Track Reviews

TRACK REVIEW: ROB CANTOR – Old Bike

For those who are unfamiliar with Cantor, here’s what you need to know: he’s the guitarist for Tally Hall, he likes bananas and rice cakes, he has a solid beard, and he writes fun songs. The first single off the album, Old Bike, has a lot going on in the most glorious way. It’s one of the cutest songs you’ll ever hear about a bicycle (obviously, Queen’s Bicycle Race is the best bike song ever). According to Cantor, Tally Hall is currently “in hibernation, ” so why not write a catchy ass song about a bike to pass the time?
Cathedrals | Harlem | Track Review

Track Review: C A T H E D R A L S Harlem

C A T H E D R A L S sound is listed often as "electronic, " but that seems a bit unfair. There are definitely electronic elements at play, however the duo's sound seems more toward shoegazing indie, if one label can be assigned to it. Both members of the group contribute vocals on "Unbound, " but on "Harlem" there is only a soft, subtle female vocal, and the backing track swells and recedes to compliment the vocals and add an extra element of pretty. It's unclear whether some of the backing music comes from actual instruments (neither member has been pictured with any), but that's what well-produced electronic music does - makes the listener question how it was all done. "Harlem" does have a bit of a trap beat behind it, but rather than limiting it to electronica, simply broadens the horizons of what this group are capable. It should be very interesting to watch C A T H E D R A L S develop in the coming months and years, and so see which genres they will mash together in their next release.

Track Review: Cillie Barnes – Veranda (RAC Mix)

In this remix, RAC's usual timbre and beat structure are nowhere to be found, and instead it seems the Dj/producer has opted to leave Cillie's characteristic Bjork-esque voice and phrasing untouched. A sample of light whistling is added to a slightly more jumpy track than the original, but the core of the song is the same. This can often be even more difficult for a remixer than chopping up the track and adding many samples, because the artist must work within the already-established structure of the original, and RAC does this in a subtle and flawless manner.

Track Review (video): Superfood’s Melting

There's not much known about pop-y yet reclusive British band Superfood here in the U.S., but their new single and matching video, "Melting" seem to be picking up some steam on both sides of the pond. Superfood seems to have formed around late 2011, playing their first known show in Birmingham. Their SoundCloud page looks like it' gearing up for an EP later this year, and there have been a few single releases since their inception 3 years ago.

TRACK REVIEW: As Animals’ Big Slap

"Big Slap" is the second single off of As Animals, and an be classified in a number of different ways. There's no mistaking As Animals indie pop prowess, with Desbonnes's strong alto ripping through some very complex and charged English lyrics. Her voice, might be compared to Pink's or, to think more indie, Florence and the Machine. Musically, the band are rooted in basic rock but in "Big Slap" there is a fair amount of electronic sampling in the drum tracks, as well as some classical samples which showcase Grange's musical background.

Track Review: Jetta “Feels Like Coming Home”

ondon-based singer Jetta has just released her second single since her first, "Start a Riot" made waves late last year. "Feels Like Coming Home" is a soulful ballad about new love and gaining hope, and it underscores the idea that Jetta's days as a backing singer for the likes of Cee-Lo Green and Paloma Faith are over and done.

MS MR – Think Of You (RAC Mix)

While Vassar’s finest, Ms Mr’s July release of “Think of You” does its best to sound like an authentic 80s new wave/pop punk/synth ballad, RAC’s new remix, out yesterday on Soundcloud, does just as much to create a faster, house-driven yet no less nostalgic piece for those of us who like to dance just a little bit harder to our Pet Shop Boys and Eurythmics.

Atmosphere – Bob Seger

If you’d forgotten about Minneapolis-based hip-hop duo Atmosphere, they’ve just given a reason to come back into their modest yet fervent fold with their new single, “Bob Seger.” If you’re too young or haven’t heard of Atmosphere yet, now’s the time to start listening.
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The Civil Wars – “The One That Got Away”

"The One That Got Away" marks the first released track from The Civil Wars self-titled album set to drop early this August. This highly anticipated sophomore album follows their successful debut LP "Barton Hollows, " which this Nashville country-Americana duo released in 2010.

Great White Buffalo self-titled EP + “Thanks for Nothing”

Great White Buffalo has recently made their self-titled EP, released on January 30, available to stream for free on their Bandcamp page, music.gwb.la. The album is also available to download with a “name your price” structure. The Los Angeles-based band is comprised of Graham Brockmiller, Stephen Johnson, Paul Hiller, and Rich Carillo. Their 2nd EP to-date, “Great White Buffalo” blends a number of influences, all deeply rooted in 90s indie rock.
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Dead Leaf Echo – “Kingmaker”

On the heels of Dead Leaf Echo’s west coast tour, the special edition 7” is available on their website, www.deadleafechonyc.com . The Sensual Harassment remix is very different from the original single, which sounds like a throwback to early-90s British alt. rock (picture The Verve). The remix seems to keep with that time period, but sounds much more new-wave and electronic. From the intro of the snares in the beginning of the track to the vocals an wobbling moog-inspired synth, Sensual Harassment does a wonderful job of taking the core prettiness in the original track and re-purposing it for a different genre.
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The Shouting Matches – “Avery Hill”

Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon has recently teamed up with old writing buddies Phil Cook and Brian Moen to create yet another side project, The Shouting Matches. Their first album, “Grownass Man, ” was released on April 16th and it’s available now on Amazon.com.
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Bitch – “In Us We Trust”

Bitch, formerly of Bitch and Animal, will be releasing her first solo album, called “In Us We Trust.” The first single off this album bears the same name, and is a bit of a departure from her previous ventures in that it is much more electronic, but still carries the multi-faceted, multi-genre characteristics that underline Bitch’s style.
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Alex Metric – Ammunition Pt. 3

Alex Metric released the 3rd of his “Ammunition” series last week. Metric, British DJ/Producer has been on the scene since 2008. His “Ammunition” series of the past two years have been lauded as some of the best house and techno of the past decade.
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Florrie – Live A Little

Singer, drummer, songwriter, and all-around renaissance woman Florrie has a new video for her track “Live a Little, ” which is available for pre-order on iTunes. The song was originally written for the Sony XBA-C10 In-ear headphones campaign, and the earbuds are featured heavily in the video.

YOUNG GALAXY – New Summer (Doldrums Remix)

The Doldrums remix of “New Summer” could be otherwise named “Deconstruction of New Summer.” It only vaguely includes samples of the original song, making it thoroughly a separate and sparse piece of music. The song strips down all of the music in the original track, only using the haunting vocals at intervals, adding even more echo to them. The beat, a cross between dubstep and trap music and is also very minimal. While able to stand on its own, this remix of “New Summer” should make a great b-side compliment to the original on the album.
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LVMRKS – In Scars

LVMRKS is a new band comprised of heavy hitters Neil Busch, formerly of Trail of Dead, Dave Clifford of Red Sparrowes and the The VSS, and Johnathan Hischke of Broken Bells and Hella. The band will be releasing their new album, Pale Fairytale, on May 21. As a preview, LVMRKS have posted a couple of tracks from the album on Soundcloud, including “In Scars”.
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Rollin Hunt – In The Window

Apparent recluse Rollin Hunt has posted his first single off his soon-to-be-released new album, “In the Window” on Soundcloud. Hunt’s album, The Phoney, is to be released on Moniker Records April 30. Thus far there is little information about Hunt, but according to the articles that can be found about him online, that’s how he prefers it.