Mikal Cronin sets up his new album, MCII, nicely with the first song, Weight, a bouncy power pop number. That song sets the stage for an enjoyable collection of fuzzy, melodic tunes. Perhaps Cronin is still best known as Ty Segall’s collaborator and traveling band mate but the guitarist shows on his sophomore album that he is a highly entertaining solo artist as well.
There is an interesting movement in California that is resulting in excellent music from artists who are (mostly) influenced by ’60s psychedelia, ’70s classic rock and metal, and yet they produce very relevant music today. Cronin, Segall, Thee Oh Sees and Sic Alps all largely draw from the same well but they’re also producing some of the finest music.
Cronin’s album is highly recommended.
Kurt Vile is that rare artist who is so confident and focused that he consistently puts out great albums by simply sticking to his knitting. His voice and guitar are unmistakably identifiable yet each new album sounds unique and fresh. His latest album, Walkin on a Pretty Daze, is no exception.
Kurt and his band, the Violators, play a sold out show at Lincoln Hall Tuesday night. Steve Gunn opens.
The Portland, Oregon, duo known as Wampire is about to release the band’s debut album, Curiosity, in a couple of weeks. Here’s a song, Trains, from the record.
Phosphorescent is Alabama native Matthew Houck, a singer-songwriter who draws comparisons as varied as Bonnie “Prince” Billy to Fleet Foxes. Houck, who now resides in Brooklyn, just made a fascinating album, Muchacho. The release is getting a lot of well-deserved buzz, which explains why he sold out a Saturday night show at Lincoln Hall.
If you snagged a ticket, consider yourself lucky to be able to see a rising artist. Strand of Oaks opens.
Also check out the band’s excellent new album, You’re Nothing.
Monomania, the new album from Deerhunter, is scheduled for release May 7. That’s something to get excited about. We haven’t seen a new Deerhunter album since Halcyon Digest in 2010. The press release announcing the new album is pretty funny. Monomania is a “mystery disc of nocturnal garage,” the statement reads. “New format is avant-garde (?) but only in context not form.”
Listen to a B-side song from White Fence, Fragility, for the 7-inch release of Pink Gorilla. The latter song is on the new album Cyclops Reap, which is due out April 9.
The latest relese by the Men, New Moon, starts with a country-style ballad. It’s not what you’d expect after last year’s burner Open Your Heart. But it prepares you for the other country-tinged songs on the album. Don’t get me wrong – this isn’t a country album. The Men blend a number of styles — garage, alt-country, punk. Though the album starts off with a slow song, it quickly picks up with Half Angel Half Light, an upbeat almost clasic rock number that reminds me of Tom Petty. The momentum continues through the next track, Without a Face.
My favorite song on the album is I Saw Her Face, a Neil Young and Crazy Horse-style rocker, which could have been the album’s climax. But two songs later, we’re treated to The Brass, an aggressive punky number that makes you realize New Moon sounds almost like a compilation rather than a cohesive album. Electric is another great anthemic number. At this point in the album, you’re thinking the focus has really shifted from country to punk. But then here comes another classic country-rock type number, Bird Song, followed by another catchy punk song, Freaky.
The story of this album has been told a few times already. These guys from Brooklyn took off to the Catskills to record the album in a cabin. That explains the country influence, right?
The album closes on the eight-minute long MC5 homage jam, New Moon. After listening a few times, I’m not sure that the jam holds up for the entire eight minutes. But this album, overall, holds up very well. It’s the best thing I’ve heard this year and it’s highly recommended.
These guys were previewing their recently released material as early as SXSW last year.
The Men play Chicago’s Lincoln Hall April 11.
Check out this new song and video from Wavves. Demon to Lean On will be on the upcoming Afraid of Heights. The new album is out March 26.
The Black Angels have a new album coming out in April, Indigo Meadow. Here’s a song from the release, Evil Things.
Here’s something to get excited about: a new song and album from the Men. The band just released this second song, I Saw Her Face, from the upcoming album New Moon. It’s an awesome country-influenced rocker that sounds a bit like Neil Young and Crazy Horse. New Moon comes out March 5.
Psychedelic musician extraordinaire Tim Presley will release a new White Fence album, Cyclops Reap, in April. Hear a cool song from the release, Pink Gorilla.
Liars have a new video for WIXIW, the title track to the band’s 2012 album. Check it out below.
Charles Bradley has a new album, Victim of Love, coming out in April. Check out this single from the upcoming release.
Here’s a new song by the Men, played live and loud. Electric is now available on 7-inch and will be on the album New Moon, which is set for a March 5 release. The just-released video is actually from a gig in London last year.
Dinosaur Jr. changes a bored couple’s life in this new video.
Sin Fang just released a new video for the song, Look at the Light, ahead of a new album. The LP Flowers is set for relase February 19.
Here’s a catchy new song by Glasgow’s Golden Grrrls. The band plans to put out a self titled album next month. Listen to the single Past Tense below.
Despite the name, there’s no hint of riot grrrl influence in the song. It’s more of an upbeat pop sound.
Last year’s Open Your Heart by the Men made my list of the top 10 best albums of 2012. So I’m thrilled that these guys plan another release, New Moon, scheduled for March 5. Check out a single, Electric, from the new album below. Electric will be released on 7-inch vinyl January 22.
Beach Fossils has a new album, Clash the Truth, coming out in February. Check out the song, Careless, from the album.
Chicago’s My Gold Mask plans a new album, Leave Me Midnight, for release February 19. Check out the song, Further it Gets, below.
Belfast-based band Girls Names just released this song, Hypnotic Regression, in advance of the group’s sophomore album, The New Life. Look for the album in February.
Following the recent release of the single Teenage, Veronica Falls this week put out a video for the song. Teenage will be on the album Waiting for Something to Happen, which is coming out in February.
It’s time again to check out recently released singles.
Here are some new songs from Veronica Falls, Alt-J and Zola Jesus.
Teenage is a song from Veronica Falls’ upcoming album, Waiting for Something to Happen, which is expected out in February.
Alt-J’s song Buffalo appears in the movie, Silver Linings Playbook and features the folk band Mountain Man.
And Zola Jesus covers Rihanna!