Best New Album Releases of 2013
April 2nd, 2013 – Listen to the best new songs from this week’s top album releases from the Generationals, Mudhoney, Hookworms and more! Amazing playlist of singles from new releases.
Top New DIY Releases – Is Paris Burning, Heyrocco, Matt Churchill, The Hyper Actives, No TV Tonight!, Rounds
This past week’s top DIY album releases mix includes new singles, EPs and LPs from artists and bands from Kansas City, Brooklyn, Stockholm, and two artists and bands each from London and South Carolina.
Embracing the C-86 music style of jangle pop fused with post-punk (even if they don’t realize it), Kansas City, Missouri indie rock band, Is Paris Burning, hits the mark on the catchy new single, “Wild,” from the band’s self-released double single that was released DIY style on Wednesday. The B-side track, “The City,” is just as enjoyable as the A-side, and there are bound to be folks who cannot decide which of the two they like the most. That’s always a good sign for a new band.
Is Paris Burning got together in 2012, and already they’re starting to make inroads on the DIY indie circuits. This is apparently the first time the band has been featured on a major indie site. In addition to having opened for bands like The Features, Rags & Ribbons, and Gold Fields, the band consider among their top musical influences U2, The Smiths and The Maccabees, to name a few.
“Wild” – Is Paris Burning from Wild – Jan. 30th
“This City” – Is Paris Burning from Wild
DIY Radar Band HeyRocco Drop New Single
Heyrocco is a Charleston, South Carolina based group made up of three best friends who decided to delay their college education to pursue their passion for music. Since forming in 2010, Nathan Jake Merli (vocals, guitar), Christopher Cool (bass, korg) and Tanner Cooper (drums, mandolin), Heyrocco has been gradually building a fan base thanks to their unique dark, nostalgic pop songs, and energetic and compelling live performances, opening for popular indie bands like Mutemath, Surfer Blood, Miniature Tigers and The Whigs, among others.
Heyrocco’s sound is often compared stylistically to bands such as The Cure, Nada Surf, and early Strokes, and, according to their bio, “spiked with an experimental blend of Broken Social Scene meets On A Friday.” In April of 2012, they dropped their debut LP, Comfort, followed this week by the release of a new single, “Elsewhere,” from a yet to be announced album supposedly planned for release this coming spring. “Elsewhere” is upbeat, catchy, and bursting with indie pop energy – the kind of song you want to play on a cold, dreary winter day because it sounds like a track for a springtime MP3 mix. Also check out the track, “Rave Monks,” from Comfort. Lastly, Merli’s answer to the ‘What is indie rock?’ question was: “Indie rock is a community of bands and labels that put out honest music. And goddamn does the world need it.”
“Elsewhere” – Heyrocco from Elsewhere single
“Rave Monks” – Heyrocco from Comfort (April 2012)
Stockholm Rock Trio The Hyper Actives
After gaining success in Sweden and across Europe, DIY rockers, The Hyper Actives, released their debut album, Rock ‘n’ Roll Lives Again, this past week in the U.S., following the official European release in November of 2012. After having played in different rock and metal bands in Stockholm, musicians Jens Holst (bass, lead vocals) and Jonte Skogsbrand (guitars, backing vocals) began work on The Hyper Actives in April 2008, with a concentration on traditional rock with strong melodies, memorable hooks, speed, intensity and groove. The following year, the duo discovered drummer Danne Berg, and the rock trio was complete.
The band’s fast-driving, energetic, blazing 70s-ish arena hard rock sound is molded in the tradition of bands like Black Sabbath, Johnny Winter, ZZ Top and AC/DC. In the summer of 2011, the band broke out with their first single, “Yeah Yeah Yeah,” which put them on the map in Sweden thanks to generous airplay by radio DJs, that eventually caught on outside of the country’s borders. The band is also planning to release a couple of EPs, and their sophomore full-length album, Top of the World in 2013. Here’s the band’s take on ‘what is indie rock’: “Indie rock is a creative explosion and a celebration of everyone’s possibilities [to] speak up and be heard in this new world, breaking down old hierarchical systems that have existed for many centuries.” Interesting.
