In Dee Mail 2010, Vol. VI: Paperfangs, The Smiles, Voxhaul Broadcast, Loon Choir, Olina, Stormy Mondays, Transmission Fields
In Dee Mail is an ongoing, and wildly popular, mixtape series that focuses on artists and bands who often fly under the radar, and are, for the most part, unknown.
Over the years we have heard some of the best indie music we know of from bands and artists who send us some of their music unsolicited. This latest mix of In Dee Mail drives that point home even more, with fantastic songs from Paperfangs, Voxhaul Broadcast, The Smiles, Loon Choir, Olina, The Shape of the Earth, Stormy Mondays, Pretty Birds That Kill, Transmission Fields and Motive for Movement. This mix includes music that you don’t want to miss. Let us know what you think in the Comments section; do you have a favorite song or band? Tell us and win a CD or a special drawing. We often pick our favorite comments as winners.
Paperfangs – Finland
Paperfangs, a new indie electro-pop trio from Finland, is shooting arrows at our lil’ indie hearts thanks to a splendid cover of Kiss Kiss Fantastic‘s “Violet,” not to mention a couple of sweet originals as well, especially the track, “The Vastest Plains.” Paperfangs dreamy, synth-oozing sound, with its hazy vocals, xylophonic pop infusions, jangly guitars and mysteriously comforting reverb is a perfect fit for fans of the “chill wave” and “glo-fi” movements. But Paperfangs deliver a more minimalistic product that allows the brilliant simplicity of their music to shine.
“Violet (Kiss Kiss Fantastic)” – Paperfangs from Eardrum Pop
“The Vastest Plains” – Paperfangs from Eardrum Pop
The Smiles – Los Angeles, CA
While none of the band members grew up close by the ocean, The Smiles, like to call their sound “beach rock.” Along with the chill wave craze, the more pop-oriented ‘beach surf’ or ‘tropical’ rock movement (i.e., The Drums) is also a hopping scene these days. So, in one sense, The Smiles are just another beach rock band, but in reality they could be a break-through band in 2011 with the right management.
The four band members are Los Angeles area college students who began performing together last year. In a relatively short period of time, the band became the most popular band on the campus of the University of South California. Last fall, the band raised $2,000 on KickStarter to record their debut EP, Hermosa.
The Smiles have opened for Thee Oh Sees, Sherwood, and The Entrance Band, and not surprisingly, count among their main influences, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, The Strokes and Vampire Weekend.
“Swimming” – The Smiles from Hermosa Beach EP – May 14th
“Cala Cola” – The Smiles from Hermosa Beach
Voxhaul Broadcast, a totally DIY, unsigned rock band from Los Angeles, have been making waves lately beyond LA, where they are pretty dang popular. They were featured a number of times in NME, as well as Daytrotter, KCRW and the BBC. Still unsigned, the band stands out not just for their memorable rock and soul sound, but the fact that their MySpace page has almost one million views. However, we do know that they recently hired a big agency to book gigs for them.
“Leaving on the 5th “ – Voxhaul Broadcast
The Shape of the Earth – Los Angeles, CA
From the moment we heard the track, “You Can Only Get So Lonely,” Los Angeles band, The Shape of the Earth, founded by singer/songwriter Gavin Bascom, have been candidates for this playlist series. This little slice of indie folk brilliance is easily one of the best new indie folk songs of 2010, in a year where the whole ‘chillwave/bliss pop’ or whatever you call it thing has dominated the indie airwaves. We’re also featuring another song from the band’s 2009 debut LP.
“You Can Only Get So Lonely” – The Shape of the Earth from The Romantics EP
“Separate Lives” - The Shape of the Earth from Do I Dare Disturb The Universe?
Loon Choir – Ottawa, Canada
Ottawa, Canada indie rock synth pop band Loon Choir released their impressive debut album, Expansion Forces in May, but have yet to be featured on a popular blog or music site, until now. been and have been slowly rising in the eyes of bloggers, critics and fans. The band blends high 0ctane snyth notes, reverb and percussions to create addictive power pop, especially on the track, “Bricks”. Keep ears and eyes out for Loon Choir.
