Category Archives: Indie pop

Sir Weston’s EP “Over” touches on the mellow side of indie folk

Sir Weston (Matt Martin and Weston Taylor) is an indie/folk/pop group that creates well-crafted hooks that are extremely pleasing to the ear, begging to be memorized.

According to Sir Weston’s Bandcamp page, Weston Taylor, of Atlanta, has been writing for more than 10 years. Sir Weston’s slightly skewed, heartfelt style recalls the sound of Soul Asylum or early Coldplay vocals from the “Yellow” era. The moody guitar notes drives “Waking Up,” and a more rock and roll indie sound dominates “Pretty Pictures.” Hold a torch for the soothing acoustic title track, which gives a shoutout to classic ’60s pop of the Beatles and the Byrds; “Cure For Cancer” is a standout.

Check out their Over EP, which was released in October 2015:

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Filed under bandcamp, Indie, Indie folk, Indie pop, Indie Rock, Uncategorized

TEEN masters the ’80s cable-access TV look for the video ‘Free Time’

You have to admire TEEN for doing things exactly how they want. The Brooklyn-based female quartet has always leaned toward the abstract, warped side of things, mixing space rock with indie-pop and ’70s psychedelic ephemera. No one makes music quite like TEEN, and they go all in, right down to their new video for “Free Time,” below.

The purple-hazy video features dancer Becca Kauffman from Ava Luna, and who also directs the video, which was shot straight to VHS (!) by Mika Altskan at Rollgate Studio in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

According to Kauffman:

‘Free Time’” was inspired by the 1980’s public access television performances of R. Stevie Moore, the post-punk choreographer Michael Clark’s videodance collaborations with his musical contemporaries, and the barebones production quality and interpretive dance accompaniment to Sid Harvey Fisher’s Astrology Songs.

Listen to “Free Time,” “All About Us” and “Tokyo” on Soundcloud:

“Free Time” is off their new album Love Yes, out now on Carpark Records. They’ve kicked off their North American tour and will perform at SXSW on March 16-20.

Feb 19 Louisville, KY @ Zanzabar

Feb 20 Lakewood, OH @ Mahall’s

Feb 21 Chicago, IL @ Hideout Inn

Feb 22 Cincinnati, OH @ Monday Night at the Comet

Feb 24 New Haven, CT @ BAR FREE SHOW

Feb 25 Burlington, VT @ Signal Kitchen

Feb 26 Stony Brook, NY @ Stony Brook University

Feb 27 Hudson, NY @ Half Moon

Mar 09 Richmond, VA @ Gallery 5

Mar 10 Asheville, NC @ Tiger Mountain

Mar 11 Charleston, SC @ Tin Roof

Mar 12 Atlanta, GA @ Drunken Unicorn

Mar 13 Birmingham, AL @ Syndicate Lounge

Mar 14 Baton Rouge, LA @ Spanish Moon
Mar 16-20 Austin, TX @ SXSW

Mar 21 El Paso, TX @ Lowbrow Palace

Mar 24 Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress

Mar 25 San Diego, CA @ Whistle Stop Bar

Mar 26 Los Angeles, CA @ Breezer Vol. I at Fais Do-Do

Mar 28 Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court

Mar 29 Denver, CO @ Hi-Dive

Mar 31 Omaha, NE @ O’Leaver’s

Apr 01 Iowa City, IA @ Gabe’s

Apr 02 Grand Rapids, MI @ Ladyfest GR

Apr 04 Detroit, MI @ Marble Bar

Apr 05 Toronto, ON @ The Silver Dollar Room

 

 

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Filed under Indie, Indie pop, New Music, Psychedelic, Tour Dates, Uncategorized, VIdeos

Your Friend’s full-length debut Jan. 29; hear first single “Heathering”

Your Friend, guitarist, singer and songwriter Taryn Blake Miller, has finally announced a full-length debut.

After her self-recorded debut EP Jekyll/Hyde in 2014, Miller toured for the first time (with Courtney Barnett) and performed at her first SXSW.

Her first full-length album, “Gumption,” will be out in January.

Miller started writing “Gumption” in her Kansas apartment in 2014. She used a field recorder while around her family’s farm in Dexter, Kansas, hoping to reclaim childhood memories and senses. Some of the sounds, like running water and engine noise, can be heard on the new album.

According to Miller:

“I paid attention to textures. I was trying to remove myself from an approach that I had followed before, but to be able to bring in that melodic element that is most inherent to me, and marry it with a more sonically meditative landscape.”

