Best Singles & Albums of September 2013, Vol. II – Said The Whale, MGMT, Placebo, Delorean, Arp, Crystal Stilts, Mum, Grouplove
Unlike the previous volume, we’re going to publish the section of latest releases from new, talented and promising under-the-radar, DIY and small label bands that are some of the most amazing bands we’ll come across in the second half of September – Kill City Cartel, Crash Island, Gang of Brothers, Sun Club, The Union Electric, Ocelot Robot, Kid Cadaver, The Bynars, Odesza, and many others in a separate post in the next couple of days, so you’ll want to watch out for that. We’ve been listening again and again to over one hundred singles from September releases from mostly unsigned bands.
In fact, Volume One includes about a dozen DIY and obscure indie artists, and the upcoming special edition covering the best in DIY for the second half of September will include a number of phenomenal new bands exclusive to IRC. In the end, as far as DIY and under the radar bands, we’ll have altogether about 40 to 50 top singles from September releases, including Volume One. Those of you who have enjoyed all of the lesser known, but amazingly talented bands and artists that we’ve published over the years, definitely don’t want to miss the next big batch of brand new picks for the second half September that should be finished by next week.
This uninterrupted playlist featuring the top singles from the best albums dropped in the second half of September is nothing short of mind-blowing (we’ll keep it on a loop for a few days after posting it public), and the sheer magnitude of the collective talent speaks for itself:
Said The Whale, Sebadoh MGMT, Nightmares On Wax, The Darcys,
Delorean, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, Crystal Stilts,
Factory Floor, Islands, Grouplove, The Dirtbombs, The Mission,
Campfire OK, The Naked and the Famous and Sidi Toure
Apr, Keep Shelly in Athens, Potty Mouth, San Fermin, Daedelus
It’s a mini Who’s Who of indie artists featuring a wide cross-section of genres, styles, sub cultures and talented musicians. What’s even better is that is only one half of this playlist. The second half, which covers the last week (starting September 24th) of September, features fewer bands than the third week, but no less an awesome collection of singles:
TRAMMS, Kelley Stoltz, Heaven’s Gate, The Herms, Au Revoir Simone,
Ha Ha Tonka, Deer Tick, Golden Animals, CHVRCHES, Icona Pop,
The Chambermaids, Kyson, Star Anna
The top releases for the second half of September kicks off where volume one left off – the week of September 17th, followed by the week of September 24th. The best singles from new albums for the week of the 17th include tracks from an incredible array of talented artists, including Said The Whale, Sebadoh, Cloud Control, Grouplove and of course MGMT. Probably the catchiest track and riff of the week goes to Said The Whale’s track “I Love You” that definitely has some “My Sharona” overtones and clear 80′s new wave pop rock radio sounds.
“I Love You” – Said the Whale from Hawaiii on Hidden Pony Records
“I Will” – Sebadoh from Defend Yourself on Joyful Noise Recordings
“Scar” – Cloud Control from Dream Cave on Votiv
“Be, I Do” – Nightmares On Wax from Feelin’ Good on Warp
“Hunting” – The Darcys from Warring on Arts & Crafts
“Harrison Ford” – Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin from Fly By Wire on Polyvinyl Records
Sweet Releases from Factory Floor, Islands, Grouplove, The Dirtbombs Represented by New Singles
DFA recording artist Factory Floor get this block hopping with a smokin’ new single, “Turn It Up,” off of the outfit’s self-titled debut album, followed by singles from new albums by IRC long-time favorites Islands, Grouplove and The Dirtbombs. Just a series of tracks from those three bands one right after another is representative of what a blockbuster week September 17th to 23rd was after a relatively thin summer for new, anticipated and highly recommended releases. In fact, during July and August, there were more impressive releases coming from our pool of DIY, under the radar and small label bands than there were from the aforementioned, which was exciting for us as well as a lot of listeners who come to IRC for the popular new releases but also the other choice picks that we feature each month, including many new bands and exclusive releases not found, most of the time, on any other major indie blog.
“Turn It Up” – Factory Floor from Factory Floor on DFA Records
“Wave Forms” – Islands from Ski Mask on Manque Music
“Ways to Go” – Grouplove from Spreading Rumours on Atlantic Records
(with their Kim Ill music video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=VGvHnDeS12o),
“Girl On The Carousel” – The Dirtbombs from Ooey Gooey Chewy Ka-Blooey! on In The Red
Placebo’s Odd Music Video and The Mission, Campfire OK, The Naked and the Famous and Sidi Toure’s Latest Releases
The music video for Placebo‘s “Too Many Friends” features a long intro before the music starts. It’s a bit trippy and kind of interesting in which the viewer is asked to participate in choosing which plot best fits the remainder of the story played out in the intro. It’s a risky experiment and came out OK. We respect bands that take a risk of getting slammed, in a quest for originality, by politically or culturally correct critics and bloggers . Plus, don’t miss notable lead singles from fresh albums by The Mission, Campfire OK, The Naked and The Famous and Sidi Toure.
