Top Singles & Albums for October 2013, Vol. I – Yuck, Teen Daze, Polvo, Fuzz, Dr. Dog, DARKSIDE, The Fratellis, HAIM
San Francisco‘s ever-prolific guitar rock prodigy, Ty Segall, put together a new band, Fuzz, earlier this year, and in the first week of October, Fuzz dropped its self-titled debut album to warm reviews and music lovers’ praise. The album features an array of influences and genres, combining heavy psychedelic rock mixed with 70′s stoner, and even ambient rock and heavy metal elements driven by sweet rhythms and the type of blazing guitar riffs and solos that are Segall’s signature sound.
“What’s in My Head” – Fuzz from Fuzz on In the Red
Yuck Drops a Brilliant Sophomore LP, Glow & Behold
One of the most popular indie rock bands of the past couple of years, Yuck, dropped their much anticipated sophomore album, Glow & Beholdon October 1st. Critics and fans love it, and the lead first single, “Rebirth,” is a good presentation of the rest of the new album. This is definitely one album to get in the second half of 2013. Add to that list the just released new album another indie favorite, Teen Daze, complete with their earthy, radiant and heartfelt electro dream pop.
“Rebirth” – Yuck from Glow & Behold on Fat Possum
“Ice on the Windowsill” – Teen Daze from Glacier on Lefse
Dr. Dog Delivers The Love and More on New LP
Who would of thought that Philly‘s indie rockers Dr. Dog would end up releasing one of the catchiest, feel good pop songs of the year? Well, it sounds like they did just that with the simply-titled track, “Love?” One of the things that has been a hallmark of Dr. Dog’s modest popularity in the sphere of indie rock is the fact that they take chances, try different things, experiment and obviously enjoy innovating and creating songs that really stand on their own, and often stand out in memorable ways. Dr. Dog fans spread from coast to coast as we witnessed this summer during the Outside Lands Festival (which in just five years has earned its place in the same sentence as festivals like Coachella and Bonaroo). A clearly loyal, enthusiastic, and pumped up group of maybe 400 to 700 (wild guess) fans gathered around one of the smaller (but not small) stages – The Panhandle stage – at Outside in August sang along to one great Dr. Dog track after another.
While we’re more rock than pop, there are some great pop, and pop/rock, songs that come out from time to time, and “Love?” is one of the them. That said, the album does have a good number of more pop-oriented and mixed-genre songs on the new album, titled B-Room. And not to worry rockers, B-Room has some solid rock songs. But more than anything, B-Room exemplifies how Dr. Dog is a natural product of their Philadelphia roots, with heavy mixing of all types of genres from jazz and funk to blues and R&B to 60s-style bluesy psychedelia. And they push the limit even more on songs like “Twilight,” which starts out as basically a classical arrangement and transforms into a hard-to-pinpoint – and even to explain – style of shiny, but melancholic at the same time, acoustic guitar with what sounds like a dulcimer and somewhat theatrical vocals all while the wonderful sound of vinyl, with a nick in it, plays in the background. View the “Love” music video from the band.
“Love” – Dr. Dog from B-Room on Anti- Records
Blitzen Trapper, Saint Rich, and Tape Deck Mountain Bring Grit on Fresh Tracks
Blitzen Trapper‘s seventh album, appropriately titled VII, offers a more gritty, roots-oriented, beats-driven sound, with moments of funk-heavy rhythms, and infusions of slide guitar, harmonicas, banjos and keyboards. It’s definitely not the alternative country rock and folk sound of the early years. It’s pretty amazing to us that the Portland band has dropped seven fine albums in the span of 10 years and three labels. The lead single from the album, “Ever Loved Once,” exemplifies the band’s talent for switching things up, experimenting, evolving and taking chances. Following Blitzen Trapper, is the power pop single, “Officer,” from the debut album, Beyond The Drone, from the new musical project, Saint Rich, featuring Delicate Steve bandmates Steve Marion and Christian Peslak. The album is a hook-filled and well produced collection of power pop, prog, and folk-influenced psych pop. And of course, don’t miss out on the latest reverb and feedback heavy single, “Half Life,” from long-time favorites, Tape Deck Mountain, newest album, Sway.
“Half Life” – Tape Deck Mountain from Sway on Nineteen98
Top Psychedelic Rock Singles and Albums from Polvo, Raccoon Fighter, The Sadies and Baiterspace
The following singles all share common characteristics – they’re essentially psych rock jams, with some folk and other styles that echo the sounds of the late 1960s Chapel Hill, North Carolina band Polvo released their second album, Siberia, since reuniting a few years ago. The album includes a seven-minute psychedelic rock jam with hints of goth, experimental and hard core. Another jammy, but less psych-oriented single, “Santa Tereza,” is off of Raccoon Fighter‘s debut album, ZIL, on Papercup Music. And if that’s not enough jam-heavy, psych rock influenced tunes for you, there is also the latest from psychedelic rock veterans, Toronto‘s own The Sadies and the single, “The First 5 Minutes” from the band’s 16th album, Internal Sounds. And finally, the band, Baiterspace, succeeds at crafting dark, heavy psychedelic rock – that sounds like it could be from 1969 – on their latest single, “Films of You,” from the album Trinine. We only wish the song were a bit longer so that we could enjoy the groove they laid down for a longer time period.
