Sunday, December 20, 2009

Renminbi: Surface EP

A Sunday evening this close to the holidays could have easily found us in a tangle on the couch with ambient beardy-man music echoing endlessly throughout the house... yeah, right. With the correct volume levels, floorboards should be rattling around your computer right about now. Our original review of Brooklyn, New York duo Renminbi happened just over two years ago in November 2007, and we now have some belated news to report as an update/highlight before 2009 is in the books. Founding musician Lisa Liu (guitar, vocals) along with SMV (keyboards, vocals) have received a well-deserved amount of attention since our initial mention and have released their most recent collection of songs, titled Surface EP, which was produced by Don Fleming (Dinosaur Jr, Sonic Youth) earlier this year. For a perfect balance of building tension and the recurring flurry of guitar goodness serving as release, we can offer the following track, Set-Up, as an instant favourite from Surface. Have a listen and also visit the Renminbi MySpace page for additional music and information.

MP3: Set-Up

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Elisa Ferrari

Surprising as it may seem, Austin, Texas has never really been a frequent destination for our music explorations. Not that we have anything against the enormous annual arts festival or equally regarded music scene all of those other days the year has to offer. It just seems a daunting task to sort through the gazillion or so artists who happen to inhabit this particular music mecca. That all changes today as we bring you a lovely female vocalist and her unique take on traditional American folk music. Elisa Ferrari is an Argentinian-born singer/songwriter based in Austin who has spent most of her life surrounded by musical influence. From receiving a nylon-stringed guitar as a childhood Christmas present from her uncle, to a Master's degree in ethnomusicology, Ferrari continues her momentum having assembled a backing troupe of local musicians and releasing a November 2009 full-length album titled Isla de Niños. Let's get started with a preview... shall we?

MP3: Yellow Box

For those who are already listening with interest, the balance of music contained within the new album Isla de Niños is an equally impressive and beautiful listen. If the haunting accompaniment of piano, resonating bells and clever hints of guitar were not enough to send your senses off to sea, Ms. Ferrari's warm vocals might easily have you settling into a favourite chair, cocktail in hand and head kicked back, for a blurry ceiling fan meditation session. An unexpected, yet welcomed treat for late 2009. As for the new year, Elisa Ferrari will be performing live on January 15 at local Austin venue Momo's. One last gem of a song from this latest release...

MP3: Bali

Sunday, December 06, 2009

The Sky Drops: Christmas Feels Like Halloween

After releasing their long-awaited debut album Bourgeois Beat earlier this year, which was featured here in August 2009, the Wilmington, Delaware duo of Rob Montejo and Monika Bullette probably could have perched on a successful new release and just watched as well-deserved attention rolled in. Instead, The Sky Drops have remained both active and incredibly festive in deciding to record a holiday song, titled Christmas Feels Like Halloween, that we can now share. It seems like only yesterday we first made mention of this outstanding band. *sniff*

MP3: Christmas Feels Like Halloween

*Bonus Track* Monika along with legendary musician Hangnail Philips from a few years ago... classic!

MP3: The Finest Gifts

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

MML Video Update: Little Big Adventure

Little Big Adventure is a Stockholm, Sweden based solo music project we originally mentioned back in May 2009 as one of a handful of new releases from Labrador Records. We now have an update for this particular artist with a new video of the lovely song Happiest Times which belongs to The Hateful Eye EP we featured earlier this year. Have a look at what could easily be our return from the pubs on any given evening, and a listen to this beautiful song.

As an added bonus we found while poking around, there is also a Little Big Adventure website with additional information and a section where plenty of previously recorded songs can be downloaded. A couple of these less recent experimental songs that piqued our interest in a big way...

MP3: I Water Plants
MP3: Ben And Jerrys

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Why Write?

Now that an extended food-related holiday weekend is in the books, we finally have the chance to dive back into our neglected little music blog for what will hopefully be a busy week. In starting things off, our attention is now directed towards solo folk artist Jacob Faurholt from Århus, Denmark and his latest music project Why Write? As a follow up to three full length albums, including his most recent entry titled Are You In The Mood For Love?, Jacob and friends have recorded five new songs for an aptly titled debut release 5 Song EP. With mixing/mastering assistance from extraordinary American producer Kramer, as well as Montreal, Quebec label What A Mess! Records (WAM! MySpace), the new songs were made available just over a week ago on November 18. For those who've decided to listen while reading, the featured track Burning Holes is threaded heavily with simple mid-80s indie rock goodness that could have easily been released by one our favourite labels back in the day. If that were not enough of a recommendation for further listening, pay attention to the droning backdrop that eventually sends this song into a spiraling treat for even casual fans of modern day psychedelia. Here you go...

MP3 Burning Holes

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Kite in the Air: Magic Marker EP

After listening to an extraodinarily good new single from San Francisco, California-based music project Kite In the Air for the better part of this past week, we received late word last evening that their sophomore EP, titled Magic Marker, was actually just released... within the past 24 hours! Our original feature of their debut, self-titled EP happened a few short months ago when the weather was warming in April 2009. Now that leaves are falling and local temperatures have also taken a steep dive, we find ourselves with a more settled, ambient sound that loses no energy at all in what we consider an overwhelmingly effective next step for this troupe of artists. With a lightly experimental, yet perfectly danceable, backdrop once again produced by Mark Reveley and Mike Genius of WZRDZ, the beautiful vocals of Emma Lucia (Jed & Lucia) we first discovered in August 2006 have not shed an ounce of versatility or loftiness. Be it folk, electronic pop or almost any other genre classification we can imagine, Ms. Lucia's voice could well enough be at home in any setting and is always a warm experience for our collective ear. Additional music and information can be found on the Kite In The Air MySpace page... a song from the new Magic Marker EP for you:

MP3: Stretch It On

Monday, November 16, 2009

Hot Lava & The Sad Cobras: New Split 7"

Revisiting an artist we've featured in the past is always a treat, so it only stands to reason that our collective attention span might grow exponentially when two previously-mentioned bands are involved in a combined new release. We originally featured Richmond, Virginia based Hot Lava in January 2008 with a quick follow-up for their debut album Lavalogy in March 2008. Since that time, they've signed to Bar/None Records and continue to gain plenty of well-deserved attention around the planet. The Sad Cobras are an equally impressive music project from Roanoke, Virginia we also reviewed around the same time in May 2008. Together, these two bands now have self-released a 7" split single with a total of six brief songs to share that all seem to playfully embrace the quirk/fun-factor noted by various media entities. At the same time, both bands provide their own serious introduction to regional Virginia music scenes which require immediate attention, by our estimation. The release party was held this past Friday night 11/13 at local Richmond venue Plaza Bowl as Hot Lava opened for Shonen Knife. Have a listen to a track from each side of the split single and be sure to explore the links above for additional music. We definitely need to grab a physical copy of this one...