“Too Many Friends” – Placebo from Loud Like Love on Vertigo/Capitol
“Drag” – The Mission from The Brightest Light on The End Records
“Wishing You The Best” – Campfire OK from When You Have Arrived on Fugitive Records
“A Stillness” – The Naked And Famous from In Rolling Waves on Republic
“Ay Hôra : My Dance” – Sidi Touré from Alafia on Thrill Jockey Records
Sam Fermin Music Video in the Redwoods; Arp, Keep Shelly in Athens, Potty Mouth
San Fermin really has a pair of lungs as she belts out the lyrics to the orchestral pop, funk single, “Sonsick.” The music video for the song was filmed in a redwood forest. Here in coastal California, we love our redwood forests. For what it’s worth, the redwoods in this video are not even the really big ones. Some of the tallest redwood trees are taller, or almost as tall, as many of the skyscrapers in New York City (see the very end of this post to read more about the redwoods). Plus, check out singles from new-to-us bands Arp, Keep Shelly in Athens and Potty Mouth.
“Sonsick” – San Fermin from San Fermin on Downtown Records
“High-Heeled Clouds” – Arp from More on Smalltown Supersound
“Recollection” – Keep Shelly in Athens from At Home on Cascine
“Black and Studs” – Potty Mouth from Hell Bent on Old Flame Records
West Palm Beach’s C86 Revivalists (Even If They Don’t Know It) The Band in Heaven
From West Palm Beach, Florida, comes the exciting and promising outfit, The Band in Heaven, with their new shoegazey kind of dream popish single, “Dandelion Wine,” which, from the opening notes to the last hook, reminds us a lot of Echo and the Bunnymen, but even more precisely of Close Lobsters, a long ago disbanded 1990′s quintet that hard-core C86 enthusiasts likely have heard before. The C86 ‘mixtape’ movement of the late 1980s and early to mid 1990s was largely an underground movement – most especially on college campuses – that spawned the first wave of artists and bands that would later become known as indie rock or ‘college rock’ artists. If you’re a fan of dream pop, post punk and shoegaze, we recommend getting your hands on their debut album, Caught in a Summer Swell, released on Sept. 19th via Decades Records.
There is also a string of seven inch singles and demos available via The Band in Heaven’s Bandcamp page, that includes a free download of the song, “Summer Bummer,” that we featured in one of the popular summer playlists back in 2011 as well as profiling the band the first time in a 2010 edition of In Dee Mail, along with other new (at the time) bands like Luna is Honey, A Silent Film, Ganglians, and many others. Unfortunately, some of the song links (but not for the band’s just mentioned) in that post no longer work (and the same goes for images), but the two songs we featured from TBIN are much more in the vain of their early fuzzy shoegaze sound, which is apparent on one of our favorite DIY tracks of 2010, “High Low.” The Band In Heaven performed at New York’s prestigious venue, Pianos on Oct. 17th to a fairly enthusiastic gathering of their followers.
Since their formation in 2010, the band has gained a considerable following and last year signed to Decades Records. They’ve opened for big time bands like Jesus and Mary Chain, Brian Jonestown Massacre, No Age and Surfer Blood. In addition, the band lists their top musical influences as Diiv, Neutral Milk Hotel, My Bloody Valentine, and Spacemen 3. We’ve been digging their mix of dream pop, shoegaze and psychedelic rock tracks since we first were turned on to the band in 2010. However, their new album marks a shift to a heavily dream pop collection of songs, which they deliver with kudos from cafe patrons.
“Dandelion Wine” – The Band in Heaven from Caught in a Summer Swell – Sept. 17th
The Redwoods: Precious National Natural Treasures
The San Fermin video we included above in coverage for Week 3 got us on the subject of redwoods. They are basically part of our big back yard, if you will, in northern coastal California. Some of the redwood trees are 1,000 to 2,000 years old. Sadly, due to the huge demand for redwood around the world (particularly in the U.S. and Asia); out of control population growth in the past century; corruption in California state government dating back to its beginning, and humans’ insatiable appetite, and disregard, to consume precious natural resources, including national treasures like the redwoods. According to the Sierra Club, there are only about 7% of the virgin, old-growth redwoods left in California, tucked away in places like Muir Redwoods just north of the Golden Gate Bridge; Big Basin State Park in the Santa Cruz mountains; Redwood National Forest way up in northern most coastal California, and a number of other state and federal parks and areas from Big Sur to Mendocino. These are the only places in the world were redwoods still remain, and while most of them are gone, there are still places you can go to experience something that will blow your mind – walking through an old growth redwood forest. You’ve seen them in the movies, but you have to really be there to absorb just how gigantic, majestic and beautiful these towering trees are and just how small and humbled you feel standing in their enormous shadows. Put it on your lists of ‘must do’ things. Hopefully you enjoyed our little tangent.