May 30, 2015
While I was looking around for my copy of Stereolab's Mars Audiac Quintet, I came across an unlabeled CD-r that had begun to oxidize with age. On it, I found this somewhat damaged live radio session that I probably recorded in 2001. I don't have any specific memories of the session, but it was most likely recorded at UC Berkeley's college station, KALX (any reference to the specific station is suspiciously absent, but at the time, I lived just a few miles down the road). The DJ or engineer must have burnt the CD directly from the board & handed it to me that day. I'm pretty sure I never listened to it until now, fourteen years later.
To be honest, I found this thing pretty hard to listen to. Sure, the damaged CD-r causes some annoying skipping & the performances are especially raw & uncomfortable, but it's my between-song commentary & tentative singing voice that truly caused me to cringe. I'm sure I was pretty nervous about being on the radio, but I was pretty much always nervous in those days. The memories of my awkward, fidgety & depressed early 20's have come rushing back to me, leaving me feeling awkward, fidgety & depressed all over again.
Most of my live recordings from this era of Casiotone for the Painfully Alone existed on cassette tapes that I lost in an apartment fire a few years back. As much as it pains me to listen back to this recording, I'm grateful it exists. Here is Casiotone for the Painfully Alone as a noise band: an unhappy dude afraid of his own voice & his own songs, blasting shrill, battery-powered keyboards, hand-held tape recorders, contact mics & preset beats through blown out practice amps turned all the way up. Listen at your own risk.
Born of fall’s wind and the swift sweep of a rake, Leaf Pile gathered on the curbs of Jersey City in November of 2010 and combined the sounds of guitars, bass, violin, and hand percussion to produce music that makes their mothers proud.
Crafted on Kyle’s lyrics and melodies, Yeon's angelic vocalizations, RBK's mesmorizing string arrangements, Mike's deep riffs & golden lips, and Brian's driving rhythms & folk background; Leaf Pile stacks their talents into the heap of love and joy. Their sound has been described as “unique, adorable, indie-folk.” In the short time this band has been together, they have managed to catch a wind which blows them through a variety of venues in the New York metro area.
May 29, 2015
Kelsey Gamino Great Album! Leaves me wishing for a full album and I JUST WANNA LISTEN TO THESE SONGS ON VINYL SO BADLY
Érik McInnis Great soft songs making me wish for a full album everytime I'm listening to it...
For it's androgynous voice, it's gloomy brush drums recorded from far away, it's shadow tinted ambiance close to "Pornography" by The Cure, it's originality and weird accessibility, I love "Cigarettes After Sex".
We're waiting for more…
MICHAEL O. (Olivares) of beloved Bay Area psych-pop band THE MANTLES (Slumberland, Siltbreeze etc) has been secretly building songs in his basement in Oakland with the help of HORRID RED's Edmund Xavier for the past few years. The result is this affecting collection of cracked pop hits & tragic ballads. The Mantles are known to lay down a thick electric jangle, but with Michael's solo songs the focus rests on rough-hewn vocal melodies & lyrics, laced with synths, acoustics, noises & clarinet. Michael tumbles headfirst into MODERN LOVERS, JACOBITES, TRONICS, TALL DWARFS territory...home recorded & highly personal but not lo-fi, please.
"Wishes/Fishes is the first EP DIY from The Zephyr Bones. The band, that has been active since last summer presents in this work an oniric trip to summertime sounds and the feeling of the sand under your feet, watered with pop melodies and voices travelling on reverbs.
While you listen to Wishes/Fishes, you can smell the sand and the salt, they get away from the classical sounds to find a better way to tell a summer love story" - Shook Down Underzine
“Folly & The Hunter have perfected their clean approach to atmospheric, folk-pop glimmer” – Exclaim.ca
Awake was recorded at Toronto's Revolution Studios in the summer, and was produced and mixed by Howie Beck (Hayden, Feist, Barenaked Ladies). Written primarily while touring across North America and Europe, Awake sees the band growing from their folk foundations into a polished pop aesthetic.
