Thursday, March 27, 2008


A'tris is a Boston-based band who are drawing major comparisons to big names like Muse, Radiohead, R.E.M., the Pixies, Peter Gabriel and David Bowie.

Formed in 2004 in Boston, a'tris released their debut album, appeal, in November of 2005. appeal features songs familiar to fans of their live show including: “Compassion,” “Duality,” and “Cactus Bride.” Due to their musical prowess on stage, the buzz from the band's live show has almost surpassed the great reviews of their album. Taylor and Kreher added co-writer/guitarist Ben Azar to their team in 2006. The current line-up also includes Nate Lueck on guitar and bass and Travis Abelon drums.

On the heels of their August 2007 release Of the Commons, a’tris stayed in creative mode and recorded their second full length album Lensing. 2007 was their most productive release year to date as they digitally released the single 'Orion' in January and had an August 21st street date for the EP, Of the Commons. Lensing will be the band's third release with the support of Mark Records. Mason Taylor, who is a'tris' front man, keyboardist, and primary songwriter, said the band is "very fortunate to be able to be able to continue our relationship" with Mark Records (the Goo Goo Dolls, 10,000 Maniacs). Recommended!

A'tris - Automatic Doors
A'tris - Dark Lotus
A'tris @ MySpace

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Parlour Steps

Nine Mile Records presents Parlour Steps, a band that is creating something new: Thought-Rock! This is art-damaged beauty, music that is both stormy and playful; reflective of their west coast Canadian home of Vancouver. This is music that makes you want to move while making you think.

Within the modern, popular landscape, influence is drawn from emotional rockers Arcade Fire and The Pixies, combined with the lyrical elements of Sufjan Stevens and Tom Waits. Unafraid of asking big questions and taking musical risks, the world is taking notice of this exceptional band.

“Thieves of Memory” has been chosen from over 15,000 entrants as a winner in the world renowned International Songwriting Competition, placing Parlour Steps, and in particular chief songwriter Caleb Stull, in the international spotlight.“Thieves of Memory” can be heard on the Adidas Website and was just released internationally on the Sonicbids Listen Vol. 2 Compilation, raising money for hurricane relief as well as showcasing some of North America’s best independent talent.

They can be heard on the Canadian television drama “Whistler”, now syndicated in the U.S. Radio play, podcasts, and web-streaming have launched the band’s music to listeners across the continent. CBC, college, and university radio play, in Canada and the U.S. has seen Parlour Steps charted in the top fifty played and requested artists in their format.

Nine Mile Records released Parlour Step's fourth full-length record “Ambiguoso” in Feb. 2008, to be distributed internationally by Burnside Records. 2007-08 is seeing Parlour Steps touring Canada and the U.S. in support of their new record, furiously playing to all open ears. Recommended!

Parlour Steps - Only Mystery
Parlour Steps - Thieves Of Memory
Parlour Steps - The Lonely Say
Parlour Steps - Hot Romance
Parlour Steps @ MySpace

Parlour Steps - Thieves Of Memory

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Hercules & Love Affair

The producer behind Hercules & Love Affair, Andrew Butler, began DJ'ing at a leather bar as a teen in his native Denver. After a move to New York, he became further immersed in club culture as a party promoter and began to make his own music. Butler's first 12" for the DFA label, 2007's "Classique"/"Roar" -- a co-production with Tim Goldsworthy -- featured vocals from close associate Kim Ann Foxman and friend Antony Hegarty, bearing his deep affinity for electro-disco and early Chicago house. "Blind," an early 2008 follow-up, preceded a self-titled full-length released on DFA that March.

