds straight out of HEAD-era The Monkees, and then spirals back in on itself but not before cramming dream pop, 70’s AM gold, and late 90’s era space rock into the mix. It’s a killer jam, and one that keeps you absolutely on your feet. With tracks like these, I’ll be keeping an eye out on the band’s new album, Marginalia that drops next week from Inner Ear Records.


"Mercury" by Conner Youngblood // Mercury - Single (Available Now via Soundcloud)

I know it’s no real way to start a post to promote something so stunning, but - holy shit! Dallas based artist, Conner Youngblood has been floating around the blogosphere for a couple of years now. After a quiet online presence, Youngblood signed with a label, which sadly, eventually fell through (check out the great interview he did with Pigeons and Planes) - luckily for us, the past couple of months have found this talented artist back releasing material online and his most recent track is one to fall in love with. “Mercury”, the latest track to find it’s way to his Soundcloud (soon available on the forthcoming Confidence EP)is something special. Building on the promise of those fantastic early tracks, “Mercury” finds Youngblood building a stunning vista at dawn, hazy at first but slowly exposing a breathtaking beauty as light breaks through and reveals a weary, but wide eyed stunner. Imagine Justin Vernon and Bon Iver collaborating with Takk-era Sigur Ros, and a little Port St. Willow tossed in for good measure and you’ll get close to what awaits on “Mercury”, but that doesn’t do Youngblood the justice he deserves. This is a gorgeous piece of music and you should be listening to it on repeat right now. 

* Download the track for free now from the Conner Youngblood Soundcloud.

"No Rest for the Wicked" by Lykke Li // I Never Learn (Out 5.5.14 via Atlantic)

Lykke Li fans are getting a double dose this week. First we got her single from the film in which she co-stars, Tommy - and now we got a second track from her forthcoming album, I Never Learn, the stormy “No Rest for the Wicked”. The track is another winner - pairing 60’s girl group melodies with richly textured, dark chamber pop. It sounds like the artist is a fan of her own track, “Silent My Song”, the closer and stand-out from her brilliant album, Wounded Rhymes. That track’s haunting choral backing track and hazy, lost-in-a-dream production carries through here, and it sounds wonderful. She’s two for two on singles from I Never Learn, and the anticipation continues to build. Hopefully the generosity in singles continues because i’m chomping at the bit to hear the full length!

"hudson" (from the upcoming album "from clay to figures")

"Hudson" by Amatorski // From Clay to Figures (Out April, 2014 via Crammed Discs)

Amatorski is a young Belgian band trafficking in glimmering post-rock-infused dream pop. Their forthcoming album, From Clay to Figures, will be their second, but it’s also the one that represents a tremendous leap forward for the band. On the new album, the band’s sound feels more fully developed and powerful than in the past, and you have to look no further than the first single, “Hudson”, for evidence of the band’s talents. The humming, airy atmosphere that opens the track provides a gorgeous contrast to the melancholic orchestral post rock sounds that flood in to lift Inne Eyserman's crisp, powerful vocals to special heights. It's a magical track. Intimate but bursting at the seems with ambition and power. Imagine Nona Marie Invie (Dark Dark Dark) fronting a band made up of members of Explosions in the Sky (at their most restrained) and Chromatics, and you’re in the right place, but still not quite there. Descriptors are a waste of time when the “play” button will do Amatorski the justice that they deserve. Highest recommendation. 

Lykke Li - Du Ar Den Ende

Du är den ende” by Lykke Li // Tommy - Official Soundtrack (2014 - Out Now)

As we await the release of Lykke Li's forthcoming full length, I Never Learn (Out May 5th), we can hang back and enjoy her contribution to the soundtrack of Swedish film, “Tommy” (which she also co-stars). The track, "Du är den ende" ("You Are the Only"), is a dark, fragile lullaby that exudes atmosphere and is even a little spooky due to it’s ghostly production. It’s a fantastic track, and a nice little holdover until we get the new full length in front of us. 

