Thursday, June 28, 2012


Now you know when believing is hard but you go now
And you feel what you drag across the floor

Lukasz Wierzbowski

In case anyone missed the news, The Tallest Man On Earth released a new album just a week ago. For those of you unfamiliar with The Man, he's a singer-songwriter type, whose folky style, voice, and effusive lyrics harken heavily to a certain Bob Dylan. Now, I'm not crazy about Bob Dylan...
But I am crazy about Swedes.

Kristian Matsson has the good excellent fortune of being Swedish, though you would never guess upon first (or second, or third) listen. He does Americana better than most native musicians, weaving emotive and poetic lyrics with simple instrumentation, often accompanied by a sole acoustic guitar. While his earlier albums drew heavy vocal comparisons to the aforementioned Dylan, I find Matsson's voice considerably more listenable; his tone isn't nearly as nasal. His latest album, There's No Leaving Now marks an expanse of his style, with the introduction of multitracking. Don't expect massive arrangements, rather he toys with subtle instrumentation. But as first single 1904 demonstrates, while his style may be shifting some, his themes and lyrical prowess remain the same.

Download 1904, buy There's No Leaving Now here, and be sure to catch Matsson live in Dallas (or your city) on August 29th.

1904 - The Tallest Man On Earth

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Chief

Get up, Stand up, Chin Up

Sophie Tajan

Whenever I hear the word "Wildcat" in relation to music, I always think of this.
But Wildcat! Wildcat! are completely unrelated to Ratatat, except perhaps in their shared musicality. While Wildcat! Wildcat! are stylistically different from Ratatat, the former leading towards the "pop" side of the indie-electro spectrum with the latter leaning towards the "rock", both groups share a knack for near-flawless song construction, and the ability to craft an unforgettable hook.

Wildcat! Wildcat! are actually three guys from LA, who make falsetto-topped music that sounds like what you'd get if you threw a bunch MGMT, Passion Pit, and Local Natives vinyls in a fire, melted them together, trimmed the fat, and stuck the result on the record player you bought at Urban Outfitters. If someone were to ask me today to play them a song that exemplified the "indie-electro genre"--if we are to admit there is such a thing--anything by Wildcat! Wildcat! would do the trick. The beauty in these songs is that while the formula feels familiar, the execution and production are so sublimely symbiotic that they don't feel trite. The band doesn't indulge in a single excessive note or beat; every refrain, every sax solo, every "woop" has a purpose, keeping every song to the pop-perfected formula of just around 3 minutes in length. All they need is one of those right time right place situations, and these guys could/should/will probably blow up.

The Chief was just released this week. Stream it, download it, love it.
The Chief - Wildcat! Wildcat!
Bonus: Mr. Quiche - Wildcat! Wildcat!

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My Heart Beats

Ryan McGinley

I think I've made it known that, generally speaking, I am not a fan of all-girl bands. Obviously there are notable exceptions, but the whole man hating thing gets old, fast. Feminism in music is fine, but bitterness doesn't look good on anyone. But guess what? Despite what the name may suggest (or at least, what I assumed upon seeing it), Veronica Falls are NOT a girl band. Yes they have a female lead vocalist, but they also have a male lead vocalist. If this isn't true equality--the apex of feminism--I don't know what is. And the best part is, they're pretty great

Though I discovered them rather late in the game (their self-titled debut album came out towards the end of last year), they hit my stereo just in time to serve as perfect, upbeat, sunny day rock. Veronica Falls are from England, which shouldn't come as any surprise, as they inhabit that never-gets-old poppy yet stomping indie rock niche their country's musicians perfected. Take My Heart Beats as a prime example. It could very well be a Belle & Sebastian song, but a glossy new proverbial coat of paint packages it for the younger set, and it passes as something fresh. While Veronica Falls owe a nod to the past, their future's looking bright.