“I was sitting with myself so much, I got to know myself in ways I liked and ways I didn’t like,” Miller continued.

The first single off the album, “Heathering,” is a softly played and meandering indie dreampop that features gentle guitar hooks and Miller’s evenly parsed lyrics, as if there’s no better place to be than right now.

Your-Friend-Taryn-Credit-Crystal-Lee-Farris

Your Friend; Credit Crystal Lee Farris

Listen to “Heathering” below:

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Filed under Dreampop, Indie folk, Indie pop, New Music, Uncategorized

Joanna Newsom’s “Divers” a breathtaking journey through time

Harpist, singer and composer Joanna Newsom is not everyone’s cup of tea. On much of her catalog, you may have to pause and look up a word just to glimpse her plane of thought.

But that’s just part of what Newsom is so good at: She transports you to another time, puts you in a breathless reverie and sweeps you up into her stories of lost love and vast, desolate landscapes.

There are layers of meaning packed tightly within each song on her new album, “Divers,” and when you think you’ve figured it out, further research will only unravel more secrets.

But deciphering the whole of “Divers” is an endeavor far greater than can be squeezed into a review; suffice to say, “Divers” is an emotional celebration of the sanctity of life and death and all of its regrets, described through shockingly vibrant imagery Newsom’s created amid often-delicate pastoral scenes. It’s an incredible album.

newsom landscape

Those who are already fans of Newsom’s complex work are familiar with her use of polyrhythms and classical instruments – she knew she wanted to learn the harp when she was 4 and hasn’t looked back.

Newsom often changes tempo and time signatures within lengthy songs, and her use of traditional instruments — pedal harp, harpsichord and flute — all lend to her classical style. She never sticks with that genre though, and is most well known as an indie/folk artist.

“Divers,” her fourth album, sees Newsom adding physical drums to her repertoire, along with violins, fiddles, electric guitar and flute. She also blends soulful blues notes, psychedelic pop, Appalachian and country, classical, ephemeral, and period-piece music into “Divers,” sometimes all in one song, but she’s just as comfortable letting her solitary voice and a bare piano or pedal harp do the work.

Although her songs are deeply woven, it’s still easy to fall into the album’s natural pace and its trance.

Songs like “Goose Eggs” and “Waltz of the 101st Lightborne” have a country bent to them, whether it’s slide guitar, or a slow rolling melody, or hints of fiddle.

joanna newsom_leaving_city pic

On “Goose Eggs” in particular, Newsom delves into more conventional pop/country/ chamber-pop music, even mixing in ‘60s psychedelic organ, displaying her broad musical agility.

Throughout “Divers,” Newsom weeps for the loss of time, and of mortality, then in the next measure will sing joyfully of transient life and its delicate beauty.

On “The Things I Say,” she laments how people keep their life “like a deck of cards,” keeping it safely packed away to use for a day that never actually comes.

On “Time, As a Symptom,” Newsom continues to speak of those “bleeding out their days in the river of time,” but through the chorus, reinforces the “nullifying, defeating, negating, repeating joy of life.”

Joanna Newsom harp

“Why is the pain of birth lighter borne than the pain of death?” Newsom asks on the title track, a heartbreaking ancient sea tale of a woman waiting for true love and knowing she might die without fulfilling that need. “I’ll hunt the pearl of death to the bottom of my life,” she sings resignedly.

On “A Pin-Light Bent,” Newsom romanticizes the story of a flight attendant’s fall from the sky, and the beauty she would have seen as she fell to earth. With the song composing only her voice and the tense, repeating notes of her harp, deeply personal lyrics of the briefness and fragility of life are revealed.

“My life came and went/My life came and went /Short flight, free descent,” she sings sadly. Comparing tiny, lit homes seen from high above to a mass of honeycomb is somehow gorgeous to imagine.

There are so many things about “Divers” that’s open to personal interpretation. Much of the time, it’s well enough to just let Newsom’s elegant language, the slow pace of each song, and her wondering voice wash over you.

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Filed under Classical, Indie folk, Indie pop, Psychedelic folk, Psychedelic rock, Review

Darlings bid adieu; share “I Love You Too” video

Brooklyn indie quartet Darlings have called it quits.

