Indie Thursday – The animal edition

Tortoise
Tortoise have always been office favourites, so it’s great to see that they’ve returned with a new album after five years. Beacons of Ancestorship is (again) a collection of very spherical songs, this time using more electronics than guitars and percussion. If you’ve heard any of their albums before, this one will probably surprise you, because it’s a bit more energetic and faster than we’re used of them.

Crocodiles are a two-piece from San Diego, USA formed in 2008 playing lo-fi new wave, featuring former members of The Plot to Blow Up the Eiffel Tower. They released their debut album (with the great title Summer of Hate) through Fat Possum a couple of weeks ago, and if you’re into The Jesus and Mary Chain or Wavves, you’ll love this band.

We are Wolves Total Magique
Canadian electro/shout-punk trio We Are Wolves builds walls of high-energy, synth-based, call-and-response indie rock that bring to mind artists such as Clinic, Suicide, and early New Order. Their second album Total Magique was released in 2007 already, but is now being reissued, which gives us (and you) the great chance to rediscover them.

Tiny Vipers. Ok, that’s not really an animal, but ‘Viper’ comes from the word ‘Viperidae’ which is a group of snakes found throughout Africa, Eurasia and the Americas. Give us a break, will ya? Anyway, Tiny Vipers isn’t indie in it’s most hippest, but it’s beautiful minimalistic folksongs. Life on Earth will be released by Sub Pop next month.

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Here comes Indie Thursday!

Dinosaur Jr
The new Dinosaur Jr. has leaked and, of course, we couldn’t help ourselves but listening to this fine record. Barlow, Mascis and Murph, largely responsible for returning lead guitar to indie rock and, along with their peers the Pixies, injecting late-’80s alternative rock with monumental levels of pure guitar noise, have delivered an album full of energy and melody, reminding us a lot of an album like Bug. Don’t be mislead by the horrible cover, Farm is an album that’s a lot more than just nostalgia.

Conceived in San Francisco in 1998, Iran began as the four-track bedroom-recording project of singer and multi-instrumentalist Aaron Aites. Aites released Iran’s self-titled debut in 2000, and after that Kyp Malone (TV on the Radio’s guitarist) became a member of this band. The pop songs lying underneath all the noise have been polished up a lot better (probably also thanks to the production of TVOTR’s David Sitek). The new album, Dissolver, was released earlier this year and we took it for a spin a couple of times this week. We suggest you do so too.

Daytrotter logo
Thanks to the great Bolachas Grátis blog, we’ve discovered the Daytrotter Sessions this week. Check this out: “Daytrotter is a recording studio with a website. We invite musicians to our studio, record their songs, and give (give, as in “for free, no strings attached”) them to you, from our website. Simple. Of course, if you’re here you probably already knew that. Please tell your friends. There are plenty of songs for everyone.” And if you don’t believe that last part, take a look at their impressive archive. It includes bands like Akron/Family, Fleet Foxes, Fucked Up, Grizzly Bear, The National, Spoon etc. etc. etc. That’ll get you through the rest of the week!

Got any other indie tips for us? Please comment!

Where can I find my Cumbia this weekend?

Shake your booty to the bass! The Generation Bass! The whole weekend will be stacked with Cumbia-galore a-go-go! Our main man Sonido del Principe collaborated forces with The Peronists this weekend for a short tour to get Holland hooked on the South American bass. Their cumbia-Blitzkrieg started yesterday in Worm in Rotterdam. The next dates will be:

June 5: TAC, Eindhoven (www.tac.nu)
June 6: OCCII Amsterdam (www.occii.org)
June 7: Cul de Sac, Tilburg (www.culdesac.nl)

So clear your throat and scream: Cuuummbiiaaaaa!

Here’s Indie Thursday!

AU ZXZW 2009
AU means gold when you’re a chemist, an Astronomical Unit (approximately 150 million kilometers or 93 million miles) when you are an astronomer, or pain when you speak Dutch. But to us AU (pronounced ‘ay-you’) is a Portland, OR. experimental pop collective that sounds like an Animal Collective splinter group. It is the work of multi-instrumentalist Luke Wyland who is at the moment aided by Dana Valatka on drums. We love them, and that’s why they’ll be playing ZXZW this year. Expect to hear a lot more from them!

Oneida’s Rated O is another massive indie release from the great Jagjaguwar label. And by massive we mean MASSIVE. It’s a triple album and the second instalment of Oneida’s much-anticipated “Thank Your Parents” triptych of releases. In August of 2008 Oneida released the first instalment, Preteen Weaponry, and now, Rated O, the centrepiece of the “Thank Your Parents” trilogy, has been bestowed upon us. It’s full of experimental and spherical songs, some them reaching up to 10 or even 20 minutes. Take your time for them, it’s an experience. Expect a lot more great releases from Jagjaguwar the coming months, they’ve also got Dinosaur Jr., Sunset Rubdown and Lightning Dust coming up.

Richard Swift Atlantic Ocean
Richard Swift just released his fourth album, The Atlantic Ocean, but it somehow managed to escape our attention. We do want to spend some attention to it, though, because the album consists of great Beatlesque pop songs. This time ‘round, Swift seems to have experimented with some other instruments like organ and electronics.

And of course we wouldn’t want to forget old favourites Rancid. They just released their new album Let the Dominoes Fall, and it’s great so see they’ve still got the magic. The album is loaded with straightforward energetic punk anthems. Check it out, for old times sake.

Free exclusive Caretaker music

caretaker

The Caretaker is all about lost memories, amnesia and nostalgia to old times. Creating a deep beautiful, but sometimes sinister atmosphere he tries to take you back in your personal history through electronic ambient music. Pleasant memories, bad dreams, being alone in the dark, all these emotions overtake the listener. If you’ve seen the Kubrick movie ‘The Shining’, you will get an idea of the beautiful but disturbing feelings The Caretaker tries to evoke.

The Wire is now offering a free exclusive Caretaker download, composed especially for The Wire, complete with embedded artwork. In James’s own words it’s “emotional for these turbulent times of wonder we find ourselves in”. The track is unavailable anywhere else. And remember, The Caretaker will also play ZXZW Festival 2009!

Find the free download here!

Indie Thursday is on top of the world!

This week’s indie favourites at the ZXZW offices are:

Deastro
Deastro (Randolph Chabot Jr.)’s new album Moondagger is truly great. It combines a nice synthypop sound with great songs that get stuck in your head immediately. You could maybe compare it with acts like MGMT and School of Seven Bells. All the music is made in Randolph’s Detroit basement with the help of sampled children’s toys and synthesizers.

Bowerbirds are Beth Tacular, Phil Moore and Mark Paulson from North Carolina. They make leafy folk-pop with guitars, accordions and violins. Not sure this is indie as you’d probably expect from us in this section, but it’s just beautiful. Bowerbirds are set to release their second album, Upper Air on Dead Oceans this July.

Sunset Rubdown Dragonslayer
One of the members of Sunset Rubdown is Spencer Krug. You might know this guy from bands like Frog Eyes, Swan Lake and/or Wolf Parade. They’re all great bands. And so is this one. The new album, Dragonslayer, might take some time to sink in, but it’s definitely worth it. Very ingenious indiepop with catchy hooks (as you might expect).

Another thing swarming the internet is Animal Collective’s Animal Crack Box that’s been talked about for years. It’s a vinyl-only box set limited to 1000 copies. The Animal Crack Box covers different live performances from the band from 2000 till 2003.

Got any other indie tips for us? Please comment!