“The Promised Land” – The Hyper Actives from Rock ‘n’ Roll Lives Again – Jan. 28th
“Rock ‘n’ Roller Man” – The Hyper Actives from Rock ‘n’ Roll Lives Again
Lawdan Mazloom’s New Band Drops Self-Titled Album
The Mazloom Empire is a pop-rock outfit from Columbia, South Carolina, headed by the 21-year-old musician Lawdan Mazloom. She started out not long ago playing acoustic solo shows before recruiting guitarist Zac Thomas to found TME. Eventually a full band was put together, featuring respected local musicians like Brett Kent (bass), Marshall Brown (piano), and Steve Sancho (drums). Kyle Petersen of the Free Times recently wrote that The Mazloom Empire is “one of the most talent-heavy lineups in the city.”
Mazloom’s smooth, yet powerful, vocals rise above the edgy, melodic grooves on the standout track, “Crystal Chandelier,” and as well on the more personal, emotive track, “Alison.” Mazloom’s main musical influences include Wilco, Ingrid Michaelson, The Kooks, and Tegan and Sara.
“Crystal Chandelier” – The Mazloom Empire from The Mazloom Empire – Jan. 29th
“Alison” – The Mazloom Empire from The Mazloom Empire
In response to the question (“What is indie rock”) on the submission form, Mazloom answered: “Indie rock is what keeps the world going round. It keeps things interesting. It keeps things different. Indie rock is the soul of music.”
DIY Brooklyn Outfit No TV Tonight! Debuts Split Single
Brooklyn based punk rock duo No TV Tonight! dropped a 7-inch split single on Saturday with fellow Brooklyn band Tin Vulva. Formed a year ago by guitarist and vocalist Jaime Marcelo and drummer Matt Storm, Tearing a page from the DIY principles of punk’s forefathers, NTVT!! does it all themselves with a focus on the music, first and foremost. Their energetic and passionate live shows have already garnered a local following in just a few months following the band’s first show last September. Among other things, an east coast tour in March and the release of their debut full length in the summer are in the band’s future for 2013.
“The Great Panic” – No TV Tonight!! from Split 7″ (with Tin Vulva) – Feb. 2nd
“Murder House” – No TV Tonight!! from Split 7″ (with Tin Vulva) – Feb. 2nd
Indie rock is “music for the love of the music. Independent of ulterior corporate motives. Passionate and honest.” – Jaime Marcelo / Guitar + Vocals
CA-Via-CT Artist Paul Hull Drops New LP
Pat Hull is a soul/singer-songwriter from Connecticut currently based in Chico, CA. His music intertwines melodic vocals and finger picked guitar notes to create a dreamy landscape with unpredictable hooks and interesting turns. Hull’s newest release, Shed Skin, was recorded in Bennington, Vermont, and produced by J.J. Beck and Michael Chinworth, aka, ‘The Mothers,’ who recruited an instrumental ensemble to support Hull’s vocally and lyrically charged performances. His musical inspirations include Radiohead, Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley, M. Ward and D’ Angelo. Hull will be touring the east coast for the next two months in support of Shed Skin.
“Full Parade” – Pat Hull from Shed Skin – Jan. 26th
“Shed Skin” – Pat Hull from Shed Skin
Denver’s Eye and the Arrow Embrace Genre Change
A little more than a year old, Denver band Eye and the Arrow is a DIY indie outfit that incorporates a number of genres into their music, without limiting themselves to one or two genres. The band’s new EP, If By Fire, is an amalgamation of musical styles created by long-time friends and collaborators.
“This is our first real release,” says guitarist and vocalist Paul DeHaven, who describes the band as “built on the interplay of the trio, tireless syncopation, and songwriting.” There are odd time changes and witty plays on words. On the single, “Prophet’s Hometown,” folksy earnestness abounds, which percolates with viola and cello arrangements. On the track, “LSD Western,” Mark Anderson’s drumming leads a growing psych-rock war cry that is engaging and compelling.
