Friday, December 19, 2014

Axons: Unmanageable

Unmanageable cover art
Whenever we think about the great music coming out of Chicago, our thoughts turn to Adele Nicholas, one of the busiest people in that fair city's music scene. Nicholas is an artist with multiple entities, an accomplished record producer and head of indie label Impossible Colors. Nicholas has come with a new album, Unmanageable, under her solo moniker, Axons. With lightly textured vocals, combined with darkish synths, melodic guitars and minimalist pads, she creates an ethereal sonic vibe of trippy beauty. This album is a must have. A limited edition CD-R is already sold out, but the release is available on hand packaged cassette or digital download. Stream and buy Unmanageable at the link below.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Bandicoots: No Turn On Red

No Turn On Red cover art
Ontario indie rockers, The Bandicoots, have released the second single, No Turn On Red, in advance of the upcoming EP, This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things. The track is an indie rock gem that is reminiscent of Arctic Monkeys. The EP was produced by Michael Keire (The Dirty Nil, Wildlife), and mastered by Brian Lucey (The Black Keys, Arctic Monkeys). The video for the song was filmed & edited by the band in true DIY fashion. The video is 3 minutes of channel surfing; making pit stops on some of the most ridiculous commercials, t.v. shows, and movies from the 50's, 60's and 70's  (Including the band's twist on Happy Days, Monty Python, and A Hard Days Night). Watch it below and then stream and buy No Turn On Red at the link below.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Frank Alexander: 5x5

5x5 cover art
Experimental artist/producer Frank Alexander releases an imaginative format EP, 5x5, on North Carolina's Silber Records. Delivering 5 songs in 5 minutes, this EP blends elements of post-rock, shoegaze, ambient, electronic and jazz into a format that passes all to quickly. Grab this one before it's gone. Stream and buy 5x5 at the link below.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Clara Barker: Indigo

Indigo cover art
UK indie label, Small Bear Records has released the  digital reissue of Clara Barker's acclaimed debut album 'Indigo'. Originally released in March 2010, this edition has been gently remastered and sees the addition of the 'Christmas In New York' single. 'Indigo' contains a variety of songs, ranging from the joyous and playful 'Cowboy, Ninja, Bear!' to the more downbeat and dark title track and features many live favourites such as 'Abigail' and the original version of 'Sangion' Watch the video for the track Abigail and then stream and buy Indigo at the link below.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Dave Kerzner: New World

New World cover art
New World is the debut solo album from former Sound of Contact keyboardist, Dave Kerzner. The eleven tracks comprise a concept album that follows the protagonist from being lost in the desert to finding his way back to his biodomed home city. Kerzner’s 78-minute concept album features an all-star cast of guest musicians including Steve Hackett (Genesis), Francis Dunnery (It Bites), Durga McBroom (Pink Floyd), Keith Emerson (ELP), Nick D’Virgilio (Tears For Fears), Simon Phillips (The Who), Billy Sherwood (Yes), David Longdon (Big Big Train), Heather Findlay (Mostly Autumn), Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree), Jason Scheff (Chicago), Russ Parrish (Thud) and more. Check it out at the link below.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Quinn Tsan: Good Winter

Good Winter cover art
Good Winter is the debut EP from Chicago singer/songwriter Quinn Tsan. The six tracks range from quirky pop songs to deep folk rock ballads. What really grabs one right off are the superb vocals, that flow into some fine songwriting, with engaging lyrics. This is all tied together with excellent musicianship and production. There is always a plethora of good music coming out of Chicago and given that, this EP is a remarkable standout. Stream and buy Good Winter at the link below.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

DRLNG: Icarus EP

ICARUS EP cover art
The Icarus EP is the debut from NYC and Paris based band DRLNG on Silber Records. The four tracks are dynamic shoegaze anthems with some phenomenal vocals and instrumentals. Bright, fresh and inventive, with sterling production and a thoroughly compelling vibe, this is one of our favorite releases of the year. This is a record just too good to miss and is a definite must have. Stream and buy the Icarus EP at the link below.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Big Lonely: Close Your Eyes, Keep Talking

Close Your Eyes, Keep Talking cover art
Close Your Eyes, Keep Talking is the debut album from Ontario indie rock quartet Big Lonely. The band of Jake Heise, Cole Mortillaro, T.J Bowman and Ciarán Downes deliver ten tracks of tight, well produced music. Furthering the tradition of fine Canadian indie music, this album is full of solid, radio ready, rock gems. Laced with wonderful melodies, crisp guitars and a rhythm section that never quits, this album is a must have. Stream and buy Close Your Eyes, Keep Talking at the link below.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Snooker Emporium: Snooker Emporium

