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“We will admit to a bit of heightened curiosity about the ever-curious lo-fi, alt-folk, slightly loony “master of the idiotically cosmic” (Rolling Stone) Devendra Banhart. The few months of dating Natalie Portman, the new signing to major label Warner Brothers, the bizarre photo spreads…well, we’re in hippie-meets-hipster Devendra-land where just about anything is possible. Banhart’s seventh album What Will We Be arrives next week (October 27) and follows up his remarkable 2007 project Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon, a disc that The Boston Globe described as a “trippy collection (that) spans Brazilian Tropicalia, ’60s psychedelia, classic rock, blissed-out pop, gospel…a ridiculous range of styles, but one that works under Banhart’s expansive, expressive umbrella.”
Recorded at a makeshift home-studio in California with Banhart and Paul Butler (Band of Bees) producing, What Will We Be features backup from Noah Georgeson (guitar and vocals), Greg Rogove (percussion), Luckey Remington (bass and vocals), and Rodrigo Amarante (guitar and vocals). Alternately hazy and dazy, the curiously affecting What Will We Be could be more aptly titled What Will Be Will Be as Banhart and crew careen from one style (and musical decade) to another, from Spanish lullaby to trippy folk to doo-wop chorus to piano bar sing-a-longs to ramshackle, 60’s rustic folk/rock all delivered with Banhart’s quavering croon in tow.” -press release
fuck you pitchfork ratings, who could give the new weezer a 4.5 and this a 4…? fucking corporate idiots… this owns, y2k+ Weezyer blows and retroactively almost ruins pinkerton for me…
“Like Vampire Weekend, Princeton toys with nominally African and Caribbean figures in its indie rock, adding brightness and velocity. But Princeton — Jesse and Matt Kivel, soft-cheeked identical twins who trade off guitar and bass, as well as lead vocals; the keyboardist Ben Usen; and the drummer David Kitz — isn’t nearly as uppity as its reference points, or its colleagues. The band’s debut album, “Cocoon of Love” (Kanine), which will be released this month, is charming and frisky, with touches of the Cure and Leonard Cohen, and even some shoegaze pop.” -nytimes.com
“Stacks of herbal tea, a glow-in-the-dark monument, paperback writers, the Wall Street Journal, a departing Mercedes, The Metamorphosis, a series of Cambridge-commissioned paintings, video arcades, graffiti, and a cyclist on the Autobahn all figure prominently into Princeton’s musical sketches.” Princeton is now engaged in a massive tour alongside Ra Ra Riot, Maps and Atlases” -pressrelease
riyl : vampire weekend, ra ra riot, throw me the statue, chairlift
genres i made up : tweedpop, pretensh-rock, ivy league lit-pop
“catchy and poppy math rock / Hangin’ Nothin’ But Our Hands Down is a parallel universe of film noir, circuses, and vaudeville shows. It’s a soap opera for the intelligent ear. Each song has a charm and mystery of its own, embodied in catchy lyrics, foot tapping drums, quirky riffs, stumbling bass lines and spazzing vocals. Harnessed with interesting time signatures and engaging shifts in tempo, the album has variety and vigor. / A picture painted in paranoia, and manic ups and downs, the third song “Lots of Brass” is one of my favorites. Bass and drums drive the Nurses sound, and bellow strongly in this song. “Wait for a Safe Sign” is an engaging and experimental journey with a strong vocal hook. Each song is a single in itself, but the album as a whole is most impressive. A beautiful piece of work for a first attempt.” -absolutepunk.net (rating:91%)
” anachronistic horror-show pop… combination of glitzy cabaret theatrics with a Middle American upbringing… set of eccentricities to justify an otherwise grandiose, ambitious sound… vaudevillian/sharp-edged rock sensibility/minor-key riffs/Southern Gothic macabre acoustic closer” -p4k-isms
“Portland’s Nurses are what I’d like to call pop rock mavericks (not the Palin kind though). Why? Well their debut LP Apple’s Acre has all the makings of a great pop record – innovative lyrics, melody, and of course the hooks and catchiness. But instead of putting these songs together with the standard instruments and ideas, they traverse every road, genre, mood, world, night, day, life, and death to arrive at their new form of stunning pop rock.” / “…tends to lean towards the rustic dance around the yard folk pop tribal explosion of a sound.” – Pastaprima.net
riyl: Blood Brothers / Q&NotU / Maps&Atlases / Young Coyotes / Moros Eros / Oh No Oh My
“Within days of Alternative Press including Censored Colors on its list of 10 Essential Albums of 2008, the members of Portugal. The Man were trudging through the Boston snow to start work on their fourth release in four years, The Satanic Satanist. As John Baldwin Gourley, named the year’s Best Vocalist in that same issue of AP, explains the pace at which his band has turned out any number of the decade’s more inspired moments, “Honestly, I think we should be putting out more music. It keeps you thinking, keeps you growing and progressing. If you stop and let it sit for too long, I feel like you start to lose track of where you were going.”
