Best New Releases, Week of Nov. 27th – Sleeping Bag, Atlas Genius, My Radio, Joan of Arc, Lone Wolf, My Education
This week’s new releases offers a lot of fantastic new albums, EPs, singles and anniversary box sets that would make great Christmas or Hanukkah gifts for friends and family members. There are a number of DIY releases interspersed, but others that we’re going to publish tomorrow since there is plenty to read about and listen to below. Maybe you’ll discover a few new artists that you never heard before, or walk away with some cool MP3s for your personal playlists.
For indie pop fans, one or both of the following two singles are likely going to make it on to one of your playlists. Sleeping Bag, who happen to be signed with Joyful Noise Recordings, combine a jangling guitar, whistling choruses, and a catchy rhythm on the single, “Walk Home.” The single, from the band’s new release, Women Of Your Life, is the kind of song that reminds us of a brilliant spring day with deep azure blue skies, a light, pleasant breeze and a very warm and comfortable temperature in the high 60s or the low 70s. Add it up: a band named Sleeping Bag, a whistling, happy song and a label called Joyful Noise – there’s definitely a theme going on here. We can already imagine some ad agency director hearing the song and thinking something like ‘what a great song for a light and fluffy’ TV spot; in this hypothetical (and understandable) scenario, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they just use the whistling parts of “Walk Home.”
Atlas Genius Release New EP, Through The Glass
Next is another single from a new album out this week by Atlas Genius that is similar in many ways to Sleeping Bag‘s “Walk Home,” but without the whistling. So, it just made sense to lay down the tracks back-to-back. Atlas Genius’ lead single, “Back Seat,” from the new EP, Through The Glass, is a wonderfully upbeat indie popper also with jangling guitars, a sunny rhythm, and plenty of melody. Again, if you like indie pop, these are two worthy tracks for your playlist mixes.
The New York outfit, Challenger, dropped a debut album this week, featuring the OMD, new wave dance style single, “I Am Switches,” colored with flourishing synths, a catchy rhythm and even a sax solo. But, half way through, the song ‘switches’ completely, delivering an inverted musical and lyrical second half, in which the lyrics themselves are completely incomprehensible, but somehow, as a whole, the song works.
The Eastern Sea’s New DIY Christmas Album
The DIY band The Eastern Sea dropped a self-released album this week, First Christmas, featuring the cheery, upbeat, melodic single, “This Is Christmas.” The single is one of our favorite new Christmas songs of 2012, and will be included in an incoming post playlist, which will add yet another alternative and indie rock Christmas playlist to IRC’s already extensive collection of Christmas songs playilsts (featuring more than 250 songs, which also include some Hanukkah-related songs too). The Austin band is offering three of the tracks from First Christmas via Noisetrade. This past summer, after endless touring and appearances at a number of music festivals, the band entered the recording studio to record a number of original and cover songs for Christmas. The album was produced, engineered and mixed by Louie Lino (Nada Surf, Matt Pond PA, The Wooden Birds). It is available exclusively on iTunes.
RIFYL: Broken Social Scene, Local Natives, The National, Pedro the Lion, Beulah
Virginia DIY band My Radio; New Material from Giant Giant Sand and Teen Mom
One of our favorite singles of the week comes from the unsigned Virginia indie rock band, My Radio, whose 2010 single, “Yeah Yeah Yeah” was featured on Homeland and the movie The Joneses . The band’s new track, “Life is A Bitch Slap,” drops a cool rhythm, mid-tempo beat, and dark synth riffs from the DIY release, Starts In The East, Falls In The West. Next, the single, “Detained,” is an alt country ballad of sorts about crossing the border from Giant Giant Sand‘s (formerly known as just Giant Sand) new album Tucson, which was originally released in June but was re-issued this week as a deluxe release by Fire Records. The man behind the moniker is musician Howe Gelb who lives, oddly enough, in Tucson. Also, check out the new single from Washington, D.C. indie band, Teen Mom‘s new EP, Mean Tom.
“Life Is A Bitch Slap” - My Radio from Starts In The East, Falls In The West (DIY release)
John of Arc’s Drops Self-Titled EP; DIY Musician Lone Wolf Drops Acoustic LP
Joan of Arc‘s newest album is stripped down to basic roots – acoustic guitar and solo vocals. The first single from the self-titled project is “King Song,” which may remind some listeners of the iconic musician Elliott Smith. Jon of Arc is the musical project of the prolific musician Tim Kinsella. Although his newest album is self titled, it’s also known as Charlie Chaplin and The Elephant Man. Unfortunately, we were unable to find it on Amazon, which would explain why it is a limited edition LP.
“King Song” - Joan of Arc from Joan Of Arc Limited Edition LP on Joyful Noise Recordings
DIY artist Paul Marshall, who recently reinvented himself as Lone Wolf, is another highly talented solo musician who has released a number of highly praised albums in recent years, including 2007′s Vultures, an album that propelled Marshall as a Nick Drake disciple, and was clearly influenced by the legendary singer/songwriter. Here’s the new single, “All Clear,” from Lone Wolf’s new album, The Lovers.
* Check back Sunday night for more DIY releases from this week. We’ll also be releasing the Top 10 Songs playlist mixes for November soon.
M83 Remixes of the Steven McQueen LP by Beataucue and Mixers
M83 are one of those bands that electronic artists like to remix, as is clearly the case with this crazy remix of M83′s track “Steve McQueen” by the French duo BeatauCue, as part of a new single out this week from Mute.
“Steve McQueen” (Beataucue Remix) – M83 from Steve McQueen Single & Remixes on Mute
Austin Rock Blazers My Education and Quirky Indie Duo Scott & Charlene’s Wedding
The Austin band, My Education, deliver a mind-numbing guitar rock instrumental on their new single, “Homunculus,” off the ambient, dreamy post-rock of the band’s new album A Drink For All My Friends. Also, indie outfit Scott & Charlene’s Wedding are not going to win any awards for vocal abilities, but there is something strangely appealing about their vocally strained indie rock/Sonic Youth-sounding single, “Footscray Station.”
YouTube Anniversary Singles From The Pogues and Rage Against The Machine
There are a couple of anniversary editions out this week, the first is The Pogues’ 30th anniversary show DVD recorded in London, followed by Rage Against The Machine’s 20th Anniversary deluxe box set.