It’s bands like Land of Pines that remind me not to judge a band by their photo. It’s clear that this Seattle quintet spends little time worrying about their social media presence or band photos and instead just focuses on kicking ass. Which, in my book, is more than acceptable.
Their 2013 EP The Long Defeat harkens not to the increasingly overplayed and over-saturated dream pop of the 50s and 60s, but to the nostalgia of the era that saw indie rock at its peak – the late 90s and early 2000s. Yet, their sound isn’t outdated or a formulaic repeat of some of the greats by which they are influenced–Superchunk, The Anniversary, Manchester Orchestra, and even a little Built to Spill. The propulsive, groovy guitar licks straddle the line between intricate indie rock and pop sensibilities combined with earnest male and female vocals reminiscent of a personal favorite, 1997.
They balance the dark and light, complete with tempo changes, unexpected riffs, and weaving melodies most beautifully in the final track of the EP, “What Dust We Dote On” (streaming below). As KEXP so aptly described, they are “Rilo Kiley with razor blades.”
When paired with someone who can use a camera and someone who has some music business sense, this tiny local Seattle band has the potential to be find its way into the national consciousness.
Despite the beautiful USA being full of amazing artists, there is a whole world bursting with new music waiting to be uncovered. Let’s try moving east and down under to Australia, from where 22-year-old singer/producer Sterling Silver hails. After listening to this one track, “End Up Like This,” I cannot wait to see what the future brings.
“End Up Like This” is reminiscent of days of roller discos and drive ins. While not actually alive during the psychedelic days, I do love skating and Sonic and can easily picture tearing up the dance floor to this song. Sterling Silver pairs a steady upbeat, funky tune with wispy vocals to create a sound like a 1970’s era Empire of the Sun.
Make sure to get ahead of the game by downloading this song for free:
If you like the song but aren’t trying to take it back to the disco days, try checking out the remix of “End Up Like This” by Tyler Touché:
Even as self-assured adults, there are times when each of us doubts ourselves. We wonder if we’re as talented or creative as we thought. Whether we’re as pretty or handsome as we’d come to believe. Whether we deserve what we have.
When you’re having a rough day or doubting yourself, you only need a few seconds of this video to give you a tripple dose injection of optimism and I dare you to fend off a smile. The reckless abandon, confidence, and radiance of this drag party gives a perfect vision to this inspiring song “Hold on When You Get Love” by Stars.
This quote from Toquil Campell (co-lead singer / songwriter) about the meaning behind the video was so perfect and hit me in such a profound way, I had to share it:
“I wanted to make a video that celebrated the following things: (more…)
If you’re looking for tracks to create a perfect summer playlist, one of these from You Me & Us’ new EP Stay Inside is mandatory (full stream below). The hazy beach-bound indie pop that emanates from this trio may just see as many turns in my stereo this year as Best Coast’s The Only Place did last year. The warm, controlled voice of Carlee Hendrix is more sweet than Bethany Cosentino’s and their fuzzy dream pop would snuggle itself perfectly between Wavves and the Dum Dum Girls. And yet, their youth and songs of first love brings a carefree naiveté that can only make you nostalgic. What better tunes would make a better sonic backdrop for a beach sunset or a lake sunrise? (more…)
I’ve come to the realization that no matter how hard I try or how diligent I am about keeping up with my inbox, there’s just no way that I can relay all of the amazing tunes that I receive. In an attempt to keep up, I’ll be sharing my “Friday Favs,” a compilation of some of the best things to come my way. Enjoy…
“Luck Now” by Big Scary
I’m going to have to bring you more on this band later, because there is so much love happening here. This Aussie duo just signed to Barsuk and their album Not Art is due out September 17th. Preparing for obsession then. (more…)
With an “artist on the rise” attribution from NPR, a track debut on Rolling Stone, and a profile in USA Today, I was shocked that I hadn’t heard of this UK band until this week. You’d never know that they hail from the mother country–they take on that vintage California rock sound with a little bit of twang, some folk and soul, and real rock n’ roll. Their influences range from Jason Browne and Crosby, Stills & Nash to soul, regge, and jazz.
Their debut album The Mountain Moves comes out next Tuesday, June 25th and as a preview, they’ll be playing in LA at The Bootleg on Monday. And I have a pair of tickets to give away!
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I’ve found that in the last year I’ve become more and more drawn to really great electro pop. I’m not talking anything they’re playing on your local top 40 station. I mean, really great, original, unique stylings. That is everything that French electro pop diva Owlle brings to the table. Her icy etherial sound mixed with playful synth tinkering falls somewhere between a brooding Ellie Goulding and a more playful Lykki Li.
She recently released the Ticky Ticky Remix EP with remixes by Team Ghost, Grum, Strip Steve and Moonlight Matters. Of the three “Ticky Ticky” remixes, I prefer the first by Strip Steve with it’s vocal glitches. Then, the EP ends with a remix of “Disorder” which I would argue even outdoes the original.
I am obsessed with Kate Nash. I pledged for her signed LP. I rocked hard at her LA show a few weeks ago (the second time I’ve had the privilege of seeing her live). And I am now counting the days until her return to LA in November. Aside from knowing what to do with a guitar and “the same four chords” as she would tell you, she’s also a vegetarian, a brutal and awesome feminist, and activists for young women. She told a story at her LA show about the organization she founded Rock and Roll After School Program and a young girl who hated the world and who she helped express that through music. She also yelled at the crowd that we need more girls in rock. “Learn 4 chords, start a band!” said she. SWOON.
As a gift to you all for listening to me gush, I am sharing this “OMYGOD” IMOL remix (after the jump):
If you haven’t seen Big Black Delta live, I say to you this: YOU. ARE. INSANE. Why the F&$# not!? But in all seriousness, Jonathan Bates and his dual drumming ladies put on one of the best live shows I’ve seen, which can only be improved in majesty by the venue (it’s a little hard to put on a great light show in a club that only holds 300). The amount of energy, throbbing, and raw sexual tension that emits from the stage during a Big Black Delta show could be bottled and sold for a pretty penny. To describe the music would be to limit its potential and that would be criminal–suffice it to say that Bates was the driving force behind alt rock band Mellowdrone and he has since been heavily involved in M83 and worked with White Sea, but that this creative venture pushes the boundaries of the extremes of each.