indie rock cafe

The In Dee Mail Special Edition series is meant to highlight artists and bands that sent their music directly to us (thus, the silly title 'in dee mail' - but it's now a staple of this site) who - for one reason or another - we did not have a chance to feature in 2009, usually because their submissions came to us late in the year, or in some cases, in the past few weeks. If you haven't already seen the other posts and mixes of this special series, we encourage you to because there is some fabulous music in those posts.

The Middle East are an Australian band that have really turned on the turbo engines in the past year or so, landing scheduled shows at this year's SXSW and Coachella, and are an IRC Band to Watch in 2010 thanks to the release of their EP, The Recordings of the Middle East last fall. Thankfully, they sent us two fantastic songs from the EP to share with all of you.

"Blood" - The Middle East from The Recordings of the Middle East (2009)

"The Darkest Side" - The Middle East from The Recordings of the Middle East (2009)

The Middle East official website

The Love X Nowhere - High Score Blackout

The Love X (as in "times") Nowhere's latest LP, High Score Blackout, was released last summer on Redgummy Records. The album oozes with Cocteau-heavy guitars dripping with the sway of chorus and delay; analog synth as at home with The Cars as Meddle-era Pink Floyd; a rhythm section adept in thick, explosive grooves and awe-inspiring dynamics.

"The Diz" - The Love X Nowhere from High Score Blackout (2009)

The Love X Nowhere

Emanuel and the Fear - Self-Titled EP

Brooklyn's 11-piece band Emanuel and the Fear, released a self-titled debut EP late in 2009 to enthusiastic reviews in publications like the Village Voice, Deli Magazine, Absolute Punk and NME. Headed by NYC resident Emanuel Ayvas, EATF creates and delivers magnificently crafted, and complex, yet accessible songs. Their self-titled debut EP was released last January on Paper Garden Records and included contributions from musicians who have previously played and toured with Sufjan Stevens, The National, Akron/Family and Bryan Scary & The Shredding Tears.

"The Rain Becomes the Clouds" - Emanuel and the Fear from s/t EP (2009)

"Comfortable Prison" - Emanuel and the Fear from s/t EP (2009)

Emanuel and the Fear on MySpace

Solfege Radio - Eleven!

New Jersey's melodic pop punk band Solfege Radio released their debut album late in 2009 on Danimal Records to fairly good press and reception from fans. The band of teen musicians demonstrate a true talent at a young age for crafting tight rock songs with a shimmering undertow. We'd be curious to know what you think about this single.

"Eleven!" - Solfege Radio from s/t debut (2009)

Solfege Radio on MySpace

Jacob Faurholt - Why Write

In December, we featured Danish musician Jacob Faurholt in the In Dee Mail Special Edition, Vol. I, post. Now, Faurholt has another song to share, "Jesus on a Stamp," which sounds like the Editors mixed with Interpol, accompanied by bright keys and booming drums, hand-clapping and flowing choruses.

"Jesus on a Stamp" - Jacob Faurholt from Why Write EP (2009)

Jacob Faurholt on MySpace

Franklin for Short - Swell

Franklin for Short hails from Ventura, California, a quiet little beach town 75 miles north of L.A. Living off a diet of burritos, coastal fog and reverb, the band has been incubating their latest release Swell for a year and a half. The result is a 14-song epic that winds its way through a landscape half ethereal and half earthbound.

"Brother Bird" - Franklin for Short from Swell (2009)

Franklin for Short on MySpace

Other songs from In Dee Mail:

"Everything" - Adam Ashbach from Puzzle Pieces (2009)

Adam Ashbach on MySpace

"Tired of Missing You" - Andrea Gauster from Reverie EP (2009)

Andrea Gauster on MySpace

"Beasts Around You" - Idolae from Through The Straight Lines (2009)

Idolae on MySpace

"Soft" - Capybara from Try Brother (2009)

Capybara on MySpace

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Best Rarely Heard Songs of 2009, Vol. I - Ex Norwegian, We All Have Hooks for Hands, Pistol for Ringo and Fredrik

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Favorite Indie and Alternative Songs of 2009, Vol. III: Neko Case, Public Radio, Bishop Allen, Harlem Shakes, Deer Tick & More

In Dee Mail Special Edition Vol. VII - Essex Chanel, Scares The Daylights and The Binary Marketing Show

Favorite Indie and Alternative Songs of 2009, Vol. II - The Big Pink, The Thermals, Dan Auerbach, Telekinesis, Faunts & More

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   January 29, 2010    2 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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It is still early in the new year, new decade, and so much fantastic music from 2009 that has spilled over that we would be remiss not to share it with all of you. Plus, our site stats show a lot of you are still looking for music from 2009 that you might have missed. In this on-going special edition of our popular In Dee Mail series, we are now on Volume Seven, with at least four to five more installments to publish in the coming weeks, not to mention 2010 releases as they come in, and the 12-part Favorite Songs of 2009 series.

Travis Lee Wiggins
started Essex Chanel in Chicago in 2005 as an effort to go in different musical directions than his first band, Fetla. After Fetla imposed a two-year hiatus in the fall of 2005, Essex Chanel became Wiggins’s primary focus. Since then, in addition to creating the Sweet Goodness record label, Wiggins collaborated with a collective of local musicians to perform his songs, all of which - nearly 250 tracks - are now available for free - a remarkable and charitable gift, especially considering the caliber of the music.

We first heard Essex Chanel's 2009 album, Love is Proximity, last fall, and they immediately went up on our radar. Love is Proximity Sessions, Disk 2, will be available on January 26th.