“This album is an exploration of our potential as a three piece band, of style and song structure through the lens of our collected creativity,” adds bassist Jason Hecker. “It’s derived from the spirit of punk bands that shaped us all in high school, while keeping in step with the emotional and musical complexities that we’ve found in artists like Sufjan Stevens and Wilco.” Eye and the Arrow will be touring in this spring and summer in support of If By Fire.
“Prophet’s Hometown” – Eye & the Arrow by If By Fire – Jan. 26th
“LSD Western” – Eye & the Arrow by If By Fire
London Acoustic Artist Matt Churchill Drops 7″
Matt Churchill is a DIY acoustic singer/songwriter from London who takes inspiration from “the way that people communicate and interact, turning these every day actions into stories.” We don’t know very much about Churchill, but his new self-released double-single, “Radar” displays his fondness for a mix of styles, including acoustic, indie folk, and shoegaze, as evidenced by the title track and the B-side, “Not Enough Feet.”
About playing live, he wrote: “Each set is never the same, with the audience dictating the mood and ambience.” Churchill’s musical influences include Neil Young, Idlewild, Nick Drake, Noel Gallagher, Band of Horses and Buffalo Springfield.
“Radar” – Matt Churchill from Radar – Jan. 28th
“Not Enough Feet” – Matt Churchill from Radar
London Electronic Artist Rounds Releases Debut EP
Rounds is a London-based alternative electronic trio that is not exactly DIY (they are signed with a small indie label, Blind Colour) and has grown a fan base in the U.K. and Austria. Their debut EP, Falter, includes five tracks of richly textured and layered experimental electronic music that is more revealing after repeated plays. Rounds doesn’t opt for gloomy sounds, as much U.K. electronic does, but instead, as the band wrote: “a fusion of The Cure and Radiohead-esque melodic pop and alternative rock; the experimental bass music of bands like Burial or Mount Kimbie, and ambient and deep house laced with glitch, Warp-inspired electronic soul born from a huge range of influences.”
The band consists of Robert Cooper (vocals, synths), Andrew Chapman (guitar, synths), and Ashley Kemp (drums, sampler). Falter is the band’s follow-up to the July 2012 debut EP drop, Escapist, the latter which received positive reviews among British music sites and blogs.
“Falter” – Rounds from Falter – Jan. 28th
Best New Releases, Week of Jan. 29th – Local Natives, Golden Bloom, Tegan and Sara, Lost Animal, Mice Parade
As with last week, this week’s lot of new albums offers an impressive collection of fresh releases to keep any music lover busy for the next few days. After more than three years, the popular indie band Local Natives finally dropped the follow-up to their 2009 widely-acclaimed debut record. The new album’s lead track, “Breakers,” is everything fans would expect from the band – washed in layers of lo-fi guitar rhythms, oh-ah choruses, synths and percussions. Another indie artist that has made waves on our pages in the past year or so is Golden Bloom, whose new album No Day Like Today, is definitely worth a spin, and one of the standout tracks, “Flying Mountain,” is one of the best singles of the week.
“Breakers” – Local Natives from Hummingbird on Frenchkiss
Check out the official Local Natives’ video for “Breakers”
“Flying Mountain” – Golden Bloom from No Day Like Today
“Closer” – Tegan and Sara from Heartthrob
“Kingfisher Call Me” - The Ruby Suns from Christopher on Sub Pop
“Say No to Thugs” – Lost Animal from Ex Tropical on Hardly Art
“I Am Haunted” – Indians from Somewhere Else on 4AD
“See You” – The History of Apple Pie from Out of View on Marshall Teller Records
“Monster Misdemeanors” – Yellow Red Sparks from Yellow Red Sparks
“Drift Away” – Bleeding Rainbow from Yeah Right on Kanine Records
“Avenue B” – La Big Vic from Cold War on Underwater Peoples
“This River Has A Tidevz” – Mice Parade from Candela on Fat Cat Records
“Say No to Thugs” – Lost Animal from Ex Tropical on Hardly Art
“Mama” – Onward Chariots from This Is My Confession on Skipping Stones
“Say No to Thugs” – Lost Animal from Ex Tropical on Hardly Art
“Sean” - Parisian from Phaseone/Parisia on Lefse Records
“If We Were Banished” – Radar Brothers from Eight on Merge Records
“Just To Make Me Feel Good” - Adam Green and Binki Shapiro from Adam Green and Binki Shapiro on Rounder Records
5 DIY Bands to Watch in 2013, Vol. I – Hemmingbirds, Jumpiter, Cloud Lantern, The Jesus Rehab and Appalachians
Over the past few months, we have received, and reviewed, hundreds of submissions from mostly DIY artists and bands. In the coming weeks and months, we’ll be sharing the best artists of the hundreds of submissions we’ve reviewed (and will continue to review) with you via a number of playlists series that highlight talented unsigned bands that deserve to be heard. This is the first volume of 5 DIY Bands to Watch in 2013.