2008 debut album from the Electro outfit led by Andrew Butler and featuring Antony (from Antony & The Johnsons), Nomi, and Kim Ann. Andrew Butler emerged from making music for college-based dance projects into a fully-fledged recording artist, via the New York art scene. He hooked up with his friends and got them to collaborate and sing his songs and Hercules & Love Affair is the result. This album is 2008's most exciting dancefloor concoction, an arthouse vision of Pure Pop by way of futuristic Electronica and classic Dance music, where beautiful, bruising harmonies and tensile rhythms collide in resurgent soundscapes and emotive Disco workouts. The album is co-produced by Andrew Butler with Tim Goldsworthy of DFA at Plantain Studios in the midst of Manhattan, New York City. Highly Recommended!

Hercules & Love Affair - Blind (ft. Antony Hegarty)
Hercules & Love Affair - This Is My Love
Hercules & Love Affair @ MySpace

Hercules & Love Affair - Blind

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Water Fai

Influenced by Mogwai, Styrofoam, and Electralane, Osaka, Japan natives Water Fai bring a much needed feminine approach to the post-rock genre, so often dominated by male artists.

Founded in 2002, Water Fai, dynamically contrast intricate melodies and soft harmonies with violent guitar-noise and electronic effects. Members include Yuko Kureyama (guitar, vocals), Yumi Norimoto (guitar, vocals), Makkiko Toba (bass), Mayumi Ennaka (keys), and as of 2007, the only male member, Tadahiko Aono on drums.

Before the formation of Water Fai, members Yumi, Yuko, and Mayumi longed for form an all-girl band in the vein of Cibo Matto or OOIOO. They added Makiko into the mix and formed the band, not knowing how to play music. Makiko didn't even know how to play the bass. A few months later, they performed for the first time, playing five original songs that are included on Girls in the White Dream.

This Spring, Brooklyn-based White Shoe Records will re-release Water Fai's self released debut album, Girls In The While Dream, on April 18th. The songs were record between 2004-2006 and bring their own translation of the sentimentality captured best by the Album Leaf and Yo La Tengo. Recommended!

Water Fai - Kaiyon
Water Fai @ MySpace

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Friday, March 14, 2008

Free album download - The Charlatans

For many years, the Charlatans UK were perceived as the also-rans of Madchester, the group that didn't capture the zeitgeist like the Stone Roses or the band that failed to match the mad genre-bending of the Happy Mondays. Of course, they were more traditional than either of their peers. Working from a Stonesy foundation, the Charlatans added dance-oriented rhythms and layers of swirling organs straight out of '60s psychedelia. At first, the Charlatans had great promise, and their initial singles -- including "The Only One I Know" -- were hits, but as Madchester and "baggy" faded away, the group began to look like a relic. It was commonly assumed that their third album, 1994's Up to Our Hips, was the end of the line. However, the Charlatans made a remarkable comeback in 1995 with their eponymous fourth album, which found them embracing not only the flourishing Britpop movement, but also underground dance and techno, as well as their mainstay of classic rock. The Charlatans UK debuted at number one, and the group was hailed as survivors. Unfortunately, few knew how literal that term was -- as the band was recording its follow-up album in 1996, organist Rob Collins, who had defined the band's sound, died in a car crash. The Charlatans decided to continue as a quartet, and their subsequent album, Tellin' Stories, debuted at number one upon its 1997 release, suggesting that they had become one of the great British journeyman bands of the '90s.

As the group was recording its follow-up to The Charlatans UK, Collins was killed in a drunk driving accident as he headed to the studio. Although Collins was pivotal to the band's signature sound, they carried on without him, completing their fifth album, Tellin' Stories, with the assistance of Primal Scream's keyboardist, Martin Duffy. Tellin' Stories was released in the U.K. in the spring of 1997 to generally strong reviews, and it entered the charts at number one. Two years later Us and Us Only came out, followed in 2001 with the dance-inspired Wonderland. The next year saw two releases, Live It Like You Love It, recorded live in the band's hometown in December 2001, and Songs from the Other Side, a collection of B-sides from 1990-1997. The Charlatans' eighth studio album, Up at the Lake, was issued in 2004, and two years later Simpatico hit the shelves.

