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TV Girl

18 Jun

I’ve been a huge fan of San Diego’s TV Girl ever since I stumbled upon their self-titled EP on their Bandcamp page back in 2010. Their blend of electo-indie-tropical-surf-lo-fi pop music is very addictive, like eating potato chips, you can’t just listen to one song.

They are realeasing their new EP Lonely Women today. It’s so damn good. It’s been on repeat almost non-stop since they sent it to me. You can sample their coolness below on “She Smokes In Bed”. The driving beat of this song is sure to get your head bobbing up and down. You can buy the new EP digitally or on cassette at their Bandcamp page, I suggest that you do, it may become your favorite release of the summer. Enjoy!

TV Girl – She Smokes In Bed from Lonely Women EP (2013)

Dungeonesse

15 Jun

Dungeonesse is the electro-pop side project of Jenn Wasner of Wye Oak and John Ehrens of White Life. While the music is a night and day difference from Wye Oak, Wasner’s unmistakable voice is as strong as ever. Their self-titled debut with Secretly Canadian came out in May. It’s a definite summertime album, perfect for cruising around town with the windows down, and the volume cranked up. Check out the slow-jam vibe of “Nightlight” followed by the more up-beat “Shucks” below, you’ll be glad that you did.

Dungeonesse – Nightlight from Dungeonesse (2013)

Dungeonesse – Shucks from Dungeonesse (2013)

The Everywheres

17 May

Halifax, Nova Scotia musician Samuel Hill has been recording music as The Everywheres since 2012. The music is a warm, shimmery, swirling guitar filled, psych-pop album with just the right amount of fuzz, reverb and as Father/Daughter describes, “peyote induced tambourines”. Check out opening track, “Unfortunate Direction” (below), to see what I mean.

The Everywheres self titled debut will be released through Father/Daughter Records on June 25. It’s a must have.

The Everywheres – Unfortunate Direction from The Everywheres (2013)

 The Everywheres (Facebook)

The Everywheres (Bandcamp)

Father/Daughter

Young Hunting

9 May

Los Angeles quintet Young Hunting spent two years traveling all over California, recording their debut LP Hazel in various garages, living rooms, Joshua Tree, even inside a ranger’s station. The hard work and time spent has really paid off. Hazel is a laid back, reverb soaked, pop album. It’s the perfect album to play while kicking back on the porch sipping your favorite beverage. Check out “Maze” and “Baby’s First Steps” below, you’ll be glad that you did. Hazel will be released  June 4th on Gold Robot Records. Snag yourself a copy on vinyl while you can. Enjoy.

Young Hunting – Maze from Hazel (2013)

Young Hunting – Baby’s First Steps from Hazel (2013)

Mikal Cronin

29 Apr

Mikal Cronin is back with MCII, his second album and first with Merge Records, out on May 7. It’s killer harmonies, fuzzy, shimmery guitar tones, piano, viola, violin and even slide guitar, all add up together to destroy the sophomore slump jinx that plagues so many musicians and bands. “Weight” (below) is my favorite song on the album. It starts off with a delicate piano intro, which is quickly buried by layers of pounding drums and shimmery/scuzzy guitars. “Shout It Out” (also below) starts out with some noodling guitar, which builds into a frenzy during the first chorus and never lets off from there. Do not sleep on this album, it will blow your mind. Download the songs below, load them onto your favorite listening device, crank them up and enjoy. This is the album of the summer.

Mikal Cronin – Weight from MCII (2013)

Mikal Cronin – Shout It Out from MCII (2013)

Mikal Cronin

Merge

Cayucas

23 Apr

It’s been pretty cold where I live. Mother Nature has been teasing us with hints of spring for the past few weeks. Giving us a warm day followed by a week of cold days. The forecast looks to be in our favor, finally, with consistent warm days coming up in the forecast. The warm, almost tropical sounds of Cayucas debut album, Bigfoot, has been the perfect soundtrack to get me through these cold days. Check out the driving beat, shimmery guitars and Zach Yudin’s echoed vocals on, opening track, “Cayucos” (below), It’s the perfect song for that summer mix tape, and is just a taste of Bigfoot‘s awesomeness. Be sure to snag Bigfoot on April 30, from Secretly Canadian.