Hemmingbirds – Chicago, Illinois
Riding on the success of their debut record, Death Wave, released in 2010, Chicago indie rock band Hemmingbirds began working on its follow-up early in 2012. Departing from the original solo writing process (attributed to band leader Yoo Soo Kim) of Death Wave, Hemmingbirds worked on their sophomore effort, The Vines of Age, collectively. As a result, the album marks a transition from the group’s original folk- influenced sound into something heavier, noisier and more soulful.
“Line of Bones” – Hemmingbirds from The Vines of Age – Sept. 25th
“Toxic Noise” – Hemmingbirds from The Vines of Age
Jumpiter – Brooklyn, New York
Jumpiter is the musical project of Brooklyn solo artist Sean Schuyler, who writes and records in his ‘cramped’ apartment with the goal of channeling his “inner Jimmy Page to make some fun headphone listening.” While any Jimmy Page comparison is way off from the reality, the two songs featured below are pretty good for a solo artist few have heard of. In November, Jumpiter self-released a self-titled fifth release, featuring a collection of hard-rock and power-pop songs touching on darkness and humor in songs like “Asbestos Of The Gods” and “Bugspray.”
“Bug Spray” – Jumpiter from Jumpiter
“Asbestos Of The Gods” – Jumpiter from Jumpiter
Cloud Lantern – Albuquerque, New Mexico
From the magical desert southwest area of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Cloud Lantern blipped on our radar with their self-produced DIY release of the EP, Songs for Eluard. The band integrates post-punk, surf pop, garage rock, shoegaze and math-rock, and have become well-known within Albuquerque DIY indie rock scene. The new EP is a tribute to the poet Paul Eluard, whose contributions to the surrealist art movement are well-noted.
Cloud Latern’s sound is risque, enthralling and accessible; the first single, “Backgammon,” is a bright, sunny summer day, lo-fi surf pop track, featuring a driving drum beat, crashing cymbals, and lo-fi, surf rock guitars jamming away. The second single, “Pushkin Around,” is yet another surf pop mixed with post-punk track that comes off very much like a noise pop or power pop track. The band most recent release was in July of 2012.
“Backgammon” – Cloud Lantern from Songs for Eluard EP
“Pushkin Around” – Cloud Lantern from Songs for Eluard EP
Website: Cloud Lantern’s Official Website
The Jesus Rehab – Seattle, Washington
The Jesus Rehab is a Seattle DIY indie rock band that has its roots in southwest Michigan, where lead singer Jared Cortese and his brother, Dominic Cortese, began to write and record the songs that would later become the band’s first EP, Scatterbrained in 2007. The EP was well-received, and the band extensively toured the Pacific Northwest, and also appeared at South by Southwest (SXSW) in 2010. The band’s sound is marked by powerful vocals and driving rhythms which have led to comparisons to bands like OK Go, The Flaming Lips and Weezer. Last April, they dropped their new album, Drunken Hillbilly Fight Bar, and sent us in these two singles.
Website: The Jesus Rehab Official website
Appalachians – Sacramento, California
Appalachians is a Sacramento DIY duo formed in 2010 by musicians Marshall Van Leuven and Trevor Dahl. The duo first met in a jazz band in the 6th grade, and have been making music together ever since. In addition to songwriting and singing, Van Leuven and Dahl play guitars, banjos, mandolins, washboards, among other instruments. In July of 2012, the duo dropped their debut album, The Rolling C’s, featuring terrific songs like “Playing Pretend” and “Outro.” We’re looking forward to what the duo release this year; apparently, there is a new album in the works.
