Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Synthi Group Vol. 2

ARTIST / BAND: Various

ALBUM (donload): The Synthi Group Vol. 2

FILE UNDER: Electronic

LABEL: Electronic Eel Records

INFO: The Synthi Group is back for the second installment of their ongoing Electronic Music Studio (EMS) instrument centered compilations. With the popularity of Vol. I, downloaded over 42,000 times, it was made clear that an interest exists for the unique sound of EMS machinery. Vol. II continues the DIY ethic of the first, encapsulating a diverse array of sounds from ultrasonic frequencies and spring reverb howls to rubbery logic sequences and colliding inverted ramp oscillators.

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Laura Vane & The Vipertones

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ARTIST / BAND: Laura Vane & The Vipertones

MP3: Christmas Day With Me

ALBUM: Laura Vane & The Vipertones

FILE UNDER: Northern soul / Pop

LABEL:  Unique Records

INFO: Drawn together from both sides of the North Sea, Laura Vane & The Vipertones are a new (although most likely already familiar) group consisting of musicians from various Dutch & UK projects, pooling their respective skills together for this remarkably traditional funk & soul mission. From Holland (Dordrecht near Rotterdam) Phil Martin & Ton van der Kolk (AIFF, Soul Snatchers, Jazzinvaders, Unique Records) provide instrumental elegance and have obvious talent for developing the grooves and beats fired over the internet from the relentless Jonathan Radford (Diesler/Burnley near Manchester, UK). Finally the music, in its rawest form, resides temporarily with Laura Vane (Miss honey-over-sandpaper tones/Brighton, UK) who locks herself away from the modern world to work on the sweet vocals and inspired lyrics.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Audra Mae

ARTIST / BAND: Audra Mae

MP3: The River

ALBUM: Haunt

FILE UNDER: Indie / Folk Rock / Swing

LABEL: SideOneDummy Records

INFO: Audra Mae is a natural. Once the Oklahoma native opens her mouth and lets loose with that voice, pure and strong, with a hint of country twang and a twinkle of good humor, you realize this is what she’s meant to do; Stand in front of an audience and entertain, not just with her singing, but a distinctive songwriting voice, one that’s capable of relating fully developed characters and stories.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The J. Davis Trio

ARTIST / BAND: The J. Davis Trio

MP3s:

"Breezay" (MP3)

"Court Is Now In Session" (MP3)

"These Things Happen" (MP3)

ALBUM: These Things Happen

FILE UNDER: Jazzy Hip Hop

LABEL: Yo Yo Smuggler Records

INFO: The J. Davis Trio is fronted by vocalist/multi-percussionistStuart, and backed by bassist Flav-R-Ice, drummer The Planet and trumpeter Benjamin Pendulum. These Things Happen , released on Yo Yo Smuggler Records, brings power and precision together with grace and beauty. Big beats join with trumpets, violins, vibraphones, Rhodes pianos, congas and Stuart's smart lyrics to create their signature sound, an idiosyncratic mix of hip hop, jazz and soul.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Lou Barlow

Lou Barlow

ARTIST / BAND: Lou Barlow

MP3: Gravitate

ALBUM: Goodnight Unknown

FILE UNDER: Indie

LABEL: Merge Records

INFO: In the four years since his career-redefining, mostly acoustic record Emoh, Lou Barlow has reunited with Dinosaur Jr. and reissued three of Sebadoh's classic albums. But as the brilliant new Goodnight Unknown illustrates, hes hardly living in the past. Borrowing the live-band energy of Dinosaur Jr. and the stylistic reach of Sebadoh, Barlow has built on Emoh's full production and written a set of immediate, melodic pop songs that Lou describes as, "a cross between my later work with Folk Implosion and my earlier work with Sebadoh...to my ears, anyway."

