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.