In an October 2007 issue of the NME, the band contributed the song Blank Heart, Blank Mind to the magazine's free 'Love Music, Hate Racism' compilation CD. Later the same month, the new single You Cross My Path was released as a free download exclusively through the XFM website. On the 3rd March, 2008, The Charlatans teamed up with Xfm again to become the first UK band to release an album completely free to download via a radio station. This was preceded a week earlier by the second single from the album, Oh! Vanity. The album, titled You Cross My Path, is The Charlatans tenth studio album and is due for a physical CD/LP release on 19 May 2008 on the Cooking Vinyl label to coincide with a full UK tour. Recommended!

The Charlatans - You Cross My Path (full album)
The Charlatans @ MySpace

The Charlatans - You Cross My Path

The Charlatans - Oh Vanity!

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Kills

The Kills are an indie rock band formed by American vocalist Alison "VV" Mosshart and British guitarist Jamie "Hotel" Hince.

Wanting to cut themselves off from their pasts, Mosshart and Hince considered their new project to be Year Zero in their careers. They renamed themselves VV and Hotel respectively and began writing sparse, minimalist songs together with the aid of a drum machine. In 2001 they showcased their new songs on a well received demo tape. In true punk rock fashion, however, the pair shunned approaches from major record labels. Recording as VV and Hotel, they contributed the song "Restaurant Blouse" to the compilation If the Twenty-First Century Did Not Exist, It Would Be Necessary to Invent It. Shortly after this they recorded their debut release, the Black Rooster EP, which saw release on British indie label Domino Records and was picked up for distribution by Dim Mak Records in the United States.

Their second album, No Wow, was released by Domino Records on 21 February 2005. Featuring an artier, less guitar rock sound, the record embraced post punk influences and sounded even more stripped down than Keep on Your Mean Side. Originally written to be performed on a Moog, the band was forced to change directions and record it primarily using a guitar as its central instrument after Hince's Moog broke and couldn't be repaired before entering the studio. A 40-minute DVD documentary was included with a limited number of copies and features interview, performance and on the road footage shot on tour.

On November 2, 2007, the band announced on their news blog that their third album was finished. The first single was called "U R A Fever", and was premiered by Steve Lamacq on BBC Radio 1 on November the 19th. On December 10, 2007, The Kills were interviewed on a New York radio station where it was revealed that the new album will be titled Midnight Boom. Two song titles were also revealed: 'Alphabet Pony', a dark surreal song inspired by playground clapping games and songs, and 'The Last Day Of Magic', a song written by Jamie Hince about heartache and feeling alone, with references to the book Crime and Punishment. The new album is released March 10, 2008 (March 18 in US). Recommended!

The Kills - Black Baloon
The Kills - U.R.A. Fever
The Kills @ MySpace

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Moomaw is a musical project of San Francisco-based artist Nathan Moomaw, who plays lo-fi, psychedelic, country folk in the vein of Damian Jurado, Iron & Wine, citing influences of Donovan, Leonard Cohen and The Byrds. He typically plays solo, using jangly loops to employ instruments like toy piano, hand percussion, musical saw, mountain dulcimer as well as ukuleles and guitar. Moomaw has had various folk and twee-pop collaborations including one called Meli, with acclaimed artist Miwa Gemini. He has had a diverse musical career, having played different genres including hardcore metal and drum’n’bass.

Art and music always seemed natural to this boy who grew up in the woods without neighbors, two dogs as his best friends. Sharing with people and other artists allows Moomaw to absorb even more of the art that keeps him inspired. Whether it's the harmonies on an old piece of vinyl or the sun spilling through his small window, Moomaw tries to capture these moments of beauty and play them back.

This past year, Moomaw finished a project in which he wrote and recorded one song for every month he was twenty-six. Before the end of each month he published the song on his website along with an original piece of art and a journal entry of the lyrics. What has come of his year long project is his album, 26. Moomaw spent his youth as a barefoot child listening to his father play folk music in assorted parks, barns and gazebos of Western Massachusetts. His album, entitled 26, will be self-released on May 13, 2008. Recommended!

