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Friday, July 29, 2011

Similarobjects: The Limits of Thought

the limits of thought Cover Art

Similarobjects is the recorded persona of Phillipines electronic artist Jorge Juan B. Wieneke V. The Limits of Thought is his latest release and is a concept piece of sorts and as the artist states "is meant to propel the mind forward as a catalyst towards seeking the truth behind our existence." The six tracks take the listener on a mind expanding journey through synthesized sounds, spacey textures, ambient pads and experiments in song form and melody. This is expansive electronic music that is creative and surprising at every turn. Grooves develop, fall away and new grooves emerge. At times minimal and at times towering over you, The Limits of Thought is an album full of the promise. Stream and download The Limits of Thought at the link below.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tiger Choir: Unicycles

Unicycles Cover Art

Australian trio Tiger Choir serve up lo-fi-tinged garage pop on their debut full length Unicycles. Lush guitars and minmal electro elements are crafted together with layers of vocals to create a sound that is like taking a nice summer vacation. Tiger Choir cleanse the senses with dream pop that uplifts the spirit and refreshes the mind. The 10 tracks on Unicycles wash over you like a nice warm blanklet, that just feels so good. Feel good, stream and buy Unicycles at the link below.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Erica Buettner: True Love and Water

True Love and Water Cover Art

Erica Buettner is a musician of the world. Originally from Connecticut, she next lived in Paris and is now in Portugal. Her debut album, True Love and Water, brings all of these worldly influences to a beautiful crescendo of psych folk music that is a must listen. The album is dark and haunting, with her wondeful voice  left pure without over production. The 8 tracks sound as if they had been crafted in the early morning hours in the dressing room of Greenwich Village's old Bitter End. Buettner is a singer/songwriter of superlative talent and her debut will stand as a true testament to all of the greats that went before her. Stream and buy True Love and Water at the link below.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dumbo Gets Mad: Elephants at the Door

Elephants at the Door Cover Art

Elephants at the Door is the first full length from Italian psychedelic group Dumbo Gets Mad.  Trippy and experimental, this album is not the usual beach bound psychedelic music so prevelant on today's indie scene. Instead Dumbo Gets Mad gives us 10 tracks that actually create a psychedelic vibe, rather than wearing the tag as a hipster genre. Elephants at the Door is original, inventive, dark, interesting and compelling. It has an essence of unexpected song forms that evoke disparate infulences, but are wholly original. The album is a surprise and delight from start to finish. Stream and buy Elephants at the Door at the link below.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Evenings: North Dorm EP

North Dorm Ep Cover Art

North Dorm is the debut EP from Charlottesville shoegazer Evenings, aka Nathan Broaddus. Broaddus takes chillwave into a groove where unique ambient sounds, minimalist beats, lush pads and synths expertly craft instrumental pop songs. Even though instrumental, the 5 tracks on the EP are catchy and satisfy the hookiest needs of the genre. This is chillwave music at its best. North Dorm was released a little over a year ago and there are indications from Evenings that a new EP is coming very soon. We can't wait. Stream and buy North Dorm at the link below.

Friday, July 22, 2011

My First Earthquake: Friction

Friction Cover Art

Friction is the new album from aptly named San Francisco quartet My First Earthquake. Propelled by the punky vocals of Rebecca Bortman, the 10 tracks drive on with equal parts of catchy guitar and lush synth lines. This album is on the heavier side of electro-pop and just brims with classic new wave zeal. Every track is strong and the whole album works to create a feel of being in 1980, but at the same time sounding completely original. Lots to love here. Stream and buy Friction at the link below.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Clueless: Dubstep Beats Vol. 1

Dubstep Beats Vol 1 Cover Art

Dubstep Beats Vol. 1 is the second album from Norwegian artist/producer Gaute HjartÄker. Beats, beats and more beats is what you get, as you might expect. You also get towering synths, spacey synths and minimal synths. Add in some beautiful pads and you get a truly fine electronic album. This is a gem from a truly gifted musician. Stream and download Dubstep Beats Vol. 1 at the link below.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Meg and Dia: Cocoon

