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UPCOMING RELEASES

Latest Additions:

Old Crow Medicine Show - Remedy (7/1)
South Rail - Stars EP (5/6)
PHOX - S/T (6/24)
Sara Lowes - The Joy of Waiting (TBA)
Johnossi - Transitions (4/29)
Emma Ruth Rundle - Some Heavy Ocean (5/20)
Birdy - Fire Within (6/3 U.S.)
The Milk Carton Kids - Live from Lincoln Theatre DVD (4/29)
Bebel Gilberto - Tudo! (7/29)
Sara Swenson - Runway Lights (Summer TBA)
Challenger - Back to Bellevue (5/27)
Jay Brannan - Always, Then, and Now (7/15)
The Shilohs - S/T (5/13)
Wilsen - Magnolia EP (5/19)
Amber States - Saratoga EP (4/28)
Mimicking Birds - Eons (5/13)
Mark Chadwick (Levellers) - Moment (6/16)
Mary Gauthier - Trouble & Love (6/10)
You Are Wolf - Hawk to the Hunting Gone (5/6 UK)
Blair Dunlop - House of Jacks (5/26)
Beverly Craven - Change of Heart (6/17 UK)
Lonely the Brave - The Day's War (6/3)
Eleanor McEvoy - Stuff (5/12)
Heather Peace - The Thin Line (6/9 UK)
George Ezra - TBA (6/23 UK)
James Taylor - TBA (8/19)
Rival Sons - Great Western Valkyrie (6/10)
Meshell Ndegeocello - Comet, Come to Me (6/3)
Paul Weller - More Modern Classics (6/3)
Daughter - Live @ Air (4/15)
Imelda May - Tribal (7/29)
The Roots - And Then You Shoot Your Cousin (5/19)
Phillip Phillips - Behind the Light (5/19)
Nick Mulvey - First Mind (9/16 U.S.)
The Peach Kings - Mojo Thunder EP (6/3)
Ed Sheeran - x (multiply) (6/23)
Puss N Boots (Norah Jones) - No Fools, No Fun (7/15)

April 15

Afghan Whigs - Do To the Beast
Amatorski - From Clay Figures
Amaya Laucirica - Sway (4/18 AUS)
Bobby Bare Jr. - Undefeated
Bruce Springsteen - American Beauty EP (4/19)
Dan Wilson - Love Without Fear
 Daughter - Live @ Air
Dinah Thorpe - Lullabies & Wake Up Calls
Elizaveta - Hero EP
Emerson Hart (Tonic) - Beauty In Disrepair
Horse Thief - Fear In Bliss
Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) - Homo Erraticus
Ingrid Michaelson - Lights Out
Jessica Lea Mayfield - Make My Head Sing...
Jim Kroft - Lunatic Lullabies (UK)
Justin Currie - Lower Reaches
Justin Nozuka - Ulysees
Marika Hackman - Deaf Heat EP
Matthew & The Atlas - Other Rivers (UK)
Needtobreathe - Rivers In the Wasteland
Paolo Nutini - Caustic Love (UK)
Ramona Lisa (Chairlift's Caroline Polachek) - Arcadia
Rodney Crowell - Tarpaper Sky
The Bee Gees - The WB Years 1987-1991 Box
The Both (Aimee Mann, Ted Leo) - S/T
The Secret Sisters - Put Your Needle Down
Thee Oh Sees - Drop
Vaudeville Etiquette - Debutantes and Dealers
Wallis Bird - Architecture (UK)
Woods - With Light & With Love

April 22

Black Prairie (Decemberists) - Fortune
Dwight & Nicole - Shine On
EELS - The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett
Fear Of Men - Loom
 G. Love & Special Sauce - Sugar
Hedley - Wild Life
Justin Rutledge - Daredevil (Tragically Hip Songs)
Keb' Mo' - BLUESAmericana
Little Daylight - TBA
Little Feat - Live in Holland 1976
Margot & The Nuclear So and Sos - Sling Shot to Heaven
Sharon Corr - The Same Sun
The Madden Brothers (Good Charlotte) - TBA
The Pains of Being Pure At Heart - Days of Abandon
To Kill A King - Cannibals With Cutlery (U.S.)
Tom and Hebron - Zoyugo