“Playing Pretend” – Appalachians from The Rolling C’s
“Outro” – Appalachians from The Rolling C’s
Listen to more tracks from Appalachians’ Bandcamp page
Best New Releases, Week of Jan. 22nd – Ty Segall, Toro Y Moi, Joy Formidable, Nightlands, Growlers, Ra Ra Riot, FIDLAR, DRGN King
What a blockbuster week for new album drops, and the singles from those releases. In fact, this is the first week of 2013 in which there are a significant number of anticipated releases, as well as surprises, from a variety of well-known artists and bands.
While the Best New Releases playlists posted in recent weeks started out slow, they started to pick up in mid-January. In fact, there is quite a bit to listen to from many artists that we’ve followed for years – like Ty Segall, Toro Y Moi, The Joy Formidable, Nightlands, The Growlers, Ra Ra Riot, and DRGN King, among others. In addition to the impressive number of new albums from well-known artists, there are some great new releases from new-to-us bands like Gliss, FIDLAR, Nosaj Thing, The Night Marchers, Arboretum, among others.
Ty Segall Teams Up with Mikal Cronin on Reverse Shark Attack
Anytime we see anything with Ty Segall‘s name on it, we get excited, and his latest track with Mikal Cronin, “I Wear Black,” is a raucous rocker with crazy Jimi Hendrix-like guitar affects; but the duo go even further, using various modern pedal effects and such to belt out a chunk of guitar and drum noise that is probably the most cut-throat track from a new album so far this year.
“I Wear Black” – Ty Segall & Mikal Cronin from Reverse Shark Attack on In The Red
Toro Y Moi Evolves Again on His Newest Album
Toro Y Moi is easily one of the top indie artists of the past couple of years. And while his music has gone through tremendous evolution and change since he started out in 2009, so have his abilities, and time and again, he proves that his talents and songwriting skills are worthy of all of the attention he has received since hitting it big in the world of indie rock in 2010 to the present day. His new album is yet another progression of his mastery of his latest fancy – pop and R&B.
“Say That” – Toro Y Moi from Anything in Return on Carpark
For an artist who started out in electronic and integrated elements of hip hop and other genres in the past few years, Toro Y Moi, otherwise known as Chaswick Bundick (what an interesting name, plus it rhymes, and you can bet he’s heard just about all of the stupid jokes and puns regarding his name), he is remarkably consistent when it comes to delivering excellent results. People don’t care what someone’s real or made-up name is – they care about the music, especially among folks who are repelled by mainstream, overly commercialized ‘music.’
In addition to the catchy lead single, “Say That,” from Anything in Return, we also included a bonus track and links to two videos, which, when you watch them through the built-in Yahoo player, should pop open a screen and play them right on the page so you can stay where you are in order play or download all of the other singles from the week of January 22nd, 2013′s releases.
“Try” (feat. Toro Y Moi) – Nosaj Thing from Home on Timetable Records via Innovative Leisure
New Singles from Nightlands, The Growlers and Others
Nightlands has been on our radar for the past year or more, and the band’s new album, Oak Island, was also one of our top anticipated releases for January. Here is the terrific single, “So Far So Long,” followed by the latest singles from the new albums by The Growlers and The Joy Formidable.
“So Far So Long” - Nightlands from Oak Island on Secretly Canadian
“Use Me for Your Eggs” - The Growlers from Hung at Heart on Everloving
“This Ladder Is Ours” - The Joy Formidable from Wolf’s Law on Atlantic
Ra Ra Riot Change Up, Introducing DRGN King, FIDLAR and More
The Syracuse, New York, indie band Ra Ra Riot dropped their third full-length album, Beta Love, this week, featuring a noticeable change in style from baroque pop to synth pop, a switch in sound the band embraced after cellist Alexandra Lawn left the band last year. Following Ra Ra Riot is the Philadelphia band to watch DRGN King, with the frenetic, catchy track, “Wild Night,” from their accomplished album, Paragraph Nights. Switching gears quite dramatically, FIDLAR, the lo-fi garage/surf rock band from Los Angeles, jumped into the fray this week with their blistering self-titled debut album, followed by The Night Marchers, Gliss, Renny Wilson, Arbouretum, Foxygen, Pillowfight and Big Harp.