MP3: Hot Lava - The Auctioneer
MP3: The Sad Cobras: Team Mother

Monday, November 09, 2009

Free Electric State

Of all the various "most-livable" or noteworthy areas of this country to the south of our little Queen City, only one sparks our interest enough to consider an extended visit (relocation) for its music scene alone and today's featured artist is a lovely new ingredient in the mixture we've only just discovered down in the Triangle. Free Electric State is a shoegaze-influenced quartet consisting of musicians Shirlé Hale (vocals, bass), David Koslowski (guitar, vocals), Nick Williams (guitar, vocals) and Tony Stiglitz (drums) who are based in Durham, North Carolina. The band is currently recording a debut full-length album titled Caress, which will be released through local label Churchkey Records in April 2010, and they were kind enough to send a demo track for our previewing pleasure. If the song Hawks, finished or not, is any indication of what can be expected from the balance of music contained within this upcoming LP, consider us new fans and look for a full review of Caress early on next year. Listen up.

MP3: Hawks (demo)

**Note: Since we weren't exactly clever enough to figure out what Sessions at Studio B was all about, a jump ahead to the following live performance date is in order as Free Electric State takes the stage at Raleigh venue Slim's Downtown Distillery on December 4. Local folks now have plenty of time to adjust their schedules for the event. For additional information and music, pay a visit to the FES MySpace page as well as the FES ReverbNation profile. It's all very much worth a bit of your time.**

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

MML Update: Herr Nilsson

Herr Nilsson is a Bergen, Norway-based musical troupe who easily won our ears with their most recent pair of EP releases in Today Is My Birthday which was happily featured here in October 2008 and No Man Is Iceland as a follow up in December 2008. Almost exactly one year later, we have some wonderful news and an excellent new song to share. Long Live Herr Nilsson, the band's third full length album since 2005, was just completed and is set for a release date that will soon be disclosed. We are fortunate enough to have received the first single belonging to this new album and can only hope the balance of music is even half this good. From warm and simple beginnings that build into an understated festival of brass accompaniment, Traffic Jams easily allows our blushing little love-fest with this band to continue. Have a listen... please.

MP3: Traffic Jams

Additional music can be found on the Herr Nilsson MySpace page and vocalist/guitarist Terje from the band was nice enough to remind us of the Herr Nilsson blog where more information exists for the the upcoming album. If that were not enough, we also have a YouTube video for Traffic Jams. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

KC Quilty

In early 2008, our travels landed us just across the Ohio River in a smoke-filled Kentucky hotel room the night before an ever-evolving troupe of NYC lovelies known as Le Rug were to perform at a local Cincinnati venue. It was there we met multi-instrumentalist Julian Fader who happened to be half of the percussion duo for this particular music collective at the time. A month later, we ended up featuring Julian's outstanding solo music [February 2008 review + download] and are now fortunate enough to have another update for you. KC Quilty is the Brooklyn, New York based trio of Sadie Dupuis (guitar, voice), appropriately named Ethan Bassford (bass) and of course Julian Fader on drums. Aside from various regional live performance dates, the band is currently putting a few finishing touches on their debut album, titled Clover/Coriander, which will be released through Julian's own label Cooling Pie Records towards the end of 2009. Hopefully? After having an extended listen to the new tracks that were sent our way, we can easily recommend paying attention to this young music project. Good and noisy guitar rock balanced by lovely female vocals guiding the course always piques our interest and this time we have a telling new preview to share.

MP3: Supernova

*Please Note:* In order to properly produce, manufacture and distribute physical copies of the upcoming album Clover/Coriander, the band has created a Kickstarter Page complete with a bashful yet instructional video on how to donate funds for the cause. What do you get in return? We wondered the same thing. There is a Cooling Pie Records Blog entry that details the ridiculously kind lengths this band is willing to go in order to gain your support... by dollar amount in case you hadn't guessed, and I believe they are dead serious about the $2000 range.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Plastic People

Our series of featured artists from Seoul, South Korea based label Electric Muse is unfortunately coming to its conclusion but, before our virtual music flight departs Incheon, we've saved an outstanding duo to leave your ears humming along. Plastic People is the long time music project of Min Kyu Kim (guitar, vocals, programming), who happens to have founded Electric Muse in 2006, and Ju Mi Yoon (vocals, keyboard). After a self titled debut EP in 2002, these two musicians released a pair of albums in Songbags Of The Plastic People (2003) and Folk Ya! (2006) followed by another EP and eventually the music we find ourselves with today. Snap is the title of their latest full-length offering which was made available earlier this year. A listen to the lead track for you...

MP3: Under The Shadow

For those who are hopefully already listening, Snap is a collection of 12 beautifully understated indie-rock songs that seem to draw influences ranging from later Yo La Tengo to early Homestead Records days with a slight hint of shoegaze goodness threaded into some of our favourite selections for good measure. For additional listening and information, please visit the Plastic People MySpace page and also be sure to check out an upcoming live performance as they take the stage, along with friends, October 25 at an annual Seoul event known as Grand Mint Festival. Another lovely song from Snap...

MP3: History

*Bonus* From the 2006 album Folk Ya!
MP3: The End Of Summer

Many thank-you-type love ramblings are in order for the folks at Electric Muse for sending us a box full of amazing music to share with our listeners over the past few weeks. We would also like to give a heads up on a blog that has been following our posts all the while. Indieful Rok is an outstanding resource for all new music from Korea and Korean artists around the world. We highly recommend bookmarking them for your daily music travels. Until our next visit.... 감사합니다 xoxo Casey & Michelle

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Dringe Augh: Individually Wrapped EP

Our unintentionally sparse and drawn-out coverage of various releases from the Electric Muse label will be in the books by the end of this week, but not before we conclude our visit to what we have discovered to be an amazing music scene within Seoul, South Korea. The first of our last three musical entries, which deserves immediate listening attention, is British folk-influenced vocalist/acoustic guitarist Dringe Augh who began writing, recording and performing solo music in 2001. After producing and self-releasing his debut EP Milky Way as well as several demos along the way, Dringe Augh has a new collection of 7 songs in an EP titled Individually Wrapped that was made available through Electric Muse earlier this year. Since we are not well versed in acoustic folk and usually try to avoid describing music as any type of texture, landscape or ice cream flavor (distressed wood, beach at dusk, mint chocolate chip) we will simply explain the result of our listening experience as involving an extended gaze through the windows that keep this little office space warm... very warm. Lovely.

If you find the female vocal accompaniment particularly striking, the woman responsible is Eujie Song of local Seoul duo Sogyumo Acacia Band. Have a listen...

