Sunday, May 30, 2010

Tanlines - Real Life

I've been loving this Tanlines Settings EP lately. In fact, in the past week I've probably listened to it more than anything else. It took a bit for me to get into it, but now it's indispensable. It has a tropical feel but also a dramatic synthy bent to it as well. 'Past Life' is the most instantly hooky song on the EP, but it's also one of those songs you hear differently once you understand the Tanlines universe. This is sunny, bright music that doesn't really remind me of all the other music I associate with the words sunny and bright right now (ie Air France, Washed Out, Memory Cassette, Friend). It's unique but accessible. It may take a few listens but this one is hard to ignore once you give yourself over to it.

You can buy the 12" or the digital version here

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Speaking of 80kidz

I haven't really got into my life of all things electro on this page. I shouldn't say that, I'm actually really picky when it comes to electro (I use this term to refer to the dancier-side of electronic music). I like my electro European-inspired and loaded with blown-out-synths. The Shoes have been one of my fvourite electronic acts of the past few years. They've got more than a handful of killer remixes to their name and that's a rare thing. 80kidz are a 'real' band (keys, guitar, bass usually) from Japan that also have great electronic sensibilities. 'Frankie' is what pop music will sound like in ten years. It's sort of off-kilter but has this great energy and melody to it. This is one that will stick in your head all day.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

MGMT - Kids (80kidz Re-Edit)

I haven't been lazy lately, just busy. And what was I doing you ask? (Just play along). Making my first ever attempt at video editing! And here is the result. The 80Kidz Re-Edit of MGMT's 'Kids' is one of my favourite songs in recent memory. Freaks and Geeks is one of the greatest shows EVER! So why not put them together. I almost bit off more than I could chew with this one, but the song and the show had such synergy I just had to make it happen. It was tough taking dance moves to much slower 70s/80s songs and getting the cuts just right to make it feel like they were actually responding to the song at hand, but I think I (semi) pulled it off. Enough chatter, Enjoy the song. And yes; the 80kidz Re-Edit is by far the best version of 'Kids' out there.

Memoryhouse - Minor White

Memory House - Minor white from quatuorlindsay on Vimeo.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

More Blue Hawaii

'Already?' you ask. Well yes, they have a split cassette on Arbutus with Braids (another really good Canadian band). 'Floral' is an absolute gem, and should cement Blue Hawaii as a new love interest of yours.
Blue Hawaii - Floral by Arbutus Records
And while at it here's a video for one of the standout tracks from Blooming Summer.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Knots is a guy named Neal from Calgary. He is another singer-songwriter that makes it work through the combination of refined songwriting and a voice that can kick you where it counts. And thankfully, there's a great lyric or two in there to make that sucker punch one that leaves you reeling. 'Woodsmoke' is just lovely. With it's horse gallop like minimal percussion and the guitar and vocal melodies that accent one another, it just gets under your skin enough to leave an imprint. Not sure what he's up to now, but he's got a rare talent so let's hope we hear more from the guy soon.
Woodsmoke by knots
Oh Shit by knots

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Arcade Fire

samples of two new songs...

A. The Suburbs

AA. Month of May

Houses - Endless Spring

Houses (formally Sun House) has an EP set for release some time in the near future on as of yet undisclosed (not yet selected?) label. Last week he posted a promo video for the EP, which sounded wonderful, and premiered a music video for 'Endless Spring', which was also wonderful. He then promptly removed them! Yes, things can be taken away from you, even on the free-for-all that is this here interweb. However, I promise you, from what was heard via that EP preview Houses may have minor gem up the sleeve. For now you can wallow in the summer magic that is 'Endless spring', an already tried-and-tested gem. This is just lovely. I would describe this song in two ways: 1) It reminds me of Air France 2) It actually sounds nothing like AIr France. There's a little bit of Panda Bear in there too. It has a very sunny beach-y feel, but there is a sense of longing to it as well: It's summer soaked, yes, but it's last summer and you can't go back.