“Beta Love” - Ra Ra Riot from Beta Love on Barsuk
“Wild Night” - DRGN King from Paragraph Nights on Bar None
“Cheap Beer” - FIDLAR from FIDLAR on Mom & Pop Records
“All Hits” - The Night Marchers from Allez Allez on Swami Records
“Weight of Love” - Gliss from Langsom on Modern Outsider Records
“By and By” - Renny Wilson from Sugarglider on Mint Records
“The Promise” – Arbouretum from Coming Out of the Fog on Thrill Jockey
“Shuggie” - Foxygen from We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic on Jagjaguwar
“Used To Think” – Pillowfight from Pillowfight on Bulk Recordings / EMI
“Waiting For Some Drunk” - Big Harp from Chain Letters on Saddle Creek
New Releases from DIY and Indie Label Artists The Hot Dark, Norwegian Arms, Brave Baby, John Haesemeyer and Eric Howl
Earlier this week, IRC ran the Best New Releases of the week, featuring singles from new albums by artists like Yo La Tengo, Virals, Free Energy, Christopher Owens, as well as the Band of the Week, Scarlet Youth. This post is basically volume two with great new singles from DIY and small label artists like The Hot Dark, Norwegian Arms, Brave Baby, John Haesemeyer and Eric Howl.
First up is San Francisco DIY post new wave, sax-rock band The Hot Dark who dropped their new EP, oddly titled January 2013 EP, earlier this week. The two singles the band sent in from the new EP are fairly good for a DIY band has been together for less than a year. As you’ll hear, the six-piece fog city band has a big sound and a lot going on in their tracks with all kinds of instruments – from electric guitar to the saxophone. The lead track, “Blossom,” is simply a great track, easily of the best of the week.
“Blossom” – The Hot Dark from January 2013 EP
The band actually started out as a duo in 2007 when musicians Kiel Williams and Rick Moore joined forces in a trashy Boston apartment. Since then they have released two studio albums under the name Descendants of Prospectors. The duo grew to a six piece touring band to play the complex arrangements of the recordings on the road. As the band progressed, their sound ventured far from the electronic folk sounds of their original album, and with the added influence of singer/songwriter Owen Ridings, it really began to feel like a whole new band. Despite the resistance from a core group of die hard fans, they decided their new band, now based in San Francisco, needed a new name, thus the birth of The Hot Dark .
“In Retrospect” – The Hot Dark from January 2013 EP
The band members consider among their top musical influences artists such as Francis and the Lights, Minus the Bear, Rubblebucket, m83 and Tuneyards.
Philly Musicians Brendan Mulvihill and Eric Slick’s Debut as Norwegian Arms
Written in Siberia over the course of an intense, cold year, knee deep in snow and cultural shock, musician Brendan Mulvihill returned to Philadelphiaa few months ago to begin recording the songs that he wrote while isolated in the frozen tundra overseas. Mulvhill reunited with his Norwegian Arms partner, Eric Slick from Dr. Dog, one of Philly’s most popular local indie rock bands, to craft the first Norwegian Arms LP released earlier this week.
“Like a Stray Dog” – Norwegian Arms from Wolf Like a Stray Dog
Charleston’s Brave Baby Drops Debut LP
Here’s another band that you’ll probably not read about or get a chance to hear on any other site we know of. Charleston, South Carolina indie band, Brave Baby, crossed our radar for the first time last week after they sent in a couple of tracks from their debut LP, Forty Bells, dropped this week via the small indie label, Hearts & Plugs. We’d say, after listening to Forty Bells, that Brave Baby is a band to watch in 2013.
On the standout track, “Magic & Fire,” the band grooves on a feel good rhythm, soaring lead guitar jams by Christian Chidester, chorus-led vocals, rounded out by Wolfgang Zimmerman’s steady drum beats and crashing cymbals, and an understated bass line. On the second single the band shared with us, “Living in a Country,” the overall sound is a bit more melancholy, especially as delivered by the wonderfully emotive vocals of Keon Masters, and cut with erie, high-pitched synth notes. But the song is largely dominated by the jangling, shoegaze-style electric guitars.
