Looks like the Mayans were wrong. And thank God (or Quetzalcoatl) for that. Of course, the Mayan doomsday prophecy was gratuitously misinterpreted by the Western world and looking back, it’s embarrassing how easily we got swept up in it all. With that said, 2012 was indeed an eventful year…
With banjos blazing and foot-stomping galore, the English quartet Mumford & Sons are back with their highly anticipated second album Babel. Their gritty and triumphant take on folk rock has seen unparalleled success around the world in the past few years, which has consequently built high expectations for their follow up to the commercial success of Sigh No More. After all, it’s pretty hard to top a musical journey that has included playing at the Grammys with Bob Dylan and performing for President Barack Obama at the White House.
In May 2011, Foxygen‘s Sam France and Jonathan Rado nervously handed off a CD-R of their homemade mini-opus Take the Kids Off Broadway to producer/multi-instrumentalist Richard Swift after his performance in a Lower East Side club. The duo, who had just mixed and burned the disc that very night, had been devotees of Swift’s outsider-pop oeuvre since high school, when they first began recording their own pubescent forays into oddball rock n’ roll (at least a dozen records were finished before they graduated high school).
Barsuk Records has just released Menomena‘s video for “Plumage,” off their new album Moms. The video was directed by Trevor McMahan, who described the clip as “the ultimate illustration of the beautiful conflict in the band’s music – that aural struggle between instruments and ideas that is complex, satisfying, and always unmistakably Menomena.”
The 2nd Law, the sixth album from UK-based trio Muse, hits stores today via Warner Bros. Records. The album’s single “Madness” is currently the Number One song at Alternative Radio, the band’s third song to reach the top position on the chart. This Saturday, October 6th 2012, the band will return to Saturday Night Live to perform two songs from The 2nd Law.
Ben Folds Five‘s new record, The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind, has debuted at #10 in the Billboard Top 200 chart, making it the highest debut of the band’s career. The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind is the groundbreaking pop trio’s fourth record and first in 13 years.
November 13th will see the release of Live Kisses, a 13-song film directed by Jonas Åkerlund, that captures the magic of an evening in February of this year. In the intimate surroundings of Capitol Studios in Los Angeles, where Paul McCartney recorded much of his Kisses On The Bottom album, he was reunited with the all-star musicians who joined him on the record to bring the songs to life for a once in a lifetime performance.
Currently streaming on NPR is a stunning live recording from the 9:30 Club in Washington D.C. of French producer Anthony Gonzalez, aka M83. The band is currently on tour throughout the US (see below for dates).Their show is edgy and well crafted. The production is first rate and the musicianship displayed by the band is nothing short of phenomenal.
The Killers will also be hitting the road this winter with a full U.S. tour supporting Battle Born beginning after Thanksgiving. The dates see the band playing their fourth show at New York City’s prestigious Madison Square Garden, among other venues. Tegan and Sara will support on all dates, which are listed below.
Welcome to another edition of Project Rhythm Seed’s Free Music Friday. Today we have two great new tracks for you. The first is from B. Fleischmann, an Austrian multi-instrumentalist. It’s called “I’m Not Ready For The Grave Yet” off of his upcoming Morr Music release of the same name. The second track is from a drummer turned singer/guitarist called Bryan John Appleby. The track is “The Rider, The Horse, The Land” and it’s from his debut album titled Fire On The Vine.
Parisian electro-pop trio Chateau Marmont has released a new video and single for “Wargames” off its forthcoming debut LP, The Maze. “Wargames” is a tense song about the impossible love of two beings, forced into separation. Directed by Sam Rixon, the black and white video matches the single’s hurried pace, splicing together live footage of performances from various tours and the beautiful places in between. The clip also captures footage from Chateau Marmont’s North American tour last fall with Revolver, which followed their spring US live debut and well-received sets at SXSW ’11.
