Best New Music Releases, Week of April 2nd – Generationals, The Black Angels, Mudhoney, Hookworms, Cold War Kids
We streamed all 17 tracks, from start to finish, at least seven to nine times in the cafe because it’s just that good. We’ll soon be publishing the popular singles on IRC during the month of March via the weekly Top 10 Songs playlists that highlight the most streamed and downloaded tracks from the Best New Music Releases posts, as well as recent DIY posts, Artist of the Week, and many others, which are all accessible from the March 2013 posts page.
The first week of April 2013 has been yet another great week for rock and roll, as demonstrated by the lead singles from new alt. and indie rock drops released by popular, talented bands like Generationals, The Black Angels, Mudhoney (a double-dose from the punk rock legends), Alkaline Trio, among others. Plus, there are plenty of amazing, new-to-us bands with even more new albums out this week, most notably a fresh 2013 band to watch called Hookworms, whose first single, “Form and Function,” is a blistering, infectious guitar rock blazer from their debut LP, Pearl Mystics – one of the best debut albums of 2013, so far, and one of many albums dropped in the past week that we recommend purchasing for your permanent collection, especially if you’re a rocker at your core.
“Don’t Play With Guns”* – The Black Angels from Indigo Meadow (CD) on Blue Horizon (Read J. Hubner’s album review)
“Form and Function”* – Hookworms from Pearl Mystic on Gringo
Spring Is Crazy Busy for New Releases and Music Festival Announcements
Because there were so many releases worth highlighting this week that we didn’t have time to get to, some will appear in the next edition of the popular Recent Releases We Almost Missed playlist series. Spring is traditionally the busiest time of the year in the cafe because there is a flood of new releases that emerge from the post-winter thaw, in addition to SXSW, and coverage of other music festival line-up announcements (and accompanying playlists), preparation for Record Store Day, emerging new bands to watch, and rushing streams of summer and fall album releases. For this installment of Best New Music Releases, you’ll notice asteriks next to some song titles, which indicates those songs’ music videos will be added to the Best New Videos page. But first, fire up this playlist to stream all the way through by clicking on the first song. Unlike Spotify – which often does not have new album releases available right away – IRC’s playlists of new music stream commercial free all the way through, and allow you to right click to save MP3s to whatever device you choose to create your own favorites song of 2013 playlists. Here’s the new single from the Velvet Funkmaster himself, Charles Bradley, who is the subject of a separate post that will be published in the next few hours.
“Strictly Reserved For You” - Charles Bradley from Victim of Love on Dunham/Daptone Records on Dunham/Daptone Records
More Rock: Milk Music, Kinski and Bleached; Rebuttal to ‘Rock Is Dead’ Critics
Another new-to-us outfit is Washington state band Milk Music, who blaze Husker Du-style on the fuzzy, distorted guitar rock of “I’ve Got Wild.” And the guitar rock continues with Kinski‘s latest single, “Conflict Free Diamonds,” from the album, Cosy Moments. “Conflict Free Diamonds” is a fired up rocker, marked by power chord guitar riffs, a catchy beat and a transfixing groove, haunting synths and soaring, reverb-heavy vocals. Next, Bleached‘s track, “Next Stop” is a female vocal garage rocker mixed with elements of punk pop from the band’s new album, Ride Your Heart.
“I’ve Got a Wild Feeling” - Milk Music from Cruise Your Illusion on Fat Possum
“Conflict Free Diamonds” – Kinski from Cosy Moments on Kill Rock Stars
“Next Stop” - Bleached from Ride Your Heart on Dead Oceans
To the rock naysayers: If you’ve been following our weekly new releases playlists this year, the refrain that ‘rock is dead’ is simply bogus; you just need to know where to find it (i.e., on IRC). This point is also reaffirmed by the huge positive responses to recent profile posts like 5 Bands That Rock and 5 DIY Bands to Watch. If anything, at least in the alternative music scene, rock is enjoying an unquestionable revival. And as this playlist charges forward, with one fantastic track after another, there are three common stylistic themes going on that we’ve organized into consecutive sets, consisting of rock, synth-heavy music, and dreamy, even melancholic grooves and instrumentals.