Cayucas – Cayucos from Bigfoot (2013)

Cayucas

Secretly Canadian

The Three O’Clock

3 Apr

Before I began this post, I plugged the Three O’Clock into our search bar to see how many times I’ve referred to this band. I was surprised and more than slightly disappointed in myself that there have only been two previous mentions (and only one by me!). You see, the Three O’Clock is one of my all-time favorite bands. They were one of the first bands I discovered on my own, once I had graduated from my parents’ Beach Boys, Bee Gees and Carpenters records (those records primed me for the Three O’Clock’s 60s-throwback sound). I can recall the night I first heard their album Sixteen Tambourines like it was last night: lounging in the back of a van, packed with friends, cruising down PCH, the crisp guitars, clean bass lines, and Michael Quercio’s magical voice ringing in my ears.

I immediately acquired that album and the band’s previous releases: their early garage-pop album as the Salvation Army and the first EP with their new name. These songs were my teenage years. These songs helped me navigate my formative relationships with girls as they, the relationships, ignited, crashed, and burned. No matter my mood, The Three O’Clock fit to a T. Any time a new girl caught my eye, “With a Cantaloupe Girlfriend” its driving drums and hopefully-baroque keyboards nudged me forward. Then when said girl reciprocated not ever, or for a year, two, then never again, “She Turns To Flowers” and its backwards guitar twisting through the refrain of “then she is no more,” saved me from wallowing too deep in teenage despair.

Then a funny thing happened. I never outgrew the band. Even after the band imploded I tracked subsequent projects with equal enthusiasm: Louis and Mary’s Danish, Michael and Permanent Green Light, and later, Jupiter Affect. By this point I was working full-time in radio and was quite the evangelist for all four aforementioned bands. I even brought out Permanent Green Light out to play a grand opening party for a music store I was managing. When my first son was two, I included The Three O’Clock’s cover of “Sorry” by The Easybeats in the first mix CD I made for him. We’ve been geeking out on the Three O’Clock together ever since. Now he’s sixteen. Now he just snags albums off my harddrive.

Fast forward a decade and the Three O’Clock and its members have lain largely dormant until late last year when blips of the band began surfacing on the radar of social media. I suspected these flickers of resurrection portended a much bigger event. And while the initial announcement that the band would be reuniting for Coachella was impressive, I’m much more thrilled that they’re playing a string of smaller shows, so my kid and I can be reunited with our paisley pals in a more intimate setting. I want to be crammed into a club with people who share my affinity for the band rather than fighting an indifferent crowd of 80k in the middle of the desert.

Michael, Louis, Danny, welcome back! See you Saturday!

The Three O’Clock on Facebook

on Twitter

Campfires

7 Mar

In this world of lo-fi music around every corner, Jeff Walls’ Campfires is a breath of fresh air. Utilizing layers of jangly guitar, and just the right amount of fuzz, Jeff has created a sunny brand of lo-fi pop music sure to make fans of bands like The Kinks take notice. He just released his first full length LP as Campfires, Tomorrow, Tomorrow on Fire Talk Records. Check out the songs below, I am sure you will be adding them to your new summertime mix tape.

Campfires – Fortune Teller from Tomorrow, Tomorrow (2013)

Campfires – Bayonet from Tomorrow, Tomorrow (2013)

Campfires

Fire Talk Records

Shout Out Louds

3 Mar

Shout Out Louds, shouldn’t need an introduction. This 5-piece band out of Sweden has been releasing solid music since 2003. We reviewed them back in ‘07, and I am happy to update this site with their fourth full length album Optica, which was released a few days ago on Merge Records.

The driving bass line and distorted guitar, on the upbeat opening track, “Sugar” (below), combined with Adam Olenius’ voice sounds quite a bit like The Cure, which is definitely not a bad thing, and makes the track one of the standouts on the album. “Blue Ice” (also below), another excellent track from Optica, switches things up a bit, into a more melancholy feel as Olenius sings, “It hurts when I breathe, it hurts when I speak, you want everything I own, everything you wanted.” Optica is a must buy and will end up on lots of year end lists. Enjoy.

Shout Out Louds – Sugar from Optica (2013)

Shout Out Louds – Blue Ice from Optica (2013)

Shout Out Louds

Merge

Maston

27 Feb

Maston (Frank Maston) is a California-based multi-instrumentalist. He recently released his first proper album, Shadows on Trouble In Mind. Maston played all instruments on the album (except for the harp, played by Ana Caravelle).
I have been listening to, and enjoying this album for several weeks now, but have been struggling to find the right words to describe it. The best I can come up with this, a psychedelic, surf, pop rock album that sounds like it could have been recorded in the 60’s. Check out “Young Hearts” below, It’s damn good, and a great example of the entire album.

Maston – Young Hearts from Shadows (2013)

Maston

Trouble In Mind