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Bombay Bicycle Club – Home By Now

February 7, 2014

It’s safe to say Bombay Bicycle Club are one of UK’s premier indie rock bands. If you’re like me then you caught onto their amazing sound with 2011’s masterful A Different Kind of Mix LP. Well they’re just getting off the release of their fourth record titled So Long, See You Tomorrow and it’s definitely one of the better albums I’ve heard early on this year. Not that I expected anything less from this extremely talented four-piece, but after hearing the first single “Carry Me” a few months back it was apparent a special album was in the works. After getting through it a couple times now, the track that most stands out is the graceful and touching “Home By Now”. I’m not as used to hearing such a moving tune from BBC, but they pull it off in chilling fashion with some nice vocal harmonies and a cool synthed-out keyboard melody. It’s been a pretty big week in album releases, but I plan to reserve some special time to fully grasp everything going on in this exceptional effort from Bombay Bicycle Club.

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Lovelife – Dying To Start Again

February 5, 2014

“Dying To Start Again” by Lovelife is a refreshingly simple electro pop tune that sounds something like Matt & Kim might produce if they were a bit more skilled. Not to dis Matt & Kim, but perhaps they could take a few notes from this emerging Brooklyn dreampop duo. Lovelife’s brand new Feel EP is out as of Tuesday and while “Dying To Start Again” might be my favorite of the batch, the album offers plenty of other solid tracks as well. And as you are enjoying the EP keep an eye out for an upcoming U.S. tour schedule in the near future.

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Gardens & Villa – Purple Mesas

February 4, 2014

Those who know me in my personal life are aware I’ve got a tendency to claim a new band as my favorite on a near-daily basis. I like to attribute that to 1. sheer enthusiasm and 2. the fact that I’m listening to hundreds of new tracks a day. One of the bands that started this trend was Gardens & Villa back in 2011 with their debut self-titled LP. If you haven’t heard it, I think it’s an absolutely incredible album. They are finally back approximately 3 years later with a follow up Dunes LP that’s amongst my most anticipated on the year. After just getting through it for the first time, I can’t say it’s had the same effect as the debut did years earlier, but I plan on holding off judgments until it’s gotten at least a few more spins. With that being said, there are still tracks like “Purple Mesas” that immediately draw me in with such a mesmerizingly beautiful chorus. Gardens & Villa have got February started on the right note with Dunes, but now my attention turns to the end of the month for Beck’s much awaited twelfth studio album Morning Phase.

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Rezonate – Elemental

February 3, 2014

I first came across Rezonate whilst rummaging through some of his MonsterCat label’s compilation albums. MonsterCat tends to feature more heavy-electronic oriented artists like Krewella and Pegboard Nerds, but amongst the chaos you’ll find some chiller, more downtempo acts like today’s mentioned Rezonate. I knew this was an artist with serious potential when I heard his ever-so relaxing single “Lonely” late last year. After hearing his newest Prelude EP I am even more assured of those previous sentiments. My personal favorite track “Elemental” offers another soothing melody with some deep screwed vocals and mellow synths to kick back and chill out to. I look forward to hearing what’s next in store for Rezonate along with the array of other talented MonsterCat producers.

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Cymbals – This City

January 31, 2014

Perhaps the most complete album I’ve heard so far early on this year is Cymbals’ The Age of Fracture. They weren’t really on my radar at all until they came out with a few great singles last year like “The Natural World” and The End” (both of which are featured on the album). I want to classify this London four-piece as something of a synth dance-pop act, but their grooves and melodies are so intricate (and often bizarre) that I think it does them an injustice to put a single label on their sound. With tracks like “This City”, for instance, their versatility is put on display as they transition to a chiller, more sincere realm of the dream pop genre. So here’s a big props to Cymbals for coming through for me during a somewhat otherwise disappointing week in album releases.

