Monday, September 28, 2009

Free album release... Virgin Of The Birds

Named after a poor English translation of a Salvador Dali painting, Virgin of the Birds is primarily Jon Rooney augmented by the talents of various folks for live shows and selected recording. Virgin of the Birds was created as an outlet for Rooney's songs outside of Morning Spy, an indie pop/rock band he formed in San Francisco that has enjoyed considerable inconspicuous acclaim since their debut release first surfaced in early 2004.

As a collection of pop songs, Mixed Choir, released in July 2007 by Abandoned Love Records, treads a line between intimate, lo fi folk and the occasional grandeur of early art rock. These are songs about girls, heresy, defiance and bright, searching guitars among other things. Indie pop is an excitable mistress, best quelled with a cocktail of hazy major-key melodies, unruly e-bow, and arcane balladry. Every Rival, the first in a series of download-only EPs, was released at the start of the summer of 2009 followed by Dear Furies. Recommended!

Virgin Of The Birds - Dear Furies EP (album download)
Virgin Of The Birds @ MySpace


SONG OF THE DAY: Sunbear - Leadbelt
(from Bits, out September 28th on Indicater Records)


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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Codes In The Clouds

Codes in the Clouds are a British post-rock band formed in July 2007. Consisting of Dartford, Kent natives Stephen Peeling, Ciaran Morahan, Rob Smith, Jack Major, and Joe Power, the group plays instrumental post-rock with cinematic qualities. They are signed with the independent, London based label Erased Tapes Records.

Their debut album, Paper Canyon is set to be released on September 15, 2009 in the United States, and has already been released in the UK. They recorded the album in 5 days with Justin Lockey (Bloc Party/Milo/Enter Shakari) and were quickly picked up for rotation on BBC Radio 1 and called 'Best New Music/Ones To Watch in 2009' in Rock Sound. The band is touring the UK and Europe with 65daysofstatic among others, and will head to the US in early 2010. Recommended!

Codes In Clouds - Don't Go Awash In This Digital Landscape
Codes In The Clouds @ MySpace

Codes in the Clouds. Teaser. from Macgregor on Vimeo.


SONG OF THE DAY: Nouvelle Vague - Master & Servant
(from 3, out October 20th on Peacefrog)


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Friday, September 18, 2009

The Jaguar Club

The Jaguar Club is a trio residing in Brooklyn NY who formed shortly before New Years Eve 2006. The band has released 2 EP's of danceable pop tunes and played shows up and down the Eastern seaboard from Maine to Florida. At home they have been thrilled to play with some very fine bands including: The Duke Spirit, The Cinematics, Scissors For Lefty, Mobius Band, Pela, Bear Hands, The Shaky Hands, Love Of Diagrams and many more.

2008 primarily found the band in a barn in upstate New York writing and recording their first full-length album at Marcata Recording with Kevin McMahon (French Kicks, The Walkmen, Titus Andronicus, DieDieDie, Frightened Rabbit). The album is being mixed at the time of writing and the sounds it captures show the band breaking free of what had become their signature New Wave influenced sound, while keeping their signature energy and intensity intact. The album's 13 tracks are full of varied dynamics, new sounds and ideas, and is both heavier and softer than anything they have done before. With the album almost in the can, The Jaguar Club are thrilled for the future and are looking forward to finally getting back on the road after a year off. The limitless possibility and freedom of studio work has allowed the band to truly find their voice with the new album, but in the end the boys in the band still love putting on a good show more than anything - with energy, and sweat, unmatched by many of their contemporaries.

The debut album And We Wake Up Slowly has been self-released at September 1st. Written in a sweaty Brooklyn basement and recorded in a giant, creaky barn in upstate New York overshadowed by the Catskill Mountains, these songs are brought to life by panoramic production, layers of new-found sounds, and the sweet satisfaction of cooking your dinner outside under the stars.

After The Jaguar Club's reprieve in the depths of the wilderness, they confidently entered into Marcata Recordings and laid down 13 tracks under the guidance of Kevin McMahon (French Kicks, The Walkmen, Titus Andronicus, DieDieDie, Frightened Rabbit). This resulted in an amazing amalgamation of tracks propelled forward by Jeremiah Joyce's explosive percussion and Yoichiro Fujita's strong bass-lines with vocals that soar and uplift you courtesy of singer/guitarist Will Popadic's penetrating voice (comparable to that of Morrissey) combined with a lyrical styling reminiscent of David Byrne. Highly Recommended!

The Jaguar Club - Sleepwalking
The Jaguar Club - World Gone By
The Jaguar Club - This Year
The Jaguar Club - Who Says We're The Last
The Jaguar Club @ MySpace


SONG OF THE DAY: Bishop Allen - Dimmer
(from Grrr..., out March 2009 on Dead Oceans)


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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bear In Heaven

Bear in Heaven have trapped echos, tremors, winds, and fading light. They’ve redefined time, and folded it. They’ve unbuttoned sound, and realigned it. Within four walls in Brooklyn, Jon Philpot, Adam Wills, Sadek Bazaara, and Joe Stickney mined the democracy of their collaboration, plus the endless hours of stream-of-consciousness recorded documentation of rehearsals over the past years, to conceive the crystalline form of Beast Rest Forth Mouth, their second album, their exaltation.

