On Friday, we posted the first part of a two-part installment highlighting this past week’s Best New Releases. The first installment includes a jackpot of solid singles from new albums by bands like Dr. Dog, of Montreal, A Place to Bury Strangers, The Twilight Sad, The Duke Spirit, Ben Kweller, Sharon Van Etten, Bahamas, and many others. We strongly recommend listening to both parts of this BNR edition all the way through; from the first, to the last, track. One way to do Plus, there are also a few bonus tracks, flashback tracks, tour information links, videos and direct links to purchase any of the albums directly from Amazon.
As more people listen to both parts of this week’s Best New Releases, the statistics will begin to reveal which songs are accumulating the highest number of streams, downloads, Tweets, Retweets, Likes, comments and mentions. By analyzing that data, we’re able to create a reliable list of what the listeners are indicating are their favorite songs featured for that week. This method is the entire basis for the popular weekly Top 10 Songs playlist series. Artists and bands that rise to the top of the lists are likely to start picking up more fans, coverage and requests to open for other bands.
Part One of the Best New Releases for the Week of Feb. 7th, featuring Dr. Dog, of Montreal, A Place to Bury Strangers, and many others, contains 15 new singles, and is, song-for-song, one of our favorite 2012 playlists, so far. For this second installment, artists like Capybara, Dirty Ghosts, Lightouts, Elliott Brood, and The Valery Trails, are all DIY recording artists, or signed to small labels, thereby providing plenty of new music to listen to, albums to consider buying, bands to watch out for, and concert listings to keep an eye on.
Radar Bands with New Singles and Albums: Capybara, Dirty Ghosts, Lightouts, Elliott Brood, and The Valery Trails
The first track, “Late Night Bikes,” by Kansas City indie rockers Capybara is a wonderfully memorable track, layered with hooks, melodies and dubbed vocals. The song begins with an uplifting synth pop oriented sound with a touch of folk art that gradually builds into a full fledged blissful composition.
In early 2009, four lifelong friends slipped away from jobs and leases in Portland, Brooklyn, and Kansas City to form a band in a frozen pueblo in Taos, New Mexico. The result was Try Brother, Capybara’s delicate, introspective debut that initiated a flood of opportunity: signing to The Record Machine, a nod on Spike Jonzes official mixtape for Where the Wild Things Are, an invitation to compose the feature-length soundtrack for Sundance 2010 pick One Too Many Mornings, and the honor of backing legendary cult songwriter Daniel Johnston. The band definitely has an interesting bio and list of credits under its belt in just three years. Here is the second track from the album, “Neighbor Crimes.”
We first heard Lightouts last year and the band immediately became one of our favorite new-to-us groups of 2011 after featuring Lightouts in both a Fresh Tracks mix and in a Recent Releases We Almost Missed mixtape. The band’s new single, “The Cure For Shyness,” is a notable indie lo-fi pop track with a heavy bassline, a good track, but since there is only one song, and a B-side, and not an album to compare to, there’s not much else to say other than to keep an eye out for the band by following IRC on Twitter or Facebook. We are excited about the future prospects of Lightouts, which is commonly misspelled as Lightsout – a mistake we made when we first featured the band last year via the links above.
Flashback Track: “All I Want/Heroes” (LCD Soundsystem/David Bowie) – Lightouts from The Eloise Suite
Dirty Ghosts is a new SF project from Allyson Baker, guitarist for beloved ’00s rock band Parchman Farm. The funky “Shout It In” is the first single from the Aesop Rock-co-produced Metal Moon, which will be released on February 21st.
“Shout It In” – Dirty Ghosts from Metal Moon
“Horizon” – The Valery Trails – from Ghosts and Gravity (self-released)
“This Town” – The Valery Trails – from Ghosts and Gravity (self-released)
“Class War” – Silverhawk from The Forest for the Trees (self-released)
“The Official Ironman Rally Song (Guided By Voices cover)” – Lightouts from The Cure For Shyness EP
…More Singles from New Albums Out This Week, including SoundCloud Downloads
We started adding this section to the Best New Releases post playlists to present new singles from new albums that are so-so to us, albums that we haven’t heard and don’t plan on hearing (got to cut somewhere), plus Soundcloud links that do not automatically stream with the tiny, cool Yahoo Media Player that allows listeners and visitors to play an entire playlist just by clicking the first track. From there, the player will automatically stream each track on after another in the order they are presented on the page, meaning that you can just let it rip and listen while you do others things.
Unlike other built-in players, all the tracks are downloaded free and legal MP3s, there are no commercials or pop-up ads, and it also includes other features such as the ability to view the entire condensed playlist in a pop-up menu on the player itself, plus a link to automatically purchase any song or album that you like from Amazon (all Amazon singles and MP3 albums work perfectly with iTunes).
The tracks in this section, which some of our listeners will likely enjoy more than others, have been included exactly for that reason – we are striving to include more music because the demand from all of you continues to rise, and not just for the music we like. Still, to indicate that we don’t really endorse them, or they require going to a Soundcloud link to listen to, we’ve separated them out to be in this special section of Best New Releases.
Big Sir is the longtime collaboration between Lisa Papineau and Juan Alderete (The Mars Volta). Album features artists from The Mars Volta, Broken Bells, RX Bandits and more. Big Sir has sold over 1.7K albums and 21K tracks LTD.
The veteran British post punk band, Wire, dropped a new live album, The Black Session: Paris 10 May 2011, this week that representing a range of the band’s music over their four-decade long career. We have not heard the live album, but have to wonder if the lead track, “Drill” was the best representation of the album itself. It’s a fine live track for die-hard fans, but not necessarily memorable for a wider audience that have never heard of Wire before. We’d actually recommend listening to some of their most popular albums (see rated discography from All Music Guide) , only because it is less accessible to a wider audiencefelt another track – and perhaps not as long – than “Drill” would good news for long-time fans of Wire, and younger fans who may have not even been born during the band’s heydays in the 1980’s.
“Drill” – Wire from The Black Session: Paris 10 May 2011
“Ready On The Line” – Big Sir from Before Gardens After Gardens
“Raw Gore” – Mux Mool from Planet High School
“Magic Touch” – The Plimsouls from Beach Town Confidential: Live At The Golden Bear 1983
– Pretty Good Dance Moves from Limo
– Liz Green from O, Devotion!
The Unthanks – preview
from The Songs of Robert Wyatt and Antony & the Johnsons: Live at the Union Chapel (Diversions Vol. 1)
Last week, there were fantastic albums dropped by Imperial Teen, Pacific UV, Leonard Cohen, Hospitality, The Library is on Fire; the week before that were some of the best albums of 2012 so far – Cloud Nothings’ new album, Nada Surf, Big Deal, Chairlift and the debut from an IRC Band to Watch in 2012, Porcelain Raft. Plus, check out the other Best New Releases for the first two weeks of January here.