Snooker Emporium cover art
Snooker Emporium is the self-titled debut album from this Montreal based experimental pop band, on Halifax indie label Poncho Records. The eight tracks are an exploration of psychedelic music as a more extended art form. The record is a dichotomy of expression; at times flashing with brilliant passages and otherwise appearing as a thoroughly pretentious exercise. This is clearly a band with a gifted musical vision, that is unfortunately lost in their self-absorbed need to appear as great auteurs, rather than being satisfied to make enjoyable pop music. For those into psychedelic retro indie music, this record will appeal to some and will completely put off others. Listen for yourself. Stream and buy Snooker Emporium at the link below.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Sava Marinkovic: Evocation

Evocation cover art
Evocation is the sophomore album from Serbian ambient artist, Sava Marinkovic, on the Italian DOF Label. The seven tracks deliver over 40 minutes of  darkish explorations featuring abstract guitar and electronic synthesis. Woven with poignant melodies, minimalist beats and well worn noise, the album reflects the influences of artists like David Sylvian, Christian Fennesz, Eivind Aarset. Stream and buy Evocation at the link below.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Prins Obi: Notions

Notions cover art
Prins Obi is the moniker of singer/songwriter George Dimakis, leader of Greek psych rock outfit Baby Guru. Dimakis has just released his debut solo album, Notions, on Inner Ear Records. The eleven tracks are psychedelic and trippy sensations and hallucinations,  with some recently written and others dating back 10 years. The album was recorded with the assistance of King Elephant and featuring special guests such as Sir Kosmiche, Kon Kon, KU and Christina. It is an amalgam of pop songwriting and electronic music (with particular emphasis on the use of the Moog synthesizer) and carries psychedelic frills and an aroma of late 60's-early 70's, but with unexpected changes in style. Stream and buy Notions at the link below.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Ando Laj: Miriam Transmission

Miriam Transmission cover art
Miriam Transmission is the debut EP on Hacktivisim Records by electronic artist/producer Ando Laj, aka Andy Lajeunesse. The Toronto based artist delivers six tracks of synth music that ranges from 80's retro sounds to dark post-apocalyptic soundscapes. While clichéd in places, the EP offer up some inspired passages and takes the listener through a forest of noisy sonic textures. Stream and buy Miriam Transmission at the link below.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Standards: Kids

KID cover art
Ontario punk band Standards have released their new EP, Kid. This record can be described in one word...perfection. With influences playing out to the likes of like The Clash, The Sex Pistols and shades of Irish bands, Standards are able inheritors. Raucous, loud and brash, the four tracks are simply perfection with lo-fi production and an ethereal din worthy of reverence. Stream and buy Kid at the link below.

Monday, December 1, 2014

I/II: Eathquakes Usually Come Around At Night

Earthquakes Usually Come Around At Night cover art 
Austrian label Totally Wired Records steps out with a splendid release, Earthquakes Usually Come Around At Night, from electronic/synthpop producer I/II. Fusing experimental rhythms and electronic melodies that are all propelled by dance beats, the five tracks drip new wave, bringing forth retro images of Rick Astley, with a modern techno sheen, . Stream and buy Earthquakes Usually Comes Around At Night at the link below.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Mama Coco's Funky Kitchen: A Funeral for Rock & Roll