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sea Wolf

ARTIST / BAND: Sea Wolf

MP3: Wicked Blood

ALBUM: Leaves in the River

FILE UNDER: INDIE / ALTERNATIVE / ROCK

LABEL: dangerbird records

INFO: Taking its name from novelist Jack London’s 1904 seafaring adventure, Sea Wolf has evolved organically from its hermetic origins in Alex Brown Church’s living room into a muscular, full-bodied musical entity with passion to burn. After adopting the sobriquet, Church burst onto the music scene in two-fisted fashion with the EP, Get to the River Before It Runs Too Low, and the subsequent full-length debut album, Leaves in the River, about which Interview magazine observed, “His music is both erudite and unvarnished, a blend of swirling melodies, literary balladry and damaged art-rock composition.”

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Beach Fossils

ARTIST / BAND: Beach Fossils

MP3: Time

FILE UNDER: Indie Pop

LABEL: Captured Tracks

INFO: The jangly, self recorded ramblings of Brooklyn’s Dustin Payseur, Beach Fossils offers hauntingly catchy tunes that blend the energy of an impulsive road trip with the melodious wandering of a lucid dream. Sun drenched riffs, kaleidoscopic rhythms and hazy lyrics saturate Beach Fossils’ first release, the album’s carefree vibe perfectly summed up through song titles such as “Daydream,” “Vacation,” and “Lazy Day.”

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Miike Snow

ARTIST / BAND: Miike Snow

MP3: Animal

ALBUM: Animal

FILE UNDER: Pop / Electronic / Indie

LABEL: Downtown Records  RCRD LBL

INFO: Miike Snow formed in 2007 in Stockholm, Sweden.

Band members Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg were childhood friends who spent time playing in bands and working on various projects in studios throughout Gothenburg. After separate moves to Stockholm they reunited in 2000. Then In 2004, whilst working on writing a pop album for someone else, the pair met the third band member, American songwriter Andrew Wyatt.

Karlsson and Winnberg collaborated under the moniker Bloodshy & Avant, and enjoyed a significant amount of success as producers and songwriters. They have worked with artists such as Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Kelis and won a Grammy for Best dance recording for the track "Toxic" by Britney Spears.

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Videos:


Miike Snow - "Animal"

Miike Snow - Black and Blue

Miike Snow - Silvia

Miike Snow - "Burial"

Miike Snow - "Burial"

Miike Snow -Animal

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Eight Days of Hometapes and a 2009 tape sampler

Hometapes heads into the new year with the Eight Days of Hometapes and a 2009 tape sampler!

Read All The Way To The Bottom For Info on 2009 Tape Sampler!


"It’s been a wild year. December always provides that high vantage point for looking back over the months before, as well as the not-so-distant views of the new year to come. We’re definitely standing on top of that proverbial mountain right now, taking it all in, and being humbled by the expanse and our place in it. Hometapes is way more than a record label. Hometapes is the sum of its parts.

As a gift to all of you who comprise the equation that equals Hometapes, we crafted a week of special music from Hometapes artists. We’re calling it The Eight Days of Hometapes, as that sounds holidayish and/or like a bad movie. Over the next week, we’ll be unveiling a new song daily via our website and its digital tentacles. And these are holiday jams — covers or inspired originals — that can soundtrack your next few weeks of celebration, contemplation, and everything in between."

- Sara and Adam of Hometapes

Download Day 1: Slaraffenland -- "Little Drummer Boy"


Download Day 2: Shannon Fields of Stars Like Fleas (featuring the Canizeres family) -- "I'll Be Home For Christmas (If Only In My Dreams)"


Download Day 3: Pattern Is Movement -- "O Holy Night"


Download Day 4: Brad Laner -- "It's Christmas (But I Don't Care)"


Download Day 5: The Caribbean "Christmastime is Here"

Day 6: WEDNESDAY 12/16

Day 7: THURSDAY 12/17

Day 8: FRIDAY 12/18

Stay tuned to www.home-tapes.com or follow Hometapes on Twitter!

With roots now firmly planted (and boxes finally unpacked) in their new hometown of Portland, Oregon (and after blazing a trail from Little Rock to Savannah to Miami to Boulder), Hometapes and its extended family of bands and visual artists took the world by storm in 2009. Six records, including five on vinyl, grew the long-and-lovingly-built catalog to near thirty-five releases.




2009 saw the release of Megafaun's sophomore album, Gather, Form and Fly, as well as nearly constant touring from the band.  Crowds throughout North America and Europe experienced the intimacy, power, and beauty of Megafaun live as the group toured with friends and former bandmates such as Bon Iver, Bowerbirds, and The Dodos.