April 29

Amber States - Saratoga EP
Archie Powell & The Exports - Back In Black
Ben Watt - Hendra
Brigitte DeMeyer - Savannah Road (4/29)
Broken Twin - May
Caitlin Park - The Sleeper (5/2 AUS)
Chris Robinson Brotherhood - Phosphorescent Harvest
Curtis Stigers - Hooray For Lovers
Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz) - Everyday Robots
Dave Keller - Soul Changes
Edward David Anderson - Lies & Wishes
Fiona Bevan - Talk To Strangers
Ghost of A Saber Tooth Tiger (Sean Lennon) - Midnight Sun
Hafdis Huld - Home
Johnossi - Transitions
Little Hurricane - Gold Fever
Pink Mountaintops - Get Back
Prefab Sprout - Crimson/Red (U.S.)
Rodrigo y Gabriela - 9 Dead Alive
Sam Morrow - Ephemeral
The Currys - Follow
The Howlin' Brothers - Trouble
 The Milk Carton Kids - Live from Lincoln Theatre DVD
The Old 97's - Most Messed Up
Tommy Malone (Subdudes) - Poor Boy
Wye Oak - Shriek 

April TBA

Imogen Heap - Sparks
Neil Young - A Letter Home

May 6

Ben Harper/Ellen Chase-Verdries - Childhood Home
Brian Eno/Karl Hyde - Someday World
Current Swell - Ulysses
Gabrielle Aplin - English Rain EP (U.S.) 
  Gregg Allman & Various Artists - All My Friends (CD/DVD)
Gruff Rhys - American Interior
Jenny Scheinman - The Littlest Prisoner
Kina Grannis - Elements
Leisure Cruise (Dave Hodge, Leah Segal) - S/T
Liam Finn - The Nihilist
Lily Allen - Sheezus
Luke Elliot - Provisions
Lykke Li - I Never Learn
Natalie Merchant - S/T
Nikki Lane - All or Nothin'
Pacifika - Amor Planeta
Papercuts - Life Among the Savages
Rachel Taylor Brown - Falimy
Rae Morris - Do You Even Know? EP (UK)
Ray LaMontagne - Supernova
Roddy Frame (Aztec Camera) - Seven Dials (UK)
Sarah McLachlan - Shine On
South Rail - Stars EP
The Horrors - Luminous
Thomas Dybdahl - What's Left Is Forever (US)
Tiny Ruins - Brightly Painted One
tUnE-yArDs - Nikki Nack
Willie Watson - Folk Singer, Vol. 1
Wooden Wand - Farmers Corner
You Are Wolf - Hawk to the Hunting Gone (UK)

May 13

Amen Dunes - Love
Braid - No Coast
Carrie Elkin & Danny Schmidt - For Keeps
Collin Herring - Some Knives
Eleanor McEvoy - Stuff
Jake Bugg - Messed Up Kids EP (UK)
Jeremy Fisher - The Lemon Squeeze
Jesse Denaro - Dear, Love
Joseph Arthur - Lou (Lou Reed Tribute)
Kris Delmhorst - Blood Test
La Sera - Hour of the Dawn
Little Dragon - Nabuma Underground
Megson - In A Box 
Mimicking Birds - Eons
Mirah - Changing Light
Molly Beanland - Night Dreams
Little Dragon - Nabuma Rubberband
Nick Mulvey - First Mind
Owen Pallett - In Conflict
Rhodes - The Morning EP (5/11 UK)
Swans - To Be Kind 
Sylvan Esso - S/T
The Black Keys - Turn Blue
The Shilohs - S/T
The Trouble With Templeton - Rookie
Tom The Lion - Sleep
Tori Amos - Unrepentant Geraldines
Walter Martin (The Walkmen) - We're All Young Together

May 20

Bry Webb - Free Will
Cara Dillon - A Thousand Hearts (UK)
Coldplay - Ghost Stories
Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes) - Upside Down Mountain
Emma Ruth Rundle - Some Heavy Ocean
Haley Bonar - Last War
Hundreds - Aftermath
Jolie Holland - Wine Dark Sea
Kenny Wayne Shepherd - Going Home
LCD Soundsystem - The Long Goodbye: Live @ Madison Sq. Garden
Malka Spigel - Gliding EP
Nightmare & The Cat - Simple
Oasis - Definitely Maybe 20th Anniv. Ed.
Phillip Phillips - Behind the Light
Smoke Fairies - S/T
Syd Arthur - Sound Mirror
The Roots - And Then You Shoot Your Cousin
Wilsen - Magnolia EP (5/18)
Yann Tiersen - Infinity

