Archive for January 2011
Big and exciting news for Wild Tonic and all my lovely readers today! I am very happy to announce that Wild Tonic – along with Overhead Records – is presenting its very first residency in February featuring Los Angeles band, Robotanists.
The LA quartet will be taking the stage at Silverlake Lounge every Monday night where they’ll be premiering brand new songs off of their latest album, Plans In Progress, in addition to offering some stellar lineups with other local LA bands every week this upcoming month!
In celebration, Wild Tonic will also be offering a few exclusive songs/offers/contests with Robotanists. Read about them (and grab a couple of MP3s) after the jump!
If you’ve been keeping up on new bands who are about to explode on US soil, then you already know that New Zealand’s The Naked and Famous is near the top of that list. They were definitely on my Bands To Look Out For in 2011 list I contributed to BeatCrave earlier this month.
After shooting up to #1 in their own country with their album, Passive Me, Aggressive You, their song, “Young Blood” began to infiltrate the blogosphere Stateside. However, “infiltrate” may not be the correct word since it has somewhat of a negative connotation. When the song splashed on our ears over on this side of the world, we were more than willing to welcome this band with open arms.
There is a certain Passion Pit vibe to them with the electronica element being at the forefront of their sound. Yet, there’s definitely some heavier layers with shoegaze and even hints of industrial components in there, too. Recently signed to Universal Music, they’ll most likely just release the album again. When that happens, I most likely won’t be surprised if the album spawns 4 or 5 great singles over here in US.
For now, enjoy “Young Blood” as well as a Dekade remix of it below!
With the last band being from Portland, here’s a band who comes from the same parts but are now part the Los Angeles music family. Oh Darling is not a Beatles tribute band but their songs have just as much tenderness with Jasmine Ash’s bright vocals. Indie pop to their core, their songs are sweet but not saccharine-sweet which is why Oh Darling still ring credible in my ears.
Enticing to those who appreciate a well-crafted melody upon great musical accompaniment but accessible enough to gain new fans of lilting pop songs, Oh Darling’s upcoming album, Brave The Sound, should take them even further. Songs off the unreleased album have already been placed in numerous television spots, which foreshadow their successful appeal, but the opening track to the album is really the one to take note of.
“Gonna Be Yours” has much gumption as it does sincerity and to make it even more memorable than it already is, they’ve recently made a video for the song.
Check it out below and grab their song, “Happiness,” (which closes the album).
Starfucker‘s great year continues as their album Reptilians via Polyvinyl is currently available for pre-order and the fuzzed-out dance tune, “Julius” seemed to be a hit with everyone (including me) this past summer. They’re also about to hop back on tour this spring and have offered a free tune in addition to “Bury Us Alive.”
“Born” doesn’t have the keyboard riff I like so much in “Bury Us Alive” but it does contain those muffled vocals they like so much in the midst of random talking voices and other electronic, other-worldly noises that float about during the song. Their tour kicks off in March and it’s a nice, light Spring tune to get out of the gloomy Winter atmosphere some of you may still be experiencing. (I’m lucky I live in LA.)
Check both songs out below!
There’s nothing like juxtaposition to get me hooked on a song and Seattle-based band Telekinesis fronted by the talented Michael Benjamin Lerner always does a great job writing power pop songs that have darker meanings deep within. Placing himself somewhere between the audacity of Cee-Lo Green‘s “Fuck You” and the melodrama of Jens Lekman‘s “The End of The World Is Bigger Than Love,” Telekinesis is also going to go with the formula which worked on their debut album on the sophomore effort titled 12 Desperate Straight Lines.
The chunky, buzzed pop is perhaps not as geeky as Rivers Cuomo’s lyrical content but there is enough in lyrics such as “Will I die alone?/You know, I’m so concerned/You know, I’m so confused/Like a lost child, a little lost child” that make it hard to believe a song such as “Car Crash” sounds as peppy as it does. Even after a literal car crash (his van) along with some temporary vertigo, the excitement in regards to the upcoming album–which is slated for release on February 15th via Merge Records–is one swarm of hype I’m willing to stay enveloped in. As the title vaguely hints, we’ll be getting 12 more great tunes.
Check the tune from Telekinesis’ upcoming album out below!
If you’ve ever wondered who was behind those amazing female vocals in M83, that would be Morgan Kibby. A talented classically trained pianist, singer, composer, producer and more, Kibby was the perfect feminine touch to Anthony Gonzalez’s electronic dream pop. She has also been in other various bands around Los Angeles including The Ramonovs but her most current solo project, White Sea, has such an outstanding sound it deserves to be singled out from everything else she’s done.