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Lincoln Jesser – Certainty

January 30, 2014

Lincoln Jesser first got my attention last year with the release of the hit single “We’ll Be Fine”. I’ve enjoyed his work previously up to that point, but tracks like “We’ll Be Fine” have excelled Jesser to even greater heights in the electro pop world. At just about the time where I think I’ve overstayed my welcome with previous songs, he’s given me a fresh, more chilled out melody in the form of his

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new single “Certainty”. It features some mellow sub bass to the tune of digitized synths and his ever-impressive vocal skills. This one will keep me busy for a bit, but I’m going to keep my fingers crossed for a debut LP release sometime this year.

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The Chain Gang of 1974 – Death Metal Punk

January 29, 2014

Pretty much every emerging band that was featured on the new GTA soundtrack has experienced some form of commercial success since its release. But perhaps the artist that has made the most from that opportunity is L.A.’s The Chain Gang of 1974. The hit single “Sleepwalking” has since transcended beyond the fictional city of Los Santos to actual radio stations in L.A. and around the country. The track is also featured on Kamtin Mohager AKA The Chain Gang of 1974’s sophomore LP Daydream Forever out next week. He’s got quite the distinct sound resembling that of 90’s electro alt-pop tunes, but at the same time maintaining a modern edge to his work. My personal favorite off the LP would have to be “Death Metal Punk”. It’s one of those dreamy, builder-type tracks that gets pretty heavy at its most climactic points. If you can appreciate the emotion-inducing synth rock in this track then the whole LP is worth more than a couple listens.

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Hollow & Akimbo – Singularity

January 28, 2014

Album release Tuesday is here and there were a bunch this week I’ve been excited to get to. Some of my favorite artists like Sun Glitters, Quilt, and The Chain Gang of 1974 all have new records out today. But the release I was most excited for was Snowmine’s much anticipated Dialects. You can hear it a week early on Spotify, but if you’re like me then you might be a bit disappointed by the time you’re through it. Perhaps my standards were raised too high after hearing their exceptional previous self-titled release, but I just can’t help but be a bit let down by such a talented group of

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individuals. I could ruminate on that for a bit, but I choose to focus on this week’s releases that I’m a bit fonder of. Hollow & Akimbo’s new track “Singularity”, for instance, is quite the awesome alt-rock tune from artists Brian Konicek and Jon Visger. You might already know Visger from his other, equally fantastic band Absofacto, and if you dig this track you’ll be excited to know that their debut LP is out a week from now. Be sure to also check out the whole Singularity EP for some wonderful remixes as well.

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iamamiwhoami – Fountain

January 24, 2014

iamamiwhoami is the moniker for Swedish synthpop wonder Jonna Lee. If you have yet to hear her 2012 debut LP kin or 2013’s Bounty then it’s definitely worth your while to check them out. I’ve been playing tracks like “t” consistently since their release because frankly they are that good. I have a difficult time placing her into one particular genre, but I think classifying iamamiwhoami as an electro dreampop artist does her enough justice for the time being. If you notice with her sensational new track “Fountain” she’s got a constantly evolving sound that builds off her older material. This one seems to feature a slightly more retro-synthy approach than her previous tracks, but fortunately the results are the same as this one is turning out to be one of my favorites of 2014 so far. Keeping my fingers crossed that there’s more amazing iamamiwhoami tunes set to be released in the near future.

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Dogbite – Wonder Dark

January 23, 2014

Atlanta’s Dogbite have been busy as of late. While 2013 marked the beginning of this psych-pop trio with their debut LP, it seems that complacency is not a word these guys are familiar with. Soon thereafter they came out with their LA EP featuring wonderful tracks like “Hunting Seasons”. Additionally in that time they also managed to release another split EP with the likes of Toro y Moi. With that kind of year, you’d think they might take some time to sit back and soak in the glory, but not these guys. They’re already back with a solid sophomore LP titled Tranquilizers. Chill, hazy, guitar-laden tracks like “Wonder Dark” prove that there was no drop in quality in transitioning between albums – if anything just the opposite. At their current rate they will have another album out before April, but I’m content dabbling with their current catalogue until they are good and ready for some more fresh tunes.

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