FZB usually doesn't post on holidays, but today we use Thanksgiving here in the US to tell you about something special. Our friends at NYC label/collective Mama Coco's Funky Kitchen are have a special show... A Funeral For Rock N' Roll. Here are some very prescient words from them:
Mama Coco’s Funky Kitchen has read the writing on the wall, and has decided to throw a rowdy and joyous Funeral for Rock & Roll on December 6 at Aviv. Don’t miss this one!
2014: A hobbled record industry. A spectacularly diffuse and confused audience spread evenly across the imponderably vast internet. A music culture that is both increasingly marginalized and segregated by genre and social grouping. The ultimate commercialization of SXSW and CMJ, with no new avenues to discover and support new music. It’s enough to make the music-makers tear their hair out!
Recording studio, musician’s collective and all-around anarchic force Mama Coco’s Funky Kitchen has an idea: Let’s kill rock & roll as a concept once and for all, and flush the baby out with the bathwater, so that as musicians, listeners and people we can finally be free of all its attendant limitations, cliches and hang-ups. Let’s trash the bloated bag of bones, so that we may finally be reborn. Let’s usher in a new age of innocence, where music can be worshipped as the infinitely complex beast it is, and the only impediments to our musical explorations and experimentations are at the walls of our own imaginations!
Mama Coco’s will be throwing a New Orleans funeral for that beloved but mortally wounded old master on Dec 6 at Aviv, Brooklyn’s newest and finest DIY music venue. Headlining the show is psychedelic-folk legend and lawless force of nature PETER STAMPFEL, revered for his electrifying performances and for his groundbreaking work with the Holy Modal Rounders. Rounding out the bill are 5 more of MCFK’s finest: the riotously thrilling THE BROOKLYN WHAT, post-R&B weirdos THE GRAVEYARD KIDS, psychedelic rabble-rousers GOD TINY, neo-folk nomad LIAM and scuzz-rock heroes SKINNYBONES.
There will be a communal, moaning jazz freakout to close the night, and much pomp and circumstance throughout. We humbly request your attendance at the funeral. 
A Funeral for Rock & Roll
with Peter Stampfel, the Brooklyn What, the Graveyard Kids, God Tiny, LIAM and Skinnybones
@ Aviv (496 Morgan, Brooklyn NY)
$7 at the door

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Low Country Hill: Low Country Hill

Low Country Hill cover art
Low Country Hill is the self-titled debut from Hamilton, Ontario singer/songwrtiter Paul Hogeterp. The nine tracks evoke comparisons to such stalwarts as Hey Rosetta and Bon Iver, but yet really does not sound particularly like either. The tracks stand on their own as testaments to superlative songwriting and an album produced to showcase haunting, beautiful music. The album was a joint effort between Hogeterp and a cast of friends and guests, including Pat Sansone (Wilco) and Bill Dillon (Joni Mitchell, Peter Gabriel, Robbie Robertson and Sarah MacLachlan), and was produced by Dave King at his barn studio on the outskirts of Hamilton. This is a definite must have. Stream and buy Low Country Hill at the link below.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Rllrbll: Bathing Music

Bathing Music cover art
Bathing Music is the latest release from experimental outfit Rllrbll, on North Carolina's Silber Records. Blending a plethora of genre influences from post-rock to shoegaze, to jazz, to ambient, the nine tracks are a sonic exploration of depth and texture. Weaving together melodic elements with minimal rhythms, the effect is one of a dream state, where sound forms internal images that will be unique to each listener. This is one that everyone needs to give a listen, whether you're into ambient music or not. Stream and buy Bathing Music at the link below.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Bitter Fictions: Derelict Drift

Derelict Drift cover art
Canadian label Shaking Box Music has released Derelict Drift, the new album from Calgary based artist/producer Bitter Fictions, aka Devin Friesen. The six tracks are an experimental exploration of guitar based drone and ambient music. The album features Friesen on solo guitar with plenty of tape loops and feedback, all drifting and droning to create a unique sonic landscape.  The 15 minute long track Dream Negation was written when Friesen opened for noise great Merzbow last May. This album is a fine example of the depth of artistry that can still be found in ambient based music. Stream and download Derelict Drift at the link below.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Whitewash: Fraud In Lisbon

Fraud in Lisbon cover art
NYC shoegazers Whitewash have released their debut EP, Fraud In Lisbon, on Atlanta based label Human Sounds Records. The six tracks are reverby, atmospheric affairs with a nice post-punk edge. The production is not up to par, which is disappointing for an otherwise fine debut. The band of
Sam Thornton, Evan Glazman, Jonathan Ben-Menachem and Aram Demirdjian have a sound that is somewhere between Ariel Pink and GBV. Stream and buy Fraud in Lisbon at the link below.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Christopher Reilly: Lies Told From Under The Cocoa Tree

Lies Told From Under the Cocoa Tree cover art
New Jersey singer/songwriter Christopher Reilly has released his latest EP, Lies Told From Under The Cocoa Tree. The five tracks are indie folk stories from a troubadour in the same vain as Colin Meloy and other fine story tellers. What really sets this EP apart from the typical folk foray, is its huge sound. With big production, hot mastering and towering vocals, this is a folk album that will also appeal to those more interested in rock. This is a must have. Stream and buy Lies Told From Under The Cocoa Tree at the link below.