White Sea released an EP titled “This Frontier” for free earlier this year and I can say without a doubt that it came out of nowhere to earn its spot as one of the best local EPS of 2010. Utilizing every bit of her talent, whether it be on keys, guitar or just vocals, White Sea packs in a mean but flirty punch with just five tracks. Songs range from dark disco to opera to pop and more.
In all honesty, White Sea should not be a new name if you’ve read Wild Tonic in the last few months. Her songs, “Ladykiller,” (a song which she originally started working on as a hook for a hip hop artist) and “Mountaineer” (which made my Top 20 Local LA Songs of 2010) were included on the last two mixtapes. If you’ve yet to take a listen and grab the tunes, enjoy them after the jump!
If dictionaries were to have photos of bands next to the definition, “charming” would have The Belle Brigade‘s picture next to the word. Although I couldn’t count how many band members are actually on stage, I know that the brother and sister duo who front the band and comprised of Ethan and Barbara Gruska sing folk pop songs that make one’s heart grow so abnormally large that it might burst out the ribcage.
Simply put, The Belle Brigade’s amount of talent could send anyone into serotonin overload. Barbara, who is mostly known for being a drummer (for Jenny Lewis, The Watson Twins, Inara George and more) is finally up in the spotlight with a guitar singing those gorgeous harmonies with her younger brother. Also, Ethan may be called out as her “kid brother,” but he is as much of a leader as his sister in songs such as ‘Sweet Louise” and “Loser.”
The Belle Brigade is currently doing a residency at The Satellite (formerly Spaceland) with The Fling. Once you hear “Loser” live, your life may just change forever.
They’re also working on a full-length for Warner Bros. but take a listen to lilting Americana pop song, “Sweet Louise” for now below!
If you’re a fan of Dangerbird Records or just a fan of a good cause, you may have heard of the Pablove Foundation. The local scene makes sure to keep the foundation afloat as the money goes toward helping kids fight cancer. The name of the foundation gets it name from Pablo Castelaz, the late son of Dangerbird Records co-founder, Jeff Castelaz.
Peter Walker of Eulogies, who is Jeff Castelaz’s business partner and best friend, was by Pablo’s side as he took his last breath at just six years old. Although a tragic chapter to add onto one’s life story, Walker did make sure he paid tribute to his feelings during that time and to Pablo through music. This is where Eulogies’ Tear The Fences Down comes into the story – or rather – continues one.
Although the origin of the album comes out of a heavy occurrence, the LP seems to have a very uplifting sound despite dealing with dark themes. Instead of going down a moody Smiths or Cure route of pessimism, the lead single, “You Hide,” sounds more like a celebration of life.
Tear The Fences Down will be released on January 18 via Dangerbird Records. I highly recommend picking it up. Until then, take a listen to “You Hide” below!
When Lykke Li‘s popularity finally landed in the US, we were all pretty much blown away by her adorable eccentricity on Youth Novels. However, it’s personally been a long time since I’ve heard any new material live up to the power of “I’m Good, I’m Gone.” Guest spots on songs such as Royksopp’s “Miss It So Much,” Amanda Blank‘s “Leaving You Behind” and even a track on Twilight’s New Moon soundtrack (“Possibility”) were nice but there hasn’t been a track of hers that has forcefully grabbed me as much as her first single did.
The Swedish singer has maintained her mysteriousness as well as her coy sensuality but even with the bold, “Get Some” off her her upcoming album, Wounded Rhymes, I still wasn’t feeling all of it. The track is loved by many, many music critics I know (Beck even remixed the track), but it wasn’t until I heard “I Follow Rivers” that my hopes were pulled back up to where they belonged.
“I Follow Rivers” contains lyrics which don’t try so hard and manages to please my ears while combining both her old and new songwriting styles. With a thread of tribal beats that pulls the entire song together, the chorus is also incredibly catchy all on its own.
Take a listen to both “I Follow Rivers” and “Get Some” along with a few remixes below!
I’ve always enjoyed Tape Deck Mountain ever since I saw them at Aquarium Drunkard’s Waved Out in 2010. Live, they are ferocious as they are slowly hypnotic; that is a skill every great shoegaze band has and I am just giddy with the two latest tracks from the San Deigo band.
They may have just released their album, Ghost, last November but they’ve been keeping busy enough to release a brand new EP a few days ago titled “Secret Serf” which boasts the very exciting songs, “It Goes Down” and “P.I..” With the latter being slightly more upbeat than the former, both songs make for a very positive foreshadow of what their full-length will hopefully sound like.
With vocals almost hidden in all the fuzz and shredding mania, “It Goes Down” especially pulls one into something similar to an acid trip – ironically not on the beach. Tape Deck Mountain manages some tongue and cheek humor along with some incredible talent.
Take a listen to the two new songs below!