May 27

Amy LaVere - Runaway's Diary
Blair Dunlop - House of Jacks
Challenger - Back to Bellevue
John Fullbright - Songs
John Illsley (Dire Straits) - Testing the Waters
Little Barrie - Shadow
Madison - The Bright Light EP
Matthew Barber - Big Romance
Miniature Tigers - Cruel Runnings
moe. - No Guts, No Glory
Sharon Van Etten - Are We There
Teleman - Breakfast
The Ghost Wolves - Man, Woman, Beast
Zoe Muth & The Lost High Rollers - World of Strangers

May TBA

Bridie Jackson & The Arbour - New Skin
Erlend Øye (Kings of Convenience) - Legao
Lana Del Rey - Ultraviolence

June 3

Alice Boman - EP II
BANKS - Goddess (Full Length Debut) 
Birdy - Fire Within (U.S.)
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Only Run
Echo & The Bunnymen - Meteorites (4/28 UK)
Ethan Johns - The Reckoning (Prod: Ryan Adams)
Hamilton Leithauser (The Walkmen) - Black Hours
Howling Bells - Heartstrings
James - La Petite Mort
JD McPherson - TBA
Joe Henry - Invisible Hour
Josh Record - Pillars (UK)
Kan Wakan - Moving On
Lonely the Brave - The Day's War
Matisyahu - Akeda
Meshell Ndegeocello - Comet, Come to Me
Paul Weller - More Modern Classics
Peter Murphy - Lion
Sam Smith - In the Lonely Hour
Sleep Party People - Floating
The Donkeys - TBA 
   The Peach Kings - Mojo Thunder EP
The Pierces - Creation
The Shoe (w/ Jena Malone) - I'm OK

June 10

Bob Mould - Beauty & Ruin
Cowboy Mouth - Go
First Aid Kit - Stay Gold
Glass Aniimals - Zaba
Got A Girl - I Love You But I Must Drive Off This Cliff Now
Heather Peace - The Thin Line (UK)
Jose James - While You Were Sleeping
Jack White - Lazaretto
Mary Gauthier - Trouble & Love
O.A.R. - The Rockville LP
Passenger - Whispers
Rival Sons - Great Western Valkyrie
The Who - Quadrophenia Live In London
Tomas Barfod - Love Me

June 17

Beverly Craven - Change of Heart (UK)
Glass Towers - Halcyon Days
Lewis Watson - The Morning
Mark Chadwick (Levellers) - Moment
The Antlers - Familiars
The Felice Brothers - Favorite Waitress      

June 24

Ed Sheeran - x (multiply)
George Ezra - TBA (UK)
PHOX - S/T

Beyond

Allen Stone - TBA (Summer)
As Animals - S/T
Bebel Gilberto - Tudo! (7/29)
Ben Ottewell (Gomez) - Rattlebag (TBA)
Charlene Soraia - Love Is The Law (TBA)
Dear Plastic - The Thieves Are Babes (TBA)
Deluka - BONDS EP (Spring TBA)
Don Henley - Cass County (TBA)
Ellis Paul - Chasing Beauty (TBA)
Empires - Orphans (TBA)
Haroula Rose - Here The Blue River (TBA)
Imelda May - Tribal (7/29)
James Taylor - TBA (8/19)
Jay Brannan - Always, Then, and Now (7/15)
Jonah Tolchin - Clover Road (Summer TBA)
Kite Club - Fresh Air for Humans (TBA)
Kris Delmhorst - Blood Test (Spring TBA)
Little Daylight - TBD (7/15)
Miranda Lee Richards - Echoes of the Dreamtime (TBA)
Morrissey - World Peace Is None of Your Business (Summer)
  Nick Mulvey - First Mind (9/16 U.S.)
Old Crow Medicine Show - Remedy (7/1)
Peter Himmelman - The Boat That Carries Us (TBA)
Puss N Boots (Norah Jones) - No Fools, No Fun (7/15)
Rich Robinson (Black Crowes) - The Ceaseless Sight (TBA)
Sara Lowes - The Joy of Waiting (TBA)
Sara Swenson - Runway Lights (Summer TBA)
Sasha Siem - Most of the Boys (TBA)
Scott Matthews - Home Pt. 1 (TBA)
Slow Club - Complete Surrender (7/14)
The Felice Brothers - Favorite Waitress
The Good Natured - Prism (Summer TBA)
The Vespers - Sisters and Brothers (TBA
Tiny Ruins - Brightly Painted One (TBA)
Toby Lightman - Every Kind of People (TBA)
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - Hypnotic Eye (Summer TBA)
Wakey! Wakey! - All It Takes Is A Little Love (TBA)
Winterpills - Echolalia (Covers) (TBA) 
Woman's Hour - Conversations (7/15)

All titles and dates subject to change! Correction? Addition?