"Skinny Dippin" - Essex Chanel from Love is Proximity (2009)

"She Cuts His Hair" - Essex Chanel from Love is Proximity Sessions, Disk 1 (2009)

"It Was All Because of the Icy Stairs" - Essex Channel from January 2007 (2007)

Essex Channel on MySpace

Download hundreds of their songs for free


Brooklyn-based musical project Scares The Daylights released a folk-pop drenched, prog-rock heavy LP, Burn The Bed, late in 2009 that went largely unnoticed by most music blogs, to the detriment of indie music fans. The musical project is the brainchild of White Shoe Records' founder Neil Lipuma. The label has spawned indie artists such as The City and Horses, The Exeter Popes and Twice As Bright, all of whom contributed to Burn The Bed.

Lipuma's project is largely influenced by the break-up with his long-term girlfriend, and leaving his day job to work as an assistant engineer with Sear Sound, where he contributed to releases from The Killers, Richie Havens and Lykka Li & Bjorn Yttling. Burn The Bed is the product of an introspective man whose adolescence was dominated by the music of R.E.M. and The Smiths, and whose adult life coincided with the onset of the indie rock explosion. Lipuma's songs are quirky, fun, mellow, and colored by his distinctive vocals, arrangements and poetic, even silly, lyrics, with an underlying ode to Americana.

"Divorces" - Scares The Daylights from Burn The Bed (2009)

"Lion Chair" - Scares The Daylights from Burn The Bed (2009)

Scares The Daylights on MySpace
White Shoe Records official site

Here are some other free MP3s from White Shoe Records' recording artists:

"You Are The Sun" - Water Fai from Girls In the White Dream (2008)

"I Love The Girls" - The City and Horses from I Don't Want to Dream (2009)


Another Brooklyn band, The Binary Marketing Show, have made ripples in the huge indie music pond of the NYC borough in the past year or so, especially thanks to their new LP and opening gigs for Animal Collective, Explosions in the Sky, MGMT and Miccachu and the Shapes.

BMS's music is dense, experimental, minimalistic pop, full of African-influenced drum beats, nasaly vocals, ambient loops and sound effects. TBMS started as the musical project of Abram Morphew and Jason Meeks in 2000 in Conway, Arkansas.

By the time they moved to Brooklyn in 2007, Meeks and Morphew were playing shows as a duo that eventually involved into a full quartet. Last summer, they released their third full-length record, Pattern, with the stand-out track, "Shape of Your Head."

"Shape of Your Head" - The Binary Marketing Show from Pattern (2009)

"Tesseract" - The Binary Marketing Show from Pattern (2009)

The Binary Marketing Show on MySpace

Previous Installment of the In Dee Mail Special Edition series:
(oodles of fab music you've probably never heard; sent to IRC in the mail)

In Dee Mail Special Edition, Vol. VI - Sore Eros, The Melloncollies, Himalaya and Matias Aguayo

In Dee Mail Special Edition, Vol. V: Army of Me, Threes and Nines, Trees and Trashcans and Lefse Records' Artists

In Dee Mail Special Edition, Vol. IV: Tiny Tin Hearts, Flotation Walls, Twilight Revival, Oryan, The Sidewalk Driver and Rolf Lislevand

In Dee Mail Special Edition, Vol. III: Elephant Stone, Clock Hands Strangle, The Sun, Six Simple Songs, Aeroplane Pageant, Lemonwilde & More

In Dee Mail Special Edition, Vol. II: Dylan in the Movies, The Fling, East Hundred, Maklak, Said The Whale & Nheap

In Dee Mail Special Edition, Vol. I: Sean Walsh & The National Reserve, Devries, Jupiter One, Julian Plenti and Parlour Steps

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   January 21, 2010    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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For those of you not familiar with this series, IRC regularly profiles the best and most talented new and relatively unknown musicians and bands who send their music via email (thus, the silly title, In Dee Mail) by following the submission guidelines published on IRC's about page.

First up, the collective of musicians who have collaborated with members of Animal Collective is ever-expanding, and our next featured artist is just one of dozens. Sore Eros is the musical brainchild of Robert Robinson and has seen a number of different incarnations over the past decade.

In 2004, Robert moved to L.A. and, through a mutual friend, began to collaborate with Ariel Pink, who had recently signed with Animal Collective’s Pawtracks label. That led to Robinson being recruited by Animal Collective's Panda Bear (Noah Lennox) to accompany him on his British tour preceding the release of one of the best albums of the last decade, Lennox's debut solo release, Person Pitch.

"I met Noah Lennox (Panda Bear) about 12 years ago," Robertson told IRC. "We were both going to school in Boston. We kind of made up this band called The Hunted with a few of our friends. We only recorded a few songs, and those tapes are now lost (thankfully)....For the Panda Bear tour, I was supposed to play in Ariel Pink's band, but he got deported, so Noah was kind of enough to let Gary War and I to play in his band. I never heard any of the songs (neither did anyone else) that he was doing for that tour. Those songs would later become Person Pitch."

Upon the completion of the tour with Panda Bear, Robinson reignited his Sore Eros project. During the process of writing and recording his solo effort, Robinson collaborated with high school friend Adam Langellotti to produce the brilliant debut LP, Second Chants, released in February of last year via Shdwply Records.

Contributors to the album also include Kurt Vile, Gary War and Andy Tomasello (aka, Eat Cloud). Second Chants received wide critical acclaim, mostly on indie music blogs; here's an excellent review of the LP from TinyMixTapes.