Lead singer and lyricist Nick Vallee believes that recording outside of Montreal and working with Howie was a real motivating factor in the band's new direction: "Recording with Howie in Toronto helped us step out of our old modes, and into new ways of writing songs. We pushed beyond our comfort zone, and it brought a new energy to the music." The recording sessions also solidified the full-time role of long-time collaborator Phil Creamer, an integral part of the group's live set. Similar to the other members, Creamer's multi-instrumental talents energized their varied approach to the studio.
For band members Vallee, Christopher Fox, and Laurie Torres, heartbreak and loss haunted the delicate music on their acclaimed sophomore album Tragic Care. Touring Europe and North America for 2 years in support of the album, the band experienced a much-needed catharsis and embraced an optimistic outlook - the spirit of which is clearly evident on Awake.
Reflecting on the joys and struggles of life as full-time musicians, songs like "Small Victories" and "Arrow" show the band's clarity and dedication. On quieter album-closer "Science", the bare instrumentation and humble lyrics explore emotions of commitment and the struggle with mundanity in day-to-day-life.
May 28, 2015
Laura Finally a professional recording from this incredible band that never ceased to amaze me from the first time I heard them live. Light, 'poppy', well-crafted sound coupled with lyrics that break your heart only to leave it wide open.
"With its lo-fi quality, charming guitar work, and lively drumming, “In Tents” is a solid indie rock track with an East Coast sound - one that harkens back to the days before surf punk and psych rock stole the scene." - Dan Murroni, The Grey Estates
"If his plucky debut single "In Tents" is any indication, L.A.-based Iles has a bright future in the indie rock world." - Sean O'Leary, IndieShuffle
Roman Lakes is the solo project of Ben from Bleeding Gold‘s S’s and Special Guests. The Greater-Manchester-born singer-songwriter creates guitalele folk-pop with tones in the right zones. Influences include Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Morrissey, Lucy Rose and The Tallest Man on Earth.
May 26, 2015
It’s been four years since the release of Destroyer’s magnificent Kaputt, which is quite possibly the best album of his long career. Since the release of 2013’s Five Spanish Songs covers EP, Dan Bejar has kept relatively quiet, but he’s back today with a new single and the announcement of a new record. Poison Season is out on 8/28, and “Dream Lover” is the lead single. Celebratory horns ring in his return, while Bejar’s voice keeps things grounded with his trademark wit: “Aw, shit, here comes the sun.” SGum
There are eight delicious songs, starting with “Intravenous”, which we already heard as the advance single. It’s a beautiful song that explores the mutual dependency that happens in romantic relationships and the subsequent loss of control of your own fate, and also the fear of dying and leaving the other person. “When You Walk Away” talks about those relationships that you begin with the full knowledge that they won’t last. Inspired by Leanne Shapton’s novel “Important Artefacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris: Including Books, Street Fashion and Jewelry”, its raw vocal reminiscent of Karen Peris’ and Paula Frazer’s. “A Different Scene” leaves us with a sense of resignation and with the image of confetti suspended in the air, dancing at the will of the wind. It’s the sweet taste of sadness. “The Records We Never Play”, however, shines with the brightness of MOJAVE 3 and the solemnity of TARNATION, taking us into a relationship that reinvents itself from the smallest details up. Another postcard from our journeys of the heart.
“Throw Another Love Song On The Fire” gives us even more brilliant lyrics, telling the story of heartbreak, but it is also a satire of songs about heartbreak. Superb, with the depth of Rob’s voice evoking Johnny Cash, while he sings “thanks for making me unhappy” and invokes Stephin Merritt. “Too Late, I Love You” moves us with its delicateness, like an innocently whispered confession, the admission of a weakness that makes beauty and emotion suddenly appear. “Like A Fool” has classical structures, a perfectly constructed song with a bare acoustic guitar, showing love in its simpler, more naive, appealing form. “Things I Love” closes the mini album with a list of records, artists, painters, and directors that our authors adore, increasing the feeling of intimacy and of this album being made to be told and sung, whispered and delivered, with hands open and palms up.
