Category Archives: Indie Rock

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

Cross Record unravels new song “Basket”

Cross Record have released the song “Basket,” on which lies a fair amount of twists and turns. The dreamy synthpop song keeps a steady pace for just about 3 minutes, then throws in a phalanx of guitar and noise that crash together for several seconds before Emily Cross’ heavenly voice fades out for good.

Listen to “Basket”on Soundcloud:

“Basket” is off Cross Record’s upcoming album, “Wabi Sabi” which is a Japanese aesthetic that focuses on accepting imperfection. Cross uses that mindset as she sings repeated lines about the construction of a basket to symbolize parenthood.
Cross Record plays a record-release show in Austin, Texas, at the Mohawk on Saturday, Feb. 6. Wabi-Sabi will be out on Ba Da Bing Records on Jan. 29.

Also, check out KLRU’s documentary on Cross Record from 2014.

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Filed under Acoustic, Cross Record, Indie, Indie Rock, New Music, Uncategorized

The Away Days’ ‘Less Is More’ is today’s free track at 20 Before 16

The indie-rock band The Away Days sound very much like the Foals and have been influenced by broody acts like The Cure and psychedelic rockers Tame Impala.

The group, from Istanbul, Turkey, took part in the Red Bull Warm-Up Campus concert in that city and have been impressing online music mags for a while now.

Their single “Less Is More” makes an impact through its catchy and bright guitar hooks, a lonesome bass line and building intensity. It’s also the first single off their upcoming full-length debut album.

Visit to download the free track; as of 1 p.m. EST on Dec. 7, there were more than 800 downloads left.

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Filed under Dreampop, Indie Rock, New Music, Red Bull Music Academy

Cross Record breathes fire into acoustic song “Steady Waves”

With the gentle bubbling of guitar fingerpicking that’s behind Emily Cross’ breathy and gentle voice, Cross Record’s single “Steady Waves” begins. It builds up through electric guitar beats, then falls back down as cerebral lyrics like “shivering, it makes me dizzy” add even more depth.

Cross Record is husband and wife team Cross and Dan Duszynski are Chicago transplants living in Texas. From the sounds of “Steady Waves,” the two know how to balance dramatic elements with beauty and tense guitar playing.

Read more at Stereogum.

Cross Record is on Ba Da Bing Records.

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Filed under Acoustic, Indie, Indie Rock

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

Cold Beat’s sophomore album “Into the Air” shows a band in sync

After a strong showing with their debut LP “Over Me” just last year, punk and electro-pop band Cold Beat is back with “Into the Air.”

Already, the band seems deeply in sync, a feat that could take more than a few albums for a new band to master before they can focus on pushing personal boundaries.

Bassist, vocalist and primary songwriter Hannah Lew, previously with the San Francisco surf-rock trio Grass Widow, easily carries the weight of Cold Beat’s vocals. Her strong yet angelic sound acts as a guiding light for the album’s dark points. Add the rest of the band’s playful pop/synth style, and Cold Beat can embody the punk-crossover rebellion of Blondie or the bleeding-heart shoegaze of Dum Dum Girls.

Lew’s lush voice soars throughout the album — it radiates romantic warmth, mirroring Debbie Harry’s opulent style.

Haunting, isolating melodies and moody soundscapes are what Cold Beat does best, evident in the synthwave wanderings of the instrumental “Clouds” and the drum-machine and space-rock album closer “Ashes.”

But the band can also change its attitude within a song. They build tension with a guitar clang and propulsive drumming on the protopunk “Sisters,” a song that later finds solace in a flowing melody, which was somehow there all along. Compare those textures with the brisk guitar strumming of the straightforward “Am I Dust,” or Lew’s heartbreaking indecision on “Broken Lines,” and Cold Beat’s broad versatility on “Into the Air” becomes even clearer.

The new album, “Into the Air” was on Lew’s label Crime On the Moon on Sept. 4.

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Filed under Dream pop, Electro-pop, Indie Rock, New Wave, Post-punk, Punk, Review, Space rock, Synth pop

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.

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

Enjoy this stream of Cold Beat’s new album “Into the Air”

The punk electro-pop band Cold Beat is streaming their new album “Into the Air.” The new album, their second LP and out Sept. 4 on Crime On the Moon, shows off the group’s wide range of influences.

Strong vocals throughout, from bassist and vocalist Hanna Lew, embody the rich-sounding youth of early Blondie’s pop nuggets and that punk rock sound, as on “Broken Lines.” Lew’s voice may be the closest to Debby Harry’s as you can get, while still maintaining her own identity. Her vocals soar freely throughout the album, emitting a dreamwave warmth.