Cocoon Cover Art

Cocoon is the latest album from Utah sisters Meg and Dia Frampton. While comparisons to Tegan and Sara are unavoidable, they would be off the mark. Meg and Dia have stronger voices, their harmonies blend better and overall the sound is nicer. Cocoon weaves a bluesy, folky and at times alt rock sounding web through the 11 tracks. Decidedly indie in approach, but yet with elements from lo-fi to jazz, Meg and Dia show a depth on this album that brings their talent to the forefront. This album is strong from start to finish. Stream and buy Cocoon at the link below.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Black Whales: Shangri-La Indeed

Shangri-La Indeed Cover Art

Shangri-La Indeed is the debut LP from Seattle garage psych pop outfit Black Whales. The album has moments of lo-fi coupled with top notch production, imaginative instrumentals and strong vocals. Black Whales craft an original sound where a 60's vibe is propelled by alt rock guitars and folk sensibilities. The many stylistic influences are mashed up to yield very strong pop songs that are decpetively heavy. Black Whales are not caught up in the Seattle mystic, but rather follow their own path to an album that pushes boundries that other Pacific NW bands have missed. Stream and buy Shangi-La Indeed at the link below.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Hope Volume 3: Psytrance

Hope Volume 3: PsyTrance Cover Art

Hope Volume 3 is a compilation album from Japan based indie record label Brain Busters. This is the third release in the series of albums for the benefit of the Tohoku earthquake/tsunami victims. 100% of the proceeds of this album go to victim relief. The 15 tracks and bands on this album range across the spectrum of psychedelic and psytrance electronic music. A compilation like thyis is an easy way to sample lots of good music you might otherwise miss. Give Hope today. Stream and buy this album at the link below.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Creepoid: Horse Heaven

Horse Heaven Cover Art

Horse Heaven is the second album from Philadelphia's Creepoid. The record can be summed up in one word...great! Expansive acoustics, grungy electrics, vocals that invoke pouty rock goodness and 11 great songs. This album is a total package with superb musicianship and crisp production. Every track sounded familiar at first listen, yet no easy comparison jumped out. This is a band displaying originality wihile also displaying influences from The Pixies, to Nirvana, to Neutral Milk Hotel. I simply like everything about Horse Heaven and this will likely be seen again in my year end top picks. Go get Creepoid now at the link below.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Yawn: Yawn EP

YAWN E.P. Cover Art

The Yawn EP is the self titled debut from Chicago dream pop band Yawn. The five tracks are bright, hooky and fun. Jangly guitars, crisp vocals and nice harmonies abound. The EP also serves up a wealth of influences from Jamaican rhythms, to African harmonies, to aboriginal percussion to alt rock guitar. This is music made to be played on Sirius XMU. True indie goodness, but yet commercial and and radio ready. This is a very impressive debut from a band that surely has much more to offer. Stream and download Yawn at the link below.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Flashbulb: Love As A Dark Hallway

Love As A Dark Hallway Cover Art

Love As A Dark Hallway is the latest release from Chicago based multi-instrumentalist The Flashbulb, aka Benn Jordan. Jordan's music spans a wide berth, ranging from IDM, to jazz, to post rock. The 13 tracks on this album offer virtuoso performances on guitar, synthesizer and everything else Jordan is playing. Paired with flawless production, this makes for an album of surprising depth and unparalled musicianship. Jordan is an important artist that is a must hear for anyone into instrumental music. Stream and buy Love As A Dark Hallway at the link below.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