MP3: Tutelar (featuring Eunjie Song)

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Vidulgi Ooyoo: Aero

After spending the better portion of our week away from updating MML, the opportunity to revisit Vidulgi Ooyoo who we first featured here almost exactly one year ago. [October 2008 review + details + music] is once again a treat for the ears. Thanks to our friends at Korean label Electric Muse, our hot little hands are now in possession of the debut, full-length release Aero we spoke about last year. However belated this secondary recommendation happens to be, please take time to explore what we consider a compulsory audio experience for those in need of a proper shoegaze fix. Low volume for daydreaming or computer speakers at full force and the slow building tension will not fail to wash you out to sea... over and over again.

MP3: Siren

Vidulgi Ooyoo MySpace
Vidulgi Ooyoo Cyworld
Electric Muse Last FM

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Starry Eyed: Sweet Night

As a continuation of our little love-fest with Korean label Electric Muse, we once again reach back into their archives for music that was released in 2008. As a follow up to the debut album Lo-Fi Dancing Star in 2005, Seoul-based trio Starry-Eyed completed their sophomore offering, titled Sweet Night, just this past year. The listening experience contained within these twelve tracks is not one of a predictable or even consistent nature by any measure. Instead, Starry-Eyed toys playfully with an endless supply of classic indie rock influences which seem to fall within a three year radius of 1992 by our best estimation... in this case, a very good thing. We've almost-randomly plucked a pair songs that should give our regular visitors a good indication of what to expect from the balance of lovely music belonging to Sweet Night. The first track featured, "Paprika", has an instant flavor of New Order, while "Nasa", an instrumental, builds slowly from its innocent beginnings into the scorching guitars we were perfectly in the mood for.

MP3: Paprika
MP3: Nasa

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Orgeltanz: From The Cradle To The Grave

Another lazy Sunday is well underway and we have quite the departure from our usual content to share as a conclusion to the weekend. After spending the past few days taking in this particular celebration of international music, we can easily recommend today's featured artist and their most recent release. Before we get started, a brief excerpt from the press release and a song that deserves your immediate attention.

"Orgeltanz suggests their musical style by the name: orgel, the music box that plays music through a mechanical spring and tanz, meaning “dance” in German. The strain of a song that you hear on the street, and the swinging footsteps in line with the rhythm; when you take a break from the repetitive life and put a smile on your face, Orgeltanz’s music approaches, frolicking."

MP3: A Way To Get Free Champagne

Orgeltanz is the folk-minded five piece troupe of mostly acoustic musicians Marca Marco (accordion, vocals), MiOng (guitar), Angel (violin), Kkangile (percussion, vocals), Shoonguli (guitars, more) and DongWoo (contrabass, electric bass) who are based in Seoul, South Korea. Since their beginnings in 2005, the band has enlisted the visual accompaniment of belly dancer Eshe and have completed a full-length debut album, titled From The Cradle To The Grave, which was released through the Electric Muse label in 2008. The resulting listen to this collection of songs is a refreshing escape from the limitation in influence and sound we usually associate with the patronizing term "world music". The variation of moods and truly global representation of instrumentation we experienced within From The Cradle To The Grave could easily be at home in a busking environment on any street, in any city around the planet, while also providing the perfect soundtrack for daily listening from computer speakers at home. For additional information and music, visit the Orgeltanz MySpace page as well as the Electric Muse Last FM profile. Another lovely song from the debut album. Enjoy!

MP3: Sokdak Sokdak

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dabang Band: Last One EP

As was vaguely mentioned in our introduction to the multiple features we have planned from Korean label Electric Muse, not all of the catalogue being explored is comprised of recent releases... or even bands that still exist, for that matter. Today we have a couple of impressive indie rock songs that belong to a 2006 EP aptly titled Last One from the now defunct Jeonju, South Korea based four piece Dabang Band. After reading a dated press release on the band, it seems this was the last of three EPs that Dabang Band made available since their formation in 2002. The final lineup is listed as Myoung Jae Yi (vocals, guitars), Thai Iv (drums, backing vocals), Yoon Ho Sang (guitar, backing vocals) and Jung Sung Hwan (bass, backing vocals). We would seriously love to know what, if any, music projects each of these artists are currently involved with. Have a listen...

MP3: 45
MP3: It's A Lie

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Atombook: Warm Hello From The Sun

It's been a long time coming, but we are now fortunate enough to dig into the catalogue of music that was sent to us by Korean label Electric Muse. To start things off, we've unwrapped the plastic from the first CD and found an amazing collection of 16 tracks that have kept our attention without a single song ignored in the listening process. From what information we've gathered, Atombook is currently a four-piece consisting of musicians simply listed as SP (guitar, vocals). Yeunbyul (synth, vocals), Sooyoung (bass) and Hankil (drums) who have been writing and recording music together since 2002. The most recent album, titled Warm Hello From The Sun, was released in 2008 and is brimming with the sweetness that is usually reserved for Swedish indie-pop bands while offering a perfect glimpse into the classic American folk music that seems to be an underlying influence throughout. There is additional information and music to be found on the Atombook MySpace page. Please have a listen to the following two songs that belong to Warm Hello From The Sun and be prepared to adore this band...

MP3: All The Ways To Find Nothing
MP3: Ice Cream (Magnapop influence?)

As an added bonus, we present a youtube video of the title track Warm Hello From The Sun... in love yet?

Monday, September 21, 2009

MML Label Feature: Electric Muse

A few short days ago, we received a large package in the post containing past and present releases from the kind folks at Seoul, South Korea-based label Electric Muse. After spending quite some time listening, we have decided against any sort of cheap multi-band feature in exchange for individual reviews for each of the artists. Be prepared for quite a few audio gems to find their way into your ears as we explore this impressive stack of CDs over the next couple of weeks. For an early start, please visit the Electric Muse MySpace page as well as the Electric Muse Cyworld profile for an abundance of lovely music. Our plan is to get started tomorrow night and hopefully continue every other evening with new sounds... see ya then! xo.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Church: Songforce Crystal LP

Another Sunday is almost in the books and we have a fitting band, if only by name, to re-visit with their most recent full-length LP being released just over a month ago. Since our October 2008 review of Portland, Oregon based experimental trio Church, musicians Brandon Laws (vocals, guitar, moog, taurus, banjo), Richard Laws (vocals, drums, sampler) and Cristof Hendrickson (fender rhodes, minimoog, omnichord, glockenspiel) have enlisted the assistance of percussionist Lane Barrington to complete the expanded new lineup. The result is an impassioned, yet subtle new collection of songs titled Songforce Crystal which is now available through local labels SoHiTek Records and Tender Loving Empire. Between listening moments of building tension and various levels of disheveled release in which song-structures could easily come unglued, Church manages to lure our ears into a deep, dark celebration of how effective the utilization of experimental electronic means to support basic analogue instrumentation can be. Each and every song is beautiful in a way you are hopefully already listening to with the featured track Opposite People. The next live performance will take place tomorrow night, September 21, as Church takes the stage along with Sea Wolf at a Portland venue known as Mississippi Studios. A preview for you...

