Saturday, February 28, 2009

Mr. Solo - It Makes You Wonder

Formerly known as the singer of cult wonder David Devant and His Spirit Wife, Mr. Solo likens his forthcoming album to a road trip set to bizarre pop music. The album is a gaudy junction between glamour and camp. The tone is mellow and as subtle as my acclamation of it.

Mr. Solo - It Makes You Wonder Download MP3 or Listen on MySpace (alternate title “Someone Up There Doesn't Like Me”)

Buy it:
“It Makes You Wonder” is from Mr. Solo's forthcoming release Wonders Never Cease. No release date has been announced.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Kid British - Lost in London

Kid British fashions a unique tone for “Lost in London” from bits of ska, electro and hip-hop. It's also catchy as hell.

Kid British - Lost in London Download MP3 or Watch on YouTube below

Buy it: International, 10-inch vinyl EP + pre-order forthcoming “Sunny Days”
Amazon MP3 UK only
iTunes UK only
7digital MP3, UK only

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Josh Martinez - Going Back to Hali

Josh Martinez latest album The World Famous Sex Buffet is glamorously dirty. The beats have more one-two punch than usual, but all is complete with his signature methodical madness and charming sarcasm.

Skratch Bastid devises a hard-hitting old school beat for “Going Back to Hali” that starts with Josh's trademark skin trumpet and is saturated with Bastid's killer scratches. Josh and Classified play off each other flawlessly, despite their usually opposite M.O.'s.

The music video, like the song, is a brilliant Canadian twist on old school homage.

Josh Martinez - Going Back to Hali (feat. Classified & Skratch Bastid) Download MP3 or Listen on MySpace

Download more free Josh Martinez tracks from his Official Internet. There's another sexy video too.

Buy it:
Camobear Records CD
Camobear Digital MP3
Insound CD/vinyl

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Voluntary Butler Scheme - Multiplayer

Rob Jones, brilliant young man behind the veneer of The Voluntary Butler Scheme, writes colourful pop songs with a vintage 60s sound. The music flaunts sunshine and bubblegum but with clever lyrics like “You can't go treatin' my heart like bagpipes anymore”.

The single releases March 2 on Split Records. There is also a remix contest for “Multiplayer” at the Split Records site.

If you like: Strawberry Alarm Clock, Connie Francis, Bobby Darin, of Montreal, Mika

The Voluntary Butler Scheme - Multiplayer Download MP3 or Listen on MySpace

Buy it: 7-inch single pre-order
Amazon MP3 US and UK only

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Leisure Society - Pancake Day

In celebration of Shrove Tuesday, Brighton's The Leisure Society is taking pre-orders starting today for their new single, A Matter of Time. The three-track single features an extra b-side, “Pancake Day”.

The single releases March 16 as a digital download via iTunes, Amazon, eMusic & Napster. Their self-produced album The Sleeper will be released on March 23 online and in stores across the UK.

The Leisure Society - A Matter of Time Listen on MySpace
The Leisure Society - Pancake Day Download MP3 or Listen on MySpace

Buy it:
Willkommen Records

Monday, February 23, 2009

Calm - Crossroads

Calm is a Japanese artist described as ambient electronica, but his latest album is more of a mismatched collection of individual songs, spanning many genres, that complement but do not correlate. Each song contains varying degrees of ambient grooves that are unconsensually forced to couple with normal instruments like acoustic guitar and piano. It's perplexing to hear, but somehow the result is fantastic.

This is the acoustic folk song, fronted by proper vocals and backed by a great piano riff.

Calm - Crossroads Download MP3

Listen to extended samples of each song on Calm's website.

Buy it:
Amazon Japan Ships worldwide
Jet Set Out of stock at the moment

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Echoing Green - Suffer

Sometimes when I listen to music, I hear instruments and elements that aren't really there. I listen to a song while adjusting bits and pieces in my head until I imagine what would have made the song perfect—not that I have the skills to correct it.

On the other hand, there are only a few songs I can listen to endlessly while never even thinking of changing them.

The Echoing Green - Suffer Download MP3 or Watch on YouTube

Buy it:
Amazon MP3 US and UK only
The CD version is out of print.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Kevin Blechdom - Lazy

Complex, catchy cabaret. Captivating melodies, creative lyrics and unexpected twists.

