Friday, August 21, 2009

Lisa Mitchell - Coin Laundry [Video+MP3]

Lisa Mitchell plays the lolita of the launderette in her new music video for “Coin Laundry”. It's a delightful folk-pop song, and one of the best music videos I've seen all year.

The song is from her latest album Wonder, released a few weeks ago.

Lisa Mitchell - Coin Laundry
Download MP3* (zshare) (YSI)
*For sampling purposes only. If you like the music, support the band!

Digital: Amazon MP3 UK | 7digital UK | iTunes
CD: JB HI-FI (signed!) | Amazon UK

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Sound of Arrows - Into the Clouds

It feels like the first time I heard “Walking On a Dream” by Empire of the Sun. Seriously, wow. It only takes one run through the video to see the gorgeous scene behind the Vanilla Ice guy. Modern dreamy synthpop with an emphasis on magnificent visuals.

Here's The Sound of Arrows' video debut, “Into the Clouds”. The single releases on vinyl and download September 21.

The Sound of Arrows - Into the Clouds
Download MP3*
*For sampling purposes only. If you like the music, support the band!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Fun - Walking the Dog

Fun is an indie pop band from New York, and one of the best new bands this year. I've written about them a couple times already, but now we're two weeks away from their debut album release, so here's a new track to ignite your excitement!

Aim & Ignite comes out August 25 on Nettwerk.

Fun - Walking the Dog
Download MP3* (zshare) (YSI) or Listen on MySpace
*For sampling purposes only. If you like the music, support the band!

Fun Store

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

New Mika Single + Calvin Harris Remix

Cue piano and choir over 80s pop beat.
Teenage dreams in a teenage circus.
Running around like a cloud, on purpose.
Who gives a damn about the family you come from?
No giving up when you're young and you want some.
Mika is back, and looking as flambiguous as ever. His new video puts him in white boxers, romping around his teenage bedroom trying on all his favourite chromatic costumes. Curiously, where we would expect provocative and uncomfortable, he gives us fun and amusing.

I'm a sucker for big, flashy pop songs, and this one has it all in excess!

The We Are Golden single is out September 6, and Mika's sophomore album of the same title releases September 21.


Mika - We Are Golden

Mika - We Are Golden (Calvin Harris Vocal Mix)
Download MP3 (zshare) (YSI)
This version is way better than the Calvin Harris radio edit.

HMV | iTunes

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Butterfly Bones - xoxo

In San Francisco, summer wears you.

All the hot new indie pop is coming from Cali this week. Butterfly Bones are on the verge of releasing their debut Pretty Feelings EP, a synthlicious selection of summery songs to be your sonic serenade whilst you sweat, swim or sit back and sip a strawberry margarita. Whatever your sunshine activities are, by now you know that I love to add to my neverending summer soundtrack.

Butterfly Bones - xoxo
Download MP3* (zshare) (YSI) or Listen on MySpace
*For sampling purposes only. If you like the music, support the band!

Butterfly Bones are taking a house party tour across the states in September. Check their MySpace if you want to see them live, or even host them in your house!

Islands - No You Don't
Electric Owls - Magic Show
Starfucker - Rawnald Gregory Erickson the Second

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Ghostbird - Ghostbird EP [Review]

Ghostbird is a new rock band from San Diego. Their genres of choice on MySpace are 2-step, Dutch pop and glam, none of which seem fitting for a new SoCal indie rock band, but those descriptions are, in fact, fairly accurate. The drum beat is a bit unusual, which is what 2-step is known for, and their style does have a touch of glam. Dutch pop, like Scandinavian pop, has a rustic, enchanting feel to it, as does Ghostbird.

The Ghostbird EP begins with “Toy Soldier”, an indie pop tune that reminisces upon a time when war was make-believe and battles were fought between plastic figurines. This song is obviously made to be a single, although it's a lot more pop than the rest of the EP.

My favourite track is “Night Kills Day”, a swaggering ballad that gives glimpses into an affair of love and deception. The song begins under the guise of a common indie rock ballad, even to the end of the first listen, but unexpectedly blooms after a few minutes of listening. The 7-track EP contains a few more gems, but I don't want to spoil them all track-by-track this time.

