Rivers is the self-titled debut EP from the West Virginia band of Melody Petras, Abbie Merryman, Brady Lytton and Dillon Richardson. The five tracks are melodic, indie rock ala Two Door Cinema Club and Noah and the Whale. The tracks are driven by the excellent vocal stylings of Petras, with the songs being wonderfully written and performed. Unfortunately, the whole thing is a bit undone by a terrible, disjointed mix. This is a good band that could benefit greatly from hooking up with a producer. Stream and buy Rivers at the link below.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Sunsets by Midnight is the new album from New York shoegaze artist No Wave Cinema, aka Jonathan Carom . Blending a lo-fi aesthetic with dreampop song stylings, Carom offers us a glimpse at soundscapes that feel singular and personal to the listener. Atmospheric vocals blend with minimalist instrumentation to creates moods that convey a depth to each track. With an ambient wash to the tracks, the listening experience becomes visions of passing auras, with some rock flourishes to snap us back from the dream. A beautiful record. Stream and download Sunsets By Midnight for free at the link below.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Portland based dreampop artist/producer Arrange, aka Malcom Lacey, first appeared on this blog in May of 2011. In the intervening time, counting reviews, an interview and best of lists, he has been featured on this blog more than any other artist. Though showing early promise with a couple of very favorable reviews in Pitchfork, Arrange has seen wider recognition of his music remain elusive. It has been a year and a half since there has been a new album, but now that wait is rewarded. Lacey has returned with his most ambitious work to date, the eleven track masterpiece, Their Bodies in a Fog. Retaining his trademark platform of angst, Lacey has nonetheless matured thematically, musically and as a producer. The album spans the depths of artistry, creating sonnets so compelling that one is awestruck by the emotions displayed. Need we say, this is a must have. Stream and download Their Bodies In A Fog at the link below.
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Ontario post-punk auteurs The Raspberry Heaven have released the Insomnious EP. Dark and haunting, the five tracks weave a melodic tapestry of intimate sounds that move to the melancholy we all know too well. With similarities to such masters as Connor Oberst and Okkervil River, the music blends an acoustic bed with punk electrics. The Raspberry Heaven have crafted a totally compelling record that is a definite must have. Stream and download the Insomnious EP at the link below.
Monday, March 3, 2014
Outward Differentiation is the new EP from Polish artist/producer Suffering Astrid, aka Bruno Janiszewski. The two tracks offer almost 30 minutes of soaring, noise laden, introspective and yet melodic ambient soundscapes. With elements of drone and shoegaze, the EP is a dense artistic affair, more in line with a transcendental experience, rather than setting the background mood that ambient pieces are usually condemned to. This is a truly artistic work, with sonic brushstrokes that call for close scrutiny and focused attention to reach oneness with the music. Stream and download Outward Differentiation at the link below.
Friday, February 28, 2014
Real Far East is the sophomore EP from Ohio indie rock group Saturn Batteries. The band of Brad Gibson, Justin Sheldon, Brad Rutledge and Archie Niebuhr make rich indie rock, with the same stylistic vibe as Of Montreal, Woods and Real Estate. The five tracks, take a more laid back approach to their music, utilizing melody rather than distortion as the driving force in the songs. Sterling instrumental work, nice dynamics, thought provoking lyrics and everything in fine balance is the mark of this EP. This is a band to get to know. Stream and download Real Far East at the link below.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Still is the debut album from Little Rock, Arkansas band Nouns. The twelve tracks are a trip down that old emo lane. Nouns are retro pop-punk band in the classic sense of Fall Out Boy or Panic At The Disco. The album has a lo-fi production feel, but sticks to pretty much formula sounding, alt rock infused commercial radio music. If you like that old emo sound then Nouns is the band for you. Stream and download Still at the link below.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Eastern Europe has been the haven of real punk music in recent years, with FZB finding great punk bands in Poland the Czech Republic and Russia among others. Now comes Phooey!, the punk project of a Ukraine DIY artist named Nikita O. All we know about Phooey is what exists on record. The prolific artist marks his 10th release with the Hello, Doubt EP. The six tracks share the sonic ground with the likes of Jay Reatard and Public Image Ltd, taking a more melodically constructed, but no less raw approach to the punk idiom. The EP has a compelling sound that definitely needs to be heard. Stream and download Hello, Doubt at the link below.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Isle of Man duo Postcode return with their third album Zebratronic. Marie Reynolds and Mikie Daugherty make music that rolls through moods like the seasons. This album is haunting post-punk with some spritely electronic touches. The 14 tracks have a darker vibe, with the only comparison that comes to mind being How To Destroy Angels meets Patty Smith. Postcode has a heavier raw edge to their tracks. This is an album with its own character that needs to be experienced and gets better every time one hears it. Stream and download Zebratronic at the link below.