Fresh Tracks from Popular Bands Telekinesis, Cold War Kids, Alkaline Trio
The list of notable, and diverse, releases dropped in the past week keeps growing with singles from new albums by Telekinesis, Cold War Kids, British Sea Power, Alkaline Trio, and the last record from the now defunct Rilo Kiley. Each of these tracks, and the albums which they appear on, speak for themselves.
“Ghosts and Creatures” – Telekinesis from Dormarion on Merge
“Miracle Mile” – Cold War Kids from Dear Miss Lonelyhearts on Downtown Records
“Machineries of Joy” - British Sea Power from Machineries of Joy on Rough Trade
“I Wanna Be A Warhol” - Alkaline Trio from My Shame Is True
“Let Me Back In” – Rilo Kiley from Rkives on Little Record Company
Synth-fully Delicious: Caveman, Dutch Uncles, Pick A Piper
Brooklyn band Caveman released their sophomore album earlier this week, featuring the synth-rich, atmospherically melancholic (which is a commendable accomplishment in itself) song, “Over My Head,” followed by a more upbeat, higher octane synth track, “Bellio,” from Dutch Uncles‘ album, Out of Touch in the Wild. Sticking with the synth and electro sounds, check out Pick A Piper‘s “All Her Colours,” featuring John Schmersal.
“Over My Head” – Caveman from Caveman on Fat Possum
“Ice Dime” – Gems from Tall Mountain on Don’t Be a Lout Music
Ambient, Mellow and Melancholic Singles from Bonobo, Olafur Arnalds, Hem and Others
The ambient electro band Bonobo, produced a bizarre, but interesting video, for the lead single, “Cirrus,” off their new album. Other softer singles representing new album releases this week include Olafur Arnalds‘ mesmerizing instrumental, “Only The Wind”; Port St. Willow‘s majestic “Soft Light Rush”; Hem‘s “Tourniquet”; The Besnard Lakes‘ gently hazy, “People of the Sticks”; Hiss Golden Messenger‘s folksy “I’ve Got A Name For The Newborn Child”; Melbourne bandLower Plenty‘s “Nullarbor,” among others. By clicking the album titles, you can quickly and easily purchase either the MP3, CD (where applicable) and vinyl (where applicable) editions of any album in this playlist.
“Cirrus”* – Bonobo from The North Borders on Ninja Tune
“Only The Winds” – Ólafur Arnalds from For Now I Am Winter on Mercury Classics
“Tourniquet” – Hem from Departure And Farewell on Waveland Records
“People of the Sticks” – The Besnard Lakes from Until In Excess, Imperceptible UFO on Jagjaguwar
“Bellio” – Dutch Uncles from Out of Touch in the Wild on Memphis Industries
“Nullarbor” – Lower Plenty from Hard Rubbish on Fire Records
“Macro” – RxGibbs from Contact on Cascine
“I’ve Got A Name for the Newborn Child” – Hiss Golden Messenger from Haw on Paradise of Bachelors
Did Not Get To: The following artists released new LPs, EPs and singles this week, but we simply didn’t have time to review them all: Artists such as Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba, Bombino, Bring Me the Horizon, EmptyMansions (the side project of Interpol drummer Sam Forgarino), Heavy Hawaii, The Band, The Mongoloids, Transit, Tyler, the Creator and Wolf Willy Moon also released new LPs, EPs and singles this week.
Note: We would have used the Generationals’ new album cover as the main photo of this post except that it’s so damn ugly we’re not showing it at all. Somehow, the interested parties, decided to do whatever they could to discourage people from buying the album at face value. Now it will exist for eternity. Our reaction: “Are you joking? Like, seriously?” It’s insulting to fans. A photo of an elephant’s ass would have been more acceptable. Worst album cover so far in 2013. We’d like to propose a challenge: Create your own alternative cover art for Heza and then Tweet a link to it @IndieRockCafe and include the hashtag #hezacoverart