Wye Oak - Glory

"Glory" by Wye Oak // Shriek (Out 4.28.14 via City Slang!)

Wye Oak's forthcoming album , Shriek, is high on my list of anticipated releases, but still over a month and change away. Luckily, the band has been forthcoming with tastes of the new material. In addition to first single, “The Tower”, fans have been hearing new material live, and now we’ve got an official second single, for the shadowy beauty, “Glory”. The track hasa  mid-tempo groove that features a layer of eerie synths running beneath a killer bass line that all lead to an absolutely soaring chorus that sounds designed to destroy at festivals this year. It’s another magnificent evolution of the band’s sound and Jenn Wasner's voice continues to shine as a stellar instrument all it's own. Highest recommendation!

Sophia Mitiku - The Hollow

"The Hollow" by Sophia Mitiku // FatCat Records Demo (2014 // Available for Download Now @ SC)

First off, if you’re not following the FatCat Records Demo Soundcloud, you’re missing out. Each week, they pick a new demo from an up and coming artist to highlight. This week, Sophia Mitiku's beautifully haunting “The Hollow” is the selection and it's absolute perfection. Mitiku is only 18 years old, and while based out of the UK, was born in California to Ethiopian and Korean parents before growing up in Germany and Finland. Surely, the travels and life experience has only served to benefit her music, which shows maturity beyond her years. “The Hollow” is a delicately worn bit of darkly hued folk music that calls to mind artists like Jessica Pratt, Angel Olsen. and Damien Rice . The song has been floating around the blogosphere for a short while, but hopefully the FatCat exposure will secure Mitiku a place to shine in the future. 

And Then He Kissed Me

"And Then He Kissed Me (ft. Violet Skies)" by Stumbleine // Originally by The Crystals 

Stumbleine has been as prolific as ever these past several months, recently hooking up with R&B vocalist Violet Skies for an EP (Chasing Honeybees) and a full length (Dissolver). One of the stand out tracks from the sessions is a cover of “And Then He Kissed Me”, the Phil Spector produced, girl-group classic from The Crystals. Here, on this re-imagining, Stumbleine and Violet Skies mix soulful R&B with sweet and dreamy electronic pop and shoegaze soundscapes to craft an ace of a cover. One that deserves to be spun on repeat for a while. Highly recommended!

"Words I Don’t Remember" by How To Dress Well // Words I Don’t Remember (2014)

If you’re looking for anything other than complete adoration of Tom Krell's talents, then you're in the wrong place. In fact, it's pretty much an ongoing joke with one of my close friends that there's not nearly enough new How To Dress Well music making it’s way into this world. So, it’s with great pleasure that i listen to “Words I Don’t Remember”, the newest track from Mr. Krell. The new track feels like the next step in Krell’s evolution as an artist - his vocals are clearer and the production weaves and flows seemlessly throughout, swelling to an uplifting and powerful finale that is as gorgeous as anything that you’re likely to hear this year. Not that the artist has ever lacked confidence in his performance, but there’s a power on display on this new material that feels like Tom Krell is stepping forward, ready to become the star that he was always meant to be. Highest recommendation. Absolutely stunning. 

"Bells of Paonia" by The Fresh & Onlys // House of Spirits (Out 6.10.14 via Mexican Summer)

The Fresh & Onlys don’t like to keep anyone waiting. The San Francisco psych rockers hardly ever go a year without a release of some type, and 2014 brings a new full length entitled House of Spirits. The first single, “Bells of Paonia” is an absolute stunner that finds the band drifting into spaced out, Spiritualized territory, and it suits them wonderfully. A droning wall of distortion hovers over Tim Cohen's sweetly somber vocals, as a gorgeous melody floats along gently, joined by an organ and a church-like choral section through the chorus. It's a magnificent song! Maybe even one of the best of the year so far. Highest possible recommendation!