For 2008’s Censored Colors, Portugal. The Man spent two weeks in Seattle with their friends in Kay Kay and the Weathered Underground making an album Gourley says he wrote in tribute to the music of a youth spent tuned to oldies radio as his parents drove around Alaska. One of his earliest musical memories, finding a tape of Abbey Road in a box of his parents’ cassettes, resulted in Censored Colors’ second side where all the songs are strung together in an epic suite.
For The Satanic Satanist, Gourley and his bandmates – Zachary Scott Carothers/bass, and Ryan Neighbors/keyboards, and the drummer for the album, Garrett Lunceford – flew to Boston’s Camp Street Studios to work with Paul Q. Kolderie, whose previous clients include both the Pixies and Radiohead, with additional production help from Adam Taylor (The Lemonheads, The Dresdon Dolls) and Cornershop sitarist/keyboardist Anthony Saffery.
“People Say,” the lead-off track, finds Gourley speaking out against the human cost of war. On “Lovers in Love,” the band works the groove like Isaac Hayes or Curtis Mayfield in their blaxploitation days, while “Work All Day” could pass for ?uestlove slowing down the beat to “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise).” The Satanic Satanist also finds them working more with loops and samples than they have since their 2006 debut.” – press release
hometown: covered in bbq sauce in austin texas / influences: the only band we like is nirvana. the only album we like is nevermind. the only song we like is smells like teen spirit.
some of Austins’ finest homegrown, catchy-as-fuck garage rock / lofi indie rocknroll… in the future everyone will enjoy Free Drugs…
“…iiiii think you’re beautiful and very smart.”
“Batmanglij (Vampire Weekend) and Miles (Ra Ra Riot) have combined their talents to create a R&B/synth-pop album that relies heavily on vocoder vocals, synths, and jittery beats. I dare you not to nod your head along as blips and bleeps mix perfectly with a surge of synths on “Osaka Loop Line,” or to try and ignore the excellent remix of Ra Ra Riot’s song “Can You Tell” retitled as “Can You Discover.” As is the case with most collaborative bands, Batmanglij and Miles had some help from their friends on LP, including a guest appearance by Dirty Projectors singer Angel Deradoorian on “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” and Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig on “Carby”. Other highlights include a great cover of The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” and Hot Chip-esque repetitive vocals and twinkling beats on “It’s Not My Fault (It’s My Fault).”
– reminds me of Passion Pit v2.0 mixed w/ some hardhouse electro + kanye autotuned vocals + lots of sweet tempo chops and synth breakdowns… i heard it called a new Postal Service, but i dunno if its that epic…
anthemic pop / shimmering, retro synths / crazy falsettos / memorable hooks
Ever since Boston electro kids, Pass ion P it exploded onto the scene with “Sleepyhead” (which is the kind of song that starts out awesome and gets better with time) they’ve been showered with hype from the blogs. I can’t think of a more anticipated debut this year than the upcoming Manners. While the first song released by from the album, “The Reeling”, didn’t exceed too many expecations (although it’s not nearly as bad as some people were saying), the other two pre-released tracks are both solid gold. If there’s any justice in the world, Pass ion P it will be the next big thing on the indie dance front (hopefully causing MGMT to slide into oblivion).
“New York indie rock quartet who have been garnering a significant amount of buzz from various blogs and publications, including Spin… / post-punk, indie rock, and 90’s alternative…” -absolutepunk
“…like Pavement and Sebadoh before them, craft melodic rock music over plaintive, poetic lyrics. “Golden”, is a patchwork of stuttering basslines and heavy, country-twinged guitars that recall all that great ‘90s alternative rock without sounding nostalgic.” -rcrd lbl
danceable / pop hooks
“Boy Crisis is a “Brooklyn buzz band.” They are well-liked in the blogosphere. They are hip and marketable to several youthy demographics. They have “crossover appeal.” They have an “ethnic band member.” Boy Crisis is a semi-cosmic cultural entity. Their spaced-out vibe is totally tubular. They are the conundrum of masculinity and youth. They are a limited liability corporation.” -www.myspace.com/boycrisis
“…subtle psychedelia from San Francisco’s Girls. “Hellhole Ratrace” sounds like a gentle romp through a giant field of poppies à la Wizard of Oz, and seriously what’s better than rolling around in a haze of opiates in a crazy dreamworld? The resounding lyric of “I don’t want to cry my whole life through/I want to do some laughing too” makes Girls’ shoegaze revelry even more poignant.” -rcrd lbl
“The songs shine with brilliant arrangements that layer echoed vocals and reverbed guitars”
“the label [Merge Records] announced the signing of Seattle’s Telekinesis, a project fronted by Michael Benjamin Lerner. Telekinesis!, the band’s Merge debut, will be released on April 7. The disc was written by Lerner, who also sings and plays almost every instrument on the album, and produced by Death Cab for Cutie guitarist Chris Walla. Lerner sites as an influence his love of pop from the 60s and 70s, but his songs have no shortage of indie rock immediacy.” -prefixmag
“These are big-hearted songs, written quickly and from the gut. Telekinesis is the geography of dreams; a school year abroad; love letters from Liverpool coffee shops to the Carolina coastline and Tokyo and everywhere in between everywhere; a road trip waiting to happen.” – chris walla