William Lafortune Awesome rock album with heavy instrumental in some parts and a really catchy pop vocal. From start to the end it really worth a listen.
The White Tulips is a shoegaze /indie-pop band from Xia Men, a coastal city where is located in the South East of China. The band was formed in 2012 autumn. It integrated the American 90’s indie music and shoegaze, which is unique in China like injecting a fresh blood. The band features an amazing force as the volcanic explosion in live. In 2014, the first EP called Wrapped In The Waves was released in the Internet. The critics in the music radio of Shanghai commend it probably the best shoegaze band in China. In addition, the EP has been recommended in several independent magazines in Tai Wan, HK, Japan. Furthermore, the band has rich experiences in live, which has played in the live house and music festival of China. It was invited to the 2013 East Asia Shoegaze Music Festival, creating the unique atmosphere to the festival. Now, the band has aroused many attentions, and it also has numerous adoring fans and the good reputation in China.
May 21, 2015
DIY is cool!
Yr Friends is Alexei from that band. I'm going on tour next week, I hope you all buy this cos I don't get gin based rider privileges outside of JF and I really fucking hate beer. Thank you, and have you changed up yr hair again? looks beautiful, go you. You can totally pay more than £3 if you think I deserve it and yr bank balance is okay with that ILY xxxx
Lucas P I've been wondering what happened to WFANFC, and this is the best possible answer. Made with a pawn shop 8-track and whatever instruments were lying around, this should be the release that blows up. Wherever I am in April I'll have this badass album, and that feels good.
Excellent alternative pop with much to be desired in delivery, vocals, and authenticity. Just enough fuzzed out on/off vocals, killer guitar lines, intricately linear drums and melodic personality to keep this on rotation, and it's frickin' free people.
Nice discovery that will find its' way to the top of my charts even if it is from 2014!
Really fun summer time feel to this little EP.
Jeremy (HI54LOFI) A long time ago, this album was on Bandcamp; I didn't buy it when I first came across it, and then when I came back to buy it, you couldn't buy it anymore. And it was like that for a long time. But now you can buy it again. So I bought it. True story.
Cory McCord These ladies are as professional as they come, but know how to let loose on stage and have fun. Played such a killer set at Seattle's Capitol Hill Block Party!
Daichi Koyama Surf pop that avoids being cutesy, with amazing ethereal four-part harmonies.
Firefly Music Festival would like to give you a unique preview of this year's lineup. Download to hear some of the Firefly acts we're most excited about. This year's festival will sell out, so buy your passes to the best weekend of the summer, Firefly Music Festival now: https://fireflyfestival.com/passes/
1 ODESZA - Say My Name (feating Zyra)
2 Sylvan Esso - H.S.K.T.
3 The White Panda - Shut Up And Dance With Me (WALK THE MOON Remix)
4 Bahamas - Waves
5 Vacationer - Paradise Waiting
6 Cathedrals - Harlem
7 Verite - Colors
8 PHOX - 1936
9 Milo Greene - On The Fence
10 Generationals - Black Lemon
11 Twin Peaks - Making Breakfast
12 Lizzo - Batches & Cookies (Featuring Sophia Eris)
13 Hey Rosetta! - Gold Teeth
14 Knox Hamilton - Work It Out
15 Sweater Beats - Rain Dance
16 Prinze George - Victor
17 Broncho - It's On
18 Jayceeoh, B-Sides & Fawks - JIT GOING HAM
19 Intergalactix - If We Stepped On Mars
20 FiLiBuStA - No Handouts
21 Jack Novak (featuring Bright Lights) - Driving Blind
22 Cardiknox - Technicolor Dreaming
23 Falls - Home
24 Kingsize - Mathematics
25 FIANCE - Era
May 19, 2015
a relaxed set from Spring 2013 at the University of Kentucky student-run radio station which absolutely rules.