There are so many terrific, even gorgeous, songs on Second Chants that it was a bit difficult to decide which to include without posting half of the LP's songs; that said, we strongly recommend getting a copy of this debut. We are almost sure that more people - especially Animal Collective/Ariel Pink/Panda Bear fans - will likely appreciate the work of Sore Eros.

Robinson has been working on the follow-up to his debut LP, and has been kind enough to share a new demo track, "Giraffe's Kiss," exclusively with IRC. He has also revealed exclusively to us that the new album title will be Know Touching, with hopes of releasing it sometime in the next month via Shdwply Records.

Robertson described to IRC the production of Know Touching: "We are still trying to grasp the
vibe for this record. Second Chants was a very inner record. Most of the songs were improvised and written in a very subconsciousness flowing way. I took most of the sketches that seemed to have interesting melodies and built them from there...Adam Langellotti came up with some really amazing orchestrations, and the sketches actually became songs."

"We recorded Second Chants in Pro Tools, where there was unlimited tracking and we went kind of crazy with layering and effects, creating that "chant" effect...with Know Touching, we are taking a different approach (by) recording...on 1/2'' 8-track reel-to-reel. This is limiting our use of layering and effects and forcing Adam and I to concentrate more on the actual song writing itself. The album is much more tangible."

From the yet unreleased new LP:

"Giraffe's Kiss" - Sore Eros from Know Touching (2010)

"Fooled Me" - Sore Eros from Know Touching (2010)

From the magnificent debut Second Chants:

"Lips Like Wine" - Sore Eros from Second Chants (2009)

"Whisper Me" - Sore Eros from Second Chants (2009)

"Smile on Your Face"- Sore Eros from Second Chants (2009)

Purchase Second Chants via InSound
Sore Eros on MySpace

The Melloncollies are the latest in a hallowed line of Brooklyn-bred quintets to unfurl the witty sonic flag and punch back: yes, pop can be daring. Their debut album, Goodbye, Cruel World, is abrasive, edgy and full of sheen. Another Brooklyn band poised to breakout in 2010.

"Simple Naive Someone" - The Melloncollies from Goodbye, Cruel World (2009)

The Melloncollies on MySpace

Formed in Brooklyn in 2007, and founded by former members of Philadelphia's Asteroid #4 and psych-pop ensemble Three Four Tens, the band Himalaya is making its hallucinogenic mark on NYC with its signature sound, and a self-titled debut that packs a psychedelic punch.

Employing deep drones, ghostly melodies, and spacey, noisy waves of guitar, Himalaya calls to mind their influences - from Spiritualized and Spaceman 3, to the Jesus and the Mary Chain and Pink Floyd. Himalaya's self-titled debut is a collection of nine songs that embody the band's distinct voice, unrelenting style, and sonic spaciousness.

"Melt Away" - Himalaya from s/t debut (2009)

Himalaya on MySpace

Matias Aguayo’s "Rollerskate" is an exercise in how catchy a simple, repetitive hook can be. Out on Kompakt Records from his latest release, this tune is a body-moving beast, a dance floor hit at heart with a chill-out backbone. Fans of El Guincho or LCD Soundsystem will likely dig this track.

"Rollerskate" - Matias Aguayo from Ay, Ay, Ay (2009)

Matias Aguayo on Facebook

Stay tuned, we have oodles of music to share with you all in coming weeks. In the meantime, you can also browse through the In Dee Mail series to pick up a lot of great tracks from talented artists and bands you probably won't hear about anywhere else.

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   January 14, 2010    1 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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"I never intended for anyone to hear this music", says Army Of Me singer/songwriter Vince Scheuerman. But we are sure glad Scheuerman decided, at the encouragement of a friend, to release the remarkable Make Yourself Naked EP to the world, even though it has received surprisingly little attention on popular indie blogs and major music sites.

The EP, released in October, was written on paper and recorded on Scheuerman's laptop, in his Washington, D.C. bedroom during the winter of early 2009, and then taken into the studio to mix with the band. The end result is easily one of the best overlooked DIY releases of 2009. Here is yet another example of terrific, original music that flies under the radar and leaves us scratching our heads when compared to the constant flow of crappy and mediocre music that floods the popular media on a weekly basis.

The band Army of Me are not completely unknown in the indie folk rock world. Following the release of their widely acclaimed 2007 debut, Citizen, the band toured heavily, opening for major artists like The Dave Matthews Band, Switchfoot, OAR, The Used, Blue October, and The Almost. Yet the D.C. band's new EP is almost the polar opposite of the band's debut LP - it is stripped down and more focused, completing Scheuerman's intent that "less is more."

In listening to Make Yourself Naked's magnificent set of acoustic tracks, it's nearly impossible to avoid comparisons with the brilliant Neil Finn (The Church), and perhaps early Verve, REM and Oasis recordings. That is a testament to Scheuerman's elegant vocals and poignant lyrics which are the centerpiece of the EP, resulting in compositions that are original, organic, honest and heart felt. In two words: simply gorgeous.

"Don't Be Long" - Army of Me from Make Yourself Naked EP (2009)

"Heart of Love" - Army of Me from Make Yourself Naked EP (2009)

Army of Me official website

Army of Me on MySpace


Even though they officially formed in 2004, Threes and Nines have recently raised eyebrows, and won the praise of some bloggers, following their set at the Bowery Room in NYC during October's CMJ Musical Festival, and after opening for Patrick Watson's at San Francisco's Great American Music Hall.

The band's currently unreleased album was recorded at Connecticut's Carriage House under the direction of Gordon Gano (Violent Femmes ), and engineered and mixed by Phil Palazzolo (Neko Case, Okkervil River, St. Vincent). The band is currently looking for a label to release the songs presented here.