“Magic & Fire” – Brave Baby from Forty Bells
“Living In A Country” – Brave Baby from Forty Bells
The band has opened for groups like Holy Ghost Tent Revival, ELIM BOLT, The Rejectioneers, and others, and consider among their musical influences Arcade Fire, The Killers, Fleetwood Mac, and Bon Iver.
Brave Baby Artist Page – Hearts & Plugs
Acoustic Artist John Haesemeyer Fuses Folk with Other Genres
Inspired by legends like Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen, San Francisco acoustic folk artist and singer/songwriter John Haesemeyer dropped his new album, Come Along Quickly, earlier this week. Originally from the Midwest, I am a San Francisco singer-songwriter who fuses folk, country, and popular genres. In April of 2012, Haesemeyer quit his corporate job to focus on his “lifetime passion” of songwriting.
“Musically, the album spans a variety of genres,” Haesemeyer said, “unified by my voice and acoustic guitar.” He recorded the album at the legendary Hyde Street Studios (where artists like Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s Deja Vu was recorded) and at the nationally renowned San Francisco Conservatory of Music, featuring 15 instruments and four vocalists. Haesemeyer is reportedly working on a music video for the album’s title track with the talented film director, Sebastian Sdaigui, and his esteemed production team from the highly acclaimed Berkeley Digital Film Institute.
“Come Along Quickly” – John Haesemeyer from Come Along Quickly
“A Little Confidence” – John Haesemeyer from Come Along Quickly
“Indie rock means that you are focused on the art of music , not the commercial aspect – being true with yourself and your listeners.” – John Haesemeyer
Pennsylvania Musician Eric Howl Records with Houshiarnejad Farzad
Doylestown, Penn. – Local musician Eric Howl, a DIY singer/songwriter of various styles, including rockabilly, blues, indie and folk, was lost in 2009 and down in the dumps. But a 50-something schizophrenic called Cal, snapped him out of his depression and inspired him to record a new album.
“Your generation doesn’t want to study you all want is to be famous tomorrow,” Cal said. That comment set Howl on a journey of devouring and studying the music of legends such as Buddy Holly, Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, and Blind Willie McTell. But it wasn’t enough; Howl’s soul was still torn and he felt buried beneath the earth. He flew to New Orleans after a Reiki Healer in a Chicago airport told him he should be a healer. Howl also fled to NOLA because he was tired of making music with machines, and sick of the rapid pace of the east coast. While couch surfing and traveling with strangers, he pursued a rejuvenation of his love for jazz again, and learned about ragtime and skiffle. In 2012, Howl recorded I’m Going Down with his friend Houshiarnejad Farzad of the indie band Drink Up Buttercup.
“I’m Goin’ Down” – Eric Howl from I’m Goin’ Down
“You Already Know The Way To Brahma’s House” – Eric Howl from I’m Goin’ Down
Major Musical Influences included Bob Dylan, Elliott Smith, Jay Electronica, The Beatles, Buddy Holly, and The Shins
“Indie rock is the resonance of how American music began; from the swamp. The power and freedom of voice and people, community and spirit. Being haunted and thrown on the back of a violent wolf on the way into hell, then climbing out with a guitar.” – Eric Howl
Best New Releases, Week of Jan. 15th – Yo La Tengo, Virals, Free Energy, Christopher Owens, Pickwick & Sharon Van Etten
The number of new album releases is now starting to pick up. In fact, this week presents a healthy dose of new drops from a variety of artists covering a wide spectrum of musical styles. Some of the more popular and well-known artists and bands with new material out this week include Yo La Tengo, The Head and the Heart, Virals, Free Energy, Christopher Owens, and Pickwick, among others. We’re also working now on a treasure trove of excellent new albums, and singles from those albums, by an array of DIY and small label artists, set to post this weekend – you’ll really want to put aside some time to read about, and listen to, nearly a dozen talented artists and bands that most of you have probably never heard of before (and many of which will only be posted on IRC).
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.