The vintage synth sound of “Am I Dust” and the ragged guitar intro and propulsive drumming of the punk-driven “Sisters” both show the band’s broad versatility on the album. They can be haunting, as on the instrumental “Clouds” and moody, on the space-rock closer “Ashes.” Through it all is Lew, who makes the whole thing sound easy. The San Francisco native‘s previous project was with the all-girl outfit Grass Widow.

Cold Beat only has a handful of tour dates, so you’ll have to head to Brooklyn to see them.


Fri. Sept. 18 – Brooklyn, NY @ Union Pool

Sat. Sept. 19 – Brooklyn, NY @ Shea Stadium

Sun. Sept. 20 – New York, NY @ Other Music (7PM)

Sun. Sept. 20 – Brooklyn, NY @ Silent Barn

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Filed under Dream pop, Electro-pop, Indie Rock, New Wave, Punk, Space rock, Synth pop

Lou Barlow’s “Brace The Wave” is streaming at NPR Music

Lou Barlow‘s album “Brace The Wave,” his first in eight years, is streaming at NPR Music.

On the new album, Barlow has pieced together a mixed bag of folk songs that reminds listeners of his inner struggles and fears. Barlow’s lonesome, echo-filled vocals and organic guitar strumming incorporates prog-rocklou-barlow-lounging-by-jens-jurgensen-1987 and synth influences, as on “Moving.” Barlow can also easily drop about five stories with the toned-down “Pulse” or the buzz-laden “Boundaries.” Somehow it all fits. The sonic landscape he’s created is a natural move for Barlow, a founding member of Sebadoh, Dinosaur Jr. and The Folk Implosion.

On the stunning, acoustic “Lazy,” Barlow is resigned as uses stark, honest language to describe the pain of a love not returned. “Friendly neglect no longer protects my heart, filling a pocket with scar only weighs me down/Understanding is only demanding more/ What am I bending backwards for? Couldn’t you turn around?” Barlow pleads.

Listen to the rest of “Brace the Wave” at NPR Music. “Brace The Wave” is out Sept. 4 on Joyful Noise Recordings.

Barlow recorded the album in less than a week in Easthampton, Mass., one of the most off-the-map places you find yourself, and it’s perfect for Barlow’s easygoing and eclectic folk sound.

His tour kicks off Sept. 8 in Boston at Great Scott:

Lou Barlow Tour Dates:
9/8: Boston, MA @ Great Scott
9/9: Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade
9/10: Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
9/11: Washington, DC @ DC9
9/22: San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill
9/23: San Luis Obispo, CA @ SLO Brewing Co.
9/24: San Diego, CA @ Casbah
9/25: Pioneertown, CA @ Desert Stars
9/26: Costa Mesa, CA @ Wayfarer (early show)

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Filed under Folk, Indie, Indie Rock, New Music

Ultimate Painting’s “Green Lanes” is streaming in full on Noisey; new tour dates

Ultimate Painting

Ultimate Painting’s new album, “Green Lanes,” is streaming now on Noisey, while also releasing some September and October U.S. tour dates. “Green Lanes” is due Aug. 7 on Trouble In Mind records. The duo of James Hoare and Jack Cooper know how to make sweet, jangley music that seems effortless, but are well-crafted pop songs.

Listen to “(I’ve Got The) Sanctioned Blues,” as well as “Break the Chain,” both tracks off “Green Lanes”:

Ultimate Painting Tour Dates:
Thu. Sep. 10 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
Sat. Sep. 12 – Bloomington, IN @ The Bishop
Tue. Sep. 15 – Toronto, ON @ Adelaide Hall
Fri. Sep. 18 – Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade
Sat. Sep. 19 – Cambridge, MA @ Middle East Upstairs
Sun. Sep. 20 – Woodstock, NY @ Bearsville Theater
Tue. Sep. 22 – Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506
Wed. Sep. 23 – Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
Sat. Sep. 26 – Memphis, TN @ Gonerfest
Sun. Sep. 27 – Dallas, TX @ Doublewide
Wed. Sep. 30 – San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
Thu. Oct. 1 – Los Angeles, CA @ Satellite
Sat. Oct. 3 – San Francisco, CA @ Hemlock Tavern
Sun. Oct. 4 – Eureka, CA @ Sirens Song Tavern

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Filed under Indie Rock, New Music, Tour Dates