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MUSIC NEWS / NEW MUSIC

Monday
Jul022012

Clare and the Reasons - KR-51

Clare and The Reasons - Brooklyn-based chamber/pop outfit led by Clare Muldaur Manchon and violin-toting hubby Olivier have been exploring intricately arranged and adventurous art/pop since launching with their sparkling, elegantly theatrical 2007 debut Movie...the pair holed up in a Berlin apartment for eight months last year writing and arranging the songs that would become their third album // Release: KR-51 (July 10, Frogstand) // Sounds like: modern cabaret music draws on pop, classical, jazz, folk and a shot of bohemian gypsy flair while the latest production elbows in with a sharp, angular punch now and then just to keep things on edge...Clare's wistful voice, a mix of cooing, quavering seduction (think Kate Bush singing Lotte Lenya), is remains a focal point of the The Reasons' sophisticated and witty songcraft ...KR-51, they say, offers "a little more sorrow, a lot more distorted guitar, and a little more darkness of heart..."

Clare and The Reasons - "Make Them Laugh" (from KR-51)

Clare and the Reasons - "The Lake" (from KR-51) Free download

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Friday
Jun292012

Listen: Glen Hansard - "Love Don't Leave Me Waiting" (Live)

This week begins the first of what will be a great series of special audio streams of performances from New York's legendary Lower East Side venue The Living Room. On May 8, Irish troubadour Glen Hansard (Once, The Swell Season, The Frames) appeared at the club in support of his recently released album Rhythm and Repose. As is usually expected at a Hansard performance, the music was spirited, intimate and impassioned. What wasn't expected was the appearance of Hansard chum Bono, who ambled up on stage to join in on "The Auld Triangle" (video and pic below). But this was clearly Hansard's night where songs like "Love Don't Keep Me Waiting" proved to be mesmerizing, goose-bump enducing moments. The entire performance was recorded for the XM/Sirius station The Loft in the series From The Living Room to The Loft which premieres a new hour-long show each Sunday evening at 7pm (EST).

Glen Hansard - "Love Don't Leave Me Waiting" (Live at the Living Room NYC)

Photo Credit: Patrick Glennon Photography

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Thursday
Jun282012

Watch: Tanita Tikaram - "Dust On My Shoes"

Tanita Tikaram describes her subtly anthemic and soulful new track "Dust On My Shoes" as "a simple freedom song" and a song she says "encapsulates me. "It's also a promising peek at her upcoming -- and oh-so-overdue -- new album Can't Go Back (August 28, Edel), her first in seven years. Unlike the stripped and intimate 2005 Sentimental, the new project, recorded in L.A. with producer Paul Bryan (Aimee Mann, Grant Lee Phillips), promises a larger, more colorful creative canvas for the singer who sold five million copies of her 1988 debut album Ancient Heart. More on Can't Go Back next month -- for now it's time to simply revel in "that voice".

Tanita Tikaram - "Dust On My Shoes" (from Can't Go Back)

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Thursday
Jun282012

Just Tell Me That You Want Me: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac

Tribute albums are tricky things. Paying homage without either doing note-for-note covers or hijacking a song for one's own narcissistic purposes of stylistic tics can be quite the tightrope walk. New Fleetwood Mac tribute Just Tell Me That You Want Me (August 14, Hear/Concord) strives mightily to aspire to the second more dangerous minefield, lining up an interesting array of "cutting edge" indie bands and solo artists to create "radical" interpretations of songs that were -- and remain -- adventurous in their own right. Is Best Coast's relatively straight read of "Rhiannon" as smart and invigorating as the 40-year-old original? Does Lykke Li's reverb-ose of "Silver Springs" do anything more than make you long for Stevie Nicks' celestial take? Comparisons are, of course, meaningless. We're guessing that MGMT fans are more interested in the band's inventive version of "Future Games" (now there's a prescient title!) than the aging Mac-ian worshippers looking to scold the young'uns. And they should be. This isn't an exercise in winking, ironic pandering of an iconic band, it's a welcome poke in the eye and a cold splash reminder that pop music is static snapshot of a particular time in history, whether that's 1975 or 2005. The originals are often im-mac-ulate visions of pop genius for that time. These remakes are often bold interpretations that may try a little too hard -- but isn't that the point?

