Yay is the debut album from Crystal Shipsss. This is the side project of one of FZB favorites, Berlin based singer/somgwriter Jacob Faurholt. The ten tracks feature lo-fi tinged production and an experimental indie feel. Unmistakeable though is Faurholt's great songwriting and eerie vocals. From light and airy, to heavy and fuzzed out, Yay is a journey into Faurholt's extraordinary range as a songwiter. Few artists can support two solo projects, but Faurholt's prolific output never fails to impress. Stream and download Yay at the link below.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Dogs in Spirit is the latest album from Swiss experimental indie artist Anna Aaron. The album is wide ranging from dark ambient, to piano rock, to psuedo-alternative. The whole record is driven by Aaron's incredible vocals. Strong, with a broad range and beautiful timber, Aaron layers her voice into soaring harmonys and shows herself as one of the most accomplished vocalists in indie rock. Dogs in Spirit brims with musicianship and the songwriting is superlative. Stream and buy Dogs In Spirit at the link below.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Tape Club is the latest album by enigmatic indie band Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin. Hailing from Springfield, MO, SSLYBY draw the 26 tracks on this double album from the archives of their 10 years together. Weaving together freak folk and straight forward indie rock, Tape Club is a powerful work that feels more like a coherent album than a decade long retrospective. This shows the strength of the band that has always chosen making quality records over prolific output. Tape Club now gives us both in a grand double album that is strong from start to finish. Stream and buy Tape Club at the link below.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
We stay in South America for one more review. This time it is Lima, Peru artist/producer i am genko. La Petit Mort is a 4 track EP that is ostensibly remixes, but since the originals are completely unknown and it appears unavailable, this seems more like an original work. The tracks are dreamy electronica worthy of the best hipster listening collection. Strong from the start, the only drawback is we have but 4 tracks to enjoy. The artist tells me he is working on a new album and I can't wait to get more of his music. Stream and download La Petit Mort at the link below.
Today marks the release of my second solo electronic album, The Paradox Illusion. The ten tracks are equally divided with half vocal and half instrumental. The tracks range from dark ambient on Enceladus, After Hours and the noise oriented Dadaist Echoes, to the house influenced Traffic and City Lights. Electronica is the influence on Psychogenic Fugue, At The Gazebo and Hiding Under The Stairs. I take a more dream pop, chillwave direction on Arcade Games and M-Brane Wayz. A limited number of free downloads are available by clicking buy and entering 0 in the Name Your Price box. I have a brand new Facebook page to go with this release. Please visit it by clicking on the Facebook link under my bio in the upper right corner of my Bandcamp page. Please help me out by hitting the Like button on both my Bandcamp and Facebook pages. The link to my Bandcamp page to stream and download The Paradox llusion is below.
Monday, September 26, 2011
Ecuador isn't the first place that comes to mind when thinking of great indie rock bands, but maybe it should be. Can Can's second full length Caos is an incredible record. Going from pop ballads, to psychedelic latin rhythms, to searing rock, the album delivers on every track. Denisse Santos' vocals draw you in deeply, only to be demolished by the guitar work of Daniel Pasquel. The album makes fine use of dynamics to enhance the strong songwriting. This record is great from start to finish and the band would find wide appeal with an English language version. Stream and buy Caos at the link below.