An EP usually has a different feel than an album, sometimes with a more direct theme, or the raw sound of a new band making its debut, or a well-established band branching off briefly in a new direction. Ghostbird's debut EP sounds more like an album than an EP, well-polished and brimming with memorable rock songs. Their style does not diverge far from that of the biggest indie and alternative rock bands of recent years, but that's not so important when their music is simply better than most of those bands.

The Ghostbird EP is out now on CD and iTunes.


Ghostbird - Night Kills Day
Download MP3* (zshare) (YSI) or listen on their site
*For sampling purposes only. If you like the music, support the band!

Ghostbird - Toy Soldiers (HD)

Digital: iTunes
CD: Ghostbird Shop

Friday, July 31, 2009

DatA - One In a Million (Club Version)

A grinding superwave electro beat to melt your mind... When you do something bad, like microwaving your cat, but you want to do it another ti-i-i-i-i-ime, do it to this song.

DatA's One In a Million digital single is out now on Ekleroshock.

DatA - One In a Million (Club Version)
Download MP3 (zshare) (YSI) or Listen on MySpace

eMusic | Juno Download | Beatport | Amazon MP3 US | Amazon MP3 UK | iTunes

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Love & Electrik - Sex Video

Apologies for the less-than-daily posts lately—as mentioned in the last couple posts, I was at the Calgary Folk Music Festival all weekend. The next day I flew to Vancouver to see La Roux, who were to be supported by “special guests”, which turned out to be Vancouver's own Love & Electrik. I remember Discobelle posting about them a little while ago, so I recognised “Sex Video” as soon as they began to play it. They also did a great cover of Phil Collins' “In the Air Tonight” and are the first band I've seen with a real, live talkbox.

The flashy duo is composed of Kevin Mah, who takes on the duties of keyboardist, keytarist and talkbox vocalist, and Roxy Aiston on lead vocals. Their performance was far more energetic than the relaxed electro beat they put on record with their first single “Sex Video”, but to be fair, all great bands have more energy onstage.

The single is out now on Tremendous Records, exclusively available through Beatport.

Love & Electrik - Sex Video
Download MP3 ( (YSI) or Listen on MySpace


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Lee Harvey Osmond (Festival Review)

I have been listening to Lee Harvey Osmond for the past few weeks leading up to their appearances at the Calgary Folk Music Festival this weekend. I was impressed by a few songs on their debut album A Quiet Evil, but their live show made me a fan.

Lee Harvey Osmond is the name of the band, fronted by Tom Wilson, a dynamic musician and songwriter of folk, rock and roots music, who has played for several bands including Blackie & the Rodeo Kings and Junkhouse. The rest of the band includes 60s folk musician Brent Titcomb, members of Cowboy Junkies and more members of Wilson's other bands.

On Friday night, Lee Harvey Osmond made their weekend debut on the mainstage, opening the evening. The mainstage opener has the difficult job of drawing everyone back to their lawnchairs, and getting them to pay attention or dance, even, is frustrating. Tom Wilson took the stage with his band and began with the addictive beat of “The Love of One”. His rough baritone voice and the relaxed yet heavy roots beat mesmerized the crowd, turning all heads toward the stage. The crowd seemed shocked and amazed that the first band of the night could be that good.

Needless to say, Stage 6 was packed Saturday morning when Lee Harvey Osmond shared the stage with a few even lesser-known artists. By now, they were already a festival favourite, taking the biggest portion of the cheering crowd.

Carmen Townsend of Tom Fun Orchestra told us how excited she was to share the stage with Tom Wilson, as her first concert experience was sneaking into a Junkhouse concert in the Maritimes with a fake ID. She was delighted when later, Tom invited her up to sing with him when the band covered Lou Reed's “I Can't Stand It”, and her cheeks were as rosy as her hair by the end of the song.

It was then that I figured out that Tom Wilson was also the singer from Blackie & the Rodeo Kings, of whom I had heard one fantastic song, “Stoned”, on a movie soundtrack. I had a brief chat with Tom after the session to confirm that fact and he promised to play it tomorrow (Sunday) morning!