MP3: Opposite People

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

MOIP: Brittney Lane Don't Care (Video)

Exactly what the subject line says. We originally featured Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania based lovelies Meeting Of Important People in November 2008 with a follow-up of the band's impressive self-titled debut in May 2009. A brand new video for the track Brittney Lane Don't Care for your audio and visual pleasure...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Last Tide: The Broken Places EP

Once again, our email inbox proves to be a valuable little nest for discovering impressive new music and we now have another fine example to share this evening. Last Tide is a lovely new Washington, D.C. quartet who seem to embrace less than subtle hints of a three year radius surrounding the year 1989 where indie rock and/or shoegaze are concerned. This is quite a good thing. A debut EP, titled The Broken Places, is set to be self-released next month and a CD release party is scheduled to take place October 26 at local DC venue Black Cat when Last Tide shares the stage with Austin, Texas based outfit Ringo Deathstarr. For additional streaming music and information on picking up an early copy of the new EP, please pay an extended visit to the Last Tide MySpace page. Two completely different previews from this new mini-release for some of our regular visitors... be prepared to love 'em.

MP3: A Traitor In My Mind
MP3: Shapeshifter

Monday, September 14, 2009

Horse Shoes: The Imperial School EP

We've finally returned home from our vacation in a lovely mountain range down south and have some serious catching up to do here at MML. With our suitcase still half-full and email/post box in need of thorough investigation, it was a refreshing treat to quickly find impressive new music from one of our favourite labels in Portland, Oregon based Shelflife Records (Shelflife Myspace). Horse Shoes just so happen to be the duo of musicians Drew Diver and Jacob Graham who originally began creating music together in rural, northeastern Ohio. After some time spent in Florida, they now reside in Brooklyn, New York where finishing touches have been made to their September 22 debut EP release The Imperial School. More music and information can be found via links provided above as well as the Horse Shoes Myspace page and frequently updated Horse Shoes Blog. If you are even remotely a fan of classic British indie pop in the spirit of New Order or more recent artists we've mentioned from various Scandinavian music scenes, The Imperial School EP will not disappoint in the least. Please have a listen...

MP3: The Imperial School
MP3: Changing Winds

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Girl Loves Distortion

MML originally featured the Washington D.C. trio of Chistopher Goett (vocals, guitar, bass, synths, organ), Steven Rubin (bass, guitar, vocals, organ) and Jenn Thomas (drums, vocals, percussion) in February 2008 with a preview of the Girl Loves Distortion debut LP Earth Beings on Exhibit, followed by another mention in September 2008 as the belated release date finally came to fruition. Now, after sifting once again through that rickety old postbox attached to our living quarters, we are more than pleased to report another outstanding collection of songs. You Better Run, Your Highness is the sophomore full-length release that was recently made available through DC-based label Etxe Records (Etxe MySpace) only a few short weeks ago. Instead of our usual extended and gushing blather regarding this lovely band, we can simply state that You Better Run, Your Highness is easily another favourite release for 2009. Have a first listen to what has us so smitten...

MP3: UFOs (Unidentified Fascist Operators)

For additional information and listening, pay an extended visit to the Girl Loves Distortion website as well as the compulsory GLD MySpace Page. The next live performance will take place September 4 (yes, tomorrow night!) at local DC venue Black Cat on the main stage. Love this band.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Hair Rocket

Although today's featured artist maintains a band name that could easily conjure up mental images of various hairstyles many of us, including myself (circa 1984-86), might want to forget, the inspiration comes from a completely different direction with an odd practice, introduced as Hair Rocketing, which is mentioned in this snippet from the brief bio we found.

"...Prompting the audience to participate with magic tools and volunteer locks of hair that are attached to a rocket which forms the pagan idol; a patron of boundaries for the traveler who crosses them; followers meet via the web at an online museum to see their live rocket launched and documented chronologically as a bizarre hermetic experience."

Hair Rocket is the music project of Lumberville, Pennsylvania multi-instrumentalist Chris Blasucci who has been writing and recording this music since 2008. The most recent result is an impressive debut EP titled Novelty which was self-released earlier this month and includes accompaniment from a handful of regional artist-friends. The next live performance kicks off a string of fall dates and will take place on September 16 at Philadelphia venue Silk City. For additional listening and a new YouTube video stop by the Hair Rocket MySpace page, but for the complete experience we strongly recommend a visit to the Hair Rocket blog/website for a free download of the five songs that make up this debut EP offering. Have a listen to one of our favourite tracks after a few spins.

MP3: Electrical

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sir Salvatore: Good Luck Charm EP

We really need to start checking our email inbox on a more frequent and/or thorough basis. If it weren't for a friendly follow-up message from today's featured artist, our little music world could have easily remained stagnant for the balance of this weekend. Sir Salvatore is the San Francisco, California based trio of David Lean (guitar, vocals), Alejandro Soini (drums, bass, vocals) and Eric Szyslowski (guitar) who we originally made mention of in January 2008. The brand new, self-released EP is titled Good Luck Charm and we strongly suggest you pay close attention. It's not often we find ourselves listening to anything close to reminiscent of alternative folk or rockabilly without wanting to end our lives in a flurry of razorblades, but with today's offering we find an unexpected and downright charming collection of songs that deserve to be shared. A first listen to what could possibly be the lead track... shall we?

MP3: Fireflies, Reading Books

Additional information can be found by visiting the Sir Salvatore MySpace page and an outstanding new video exists for the song Parallelevator which we've gathered from YouTube for your enjoyment. We love this band.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Le Rug: Nuke Whales

It certainly has been a while, but we are now fortunate enough to have an update on the most frequently featured artist in the three and a half year history of our little music blog. Le Rug is the ongoing music project of Brooklyn, New York-based musician Ray Weiss along with his ever-evolving cast of musical journey(wo)men. This time around, Ray enlists the assistance of members belonging to an impressive NYC trio known as Fiasco for a brand new collection of 44 songs titled Nuke Whales which was recently released through Pittsburgh, PA label Tamur Records (Tamur MySpace). 44 songs? That's right... one for each President of the United States and all tracks are titled (or named) accordingly. Although the length of each one of these songs can mostly be counted in seconds rather than minutes, you could probably stretch any given one of them out infinitely and we would continue to ask for more. Much more. The reckless, dishevelled and off-kilter sound that seems ready to come unglued at any moment always ends up taking shape as some of our favourite listening moments. A perfect example from the new release Nuke Whales:

MP3: Ronald Reagan

The entire album can be downloaded completely free by visiting Tamur Records. Also, be sure to check out the following links to our past features for some insight, further info and a ton of outstanding music. Enjoy.

Previous Reviews:

August 2008 (Sex Reduction Flower)

June 2007 (C.R.E.E.P.)