“Megafaun’s roots are familiar; the bloom is uniquely theirs” - David Fricke, Rolling Stone(4 Stars)

Download: Megafaun - "Kaufman's Ballad"

Thomas Wincek, known for his work in Volcano Choir and Collections of Colonies of Bees, joined the Hometapes family with the limited-edition colored vinyl release of Segni, an EP byAll Tiny Creatures.  ATC also joined labelmates The Caribbean for a 2009 tour.

"Think of likeminded artists such as Terry Riley, Neu!, Cluster, Philip Glass, Phill Niblock or Dieter Möbius and you're getting closer." - Kyle Lemmon, Under The Radar

Download: All Tiny Creatures -- "To All Tiny Creatures"

The Danish quintet Slaraffenland also had a banner year.  Touring the U.S. briefly with Akron/Family (serving as both the opening act and Akron/Family's backing band), Slaraffenland released its new full-length, We're on Your Side, and collaborated with Vincent Moon on Temporary Slaraffenland, a 40 minute film of Slaraffenland playing the songs ofWe're on Your Side throughout the streets of Copenhagen, the band's hometown.

"There is a sublime incipience, a sense that something wonderful is coming, in the way these tunes drive and strive and push to their conclusion." - Jennifer Kelly, Blurt


Download: Slaraffenland -- "Meet and Greet"

Bear In Heaven dominated Autumn.  Hitting first with the "Wholehearted Mess" 12'' single, which features the album version of the title track as well as three club-ready remixes on red marbled vinyl, the group's critically-acclaimed new full-length, Beast Rest Forth Mouth, followed soon after.  A string of live dates up and down the East Coast, including a number of powerful sets at CMJ, will once again serve as an initial salvo before the onslaught of Bear In Heaven touring that will take place in 2010.

“Take out the earbuds and let it fill a space: This is music that’s bigger than your iPod— music you’ll want to feel all around you.” - Eric Harvey, Pitchfork "Best New Music" (8.4)

Download: Bear In Heaven - "Wholehearted Mess"

Bridging the expanse between '09 and '10 is CYNE, whose Water For Mars, released originally in Japan, caught on fire with US fans. Hometapes and CYNE answered the call with their first-ever mailorder-exclusive multimedia package: a CD (with a US-exclusive tracklisting), a t-shirt, and two stickers -- all designed by Cody Hudson. The album, a collection of tracks by the Gainesville hip hop masters, hearkens back to their landmark album Time Being and continues to turn heads since its soft summer release. Hometapes plans a wide release of Water For Mars in 2010.

"Twenty-one cuts of CYNE in peak form: what could be better?" - Ron Schepper, Textura

Download: CYNE -- "Pretty Apollo"

Hometapes squeezed in one more release for 2009, a commemoration of the year on the classic format that their name honors: a cassette tape. The limited run is being dropped out of the Hometapes santa sack over the next couple weeks. Watch your mailbox or feel free to request a copy here: info@home-tapes.com. A downloadable version is available now - staying true to the format with a single track for each side. [http://home-tapes.com/2009tape/]

Monday, December 14, 2009

J.D. Mc Donald

ARTIST / BAND: J.D. Mc Donald

MP3: Boogaloo

ALBUM: VARIOUS ARTISTS - IN THE CHRISTMAS GROOVE

FILE UNDER: soul, funk and blues

Label: Strut

INFO: he golden era of ‘60s and ‘70s soul music boasts a great tradition for Christmas songs and, following in the footsteps of classic Christmas albums from the Motown stable and James Brown, Strut enter the festive spirit this November with the first ever Yuletide compilation on the label, IN THE CHRISTMAS GROOVE, bringing together 12 rare soul, funk and blues cuts rediscovered from Christmases past. Featuring tracks often only ever released as obscure 45 B-sides, the compilation tracks one-off moments when the good groove met the jingle bells to devastating effect. Artists include bluesman Jimmy Reed, jamming hard on ‘Christmas Present Blues’ and Calypsonian Capt.