Best Coast - "Rhiannon" (from Just Tell Me That You Want Me)

The New Pornographers - "Think About Me" (from Just Tell Me That You Want Me)

Stream more Just Tell Me Mac covers by Lykke Li and  Billy Gibbons...

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Thursday
Jun282012

REDUX: The Dunwells

Singer, songwriter and guitarist Joseph Dunwell and his brother David are the namesakes of this Leeds, England band charging headlong down the "Mumford" path of spirited British pub-folk. You can also add in a couple of cousins to The Dunwells' roster for a band that calls themselves "5 best mates" and who have been touring non-stop over the past couple of years, slowing building up a sizable fan base. Debut album Blind Sighted Faith, helmed by veteran producer John Porter (Elvis Costello, Ryan Adams) was released digitally this past February but a new deal with Concord will yield a slightly expanded reissue August 28 and a new promotional push. The band recently worked with producer George Drakoulias (Tom Petty, The Jayhawks) on a new track "So Beautiful" which will debut on the updated version. Initial track "I Could Be King", a signature song for the band at radio, exemplifies the band's sound: tight, brisk and drenched in vocal harmonies and layers of chiming, busker-ish guitars. But unlike the more updated traditional folk slant of Mumford and Sons, The Dunwells deliver straight melodic folk/rock that could easily be wafting out of clubs on this side of the pond. “We're obviously huge fans of American music and its history, but we didn't set out with that in mind when we started playing together. It was an unexpected thing, really,” says David Dunwell.  “We’re all in it for the same reason. We just love making music.”

The Dunwells - "I Could Be A King" (from Blind Sighted Faith) Free Download

The Dunwells - Blind Sighted Faith Sampler (Excerpts)

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Wednesday
Jun272012

Communist Daughter - Lions & Lambs

Someday someone should write a song called "The Story of Johnny Solomon", telling the tale of a rising young songwriter and performer who hit the skids with the demons of addiction and mental problems only to rise again with the help and support of a good and supportive woman. The story, it turns out, is true. After reaching bottom (and jail), Solomon, a critical fave of The Twin Cities music scene, found the inspiration to change and ultimately enter rehab from singer, collaborator, muse -- and now fiancee -- Molly Moore. New July 10 EP Lions & Lambs from Solomon's wonderfully monikered Communist Daughter follows up 2010's debut Soundtrack to the End as yet another heavenly slice of shimmering indie alt-folk songcraft. Heartfelt and intensely personal but steering clear of cloying angst, songs like the briskly shuffling "Ghosts" find the cross-section of lush folk/rock and sweeping chamber pop melodies, delicately delivered harmonies bobbing atop a swirling, driving current of light and dark flashes. Brilliant. Mesmerizing. Watch the video for "Speed of Sound" below.

 

Communist Daughter - "Ghosts" (from Lions & Lambs)

Communist Daughter - "Speed of Sound" (from Lions & Lambs)

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Wednesday
Jun272012

DC June 26 New Release Recap

After our blathering on endlessly about Cory Chisel & The Wandering Sons and Jesca Hoop over the past few years you might think that we're pretty much done. Not quite. Both have released rather amazing new albums this week and we're guessing that by the end of the year we'll probably be writing (and talking) about them again. They're that good. This week we also see the return of fine SoCal retro folk band Beachwood Sparks and the excellent third album from Boston-based songwriter Antje Duvekot (Aunt-yah Doo-va-kott, if you're reading aloud). You might also want to check out Floating Monk from Edmund II -- and you can peruse our full listing for releases from Blues Traveler, Cassandra Wilson, Cathering AD, Joe Jackson, Levellers, Little Feat and Mindy Smith. Links to read more and listen to streaming tracks below...