My Heart Beats - Veronica Falls

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

1 Out Of 2

Breakbot is back. It's not that he ever really left (thank goodness), but he spent a considerable amount of time focusing on releasing remixes rather than original material. But just this week, he released his third EP of original material, 1 out of 2. Like his unforgettable first single, Baby I'm Yours, the EP's title track also features French vocalist Irfane, who adds a touch of class with his smooth croon. And like his first single, this one is also pretty close to perfect.

As an on-point Viceroy tweeted, "Breakbot is the electronic Elton John." By this I assume he means that Breakbot can do no wrong (I mean can you really think of a terrible Elton John song?), in which case, I agree wholeheartedly. Sure he's an electronic artist, and French no less, but Breakbot's style transcends genres, which has allowed him to create some of the best pop songs of the past decade. Not convinced? Time will tell.

1 Out Of 2 was released Monday, in Europe [buy it here]. Still waiting on that US release… Until then, stream the dancey Oliver remix below, and head over to our Facebook page to hear the original.

Breakbot - One Out Of Two (Oliver Remix) by weareoliver

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Afria Talks To You

Eric Cahan

Delicate Steve's reputation precedes him. Described in a now-famous press release as a "hydro-electric Mothra rising from the ashes of an African village burned to the ground by post-rock minotaurs" (you should really read this entire thing), one expects nothing but excellence. While he's not quite "My Bloody Valentine, minus the guitars", his music is something special. For starters it's all instrumental, but without being boring. It's like if Ratatat decided to strip down their sound after their second album and focused on simplicity and sensibility, instead of pumping so much production and layers into some pieces that they leaned towards being disingenuous. Not Steve. Steve, as shown in the jamming, fretting, Afria Talks To You, focuses on substance over style. The man proves that you don't need top of the line studios to create great tracks. And sometimes even, the tracks made in bedrooms are better.

Delicate Steve's two LPs are available on his bandcamp, and his third is to be released any day now. He and his band are currently on tour, so check to see if he's coming through your city.

Afria Talks To You - Delicate Steve

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Spring Break-Up

Things fall apart, sometimes right from the start
Its sad but true, it's not me - its you

Do you know what's better mood music than a spitting pop punk song about getting over a stupid boy when you yourself are currently in the throws of getting over a stupid boy? I'll tell you: Nothing.

By this point, I'm over the boy (did that just get way deep?), but Spring Break-Upremains a go-to pick-me-up. It's written by TacocaT, who not only have a totally awesome name but they're also from Seattle, my hometown! (Go Thunder.) They're an almost-all-girl group comprised of three adorable ladies and one tall dude with a lot of hair. They describe their sound as "Kurt Meets Courtney," but I don't think they're doing themselves justice; who really wants to associate themselves with Love these days? Besides, their sound is much more pop influenced than the above artists. If anything, I'd say they're the grit of Pretty Girls Make Graves (also from Seattle) meets the pop craftsmanship of Best Coast. A.K.A. They're pretty badass.

Check out Spring Break-Up below and pound out your broken heart via some serious car air-drumming. Then head to their bandcamp and buy some more music.

Spring Break-Up - TacocaT

Monday, June 4, 2012

We Got It Wrong

It's no secret that I've been seriously lagging in my posting, and thus some well-deserving groups have been grievously under-shared with y'all. One such group is New York's St. Lucia. There was a lot of buzz surrounding these guys in early 2012. Of course because of this I did my best to ignore them as long as possible (because i still like to fancy myself an elitist prick at times). Eventually it was impossible, and I jumped on the buzzwagon. Now--because I like to tell kid myself this is your only source of music news--you can too!

First up we have We Got It Wrong, released late last year, and remixed to heaven and back this past winter. My favorite version is still the original, however. It's a commanding piece of electronic-backed pop, with layered male/female vocals (my kryptonite), bombastic drums, and a really stupid awesome bass line. All these elements harken to early M83, you know, the good old days, when eeh still ahd zee accent.

Their debut EP was released early March. If you liked this preview, buy it now.

We Got It Wrong - St. Lucia

Bonus: A remix of their song Closer Than This by California's Viceroy, who despite being a relative newcomer has been dishing up a slew of pretty impressive works of late.

Closer Than This (Viceroy Remix) - St. Lucia