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Beach House

ARTIST / BAND: Beach House

MP3: Norway

ALBUM: Teen Dream

FILE UNDER: Indie Pop

LABEL: Cooperative Music

INFO: From start to finish Teen Dream floats with the hazy internal logic of its namesake. The pale yellow album art earns its stripes via opener "Zebra," a song that opens it all up with a delicate guitar line before some cooing harmonies and then thumping percussion, spare organ.

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Charlotte Gainsbourg

ARTIST / BAND: Charlotte Gainsbourg

MP3: IRM (diskjokke Remix)

ALBUM: IRM

FILE UNDER: Pop / Electronic

LABEL: NEK/New Elektra

INFO: What started as a brief recording session between Charlotte Gainsbourg and Beck ended up to be the body of work that is IRM. Over the course of a year and a half of writing and recording together, Beck's role grew to encompass all aspects of the creative process. He worked seamlessly with Charlotte co writing the lyrics and produced and mixed the recording. (This is the first time he has ever been so involved in another artist's work.)

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Lindstrøm & Christabelle

ARTIST / BAND: Lindstrøm & Christabelle

MP3: "Baby Can't Stop (Idjut Boys Remix)"

FILE UNDER: electronic

LABEL: Smalltown Supersound

INFO: After hearing Aeroplane's take on the epic disco-funk of "Baby Can't Stop" by Norwegian-Belgian duo Lindstrøm & Christabelle (the latter of whom is also Aeroplane's singer), we didn't think the vintage synth-heavy dance jam could be further expanded upon. After this gem of a remix from Idjut Boys landed in our hands, our opinion quickly changed. The veteran London-based duo kept relatively true to the original, making their version more of an edit which highlights the bulbous basslines and warm brass section of Lindstrøm's production work with a few of their own sounds tossed in for extra flair.

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Liars

Liars Confirm New Album

ARTIST / BAND: Liars

MP3: "Scissor"

ALBUM: Sisterworld

FILE UNDER: experimental psych

LABEL: mute

INFO: Liars have never been a band comfortable with staying in one place for very long. Geographically, personally and most of all musically, each successive album that they release comes with a new agenda, a new heritage, a new set of reference points and a new way of thinking about music.

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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

N.A.M.B.

ARTIST / BAND: N.A.M.B.

MP3: L.O.N. (MP3)

ALBUM: BMAN

FILE UNDER: Rock / Alternative / Psychedelic

LABEL: Monotreme Records

INFO: N.A.M.B. is a band from Turin, Italy. Ask them what the initials stand for, and you will probably get a different answer every time. Visit their Myspace page one day, and you might see the caption “Nascere Artisti Morire Buffoni” (“Born Artists, Die Clowns”), but the following day it could be something entirely different, like “Neuroni Annoiati Masticano Boiate” (“Bothered Neurons Chew Rubbish”)

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Monday, December 07, 2009

DEAR READER

ARTIST / BAND: DEAR READER

MP3s: The Same

ALBUM: Replace Why With Funny

FILE UNDER: Alternative / Folk / Pop

LABEL: city slang

INFO: “I love it here,” Cheri MacNeil says of Johannesburg, South Africa, where she and musical partner Darryl Torr formed Dear Reader some four years ago. “And I hate it here. A lot of the time I feel really alienated. I feel like I don’t belong. But neither do I belong in Scotland or England or the Netherlands, where my ancestors come from. This is my home.”

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Sunday, December 06, 2009

Elaine Lachica

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ARTIST / BAND: Elaine Lachica

MP3s: "Behind My Mind"

ALBUM: I Think I Can See The Ocean

FILE UNDER: Indie / Alternative / Experimental

LABEL: Stunning Models On Display

INFO: 'I Think I Can See The Ocean' is Elaine Lachica's first label release on Stunning Models On Display. Produced and Recorded by Kieran Kelly (Angus and Julia Stone, Will Stratton, The Receiver) at the Buddy Project in New York (where Sufjan Stevens recorded 'Illinois'). Contributing musicians on the album include drummer Mark Stepro (Ben Kweller), bassist Rob Calder (Ari Hest), guitarist Aaron Lee Tasjan, guitarist Matt Heslinga (Summer Lawns), bassist Ben Mars, string quartet led by violinist Rob Moose (Sufjan Stevens, Antony and the Johnsons), with violinist Pauline Kim, violist Hiroko Taguchi and cellist Robert Burkhart and brass section led by trumpeter Jon Mizrachi (Essie Jain) with saxophonist Mario Maggio and trombonist Westbrook Johnson.