Hear it via Awesome Delicious Scopitone

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Giant Hand - Down By The River

This dude is from Ottawa. Yes! I didn't discover Giant Hand until about two months ago, but his sound quickly captured me. The whole 'dude/dudette with a guitar thing' is very tricky thing to get right for me. I think you have to have a great sense of melody and a great sense of song structure. In the case of GH Kirk has this great warbly voice that can carry a ton of emotion. The lyrics aren't afraid to go for the jugular either. Much like Bright Eyes, when you combine a singer whose voice has a certain emotional weight to it with a strong lyric or two (in the case of Bright Eyes, endlessly strong lyrics) that's the stuff that can plague you for a day or two. I think GH has enormous potential to make a serious dent in the music scene: he has a unique voice combined with a refined sense of songwriting. Really I don't think you can escape this one without being sucked into the emotional undercurrent just a little.

GIANT HAND - Down By The River from Mitch Fillion on Vimeo.

Field Trip!!!!!

This short clip is amazing. This is Busy P from the great Ed Banger crew dressed as a dragon and playing Daft Punk for a group of young kids. Why can't we breed kids to love electro young over here? I guess that's France's secret recipe for success.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Blue Hawaii

Blue Hawaii are from Montreal and they make slightly-ambient/slightly-weird electro-pop. That's a lot of hyphens but they've earned each one. They've just released a FREE album via Arbutus, who are on a bit of a roll themselves, and it is excellent. Seriously, don't overlook this one. 'Lilac' sounds like if Friend made electro-pop. The song has an almost Asian influence to it and lots of floating melodies. It's a nice one to come down to after a hard day at the office (like I'd know, I'm unemployed). It's a beautifully textured little ditty that may induce beautiful dreams of better times on other planets. See? Off-kilter and totally charming. Then we have 'Dream Electrixra' which has some dense post-punk guitar work looming ominously over some almost postal service-like melodies. Gradually it morphs into an ambient exercise that features vocal hooks that could make even Feist blush. The very best part of all this is that these songs only make up songs 1&2 off the free album. All you have to do is click that link and your off to heaven. Keep an eye on Blue Hawaii, anybody who hears this one is going to find it hard to forget. And in closing may I add: Dear Canada, I love you, let's encourage more artists like this.

Get the free download via Arbutus here
Or pay $5 for the cassette via Arbutus here

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Cure - Disintegration

I've mentioned before that The Cure's 'Disintegration' is a pretty good contender for my favourite album ever; well, on June 8 a triple-disc version will be released via Rhino. A website has been setup in honour of the release and it's pretty outstanding. You can read about the history of the album, lyrics, and best of all, you can hear a bunch of the unreleased tracks.

Head on over to the

Saturday, May 15, 2010

JJ - Baby

I love this JJ video. I think it's one of the best music-meets-image videos I can think of. The song is lovely, the video is lovely, and the song COMBINED with the video is just awesome. Included below that is the song that JJ is covering the chorus too. Yes, JJ knows how to hit up the weird 'cover' like nobody else. Your welcome for the Swedish rap song.

jj - Baby from emodreng & indiepige on Vimeo.

Lorentz & M.Sakarias - Baby! from kitcloudkicker on Vimeo.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Kendal Johansson - Blue Moon

Kendal's debut 7" is out now on Sincerely Yours. And when SY releases something you know that a) it's really damn good b) it's shrouded in mystery.

Kendal Johansson / Heidi Nilausen from AHDW on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Cults -'Go Outside'

Today's post is on Cults, but I wanted to note this video was fan-made. there are a lot of fan-made videos like this popping up these days, and I'm pleasantly surprised by how many people are actually good at it. As for Cults, they sound like 60s voodoo to me, and I mean that in the nice way. There's something very 60's girl-group about them but they also have this very contemporary edge to what they do. They make a nice companion piece to that episode of Mad Men with the riding lawn mower incident. Get it? Good.

Here is their three song EP free via their bandcamp.