A seed planted in the Southern US years ago (all members hail from Georgia or Alabama), Bear In Heaven began as the musical arm of Jon Philpot in 1998. Time eventually brought in a slew of players, like rickety scaffolding, that grew the sound and guided the group to morph from a 6-to-5-to-4-piece. As a four-headed organism, Bear In Heaven has now found a sonic stride unlike any in their history. Freely acknowledging the importance of the number four, the album Beast Rest Forth Mouth (think “East West North South”) was a conscious product of the four compass points, of the four makers, and of the inevitable confusion that manifests from that crossroad mentality: four directions could lead you anywhere and everywhere. It’s the acknowledgement of what can go down at that convergence, at that dusty center, that drives Bear In Heaven and imbues the songs of Beast Rest Forth Mouth with something akin to both eternal peace and nervous urgency.

Beast Rest Forth Mouth will first reveal itself through a limited 12” EP of the track “Wholehearted Mess,” out September 8 on Hometapes. Bear In Heaven curated remixes from Pink Skull, Max Brannslokker, and Arclike, simultaneously creating a unique tributary off their own musical flow and a bona fide club-friendly 12” pressed in multicolor vinyl. Tour dates across the east coast and the south will accompany the album release, adding yet another dimension to the prism of Bear In Heaven, built on sound and vision and everything in the in-between. Recommended!

Bear In Heaven - Lovesick Teenagers
Bear In Heaven - Wholehearted Mess
Bear In Heaven @ MySpace


SONG OF THE DAY: Throw Me The Statue - Hi-Fi Goon
(from Creaturesque, out August 2009 on Secretly Canadian)


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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Eva & The Heartmaker

Eva & Thomas might be the 21st century’s answer to Sonny & Cher, Ike & Tina, Paul & Linda, Womack & Womack, and Anita Skorgan & Jahn Teigen. Together they are Eva & The Heartmaker, a duo that is so ready to be stars that your eyes hurt. On September 22nd, they are releasing their album Let’s Keep This Up Forever, and all their dreams will come true.

Inspired by groups like The Band, The Raconteurs, The Cardigans and The Beatles, and with a permanent band consisting of Alf Magne Hillestad (drums), Ingar Blix (bass), Lars Kvistum (Wurlitzer organ) and Anne Marte Nesdal (backing vocals/percussion/support person), they once again entered Thomas’ studio, this time with songs that Eva and Thomas had written together. Their aim was to create a homogenous musical expression, based on the live sound they had worked out. It was to be a long and challenging process, with up to seven different recorded versions of some songs.

Ten pop gems collected in one place. Written, arranged and produced by the enterprising duo, who are never afraid to work hard to achieve their goals. Their goal is to play everywhere, to reach out to listeners and make them happy with the music they've made. With all that’s happen thus far there’s little doubt that Eva & The Heartmaker can reach as far as they want to. Recommended!

Eva & The Heartmaker - Superhero
Eva & The Heartmaker @ MySpace


SONG OF THE DAY: Circulatory System (feat. Jeff Mangum) - Round Again
(from Signal Morning, out September 8th on Cloud Recordings)


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Monday, September 07, 2009

The Scratch

Forget all the talk about grunge or the 80s synth pop revivals. Let’s talk about the proper DIY punk & British rock ‘n’ roll of the 70s! With all of these retro musical references currently out there you can count The Scratch in as maintaining the proper ethics, attitude and sound of that time but adding their own contemporary twist to it for 2009. Envision The Buzzcocks, The Damned and The Clash boiled together with The Wolfmen, Dirty Pretty Things and a hint of Blur creating a spicy stew of fired up power rock that will have you reaching for antacids quicker than a hyena on methamphetamines.

Now, what makes them the hardest working DIY band in Britain, you ask? To their credit The Scratch have previously recorded, produced, mixed, mastered, manufactured (well…tried to buy the equipment to), marketed and released on their own 10 singles and 2 albums via their label Ponyland Records with one of the albums (‘Night Bus or Milk Train’) being re-released due to high demand after their gig to a 22,000 capacity crowd performing alongside Noel Gallagher, Paul Weller, The Charlatans, Ian Brown and Echo & The Bunnymen for the Versus Cancer show at MEN Arena in Manchester in 2007. Add to these achievements some heavy UK touring and festival gigs earlier this year showing off their aggressively colourful performance style and you have to take a step back and say: ‘Wow!’

They’re now gearing up for the release of their 3rd album ‘Whatever Happened to Friday Night?’ with their latest single ‘You Want the World’ which is a guitar driven hook monster with shouty vocals you could sing-a-long to at Steve Lemacq’s Punk Rock Karaoke.

Previous singles from the album reached the top 10 peaking as high as #1 on the Chart already this year. The band have received media support from Xfm including several live sessions and Drivetime interviews (Clint Boon), BBC 6music and BBC 3 Counties, various internet and UK student stations while receiving love from bloggers and webzines. So it looks like The Scratch want the world, and the world is looking like they want The Scratch! Are you ready?

‘You Want the World’ is out 5th October. The album ‘What Ever Happened to Friday Night?’’ is out the 12th October on Ponyland Records. Recommended!

The Scratch - You Want The World
The Scratch @ MySpace


SONG OF THE DAY: The Flaming Lips - Silver Trembling Hands
(from Embryonic, out October 13th on Warner Bros)


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