Hard to believe ten years have passed since Matt Sullivan and Josh Wright founded Light In The Attic, the label responsible for some of the sharpest looking and sounding reissues and new albums of recent years. To celebrate their tenth anniversary, Light In The Attic is releasing a series of very special colored vinyl 7”s and digital downloads. The series features contemporary artists covering a track reissued by Light In The Attic on the A-side, plus the original version on the B-side.
While January may be the technical start of each new year, those of us who can’t shake thinking of life in terms of school reserve September as the real start of the year, even if we’ve left behind textbooks and classes years ago. As the hot summer months turn colder with the arrival of autumn, September is when the expectation of change hangs in the air (or here in Southern California, we have to be satisfied with blistering heat turning to a medium heat as we enter fall). So if we think of September as a fresh start, music lovers have a lot to look forward to because autumn is set to bring an array of exciting new releases. Here is a rundown of albums, in no particular order, that you can look forward to:
Hi everybody. Welcome to another edition of Project Rhythm Seed‘s Free Music Friday. We have some great music for you today. The first is a track straight from Benjamin Gibbard (Death Cab For Cutie) called “Set Yourself On Fire“. The second track today is from a duo that we really like a lot. They’re called Lymbyc Systym. The track is “Falling Together” and it’s a wonderfully rich atmospheric piece.
Chad Valley, aka Hugo Manuel of Oxford, UK’s Jonquil and the Blessing Force collective, has announced his debut full-length, Young Hunger, featuring collaborations with Twin Shadow, Glasser, Active Child, El Perro Del Mar, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, and more. Released on October 30 via Cascine (US) and November 19 on Loose Lips (UK), the LP follows his last year’s Equatorial Ultravox, which as it turns out was one of our favorite albums of 2011.
In anticipation of its official release, Gus + Scout are streaming their self-titled debut EP today (see below). Gus Wenner, 22 and Scout Willis, 21, recorded it at The Clubhouse in Rhinebeck, NY with producer Charlie Klarsfeld.
After growing up on the same street in Hailey, Idaho the Gus + Scout lost touch only to be reunited at Brown University. Once together again, the two unearthed their lost connection through music and songwriting. Ultimately, they created Gus + Scout EP, a five song collection of emotional, country-inflected folk rock tunes.
Welcome to another installment of Project Rhythm Seed’s Free Music Friday. Our featured bands today share a common affinity for psychedelic pop and 60’s music. The first, Prince Rupert’s Drops comes to us from Brooklyn, NY. Their track, “Pillar To Post” is a beat driven trip back to San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury scene. Track 2 today comes to us from the Lone Star State’s Nervous Curtains. It’s called “Wired To Make Waves” and it has punk overtones, yet smacks of early Devo.
Ultraísta, the multimedia trio comprised of vocalist/artist Laura Bettinson and multi-instrumentalist/producers Nigel Godrich (Radiohead, Beck, Paul McCartney) and Joey Waronker (everybody else), will see the U.S. release of its self-titled debut album October 2 on Temporary Residence.
Founded in London in 2011 on a mutual love of Afrobeat, electronic and dance music, visual art, and tequila, Ultraísta has created 10 tracks of exquisitely crafted electronic kraut-pop for this phenomenal first outing.
RCA Records has announced the upcoming release of EP1, the debut EP from Smoke & Jackal. EP1 marks the first collaboration between Jared Followill (Kings of Leon) and Nick Brown (Mona). Smoke & Jackal were revealed to the universe earlier today as BBC Radio 1‘s Zane Lowe debuted the EP’s electrifying first single, “No Tell,” officially declaring it to be the “Hottest Record in the World.”
When artists Orenda Fink and Maria Taylor harmonize their sounds under the moniker Azure Ray, listeners have come to expect a dreamy essence to the pop duo’s sound but on their forthcoming six-song EP, As Above So Below, Fink and Taylor take Azure Ray into an alternate universe. The dream-like quality remains, but these songs are almost eerie-sounding, far more electronic, minimalist and sonically rich. The album is inspired by parallel realities that seem cruelly just out of reach when lulled into a state of calm by their honeyed and wispy vocals, as though the words float above you like clouds your hands will never grasp.