 An email today from Wild Canary Records states:

“Darlings release a new video 🙂 but are only playing one more show ever 😦 “
The email goes on to say that though the band is breaking up, members remain friends.
Darlings’ last show will be at Shea Stadium on Saturday, playing with Flower Girl, CVS At Night and Lightning Bug.
Over eight years, Darlings put out three albums and an EP. Their most recent release, Feel Better, was released in January.
Today Darlings released what may be their last video, for “I Love You Too,” which can be viewed here or below:

No specific reason was given for the band’s breakup, but if they are splitting on good terms, maybe some day they’ll return.
(Through an email inquiry this afternoon, a representative from Wild Canary Records had this to say:
“All good things must come to an end! They’re focusing on other things right now and schedules were getting hectic.”)

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Filed under Indie pop, Indie Rock, News, VIdeos

Psych-pop band Gardens & Villa share a video for “Everybody”

gardens and villa

Psychedelic-pop group Gardens & Villa have released a video for their Beatles’ throwback tune “Everybody,” the second single off “Music For Dogs.”

Its rolling, whimsical piano melody and marching, shuffling drum beat mimics the fluctuating sound between late-era Beatles and John Lennon’s early solo work, which keeps the tone light. By the bridge, it breaks into a progressive and whimsical piano melody that is purely vintage.
As the song builds, synth notes, piano melody and drums fall in on themselves, adding to the layered sound.

Watch the video below for “Fixations,” which takes place in a hippy LSD party, where everyone’s tripping out. Later there’s a drone-like thing on the attack and possibly an android, but it’s all a blur.

“Music For Dogs,” Gardens & Villa’s third studio album, was just released last week on Secretly Canadian. The band will head out on tour next month, with supporting acts like Palehound, De Lux, James Supercave and American Wrestlers.

GARDENS & VILLA TOUR DATES
Tue. Sept. 15 – Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom w/ James Supercave
Thu. Sept. 17 – Austin, TX @ The Parish w/ Palehound
Fri. Sept. 18 – Dallas, TX @ Club Dada w/ Palehound
Sat. Sept. 19 – Houston, TX @ House of Blues/Bronze Peacock w/ Palehound
Sun. Sept. 20 – New Orleans @ Gasa Gasa w/ Palehound
Tue. Sept. 22 – Atlanta, GA @ Aisle 5 w/ Palehound
Wed. Sept. 23 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle w/ Palehound
Thu. Sept. 24 – Washington, DC @ Rock & Roll Hotel w/ Palehound
Fri. Sept. 25 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg w/ Palehound
Sat. Sept. 26 – Philadelphia, PA @ Boot & Saddle w/ Palehound
Tue. Sept. 29 – Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair
Wed. Sept. 30 – Montreal, QC @ Bar Le Ritz PDB w/ Palehound
Thu. Oct. 1 – Toronto, ON @ The Garrison w/ American Wrestlers
Fri. Oct. 2 – Detroit, MI @ UFO Factory w/ American Wrestlers
Sat. Oct. 3 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall w/ American Wrestlers
Sun. Oct. 4 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St. Entry w/ American Wrestlers
Tue. Oct. 6 – Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater
Wed. Oct. 7 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge w/ James Supercave
Thu. Oct. 8 – Las Vegas, NV @ Bunkhouse Saloon w/ James Supercave
Fri. Oct. 9 – San Diego, CA @ IRENIC w/ James Supercave
Sat. Oct. 10 – Pioneertown, CA @ Pappy & Harriet’s w/ James Supercave
Thu. Nov. 12 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Roxy w/ De Lux
Sat. Nov. 14 – Sacramento, CA @ Harlow’s Restaurant & Nightclub w/ De Lux
Mon. Nov. 16 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile w/ De Lux
Tue. Nov. 17 – Vancouver, BC @ The Cobalt w/ De Lux
Wed. Nov. 18 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge w/ De Lux
Fri. Nov. 20 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent w/ De Lux

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Filed under Indie pop, Indie Rock, Psychedelic rock, Synth pop

Honeyblood to play free pop-up gigs in the UK

HONEYBLOOD-600x371

This Sunday, if you’re lucky enough to be in England, you’ll have six chances to see Honeyblood for free.

Scottish fem-group Honeyblood has announced they’ll play a series of free pop-up shows in London to coincide with World Music Day on Sunday, June 21.

According to DIYmag, among the secret locations is a not-so-secret show at Peckham’s Bussey Building around 6:30 to 7 p.m. June 21. The magazine advises checking Honeyblood’s Twitter page for more info.