Six stages run simultaneously all morning and afternoon, dividing 60+ artists into group sessions and individual concerts, so it's tough to see all the artists you want to see, but I will undoubtedly be seeing Lee Harvey Osmond perform Sunday for the third and fourth time!

Lee Harvey Osmond - The Love of One
Download MP3 (zshare) (YSI) or Listen on MySpace

CD: Maple Music | Amazon
Digital: eMusic | iTunes

After the Calgary Folk Fest, Lee Harvey Osmond heads to BC and Ontario, including an appearance at Toronto's Festival of Beer.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Decemberists (Festival Review)

The Decemberists are known for their romantic tales and whimsical stories that are woven through their music. Their latest album Hazards of Love centers on a woman named Margaret, who falls in love with William, a shapeshifting beast of the forest, and the jealous forest queen and the villainous Rake, who bring conflict to the two lovers.

The sun had barely set tonight when The Decemberists took the stage at Prince's Island, the beautiful urban oasis that is the site of the Calgary Folk Music Festival. The audience was weary from the enormous energy we had just spent, keeping up with Arrested Development.

Jenny the organist began with a haunting melody and the band began to tell us the tale of the Hazards of Love. The story itself was pushed aside in favour of the characters themselves, who came to life through the music. The music rose and fell as the band shuffled around, playing organ and guitars, then drums, then some less-recognisable noisemaking contraptions.

As The Decemberists progressed through their epic tale, their was a magical energy radiating from the stage that kept the tired crowd charged until the well-deserved encore. Once I had seen the show, I realised that listening to the CD was really just the appetizer.

Here is a song from Hazards of Love that is outstanding to see live, my favourite from the show.

The Decemberists - The Queen's Rebuke/The Crossing
Download MP3 (zshare) (YSI) or Listen on YouTube

CD/vinyl: Insound | Norman Records | Recordstore | Rough Trade
Digital: Boomkat | 7digital | Amazon MP3 US | Amazon MP3 UK | iTunes

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Kesha - Tick Tock (P. Diddy)

I am not above sharing my guilty pleasures. Kesha, fake-blonde pop singer/crunk bitch and possible The Hills reject, says of her new single, “Mick Jagger might be my dad. fo realz. ....I play the cowbell.”

Her influences include a random list of popular folk, indie, classic rock and pop artists. Her favourite things include getting rowdy and posting silly things in her blog, like “check this shit out . its like a sex cream cone.” and “guyz,ur $moneyyy $moneyy $moneyy$!!” I can't figure out where the hell to put the [sic] on that last one.

I reluctantly recommend Kesha's new weekend party track, “Tick Tock (P. Diddy)”. She's working on her debut album, but in the meantime, she'll also entertain you with her Twitter.

Kesha - Tick Tock (P. Diddy)
Download MP3

via Pretty Much Amazing

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

VISITOR - Los Feeling + Remix Contest

I have no idea where these mysterious beings came from, but I hope we hear more from them in the near future. They call themselves VISITOR and with one unpolished gem they have me hypnotised. This is exactly the type of sound that excites me more than any other.

VISITOR - Los Feeling (Rough Mix)
Download MP3 or Listen on MySpace

Disco DJs and other sound-shapers! VISITOR is offering the stems of “Los Feeling” for you to reinterpret as your inspired mind sees fit. There will be winners and prizes. See! the details!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Islands - No You Don't

Montreal indie band Islands have reunited with founding member Jamie Thompson (who was absent from their third album) for their upcoming third album, Vapours. Pitchfork premiered a brand new song “No You Don't” today. Like Bloc Party's most recent effort, they have added more synths and taken a small leap toward pop, and landed nimbly on a silver stage.

Islands' new album Vapours releases September 22 on ANTI-.

Islands - No You Don't
Download MP3 (zshare) (YSI)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros - 40 Day Dream

Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros are a folk collective with as many as 12 members. If you're young enough to have missed the psychedelic 60s, “40 Day Dream” is as close as you may get to the barefooted decade of peace, love and the power of the flower. The song is off their debut album Up from Below which is out now on Community Music/Fairfax Recordings.

Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros - 40 Day Dream
Download MP3 (zshare) (YSI) or Listen on MySpace

The band will be presenting a feature-length epic musical film in 12 parts. Here is Part 1 “Desert Song” which is also from the album.

Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros - Desert Song [HD]

Digital: Boomkat | Amazon MP3 US | Amazon MP3 UK | 7digital | iTunes
CD: Rough Trade | Norman Records | Recordstore | Insound | CD Universe

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Angel Brothers - Ghosts

The Angel Brothers describe their new album as ‘a soundtrack to a film of your imagination’. That barely begins to describe their post-folk sound. “Ghosts”, an epic track off their new self-titled album, takes a journey through time and space to discover the indigenous music of a peaceful world where it is always night and the moon is always glowing. Not that there are any lyrics depicting such a backdrop, but it is the image that appears when I close my eyes and listen to “Ghosts”.

The eponymously titled Angel Brothers is out now on Navigator Records.

The Angel Brothers - Ghosts
Download MP3 (zshare) (YSI) or listen below

The Angel Brothers will begin their England tour in September.

Navigator Store | Amazon

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Bombay Bicycle Club - Dust On the Ground

Bombay Bicycle Club, indie rock band from North London, is fronted by the unusual voice of Jack Steadman. Their second single “Dust On the Ground” has all the elements of rock, but played at an indulgent pace, like a progressive psychedelic ballad with a sweet pop flavour.

Here are the music video for “Dust On the Ground”, filmed by Elisha Smith-Leverock, and two excellent remixes. You can also find their previous single, “Always Like This”, in a previous article here. Their album I Had the Blues But I Shook Them Loose is out now.

Bombay Bicycle Club - Dust On the Ground

Bombay Bicycle Club - Dust On the Ground
(Tanlines Remix)

Download MP3 (zshare) (YSI)

Bombay Bicycle Club - Dust On the Ground
(Banjo or Freakout Remix)

Download MP3 (zshare) (YSI)

CD: Rough Trade | Norman Records | Recordstore | CD Universe
Digital: Amazon MP3 UK | 7digital | iTunes

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Numéro# - Angoisse, Paresse, Panique

Numéro# exposes the dark side of electropop and the sanguine side of new rave in their new album, Sport de Combat. At least three singles could be culled from this ingenious album, but the duo have not been lucky enough, so far, to generate sufficient buzz about their music. It's only a matter of time though.

If I had to name my favourite track on the album it would be “Angoisse, Paresse, Panique”. The vocals sweep from natural to synthetic and back again, throughout the song. The music is chromatic and harmonious, sounding more like the work of a master composer than a loop-hacking producer.

Another standout track, “Tout Est Parfait” was given a video to accompany and elevate the aural experience. It's artsy, pretentious and it manifests entirely in slow motion, but it's one of my favourite music videos ever, and it's perfect.

The album is out now on Saboteur Records.

Numéro# - Angoisse, Paresse, Panique
Download MP3 (zshare) (YSI)

Numéro# - Tout Est Parfait

CD: Saboteur Records | Amazon CA
Digital: Saboteur Records | eMusic | Juno Download | Beatport | Amazon MP3 US | Amazon MP3 UK | Amazon MP3 FR | iTunes

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

a-ha - Foot of the Mountain (Album Review)

In 1985, Norwegian synthpop group a-ha released their first single, “Take On Me”, which topped nearly every national music chart in the world and went on to become one of the most recognisable songs of the 80s. Through the late 80s and into the 90s they followed the trend towards a more alternative rock sound, but now on their 9th album, they have returned to their synthpop origin with Foot of the Mountain.

The album overall is relaxed and soothing, as synthpop should be. It takes on a beautiful ambiance that flows from the first track through to the last. The Verve's last album Forth is hardly a close genre comparison, but the alluring mood of the music and the smooth, graceful vocals are the same.

The most radio-friendly and standout tracks on the album are “Riding the Crest”, which picks up the pace for a moment, and “Foot of the Mountain”, the gorgeous title track. The rest of the album glides by unpretentiously but unbroken in its symmetry.

I would mention my other favourite tracks, but they seem to change with every listen of the album. Listen to it with intention, if you feel so inclined, or put it on in the background and let it play all day. This 44-minute album is truly worth many hours of your time.