Friday, September 23, 2011
Jungle Habits is the debut full length from Miami psych garage band Young Circles. This is not traditional garage music. What Young Circle craft is a highly original and edgy electronic rock that shows influences ranging from Thom Yorke to King Crimson. This is an album that is interesting on every level an album can be interesting on, musically, lyrically, vocally, instrumentally and in its production. The song forms are impeccable and the sound achieved compelling. This is a record that every indie afficiando should have in their coillection. Stream and download Jungle Habits at the link below.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
The Big Web 7" is the latest from Boston rockers Pile. This is a heavy album that stradles the ground between post-punk and post-hardcore. Heavier than most post-punk, but more structured and melodic than most hardcore. The three tracks drive forward with Pile's of energy, a touch of lo-fi in the production and boundless energy. This is the kind of rock record we need to remember what rock is supposed to be in this age of syrupy indie music and dreamy beach tomes. Stream and download the Big Web 7" at the link below.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Let It Burn is the third full length release from Davis, California trio The Common Men. The 10 tracks crank out reverby California post-punk sounds with a distinct traditional punk influence. The album is poppy at times, but also hard with lo-fi production values and some heavy guitar passages. The guitar work is compelling, with distinct influences from U2's The Edge and the lyrics interesting, yet not foregoing hooks both vocal and instrumental. This is an album that will instantly grab you and keep you coming back for more. Stream and buy Let It Burn at the link below.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Velvet Veins is the debut EP from Oakland, CA's Cold Love. The downtempo EP features powerful synths on all five tracks, that belie the ambient layering and textured vocals. As a debut this is a masterful work showcasing an abundent sense of form and composition. The tracks evoke dark and sensual imagery that consumes the mind when listening with headphones. Stream and buy the Velvet Veins EP at the link below.
Monday, September 19, 2011
Vivian is the latest EP from post-rock multi-instrumentalst/producer Andrew Othling, otherwise known as Lowercase Noises. Dedicated to Othling's newborn daughter, the 5 tracks offer lavish sound landscapes of beautifully layered guitars and ambient keyboards that meld into music that soothes and inspires. This EP brims with superlative musicianship and high production quality. The record is a testament to the feeling the artist tapped into in producing it and is a fitting legacy for a new child to grow to appreciate. Stream and download Vivian at the link below.
Friday, September 16, 2011
The Forever People is the self-titled debut album from these New York shoegazers. Let me sum up my feelings about this album right up front...absolutely F-ing great! This is as near a perfect record as I've heard. Love the vocals, love the guitar sounds, love the songs, love the phrasing...Just love it. This is absolutely an undiscovered gem. So what else is there to say except Sub Pop. Kill Rock Stars and Merge, wake up and sign this band! Stream and download The Forever People at the link below.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Great music can come from unlikely places. The repressive regime in Iran has provided a breeding ground for the emergence of great post-punk bands. The Yellow Dogs were #3 on my top 10 bands for the first half of 2011 and you can be sure that Hypernova will be on my year end best bands list. Exit Strategy is the debut EP from Hypernova and it is great on several levels. First, it was recorded live, but has a production value well beyond that of most live records. This brings me to the second point, great musicianship. You simply have to listen to Exit Strategy to undertstand. Finally, great songs and lead vocals. This is a band and record that work on every level and are marked for wider recognition. Stream and download Exit Strategy at the link below.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Mezcal Noon is the debut EP from Long Island artist Warm Speakers, aka Patrick Berlinquette. So right off, I know this makes two chillwave reviews in a row, but the new Neon Indian, Toro y Moi and Washed Out have me mezmerised, so please bare with me. That said, the Mezcal Noon EP stands on its own as a great record. The synth work is terrific and the vocals are balanced, airy and stand out as leads rather than after thoughts. The five tracks are a sultry mix of minimalist beats and hints of Philly era R&B. Warm Speakers finds his own unique twist on the genre. Stream and buy the Mezcal Noon EP at the link below.
Dadaist Echoes is another track from my album, The Paradox Illusion, being released on September 27th. It is a dark ambient, noise piece inspired by the non-conformist and anti-authoritarian views of the Dada artistic movement that was spawned by World War I.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Imagination Projects is the debut album from Nanosaur, aka San Fracsisco Bay native Michael Solorzano. Nanosaur makes chillwave music, a genre defined by the inimitable Carls (if you don't know who Carls is, deduct 10 hipster points). If you like Washed Out or Neon Indian, you will like Nanosaur. Imagination Projects yields 14 tracks of feel good dream pop that is a testament to the quality a DIY record can produce. Crisp, tintilating synth work, vocals bathed in huge reverb and a minimalist beat to lift the listener to a blistful state. Stream and download Nanosaur's Imagination Projects at the link below.