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Tuesday
Jun262012

Antje Duvekot - New Siberia

"The pain is built-in, but a lot of these songs are life-affirming," observes Antje Duvekot of her third and latest album New Siberia (June 26 limited; September 18 full release), adding "musically I think I'm in the strongest place I've ever been." The words "wiser", "struggle" and "honesty" also emerge from Duvekot's recent bio, terms that signify a healing process and what she refers to as her journey "from a darker, younger self to a better, older place." Coming to terms with one's own history figures in much great songwriting, the appraisal of one's life and family, troubled times, personal reappraisals and the inventory of one's own soul. Duvekot, a gifted lyricist with the ability to express the deepest feelings and sharpest observations with a finely honed, simple turn of a phrase, has delivered her most eloquent and starkly beautiful collection of songs yet. Duvekot's "voice has a sound of innocence and naivete," says folk legend Ellis Paul, "which makes razor-sharp insights into the human condition." That observation rings with particularly painful truth on "Phoenix", a song Duvekot directs towards her mother with clear-eyed, heartbreaking accuracy.

Antje Duvekot - "New Siberia" (from the album New Siberia)

Antje Duvekot - "Phoenix" (from the album New Siberia)

Buy New Siberia prior to its general September release here...

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Tuesday
Jun262012

Watch: John Mayer - "Queen of California" (Draw Something Version)

John Mayer himself says this clever lo-fi animated (via Zynga's Draw Something) version of his "Queen of California" is "a must see...so great". And who are we to disagree? For more, check out Mayer's own acoustic version of the song after the jump. The DC take on the Born and Raised album here.

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Tuesday
Jun262012

RADAR: Mary Epworth

British folk runs headlong into retro psychedelic fuzz on Dream Life, the eclectic and eargrabbing debut album from Mary Epworth. Just out in the U.K., Dream's ten tracks are equal parts trippy fever sweat, Sunny Delight, Pacific Ocean bongwater and Earl Grey tea, all shaken (not stirred) and served straight and without irony. There's a whiff of 70's revivalism at play here, where densely layered harmonies mingle nicely with decadent horn charts, anthems of glorious magnitude exploding across the sky with big choruses, music hall panache and Epworth's tie-dyed earth-mother sensuality. It's fitting that Dream Life is being released via retro psych/pop reissue specialists Hand of Glory, Epworth's grand nostalgia of denim, lace and floppy hats merged with a post-modern Edward Sharpe-ian communal vibe. "Black Doe" (video below) is a gentle banjo strum swamped with an onslaught of brass, buzzing bass line and full-throated choir. Like the inkblot delerium of the lovely "Those Nights", much of the quietly mind-blowing album lives up to title, a nocturnal tip-toe into a half-awake state where reverbed voices fade in and out, songs move from dark into light and then recede again back to the shadows.

Mary Epworth - "Long Gone"(from Dream Life)

Mary Epworth - "Those Nights" (from Dream Life)

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Monday
Jun252012

Brendan James - Hope In Transition

Brendan James - The title says it all as the third album from the L.A.-based piano troubadour surfaces after a period of intense soul-searching, a move from New York, finding a new and supportive label and, ultimately, chronicling all the emotional highs and lows in a collection of introspective but energized new songs // Release: Hope In Transition (July 10, Rock Ridge Music) // Sounds like: reminiscent at times of the richly melodic piano pop of Billy Joel and Elton John -- or a male version of Sara Bareilles -- the buoyant melodies that have become James' signature over the past seven years remain intact but there's a more mature and worldly (and occasionally world-weary) outlook lyrically while the music flows with a pop artisan's skill...James' and producer Max Coanes' inventive arrangements move easily from impassioned balladry ("Here For You") to pulse-quickening alt-pop drive ("Younger Days") to dramatic, arena-sized anthems ("None of Them Are You")...

Brendan James - "None of Them Are You" (from Hope In Transition)

Brendan James - "Nightlife" (from Hope In Transition)

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Monday
Jun252012

Watch: CFCF - "Exercise 3 (Buildings)"

CFCF is the musical moniker of one Mike Silver, a 24-year-old Montreal producer, dj and instrumentalist. Exercises, his latest digital release (arriving on vinyl August 6), is something of a departure of styles as Silver exits the beat-dominated work of his earlier tracks for a more subtle, ambient tone that lies somewhere between Phillip Glass and Mike Oldfield. We'll admit that much of the appeal of his "Exercise 3 (Buildings)" video comes as much from the striking black and white cinematography and strange tale of pupil and teacher as it does from Silver's drifting soundtrack. Whatever it is and however it does it -- it works. The video was directed by Adam Beck from a concept by Paul Johnston.