Foot of the Mountain is out now in their home country of Norway and releases worldwide July 27.



a-ha - Foot of the Mountain
Download MP3 (zshare) (YSI) or watch the video below

“Foot of the Mountain” is also downloadable directly from Universal Music Norway.

a-ha - Foot of the Mountain

CD: Recordstore | CD Universe | Amazon US | Amazon UK
Digital: Amazon MP3 US | Amazon MP3 UK | iTunes

a-ha are scheduled to tour Europe this fall.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Toby Emerson - Secret Life

While I am a freak for a good hook, I cannot stand gratuitous repetition. I love many genres of music, but when it comes to techno, house, trance and dance music, I take great care in skimming only the few most outstanding songs off the top.

Toby Emerson ranks among the highest order of producers, who can compose something so stunning that it can be repeated for 2 minutes straight, and further still, can twist and transform it through a 7-minute ascension to a rapturous climax. I discovered this last year with his singles “Rapture” and “Never Comin' Down”, favourites among club DJs but little known to the rest of us.

He has a considerable discography of singles released through a variety of underground labels. He released three singles this year in rapid succession and is currently working on his proper full-length debut, to be released in 2009/10 through Subversive Records UK.

Here is one of his three recent singles. “Secret Life” shows off Toby's extraordinary ability to feature driving guitar riffs in a dark, entrancing house track. The single is out now on Bugeyed Records.

Toby Emerson - Secret Life (feat. Dwizz)
Download MP3 (zshare) (YSI) or Listen on MySpace

eMusic | Juno Download | Beatport | Amazon MP3 US | Amazon MP3 UK | iTunes

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Angry Kids vs. Bob Marley - Mr. Brown (Dylan Rhymes Remix)

Some time ago, Bob Marley's “Mr. Brown” was remixed by The Angry Kids, a then-unknown team of DJs based in Toronto. The track spread among club DJs like wildfire, spawning dozens more remixes.

Dylan Rhymes brought the track to its peak with this floorgrinding remix. The drums feel like a kick to the chest and the bassline crunches on a seismic scale. I have never heard anything quite like this.

The Angry Kids vs. Bob Marley - Mr. Brown (Dylan Rhymes Remix)
Download MP3 (zshare) (YSI) or Listen on MySpace

This single, including this and many more remixes, is not available to purchase in most of the world. Check iTunes or Beatport to see whether you are allowed to buy it in your country.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Val Venosta - Peace and Quiet Is for Libraries!

Val Venosta, a band from Sweden that is causing a lot of ruckus among blogs today, has sent us this oddly fantastic disco song and music video. The video reinterprets a 1963 public safety video featuring apes riding bicycles. The clip has been used by other artists before, such as Boards of Canada, but this song is waaaayyy more fun!

If you love this as much as I do, you'll be happy to know Val Venosta has promised more to come! You can also find more on their MySpace.

Val Venosta - Peace and Quiet Is for Libraries!
Download MP3 (zshare) (YSI) or watch the video below

Val Venosta - Peace and Quiet Is for Libraries!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Teddybears - Get Mama a House

Whether you've heard of the Swedish band Teddybears, you already know their song “Cobrastyle”. It has been featured in countless movies, movie trailers, TV shows and ads, yet somehow it never feels overused or overplayed.

Now, after three years of silence, Teddybears are back with a new song. Apparently this one began its life as a television ad jingle. “Get Mama a House” has a warm acid jazz vibe with a faint chip synth and monotone vocals, revisiting the last chapter of their career: “Mama, haven't you heard? We sold out all over the world!”

Teddybears are offering the new song free on their website, along with a couple remixes. A new song often means a new album, but no official news has been released yet. xfingersx.

Teddybears - Get Mama a House
Download MP3 (zshare) (YSI) or Listen on MySpace

Thursday, July 9, 2009

New Calvin Harris Video

Calvin Harris' new single “Ready for the Weekend” premiered last month, and just posted the new music video a few hours ago. The single releases August 10 on CD and 12". The album, also entitled Ready for the Weekend, drops August 17.

His previous hit “I'm Not Alone” was more innovative and less formulaic, but “Ready for the Weekend” is more chilled and fun. Get ready for massive summer rotation of this one.

