Best New Releases, Part II – Justice for Unicorns, Falling Andes, The Oxygen Ponies, Pop Smear, Amor de Dias, Almost You, Glorie

Today’s mix is essentially part two of this week’s Best New Releases. What is different from part one is that this installment spotlights great new singles from new albums by artists and bands that were basically overlooked, or simply unknown by most of the music press.

Therefore, many of you are likely hearing the songs in today’s mix only on IRC and nowhere else on the web – an ‘advantage,’ if you will, for IRC, and more evidence that often times we are the only major music site/blog that consistently highlights talented, up and coming bands that are usually (or just not yet) covered anywhere else on the web.

Yesterday, we posted the first part of this week’s Best New Releases, which includes reviews of our favorite single and album releases of the week (Danger Mouse, Bahamas, Chad VanGaalen, Glasvegas, Thee Oh Sees, etc.), accompanied by a 19-song MP3 mixtape of good-to-fantastic new singles from those releases.

Having listened to the entire  part one of this week’s Best New Releases from start to finish about five times already only confirms another winning week of remarkable and diverse new music from talented artists and bands, most of who fly under the radar, or receive scattered mentions (if at all) in the mainstream press and music blogs.

Yet the artists and bands, for the most part, in this second part of this week’s Best New Releases, are largely unknown, and the majority of them we only were turned on to because they sent their music to us by following our submission guidelines precisely. But the most important aspect, as always, is the music.

Justice for the Unicorns – Animals Will Be Stoned

Brooklyn by way of Penscola and Gainsville indie folk rock band Justice for the Unicorns, rightfully earned their place in this special mix of In Dee Mail and Best New Releases. In fact, this is the first time that we can remember where we have combined both of those popular mixtape series into one.

Fronted by singer-songwriter, Russell Dungan, Justice for the Unicorns play quirky songs that tell stories with sincerity and humor Dungan recently sent us two tracks from their new debut album, Animals Will Be Stoned, which dropped this week via Little Lamb Recordings. The band have previously opened for artists David Dondero and Tigers and Monkeys, and count among their biggest influences The Flaming Lips, Neil Young, Tom Petty, and Ween.

“F’d Up Crowd”Justice for the Unicorns from Animals Will Be Stoned

“Stairway to Hell” – Justice for the Unicorns from Animals Will Be Stoned

See more on the the band’s Facebook page. The only constructive comment we have is regarding the band name; it will be much better, we think, if the band drop “the” from the name because it’s awkward to say, and naturally makes one ask what or who are “the unicorns” they are referring to?

Falling Andes – Debut Single, “San Francisco”

From Pittsburgh, unsigned alternative indie rock musicians Dan Peluso and , aka Falling Andes, released his debut DIY single this week, “San Francisco.”

Falling Andes has opened for Crash Kings, Josiah Lemming, Richard Barone, Todd Carey, Jamey Johnson, The Parlor Mob, and list among their biggest influences The Limousines, MGMT, Foster the People, The Beatles, INXS, Duran Duran, Huey Lewis and the News, Arcade Fire, to name only a few.

Fallen Andes plan to release an EP this summer and tour around the region, with shows booked in New York City, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Columbus, and Pittsburgh.

“San Francisco”Falling Andes single, released 5/17/2011

Falling Andes official website

The Oxygen Ponies

The Oxygen Ponies is the moniker of Brooklyn musician Paul Megna, who creates bedroom pop and folk -pop. Since 2006, they opened for artists and bands like  Mercury Rev, Here We Go Magic, White Rabbits, Electric Soft Parade, Pete Molinari, Danny and the Champs, and The Brian Jonestown Massacre.

Megna’s hird album, Exit Wounds, via Hidden Target Recordings this week as the follow-up to his 2009 critically acclaimed LP, Harmony Handgrenade, which was championed by Bob Harris of BBC Radio 2 and placed on three different bloggers best album lists that year.

Exit Wounds is packed with unique tracks, such as the resounding whip-crack snare on the opener “Hollywood” to the crescendo of electric guitars, horns and strings and also check out the track, “Land That Time Forgot.”  Among major influences are Big Star, Joseph Arthur, Radiohead, The Dodos, Talk Talk, Mark Kozelek, Leonard Cohen, Ride, Harry Nillson, Elliot Smith, Go-Betweens, to name a few.