Monday, September 12, 2011
2011 has been the year for pseudo surf/beach music. This genre has been marked by bands creating a psychedlic, dream pop feel that evokes a sense of summer and fun. The latest album from Columbus, Ohio's Monster Rally continues this but with a twist. Though there are some sampled vocals, Crystal Ball delivers an essentially instrumental record. The 17 tracks are short, light and airy, with a Caribbean feel. Unlike most of the genre, there is a lack of synths and in their place we have marimba, piano, organ and horns complimenting a guitar lead record. Stream and download Crystal Ball at the link below.
Friday, September 9, 2011
Berlin resident singer/songwriter Jacob Faurholt is a rock troubadour in the great tradition of those that preceded him, such as Nick Drake, Chris Issak and Elliot Smith. Dark Hours is his latest contribution to this legacy. Like those that went before him, Faurholt sings about pain and pleasure, hope and despair. The 11 tracks on Dark Hours range from ragged rock and roll to folk, all the while serving up sterling production, imaginative vocal stylings and great guitar sounds. Dark Hours may be destined for my year end best of list. You can stream and buy Jacob Faurholt at the link below.
Here's another advance track from my next album The Paradox Illusion, coming September 27th. Traffic is a lively electronic track lamenting the automobile as the dominant "lifeform" on the planet. Stream and download it at the link below.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
New Psychic Denim is the latest album from SoCal garage rockers Cosmonauts. This is the kind of music you want to turn up real loud and upset the conservative neighbors with. Raccous, edgy and driving, Cosmonauts kick the whole way through. Lo-fi production, 60's influences (especially on the track Dreamboat) and some truly great guitar sounds abound on this record. Cosmonauts give us a great record and some of the best new garage music out there. Stream and buy New Psychic Denim at the link below.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
In the musical realms of dream pop and chillwave, one of my favorite artists is Teen Daze. The Vancouver DIY artist/producer, otherwise known as a guy named Jamison, also has a side project as Two Bicycles. The Ocean is Two Bicycles' latest release and is an instrumental work of great depth and beauty. Through the 11 tracks,Two Bicycles takes one on a sea voyage of sensory textures, aural images and dreamscape impressions. This is masterly work from an artist that has much more to say than can be contained in any one brand. The Ocean is a must have and you can stream and buy it at the link below.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
My next solo electronic album, The Paradox Illusion, is tentatively set for release on Sept. 27. Here's a dark ambient advance track titled Enceladus. Give it a listen and then please head over to my Bandcamp site and give me a like.
Digital Lows is the latest full length from Memphis eperimental hip-hop band Cities Aviv. Cities Aviv have a unique place in hip-hop with thier assimilation of shoegaze, electronic, noise and chillwave influences. Their music is complext and compelling, while at the same time being completely assessable to the listener. This is the mark of a truly great artist. Digital Lows is a must listen and Cities Aviv are destined to be an important artist in contemporary music. Stream and download Digital Lows at the link below.
Monday, September 5, 2011
London shoegaze band Arks has released their debut EP intriguingly titled -. The four tracks are wonderful dream pop with glistening guitars, in the pocket drums and reverby vocals lurking at the back. Arks gives us a stunning record that eschews the traditional heavy hooks for a more introspective sound with flashovers to real power. This is a terrific debut effort and we can't wait to hear more. Stream and download - at the link below.
Friday, September 2, 2011
Ghost Outfit are a UK shoegaze duo who have released their debut, a double EP, titled Young Ghosts (Side One and Side Two). While many bands today throw around the term lo-fi, Ghost Outfit have a legitimate claim to that tag. The seven songs on Side One are lo-fi, with echos of the Velvet Undergraound and ghosts of Max's Kansas City. This is noise rock that stands out as a statement of punk art. Jagged, bare, rock from the basement. Gotta love it. Stream the Young Ghosts EP (Side One) at the link below.
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Theta Distractions is the fifth album from Lawrence, Kansas electronic duo CVLTS. Though this is the first time I have reviewed CVLTS, they are one of my favorite electronic artists. Theta Distractions is a collection of moody and complicated sonic lanscapes. Darkish in feel, but not transparently so, the seven tracks flow one to the next transporting the listener through a scenic journey of tones and textures. CVLTS are consumate synthesizer artists that paint beautiful music. Stream and buy Theta Distractions at the link below.