Tag Archives: Merge

Divine Fits

27 Aug

Divine Fits is a new side project/new band/supergroup made up of Britt Daniel from Spoon, Dan Boeckner from Handsome Furs and Wolf Parade, and Sam Brown from New Bomb Turks. They are releasing their debut album, A Thing Called Divine Fits on August 28, with Merge Records.

Full of throbbing synths, echoed vocals, and driving beats, A Thing Called Divine Fits is very catchy, just what one would expect after reading the bands lineup. Britt and Dan share lead vocal assignments, each singing lead on half of the album’s tracks. The two tracks included below are samples of each singer’s distinctive voices, and how those voices make each of their respective songs sound unique, but flow well with each other as well. “My Love Is Real”, the opening track sung by Dan, has a dark, fuzzy vibe to it. While “Would That Not Be Nice” sounds pretty much like a Spoon song, with a thumping bass line and maracas ushering in Britt’s vocals. Both songs are really good, and will give you a good idea of how great the entire album is.

Divine Fits – My Love Is Real from A Thing Called Divine Fits (2012)

Divine Fits – Would That Not Be Nice from A Thing Called Divine Fits (2012)

Merge Records

Divine Fits

Redd Kross

31 Jul

15 years since their last studio album, Redd Kross will release their Merge Records debut, Researching The Blues, on August 7. After a few listens to this album it’s hard to believe that it’s been so long, it is tight and has more hooks than a Frazier/Ali fight.

“Researching The Blues” the album’s title track, included below, kicks things off in a hurry with it’s crashing cymbals and chunky guitar and doesn’t let up for 3 minutes and 53 seconds, leaving you in a puddle of your own sweat and out of breath. Hopefully you won’t destroy your favorite listening device while thrashing about and you can enjoy this song more than once. Enjoy.

Redd Kross – Researching The Blues from Researching The Blues (2012)

Redd Kross

Merge

M. Ward

30 Mar

M. Ward is releasing his new album, A Wasteland Companion, with Merge on April 10. The album was recorded with 18 musicians from bands like Oakley Hall, Devotchka, Sonic Youth, and Dr. Dog to name a few. Ms. Deschanel sings on a couple of tracks as well. Merge was gracious enough to send us the song “Primitive Girl” from the forthcoming album to share with you. “Primitive Girl” is in classic M. Ward form, although it’s a piano driven track with his guitar skills taking a back seat. The song moves along quickly, finishing well before you want it to. I guarantee at least two repeats. Check it out below, and make sure you get out to your favorite record store on April 10 to get yourself a copy.

M. Ward – Primitive Girl from A Wasteland Companion (2012)

M. Ward

Merge

Hospitality

6 Feb

Hospitality is an indie pop trio out of Brooklyn, NY. They released their first full-length, self-titled album on Merge Records last week. This album is catchy as hell, and has been on constant rotation since I received it. The two songs we’ve included below are a mere example of how good this album is. “Friends of Friends” and “Betty Wang” are pure pop gold. Full of fuzz, some surf guitar, and just the right amount of punch. But what really makes these songs stand out, and really the entire album, is Vocalist Amber Papini’s unique style. She sings with a slight English accent. According to Merge, Amber is from Kansas City and learned to sing by imitating Richard Butler on The Psychedelic Furs’ Talk Talk Talk. Enjoy.

Hospitality – Friends of Friends from S/T (2012)

Hospitality – Betty Wang from S/T (2012)

Merge

 

Wild Flag

1 Nov

Wild Flag is a super group, consisting of Carrie Brownstein, Rebecca Cole, Mary Timony, and Janet Weiss. The members of Wild Flag have played in notable bands including Sleater-Kinney, The Minders, Quasi, Helium, Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, and others. Their sound is similar to Sleater-Kinney, this is obviously because of Brownstein’s distinctive voice. ”Romance” and “Future Crimes” come from their self-titled debut. They are two of the more upbeat tracks on the album. On “Romance” they don’t pull any punches as the opening keyboard and drum beat lure you into a full on vocal assault by Brownstein. “Future Crimes” is a little more subtle yet the song has the same in your face feel to it. Here’s hoping that Wild Flag is here to stay.

Wild Flag – Romance

Wild Flag – Future Crimes

Eleanor Friedberger

14 Jul

Eleanor Friedberger is better known as half of the band The Fiery Furnaces; if that doesn’t perk your ears up, hopefully listening to the song below will.

