Best New Releases, Week of Jan. 15th – Yo La Tengo, Virals, Free Energy, Christopher Owens, Pickwick & Sharon Van Etten
But first, let’s give a listen to new singles from fresh albums by more widely known, signed artists, starting off with the legendary indie rock band, Yo La Tengo, who we’ve been big fans of for a long time, and who are partly responsible for popularizing indie rock. On Tuesday, the New Jersey trio dropped their 13th album, Fade. The lead single, “Ohm,” is a six-minute-plus lo-fi indie rocker with a wall of fuzzy guitar rhythms and solos.
“Ohm” – Yo La Tengo from Fade on Matador
Lovvers Former Frontman Re-Emerges With New Outfit, Virals
England’s Shaun Hencher, the former frontman behind the popular cult band, Lovvers, has re-emerged with a new music project called Virals. Apparently, he had no plans to form a new band, and even went back to work doing the 9 to 5. But what started as a “fun thing to do” a few nights a week progressed into a new band and now the release of Virals’ debut EP, Strange Fruit. The title track showcases what Hencher calls “meat and potatoes rock,” and what we call one of the best new tracks of 2013, and one of the first bands to watch of 2013. The bonus track, “Summer Girls,” is a fast, feel-good guitar rock tease for everyone who wishes it was summer right now.
“Strange Fruit” - Virals from Strange Fruit EP on Zoo Music
Bonus track: “Summer Girls” – Virals from Strange Fruit EP on Zoo Music
Free Energy Drops Sophomore LP; Stick to Their 70′s Niche
After listening to “Summer Girls,” it seems only appropriate to follow it up with the latest from 70′s pop rock enthusiasts Free Energy. In 2009 and 2010, the Philadelphia band were riding a wave of blogger love, fan approval and touring non-stop. While their 70′s Cheap Trick sound is still appreciated by many fans, their sophomore album, Love Sign, will probably not get the kind of stir of attention and love that their 2010 debut, Stuck On Nothing, garnered. Still, the band delivers what their fans expect on Love Sign, including the lead single from the album, “Girls Want Rock.”
“Girls Want Rock” – Free Energy from Love Sign on Free Energy Music
New Singles by The Capsules, The Head And The Heart, Mystical Weapons and Others
This week also saw the release of new albums by The Capsules, featuring the catchy indie single, “Across The Sky”, followed by another acoustic classic from The Head And The Heart with “Josh McBride.” Former Girls‘ frontman and now acoustic singer/songwriter Christopher Owens delivers a terrificly heartfelt, emotive hook on “Here We Go,” that flourishes with piano, flutes and electric guitar riffs, together with his whispery, dreamy vocals from Owens’ first album since leaving Girls; Parquet Courts pick up the pace with their straight away, no frills indie guitar rock single, “Borrowed Time,” followed by lead singles from new albums by Mystical Weapons and Criminal Hygiene.
“Across The Sky” – The Capsules from Northern Lights and Southern Skies on Vespera Records
“Josh McBride” – The Head And The Heart from Josh McBride/Honey Come Home 78 rpm single on Electric Records
“Here We Go” – Christopher Owens from Lysandre on Fat Possum
“Borrowed Time” – Parquet Courts from Light Up Gold on What’s Your Rupture?
“Mechanical Mammoth” - Mystical Weapons from Mystical Weapons on Chimera Music
“Rearrange Me” – Criminal Hygiene from CRMNL HYGNE on Small Smile Records
Swedish DIY Indie Outfit Marching Band
Marching Band is Swedish duo that have been playing music together for nearly a decade. This week the band released their self-produced EP, And I’ve Never Seen Anything Like That. Previously, the duo have released two critically acclaimed albums, one with Adam Lasus, and one with Jari Haapalainen. They’ve opened for bands like Loney Dear, Wildbirds and Peacedrums, and comedian Adam Green. The duo has previously been featured in Rolling Stone magazine, Pitchfork, and the AllMusic Guide.
“And I’ve Never Seen Anything” – Marching Band from And I’ve Never Seen Anything Like That EP – Jan. 15th
“Artistic Man, Shaved Head” – Marching Band from And I’ve Never Seen Anything Like That EP
DIY Drops from Pickwick, Midnight Spin and Reissue from Punksters Vampire Lezbos
Although we still have an entire separate post of new albums from a variety of DIY artists and bands that will be published this weekend (see the most recent DIY releases, featuring a great selection of relatively unknown, but talented bands), here are a couple of others worth checking out in the meantime, including the popular unsigned band Pickwick‘s self-released Covers EP, featuring the super talented Sharon Van Etten. The three-track EP is a precursor to the band’s much anticipated DIY full-length album slated for release in March while they’re on tour and gearing up for a number of appearances at SXSW 2013. Also check out the lead single from the new DIY drop by Midnight Spin . To close out this playlist post, veteran punk rockers Vampire Lezbos reissued their self-titled debut this week via Flat Field Records.
“Lady Luck” (feat. Sharon Van Etten) – Pickwick from Covers EP
“Lion Run” – Midnight Spin from Don’t Let Me Sleep
“Plasma” - Vampire Lezbos from Vampire Lezbos (reissue) on Flat Field Records
Don’t miss this week’s bonanza of new releases from DIY artists, coming up this weekend, featuring many artists slated to get their first ‘big’ (or their first at all) write-up on the web. In the coming weeks, in addition to our ‘best of 2012′ playlists, will be a flurry of fantastic music from artists and bands from around the world. Anyone that follows indie, or has been visiting IRC for years, knows that some of the best music you’ve ever heard came from artists that you had never heard of before, but are so glad you did. We have that Eureka moment many times a week.
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