Big and Bright
Us Two Can Play (4:00)
Land to Land (7:10)
Play the Ghost (9:50)
The Laws (13:25)
Wings Won't Behave (17:05)
Elbows and Ankles (20:15)
Hurry, Hurry (23:18)
In a Boat on a Lake (27:21)
These instrumentals were written for Horseplay, an exhibit at the Kentucky Derby Museum, curated by Dominic Guarneschelli. It was on display from May 2014 to January 2015. The songs provided the soundtrack for an exhibit intended to explore Derby themed games throughout history. These songs are meant to capture the long history of horse racing, gambling, and games in Louisville, KY.
Looking for some meaty music? SLBCC create heavy tones, deep reverb, compelling melodies and gut reaching songs that will have you swaying back and forth all day long!
jean claude karle Tout aussi excellent que les deux premiers albums. Des mélodies sublimes, qui vous trottent dans la tête toute la journée. Le tout rehaussé sur certains morceaux par une slide guitare et un violoncelle magnifique de justesse et de discrétion. Une douce mélancolie qui vous fait chaud au coeur. J'espère que The Wooden Wolf trouvera rapidement une large audience digne de son immense talent…
"Based in north-west Russia, The Grus create their unique palette of sounds using analogue synths, old-fashioned guitars from the Soviet-era, tape recorders and an array of handmade instruments and microphones. The down-tempo beats team up with a mix of vintage analogue synths, hooky bass-lines, deliciously icy atmospheres, and the band’s trademark female vocals. This is a cornucopia of sound! It’s chilled out, it’s moody, and it’s dreamy. The album is lyrically very poetic and expressive with just the right touch of tortured love."
© Follyphone Records
May 16, 2015
Her melodies will hook you, her voice will lift you, and her clever lyrics will “make you think and probably feel stuff.” Known for rocking out on the ukulele, Ally brown is a Nashville based singer-songwriter releasing her self titled debut EP with FIREBREATHrecords this May. Her effervescent vocals and ukulele matched with colorfully layered cello, illuminating harmonies, electric guitar, and dynamic percussion come together on this EP to create a fun and lively pop sound.
"Kind of Blah" is the stunning debut LP from Frog, the two person guitar band from Queens, New York. 11.5 songs recorded in a non-functioning bowling alley under a cafe in Astoria. As Dan Bateman writes on the LP sleeve, the album “was an attempt to engage modern musical ideas from a 1950s style of arrangement, and a was a complete failure in that respect but a success in most others.”
‘Kind of Blah’ doesn’t sound like it was recorded in the Columbia studios on 30th Street or like it was produced by Irving Townsend, nor do the songs sound like they were written to be performed at Carnegie Hall. But the spirit of NYC past and present lives in Frog, in this unknown guitar duo from Queens. It’s an album full of sounds and stories, of lives lived and not lived, and it’s every bit as compelling as that sounds.
