Best New Releases of the Week: Band of Horses, LCD Soundsystem, Black Keys, The Marching Band, Sleepy Sun
Although a couple of songs from it have been in circulation for a few weeks, Band of Horses‘ newest album, Infinite Arms, is officially available today with a special edition of vinyl and CD box set. The new album shows the band progressing and creating even more wonderfully crafted, beautiful songs while maintaining their original identity that so many fans have become accustom to since BOH broke through a few years ago.
“Factory” – Band of Horses from Infinite Arms
Rumored to be their last album together, LCD Soundsystem drop This Is Happening today, containing the web mini-hit, “Drunk Girls”, a great summer party song that may be a staple for years to come. While we have yet to hear the entire album enough times to gauge personal opinions, but what we’ve heard so far by streaming This Is Happening via Spinner sounds pretty damn cool.
“Drunk Girls” – LCD Soundsystem from This Is Happening
The Black Keys release their sixth studio album, Brothers, today, full of rich guitar riffs and a heavy blues influence. The album was recorded in Alabama‘s Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, Akron, Ohio and Brooklyn. The band will be touring this summer. The single, “Tighten Up” (not to be confused with the 1960’s hit) was produced by the one and only Danger Mouse.
“Tighten Up” – The Black Keys from Brothers
Sweden‘s indie rock-pop band, The Marching Band, first caught our attention late in 2008 with their debut release, Spark Large, which rocketed – not surprisingly – the band to near instant fame in the indie rock world. If you haven’t heard the band’s debut, you could be missing out. The band’s widely anticipated sophomore album, Pop Cycle, is available today. The Marching Band’s MySpace page has received nearly two million profile views, and their songs, collectively, have been streamed over one and a half million times.
From what we’ve heard of the album so far, it sounds terrific – light, airy and melodic folksy pop; yeah that sounds really corny, but if you like such music, you’ll probably really enjoy this LP. Then again, only time will tell if the band’s newest album will receive the kind of response their fantastic debut did in 2008 and 2009. The decision makers were smart to release the catchy, summer-like track (and video), “Another Day”, just in time for the beach.
IRC recently did an interview with The Marching Band. Read the interview at the end of this post and watch the video for “Another Day”.
“Another Day” – The Marching Band from Pop Cycle
Bonus: “For Your Love” – The Marching Band from Spark Large
California’s retro stoner rock band Sleepy Sun have worked their way from coast to coast over the past year building critical acclaim from bloggers to mainstream press and wowing crowds at their live shows with their electrifying, yet earthy and atmospheric, sounds. Rolling Stone describe the band’s sound as similar to “a history-detective version of Wilco, juggling an amalgam of dynamics: rumbling garage metal, iridescent-meadow country rock, bargain-synth whoop, the pensive-ballad Pink Floyd.” Sleepy Sun have opened for Arctic Monkeys, Autolux and Mudhoney and will embark on a six-week U.S. tour next month. Their new LP, Fever, officially drops today.
“Open Eyes” – Sleepy Sun from Fever
In 2007, Brooklyn‘s dream-pop band, The Depreciation Guild, enjoyed the valuable blogger buzz, as well as critical acclaim from mainstream press, with their self-released, debut album, In Her Gentle Jaws, a terrific LP chock full of 8-bit synth beats, saucy hooks, pop melodies, and lo-fi guitar riffs. The Depreciation Guild is a musical project fronted by Pains of Being Pure at Heart drummer Kurt Feldman. Today, they officially drop their sophomore LP, Spirit Youth, even though the album was available digitally last month. Spirit Youth maintains the band’s original, signature sound, at a higher fidelity, and with a more polished production.
“My Chariot” – The Depreciation Guild from Spirit Youth
Another Swedish band, Club 8, returns with a hot, new track influenced by Afrofunk and krautrock. The single “Western Hospitality” is the first track from The People’s Record, available now everywhere. The band has traveled to Brazil for inspiration, bought records made in the 70’s in Western Africa, used a percussion player from Cuba and hooked up with producer Jari Haapalainen (The Concretes, Camera Obscura, Ed Harcourt). The result is unique mix of Swedish pop melodies and African rhythms – undoubtedly one of the most unique, captivating and catchiest pop records so far this year.
“Western Hospitality” – Club 8 from The People’s Record
“Western Hospitality” (Pallers’ Remix) – Club 8
The increasingly popular Northwest band Norman, based out of the indie city of Portland, Oregon, rally together on their latest tunes to create memorable, catchy folk pop. If anything else, we’ll definitely remember the band, even if only based on these two songs from their new album, Hay Hay Make A Wish and Turn Away, which drops today on Timber Carnival Records. Building off the strength of lead-singer Eric Nordby’s songwriting (Nordby also occasionally plays in The Parson Redheads), Norman has taken their rustic rock, melancholy-fused backwoods sound to a new level.
“No Clouds” – Norman from Hay Hay Make A Wish and Turn Away
“Hell, If I Love” – Norman from Hay Hay Make A Wish and Turn Away
London based indie pop band Ideals are better known in the UK than in the States, but we guess that could change if more people get to hear their new single, “Lungs”, dropped today via Manic Vision/The Animal Farm.
Ideals have opened for Pete Doherty, The Automatic, Red Light Company, We are the Physics, and Babyshambles. They are currently working on their debut album, but already we have this band on our radar for 2010. Listen to a couple of more songs via their MySpace page (below).
“Lungs” – Ideals
After releasing their 2008 debut EP via RCRD LBL, Ireland’s Grand Pocket Orchestra toured the UK and Germany, built a following and by last summer were playing at CMW in Toronto and landmark shows in New York.
The band’s upcoming debut LP, produced by Mario Thaler (The Notwist) is set for release later this year. “Basketballs” is the first single from the album.
The band will tour Ireland and Europe from May-July 2010 in support of this release.
“Glue” – Pete Francis from The Movie We Are In
“Being Gone” – Poison Control Center from Sad Sour Future
“Big Escape” – Pearly Gate Music from s/t debut
“If It Feels Alright” – Woven Bones from In and Out and Back Again
“Abundant Love” – Berry from Blue Sky, Raging Sun
“Out” – Berry from Blue Sky, Raging Sun
“Oh, the Divorces!” – Tracey Thorn from Love and Its Opposite
“Play The Saint” – Emily Hurd from DayTime Fireflies
A short interview with The Marching Band, whose new album, Pop Cycle, is one of our favorite best new releases of the week.
IRC: How this album is different than your debut?
MB: The biggest difference between the two albums is probably that the sound on the new record is bigger over all. On Spark Large we didn’t use any distortion pedals at all, but on Pop Cycle there isn’t almost a single clean guitar track. The lyrics are a bit more personal and honest this time, which we would probably look at as an improvement, but we still like Spark Large a lot though, in all it’s cleanliness.
IRC: What have you learned in the past year?
MB: We learned so much from touring and also recording with Jari Haapalainen. Just understanding how the music business works (something everyone has to go through, sadly enough) and what things that really matters as a musician – that you stay true to yourself, and follow your guts. Such clichés but still so true. Working with Jari broadened our sense of what songs and sounds could fit into the “Marching Band” sound. He is the biggest fan of music we’ve ever met and it was inspiring to take on the challenge to work with him.
IRC: What are your plans for the summer?
MB: We’ve got a gig in Sweden in the beginning of the summer, but won’t be traveling over seas until the end of the summer probably. So we’ll enjoy the Swedish lakes and keep being creative.
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