Go Outside from Helene Park on Vimeo.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Twin Sister - 'Lady Daydream'

Twin Sister's Color Your Life EP is taking it's time growing on me. That said, it's worth a listen. 'Lady daydream' is definitely one of the stand outs for me, and this video captures the song quite well. I love the spaghetti-western guitars and the overall drama of this whole song. It's somewhat eerie and nostalgia inducing as well. Overall though the melodies are what keep it all afloat.

Twin Sister Lady Daydream from Imaginary Animal on Vimeo.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Memoryhouse - 'Lately'

Mmemoryhouse's 'lately (deuxieme)' is built around a smaple taken from Jon Brion's score to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind . For me, when you borrow a sample from a brilliant score to a brilliant film, you've put pressure on yourself to create something at least as good as the source material. In this case Memoryhouse live up to the expectation. This song has slowly grown on me and there are enough things that make this song memoryhouse-ish sans the Brion sample to earn the chance to reference such brilliant source material. 'Lately' really taps into the more melancholic side of what makes a film like ESOTSM work. There is something dreamy about that film, and dreamy is what Memoryhouse does best.

You can get the EP 'The Years' for FREE here (Note: this is once again Arcade Sound Ltd givin' up the goods)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Princeton - 'Clamoring for your Heart'

Bye Bye BlackBird + Phedre

Two Free EPs today. I have to say when it comes to marketing, if you're an indie band, this is the way to do it: release a free single or EP first. Quite frankly, if I look at my favourite artists over the past year many have yet to release a proper full length. With regards to my 'How We Listen To Music' essay, I do think that bands who use this tactic of releasing a few songs free to launch their careers are using the internet wisely. And I like being able to pass this stuff on to you.

Our first band is Bye Bye Blackbird who are from California. They have a great melodic sensibility and remind me of a poppier Junior Boys. "Happy High' is a bright song and should counteract the rain here in Ottawa nicely. And if you are in warmer climes well then go listen to this song outside. This whole EP is really strong and I expect a lot of good things from these guys.
<a href="">Happy High by Bye Bye Blackbird</a>

The EP is available for FREE here via the wonderful Arcade Sound Ltd. If you aren't familiar with Arcade Sound take a few minutes to peruse their great sit. Why not score yourself a few more free EPs while you're at it.

And while we're at it, what the hell, let's throw in their great cover of Modest Mouse's "Float On"
<a href="">Float On (modest mouse cover) by Bye Bye Blackbird</a>

Our second band of the day are Canadian and interesting. I love that combination. Phedre are estranged cousins from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick who reunited to unleash evil on the world. Luckily for us by evil I really meant lo-fi pop weirdness. But like so few, they wear it really well. As I've said before, if you do want to do lo-fi there has to be something in your sound that warrants it. In the case of phedre all the layering on these songs makes it easier for the sounds to blend and create the larger whole. It adds to the level of mystery. These songs are a lot of fun and slightly disturbing. But would you really want it any other way?

Get their EP for free via Snakes Plus Ladders

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Drums - 'Best Friend'

The Drums performed best friend on Jonathan Ross (aka Andy Millman's [aka Ricky Gervais's] friend) last night. Fun times. You'd expect no less from The Drums.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Silly Kissers, again

I had the chance to see Silly Kissers last weekend and did not. I was actually at the show at the SAW Gallery here in Ottawa, but timing was against me. I saw Postcards kick major ass, but alas, no Silly Kissers. sigh. I was sort of glad not to see them due to the fact I wasn't terribly familiar with their stuff. Sometimes that's a factor in appreciating a show, sometimes not. However, I've spent the last week devouring Silly Kissers, particularly their latest release 'Precious Necklace'. These guys are amazing. Seriously, I'm predicting big things for this band. There is something so familiar, yet completely new and refreshing about them. It's unapologetically fun, but has depth as well. They just sound like they're having fun, and it radiates through the speakers all infectious-like. Here is a triple shot from 'Precious Necklace' and all three of these are nothin' but hits y'all. Silly Kissers=Big things. I'm calling it now. And dammit I need to see this band live soon.
SILLY KISSERS by Silly Kissers

We Are The World - 'Clay Stones'

" “FAVORITE BAND "We Are The World" saw them live sick, video amazing.” - Lady GaGa via Twitter.