March 2007 (Bleenex)

January 2007 (part 2)

January 2007 (part 1)

August 2006 (The Medics)

May 2006 (The Medics)

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Sky Drops: Bourgeois Beat

We've been anticipating this moment for a very long time and are now fortunate enough to present new music from a pair of artists who happen to be personal favourites of the MML blog. Our original review of Wilmington, Delaware musicians Rob Montejo (guitar, vocals) and Monika Bullette (drums, vocals) took place in May 2006 with a follow up in April 2007 as well as another mention in January 2009. As a follow-up to their 2006 EP Clouds Of People, The Sky Drops will release their brand new, full-length debut, titled Bourgeois Beat, tomorrow, August 11, 2009. After having an excited and extended listen to the new music, we have a simple question. Is it too early to start talking about best-of-year releases for 2009? A first listen for you...

MP3: Swimming With Fishes

Whenever those wonderful chills start shooting up our collective spine as anticipated new music takes shape in our ears, the reason for maintaining this music blog becomes quite clear. We highly recommend this new collection of songs and suggest a visit to The Sky Drops MySpace page as well as the newly-remodeled TSD website for more music and information. As a bonus, we've included a YouTube video for the track Truth Is from Bourgeois Beat. Snap up a copy of this thing straight away. Seriously.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Distant Guns: The Redundant Pioneer EP

We've been away from our little music hideaway for exactly one week now, but have some listening to share that will most definitely make up for our prolonged absence. Distant Guns are a UK-based duo who would like to remain mostly anonymous and are seemingly perplexed, or at least unimpressed, with the current social networking culture. For this reason, you will find none of the usual crop of fans or friends on the Distant Guns MySpace page. No friends at all, in fact. Instead, what you may happen to notice is an impressive collection of songs that flirt playfully with classic influences such as The Fall, or even moments of Ultra Vivid Scene, while these two musicians manage to put forth a sound that defies any certain genre saddle. As a follow up to their previous EP offerings including The Complacent Pacifist (2007) and The Peaceful Technophobe (2008), the band recently released a brand new addition, titled The Redundant Pioneer, which is now available (in limited quantities) through UK-based label Egress. The folks at Egress were kind enough to drop this new EP into the MML post box and our copy includes a miniature compass (that actually kinda works) as well as an Ordnance Survey(ish) map as part of the inlay! Fantastic presentation and a welcomed listen. Enjoy the new music from this ongoing project and be sure to check out the Distant Guns Soundclick page for additional free *shhh* downloads. We absolutely love this band.

MP3: Shakerley

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Small Radio: Le Migré EP

Give us a Sunday evening free of any responsibilities and... oh wait! A message arrives with updated information on a previously featured artist/collaboration that we've been waiting very patiently for. Our original review of Scotland natives Colin Sweeney (aka Small Colin) who now lives in Hönö, Sweden and Scott Buchanan of Salem, Massachusetts-based Radio Scotvoid (Radio Scotvoid MySpace) took place in December 2007. Since that time, both multi-instrumentalist/laptop musicians have been quite busy evolving this transatlantic, experimental music project into something of a serious must-listen-now, by our estimation. The brand new four track release is titled Le Migré EP and you can download it completely free by visiting German netlabel REC72. It's not often our ears are completely warmed as the floorboards of this little music outpost rumble so uncontrollably. Expect future updates while this seed continues to sprout and enjoy our favourite song from the new EP.

MP3: I Am Ricky Richardo

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

New Ghosts

Being listed as a shoegaze(r)-related blog by various sources invariably results in an inbox bulging with artists who have been influenced by music within a three year radius loosely surrounding 1989. This time around, we most definitely have a treat to share for those regular visitors who appreciate our continued penchant for this particular footwear-fixation genre. Chicago, Illinois-based outfit New Ghosts have an EP from 2008, a single on Cloudberry Records and now a debut full-length album, titled Scarecrows Against Reason, that was released earlier this summer through Chicago's Fake Label Records. After listening, what impresses us most is that New Ghosts have the presence of mind not to allow a wall of sound to dictate or cover up basic song structures. Instead, the vocals and percussion are front and center for an unobstructed balance in sound we can easily recommend. For additional information, pay a visit to the New Ghosts website as well as what we consider an under-appreciated New Ghosts MySpace page for more lovely music. Two tracks from the new album Scarecrows Against Reason for you...

MP3: Broken Pieces
MP3: Gravity Causes Confusion

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Chariots of Tuna

Today's featured artists have embraced a band name that might not roll off the tongue without thoughts of movie satire or maybe even a distant constellation waiting to be named. However, the music found us with a new favourite we must recommend for listening. Chariots Of Tuna was originally the solo music project of Ben Morss during the late 1990s in Sacramento, California. Fast forward to 2008 and Ben (keyboards, guitar, vocals) had relocated to New York City, performing with a collective known as The Infinite Orchestra along with musicians Dan Davine (drums, guitar), Shawn Setaro (lead guitar) and Rus Wimbish (bass). Together, these seasoned musicians have given new life to the music of Mr. Morss with a new EP titled Fondness Makes The Heart Grow Distant. Think of a sound that exists somewhere between a polished Beach Boys single and an old dusty album from classic label Homestead Records and you will most likely understand why we are so taken with this music. The lead track for a lovely listen?

MP3: War Hero

It's no small wonder that Slumberland Records is front and center on the Chariots Of Tuna MySpace page.We can't imagine it being too distant of a relationship... for long, anyway.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bliss City East: 5 Questions For Perry Pelonero + New Track

Editor's Note: Perry Pelonero is a Chicago, Illinois-based musician who formed the band Skylight (1990) at a time when an emerging scene, known now as shoegaze, was just starting to gain momentum worldwide. His most recent music project is Bliss City East and Perry was kind enough to answer five questions for the inquiring minds/ears here at MML. Please be sure to have a listen to the brand new track we've made available for preview below and also pay a visit to the related links listed below (way below) for more music and information. Here we go!

[Casey] For the most part, I'd like to ask you a few questions about your latest music project Bliss City East, but have always been interested and wanted to take a moment to find out how it all got started. Could you maybe give a little history for those who might not be so familiar with your music?

[Perry] Ha! Need to try and make this short. Honestly this project started out as a way for me to be able to play live shows. I am in another band, Skylight, that has been around on and off for many years now. Skylight's guitar players live in Boston, so all of us trying to get together to do shows seemed almost impossible. I felt like I needed a lot more then that. So I sat at home with my guitar and started making this music. I was amazed as to how quickly it all came to me. I think at the time I was going through some serious life change. (The Sun is Cold) came out of that. The music to me was bliss. And after sharing it with Skylight's singer Kim we thought, yeah let's do something with this. We tossed names back and forth so many times. Until we settled on Bliss for the music. City because I love the city. And East because of my infatuation with Asian culture and the fact that I am from the east coast (NYC).

[C] From what I understand, Bliss City East started out as a solo project for you last year, but has since turned into a full band. Who are the new musicians in the lineup and where did you find them?