La Sera - "Losing to the Dark"

"Losing to the Dark" by La Sera // Hour of the Dawn (Out 5.13.14 via Hardly Art)

Despite the sad news of the recent official end of Vivian Girls, bassist Katy Goodman is motoring forth with news of her third album as La Sera. Hour of the Dawn will be released in mid-May via Hardly Art, and in advance of that release, we get a single to satiate the hunger for new material. “Losing to the Dark” is an aggressive blast of guitar rock with a driving beat and an absolutely infectious hook. The track finds Goodman leaning into heavier territory and maneuvering the shift with absolute conviction and artistry. I’ve been a big fan in the past, but I’m finding myself truly excited to hear the continual evolution of La Sera as a musical force. Highest recommendation!

* Free MP3 Download Available via Hardly Art Soundcloud

(via theautumnroses)


"Flaws" by Vancouver Sleep Clinic // Winter EP (Out 3.10.14 via Self Release)

Vancouver Sleep Clinic are back with another taste of their forthcoming Winter EP. The same magic that went into “Collapse” is on display here in new single, “Flaws”. Wintery electronics float alongside Tim Bettinson's warm falsetto as a soft R&B ballad keeps beat beneath. It's somber without being weepy, and potent without being over the top. It's pretty easy to see that Bettinson and his band are going to have a pretty special year. 


"Battles" by DNKL // Battles (2014 // Free Download Available @ DNKL Soundcloud)

The Swedish electro pop trio, DNKL, is fairly new on the scene, but they’re already crafting some pretty stunning music. So far, the band has only released two tracks - the airy, atmospheric ballad, "Hunt", and the stunning new electro-noir-pop gem, “Battles”. You can grab both tracks for free right now from the band’s Soundcloud. “Battles” is especially exquisite with it’s blanket of mournful, siren-esque synths and haunting vocals. The track calls to mind the finest ballads of Keep Shelly in Athens, Chvrches, and Pure Bathing Culture. Highly recommended!

Yohuna - Badges

"Badges" by Yohuna // Boring Ecstacy (Out on 12” Vinyl, 3.25.14 via Orchid Tapes)

To celebrate the fourth anniversary of the creation of Brooklyn based record label, Orchid Tapes, the label is releasing a 14 track vinyl compilation titled Boring Ecstacy. “Badges” is a track from Yohuna that is featured on the release, and it’s definitely something that deserves a few spins. The track is a delicate, airy, dream pop ballad that is beautifully constructed from crisp piano lines, warm, humming synths, and ethereal vocals. It carries a sweet romanticism that gives way slightly to the melancholic delivery, and it’s all the moer intriguing for it. It’s a wonderful song. Highest recommendation.

"Magic" by Coldplay // Ghost Stories (Out May, 2014 via Parlophone)

I must say, that I’m completely perplexed. I never would have guessed that in 2014 that I would find myself spending much time thinking about new music from Coldplay. No disrespect to Chris Martin and the boys, but I just hadn’t really connected to anything that the band had done since 2005. It was just a case of artist and fan growing in different directions. I didn’t dislike their output, but it wasn’t drawing me in the way it once did. Cut to last week when the band released the new track, “Midnight”, which sounded completely different than anything that the band had ever done. Eschewing the stadium ready anthems for a darker, atmospheric track that felt more attuned to Justin Vernon's Volcano Choir output than Coldplay. Now, just a few days later - the band drops the official information on their forthcoming sixth album, Ghost Stories, as well as another taste of the new album. “Magic” is again, something different, albeit a little closer to the Coldplay of Rush of Blood to the Head, but still different. Starting off with a guitar loop and drum machine sample that sounds straight out of The XX, it takes a while to really start sounding like a full on Coldplay track, but even when it does, the influences are all shifted. No rapturous U2-like chorus, and Radiohead-style electro flourishes, instead this sound like a band freshly inspired by the wave of genre-bending new artists that have permeated the market in recent years. There’s a somber, R&B leaning tone to the track that never gets too heavy - in fact, at times it sounds downright sweet once the shimmering post-rock guitars collide with Martin’s falsetto. This is Coldplay at it’s best, and I’m frankly impressed that this far into their career, they’re shifting into something resembling unpredictability. I’m excited for what lies ahead.