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Saturday, December 05, 2009

The Notwist

ARTIST / BAND: The Notwist

MP3s: Boneless (Grizzly Bear Remix)

ALBUM: The Devil, You + Me

FILE UNDER: electronic music

LABEL: City Slang

INFO: The Notwist somehow commissioned this rare Grizzly Bear remix for their upcoming single “Come In”. Grizzly Bear bring something new to the table, something they didn’t quite touch base on with their latest release, Veckatimest. It’s curious though, I mean, can you imagine a Grizzly Bear song sounding like this? Fuzzy, fireworks drumming and blips abound?

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Friday, December 04, 2009

Seth Augustus

ARTIST / BAND: Seth Augustus

MP3s: Trickeries Of The Great Emptiness

ALBUM: To The Pouring Rain

FILE UNDER: Blues / Experimental

LABEL: Porto Franco Records

INFO: After haunting the outer-lands of San Francisco's music world for the better part of two decades, Seth Augustus has emerged, full-born, with a fully realized sound and perspective that seems to exist outside of time and the limits of geography. Coarse and primitive textures, pre-war blues, hypnagogic tales told over tangos by midnight buskers, Seth's own sinister-electrified guitar and a stripped down drum kit mingle with the rhythms of early American folk and jazz, the cadences of carnival sounds and more than a little 60s-era Captain Beefheart.

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Thursday, December 03, 2009

Morningbell

ARTIST / BAND: Morningbell

MP3s: "Good Morning, I'm Here" / "Marching Off To War" /"Stay In The Garden"

ALBUM: Sincerely, Severely

FILE UNDER: Psychedelic / Rock

LABEL: self released

INFO: Gainesville, FL’s Morningbell is back with its fourth full-length, Sincerely, Severely.

Brothers Eric and Travis Atria have been playing music together their whole lives. Stacie, Eric’s wife, joined the band years ago, and drummer Chris Hillman rounds out the mostly family affair that is Morningbell. Throughout the 2000s, Morningbell developed its own brand of melodic, psychedelic rock, rooting itself as a well-established tradition in the Florida music scene. After four successful national tours supporting 2007’s Through the Belly of the Sea, the band holed up in its home studio to record the group’s most ambitious effort to date.

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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Team Clermont 2009 Records

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Bear In Heaven - Beast Rest Forth Mouth (Hometapes)

“Take out the earbuds and let it fill a space: This is music that’s bigger than your iPod— music you’ll want to feel all around you.” - Eric Harvey, Pitchfork "Best New Music" (8.4)

MP3: Bear In Heaven - "Wholehearted Mess"

Capybara - Try Brother (The Record Machine)

"I'll tell you this: I had never heard of Capybara before, but "The Wimp" is totally the soundtrack to my day now." - Gil Kaufman, MTV

MP3: Capybara - "The Wimp"

Casiotone For The Painfully Alone - Vs. Children (Tomlab)

"If Stephin Merritt is the Stephen Foster of DIY synthpop, deconstructing romance with droll precision, Ashworth might be Bert Williams, swaying around the beat to simultaneously emphasize and unpack his melancholy." - Village Voice

MP3: Casiotone For The Painfully Alone - "Optimist vs. The Silent Alarm (When The Saints Go Marching In)"

Casper & The Cookies - Modern Silence (HHBTM)

"This song [Little King] has quickly become one of my favorite CATC jams, packed full of Big Star, a dash of the Replacements and a heaping helping of XTC." - You Ain't No Picasso

MP3: Casper & The Cookies - "Little King"

Circulatory System - Signal Morning (Cloud Recordings)

"It took nearly eight years to make, but Circulatory System's breathtakingly inventive new album, Signal Morning, justifies the wait." - Robin Hilton, NPR