[P] Well. This is a long story. Brent from Skylight, who lives in Boston, has been helping me with this on and off. And of course Skylight's singer Kim Welsh has been in the mix from the start. I knew for a fact that I would not sing many songs. I am really enjoying the guitar playing these days. Skylight was looking for a keyboard player and Gail, our now bass player, had contacted me about it. I had a long talk with her about the music and she agreed to come in and do some singing and play keys. It was magic from the start, honestly. To have that combination of two female vocalists was something I really wanted. At that point, I thought it was time to get this together and start to think about live shows. We needed a bass player so she asked somebody who is in Gail's band A.V.P. here in Chicago. (Check A.V.P. out at the bliss MySpace page. ) So she brought in Reuben who now plays guitar! Somewhere down the line, Gail ended up switching from keyboard to bass and vox. Reuben went over to guitar and Kim took on the keys. We have been told it was the best move we could have made! Everybody does the job they are supposed to do. I write the songs. They come play them. It's amazing. Last but not least I recently added Dan Diaz into the mix. Dan is a veteran, no doubt. He has been in many bands and knows what he is doing. He adds so much to Just completes the sound. He recently began writing new songs with me so watch out! I feel like things are going to get much better. Now if we can find a drummer to complete this, we will all be happy.

[C] I've read articles about your music describing it as shoegaze-related and have used the general term experimental in my own reviews of BCE. How do you describe your music? Is there any specific formula you follow when developing a song?

[P] Never a formula. I write whatever the hell comes out of my head honestly. Or whatever I happen to be drinking at the time. We do experiment a lot though, so you are correct. We use a lot of disco beats or dance beats. We are huge fans of 70s disco and funk as well, but we always keep the wall of guitar sound. The loud, washed-out guitar will never go away for us. It is how I write all of the songs. We even experiment with keyboard sounds which is something I have never really done. It is seriously funny you asked me this. Because recently I was trying to describe what we are doing. What kind of music is it. It's true that I came from the shoegaze scene in the early 90s. I still love the music and all the new bands coming out of it. A lot of Skylight's music might fit the shoegaze bill a bit better? For me though, its really hard to say. I think I leave it up to the people who like the music and let them decide just what it is that BCE is doing. I have been told that the BCE sound is different and that we are headed in a new direction. It makes me happy to hear this, honestly. I am, of course, very happy to be told we have a shoegaze style or sound. I will always embrace that. Always.

[C] This is a question I've been looking forward to asking you. I've heard it mentioned that there are some connections between yourself and frontman Adam Franklin of legendary 90s band Swervedriver. If this is true, when and how did you meet him? Do you stay in contact with Adam at all these days?

[P] Adam Franklin. Just a really amazing guy. I met Adam during one of Swervedriver's first tours here in the States. I think it was in 1991. It was in Boston at TT the Bear's. This is when Skylight was just starting out actually. They were leaving for Japan not long after that. I was at the bar and somehow met Adam. We were drinking Red Stripe and looking at the translation book the record company gave him. How to say Japanese words. We had a laugh, had a talk and he went to do the show. That was honestly the most amazing show i ever saw them do. I hung off the monitors on the side of the stage while they blew my ears out. I swear that is when I went partially deaf. We kept in touch after that on and off. Mostly via shows and through other people. I spent some time with Swervedriver during the Mezcal Head era as well, in England and the states. The last time I saw Adam until recently was in the late 90s in NYC. After that we did not talk for years until about a year ago, I believe it was. Recently Adam was touring with The Church and his bass player broke his foot. I offered to fill in for him in Chicago. I only had two days to learn the songs after Adam sent me the set list! It was nuts! The night before the show we had a huge thunder storm here and we lost power. I woke up the morning of the show to start learning the songs when I got an email from Adam saying they were all covered. What a relief! The Church's keyboard player was taking it all on! I was never more relieved in my life, honestly. I had been shitting myself at the thought of actually learning all of the songs in time. The night of the show, I thanked the Church's keyboard player for doing it. I was really thankful. I had not seen Adam in years. We had a smoke and a chat and said goodbye. It was really nice to see an old friend.

[C] It seems that many bands have recently been following the trend of keeping their music strictly online using social networking sites and blog exposure instead of performing live or releasing physical copies of their music. Your thoughts on this? Are there any plans for BCE to tour in the near future and can we expect any newly-released music or BCE related projects for the remainder of 2009?

[P] Well things like MySpace have really opened up a new world for musicians, no doubt. The exposure is fantastic for all of us. We can instantly share our music with the people who want to hear it, instead of making cassettes like we used to do and passing them out to everybody. It also really gives a chance for the fans to directly interact with bands. We recently sent a note off to this Foals band who in turn answered it. Its really nice to see that SOME bands actually take a moment to answer questions or messages. The blogs are a hit and miss. I love the music blogs. I appreciate everything they do for bands because its exposure that we would have never gotten years ago. What I always liked most about MML is the fact that you cover the spectrum and always asked if you can include a free download.

Then we have other blogs that are offering artists whole albums for download. Those are the ones that are really pissing me off. This a discussion that Adam and I had recently when we discovered his new album being offered up for free at a blog site. The justification from these guys has always been the same. 9 out of 10 people who download this stuff buy it? I think it's bullshit, honestly. I know some people do. But I have a very hard time believing that 9 out of 10 purchase after they hear it. Of course it's piracy. And I could go on for hours about it. But I won't. :)

As far as live shows and physical copies of music. We have already started playing live shows in Chicago. We are actually playing in St. Louis this weekend with Stella Mora and fellow Chicagoans Panda Riot. From there we will be going on 3 day and 1-2 week stints all over the States. Details are being worked on now for this. This will be followed by a week in the UK and possibly another one week in South Korea. They love BCE and Skylight over there! It's really cool. BCE have a limited edition EP coming out this week. It is a CDR that comes with a sticker and some other cool stuff. This will be followed up by a full release from our record label Cloudragon. They have been really great with us and very patient! They recently released a compilation. It has Skylight on it so check it out!

Related Links

Exclusive MP3: Psychic (BCE 2009)

Previous MML Reviews:

Skylight - March 2008
Skylight - September 2008
Bliss City East - December 2008
Bliss City East - May 2009
Adam Franklin/Swervedriver - May 2007

Band Information:

Bliss City East MySpace
Skylight MySpace
Cloudragon Records

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Silence The Foe

As a clear departure from our recent fare of experimental pop and understated indie rock, today's featured artist will serve to bludgeon our regular visitors over the head with an impressive blend of punk, hardcore and all-around raucousness. Silence The Foe is a five piece from Oslo, Norway consisting of musicians Anders Voldrønning (vocals), Marcus Forsgren (guitar, backing vocals), Roland Livar Kjenstad (guitar), Arnbjørn Joar Styrkor Marklund (bass, backing vocals) and Peter Rudolfsen (drums) who formed in 2000 and eventually released a debut full-length album titled Shaking Hallelujah in 2006. After rattling the old windows of our office with this three year old offering for a week, we couldn't help but share at least a few listens. Try this one.