Kevin Blechdom - Lazy Download MP3 or Listen on MySpace

Buy it:
Gentlemania releases in March on SONIG.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Sunny Levine - Daylight (Morgan Page Remix)

I tend to single out a select few tracks when I listen to electronic club music. It's great to have a few remixes to choose from on a single, but it often feels like I'm listening to the same six remixes from the last single, and the one before that. But then maybe it's my short attention span.

One of the most innovative and talented DJ/producers today that has really caught my attention is Morgan Page. If you listen closely to the sounds you hear in his music, they might sound familiar, but he mysteriously twists them just the right way so the synths catch your ear, the drums hit that spot in your chest that connects the bass to your ear, and it doesn't let go until it's over.

If you like: Mylo, The Chemical Brothers, Deep Zone & Balthazar

Sunny Levine - Daylight (Morgan Page Remix) Download MP3 or Listen on YouTube

Buy it:

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Pop Levi - Police $ign

Pop Levi has just announced a new double A-side single, Police $ign/Terrifying. If you liked his previous unconventional pop album Never Never Love, this is nothing like it. Both halves of the single turn back from pop to his rock roots. There's no sign of the pop from his previous work but the new direction he takes is fresh and unique as always.

Pop Levi - Police $ign Download MP3 or Listen on MySpace

If you haven't heard his previous material, here's “Dita Dimoné”.

Buy it:
Coming soon on Counter Records.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

No and the Maybes - Petra Petrified

Melody takes the lead for Danish indie pop trio No and the Maybes. Mix a bright sunny tune with 60s europop vocals, then add what the trio calls “the sparrow”—a sound or instrument that captures your ear. Warm up your ears while you anxiously await summer.

No and the Maybes - Petra Petrified Download MP3 or Listen on MySpace

If you like: The Submarines, The Bird and the Bee, Chairlift, Starfucker

Buy it:
iTunes Denmark only
CDON SE | DK | NO | FI | EU (Europe and Scandinavia only)
No and the Maybes' album is not available outside of Europe yet.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

La Roux - Quicksand

The phenomenon has been discussed to death by every music publication, but 80s fever is showing no signs of stopping. If you're not a music freak, I'm referring to the wave of artists, new and old, producing 80s-inspired albums. A few of these artists are clever enough to extract the best bits of that decade's music and create something that sounds new, old and awesome.

French electropop duo La Roux takes their influence from Synthpop, New Wave's dreamy electronic nephew. The music is great but what really caught my attention is singer and synth player Elly Jackson's voice, which is extraordinary. Her voice is sharp and intense, and it's how La Roux will hook you.

If you like: Röyksopp, Pet Shop Boys, Yelle

La Roux - Quicksand Download MP3 or Listen on MySpace

Watch “Quicksand” on YouTube.
Watch their second single “In for the Kill” on YouTube.

Buy it:
iTunes Quicksand EP
Beatport MP3s of Quicksand EP
La Roux Official Site Free download of “Quicksand”
“In for the Kill” releases March 16.

Monday, February 16, 2009

John Frusciante - Dark/Light

Clocking in at over eight minutes, “Dark/Light” from John Frusciante's new album The Empyrean is an experiment of epic proportions. Describing it would also be an epic spoiler.

If you like: Josh Groban, Alaska in Winter

John Frusciante - Dark/Light Download MP3

Buy it:
Record Collection CD/vinyl, worldwide
Insound CD/vinyl, worldwide

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Kid, You'll Move Mountains - Wive's Tale

Kid, You'll Move Mountains craft their songs with subtle nonconformity. Jim Hanke and Nina Lanthrum alternate vocal duties while electric guitar riffs change from smooth to grinding and back again without disturbing the atmosphere of the song. During all this, a soft piano flows in the background. Every element of the music is dissolved together like a perfect dish that doesn't let any taste overpower or distract from the others.

Kid, You'll Move Mountains - Wive's Tale Download MP3 or Listen on MySpace

Buy it:
Kid, You'll Move Mountains Store CD and MP3

Saturday, February 14, 2009

De Giafferi - Sado Maso

Satirizing today's Hallmark holiday, here's my favourite song for lovers.

De Giafferi - Sado Maso Download MP3

Buy it:
You can't buy this. It's been out of print since the 70s and it wasn't well known to begin with. I've only found evidence of the existence of two copies that are owned by collectors.

The video can be purchased on DVD as part of the compilation French Scopitones Volume 3: Sado-Maso.