"Carnival" - Threes and Nines from s/t debut, unreleased (2010)

"Won't Look Back" - Threes and Nines from s/t debut, unreleased (2010)

Threes and Nines on MySpace

Trees and Trashcans was formed in Denver in early 2008. Evan Malouf and Brad Wright met through common friend Heather Nester and started jamming. Their musical styles meshed seamlessly and the band was formed. Later bassist Mark Henry joined to fill out the sound.

Wright and Malouf co-wrote all the music and continue to do so to this day. The music toucheson a variety of different topics, issues and subjects and is influenced by various genres, making it difficult to pin down the band's style.

"He She We Me" - Trees and Trashcans from Littering The World (2009)

"The Bike Song" - Trees and Trashcans from Littering The World (2009)

Trees and Trashcans on MySpace

The following three tracks were sent in from Lefse Records. The label's growing rooster is turning out some terrific music as demonstrated by the promising bands My Summer As A Salvation Soldier, Tape Deck Mountain and A Grave With No Name.

"Monuments"- My Summer As A Salvation Soldier from Nytt (2009)

"Ghost Colony" - Tape Deck Mountain from Ghost (2009)

"Open Water" - A Grave With No Name from Mountain Debris (2009)

Other Posts You Might Enjoy:

In Dee Mail Special Edition, Vol. IV: Tiny Tin Hearts, Flotation Walls, Twilight Revival, Oryan, Sidewalk Driver and Rolf Lislevand

Sigur Ros' Vocalist and Guitarist Jonsi Birgisson Releases Advance Track from Upcoming Solo LP

In Dee Mail Special Edition, Part III: Elephant Stone, Clock Hands Strangle, The Sun, Six Simple Songs, Aeroplane Pageant, Lemonwilde & More

Indie Artist of the Week: French Teenage Singer/Songwriter Louis Aguilar

Singer/Songwriter Spotlight Series, Vol. III: In Memory of Vic Chesnutt, 1964 - 2009

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   January 10, 2010    4 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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In this third installment of the In Dee Mail Year End Special Edition series, you will hear music from an impressive line-up of artists and bands, including Elephant Stone, Clock Hands Strangle, The Sun, Aeroplane Pageant, Six Simple Songs, Lemonwilde, Cracked Latin and Lugo.

For those of you unfamiliar with the In Dee Mail profile series, it has become a cornerstone of what sets this blog apart from the rest, and a popular platform to introduce relatively unknown, and talented, artists and bands (all who sent their music to us unsolicited) to music lovers worldwide; most of whom probably would otherwise have never heard many of the songs featured in the series anywhere else. Due to the overwhelming number of great songs submitted this year, the In Dee Mail series for 2009 will spill-over in to 2010.

First up, it's not another Stone Roses tribute act. Instead, the Montreal-India collective Elephant Stone is actually ex-High Dials' guitarist Rishi Dhir's new band. Elephant Stone's debut LP, The Seven Seas, delivers jangly indie pop infused with a distinctive Eastern influence.

We loved The Seven Seas 'hindie rock' from the get-go; it's nearly impossible to resist the LP's shimmering guitar riffs, lush harmonies and accomplished vocal work. No wonder Elephant Stone made the list of nominees for this year's Polaris Music Prize for best album, which was ultimately awarded to Toronto's F*cked Up for their 2009 release, The Chemistry of Common Life.

"I Am Blind" - Elephant Stone from The Seven Seas (2009)

Elephant Stone on MySpace

Melbourne, Florida's Clock Hands Strangle follow-up their CMJ Top 50 charting-debut with Distaccati; an evolution of their classic rock-influenced indie folk sound. Distaccati was mixed by legendary producer Geza X (Dead Kennedys, Meredith Brooks) at Satellite Park Studios.

Cognoscenti singer/songwriter, Todd Portnowitz, holds a degree in poetry from the University of Florida, and is currently attending the University of Wisconsin with the goal of receiving a master's in Italian. Throughout Distaccati, Portnowtiz and the band take the listener on a sonic and literal pilgrimage from an arid desert to the concrete miasma of New York City to an Alabama cotton field, weaving a story of the moon's eternal loneliness and a stone that questions its sculptor.

"Distacci" - Clock Hands Strangle from Distacci (2009)

Clock Hands Strangle on MySpace

The second music video from Distaccati, "The Moon Looks Back," features a collage of archival footage from B-movie sci-fi and monster flicks.

Although we already featured The Sun's second, and last album, Don't Let Your Baby Have All the Fun, as one of the best overlooked LP's of the year, it is so good that we have to share two more tracks with you all that were not included the initial review.

Unfortunately, Don't Let Your Baby Have All The Fun represents The Sun's break-up album, and yet, thankfully, the band left us with a magnificent LP that we'll cherish years from now. Like The Format, we'd love to see this band get back together some day. Fingers crossed. You can hear the influence of Spoon's producer Mike McCarthy all over this LP, which is, amazingly, available as a free download from

"Alien" - The Sun from Don't Let Your Baby Have All the Fun (2009)

"Do The Sucker" - The Sun from Don't Let Your Baby Have All the Fun (2009)

The Sun on MySpace

Singer and songwriter Daniel Bellmann and bassist Olaf Borchert began to collaborate in a meadow near the Elbe River in Hamburg, Germany back in 2003. They started with just six simple songs and an old acoustic guitar. Three months later they were recording their material at Gentle Art Studio in Hamburg with help studio owner Karsten Deutschmann on guitar and session drummer Florian Brandel.

