Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Cold Cave - Black Boots

I was about to publish this post about Cold Cave's new single, but then Pitchfork premiered the music video and I most definitely needed to comment on that, so here I am rewriting everything.  "Black Boots", which debuted about a week ago, is the A-side to a new vinyl release.  It follows Cold Cave's recent wave of singles, all of which have been nothing less than excellent.  "Black Boots" has a minimalistic electronic beat that serves as the pacemaker to Wesley Eisold's dark drone.  I've found it to be somewhat addictive.

About the video... it's interesting.  The video was directed by Slava Tsukerman and is a collaboration with Alexandre Plokhov.  It's completely not what I expected from a Cold Cave project.  The various settings and effects actually remind me of M.I.A. and her tendency to use outlandish aesthetics.  Watch the video for "Black Boots" and see for yourself.

Cold Cave's Black Boots / Meaningful Life seven inch is available now on split black and clear vinyl, via Heartworm.  You can purchase a copy of the record here.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros - Better Days

I like to think that Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros are responsible for the recent "folk jamboree" craze in popular music.  You know what type of sound I'm talking about, with the campfire sing-along vocals followed by either a banjo solo or a horn section.  See The Lumineers, Of Monsters And Men, Mumford & Sons, or even that dreaded Phillip Phillips single for example.  Some of the releases from those bands sound suspiciously similar to Edward Sharpe's massive hit "Home".

The band's newest track, "Better Days", is the lead single to their upcoming self-titled record and, aside from a few seven-inch singles, serves as the follow-up to last year's sophomore effort, Here.  With this song, I feel like the band has created a perfect trilogy.  It all starts with "Home", then "Man On Fire", and finally "Better Days".  The instrumentals are full and all three tracks share a huge chord progression.  Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros at their finest, if I do say so myself.

Listen to "Better Days" below and look out for Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros' self-titled album on July 23.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

She & Him - I Could've Been Your Girl

She & Him's Volume 3 continues to grow on me more and more with every listen.  The new music video for "I Could've Been Your Girl" only helps the cause.  This Zooey Deschanel directed video is full of retro group dancing, random bike kicking, and an overly colorful wardrobe.  Take notice of the guy wearing the yellow pants at 1:29.  He's hard to miss.

Volume 3 is out now on Merge Records.  Go here if you still need to buy a copy.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Limousines - Love Is A Dog From Hell

Last September, The Limousines successfully funded a Kickstarter campaign to fund the creation of their second record.  They managed to raise over $75,000 during a one month funding period, which is over double the projected goal.  They've now finished recording the album and Hush is set to be released on June 6.  The lead single was premiered over at Idolator earlier today and it's so Limousines. "Love Is A Dog From Hell" is synth on top of synth.  Think new wave with a strangely nostalgic hook.  It's perfectly danceable and I honestly see modern alt-rock radio devouring this single.

Listen to "Love Is A Dog From Hell" below...

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

David Bowie - The Next Day

There's a new David Bowie video starring Gary Oldman and Marion Cotillard.  No, you're not dreaming.  Yes, this is real life.  I'm not sure what else to say other than "it's amazing".  Directed by Floria Sigismondi, the video is equally as fascinating as "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)", Bowie's last collaboration with the filmmaker..  Watch "The Next Day" below...

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Janelle Monáe - Q.U.E.E.N. (Feat. Erykah Badu)

I wasn't sure what to make of "Q.U.E.E.N." when it came out a few weeks ago.  The single landed outside of Janelle Monáe's usual ArchAndroid concept that she'd been using quite literally for several years now.  I think a part of me wanted the grand announcement of "Suite IV", simply because I loved her past two albums so much.  It wasn't until I watched the music video for "Q.U.E.E.N." that I really started to get into the song.  Everything about it, from Erykah Badu to the black and white art direction, is amazing.  Check out the stellar "Q.U.E.E.N." with Erykah Badu below...

Janelle Monáe's upcoming album, The Electric Lady, is scheduled for later this year.  In the meantime, "Q.U.E.E.N." is currently available to download.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Marina And The Diamonds & Charli XCX - Just Desserts

I haven't quite determined how I feel towards Charli XCX's debut album, but she sure does know how to do a collaboration.  Between Icona Pop's "I Love It" and this new track with Marina, she's a popular name with the not-quite-mainstream pop crowd.  "Just Desserts" sort of came out of nowhere, with the two artists randomly announcing the release as a free download.  It's fitting, as the two are currently touring together.  The track is pretty much a perfect blend of Marina and Charli.  Check it out, along with the tour dates, below.

Marina And The Diamonds & Charli XCX Tour Dates
05/02 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox SoDo ♡
05/03 – Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom ♡
05/04 – Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom ♡
05/06 – San Francisco, CA @ The Warfield
05/07 – Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory
05/09 – Las Vegas, NV @ Boulevard Pool at the Cosmopolitan ♡
05/10 – San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
05/11 – Los Angeles, CA @ Shrine Exposition Center
05/12 – Las Vegas, NV @ LAVA Nightclub #
05/13 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Club Sound
05/14 – Englewood, CO @ The Gothic Theatre
05/16 – Lawrence, KS @ The Granada
05/17 – St. Louis, MO @ The Pageant
05/19 – Minneapolis, MN @ Skyway Theater
05/20 – Chicago, IL @ Riviera Theater
05/22 – Detroit, MI @ St. Andrews Hall
05/23 – Toronto, ON @ Sound Academy
05/24 – Montreal, QC @ Metropolis
05/28 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE
05/29 – Central Park Summerstage at Rumsey Playfield
05/31 – Brooklyn, NY @ Glasslands ^
06/01 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer ^
06/03 – Washington, D.C. @ U Street Music Hall ^
06/04 – Norfolk, VA @ The NorVa ^
06/06 – Orlando, FL @ The Social ^
06/08 – Miami, FL @ Grand Central Miami ^
06/10 – Charlotte, NC @ Visulite Theatre ^
06/12 – Indianapolis, IN @ Deluxe, Old National Centre ^
06/13-16 – Manchester, TN @ Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival #

♡ = Marina only
^ = Charli XCX headlines
# = Charli XCX only

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Porcelain Raft - Silent Speech

Porcelain Raft created one of my favorite albums from last year.  His debut full length record, Strange Weekend, was a beautifully crafted story and I feel like it finally gave Porcelain Raft the recognition he deserves.  If you haven't heard it yet, then you should probably stop reading right now and go listen to it.  (Amazon/Spotify)

Earlier today, Mauro Remiddi, the man behind the name, wrote a short piece explaining what he's been up to these last few months.  Aside from plenty of touring, he's recording a new album.  Back in September, Mauro sold all of the instruments used on Strange Weekend in order to avoid any sound-alike moments on the new record.  Now with a new set of equipment, he's working away in the studio.  Apparently, a modular synth was the inspiration for a series of late night recording sessions.  These sessions are now Silent Speech, a new instrumental EP.  The EP is definitely a slight shift in direction for Porcelain Raft.  It's a bit more abstract when compared to previous releases, but all five songs still manage to have that free-flowing atmospheric sound.

You can check out Silent Speech on Soundcloud, or stream it below.  You can also read the original tumblr post about the project on Porcelain Raft's blog.