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Monday, May 6, 2013

Best of April, 2013


Please excuse the tardiness.  Tis true, the calendar does indeed say May, 2013.  That said, this new crop of tracks should more than make up for the delay and provide plenty of happiness as the summer approaches.  Add these tracks to the already impressive March, February, and January lists, press play and enjoy.   The list can be found here on Spotify too.

Wild Belle "Keep You"  Chicago born siblings Eliot and Natalie Bergman released their debut record, Isles, in March.  That, and this single, which has a little ska/reggae feel to it, is about all the information you need to know for now.  The jury is most certainly out on the long term staying power of this act.  What is certain is this song is pretty darn cool.

Caycucas "Cayucos"  Seeing double?  It's like Bad Company singing "Bad Company."  The band, another sibling act, this time twins Zach and Ben Yudin, are from Santa Monica, CA.  The sound, is all about the left coast.  Their debut LP, Bigfoot, was released LP.  There are hints of Beck as well as newer surf/mood rock alt favorites Local Natives, Grizzly Bear and Beach Fossils, to name a few.  

Savages "She Will"  All female, British post-punk rockers who have gathered quite a bit of buzz during the early part of 2013.  Their debut record, Silence Yourself, comes out tomorrow, 5.7.13.  This single owes a lot to early the Edge and early U2 and even more to Patti Smith and the NYC punk scene of the late 70s.  No video for this song yet but you can see them perform "Husbands" from the Jools Holland show here.  One, super hot seeing chicks rock out.  Two, why on Earth does the US not have a show like Jools Holland live?

Foxygen "No Destruction"  This is the second track from these flaky, psychedelic newcomers.  Last we heard from duo Jonathan Rado and Sam France they were shouting at concert goers at SXSW in Austin and canceling their European tour "for the creative health of the band."  Sometimes too much attention, too soon, can be a very bad thing.  The fact is their LP, the pretentiously titled We are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic, is a must have.  This track would fit neatly into an early Bob Dylan record and features the best lyric of 2013:  You Don't Have to Be an Asshole/You're Not in Brooklyn Anymore.

Biffy Clyro "Black Chandelier"  This is a confusing one.  The Scottish act released their 6th(! who new??!!) record, Opposites, earlier this year.   This single plays like a Incubus, or Bush, Stone Temple Pilots, or other 90s alt rockers of that ilk, track.  At first you want to dismiss the holy hell out of it.  Then you see the video and the images/styling are not AT ALL what you expected the band to look like.  So. Freaking. Weird.  But for some reason you start humming the damn thing when you least expect it.  Then you look forward to hearing it on the radio.  It wears you down damn it.  That is a recipe for success, right?

Wavves "Demon to Lean On"  More post-punk.  More music played by children for adults.  More left coast rock and roll.  Another group who released a record earlier this year, Afraid of Heights (March.) For those who like Everclear, or Local H, or maybe even Green Day (except Nathan Williams voice won't make you puke.)

Orwells "In My Bed"  Ok, this song is a few years old.  But most of you haven't heard it before.  And wait for this...  these kids graduated high school a few years ago.  They make Wavves (who were born in 1986) seem downright geriatric.  Illinois kids with a few chords and plenty of bang for your buck.  They too would fit into the post-punk theme this column has taken on.  Fun fact, the lead singers name is Mario Cuomo.  Another fun fact:  it is super queer to write or say fun fact.

Gospels "Animal Feelings"  A little bit of Band of Horses, a little bit of Portugal, the Man, a little bit of that same neo-surf that has taken over the alt landscape.  Here is the real surprise- these guys are from a borough in NYC and it ain't Brooklyn!!  Forest Hills, Queens thank you very much.  They are releasing a debut EP this spring that shares its name with this easy going and feel good single.

Waxahatchee "Peace and Quiet"  Holy cow does this sound like a Liz Phair song.  90s angst as sung and performed by Philly girl (by way of Alabama) Katie Crutchfield.  You should know she too has a twin who she once performed with.  That makes 3 acts on this list with siblings (2 of which are twins.)  She split from her sister to focus on a solo career.  From that we have this no frills, alt country Cat Power meets Beth Orton meets Suzanne Vega meets, ok, you get it.  How many alt songstresses can you name of the top of your head?

New Politics "Harlem"  Straight forward dance rock.  Punk meets pop that brings to mind The Offspring and more recently Neon Trees.  Not much to say other than turn it up and have some fun.

Serena Ryder "Stompa"  It's fun to pick tracks that totally unnerve my better half.  Typically those songs appear on the Sirius XM station "The Spectrum."  That channel plays to my more sensitive tendencies.  Adult contemporary and all the soft things in between make up their programming palette.  Adele and Paul McCartney are staples.  So too are any songs by woman who play guitar and repeat the same lyric over and over again.  Ryder hails from Toronto and fits this mold perfectly.  She won a Juno award (like Arcade Fire!!) for her work up North.  I could have chosen ZZ Ward's "Put the Gun Down" Emeli Sande's "Next to Me", or worst of all, Vicci Martinez's "Come Along."  Much to her chagrin Ms Ryder gets this column's approval.  Does it get yours?

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