Monday, February 24, 2014
Here at FZB we present emerging music from all over the world. Every region has it's own character and influences. The depth of the music we find is stunning. Today, we have South Africa based French artist/producer Mr Kito, aka Eric Michot. His new EP, Where Are The Lizards, sees release today. The six tracks represent some of the most original music out there. Mr Kito channels new wave influences, with both rock and pop shadings, ranging from heavy guitar to ethereal synths, framing crisp vocals and intricate harmonies. The songs themselves have a quirky character that can be both sweet and enticing, as well as sinister. Stylistically, Mr Kito is equally hard to pin down. Our best take is think early Talking Heads and Television paired with Serge Gainsberg. A definite must have. Stream and buy Where Are The Lizards at the link below.
Friday, February 21, 2014
The Lawman 7" is the latest 2 track offering from Ireland based punkers Girl Band. The tracks Lawman and Heckle the Frames, are stark, assaultive and perfect. We are consumed by live and raucous bricks, leaving no place to run, fulfilling the promise of any truly great punk record not to allow the listener respite. The 7" vinyl limited edition of 300 is sold out, but you can stream and download the virtual 7" for free at the link below.
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Bon Voyage is the sophomore album from Lyon, France based rockers Sport. The 11 tracks grab you with a heavy emo/altrock/punk hybrid that is full of energy. The album gets much of that energy from the instruments being recorded live in the studio. What this yielded is an album that is a force to be reckoned with. In the same vein as The Used and My Chemical Romance, Sport serve up a powerful album of angst and radio ready pop-punk. Stream and buy Bon Voyage at the link below.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
FZB favorite Goodman is back with his sophomore LP Isn't It Sad. Produced by Oliver Ignatius at the Mama Coco's Funky Kitchen collective in NYC, Imagine the album as done by a young hip Todd Rundgren loose in NYC now, doing a post-punk grand vision while channeling everything ever written in the 60's. Stylistically varied and a masterpiece of class, Goodman continues to mature as a writer and performer. This is a must have. Stream and buy Isn't It Sad at the link below.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
February, 18 will go down as a special day musically for our friends at Stars and Letters Records in Brooklyn. Today sees the release of Guilt Mirrors and the return of Shocking Pinks, aka Nick Harte. Harte is an enigmatic artist showing flashes of brilliance over his career. Guilt Mirrors is his triptych dreampop masterpiece. Dark, poppy, minimal, dense, contradictions that wander beautifully through the album. This is an important piece for one's collection. Stream three tracks and buy the complete 33 track digital album at the link below, with the a limited edition 12" vinyl available as well, but act fast as only 63 of the 500 to be pressed are still available.
Monday, February 17, 2014
Today marks the release of Tides, a massive 21 track album from Minneapolis indie rock duo Loop Line. Rarely have we heard an album where so many different influences mixed together, yielded such original sound. Led by lush vocals and harmonies, with music that has personality and is unafraid to let some progressive chops do serious work on dreampop leaning tracks. The album is also unafraid to be huge. 21 solid tracks is a daunting task in anybody's book. The one minor imperfection, is that the album could have more sonic impact if it had been mastered a bit more aggressively. Regardless, this is a must have. Stream and buy Tides at the link below.
Friday, February 14, 2014
Roland is the latest album from Michigan rockers Minutes. Bringing a solid post-punk ethos, the twelve tracks bristle with dynamic changes and sonic variety. The twelve songs are personal and intimate, sharing influences with Weezer at their best and also an unmistakable grunge vibe. The band of Chafe Hensley, Mark Larmee, Ike Turner and Ryan Nelson have crafted an album that has a sense of the troubadour wrapped in a pop-punk package. Stream and buy Roland at the link below.
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Northern California dreampop artist Blum, aka Nathan Blum, has released his DIY self-titled debut EP. Heavy doses of reverb and jangley guitars embrace the listener. Taking a page from artists like Youth Lagoon and Gem Club, Blum creates music that is laid back but yet driving, blending rocker influences with the sinuous texture of chill pop music. Blum debuts as a talent to be reckoned with and delivers a must have EP. Stream and download the Blum EP at the link below.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Something Wicked is the debut album from Chicago garage rockers North By North. The band of Nate Girard, Kendra Blank and Dylan Andrews entice us with a massive 18 tracks of hard edged blues based garage rock. Reminiscent of the Black Keys, North By North are a no holds barred group and the album brims over with energy. A slight lo-fi vibe and a live feel abound, though not at the expense of a fully produced record. This is a definite must have. Stream and buy Something Wicked at the link below.