CFCF - "Exercise 3 (Buildings) (from Exercises)

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Friday
Jun222012

Hannah Miller - Doubters & Dreamers

We arrived a little late to the party for Nashville singer/songwriter Hannah Miller -- but let's just say we're not leaving anytime soon. Though she's been releasing her own particular brand of bluesy and seductive folk/pop for more than five years it wasn't until her EP O Black River last year that she hit our DC Radar. On "Just Like Him", the excellent opener to Doubters and Dreamers -- the third in a trilogy of EP's -- Miller sings of her father "he chooses his words carefully, hardly ever shows his hand", a description that could also be applied to her own airy, almost dispassionate vocal style. Miller and producer and instrumentalist Neilson Hubbard quicken the pace on half of the EP's six tracks -- particularly on the inspired reading of Elton John's "Sorry Seems to Be The Hardest Word." But damn if it's not the elegantly melancholic ballads that really do a number on us. Like Miller herself, the gospel tinged "Little Bit" (and free DC download), co-written with Hubbard, gracefully swings with it's own gentle and understated soulfulness. More DC on O Black River here. Stream the full EP here.

 

Hannah Miller - "Little Bit" (from the Doubters and Dreamers EP) Free Download

 

Hannah Miller - "Just Like Him" (from the Doubters and Dreamers EP)

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Friday
Jun222012

Watch: Sweet Billy Pilgrim - "Archaeology"

You might think by now that we're getting a little hoarse from singing the praises of Brit art-pop outfit Sweet Billy Pilgrim. Nope. For further proof as to just why we think they're one of the best, most creative and just plain interesting bands going, take a look at "Archaeology", the new video for SBP's latest "single". At the 20 second mark you realize you're in for something very different musically -- and the video (made for less than $150) adds a nice edge. English actress Lisa Faulkner stars in the clip directed by Julian Faulkner. More DC musings on Sweet Billy Pilgrim and their latest album Crown and Treaty here. Now if only some wise U.S. label would decide this just might be worth releasing here...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jun212012

RADAR: Cat Power

No surprise that Sun, the first collection of original material in six years from Cat Power -- aka Chan Marshall -- is quickly shaping up to be one of the most eagerly anticipated albums of the of the year. And the first bits of music from the project aren't exactly tamping down the enthusiasm. Lead single "Ruin" entices with spry, overlapping piano lines that serve as an enticing hook before the song kicks off with an insistent beat, some chunky guitar riffs and Marshall's syncopated vocal delivery. It is, as the song repeats, "bitchin'". New radio track "Cherokee" continues with the pulsing atmospherics and skittering rhythms, competing chord progressions jumbled behind Marshall's cool, distant singing. Self-produced, mixed by Philippe Zdar (of French synth-pop pair Cassius), the album was recorded in hodge-podge style at a variety of studio spaces including Marshall's own in Malibu. Sun drops September 4 via Matador.

Cat Power - "Cherokee" (from Sun)

Cat Power - "Ruin" (from Sun)

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Thursday
Jun212012

Beachwood Sparks - The Tarnished Gold

You don't need to break out the patchouli incense, the trusty roach clip or the fringed suede jacket to fully enjoy the nostalgic sonic buzz of the newly reunited Beachwood Sparks -- but then again, it couldn't hurt. New album The Tarnished Gold (June 26, Sub Pop) is the retro folk/rockers' first in over a decade, a bookend of sorts to a period that saw the emergence of similarly-minded animal-named bands like Grizzly Bear or Fleet Foxes, harmonious outfits that learned to revel in the mellow campfire folk haze of Venice Beach grooviness and Laurel Canyon acoustic strumfests. “We’re treading in areas that we never thought we’d go on this record,” says Sparker Brent Rademaker. “The theme has probably been touched on by some other bands, but it’s our own way of looking at it. And we actually lived this." That communal vibe speaks volumes of the ease the bandmembers felt on writing and playing together after their long "hibernation". Lead track " Forget the Song" sets Gold's sparse stage with a gently laidback mood, a feeling of curtains being pulled back and the sun streaming in.

