Archive for the ‘Introducing…’ Category

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Introducing… Bon Iver

October 29, 2007

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Around this time last year, everyone was shitting their pants about the electro coming out of France. Ed Banger was starting to receive incredible hype (much deserved, mind you) that has sustained itself by releasing the brilliant Justice record, and continuing the tradition of head banging (see label name) electro through the master of remix, SebastiAn, and the love of my life, Uffie. And though electro is not going anywhere, a new genre has recaptured its place (at least on my iPod)– singer/songwriters/folk.

It would be a stretch to say that I listen to folk music, but I guess in some forms I do. Bon Iver would be a good example of the indie rock/folk mix that attracts my ears. After spending time alone in a cabin in Wisconsin, which is what Bon Iver did before creating this record, For Emma, Forever Ago, this would be the appropriate sounding music to accompany his stay there.

On standout “Skinny Love,” front-man Justin Vernon croons with the most soothing voice this side of Josh Ritter, of who Vernon clearly takes influence. “Skinny Love” could most certainly be placed in Ritter’s masterpiece, The Animal Years along side the epic “Thin Blue Flame” and the glorious pop ballad, “Wolves.” The power of Vernon’s voice does trump Ritter’s, who usually settles for instruments to lead the way. The minimalist production on “Skinny Love” allows Vernon’s voice to be front and center.

“Skinny Love” is a late arrival to my still-in-the-works best-of-the-year post, but it’s here to stay.

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[Left Click, Follow Link to Download]

Note: I’m getting my hosting issues sorted out now, so I should have direct hosting by the next post. Thanks for bearing with me during these terrible times of zSHARE bullshit.

Bon Iver – “Skinny Love” ***UNREAL***

Bon Iver – “For Emma” 

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Introducing… The A-Sides

October 18, 2007

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It’s a pretty rare occasion that a friend will introduce a band to me that I have never heard of, and almost instantly fall in love with. Well such is the case with The A-Sides, the Philadelphia (woo) local band who just recently had their big breakout. Opening for a few Ted Leo and the Pharmacists shows, their second full-length LP, Silver Storms was released in late September, and are only now beginning to get the hype they deserve. This month’s Spin Magazine featured “Diamonds” as one of the ten songs to download. It’s always exciting when the most deserved finally get the attention and publicity and love that has been missing for so long. Well, I love you A-Sides. I hope that’s enough.

Their sound is most similar to what Band of Horses is achieving so well these days, especially with that great new record. The lush, beautiful, landscape-covering indie rock of The A-Sides is a breathtaking take on the simple melodies that comprise most of the genre.

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[All links are Zshare. Left click to download]

The A-Sides – “Diamonds” ***unreal***

The A-Sides – “We’re the Trees” ***unreal***

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p.s. look for “Diamonds” at my Top Tracks of the Year post coming in December…

(Buy The A-Sides’ “Silver Storms” over at Insound now.)

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Introducing…frYars

October 5, 2007

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One of the freshest sounds of the minute, frYars released their The Ides EP which came out October 1st across the ocean. They are electronic, they are pop, but they are not members of the indie-disco scene that has consumed the UK the last couple of years. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong, but I do believe it is a one-man shabam, his name being frYars. His voice is deep and soothing and immediately catches your attention on the standout “The Ides” which discusses almost killing his lover in the forest before having second thoughts. Basically the song’s very romantic.

Be forewarned- soon you too will be singing “you should’ve died that very night.” People kinda look at you strangely.

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frYars – “The Ides” [follow link] ***unreal***

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Introducing…Panda

September 25, 2007
 

Let me first start by saying that no, I’m not talking about them, or him, but rather them. Good thing their sound is a little more original than their name. There is something about their lovely pop glory that begs for a repeat listen. On their website, they list their influences as Led Zeppelin, The Mars Volta and Muse. Turns out that’s just not true. Their real influences are Weezer, Air Traffic and Voxtrot, but they just might not know it yet.

Hailing from the Hyphy movement’s home, Panda’s Rooney-esque vocals make Oakland not seem so…Oakland, really. I know I’ve made this band out to be the cheesiest thing since stuff crust (I referenced Rooney…), but their undeniably cheery melodies and their effort to reinstate Oakland as a pop music hub gives this band the title of “Most Fun Band to come from Oakland in 2007.” A crowning achievement.

Panda – “Carry On”
Panda – “Fake Tattoos”

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Introducing…The Holloways

September 23, 2007

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An indie rock band from the UK: they sound a lot like you might expect. But unlike their common company such as The View or The Futureheads, The Holloways have a little bit of a unique spin on their tunes. Their first single, Generator, has a touch of a beachy, tropical feel if I can stretch so far as to say that. The rapid pace of Alfie Jackson’s vocals carries you to this warm sunny day I speak of.

Their catchiest song, however, is “Dancefloor.” With their incredibly unoriginal lyrics about needing your friends to get your back after being embarrased trying to pick up a girl (kinda like a “Backfire at the Disco” and “All My Friends” combo), they still manage to create one the most fun and carefree songs I’ve heard in a while.

The Holloways – “Generator”
The Holloways – “Dancefloor”

Sharing a label with The Polyphonic Spree and, uh, Lil Jon, their album came out stateside in October of last year, but have yet to create a buzz on this side of the Atlantic.