Calvin Harris - Ready for the Weekend

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

WhoMadeWho - Keep Me In My Plane

Copenhagen electropop group WhoMadeWho, together with director Good Boy Creative, have filmed a fascinating music video for their single “Keep Me In My Place”. The song is low-key and classy, while the video extends that theme into an ironic story of successful failure. It's a rare music video that reveals insight, that the song alone could not.

WhoMadeWho's new album The Plot is available now, as is the digital single for Keep Me In My Plane.

WhoMadeWho - Keep Me In My Plane
Download MP3 (zshare) (YSI) or watch the video below

WhoMadeWho - Keep Me In My Plane

Digital: Beatport | iTunes
CD/vinyl: Norman Records | Recordstore | Insound | CD Universe

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Miss Derringer - Winter Hill (Album Review)

Miss Derringer, a rock band heavily influenced by outlaw country and 60s girl pop, is fronted by singer and underground artist Liz McGrath and her husband Morgan Slade. Their third album Winter Hill releases next week on Triple X Records.

From start to finish, the album maintains a vintage garage sound, pouring random proportions of pop, punk, country and rock into each song. There are many tracks that stand out, but together they form a devastating album.

Winter Hill begins with an opening theme, “Click Click (Bang Bang)”, which sounds like it could open a big budget Western film as easily as a concert. The style changes a bit towards girl punk in the next track, “Bulletproof Heart”, a great rock song but not too memorable.

After those first two, come three smashing tracks in a row. The lead promotional track for the album, “Black Tears”, stands out with Liz's girl pop vocals over surf guitar and drums. Next up is “Don't Leave Me Now”, a mellower ballad that sways soulfully as Liz channels Diana Ross, with the band backing her.

The album as a whole is stunning, but the standout track is definitely “Death By Desire”. The reverberating guitar melody echoes Liz's vocals, sweeping across the muted rhythm guitar. The drums fill all the right spots, while the bass bolsters them all.

Without warning, the band makes a three-minute detour to straight up rockabilly in “All the Pretty Things”. The lyrics seem a raucous backlash to the romance of Robert Plant and Alison Krauss' “Please Read the Letter”.

The band proves that they can do more than ingeniously mash genres together in “Tell Me So” and “Heartbreaks & Razorblades”. When all the fillings of pop, country, punk and soul are scooped out, there is still a sweet rock & roll crust underneath. The drum-led “Drop Shot Dead” is fast and dance-inducing—the preceding few tracks often fade to the background of my daydreaming, but this one snaps me back into focus every time.

Winter Hill closes with “Mausoleum”, a dark song that brings the album to a dramatic climax. This is the only song on the album with an air of epic beauty.

The album holds a strong focus on the electric guitars and Liz's vocals, moulding them around more 60s music genres than anyone should ever be able to mix at once, but they do it skillfully. Miss Derringer describes it as “the soundtrack to a 1960's Irish Mob War”. After a few listens of the 30-minute album, pay attention to the drums. The band seemingly tries to torment him with their relentless genre-shifting, but he flawlessly takes it in step, finding the matching beat for every song.

Among all the hidden gems I've uncovered in the recent surge of faux vintage music, Miss Derringer is the only one that has pushed beyond one or two fun, earcatching songs and created a superb album that can be savored in its entirety.



Miss Derringer - Death By Desire
Download MP3 (zshare) (YSI)

Miss Derringer - Black Tears
Download MP3 (zshare) (YSI) or watch the video below

Digital: eMusic | Amazon MP3 US | Amazon MP3 UK | iTunes
CD: Interpunk | CD Universe | Amazon US
The official release date is July 14, but some of these shops are already selling it.

Miss Derringer is touring the west coast of North America with Girl in a Coma this month.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Owl City - Hot Air Balloon

Owl City, once known as Adam Young, is a pop crafter carelessly strumming his way along the border between the lands of Twee and Powerpop territory, careful not to be caught on the wrong side by anyone that comes along. When trouble is spotted in the distance, he can always ascend above the treetops and spend the afternoon in his hot air balloon. Leave your jacket behind, clouds wouldn't dare come between the sunshine and Owl City.