Beachwood Sparks - "Forget the Song" (from The Tarnished Gold) Free Download

Beachwood Sparks - "Sparks Fly Again" (from The Tarnished Gold) Free Download

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Wednesday
Jun202012

Watch: Jo Hamilton - "Think of Me"

If someone were to ask us who we thought was the most underappreciated British artist with the greatest potential for U.S. success we would answer without hesitation: Jo Hamilton. A supremely gifted songwriter, amazing singer and with a depth of creative vision that simply leaves her peers in the dust, Hamilton and her album Gown became one of those endless "have you heard this?" series of emails and gushing DC posts. We admit it. We love this music. While we're waiting for word on Jo's next project, her song "Think of Me" keeps creeping back in our consciousness, demanding yet one more play. Today we offer up a couple ways of experiencing the song -- first in an eerie dreamscape of a video from director Jimmy Ahlander and second, in a special fleshed out "radio mix" of the track. As Sweet Billy Pilgrim's Tim Elsenburg put it, “When Jo sings, something thaws that I didnʼt even realise was frozen.” More on Gown from DC here. Watch the amazing "Liathac" video here. Lyrics below...

Jo Hamilton - "Think of Me" (Radio Mix) (from Gown)

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Wednesday
Jun202012

ZZ Ward - Criminal EP

L.A. singer ZZ Ward melds gritty, full-throated blues, acoustic soul and scratchy hip-hop beats for something she calls "dirty shine" on her promising new EP Criminal. Idolizing the likes of Muddy Waters and Big Mama Thornton as a kid, singing in a blues band at 12, Ward also fell hard for the hard-edged funk charms of rap in her teens and soon began obliterating any stylistic boundaries in her own music with fearless abandon. The four-track Criminal gives us a glimpse of things to come on her forthcoming full-length debut, a project that will include a guest appearance of fellow L.A. soul-belter Fitz (of Fitz & The Tantrums. Lead track "Put the Gun Down" is like KT Tunstall on Red Bull and steroids, stomping, strutting and nimbly riding the rhythm with a revved up Motown heart and hefty blues muscle. We're also pointing you to an acoustic version of Criminal's "Til The Casket Drops" -- a love song, mind you -- that grabs you from the opening seconds and refuses to let go.

ZZ Ward - "Put the Gun Down" (from Criminal)

ZZ Ward - "Til The Casket Drops" (Live Acoustic Version)

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Wednesday
Jun202012

Cory Chisel & The Wandering Sons - Old Believers

Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons - The pride of Appleton, WI -- now based in Nashville -- return with an exceptionally worthy successor to their '09 album Death Won't Send A Letter...last project was touted here as "perhaps the finest album by a newcomer this year...music that touches the soul and raises a few hairs on the back of the neck at the same time"...Brendan Benson takes an even larger role this time around, producing the album (at the all-analog Welcome to 1979 Studios) and releasing it via his own Readymade label // Release: Old Believers (June 26)// Sounds like: organic roots-rock with country and folk influences, Chisel and band (featuring keyboard-playing vocalist Adreil Denae along with Jon Graboff and Brad Pemberton of The Cardinals) swing like a tight, cohesive version of Dylan's Rolling Thunder...the son of a preacher man and his church organist wife, introduced to the blues by his uncle, Chisel has an "old soul" musical personae that's embedded deep in his own effortless songwriting...

Cory Chisel & The Wandering Sons - "I've Been Accused" (from Old Believers)

Cory Chisel & The Wandering Sons - Old Believers Sampler

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Tuesday
Jun192012

DC June 19 New Release Recap

As we take a look at this week's new albums, Fiona Apple's Idler Wheel... has been garnering the most press -- and for good reason. This is a serious and seriously good album that may not be for everyone (you know, like Justin Bieber) but those willing to head down the rabbit hole with Fiona will be justly rewarded. Also on tap today -- the new solo project from Glen Hansard (of Once and The Swell Season), the debut from Carolina roots-poppers Delta Rae (hey, Seymour Stein signed 'em) and the latest from Aussie alt-pop sensation Kate Miller-Heidke. We're also tipping you to new longplayers from Cincinnati electro-pop band Walk The Moon, German pop/folk duo BOY (no U.S. release planned yet) and some promising new songs from Jason Myles Goss. Want to hear what they sound like? Link to DC features below for more verbiage and music...

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