BoomBox: Downriverelectric

downriverelectric Cover Art

Downriverelectric is the sophomore album from Muscle Shoals duo BoomBox. The duo of Producer/Drummer Russ Randolph and Producer/Vocalist/Guitarist Zion Rock Godchaux, have the huge Muscle Soals musical heritage to draw from, as well as the Zion's considerable lineage as son of Keith & Donna Godchaux of The Grateful Dead. On Downriverelectric that heritage comes through loud and clear. Distinct R&B influences blend with house tinged synths and classic rock guitar to form a thoroughly modern indie album of Philly soul meets Toro y Moi disco punk music. BoomBox are a crisp, clean, eclectic mix of styles and textures, with a touch of jam band thrown in for good measure. Stream and buy Downriverelectric at the link below.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Coyote Clean Up: Double Trouble Deluxxxe


Whether the tag chillwave turns you off, or the tag indietronic turns you on, the genre led by producer/artist Washed Out is hear to stay. Of course any use of genre implies more than one practioner and Coyote Clean Up is our pick for the next big thing. This is laid back, lo-fi textured, minimalist ambient, psychedelic induced music at its best. Double Trouble Deluxxxe is the massive 32 track debut from the Detroit based artist. This album is luxurious, with every track moving over you like so many fingers massaging you into a deep, blissful dream state. This album is a must have and this artist is deserving of the support needed to produce more. Stream and buy Double Trouble Deluxxxe at the link below.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Artist Interview: Arrange

Plantation Cover Art

Arrange, aka Malcom Lacey, topped my best of 2011 so far list. His Plantation album has really caught the attention of the blogs, including a very favorable review by Pitchfork. Malcom was kind enough to sit down and give us some insight into his world and music.

FZB: 2011 seems to be going well for you. Assume the Pitchfork review was the high point. What all has been going on for you since the release of Plantation?

M.L.: You know, there really hasn't been that much going on musically since the release. I've been sketching out rough ideas for a new EP I'd like to release later in the year and recording a cover of Kanye West's "Say You Will", but outside of that and press exposure there really hasn't been much. 

FZB: The dark and at times tragic themes on the album have cornered the imagination of the blogosphere. Where does all the angst and depth come from?

M.L.:. Haha, I sometimes wonder myself why a majority of my musical output is so dark, but I'd pin it to an upbringing that was less than anchored.

FZB: You're a teenager right? So how do you dredge up such maturity musically and in your songwriting?

M.L.: Yeah, I'm 18 until November. Haha. I'm really not sure how the lyrical content came to fruition. Definitely a lot of late nights and ambien induced sleep I'd say. But no, I'm really not sure.

FZB: Tell us a bit about your background and how you got into music?

M.L.: I played/sang in a very unserious high school band that dissolved after I was sent away to wilderness therapy, but I've always been interested in music. My parents had gotten me interested in playing instruments from a very young age. I started taking piano lessons in 3rd grade and then guitar shortly after. 

FZB: Was the album a DIY bedroom project or did you do it in a conventional studio? Did you self-produce it? Were there other musicians involved?

M.L.: Plantation is very much a "bedroom" record. I didn't venture into a studio at all nor it produced by anyone but myself. I played and recorded all of the instruments myself unfortunately. I'd like to enlist the help of musicians down the road. It takes a lot out of me to go through recording music for all the instruments I wrote for.

FZB: What kind of equipment do you use? Guitars, amps, synths etc. Inquiring minds want to know?

M.L.: I have a really basic setup that consists of: keyboard/midi (Akai MPK 49), acoustic piano, DW drum set, various acoustic and electric guitars, and one small Marshall amp with various effects pedals (Loop Station, Digital Reverb, Delay, and Distortion). 

FZB: With the reception that Plantation has gotten, have you had interest from labels?

M.L.: I have had a few labels interested in the project, but nothing more serious than a "Plantation is great and would love to hear new material." I'd love nothing more to get on a label and tour, tour, tour.

FZB: What's next for you, endless touring or right back into recording more stuff?

M.L.: I'm working on crafting a live set right now. Which is definitely a bit hard when it's just you and a handful of instruments you couldn't possible play all by yourself. After that gets squared away (or possibly even during), I'm going to start recording the makings of a new record/EP.

FZB: What artists are you most into and who have been your biggest influences?

