Here’s the single from Lafayette, IN shoegazers YEARS’ debut album, It Can Kill. “Stay Inside” is a striking pop track which bears strange feelings of nostalgia for the familiar and unfamiliar, while still showing the dizziness of the past, present, and future. Singer/guitarist Jordan Banks’ voice sits comfortably over the wavering verses of foggy guitars and the crystal clear choruses. Even at the third track position on the album, the single acts as somewhat of a beginning, a climax, and a resolution to It Can Kill. The remaining nine tracks leave you to decide which ones fits YEARS best. All of It Can Kill is streaming on their website, and you can order the CD from their store.
Check out a fantastic track from the debut album of Indiana up-and-coming shoegaze-pop outfit, broken light. “Dawn of Nothing” is a soaring fuzz-pop anthem, with touches of Microcastle-era Deerhunter and a guitar melody that would make Yuck jealous. The track, as uplifting as it wants you to feel, leaks with frontman Eric Komenda’s lyrics on emptiness and disarray, but you’ll never feel better yelling out lines like, “Greet the void the slowly swallows/ All your secrets until you’re barren and bleak.” The group recorded The Spring Tide, with Brett Sanderson of Champaign, IL band Headlights and the release date/label is TBA. Head over to their Bandcamp to hear another track from the album, “Nucleo/tides.”
“Asunder” is the first taste from Fang Island’s new album, Major (pssh like they were gonna name it Minor). If you’ve listened to Fang Island before, especially their 2010 self-titled, you know to expect explosive sky-high party anthems that Andrew W.K. would be proud of. Listen to the massive “Asunder” in all of its glory, with harmonic guitar lines, sleigh bells, and one incredible triple harmony moment. Major will be out July 24th on Sargent House.
After a wonderfully fantastic debut, which made it into my top five records last year, Sleeping Bag have a new record that will be out this year. Bloomington recording studio Russian Recording, where the band recorded their follow-up called Women of Your Life, sent out an email with news on the album. They said, “We crammed all three of the dudes into the smallest room in the studio and recorded all the bed tracks live (drums, guitar and bass), giving the album a tight, intimate, cozy feel.” They also included a final mix of a track that will appear on the record. “Soccer Ball” is a lovable anthem with simple yet perfect melodies, tongue-in-cheek lyrics, and a fantastic Weezer-loving chorus. Women of Your Life will be out on Joyful Noise Recordings hopefully sometime in the fall.
Back in March of 2010, I posted about the young Indiana band Mid-American and their first release, Fake Homes. Now some two years later, after a successful Kickstarter, Mid-American has come back with the release of their self-titled debut album. Their early sound was impressive for such a young band, but the group has expanded into a bigger and appropriately dense sound for Mid-American. The second track, “Shadow,” is a crazy-catchy bubblegum-pop ode filled with foot-tapping build-ups and an infectious bell line that you won’t forget for days. Mid-American’s uniqueness comes from a variety of new and familiar sounds including a touch of Radiohead’s remoteness (“The King of Nowhere”), big percussive aesthetics (“The Clearing”), their sheer ability to capture a melody (“Shadow”). and a minute-and-a-half instrumental interlude that proves to be one of the best tracks on the album (“Taijasa”). All of this paired with frontman Phil Johnson’s sentimental voice alongside his powerful lyrics of confusion and loss makes for a rousing debut from this Indiana group. Mid-American is out now digitally on their Bandcamp, with preorders for the album on vinyl and CD.
My good friend Mike at Sippy Cup Everything turned me onto the Atlanta rockers Balkans’ self-titled debut a couple weeks ago, and I haven’t stopped listening since. And it’s a huge bummer that these guys are no more from what it looks like. Despite that, any fan of the early 2000s guitar-pop scene should listen to these guys immediately. Stream the entire album below, and go order the record from Double Phantom.
Gap Dream is the one-man bedroom psych-pop project of Clevelander Gabe Fulvimar, who formally played guitar in the pop quartet Future Days/Clovers. ”58th St. Fingers” is the lead track off Gabe’s self-titled debut album, and it’s a great ultra-groovy jangle-pop song that’ll make you feel way too cool when blasting it with your windows down during the recent wonderful weather. This album’s been a surprise favorite of mine this year, and I highly recommend it. The cassette is available from Burger Records, the digital’s up for purchase on Gap Dream’s Bandcamp, and vinyl will be out sometime this summer.
