Tag Archives: Merge

Vertical Scratchers

4 Jan

Vertical Scratchers is the Los Angeles duo of John Schmersal (ex-Brainiac/Enon, live Caribou, and Crooks on Tape) and Christian Beaulieu (ex-Triclops!/Anywhere). Their excellent debut LP Daughter of Everything is 15 songs, all under 3 minutes, of frantic, yet light and jangly guitar playing alongside a grooved-out, driving rhythm section.

Schmersal’s voice matches up well with his guitar playing, while Beaulieu’s drums drive the songs on both “Turn Me Out” and “These Plains” (below). Daughter of Everything releases February 25 on Merge Records. I highly recommend it.

Vertical Scratchers – Turn Me Out from Daughter of Everything (2014)

Vertical Scratchers – These Plains from Daughter of Everything (2014)

Merge Records

Vertical Scratchers

Best of 2013 (Todd’s List)

1 Jan

2013 was a great year for music. Below are my top 20 albums of 2013 and mix of my favorite songs from those albums. Happy new year!

20. BOOM! – Get A Grip (Burger)
19. Dim Peaks – Time of Joy (Gold Robot)
18. The Limiñanas – Costa Blanca (Trouble In Mind)
17. Lloyd Cole – Standards (Tapete)
16. Bill Callahan – Dream River (Drag City)
15. RUMTUM – Mystic Wonders (1320)
14. Crocodiles – Crimes of Passion (Frenchkiss)
13. The Go – Fiesta (Burger)
12. Johnny Marr – The Messenger (Sire)
11. Mikal Cronin – MCII (Merge)

10. Gap Dream – Shine Your Light (Burger)
9. Veronica Falls – Waiting For Something To Happen (Slumberland)
8. Eleanor Friedberger – Personal Record (Merge)
7. Jacco Gardner – Cabinet of Curiosities (Trouble In Mind)
6. Kurt Vile – Wakin On A Pretty Daze (Matador)
5. Yo La Tengo – Fade (Matador)
4. Wooden Shjips – Back To Land (Thrill Jockey)
3. Monster Rally – Return To Paradise (Gold Robot)
2. Thee Oh Sees – Floating Coffin (Castle Face)
1. Foxygen – We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic (Jagjaguwar)

Best of 2013 from simco1974 on 8tracks Radio.

Superchunk

17 Aug

I’m comfortable enough with my lack of indie cred to admit that I had no idea who Superchunk was during their heyday in the 90′s. It wasn’t until the early 00′s that I heard them for the first time. I have been a huge fan ever since.

I Hate Music, Superchunk’s tenth full length album over their illustrious 20 year career, releases Tuesday on Merge Records. It’s an excellent album, sure to please the longtime fan and grab a hold of those who are new to their music. Check out “Me & You & Jackie Mittoo” (below) it’s a 2 minute, high-energy, power pop ride that ends way too soon. It’s classic Superchunk and you will like it.

Superchunk – Me & You & Jackie Mittoo from I hate Music (2013)

Joe’s original Superchunk post

Barren Girls

17 Jun

North Carolina’s all female garage punk band Barren Girls formed back in 2011. After catching the eyes and ears of Merge Records at a show back in September, they recorded this 4-song EP in their cotton mill practice space. The EP blows by at pretty scorching speeds, with only one song clocking in at over 3 minutes. Alter Ego (below) is the shortest song on the EP, it’s also the most powerful. It’s short blast of strained vocals and hi-energy music sounds like the bands rhythm section is in an all-out race to the finish with guitarist/vocalist Carla Wolff. You will definitely need to catch your breath when it’s over. Enjoy.

Barren Girls – Alter Ego from S/T EP (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

Telekinesis

1 Apr

Michael Benjamin Lerner is back with his third release, Dormarion, under the Telekinesis moniker. He recorded the album with Spoon drummer and producer Jim Eno at Eno’s Public Hi-Fi studio in Austin, Texas. On Dormarion Lane, to be precise.

Dormarion is catchy as hell. It’s a great follow up to his excellent 2011 release 12 Desperate Straight Lines. On “Empathetic People” (below) the drums blast you into submission as the layers of guitars wind in, out and around Lerner’s fuzzed vocals. Also for your listening pleasure is the over-before-you-know-it “Laissez-faire”. Please enjoy these tracks. Dormarion releases tomorrow, April 2 on Merge Records. You should buy it, it’s indie rock gold and I highly recommend it.

 Telekinesis – Empathetic People from Dormarion (2013)

Telekinesis – Laissez-faire from Dormarion (2013)

Telekinesis

Merge

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

Amor de Dias

15 Jan

Amor de Días was formed by Alasdair MacLean of The Clientele and Lupe Núñez-Fernández of Pipas back in 2009. They released their debut album with Merge in 2011. Their new album, The House At Sea will be released on January 29th, also with Merge. Their sound is super chill, utilizing mostly two Spanish guitars and their voices, with an occasional rhythm section consisting of former members of The Clientele. Check out below “Voice in the Rose”, one of their more laid back songs with Spanish guitars as the focal point, and “Jean’s Waving”, one of the more peppy songs on the album. Both songs are fantastic, and represent the album well. Enjoy the songs, get out and buy this album, you will not be disappointed.

Amor de Días – Voice in the Rose - from The House At Sea (2013)

Amor de Días – Jean’s Waving - from The House At Sea (2013)

Merge Records

Amor de Días – Jean’s Waving from Merge Records on Vimeo.

Daphni

12 Dec

Daphni is the new project of Caribou’s Dan Snaith. JIALONG (JOW-long), his debut release as Daphni, is out now on Merge Records.

As Daphni, Dan set out to record a more spontaneous album, without the careful attention to detail that goes into a Caribou release. The results are just as Snaith intended, a loose, spontaneous album perfect for the dance floor. Enjoy.

Daphni – Ye Ye from JIALONG (2012)

Daphni – Pairs from JIALONG (2012)

Merge

The Mountain Goats

11 Oct

I’m sure to a lot of you The Mountain Goats are not new, in fact we posted a few of their songs back in 2004. To those of you who haven’t heard of, or taken the time to listen to them, there is never a better time than now.

The Mountain Goats recently released their 14th proper album, Transcendental Youth, with Merge Records. I highly recommend the album. Check out “Cry For Judas” below. It’s one of their more upbeat songs, from the new album, and a great starting point if you’re new to the band. Enjoy.

The Mountain Goats – Cry For Judas from Transcendental Youth (2012)

The Mountain Goats

Merge Records

Here is Sam’s original post from 03.12.2004

John Darnielle may not be singing into his trusty Panasonic boom box anymore, but his incisive, tuneful narratives are as raw and compelling as ever.