“Hollywood”The Oxygen Ponies from Exit Wounds

“Land That Time Forgot”The Oxygen Ponies from Exit Wounds


Pop Smear – This Ain’t Art

Pop Smear is a collaborative electro-pop duo featuring the soulful vocals of Australian Georgia Haege and the quirky electro sounds of American Tom Oski have drawn comparisons to artists like Goldfrapp to La Roux. Pop Smear have been given airplay from influential British DJ Paul Baskerville on German public radio Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) and was named Band of the Year in 2010 by ZMQC Productions.

The duo’s debut album, This Ain’t Art, was released this week via the official Erasure online store (lexermusic.com) and produced by Roger Fife (Cyndi Lauper, Tricky, Fatboy Slim) and features ten original songs and one remix.

“In Heaven”Pop Smear from This Ain’t Art

“Lucifer”Pop Smear from This Ain’t Art

Pop Smear on MySpace

The Clientele have been one of our favorite London indie pop bands of the past decade. Starting with their debut in 2000, album after album has been full of masterful works of musical genius, creating one memorable song after another, while amassing quite a large, and loyal, following of fans, especially throughout the U.K.

Therefore, anything one of the band members is involved with is of immediate interest to us. Alasdair MacLean teamed up with Lupe Núñez-Fernández of Pipas and a collective of other musicians to record the romantic chamber pop debut from Amor de Días. They will be touring soon with dream-pop duo Damon & Naomi, who also dropped a new LP this week.

“Bunhill Fields”Amor de Dias from Street of the Love of Days

“New Wine”Amor de Dias from Street of the Love of Days

companyoftheives

In addition to the new releases above, that we received directly from the artists themselves, there are also a number of other singles in this mix from lead tracks off new releases from Company of Thieves, Almost You, Glorie, and Miracle Fortress.

While we were putting together this part of the mix, we were amazed at the number of positive reviews that Company of Thieves’ 2009 album, Ordinary Riches, has received just on Amazon alone – 69 as of today with an average rating of four stars. That’s an enormous number of positive reviews. For a comparison, Phoenix‘s Grammy winning 2009 release, Wolfgang Amadeus, has earned 88 positive reviews.

“Modern Waste” Company of Thieves from Running From A Gamble

“Really Don’t Know About You”Almost You from In/Out

“Highrise”Glorie from Glorie

“Miscalculations”Miracle Fortress from Was I the Wave

More May 17, 2011 Album Releases
(thanks to currentdirectmusic.com for this compilation)

Alexander TurnquistHallway of Mirrors
Amor de DiasStreet of the Love of Days
BahamasPink Strat
Béla Fleck & The FlecktonesRocket Science
Ben HarperGive Till It’s Gone
Blake Sennett & The ElectedBury Me In My Rings
Company of ThievesRunning from a Gamble
Danger Mouse/Daniele LuppiRome (w/ Jack White, Norah Jones) GlasvegasEuphoric Heartbreak
John MartynHeaven & Earth
Kate VoegeleGravity Happens
Levon HelmRamble at the Ryman (CD/DVD)
Matraca BergThe Dreaming Fields
Mia Doi ToddCosmic Ocean Ship
Michael Grimm (America’s Got Talent) – S/TMobyDestroyed
Owl CityAll Things Bright and Beautiful
Patti AustinSound Advice
QueenDeluxe Catalog Reissues
Rodrigo y GabrielaLive In Europe
Ruth GersonDeceived
Sarah JaroszFollow Me Down

Simply RedFarewell/Live In Concert (CD/DVD)
Swimming With Dolphins – Water Colours
The Waterboys – In A Special Place/Demos
VariousNod To Bob 2/Red House Dylan Tribute
Yael Naim – She Was A Boy
Zachary Cale – Noise of Welcome

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  1. Anyone else think “Hollywood” from The Oxygen Ponies sounds super-similar to a couple songs off of Pulp’s “This is Hardcore?”

  2. The San Francisco song is KILLER! Super awesome song! I’ll be listening for more from Falling Andes for sure. Thanks for finding this Indie rock Cafe!

    1. Hi Johnny: We totally agreed, thus why it was included. Four of the bands in this post were new to us and got our attention by submitting their songs via our submission form. In coming weeks, we have unbelievable amount of great bands that we know most people have never heard of. So stay tuned. And thanks for being a fan 🙂

    2. Johnny: We feel exactly the same way about Falling Andes’ debut song – it just really sticks with you and you want to hear it again and again.

      Anyways, we’ll be watching out for more material from the band, and you can bet we’ll put it up as soon as we have it.

      Cheers
      Phil

  3. I kinda was getting into “Miscalculations”, by Was I The Wave. IMO, it has a nice melodic quality to it. I really like the lead singer’s voice and the drumming sounds good too. Overall, very nice!

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