M.L.: Oooh, I get this question quite a bit. I LOVE ambient and classical music. I'd say my principal influences are Akira Kosemura, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, and Brian Eno. 

FZB: Any last comments you want to make? Any subject is fair game?

M.L.: Hmmm, I guess I'll never miss the chance to plug one of my favorite artists and bud's music. Sam Ray is a young musician out of Maryland that makes music under the Ricky Eat Acid moniker. I'm in love with his tunes. "Blinded" being one of my all time favorites. 

Listen to Arrange's track :Tiny Little Boy" below.

Work Drugs: Summer Blood

Summer Blood Cover Art

Dream pop has become a real force in indie with bands like Ariel Pink, Beach House, Puro Instinct and School of Seven Bells. With their debut album Summer Blood, Philadelphia based Work Drugs take their rightful place among this cadre. The ten tracks deliver a lo-fi sense, coupled to smooth pop songs, with an overall dreamy mix. Shimmering instrumental textures are layered around atmospheric, reverb heavy vocals to create a beautiful pop experience for the listener. Stream and download Summer Blood at the link below.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Snowmine: Laminate Pet Animal


Laminate Pet Animal is the imaginatively named debut LP from Brooklyn's Snowmine. The album features chillwave influenced ambient textures, mated to psychedelic guitars and vocals. The production is lush and boasts mixing done by Dave Trumfio who has worked with Wilco and My Morning Jacket. In addition to guitar, synths and drums, Snowmine employs strings, harp and other instruments to craft their pop tracks into truly serene works of art. Stream and download Laminate Pet Animal at the link below.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Blackbird Blackbird: Halo

Halo Cover Art

Halo is the latest album from San Fancisco shoegazer Blackbird Blackbird, aka Mikey Sanders. This album comprises old and new songs, unreleased material and b-sides. The 17 tracks live up to Sanders' already heady reputation. This is top level indie music featuring beautiful vocals, great musicianship and sterling production. The only real question is why Blackbird Blackbird is not on one of the bigger indie labels. So wake the F up Merge, Sub Pop and 4AD. It doesn't get more deserving than this. Stream and download Halo at the link below.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Floorshime Zipper Boots Top 10 Of 2011 So Far

It's that time of year again, so here are my top 10 so far for 2011 of the bands reviewed here on Floorshime Zipper Boots.

#10  Francisco The Man
Wonderful shoegaze music from the Los Angeles. Listen and you'll want more

#9  Burning Buildings
This is music that brings DIY to a new level.

#8  Stone Darling
Southern California, garage band, all girls, oh yes!

#7  Esque
This band takes art rock to the heights with top collaborations, strong tracks and great musicianship.

#6  Bad Lamps
Electronic pop music to take over the world.

#5  Teens
A garage band masterpiece from a band destined for the mass market.

#4 Oh NO It's POK
And we'll have fun, fun, fun, fun, till our daddy takes Oh No It's POK away.

#3  The Yellow Dogs
Great music inspiring storyline and a post punk album for the ages.

#2  Cassie
Beautiful record by a great band. Cassie deliver big time.

#1  Arrange
This could well be my album of the year, period. True greatness here from an artist who will go far.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Summer Babes: Open Swim

Open Swim Cover Art

As you've probably noticed it's summer and the blogosphere has been all about summer bands and songs. So in keeping with that, presented for your approval is Summer Babes. Open Swim is the debut full length from the Seattle garage rockers. Now being from Seattle puts quite a bit of pressure on a band to live up to an unimaginably large heritage. Summer Babes step right up to the challenge. Open Swim serves up 11 tracks of straight up guitar driven, hook laden, garage rock. The songs range from radio alt rock, to 60's retro, to riffy power pop. Through it all Summer Babes stay true to the garage band genre and never stray from a garage feel worthy of Hunx and his Punx or Gentleman Jesse and his Men.  Open Swim is an album to get you through the long hot summer. Stream and download Summer Babes at the link below.