I am not one who usually puts a song on repeat and plays it until the MP3 skips. I’m afraid I’ll get “burned out” with the song. With “My Mistakes”, the first track from her debut solo album, Last Summer, I have completely gotten over that fear. I have listened to this track more in the past week than most other releases this year. It really is an amazing song, packed with a fuzzy bass line, driving beat, just enough keyboard and even a sneaky saxaphone at the end. If there wasn’t already a video for this song (below), I can picture Eleanor cruising around on a bicycle of some sort, on some small town main street, waving to all the passersby as she quietly sings this song to herself. At least that’s what I want to do when I listen to this song. I hope you enjoy this song as much as I do, it is the song of this summer.

Eleanor Friedberger – My Mistakes from Last Summer (2011)

Superchunk

30 Apr

Paul Young left a comment on my last 3hive entry — a Julie Doiron re-post — that said, “Yo JC! Paul Young wants to hear about the new Superchunk album.” While I don’t remember Paul speaking of himself in the third person while a student in my class, he is somewhat of a legend in the halls of a certain suburban Detroit public school. And so, it is with much pleasure that I comply with his wishes and dish up a track from what has been maybe the second most important band in my own life. Without Superchunk, I’d be a fraction of the poet I am, and way more boring too. So Paul, I’m glad you’re alive, and thanks for asking. “Misfits & Mistakes,” appropriately titled for both of us, I think, sounds like 1990 all over again, but instead of being the secret bonus track behind “Brand New Love,” it’s new. Leaves in the Gutter, an EP released this month, is the band’s first fresh spin since Paul was in 8th grade. So here you go; let me know what you think, and say hi to Laura for me.

(more…)

The Singing Saw

12 Dec

”Saws are tremendous pranksters, and the ruse of causing Human Beings to believe that they are actually playing them is perhaps the most beloved and persistent joke in Saw-kind’s long history.” That’s funny because when I think of saws, I usually think “sharp teeth” and “missing fingers.” Of course, I’ve never been intimately involved with a saw and, though I’ve heard melodies made from them, I believe this is the first time I’ve heard saws sing with no accompaniment. Julian Koster — he of The Music Tapes and Neutral Milk Hotel — coaxes from the saws a sound that is eerily placid. Yes, it’s shrill and not for everyone, but it’s quite lovely if you’re in a right merry frame of mind…and if you’re tired of the same-old holiday songs sung by pompous humans. The bewilderment comes roughly every three minutes or so as you realize, holy crap, you’re listening to an entire album of holiday standards played on a piece of actual hardware. But, as Koster notes, Jesus was a carpenter. Who knows—after a particularly stressful day of sermonizing and house framing, maybe the Son of God sat down with his saw, bow and a goblet of wine and conjured a soothing rendition of “Silent Night” to remind him of that fateful evening away in the manger.

(more…)

Portastatic

28 Aug

I’ve already written about how Mac has been my personal shrink. Portastatic’s got a double disc of demos, singles, B-sides and covers — Ryan Adams, Galaxie 500, etc. — coming out in a week. Some Small History: sign me up!

Some Small History [MP3, 6MB, 192kbps]

Original post: 01/17/06
Mac McCaughan — either with Superchunk or solo as Portastatic — pretty much got me through the 1990s, much to the annoyance of my friends and girlfriends. Yes, every song does sound the same, and no, I don’t care. “I Wanna Know Girls” is like unconditional love for me, a song that I’ve been waiting for, maybe without knowing it, for five years or more. ” I wanna know girls but only love one,” “and yeah my love weighs a ton.” (So do I, with the sympathy pounds I’ve added during my wife’s pregnancy, but that’s another story.) It’s nice to see Mac’s songwriting mature from last decade’s boozy lovesickness, and it’s also nice, for me at least, to hear that the songs do still sound the same.

(more…)

Conor Oberst

25 Jul

Merge Records has this up-and-comer named Conor Oberst. Have you heard of him? He’s been in all sorts of bands or something. Now he’s releasing a self-titled album, which would make you think that it’s just him and a guitar but really he has this group called the Mystic Valley Band, which is a trip because it’s talking about the valley in Mexico where the album was recorded when you would think, from listening to “Danny Callahan,” that it was recorded in a not-so-mystic valley closer to Oberst’s hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. Much of the album has that same vibe: reflective roadhouse ballads with rousing instrumentation and lush lyricism. This Conor Oberst fella writes some decent songs. He might just have a future. You heard it here first.

(more…)