Sado Maso, French Lyrics

Aie! Oh! C'est bon!
Allez bois ton huile de ricin...
(Baaah! C'est gras!)
Termine ce litre fillette...
(Oui mais pas plus, hein?)
Et brûle moi le bout des seins...
(Avec quoaaaa?)
Au tison de ta cigarette!
(Ça sent l'cochon grillé!)
Pour avaler une araignée...
Tu nous en fais bien des histoires...
(Toujours des araignées!)
Pour terminer ta bouchée...
(Oui mais la dernière!)
Tu vois c'est pas la mer à boire!
(C'est toi qui l'dis!)

(Sado maso, sado maso)
Aaaaah! Oh! C'est bon!

C'est ton heure d'être fouettée...
(Oh chic alors!)
Apporte moi vite la badine...
(Ah! c'que j'aime ça!)
Après tu pourras m'enfoncer...
(Quoi, mon Amour?)
Toutes ces punaises dans la poitrine!
(Ça va être formidable!)
Il te faut manger ta purée...
De gros cafards et des limaces!
(J'préfère les hannetons)
Ne prends pas cet air dégoûté...
(J'voudrais t'y voir!)
Non je t'en prie, pas de grimace!
(Elles sont pas fraîches tes limaces!)

AaaaAAAgh! C'est boooon!
Je n'arrive pas à couper...
(Ben Qu'est-ce qui s'passe!)
Avec mes ciseaux ton oreille...
(C'est pas d'chance alors!)
Tant pis allons nous recoucher...
(T'as raison!)
Parmi nos tessons de bouteilles!
(Oui perdons pas d'temps!)
Laisse moi taillader ton dos...
Avec un épluche légume!
(Un peu plus bas!)
Puis refais moi ton numéro...
(Lequel, chéri?)
De tatouage au porte plume!
(T'en raffoles, hein?)

AaaaaaaAAAaaah! C'est bon!

AaaaAAAAaah! Oh! C'est trop bon ça!

Ah! c'est formidable!
Ah! c'est terrible!

Sado Maso, English Translation

Ouch! Oh! That's good!
Come on, drink your castor oil..
(Baaah! It's fatty!)
Finish this litre, little girl...
(Yes, but no more, OK?)
And then burn my chest...
(With whaaaat?)
With the tip of your cigarette!
(It smells like roast pork!)
To swallow a spider...
You're always getting into trouble...
(Always spiders!)
To finish your mouthful...
(OK, but this is the last one!)
You see, it's not that bad!
(That's what you think!)

(Sado maso, sado maso)
Aaaaah! Oh! That's good!

It's your turn to be whipped...
(Oh, yes!)
Quickly, bring me the switch...
(Ah! How I love that!)
After that, you can stick me...
(What, my love?)
With all these pins in my chest!
(That will be tremendous!)
You need to eat your purée...
Of fat cockroaches and slugs!
(I prefer beetles)
Don't look so disgusted...
(I'd like to see you try!)
Please, I beg you, no grimacing!
(Your slugs ain't fresh!)

AaaaAAAgh! It's good!
I cannot cut...
(What's the problem?)
Your ear with my scissors...
(Not a chance!)
Too bad, we'll go back our bed...
(That's right!)
Of broken bottles!
(There's no time to lose!)
Let me slash your back...
With a vegetable peeler!
(A little lower!)
Then write me your number again...
(With what, my dear?)
With a pen and ink tattoo!
(You're crazy, eh?)

AaaaaaaAAAaaah! That's good!

AaaaAAAAaah! Oh! That's tremendous!

Ah! That's terrific!
Ah! That's terrible!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Maria Timm - Dirty Place

Former member of The Broken Beats, is about all the information available on Denmark's Maria Timm. She's not even well-known in her home country yet. It's not quite electropop, but rather pop and electro, shaken but not stirred.

If you like: Yelle, La Roux, Little Boots

Maria Timm - Dirty Place Download MP3 or Listen on MySpace

Buy it:
iTunes Additional remix available only from the Danish iTunes store.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Love Language - Sparxxx

Charming songs about blue skies and young love are sung in natural lo-fi, then layered with fuzz, distortion and feedback. Add a slide guitar solo and the result is near-perfection. Wax Poetics' Jon Kirby says The Love Language writes songs he wishes he wrote. This is music for headphones. Put them on, turn it on and turn everything else off.