Deutschmann and the studio's co-owner and drummer, Henry Sperling, were so impressed with the music that they asked Bellman and Borchert to form the band, Six Simple Songs.

Band members of Six Simple Songs cite The Beatles, The Clash, Social Distortion, The Descendents, Hüsker Dü, Dramarama, The Replacements, Art Brut, U2 and Coldplay among their biggest musical influences.

"You Want It (To Be With Me)" - Six Simple Songs from Upside Down (2009)

Six Simple Songs on MySpace

Back in May we featured the Brooklyn band Aeroplane Pageant. Now we have another single from their latest - and widely acclaimed - LP to share with all of you. The band's first single, "Stars Still Pretty," was one of AOL's Top 10 tracks of 2009.

Aeroplane Pageant's 2007 debut LP Wave to the Moon paved the way for the band to open for bands like Vampire Weekend, The Hold Steady, Dr. Dog and Tokyo Police Club.

"Stars Still Pretty" - Aeroplane Pageant from Even The Kids Don't Believe Me (2009)

"I Remember I Think" - Aeroplane Pageant from Even The Kids Don't Believe Me (2009)

Aeroplane Pageant on MySpace

Lemonwilde is an unsigned, Los Angeles alternative rock band that create dark, spacious tracks full of crooning vocals, ambient guitars, and seductive drum and bass that at times are reminiscent of Radiohead, Muse and Franz Ferdinand.

Such bold comparisons pan out on the band's debut EP, Red Room, released earlier this year. The sprawling and forbidding track, "Danse," has helped make Lemonwilde a hit in the alternative rock scene. Another single, "Just This Ashtray," was featured on IRC this past summer. You can also listen to more songs from Red Room on Lemonwilde's official website.

"Danse" - Lemonwilde from Red Room EP (2009)

Lemonwilde on MySpace

This next couple of songs are definitely different from most of the music we usually feature on IRC. Cracked Latin's (yes, terrible band name) "Caracas Shakedown" is an enthralling and eclectic mix of genre-bending styles, including tropicana pop, Havana-New Orleans hybrid jazz with a Squirrel Nut Zippers meets They Might Be Giants feel throughout.

"Caracas Shakedown" - Cracked Latin from s/t debut (2009)

Nuyorican R&B and Latin Soul recording artist, and nephew of baseball legend Roberto Clemente, Lugo, is back with a new track that he is making available today for all of you called "Subway Songs," a cut from his latest LP, Oye. Lugo has traveled as a USO Armed Forces performer to Afghanistan, Korea, Spain, Italy, Japan and the UK to entertain U.S. troops deployed around the world. Lugo is signed to the independent label Love Kiss Music.

"Subway Songs" - Lugo from Oye (2009)

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   December 29, 2009    1 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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Last week we kicked off In Dee Mail Special Edition with part one of the series. That playlist was quite a success, and there is still more great music that has been emailed to us that we are eager to share with all of you. We hope you find some keepers in today's mix, and become a friend/fan of an artist or band that you never heard of before until now.

First up: Dylan In The Movies is the musical brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Brian Sullivan. In 2006, Sullivan and his Boston band DIY'd their debut EP, Feel the Pull, and caught the attention of deejays at the popular rock radio stations KCRW and KEXP, as well as many bloggers.

The band's debut LP, Josephine If You Only Knew, will drop in the spring of 2010 on American Laundromat Records, featuring guest spots from The Watson Twins and Tanya Donelly (Throwing Muses, Breeders, Belly). If you dig Echo and The Bunnymen, you're bound to enjoy this band's music. Looking forward to this LP; in the meantime, here's an advanced single.

"Josephine" - Dylan in the Movies from Josephine If You Only Knew (2010)

The Fling recently sent a song titled, "Wanderingfoot," and we were immediately intrigued by their 60's-era psychedelic rock sound mixed with elements of folk, and filled with multi-layered pop harmonies. The band include among their favorite bands and artists, Grizzly Bear, Fleet Foxes, Richard Swift, Arlo Guthrie and Led Zeppelin.

In addition to their fellow Long Beach residents, Avi Buffalo, The Fling will be a southern California band to watch in 2010. You can buy some of their music on the band's official website.

"Wanderingfoot" - The Fling from Out of My Head 7" (2009)

Welcome to Ashley is a Chicago band that mixes the influences of post punk and power pop to create an original sound that has begun to creep out from the Windy City to other areas of the country. Their sophomore LP, Absent Man, was self-released. The band formed in Chicago with members of the former Missouri indie band The Bennies. It's hard not to want to hear more from a band that list among their favorite albums, The Stone Roses' self-titled debut, The Replacement's Don't Tell a Soul, and Jesus & Mary Chain's Darklands. Check out Welcome to Ashley's MySpace page for more.

"Nothing But Grey Skies Ahead" - Welcome to Ashley from Absent Man (2009)

In and around their home base of Philadelphia, the band East Hundred have been garnering positive reviews and building a loyal and growing fan base. Their debut album, Passengers (2008), was produced by Brian McTear (Matt Pond PA, A-Sides) and recorded at the Philly studios of Miner Street Recordings.

"Slow Burning Crimes" - East Hundred from Passengers (2008)

This next song sounds like early Velvet Underground meets The Doors; we dig the spacey, mysterious and psychedelic slow jam of the song "Strange Transmissions" from Orlando, Florida's Strangers Family Band.