MP3: Privacy Please

The driving sound edges forward without a single clichéd moment in structure or break for unnecessary reflection, with hints of influence heard from The Jesus Lizard or even early Fugazi if we happened to be reaching for distant comparisons. Of course, this is aside from the fact that STF could have easily ended up in the lineup of classic label Amphetamine Reptile Records had they only existed around 20 years ago. Before our gushing reaches ridiculous new heights, another song from the 2006 album Shaking Hallelujah and some information on the current status of the band is well in order.

MP3: I Killed The Last Punk

From what we've gathered, Silence The Foe dissolved shortly after their debut LP but, the original members are still connected and currently kicking around the idea of recording new music. For the latest updates and more listening you can visit the compulsory Silence The Foe MySpace page. Also, for a complete listen and free download of Shaking Hallelujah, as well as earlier music, we suggest the Silence The Foe Bandcamp profile. One last bit of lovely recklessness for you.

MP3: Heaven Have Me

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Phase 4

Burton Upon Trent, UK is home to the duo of musician/illustrator Paul McCaffrey and multi-instrumentalist Martin Carnaby who formed their music project The Phase 4 in 2004. Earlier this year, the band was featured on Compilation 18 from Columbus, Nebraska-based label Series Two Records. Unfortunately, we did not take our cue/email at the time and neglected to post the showcased track from that particular release. Months later, we received a physical copy of a promo CD and finally had a proper listen to what was explained to us as a work in progress that will eventually become The Phase 4 debut album. After giving this promo disc quite a few spins, it became almost impossible to figure out what needed to be tweaked or changed in any way. Instead of bothering with vague comparisons involving mid-60s garage, late-80s twee or early 90s pop from Japan, we will simply give you a listen to the following pair of previews we were especially taken with. Expect a more detailed review once the debut album is released. For now, it might be a good time to start swaying those shoulders and snapping that finger. Nice.

MP3: Lost And Found
MP3: Out Of The Blue

Sunday, July 12, 2009

MML: Sunday Feline Frenzy!

However silly it might sound, after a few cocktails on the banks of the Ohio River and some discussion regarding how lovely our own little mini-tigers happen to be, we decided to re-feature random songs about our favourite brand of domesticated flea-bag. Cats, Cats and more Cats. Have fun listening and be sure to follow the links to support these artists. Also, if you have spare change jingling around somewhere in your pockets, contact a local cat shelter and give it to them. Money well spent... Meow!!

Soda Fountain Rag - I Wanna Be Your Cat

Erik Voeks - Finger Painted Cat

Takako Minekawa - Fantastic Cat

The Sheds - Mtn Cat

The Lovekevins - Private Life Of A Cat

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Polynya: Crop Rotation

Updates on previously featured artists seem to have become a staple of our existence these days and this time around we have quite the treat to share. Back in January 2008, we originally reviewed Chapel Hill, North Carolina based four piece Polynya and their lovely self-titled debut album. Since that time, musicians Andrea Parthemore (guitar, vocals), Luke Berchowitz (guitar vocals, programming), Pat Johnson (keyboard, drums) and Thom Canova (bass, programming) have written and recorded another brand new full-length release titled Crop Rotation through their very own label Childhood Pet Records. The finished product is an impressive collection of songs that, once again, has our attention captured completely. A first listen from the brand new release is well in order.

MP3: Fan Fiction

With the 11 tracks that make up Crop Rotation, Polynya manages to thread classic psychedelia and a sprinkling of experimental electronic accompaniment into their unique brand of spirited yet measured indie rock. The result is an overwhelmingly solid release in which the instrumentation could seemingly spiral off into a dream state at any given moment if not for the gleaming vocal combination/exchange of Andrea and Luke to guide each song back into vivid focus. From the trippy beginnings of Ribbon Dragons to the searing guitar outbursts throughout Calico and final goodbyes of The Way Out At Last, Polynya delivers a favorite new album for 2009 in Crop Rotation. Another song for you.

MP3: Maul

Additional links:
Polynya MySpace
Polynya Facebook
Polynya ReverbNation

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Golau Glau

Golau Glau are UK-based musicians who have made it quite clear that they would like to remain mostly anonymous for the time being. As much as we would usually consider this some sort of PR carrot'n'stick mechanism, the music is outstanding enough to pique our interest and have us scrambling to share the love after a number of listens. A quote from the band, followed by the lovely new track they sent our way:

"We are shy and nervous and we don’t want people to write about who we are as people or what we wear or how far we deviate from the music that has influenced us, just the music and the artwork. We hope you don’t mind that we haven’t written about how we met or what famous bands we like or how old we are or anything."

MP3: Summer Games

Yes... it really is that good. However tempting it might be to sink our teeth into a number of comparisons in the direction of Tom Tom Club or Future Bible Heroes, another expanded blather-fest can be set aside as we bring you the limited information available to us. Three days ago, the band released their debut single Soft Silver Young / Heartland Half Seizure through London, UK-based net-label Odd Box Records (Odd Box MySpace) and it is completely free for download. There is also a Golau Glau blog where you might find additional tidbits of information as well as a handful of other international music sites who were fortunate enough to receive a heads-up on this newly-formed project. A preview from the new single for you. Simply put... we are smitten.

MP3: Soft Silver Young

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Starring Me: Parallels

Often times, it seems the artists who send updates on newly released music have perfect timing where sound and climate/season are concerned. Such would be the case for Jacksonville, Florida-based outfit Starring Me who we originally featured with a toasty little indie-rock gem to keep us nice and warm in October 2007. Since that time, members Tara Golden (vocals), Reed Clendenen (bass/vocals) and John Hashtak (guitar/vocals) happen to have located their long-lost drummer Jim Singleton to complete the full lineup once again. After a few brutal re-programming sessions for this reunited percussionist, the band now has a brand new, seven song CD titled Parallels to share that definitely has our summer-ears perked with the sparkling delivery we experienced. The track we've decided to showcase is probably the sweetest near-pop song of the new collection but, impressive as it might be, don't be fooled. There are a number of listening moments with decorative-yet-dark edges and enough meat on the guitar to keep any respectable shoegaze loyalist more than interested. For additional music, both past and present, pay a visit to the Starring Me MySpace page and also be sure to check out the band's side-project Purplespace who we recently made mention of just this past February. Have a first listen to an MML favourite from Parallels...

MP3: Skip The Beginning

**Bonus** From the release "Perfect In The Night" (2005)

MP3: Waves

Sunday, June 28, 2009

MML: Sunday Night Cigarette Mix

Not much to report on this beautiful Sunday evening... just winding down the weekend with a handful of songs that all happen to address the particular habit of cigarette smoking while sounding quite well together. Please be sure to light up these lovely songs and also pay a visit the links for the featured artists where you will find plenty of music and information. Smoke 'em if ya got 'em...