If you like: The Raveonettes, Wavves, M83, The Magnetic Fields

The Love Language - Sparxxx Download MP3 or Listen on MySpace

Buy it:
The stores above seem unsure of the details of the album. It officially releases in March on St. Patrick's Day, but some stores may already be selling it.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Cheese People - Stroitel

These Russian supervillains have laid waste to clubs across their home country and are now devising plans to expand their empire to the discotheques of Europe. Here's a post electro disco punk tune you can play while you get your berserker on.

If you like: Daft Punk, YMCK, Hot Chip, The Prodigy

Cheese People - Stroitel Download MP3 and Listen to more Cheese People on MySpace

Buy it: Russian language site, $2
At least until their album is more widely available, they encourage downloading pirated copies. After all, supervillains and pirates can often have mutually beneficial relationships.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Starsailor - Safe at Home

Britpop has been, in my past experiences, too mellow and boring for my taste. But then, I never ventured far beyond the Oasis. Starsailor's new single Tell Me It's Not Over from their upcoming album All the Plans finds itself on the rock side of Britpop and draws closer comparisons to recent Keane and The Killers.

Back towards the standard side of Britpop, All the Plans finishes with “Safe at Home”. The dark and electric ballad completes the killer combo of Britpop and indie rock, making it one of my top albums of 2009 so far.

Tell Me It's Not Over releases March 2, a week before their new album All the Plans. You can pre-order both now from Starsailor's online store, linked below.

SOUNDS LIKE The Killers, Keane, Travis, Stereophonics, Coldplay

Starsailor - Safe at Home Download MP3 or Listen on YouTube

Here's the video for “Tell Me It's Not Over”

iTunes UK only, rest of the world releases April 30
Starsailor Official Store CD/vinyl, worldwide
Amazon MP3 UK only
7digital UK only
Norman Records CD/vinyl, worldwide
Recordstore CD/vinyl, worldwide
Insound CD, worldwide
Rough Trade CD, worldwide
CD Universe CD/vinyl, worldwide
Amazon CD, worldwide
Amazon UK CD, worldwide

Monday, February 9, 2009

Tinchy Stryder - Take Me Back

Occasionally, a record company realizes when an average song is turned into a potential hit by a great remixer. UK grime artist Tinchy Stryder's new single Take Me Back was released January 19 but failed to attract attention, as the first promo single only contained the original song. The new 7-track single starts rightfully with Sunship's extended remix, while the original version takes its deserving back seat at the end of track list.

If you like: Dizzee Rascal, Wiley, Mylo, Morgan Page, Toby Emerson

Tinchy Stryder - Take Me Back (Sunship Extended Mix) Download MP3 or Listen on MySpace

Buy it:
iTunes UK only MP3, UK only

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Beautiful Small Machines - Robots in Love

As my first recommendation, here's a brand new electropop band from New York City. Unless you're reading this in the future, you haven't heard of them yet.

If you like: MGMT, Klaxons, CSS, The Asteroids Galaxy Tour

Beautiful Small Machines - Robots in Love Download MP3 or Listen on MySpace

Buy it:
CD Baby CD/MP3, worldwide
Direct from the band's store CD

An Introduction

The explosion of music online in recent years has forced me into a downward spiral of despair and depravity, known as OCD. Obsessive compulsive downloading has led me to enjoy some of the greatest bands that you have and haven't heard of. One day, my number one source for discovering new music (not a blog) was shut down.

The music blog scene has grown as fast as anything new does on the internet, so I was reluctant at first to start one of my own. I thought there must already be a music blog I could rely on for great new music. Instead, I found something of a void: No one reports on only the best music, the artists and songs that almost anyone would agree are a cut above the rest, no matter the genre.

This isn't a blog for bloggers. The music blog scene is just that, a scene. For those outside of the scene, it seems like an overwhelming mess of popular and unpopular blogs, all reporting on either the same music, or music in some niche no one really cares about. The bands that blaze across the blogosphere become top sellers at major retailers, even though they know they'll never be nominated for a Grammy, because that's for mainstream artists.

Much of the general public is frustrated with the lack of selection and sub-par music that's forced upon them by the only sources they know: radio, iTunes and friends who recommend more of the same. The record industry as we know it is dying, which only makes it worse for ordinary people who don't know where to find quality independent music. I can recommend a band to a friend and know that they'll not only enjoy it, but also express their gratitude for helping them find something great that they don't hear on the radio eight times a day.