Cleveland pop group Clovers, changed to Future Days, not only made big steps in their hometown, but were on the verge of becoming the next big thing in the national indie-pop/garage scene. The band had done tours with rad-rockers Free Energy and Secretly Canadian’s Foreign Born, and rumors were swirling that they were working with big labels. Then the group went down to Nashville to record with the Black Keys’ Pat Carney, recording what would be their official debut album, The Breezer. Weeks after getting back, Future Days threw up a couple tracks from the new album on SoundCloud, played a few local shows, and rumors swirled that the band had been signed to Fat Possum. Sometime near the end of last summer, I found out that the band had disbanded, killing all of the rumors and album releases they had planned. The band sent me The Breezer sometime before they told me about the breakup, and the album quickly became one of my favorites, especially the ultra-jangly second track “Carry Me Away.” It was sad to me that nobody was going to here these fantastic pop songs, so the band allowed me to show their album that never happened. Here are a couple tracks from the unreleased, unmastered album, The Breezer, and a link to download the entire album. Once you give it a couple listens, you’ll realize why it was such a bummer that Future Days didn’t became a bigger thing, cause the talent, songwriting, and spark were definitely there.
One of Indiana’s biggest up-and-comers Stagnant Pools just released the first taste of their upcoming 2012 record, release TBA. “Consistency” is a massive slice of punked-out sky-high shoegaze from the Bloomington brothers, and it definitely gives indications of a fantastic record from these two. Below is a video of the duo playing “Consistency” at my now-defunct basement venue Jurassic Park, and the song sounds just as huge.
Check out the newest track from Cloud Nothings’ upcoming album, Attack on Memory. Although Dylan Baldi has shown us that Cloud Nothings are going a different direction with “No Future/No Past”, “Stay Useless” still shows us why we fell in love with them in the first place. The song debuted on Rolling Stone this morning, where Dylan stated, “I’m trying to take Cloud Nothings to different areas, songwriting-wise, so I figured I should try and finish off the ‘poppy’ songs with a bang.” Attack on Memory is out January 24th on Carpark, and it’s available for preorder on Insound.
Nick Tolar and his Herzog boys crept up on all of us with a new album. The new album, Cartoon Violence, got its release to Cleveland last Wednesday at their record release show at the Happy Dog with Shoreway. Listen and download the fantastic power-pop opener, “Fuck This Year,” and try your hardest to not get those double guitar riffs stuck in your head. Tolar is already one of the best songwriters in Cleveland, and when you put a regular band behind him, things get really nice for us. Head over to fellow Cleveland blog I Rock Cleveland for their great review of Cartoon Violence and another MP3 from the record.
Cleveland pop heroes Cloud Nothings have their new album, Attack On Memory, coming out next January. Listen to the post-punk opening blast, “No Future/No Past,” from the new record. No hard to tell that Steve Albini had his hands on this one. And go see them on their two month US tour that starts next February, dates below.
01-26 New York, NY – Studio at Webster Hall
02-16 Chattanooga, TN – JJ’s Bohemia
02-17 Atlanta, GA – The Earl
02-18 Birmingham, AL – Bottletree
02-20 Orlando, FL – Backbooth
02-21 Tallahassee, FL – Club Downunder
02-23 Houston, TX – Fitzgerald’s
02-24 San Antonio, TX – Ten Eleven
02-25 Austin, TX – Red 7
02-26 El Paso, TX – Lowbrow Palace
02-27 Tucson, AZ – Club Congress
02-28 Phoenix, AZ – The Crescent Ballroom
02-29 San Diego, CA – Soda Bar
03-01 Costa Mesa, CA – Detroit Bar
03-02 Los Angeles, CA – Echo
03-03 San Francisco, CA – Bottom of the Hill
03-05 Portland, OR – Holocene
03-06 Seattle, WA – The Crocodile
03-07 Vancouver, British Columbia – The Media Club
03-8 Boise, ID – Neurolux
03-9 Salt Lake City, UT – Kilby Court
03-10 Denver, CO – Larimer Lounge
03-12 Kansas City, MO – The Riot Room
03-17 McAllen, TX – Simon Sez
03-20 Nashville, TN – The End
03-21 Louisville, KY – Zanzabar
03-22 Cincinnati, OH – MOTR Pub
03-24 Montreal, Quebec – Casa del Popolo
03-25 Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall
03-26 Providence, RI – Fete Lounge
03-30 Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s
03-31 Washington, DC – Red Palace
04-01 Baltimore, MD – Ottobar
04-02 Buffalo, NY – Ninth Ward @ Babeville
04-03 Pittsburgh, PA – Brillobox
04-04 Detroit, MI – Magic Stick Lounge
04-05 Cleveland Heights, OH – Grog Shop
04-06 Chicago, IL – Schubas Tavern
04-07 Columbus, OH – Outland Live
I meant to post this song a long time ago, but I didn’t. Basically, Gauntlet Hair rocks, this song rocks, and the album this song’s gonna be on is gonna rock. Gauntlet Hair will be out October 18 on Dead Oceans.