See, Lady GaGa can be useful too.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Kele - 'Tenderoni'

I have to say this song keeps growing on me...

I have to say I like this more than I've liked anything I've heard from the New Pornographers in a while. It also combines my two favourite K's: Karate and Koreography

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Joanna Newsom kills it on Jools Holland

This is wonderful. Joanna is as close to being an heiress of the great Kate Bush as they come.
(I said close)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Cosmetics - Soft Skin

Holy crap, this is a good song. I had never heard of Cosmetics, who are from B.C, until a few weeks ago. Before I get to them I want to draw attention to the BRILLIANT site that brought them to my attention: Weird Canada. Man, these guys are doing great work. WC is drawing attention to a lot of interesting bands in Canada. They are interested in all things, well... weird. I love to see someone drawing attention to all the left of center things happening in Canada; it brings me hope in a big way, and you really ought to give their site a tour. I'm honestly THANKFUL that a site like WC exists. As for Cosmetics, well, I don't know much about them and I don't want to. Honestly, when a band has this much mystery built into their music, why spoil it by digging into the personalities behind it? What I can say is they are making great stuff that has that dark italo-disco feel that I'm glad to see bands playing around with. Cosmetics almost fit into the world of Italians Do It Better but I find their sound a bit darker, however, the sound of IDIB is a good jumping off point to understanding what they do. As for Soft Skin, well picture Siouxsie and The Banshees meets (early) Adult.. And that is a compliment if I ever doled one out.

You can order their 7" from the great Captured Tracks here.

Here is them playing Soft Skin live. They sound damn intense live. Put these guys on your radar.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Secret Chiefs 'Renunciation'

Look at the gorgeous cover art up there. It has nothing to do with this post, but don't you want to own that? Hells yeah to good album cover art! Trey Spruance (Mr. Bungle/Faxed Head/SC3) is on my shortlist of full-on musical heroes. There are a lot of musicians I really like, but few who I would call heroes of mine. This is a weird video. Weird in that it feels like seeing Crispin Glover on Letterman or something--it just seems out of context. It's from Australian television and the show looks like some twisted version of Top of The Pops mated with America's Got Talent. I know little about this show, other than the fact that it was short-lived( Quelle Surprise). Anyway, it's surreal to think this was on mainstream television, but I'm glad this video exists.

If you've never explored the world of Secret Chiefs 3, it's a must. They're one of those fun bands that isn't doing anything obvious, but make music that really respects it's audiences intelligence. That isn't to say there isn't a ton of melody behind these songs, it just takes a while to get your bearings with all the different influences behind this music. And if you have been paying attention to this band over the years you know how rewarding a world to discover this is. Honestly, these guys had high standards to begin with and just seem to keep getting better. And this song is only from album number two! If this song remotely interests you, exploring the world of SC3 might not be bad way to spend your summer.

Head on over to Web of Mimicry to tour the mind of Trey, and order some goodies while you're at it.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Forest Too Fast

If pushed, I would have to say The Cure are probably my favourite band of all time. I owe my whole love of music to 'Disintegration'. When I was 14 I got my Mom to buy it for me on tape. I chose to get it because it was on sale and I knew my friend Tim loved them. I had never really listened to The Cure prior to that, but trusted Tim's taste. When I first heard the tape I thought I had wasted money despite the sale price and questioned Tim's taste. But slowly, one-by-one, the song's grew on me. Within four months I could not stop listening to it. That was my first experience with a 'grower'--one of those albums that's so unlike anything you've experienced, you have to learn the artist's language just to appreciate it. Since that time I've fallen in love with many a Cure album.

This is an interesting video, it's The Cure playing 'A Forest' just around the time of the release of Seventeen Seconds. It sounds like a band in transition between the quick post-punk of Three Imaginary Boys and the slow 'goth' meditations The Cure would continue on Seventeen Seconds/Faith/Pornography. Personally, I love this version and it certainly serves as an interesting historical document for all The Cure fans of the world. I wonder if the people in that crowd knew how special what they were witnessing really was?