"A safer bet there’s never been – this record is essential." - GoldFlakePaint
"A bit of a masterpiece." - 7BitArcade
"Love this." - Huw Stephens (BBC Radio 1)
"It's a wonderfully energetic, infectious summer tune, and despite sounding ever-so-slightly menacing at points, it's deliciously sweet for the most part." - The Line of Best Fit
"There is a moment when he switches his voice up to falsetto that makes me grin so hard I think my face may actually split into two separate parts." - The 405
"Have you spent any of your time listening to Frog? No? Then prepare yourself for something quite special, something you’ll rush to share with your friends, hoping to be the coolest kid on the block..." - Austin Town Hall
"A frenzy of fast guitar licks and off-kilter vocals, but it all comes together to form an impressive force." - MAGNET Magazine
"Anyone who's heard even the tiniest excerpt from Kind of Blah will attest that, however they came to it, they've found a spark of magic from somewhere." - Crackle Feedback
"Peek through a smeared window at an innocent and imaginary New York...the entire set feels like it exists outside of time...feels like a constant, noisy dawn..." - Clicky Clicky Music Blog
May 15, 2015
Say this for Tanlines: They're committed to the bit. To premiere their forthcoming second album, Highlights, for fans and press, the Brooklyn dance-pop duo chose a highly unusual medium: a dial-in conference call, that bane of all corporate drones and a medium that boasts the general audio fidelity of two cans and a string. RSM
Sondre Lerche—the mad scientist of Norway's indie pop scene—released this ghostly, ever-so-slightly dub influenced take on Sia's "Chandelier," relevant
02. Wrecking Ball
"ringing guitar chords and a dead-pan vocal melody familiar to anyone who grew up on New Order." - Imperial Matters
"a subdued anthem (oxymoron much?) you can queue up if you’re ready for a low key weekend of relaxation." - Guilty Feet
"mesmeric new single 'Low'; built upon a laid back bassline, it features a quite absorbing guitar riff." - Route For the Underdog
"Indie combo with a vintage British flavour and a knack for atmospheric psych-y confections."
"This is brilliant. Really strong stuff. Just listened to the whole thing and enjoyed every moment."
The Telescopes’ Stephen Lawrie
"Their song 'Meltdown Corp' it’s an absolutely jaw dropping track. In fact, I had not heard of them until this, and I was online ordering their album before the song was even over. And then I played the song again. And again."
"…surrounded in a fair degree of fuzz and an oh so inviting darkness."
Echoes And Dust, 2015
"Dysfunctional trip, 'Meltdown Corp' by New Candys from Venezia, conjures gorgeously dislocated, psych-soaked abyssal plains."
Backseat Mafia, 2015
Various classic covers delivered with lo-fi americana darkness… why not!
this album was recorded aboard in an Amtrak sleeper car during a two and a half week cross country train trip in February 2015 by Chris Daltry of the 'Mericans. it's a free download, but any donations will go toward the recording and making of the next 'Mericans album.
I wrote and recorded this tiny EP completely alone in my bedroom, mostly in the tiniest and quietest hours of the night. My intent in writing these songs was to return to the organic way I used to find refuge in songwriting…
Very beautiful sings indeed!
May 13, 2015
Excellent release… Check it out!
“The sound is sophisticated and exciting, and with a good dose of melancholy.” — Bands of Tomorrow
My earliest musical influences were my grandmother playing old-time waltzes on the piano, renting movies with my mother from a VHS shop called Movie Magic, and a few tape cassettes she bought me at the local gas station — Mozart, Fred Penner and Fraggle Rock. I didn't experience many modern albums until I was a teenager.
When I was young, I taught myself to sing by recording my voice with a toy tape-recorder. I would pluck individual guitar strings and matched the notes with my voice. Originally I was fairly tone-deaf but slowly managed to get better.
Good Will Rise proved to be a difficult collection of songs for me to record.
Yet, I felt they were worth sharing with others because they speak to common experiences — depression, unrequited lust, grief, etc.
May 12, 2015
Only Magic Left is Art Feel good Shoegaze Lo-fi with melancholic influences that channel the spirit of Atlas Sound. Before you know it, you'll be jerking back a couple of tears from the fractured memories this music manages to salvage.
Emily Hogan I'm annoyed at myself for sleeping on the cassette, but had to have this in my digital collection nonetheless. Sleepy lo-fi pop with driving guitar and bass lines. Reminds me of Yuck and Girls (two of my faves).
May 11, 2015
a cool collection of bedroom pop tunes - this diy artist knows how to construct songs that are instantly likeable.
terrible Returning to that Holo Pleasures vibe with a bit clearer sound this time. Still feels like Im listening to this at the bottom of a pool, remaining mellow yet moving all the while Favorite track: Ease.
JT Honestly this is some of the best music i have ever heard. Favorite track: N.M.S.S..
I K W Y A A Y A N arguably mat cothran's best work. this record is important. Favorite track: Big Break.