MP3: Circulatory System - "Overjoyed"

The Flying Change - Pain Is A Reliable Signal (SR)

"Jacobs' album is by turns defiant and exhausted, jittery and delicately accepting, its restrained but carefully considered arrangements wrapped around shards of surrealistic shards of lyricism." - Jennifer Kelly, Blurt

MP3: The Flying Change - "Dirty White Coats"

Jookabox - Dead Zone Boys (Asthmatic Kitty)

"From paranormal themes to the genius/madness precipice, this one-man experimental collection bewitches and beguiles on repeated listen." - MOJO
MP3: Jookabox - "You Cried Me"

Simon Joyner - Out Into The Snow (Team Love)

"...the nine-minute opener "The Drunken Boat" is a masterful drifter's narrative that moves seamlessly in its middle from understated country backing to dark chamber folk dominated by Laraine Kaizer's intricate string arrangement-- the point where the song makes the full transition is perhaps the biggest surprise in his whole discography, and the song's final third is pretty breathtaking, getting progressively lusher until Joyner is left behind by the violins as they spiral off into silence." - Joe Tangari, Pitchfork

MP3: Simon Joyner - "The Drunken Boat"

Lord Cut-Glass - Lord Cut-Glass (Chemikal Underground)

"Woodward communicates such a strong sense of creative freedom — waltzes give way to mariachi stomps, brass, accordion and strings jostle for space, wry, spat-out lyrics contrast with rococo-folk settings, and songs such as Even Jesus Couldn’t Love You, You Know and Holy F*** are at once heartbreaking and vicious — that, in his case, the term “indie” here reasserts itself as a hallmark of quality rather than the insult (think “landfill indie”) it has increasingly become." - Dan Cairns, London Times (4 Stars)

MP3: Lord Cut-Glass - "Even Jesus Couldn't Love You"

Marmoset - Tea Tornado (Joyful Noise Recordings)

"...what you're most likely to notice are the sunny, folky guitars and the crisp melodies, which sound a little like something Syd Barrett might've written for early Yo La Tengo. But as on past releases there's a surly, cynical edge to the lyrics, which infects the pretty songs with a hint of toxic malaise..." - Monica Kendrick, The Chicago Reader

MP3: Marmoset - "Peach Cobbler"

Megafaun - Gather, Form & Fly (Hometapes)

“Megafaun’s roots are familiar; the bloom is uniquely theirs” - David Fricke, Rolling Stone (4 Stars)

MP3: Megafaun - "Kaufman's Ballad"

Malcolm Middleton - Waxing Gibbous (Chemikal Underground)

"'Waxing gibbous' refers to a moon that's almost full, and Middleton here surely approaches full brilliance." -MOJO (4 Stars)

MP3: Malcolm Middleton - "Carry Me"

The Phantom Band - Checkmate Savage (Chemikal Underground)

"Seriously, if Checkmate Savage doesn’t make you want to sail the high seas in the company of buccaneers while drinking your weight in spiced rum then I don’t know what on earth will." - Coke Machine Glow (89%)

MP3: The Phantom Band - "Folk Song Oblivion"

Pride Parade - Dose (SR)

"Take two pieces Pixies and one piece Drive Like Jehu and you’ve got Pride Parade, a hyperkenetic Athens band big on brawn and bellow. Vocalist Andrew Prater hollers like he’s being eletrocuted — his bug-eyed shouting powers these filthy bruisers." - J. Edward Keyes, Rolling Stone

MP3: Pride Parade - "If You See Her, Say Hello"


Slaraffenland - We're On Your Side (Hometapes)

"There is a sublime incipience, a sense that something wonderful is coming, in the way these tunes drive and strive and push to their conclusion." - Jennifer Kelly, Blurt

MP3: Slaraffenland - "Hunting"

Venice Is Sinking - AZAR (One Percent Press)

"...AZAR finds Venice Is Sinking expanding on the orchestral, ambient, pop that initially caught my ear invoking the mellower side of Yo La Tengo/Mojave 3." - Justin Gage, Aquarium Drunkard

MP3: Venice Is Sinking - "Ryan's Song"