Check out their excellent summer single “Killer Bangs” from last year:

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Filed under Indie, Indie pop, Punk-rock, Shows

Shades of Arcade Fire color “Policy,” Will Butler’s debut

Will Butler's "Policy" was released March 10 on Merge Records

Will Butler’s “Policy” was released March 10 on Merge Records

On his debut, “Policy,” singer-songwriter Will Butler attempts to scramble out from underneath the behemoth shadow of indie-rock super group Arcade Fire.

But the dreamy rock feeling that flows so freely from his previous band does not carbon-copy itself throughout “Policy.”

“Someone please, tell me what my name is” he laments on the Lennon-esque “Finish What I Started” as Butler stretches his legs to find his own identity.

It’s clear that Butler meant to bring a whimsical quality to “Policy,” as it possesses elements of alternative, rock, indie-pop, rockabilly and American folk-rock.

“Take My Side,” is a fun introduction to the album, declaring there will be few dark, introspective pockets on the album. “Sing To Me,” with its dramatic piano and organ notes, is the only real brooding song on the record, but is also the bluesiest and most heartfelt.

“What I Want” keeps a tongue-in-cheek humor, while “Anna” has an infectious, brisk beat led by a bright synthesizer melody; Butler easily evokes that famous Elvis hiccup. The elementary lyrics on “Anna” keeps things light as well.

Will Butler also sounds a lot like his brother, Win, and almost uncomfortably so, at least on “Something’s Coming.” But Will Butler’s familiar vocals are not what make that song the best of the bunch. It’s the hot blast of a disco-rock beat paired with an unusual deep, fuzzy bass and exuberant piano that makes it the catchiest on “Policy.”

While it’s true that Butler is still exhibiting sounds of his previous band, there’s enough of his boisterous personality on “Policy” to elicit welcome surprises.

Policy was released March 10 on Merge Records.

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Filed under Folk Rock, Indie pop, Rock

Awesomesauce! Tegan and Sara, The Lonely Island to team up at Oscars

lego-movie-awesome

Be a part of the team!

It was announced this week that alternative indie-rock duo Tegan and Sara will perform “Everything Is Awesome” at the Oscars, with comedy-music troupe The Lonely Island. Tegan and Sara have been making music together since about 1999, and received a Grammy nom in 2013.

tegan-and-sara

Tegan and Sara

For those who don’t know, The Lonely Island is the comedy/music trio of Akiva Schaffer, Andy Samberg (Brooklyn 99) and Jorma Taccone. They gained success with Saturday Night Live’s Digital Shorts division. They’re also the guys who graciously gave us “Jizz In My Pants,” “Like A Boss,” and “Dick In A Box,” among other special gifts.

“Everything Is Awesome” is that ongoing mantra of plastic positivity you hear throughout 2014’s “The Lego Movie.” The version that plays during the end credits of the movie was performed by Tegan and Sara, along with The Lonely Island, and produced by Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo fame.

“Everything Is Awesome” has been nominated for Original Song.  Watch the video here. The song is like a hyper-robotic dance frenzy on acid. You won’t be able to get it out of your head. With this type of musical synergy, anything can happen at the Oscars.

“Tegan and Sara and Lonely Island?…..Everything Is Awesome, indeed. This is certainly an ‘Only on the Oscars’ moment,” says Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, producers of the 87th Oscars, said in a press release.

lonelyisland

The Lonely Island: Always classy.

The Oscars are Feb. 22 on ABC.

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Filed under Comedy, Indie pop

BC Camplight’s “How To Die In The North” streaming now

BC Camplight

BC Camplight’s new album, “How To Die In The North,” is streaming now and already gaining momentum ahead of its release.

BC Camplight (songwriter Brian Christinzio) originally hails from New Jersey. After moving to Philadelphia, he signed a deal with One Little Indian and released “Hide, Run Away” and “Blink of a Nihilist” in 2005 and 2007, respectively. In 2011, he moved to Manchester, England. Christinzio has played with The War On Drugs and on Sharon Van Etten’s 2011 “Epic.”

Just by listening to the first few notes of “Just Because I Love You,” you might be struck by its easygoing dream-pop style, which puts you in good hands. He has a penchant for blending that romance with blindingly honest bitterness, and it catches you off-guard.

“I stuffed her with my heart but the bitch bled me dry,” he pleads on “Just Because I Love You.”

Also check out the link to his song, “You Should’ve Gone To School.”

“How To Die In The North” will be out Tuesday on Bella Union.

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Filed under Indie pop, Psychedelic rock, Soul