“Bricks” – Loon Choir from Expansion Forces
“New Forewarnings” – Loon Choir from Expansion Forces
Olina – Portland, OR
Why this Portland, Oregon band, Olina, are not more well-known is a bit of a head-scratcher. After listening to a number of songs from Olina, we are definitely impressed. The lead track here, “Madness and Methods,” is the one that we’ve been listening to the most. It starts out with a mysterious gloom accomplished with a few guitar and violin notes and then paces into a verse-heavy, melodic stage that eventually builds up and breaks out into an almost spooky chorus, followed by a slow down, and then, to finish it off, a 20 second little jam.
The next track, “As If You Cared” is essentially a love song of the broken heart sort, accented with minimal instrumentation, allowing the band’s fine vocals, and the lyrics, to stand out. By the end of the song, you’d swear you were listening to a hybrid of Pearl Jam and Radiohead.
“Madness and Methods” – Olina from Olina
“As if You Cared” – Olina from Olina
From Oviedo, Spain, singer/songwriter and guitarist Jorge Otero for the Stormy Mondays. Otero’s biggest musical moment was playing on stage with Bruce Springsteen at New Jersey’s 2006 2006 Light of Day Festival, and at the controversial-turned-riot Woodstock ’99. The band entered a fan-voting competition for AMP3.com’s Emerging Artists Stage at Woodstock ’99, and won.
“An indie band with a record released on a tiny label was the first Spanish band to ever play [the] Woodstock festival,” Otero said. “We went on right before John Entwistle [The Who's bassist] and we killed. We had the time of our lives!”
Stormy Mondays has also toured Europe with Elliott Murphy, Willie Nile, Cindy Bullens, and Joe Grushecky.
“Nothing On My Radio” – Stormy Mondays from On My Radio – June 17th
“Weatherman” – Stormy Mondays from On My Radio
Pretty Birds That Kill – Anchorage, AK
From Anchorage, the biggest city in the American tundra of Alaska, the recently emerging musical duo known as Pretty Birds That Kill, serve up a sweet blend of electro pop and new wave mixed with garage rock and blues. On the track, “Anarchy in the AK”, the band unleash an organ-infused bluesy rock jam with spoken vocals and raunchy guitar rthyms.
“Telephone” has a spacey 1960′s psychedelic lo-fi vibe that floats along for the entirety. Not many bands can pull off an instrumental with so few instruments, and hardly any note variations, but PBTK nails it with “Telephone.” The duo are currently on their first cross-country tour. PBTK’s latest EP, Freedom For Freaks, features six tracks with an eight-page lyrical booklet.
“Anarchy in the AK” - Pretty Birds That Kill from Freedom for Freaks – released June 18th
“Telephone” – Pretty Birds That Kill from Freedom for Freaks
Transmission Fields – Charlotte, NC
Indie rock band Transmission Fields is a rock/powerpop collective of musicians from Charlotte with members from Chicago, Atlanta, and St. Louis. The band released their debut self-titled album on August 10th. The band has opened for Athenaeum, The Verve Pipe, and Marcy Playground, and include among their biggest influences Radiohead, Wilco, REM, and Ben Kweller.
“Did It Wrong” – Transmission Fields from Transmission Fields
“Air/Lungs” – Transmission Fields from Transmission Fields
Motion for Movement – Tulsa, OK
Motion for Movement is a Britpop, shoegaze, ambient and progressive indie band from Tulsa, Oklahoma who have opened for bands like Copeland, Eagles of Death Metal, Sparta, and The Ataris. Motion for Movement are completely DIY, unsigned, and were named one of the best hard rock bands in Oklahoma by The Tulsa World.
“Cast” – Motion For Movement from Our Concrete Neighbors – July 13th
“Of Priests And Presidents” – Motion For Movement from Our Concrete Neighbors