The indie rock boys out of Bloomington recently released one of my favorite videos of this year. Watch the video above and grab the MP3 below. The guys are about halfway through a tour of the Midwest and East Coast, remaining dates are below.
19th – Baltimore, MA – TBA
20th – Washington, DC – Pool Party http://www.facebook.com/ev?ent.php?eid=22547086415749?5&ref=notif¬if_t=event_?invite
21st – Charlotte, NC – House Show
22nd – Savannah, GA – The Sentient Bean
23rd – Athens, GA – farm255 w/ The Goons
24th – Atlanta, GA – The Music Room (DMA @ Nophest Kick-Off Party) http://nophest.com/schedul?e
25th – Knoxville, TN – The Pilot Light
26th – Indianapolis, IN – The White Rabbit (Sleeping Bag release show w/ Everything, Now!)
27th – Bloomington, IN – The Bishop (Sleeping Bag release show w/ Circuit Des Yeux)
Under The Radar recently premiered “Beside” from Bloomington, IN pop trio Sleeping Bag. This instantly-lovable pop jam appears on Sleeping Bag’s self-titled debut, which actually just released last Tuesday. Based on this and their earlier single “Slime,” which you can listen to below, the album is really shaping up to be one of the most enjoyable of the year. Stream the entire album on their Bandcamp, or go to Joyful Noise, where it’s available for order on blue and black vinyl, as well as the special official Sleeping Bag sleeping bag.
Bloomington indie rock trio Sleeping Bag have been quiet for the past couple months about the release of their debut album, and that’s because they were waiting to announce that it’s going to be getting its release through Joyful Noise Recordings! The Indianapolis-based label, with past releases from Akron/Family, Deerhoof, and Of Montreal, will be putting out the self-tited album on August 9th. It will be available on CD, black vinyl, blue vinyl, and best of all, a screen-printed sleeping bag with a digital download. Preorder is available now from Joyful Noise, and check out the album opener “Slime” below. Also, the band will be stopping in Cleveland with fellow Bloomington band husband&wife at the Happy Dog on July 6th, with Cleveland avant-pop group Wombs opening.
Genre: Brit-Pop, Indie Rock, Pop, Glam
Location: Sheffield, UK
Label: Domino MySpace
LISTEN: || “Reckless Serenade” ||
Any fan of my site over the past three years knows that I am a big Arctic Monkeys, so naturally I was excited for their new full-length, Suck It and See (despite the name). When I heard their first single, “Don’t Sit Down Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair,” it sounded big and nasty in vein of Humbug, but it wasn’t the progression I was hoping. Well that view quickly went out the window after hearing “Reckless Serenade.” The quaint pop song begins with a beyond-sexy bass groove, then settles into Alex Turner’s vocal and lyrically play, and give us a nice cherry on top with the most glam you’ll ever hear from the Monkeys. The track single-handedly shows that these Sheffield kids have grown far past their early days into their most well written material to date. Suck It and See is out now and you can order it here. And watch the video for “Don’t Sit Down…” below.
Chicago avant-poppers A Lull released their highly anticipated debut album Confetti a couple weeks ago. Most likely you’ve heard the older mixes for “Weapons For War,” “Spread It All Around,” and more recently “Mammals,” but here’s the newest taste with the crazy-melodic “Water & Beasts.” Also, the boys are shooting a video for “Some Love” as we speak so keep a look out for that. Confetti is out on Mush Records in the US and Something In Construction in Europe, and you can pick up the vinyl right here.
Sleeping Bag are a new trio out of Bloomington, IN with heavy nods to the late 90′s indie rock scene. “Slime” is the first track off their debut album, which is streaming in its entirety from their BandCamp. It’s a fantastic pop album so definitely try to give the full LP a listen!