Owl City's Hot Air Balloon digital single is available now, and his new full-length drops July 14 on iTunes and July 28 in stores. Tickets for his North American tour this fall are on sale now.

Owl City - Hot Air Balloon
Download MP3 (zshare) (YSI) or Listen on YouTube

Amazon MP3 (US only) | iTunes (US & Canada only)

CD/vinyl: Owl City Merch | CD Universe | Amazon US | Amazon UK
Digital: Not listed yet. Check Amazon and iTunes after the release dates.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Mid Day Rain - Welcome to the Rain

Weather affects moods and emotions, as does music. So in turn, weather and music are often a perfect match. Just type a few words like “summer”, “winter”, “cold” and “rain” in your iTunes search box and see how many of your favourite songs appear.

Mid Day Rain are an enigmatic 70s dream pop group, whose song “Welcome to the Rain” drips with the mellow sound of misty serenity. Enjoy.

Mid Day Rain - Welcome to the Rain
Download MP3 (zshare) (YSI)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Tinchy Stryder - Never Leave You (feat. Amelle Berrabah of Sugababes) [Video]

If you're reading this from the UK, Tinchy Stryder and Sugababes hardly need an introduction. Tinchy's second hit single “Number One” spent five weeks at #1 on the singles charts, while Sugababes were ingrained in UK pop music more than a decade ago, since charting six #1 singles and five platinum albums.

Personally, I rarely choose mainstream pop over the alternatives, so I couldn't even name a Sugababes song, but this is the best collaboration I can recall between a mainstream pop icon and one of my own favourite artists.

The video is minimal, but you'll hardly notice it over the beautiful Amelle and the song she sings with Tinchy that's as catchy as anything I've heard all year. Tinchy himself is on point with exceptionally well-spit verses and, as always, he exudes the presence of a natural-born star.

Tinchy Stryder - Never Leave You (feat. Amelle Berrabah of Sugababes)

Tinchy's debut album Catch 22 releases August 17, while the single you're watching comes out August 3.

BONUS VIDEO Tinchy & Amelle put on an impromptu acoustic performance at Whiteleys, live on BBC.

Friday, July 3, 2009

80kidz & The Shoes - Frankie

You might know them from their remixes of MGMT, Lykke Li, Daft Punk and Black Kids, or from the latest Kitsuné Maison compilation. 80kidz alone can blast you with an ear-glitching new rave sound, but combined with the explosive neurosis of The Shoes (on vocals this time), they've produced a right floorkiller that will bleed your ears dry.

80kidz' debut album This Is My Shit is out now on CD in Japan and digitally via iTunes.

80kidz - Frankie (feat. The Shoes)
Download MP3 (zshare) (YSI) or Listen on MySpace

Jet Set Records (CD, Japanese import shop, ships worldwide) | iTunes

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Air France - GBG Belongs to Us

Gothenburg's dream pop duo Air France are back with “GBG Belongs to Us”, a track that's halfway between tropical pop and ethereal house. The new single is accompanied by its own vanity website entitled A Love Song in Three Parts, where the song is preceded by a Nordic travel guide (wtf?) and followed by half of a music video. Air France says:
“It may be slightly naïve, but I have to believe there's a way...for pop to demolish shopping centres... To everyone who's heart skips a beat at the sight of an intersection, feeling dizzy at the amount of routes available, and to everyone who believe that a city is not just a home, it's a lifelong companion.”
The music video is rumoured to feature shaky amateur footage of a violent rampage at the mall.

Air France - GBG Belongs to Us (feat. Roos)
Download MP3 (zshare) (YSI) or Listen on MySpace

GBG Belongs to Us Official site for the single, featuring a free download

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

2009: The Second Half of a Spectacular Year

I was going to write a list of the best songs in the first half of 2009, but PMA's Top 50 article covered them all. Here's what I'm looking forward to in the second half of this amazing year of music.

