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.
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!
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 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.
This week’s indie favourites at the ZXZW offices are:
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.
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!
“I don’t care if monday’s blue
Tuesday’s grey and wednesday too
Thursday I’ve got some indie for you
It’s friday I’m in love”
The Cure – Friday I’m in Love
Hi there & welcome to another post of the best indie tips you can get anywhere! Think you can beat this? We’d like to see you try! This week’s indie favourites at the office are:
Named after the main character of a novel by Ferdinand Bordewijk called Karakter, Katadreuffe were truly one of the best surprises this week. Musically, Katadreuffe incorporates elements from post-hardcore, noise, shoegaze, post-punk and pop. And they’re from Amsterdam. Always nice to discover some new home made indie. But the fun doesn’t stop here. Their first EP entitled Quel Gargantua! is available as a free download right here. If you love it, buy it though, because the physical CD release comes packaged in a really nice handmade sleeve.
BLK JKS is a four-piece from Johannesburg. They call their music ‘afro avant noise rock’, which paints the picture pretty well. Formed in 2003, early BLK JKS shows and recordings we remarkable for their stacks of guitar drone and head nodding beats. In June 2007 BLK JKS released a handful of songs as a limited edition CD EP that was quickly snapped up by hardcore fans and knowing collectors. Lakeside is an excellent EP. First released in November 2007, it is now being reissued by Secretly Canadian.
Interpol’s singer Paul Banks will be releasing a solo album later this year. We were not really sure what to expect when we first heard about it. We do like Interpol, but the different side-projects of the members of the band (like Magnetic Morning) didn’t really convince us. This week a first song of Julian Plenti (Banks’ alias) was posted and it doesn’t sound all that bad, actually. To be honest, it sounds a lot like a younger, more playful brother of Interpol. Find the song called ‘Fun That We Have’ here.
Lastly, Sleepy Sun seem to be the media’s new favourite. And for a reason. The debut album Embrace from this young San Francisco sextet can be summarized as West Coast hypnotic and psychedelic rock. They even have an ‘interpretative dancer’ (remember them?) onstage, being singer Rachel Williams. It’s a combo between Black Mountain, Black Sabbath and The Doors. If that doesn’t get you listening, we don’t know what will.
See you next week!
Wilco will release 30 June his new album titled: ‘Wilco’. But you can already listen to it here!
Recommended on this Indie thursday.
The great world of Indie just doesn’t stop spinning. There are a lot of great new releases coming up, our favourites being:
Last year, Deerhunter released the excellent Microcastle / Weird Era Cont album. It sounded like a mix of Sonic Youth and Pavement. A great one, and if you haven’t heard it yet, you’re missing out on something big time. Next week, Bradford Cox & Co. will release a new EP called Rainwater Cassette Exchange. It’s lovely again. Not yet to be found on their MySpace, it is floating somewhere in cyberspace.
Grimy, goth-tinged punk rockers The Horrors just released their second album, Primary Colours. They seem to have left behind the obvious common garage rock of Strange House, sounding a bit shoegaze, yet more urgent than ever. They also seem to have found a golden combination, hauling in Chris Cunningham and Geoff Barrow from Portishead as producers.
We thought it was an April 1st joke when Pitchfork reported of a mysterious collaboration between Danger Mouse, Sparklehorse and David Lynch. Turns out it wasn’t. Titled Dark Night of the Soul, it’s a lot more than just an album, having to do something with a book and an art installation. Anyway, there are a lot of cool names featured on the album, like Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne, Iggy Pop, Frank Black, the Strokes’ Julian Casablancas, Jason Lytle, and James Mercer of the Shins. It’s a beautiful piece of indiepop.
We suggested Dirty Projectors to you a couple weeks ago. Angel Deradoorian is one of their members, and she is set to release her mellow EP Mind Raft this week. Finally: you’ve probably already heard the new Grizzly Bear album, called Veckamist. We just have to take a moment here to say it’s one of the best albums of the year. That’s it.
Any other suggestions? Please comment, we can’t get enough of the good stuff!
This week’s indie favourites at the ZXZW office:
As long as we’re waiting for that new My Bloody Valentine record, we’ll keep ourselves busy listening to the new Japandroids album. It’s called Post-Nothing, which is of course an über-cool name. Japandroids is a two piece band from Vancouver, BC. Like you guessed, it’s shoegaze, it’s noise, but it’s melodic. As their Last.fm page says: “They call it garage rock. They don’t care what you call it, as long as it’s not minimal.”
The Love Language just released their (self-titled) first album, sounding contemporary but aged at the same time. Probably has to with the lo-fi outfit they tailored themselves into. Their record was recorded, written and produced in a storage space by frontman Stu McLamb alone on an old four-track
We were not sure what to expect from the new Maccabees album. To be honest, we didn’t really think too much of it. The more surprised we were when we heard it. Sound wise, it’s not that original but they’re just really good indiepop songs. Nothing more, nothing less. If you’re interested, they’ll be touring the Netherlands early June.
Another band hailed by Pitchfork (just like Japandroids) is Thee Oh Sees. And Pitchfork was right, writing “It’s a niche piece, and if you don’t have an appreciation for the music Thee Oh Sees are drawing upon, it’s safe to say this won’t be your thing. But if you’re a lifelong garage-rock purist or just enjoy the occasional Jay Reatard track, there’s a good chance you’ll get a lot of mileage out of Help. It’s hard not to: This is like meat and potatoes prepared by a master chef– totally familiar but utterly delicious.”
And last but not least, let’s not forget indie favourites Sonic Youth! Their new album The Eternal is to be released in June, but has leaked already. Again, it’s a lovely record. We’d say: download, love, buy.