The Spires - My Favorite Cigarette

Catholic Gaydar - Cigarettes And Sleeplessness

The Sheds - Do You Have A Marlboro

The Sheds - Between The Moon And Love

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Fredrik Ståhl: Universally Personal

Gothenburg, Sweden-based musician Fredrik Ståhl is half of the duo Honeymoon Over! who were first featured here in August 2007. Since that time, we've mentioned Fredrik's full-length solo album Shortcomings & Longshots, a followup to his debut 2006 Start Making Sense EP, and now have another full-length offering to report. Universally Personal was released earlier this month and contains a number of gems that might just find their way into your summer vacation soundtrack. As sleepy-yet-sprightly as pop music can possibly be, Mr. Ståhl maintains a sound we consider perfectly suited for poolside or oceanside consumption on any continent. The entire new release is completely free for download through underground Gothenburg label Frukt Records and is well worth a spin. Have a listen...

MP3: Stoic Calm

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Argument: Everything Depends

Sorting through our email inbox has once again provided us with an update on a previously featured artist we've been hoping to hear more from [November 2008 review + download]. As a follow up to their self-released debut Summer/Winter Nights, the Malmö, Sweden based duo of Marcus and Niklas who make up The Argument have a new EP titled Everything Depends that was just released last week. Additional information plus music for listening can be found on The Argument MySpace page and there is also The Argument blog for some insight. The brand new EP is an effective yet understated collection of acoustic-threaded indie-pop songs that we've been enjoying over the past few days. The best part? You can download, at no cost, all seven songs that belong to Everything Depends by visiting The Argument Bandcamp page. A couple of tracks we were especially smitten with... enjoy.

MP3: Fallen Leaves
MP3: Black Eyed Bunny

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Red Kitchen: The Second Person

Revisiting previously featured artists is always a welcomed occasion here at MML and this time we happen to have yet another musician that most certainly deserves an extended listen. Our original exposure to, and subsequent review of the Quebec City, Canada-based music project Red Kitchen took place in April 2008. Since that time, primary songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Matt McClure has been busy recording and finalizing 13 tracks for a newly released album titled The Second Person. A first listen for you...

MP3: Still Life From Courtroom

Interestingly enough, all of the songs contained within the new album serve as chronicles of an elderly man and his life as advanced Alzheimer's disease takes hold of his mind. For the lyrics or additional and frequently updated episodes to read, there is a Red Kitchen blog to visit. As for the music, if you've skipped ahead to listen we can hardly blame you. The sound is an impressive balance of crisp acoustic instrumentation, moderately distorted vocals and a warm underlying current of lo-fi accompaniment that manages not to stray too far into either an airtight studio or dank basement. Mr. McClure also inhabits a Red Kitchen MySpace page where you can explore more of the music and find further information. Another preview?

MP3: The Wake Or 110 Days

The Mystery Slides?

As an aside, we occasionally mention some of the unique, amusing and often confusing items we receive when bands send us a physical copy of their music. Everything from expensive glossy press-kits to poems, pins and even a colouring book (don't ask) seem to be fair game. Upon opening the package containing today's CD, a pair of Kodachrome photo slides fell out of the bubble-pack and we were almost certain they had made their way to us by mistake. After contacting Matt, it turns out that the slides are two out of a set of 20 that he would look at every morning while writing the music for The Second Person. We will undoubtedly keep them with our collection of curious treasures from the MML music blog. One final song from the new album...

MP3: The Museum Of Angry Dogs

Thursday, June 11, 2009


However belated, we have an update to share on a band that was first mentioned here well over two years ago in December 2006. Since this very long time ago, Kayla Bell (vocals, drums, keyboard) and Adam Bell (guitar, vocals, keyboard) seem to have relocated from Oxford to Brighton, UK and have enlisted the musical accompaniment of Al Grice (bass, keyboard, percussion) as well as Matt Twaites (omnichord, keyboard, guitar, bass) to complete the latest lineup for Foxes! The brand new single, titled Who Killed Rob?, was recently released through CatCutter Records and is an impressive new listen that flirts playfully with nouveau-twee while managing to offer the band's longstanding take on traditional indie rock. The next live performance is set for this Saturday, June 13, at Brighton's West Hill Community Hall. Have a listen to this B-side (if you can call it that) from the new single Who Killed Rob? Lovely.

MP3: Albania

Video: Who Killed Rob? (2009)

*Bonus* From the EP 46a Appleside Drive (2006)
MP3: 6 O'Clock

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Opsvik & Jennings: A Dream I Used To Remember

We originally featured the international duo of Norwegian-born Eivind Opsvik and Oklahoma native Aaron Jennings, with their previous album Commuter Anthems, back in March 2007. Since that time, these two New York City transplants have been working on what is now a brand new, full-length release in A Dream I Used To Remember which was just made available through NYC based Loyal Label. In celebration, a record release show will take place Monday, June 15 (9:30pm) at local East Village venue Nublu. For additional listening, information and freely-downloadable music, there is an Opsvik & Jennings website as well as the Opsvik & Jennings MySpace page to visit. It's not often we find ourselves delving into completely instrumental, ambient music but when an acoustic forefront is blended so warmly into an experimental electronic backdrop, the distraction can be beautiful... and A Dream I Used To Remember is just the preoccupation we needed. A preview for you...

MP3: Windswept

*Bonus* From the album Commuter Anthems (Rune Grammofon - 2007)
MP3: The Pendler

*Double Bonus* From the compilation RUFS (Fenêtre Records - 2007)
MP3: Self

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Socialist Leisure Party

In an attempt to do some additional catching up, we've returned to our email inbox and found another recent collection of songs from a label of which we are quite fond. The kind folks at Portland, Oregon label Shelflife Records (Shelflife MySpace) have released a brand new EP, titled Tactical Pop! For Coffee Cadets, from the mostly UK-based outfit Socialist Leisure Party. Musicians Andy Hitchcock (vocals, guitar) and Kevin House (bass) have a history with Sarah Records (yes, that Sarah Records) band Action Painting! and are joined by Axel Amicabile (guitar) as well as Julien Kokot (drums) to complete the new music project. Although the band has often been pigeonholed as "post-punk", a vague identifier that always leaves us scratching our heads, the decision was made to ignore sub-sub-genre classification and explain the sound as energetic guitar-pop with enough classic influence to keep even the most jaded of critics from rolling an eye. For additional listening to the impressive new material, we highly recommend a visit to the SLP MySpace. The lovely track we have featured today is actually a bonus 7" single that accompanies the new EP upon purchase. Have a listen.

MP3: Head In The Hay

PS: If you decide to visit the Shelflife Records link we provided above, be sure to also check out Burning Hearts who we featured in December 2008. Amazing band from Finland we tell ya.