"Strange Transmission" - Strangers Family Band from s/t EP (2009)

With credits on The Lonely Forest's excellent debut LP that we featured earlier this year, Seattle resident Michael Perkins has recorded some songs under the moniker Maklak, one of which we are featuring here called "Cutting Clouds." On the song, Maklak plays all of the instruments himself.

Drawing from the local influences of Nirvana and The Melvins, to name a few, Maklak serves up melodic alternative rock that is beginning to attract a fan base outside his following in the Pacific Northwest.

"Cutting Clouds" - Maklak, single release (2009)

The response to our featured article on the Arizona duo The Smiles and Frowns was huge - there were hundreds of downloads of their songs over the course of two weeks. See the original post here. Therefore, to meet the demand, and thank their many new fans, the band is sharing another single from their new, debut self-title LP.

"When The Time Should Come" - The Smiles and Frowns from s/t LP (2009)

Canada's Said the Whale newest album, Islands Disappear, is full of songs about Canada. The songs are folk inspired for the most part, and rely heavily on guitar picking and prolific lyrics. Last month, STW won the CBC Radio 3's Bucky Award for "Most Canadian Song" - "Emerald Lake, AB." You can buy the album containing that song, and other great tracks, on the band's official website.

"Holly, ON" - Said the Whale from Islands Disappear (2009)

This next artist was a nice surprise in our email box. We've always been fans of jazz, and Nheap, the moniker of Italian composer and musician Massimo Discepoli, delivers his own brand of jazz on the new release, Skymotion. It's not traditional jazz, but much more of a fusion with electro pop elements.

The first song, "Hldrrr," is sweet, even Christmas-y; perfect for a visit with guests sitting in front of the fire with your egg nog or Baileys. The follow up track, "Aphelion," sounds just like something that could work on a soundtrack to the TV show, Heroes.

"Hldrrr" - Nheap from Skymotion (2009)

"Aphelion" - Nheap from Skymotion (2009)

More noteworthy songs sent In Dee Mail:

"The Gospel Of Carlos, Norman And Smith" - Rickie Lee Jones from Balm in Gilead (2009)

"We're Gonna Make It" - The Orange Peels from 2020 (2009)

"The Glitch" - Zealots from Flowers For My Broken Head EP (2009)

"Motorcycle" - A Brief Smile from Restaurant Airport EP (2009)

"Sacred" - The Belated from Belief in the Process (2009)

Part One of the In Dee Mail Year-End Special Edition features:

- Sean Walsh & The National Reserve
- Devries
- Jupiter One
- Julian Plenti
- Parlour Steps
- Fin Fang Foom
- Sabrosa Purr
- Jacob Faurholt
- Summer Dregs
- A Classic Education
- Mist and Mast

You can also view the entire In Dee Mail series on one page.

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This mix is a special edition of In Dee Mail, featuring music from a variety of artists and bands who have sent their music to IRC. We literally receive hundreds of submissions a month, and therefore, we try to pick the best songs to share with you. As 2009 rapidly closes out, we are launching this multi-part series to catch up with some of our favorite submissions.

Brooklyn based multi-genre rockers Sean Walsh & The National Reserve mix traditions of country, honky tonk, Motown and classic rock on their debut LP, Homesick, a compendium of songs about heartbreak, highways, and the lonesome human condition that were written by Walsh during a one-month stint in Ontario, Canada.

Walsh recruited a band
band - The National Reserve - and enlisted producer and engineer Kyle "Slick" Johnson (Modest Mouse, The Hives, Cymbals Eat Guitars, Rogue Wave) to bring the songs to fruition. The LP was subsequently released on the band's own label, Lover's Dream Records, and includes vocal contributions from Michelle Casillas of Ursa Minor. Since the release of the LP, the band has shared the bill with bands like Dr. Dog, Vampire Weekend, Vandaveer, and Hymns.

"You Know" - Sean Walsh & The National Reserve from Homesick (2009)

Sean Walsh & The National Reserve on MySpace

Travis DeVries, of legendary Seattle band The Turn-Ons, has embarked on a new band project, simply named DeVries. Much like his former band, his new work draws from the golden age of Britpop-Manchester bands like Suede and The Stone Roses, with lyrics that touch on a wide range of range of topics from trans-gendered children (“Boys are Bores”), to global warming (“Slowing Down”), and economic upheaval (“Black Thursday Repeat”). Death to God was released last month via Noise on Noise Records.

"Darkest Summer" - Devries from Death to God (2009)

Devries on MySpace

The next artist, Jupiter One, hails from New York City, and are hardly an unknown band. In addition to their well-received new album, Sunshower, they also opened for Regina Spektor on a recent, successful tour of the States. Jupiter One has a vintage pop rock sound and reminds us a lot of an artist or band we've heard of, but we just can't put our finger on it, and so far, iTunes' Genius, hasn't provided any reliable clues. Do any of you have an idea? The track featured here, "Flaming Arrow," was made available via Ryko Records.

"Flaming Arrow" - Jupiter One from Sunshower (2009)

Jupiter One on MySpace

Julian Plenti of the prog-rock band Interpol made a big splash this year with the release of his debut solo LP, Skyscraper Is. Plenti also just wrapped up a U.S. tour that was, by all accounts, a huge success. Here is a song from his debut that was sent in from one of our favorite labels, Matador Records.

"Fun That We Have" - Julian Plenti from Skyscraper Is... (2009)

Julian Plenti official website

Parlour Steps hail from Vancouver, and have just released their third full length, The Hidden Names, an ambitious affair that features sweet acoustic ballads; intricately arranged tracks and epic, energetic rockers in the style of The Decemberists and Franz Ferdinand.