“Total Immersion” – Polvo from Siberia on Merge Records
“Santa Tereza” - Raccoon Fighter from ZIL on Papercup Music
“The First 5 Minutes” - The Sadies from Internal Sounds on Yep Roc Records
Top Singles from Black Moth, Cumulus, Hunters, Those Darlins and Others
Keeping with the hard rock edge is the smoking single (that came out just in time for Halloween), “The Articulate Dead” from the band Black Moth‘s sophomore release, The Killing Jar. Next, the new-to-us band Cumulus deliver a sweet little melodic pop rocker on the track, “Middle,” featuring some early 80′s-style guitar rock riffs, catchy, singalong choruses, shifts in tempo, and a FM-friendly rhythm and percussion all of the way through. Plus, listen to singles from The Field, Hunters, Those Darlins, among others.
“The Articulate Dead” – Black Moth from The Killing Jar on New Heavy Sounds
“Middle” – Cumulus from I Never Meant It To Be Like This on Trans- Records
New Music from Hollow & Akimbo, Quasi
New-to-us band Hollow & Akimbo quietly, for the most part, released an excellent debut album in the first week of October containing standout tracks like “Still Life” and “Solar Plexus.” For fans of late 60′s and early 70′s T. Rex and David Bowie, you might wish to indulge in the latest release, Mole City, from Quasi, including the very Bowiesque sounds, and more, of the ironically ttild single, “See You on Mars.” Gratefully they did their Bowie/Rex rendering with taste and made it unique enough that it stands on its own merit.
“Solar Plexus” – Hollow & Akimbo from Psuedoscience EP on Quite Scientific
“See You on Mars” – Quasi from Mole City on Kill Rock Stars
Los Angeles multi-genre sister band, HAIM, have been creating a buzz on music blogs in recent months thanks to their debut, Days Are Gone. The album displays the sisters sunny 80′s pop sensibilities integrated with other genres like soft rock, R&B, electro, dance, power pop woven together with a convergence of glistening pop guitar hooks, rhythms to dance to, subtle, emotive synth playing, lush harmonies and sleek, echoing beats. Also check out electro tracks from Moby, featuring Cold Specks, plus Oneohtrix Point Never (unusual, tongue-twisting name but easy to find them via search engines) received a huge number of hearts and comments on Soundcloud;
“A Case For Shame” – Moby with Cold Specks from Innocents on Mute
“Zebra” – Oneohtrix Point Never from R Plus Seven on Warp Records
Top Indie Singles – Week of October 8th: DARKSIDE, Albert Hammond Jr., The Fratellis, Of Montreal and others
Electronic producer Nicolas Jaar and guitarist Dave Harrington teamed up last year to create the duo DARKSIDE, and in the second week of October released their debut album, Psychic, which earned the duo a lot of big buzz on music blogs across the web. There’s a flurry of genre-cross dressing going on in the pair’s songs, intricately arranging moody and provocative electronic prog rock, psych and dashes of rhythm and blues. Psychic is easily one of the best electronic debuts of 2013, and a must-have for electro fans.
Don Yates, the music director at Seattle‘s KEXP, described the album as “a moody, entrancing blend of various downtempo electronic styles with prog, blues and psych-rock” as the lead single, “Golden Arrow,” demonstrates over the eleven minute track. We think every minute of the song is worth the time investment for sure. It’s hard to think of any other new electro artist this year that has made such an impression with bloggers and fans across the country and around the world.
Next, Strokes‘ guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. offers up his latest solo effort featuring the single, “Rude Customer.” The latest single from the band Dale Earndardt Jr. Jr., with its long title, “If You Didn’t See Me (Then You Weren’t On The Dancefloor),” is a dance pop track, and if you dig that kind of thing, or are just in the mood, it’s catchy and upbeat. The band’s record label was nervous about the name, so the band wrote the famous race-driver and asked him if it was OK with him to name their band after him, and according to band member Daniel Zott, Earnhardt replied and said it was fine with him, that he was flattered and wished the band good luck.
“Rude Customer” – Albert Hammond Jr. from AHJ EP on Cult Records
“If You Didn’t See Me (Then You Weren’t On The Dancefloor)” – Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. from The Speed of Things on Warner Bros.
Watch the incredibly tacky official ‘Dancefloor’ music video
Top Singles from New Albums by The Fratellis, His Clancyness, Tim Kasher and Of Montreal
This next block features stellar singles from new albums by under-rated indie rock band The Fratellis; the increasingly popular indie band His Clancyness; and singer/songwriter Tim Kasher; indie quirk heroes Of Montreal with The Kinks-sounding single “Belle Glade Missionaries ; and the hard-driving, eclectic post-punk of Parquet Courts.
“This Old Ghost Town” – The Fratellis from We Need Medicine on BMG
“Where’s Your Heart Lie” – Tim Kasher from Adult Film on Saddle Creek
“Belle Glade Missionaries” – of Montreal from Lousy With Sylvianbriar on Polyvinyl Records
“You’ve Got Me Wonderin’ Now” - Parquet Courts from Tally All The Things That You Broke EP on What’s Your Rupture?