Moomaw - March
Moomaw - October
Moomaw @ MySpace

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The Hype: Windmill

Windmill was born from the hidden four-track recordings of Matthew Thomas Dillon. The buzz surrounding Windmill began in the alternative, underground scene with a ltd 7” release on the highly respected indie label ‘Static Caravan’. This caught the attention of another stellar independent label ‘Melodic Records’ and work began on the debut album. Produced by Dillon himself and Tom Knott, their vision was both unique and spellbinding. The record titled “Puddle City Racing Lights” was released to unanimous, critical acclaim.

The record has also found fans in Steve Lamacq, naming Windmill as his favourite new band, Colin Murray, Dawn Landes, Eef Barzelay and Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody. “Puddle City Racing Lights” has been embraced by some of the finest independent record labels in the world. Finding homes on Beat records (Japan), Groenland (Germany), Houston Party (Spain) and most recently in North America with Friendly Fire Records (release coming in 2008). Windmill has made a bold entrance into the live music scene, sharing billings with The National, Patrick Watson, The Smashing Pumpkins, Vampire Weekend and touring with Annie Clark’s St. Vincent.

Critics are already talking about this debut as mercury prize potential! Incredible songwriting in the spirit of flaming lips, arcade fire & mercury rev. You might not know his name yet, but you soon will. Windmill (aka 26-year old matthew thomas dillon) is emerging as one of the uk's best singer-songwriters, his music a heady distillation of us indie, early '70s piano-lead melancholia and folk-pop. After numerous homemade albums made for himself and close friends, he took his unique brand of euphoric introspection into the studio with a crack team of musicians (including members of the earlies and former alfie member ian smith) and co-producer, tom knott. Together, they whipped up a storm of lush strings, clashing percussion and cacophonous vocals. Echoing the greats of us indie - built to spill, guided by voices, mercury rev, flaming lips, bright eyes, elliott smith and canadian stars, arcade fire - 'puddle city racing lights' is a record that will stick in your ear and your heart. The completely overlooked album of 2007. A true gem. Highly Recommended!

Windmill - Tokyo Moon
Windmill - Plastic Pre-Flight Seat
Windmill @ MySpace

Windmill - Tokyo Moon

Windmill - Flourescent Lights (Live)

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Chapman & Brocker

Chapman & Brocker is a dream pop duo from Thousand Oaks/Los Angeles, California.

This is what they say about themselves:
'We got our start in 2003 when we begged our father to put a song of ours in his documentary, Best Hours Of The Day. One song turned into two, then three, and eventually we somehow talked him into letting us score the whole thing. We soon realized we were way in over our heads, but it turned out to be nothing that a couple of recording books and some college savings couldn't solve. With a small bedroom studio in place, we went to work like dogs until the score and film were complete. After some kind words from the L.A. Times and other publications we decided to try our hands at the song-writing world. For this project, we brought along our influences from different film composers and our own experiences from scoring as well. Dance of The Crazy Man is our first full length album. We wrote, recorded and produced everything ourselves. We Spent three years making this album and we will be releasing it this winter. That is if our computer does not crash for a third time. We're crossing our fingers.'

After receiving some positive critics for their documentary work, Best Hours of the Day, the brothers duo Chapman & Brocker self-released their debut album 'The dance of the crazy man'. The album is collection of eleven intelligently crafted pop songs, deeply melancholic and sensible, showing an enormous song crafting potential of the duo. Listening to the dance of the crazy man leaves an impression that the songs were made for the film, obviously reflecting the past experience collected during C&B's previous work on documentaries. Nevertheless, the well-crafted melodies and beautiful lyrics exhibits a great potential of C&B. Recommended!

Chapman & Brocker - The Heart
Chapman & Brocker - Chimes
Chapman & Brocker - Crazy Man
Chapman & Brocker @ MySpace

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