"Bleeding Hearts" - Parlour Steps from The Hidden Names (2009)

"Little Pieces" - Parlour Steps from The Hidden Names (2009)

Parlour Steps on MySpace

Chapel Hill, North Carolina post punk band Fin Fang Foom return with their first new LP in six years. The album showcases the riveting interplay between Michael Triplett's pensive, yet powerful, guitar playing, Eddie Sanchez's rumbling bass guitar and restrained singing, and Mike Glass' dynamic drumming. Monomyth is a testament to Fin Fang Foom's ability to overcome hardship, following the death of the band's first drummer, Peter Enriquez, and by Triplett's near-death experience with spinal meningitis in 2004.

"Magnetic North" - Fin Fang Foom from Monomyth (2009)

Fin Fang Foom on MySpace

Sabrosa Purr is a genre-defying rock band from Los Angeles, California, comprised of members Will Love, Jeff Mendel, Ry Sarmiento and Angie Mattson. In 2006, they released their self-produced debut EP, Music from the Violet Room on Dangerbird Records, landing in the top ten album lists of and Bagel Radio.

From a dingy recording studio on Santa Monica Blvd., Sabrosa Purr propelled forward, opening for bands like Silversun Pickups, Cold War Kids and 30 Seconds to Mars. Their new EP Volaras, produced by Tracy Chisholm (Stone Temple Pilots, Belly) was released this past summer. The track featured here is hauntingly beautiful, mysterious and trippy.

"One Weak Moment" - Sabrosa Purr from Volaras (2009)

Sabrosa Purr on MySpace

Last month, Danish singer/songwriter Jacob Faurholt's released a new EP titled Why Write? via Canadian label What A Mess. The EP is recorded in the summer of 2009 with good friends in Denmark and mixed and mastered by American producer Kramer (Galaxie 500, Daniel Johnston, Low, Half Japanese).

"Burning Holes" - Jacob Faurholt from Why Write? (2009)

Jacob Faurholt on MySpace

The following tracks are simply awesome and don't require much writing about. Dig the cool sounds of Summer Dregs, Mist and Mast and A Classic Education. These were sent to us from Banter Media & Management in Sacramento, California. They also manage Surfer Blood, Neon Indian, Furcast, Technoir MA, Boomsnake and The Traditionist, among others.

"Bones" - Summer Dregs from From Gold to Green (2009)

"What My Live Could Have Been" - A Classic Education from 7" release (2009)

"X-Ray" - Mist and Mast from Action at a Distance (2009)

Stay tuned, there are many more great artists and bands from In Dee Mail Year End Special Edition, Part Two coming up soon.


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From their first meeting in October 2008, Swimming In Speakersʼ multi-instrumentalist Chris Clarke and talented vocalist Meadow Eliz of Saranac Lake, New York used a Casio, a laptop and a hodge-podge of analog equipment to begin recording songs together. Here is their lo-fi, dreamy pop as featured on the songs "In Knowing" and "Serve Them Well."

"Serve Them Well" - Swimming in Speakers from s/t EP (2009)

"In Knowing" - Swimming in Speakers from s/t EP (2009)


Los Angeles singer/songwriter Scott Ryan, along with his band, create experimental, melodic folk and indie rock using a range of instruments, including mandolin, glockenspiel, wurlitzer, organ, mellotron, guitar, violin, bajno, thumb piano, bass and drums. The band's music is mellow, at times downright somber, as evidenced on the song, "Tree Man." Another of the band's songs, "Houndstooth Coat," has an obvious, but nicely executed, Talking Heads-influence that borders on punk rock. Ryan has opened for artists like Sherwood, Josh Ritter and The Helio Sequence.

"Tree Man" - Scott Ryan from Tree Man EP (2009)

"Houndstooth Coat" - Scott Ryan from Tree Man EP (2009)

Scott Ryan on MySpace


The first time I heard the Black Mercies I thought of U2. Upon further investigation, some of you will disagree, but it's just what first came to mind. The Portland, Oregon's band describes its music as "infused with the cosmopolitan swagger of Roxy Music and the rapt melodrama of contemporaries like Muse and The Bravery." The band features "BB" on vocals and guitar, Colby Hendricks on bass, Caleb Skinner on keys and Eric Storm on drums.

"Ballad Of A Kept Man" - Black Mercies from Murder It Sweetly (2009)

Black Mercies on MySpace

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   November 19, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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In 1981, The Kinks released a hit LP titled Give The People What They Want. One of the best ways to know what the people want is to look at the numbers. The web stats for IRC show a lot of interest among visitors for 2008 indie rock music. We're not sure why this is, but here's a playlist of excellent 2008 songs most of you have probably never heard, and all of which were sent to us In Dee Mail. We hope you find a few here that you really dig, and check out more about the artists and bands who recorded them.

The Dublin, Ireland mellow experimental pop band The Dying Seconds, released their self-titled debut LP last year. Their music is a flourishing and dreamy fusion of electronic grooves blended together with trumpet, violin, clarinet, Tunisian bagpipes, synthesizers and harmonophones at nearly every turn, making it one of the best indie releases of 2008. And others agree. The blog MP3Hugger wrote, "As albums go [The Dying Seconds] is up there with the best of 2008."

Croatian indie band The Orange Strips' 2008 album, Follow LP, is full of lush melodies, accordions, guitars and overall memorable folk rock. Right away, their Gin Blossoms meets The Clientele sound makes the LP one of the most under appreciated international indie rock releases of 2008.

