Recent Releases We Almost Missed, VII: Sam Billen, The Press, Markaras Pen, Boy Without God, Peasant, Chromatic Flights
With so much new music coming at us from all directions all the time, there are going to be those that slip through the cracks. The fact that these tracks are part of an ‘almost missed’ mix does not in anyway diminish what we think about the songs themselves (thus the reason for this series). So, without reviewing the tracks individually – which we’d love to do but there simply isn’t time – we hope the music speaks for itself.
Not many people, even those who follow “indie” music, know who Sam Billen is. And for those that do, they might say you’ve been missing out. Irregardless, we have been really digging Billen’s cover songs and remixes lately, including his repurposing of songs from – Removers – Sufjan Stevens, Postal Service, Deastro, and Capybara. We’ve included two of our favorites here. Enjoy.
“Spirtle” (Deastro) – Sam Billen from Removers – March 9th
“Borderline” (Sufjan Stevens) - Sam Billen from Removers – March 9th
Sam Billen’s Removers EP is available as a free download.
Sam Billen on MySpaceIf you haven’t already heard of the band The Press (making it hard to Google their name), now is your chance. The Brooklyn band brilliantly produces songs that are melodic and dreamy, “Jellyfish Wrangler,” as well as raw and in-your-face guitar rock, “Master,” as well as other styles. Put them down as a Band to Watch. Following The Press is Makaras Pen, whose songs hover somewhere between shoegaze, pop and indie rock.
Blind Man Colour’s Other Half Releases More Solo Work
Kyle Wess of Blind Man’s Colour, a band that received a lot of attention in the second half of 2009, just released his second DIY EP under his moniker Chromatic Flights. The EP is pretty much an extension of the type of the electronic experimental ‘surf’ sounds and styles he’s recorded in the past, and with BMC; so there are no real standout tracks, except for the title track, which will quite possibly make it on to one of our summer playlist mixtapes.
“Too Beautiful for Smiles” – Chromatic Flights from Too Beautiful for Smiles – April 19th
Artist on the Radar: New York’s Boy Without God
Ridgewood, New York’s Boy Without God has proven to be a promising one man band who has collaborated with dozens of artists, including members of Slaraffenland. BWG is recommended if you like Beirut, Neutral Milk Hotel, Stephin Merritt, and Sufjan Stevens. The album art above is from the first BWG LP released last summer.
“City Kids” – Boy Without God – single – Jan. 18th
On The Rise: New Orlean’s Sun Hotel
Sun Hotel started as a two-piece folk act when Tyler Scurlock and Alex Hertz moved to New Orleans for college. After writing and recording “spooky” songs in their college dorm room, the duo released the lo-fi EP, Oh N.O! to great fan and critic response. Since then, the six-piece post-gospel family band has released their 2009 debut LP, Halloween Mean, and their follow-up LP, Team Spirit, in January 2010.
“Plantation Land” – Sun Hotel from Team Spirit – Jan. 15th
“All Ways” – Sun Hotel from Team Spirit – Jan. 15th
Lastest Release from Peasant Reaffirms Remarkable Talent
When Damien DeRose turned 18, he dropped out of school, packed up his guitar, and bought a sailboat in California with a friend. A few years later, DeRose released his home recorded debut, Fear Not Distant Lover, and penned the moniker Peasant. The DIY release is full of lo-fi folk pop songs that caught the attention of some influential bloggers. In 2008, Peasant signed with Paper Garden Records, which released Peasant’s first studio LP, On The Gound.
Last year, one of the songs from the album was included on the season premier of the TV show, Bones. During his tour of 2008-09, Peasant recorded live sessions for Daytrotter and WOXY radio (RIP), and shared the stage with Cursive, Delta Spirit and Deer Tick, including shows at South By Southwest and the Montreal Pop Fest. His newest album, Shady Retreat, was recorded in the attic of a 200-year-old farmhouse.
“Well Alright” – Peasant from Shady Retreat – March 2nd
…And So We Listened Really Closely
We don’t usually publish instrumentals here – mainly because there are already so many great songs with vocals(gotta draw the line somewhere). Plus, most people find instrumentals boring. But …And So I Watched You From Afar instrumental “The Voiceless” lights up with ambient guitar licks, chord progressions and a calm to climatic interludes, making it well worth a listen.
“The Voiceless” – …And So I Watched You From Afar from s/t debut – April 6th
VoicesVoices Make Their Voices Heard
The final song in this mix straddles the line between instrumental and vocal, layering smooth sounds with choruses to create a truly inspirational, relaxing and memorable track from a band no one has heard of – Voicesvoices. Check ‘em out.
“Out From Under” – Voicesvoices from Origin – Jan. 25th