July 6 Bombay Bicycle Club
Bombay Bicycle Club is fronted by a singer with the voice of a mythical golem, made of twigs, leaves and stones. After two singles that sound nothing alike, the English rock band releases their highly anticipated debut full-length, I Had the Blues But I Shook Them Loose.
Download “Always Like This” (zshare) (YSI)
Pre-order from Recordstore

July 14 Miss Derringer
Vintage pop with a strong girl-punk influence. Her upcoming album Winter Hill is simply stunning.
Download “Black Tears” (zshare) (YSI)
Pre-order from CD Universe

July 20/September Kid British
The UK garage/hip-hop group split their debut It Was This or Football, to release it in two parts this summer. A terrible idea if you consider their international fans who will have to pay more than standard album price for each half. The album is one of my favourites this year, but I can't justify buying it.
Download “Lost in London” (zshare) (YSI)
Pre-order the first half from Recordstore
Pre-order the second half from Recordstore

August 17 Tinchy Stryder
Tinchy Stryder's last single “Number 1” was a number 1 hit in the UK this year, and deservingly so. Also worth mentioning is his previous single, “Take Me Back”, whose Sunship remix took top billing when the single was re-released. His album Catch 22 releases next month.
Download “Number 1 (Remix) (feat. N-Dubz & Kano) (zshare) (YSI)
Pre-order from Amazon UK

August 24 Imogen Heap
Pushing the boundaries of pop music into unimaginable brilliance, Imogen Heap is no ordinary pop singer. She writes, produces and mixes her own music, having dreamt up some of the most innovative and memorable songs of the decade. Her third album Ellipse is set to release next month, though there's been a lack of buzz about it so far.
Listen to “Not Now But Soon” on YouTube
Pre-order from Amazon US/Amazon UK

August 25 Fun.
Indie pop circus from Nettwerk Records, their debut single suggests that Fun. is going to be laughing, drinking, smoking and singing their way to the peak of New York's indie scene. Their forthcoming full-length is aptly titled Aim & Ignite.
Download “At Least I'm Not As Sad As I Used to Be” (zshare) (YSI)

September Basement Jaxx
Basement Jaxx floored us all with the breathtaking disco sound of “Raindrops” that could easily take them from B-list to juggernaut status this summer. The album Scars is due in September.
Download “Raindrops” (zshare) (YSI)

The Asteroids Galaxy Tour
Amy Winehouse handpicked The Asteroids Galaxy Tour for an opening slot of a concert, then Steve Jobs handpicked them for an iPod Touch commercial last year. The Danish psychedelic pop band, fronted by the charming and adorable Mette Lindberg, has been making waves in Europe for months now, playing sold-out shows with top billing. Their album has been delayed several times, now tentatively scheduled for autumn, after their summer tour with Katy Perry.
Download “The Sun Ain't Shining No More” (zshare) (YSI)

The Very Best
The highly anticipated debut album from The Very Best, the London pairing of club DJs Radioclit and afro-pop singer Esau Mwamwaya, releases this autumn. No matter how much mainstream popularity it lacks, everybody loves African music. This album is sure to be massive in any country where the people love to dance.
Download “Warm Heart of Africa” (zshare) (YSI)

Troy This
Troy This, rumoured to be the secret lovechild of David Bowie and Janet Jackson, is an enigma. Liquid pop music runs through his veins. His mysterious origin found him recording a song with Swedish pop queen Robyn, resulting in a perfectly matched duet with remarkable chemistry. He's working on a pop masterpiece that we hope will be revealed in late 2009.
Download “American Dream (Happy Song) (feat. Robyn) (zshare) (YSI)
Download “One Day” (zshare) (YSI)

Martina Sorbara and her Dragonette boys released their electro rock single “Fixin to Thrill” earlier this year. Then, last week, they surprised us with “Boys & Girls”, a heavy dance track produced by Martin Solveig. The album Fixin to Thrill is due in autumn of 2009.
Download “Boys & Girls” (zshare) (YSI)

Super Viral Brothers
This spring, Super Viral Brothers came to us from Stockholm without warning, with their nonsensical underground hit “Hot Chocolate + Polar Bear Rug”. The song sounds like Dangermouse, Cee-Lo and some magical white electro powder. Their debut album Wires in Love is coming soon.
Download “Hot Chocolate + Polar Bear Rug (Dada Life Remix) (zshare) (YSI)

Those are just 12 of the fantastic albums due in the last half of 2009. What are you looking forward to?