The indie rock band Technicolor Wolves are definitely on the radar taking the prized Best New Band of the Coachella Valley in 2008, and recently named the Best Band-Overall in 2009 by the Palm Springs newspaper, The Desert Sun.

The first time that we heard "I Was Only Sleeping" from Hotel St. George it reminded us of The Walkmen. But finding out quickly that it was not The Walkmen made the mystery even more intriguing. Wish there was more time to write about all of these terrific songs and bands, but the music speaks for itself. Enjoy.

"I'll Make The Best Weapon" - The Dying Seconds from s/t debut (2008)
"Everything Always" - The Dying Seconds from s/t debut (2008)

"Northern Lights" - The Orange Strips from Follow LP (2008)

"Reaction" - Technicolor Wolves from Charismarithmetic EP (2008)
"Ceiling Cracks" - Technicolor Wolves from Charismarithmetic EP (2008)

"I Was Only Sleeping" - St. George Hotel from Hundreds & Thousands (2008)
"Some Kind of Light" - Kids Club from Powder River (2008)

"Devil Dressed in Blue" - Right Away, Great Captain from The Eventually Home (2008)

"Woods Waltz" - The O'Darling from A Nice EP (2008)

"Outlander" - Pilgrim Speakeasy from Anarchitecture (2008)

"Blackboots and Blackhearts" - Sweet Jane from Blackboots and Blackhearts EP (2008)

"Puma" - Instiga from Tenho Uma Banda (2008)

"Egg & Spoon Race" - The Fancy Dress Party from Off The Beaten Tracks (2008)

"Dont You Worry" - Jim Noir from s/t debut (2008)

"Dress The Stage" - You Me & Iowa from s/t debut (2008)

"Wayward Son" - Bottle Up and Go from These Bones (2008)

"Organisms" - Caw! Caw! from Wait Outside (2008)

"Fire on Corridor X" - All The Saints from Fire on Corridor X (2008)

"Big City Bright Lights" - ArtOfficial from Stranger (2008)

"Hologram Buffalo" - Brightblack Morning Light from Motion to Rejoin (2008)

"We're Good" - Peasant from On The Ground (2008)

"Maryland" - Matt Morrell from Evette (2008)

"Roasting Song" - McCarthy Trenching from Calamity Drenching (2008)

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   October 29, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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beautifulsmallmachinesThere are plenty of indie artists and bands that have released great music in 2009. Some of the best have been published via the In Dee Mail (music sent directly to us) series; but surprisingly get little notice on other music sites and blogs. If you follow this site on a regular basis, you know that we regularly feature talented artists and bands that are rarely heard elsewhere; they all have one thing in common - they got our attention because their music stands out among the many other submissions we receive each month.

There is something very exciting, and special, about hearing good-to-stunning music that few other people know about. And there is no shortage of such music, by any means. Case in point is the New York City band Beautiful Small Machines?

The duo is Bree Sharp and Don DiLego that craft melodic electro-pop hooks and are admittedly "caught somewhere between the 70’s, 80’s and deep space". The title track of their new EP, Simple Joys, features Simon LeBon (Duran Duran) on vocals. Simple Joys drops October 13 via Elk Velvet Records, the day before a scheduled show at the CMJ Music Marathon in New York, October 20-24.

Jim Wallis of the London-based indie rock band, My Sad Captains, debuts with his electronic lo-fi solo album, "Fish/Fowl/Flood," under the moniker Looking Glass. Wallis' debut LP drops on Oct. 19. Also in this playlist are new songs from Florida rockers Inkwell; LA's alternative rock band Lemonwilde; the recently disbanded UK buzz group Calis Star; Chicago's punk band Cool Devices; Bi-coastal indie hipsters Esquimaux; Jersey City's melodramatic alt rockers Their Planes Will Block Out The Sun; pop experimentalists from Brooklyn Peephole; and UK indie group Mirror Kicks.

"Simple Joys" - Beautiful Small Machines from Simple Joys EP (2009)

"Ah La Ha" - Looking Glass from Fish Fowl Flood (2009)

"The Whale The Whale The Whale!!!" - Inkwell from Rivers of Blood and Sadness, or Maybe Happy (2009)

"Just Like An Ashtray" - Lemonwilde from Red Room EP (2009)

"The Goodwill Robot" - Carlis Star from Bedroom Demos (2009)

"Primitive" - Cool Devices from s/t debut (2009)

"Guilty Boat" - Peephole from Cold Dime EP (2009)

"In The Night" - Esquimaux from Wolf EP (2009)

"Teflon Kids" - Their Planes Will Block Out The Sun from White Dancer (2009)

"Turning It Up" - Mirror Kicks, digital single (2009)

There will be more installments of the In Dee Mail series in the coming weeks, spotlighting dozens of impressive songs you've probably never heard. At the end of this year, we're going to have a huge special edition, titled The Greatest of In Dee Mail, highlighting the best songs published on IRC throughout 2009.

Check out other artists and bands with free music in the archives of the In Dee Mail series.

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Current and upcoming releases (US dates)

12/7/09 Ólafur Arnalds - Dyad 1909
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2/23/20 Shearwater - The Golden Archipelago
3/2/10 Rogue Wave - Permalight
3/2/10 The Whigs - In The Dark
3/9/10 Frightened Rabbit - The Winter of Mixed Drinks
3/9/10 Ted Leo & the Pharmacists - The Brutalist Bricks
3/16/10 Drive-By Truckers - The Big To-Do
3/16/10 The Whigs - In The Dark
3/22/10 Jónsi - Go
3/23/10 She & Him - Volume 2
5/4/10 The New Pornographers - Together

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