Hey there NoiseTraders! Once again I’ve carefully combed through our (computerized) stacks of (digital) wax to bring you another batch of certified sonic gems for your listening pleasure. Whether you’re in the mood for some Americana-fueled duets, atmospheric alt-pop, psychadelic-surf rock, Ohioan (yes, it’s a word) hip-hop, or all of the above, I’ve got you more than covered. As always, each of the selections this week have been painstakingly scrutinized and deemed worthy of your consideration. So sit back and relax as I trot them out before your ears to see if you find any keepers. I hope you have a fantastic weekend and remember: keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars!
If you’ve ever heard the phrase a band is only as good as their live show, then you’ll understand the magic of Mandolin Orange’s Live Tapes EP. The Americana/bluegrass duo consisting of Emily Frantz and Andrew Marlin have an undeniable chemistry that beautifully plays out in the way they vocally and musically dance with each other. Marlin’s sly, unassuming cadence brings to mind John Prine and Frantz’s bright, clear harmonies evoke mid 70s-era Emmylou Harris. Their Live Tapes EP captures a few performances from SXSW, the Sawyer Sessions, and Americana Music Festival and profiles the duo’s ability to not only recreate but also elevate their songs in a live setting. The sad shuffle of There Was A Time is a perfect snapshot of what < strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>Mandolin Orange does best.
If you’re in the mood for some dreamy Icelandic alt-folk, then < strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>Low Roar could be your new favorite band. Mixing fireside acoustic guitars with heavenly electric lines, disembodied vocals, and atmospheric sonic beds, the band carefully crafts lush soundscapes that seem to echo out into horizonless spaces. Hávallagata 30 EP functions as a fantastic introduction to < strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>Low Roar as its seven tracks are comprised of four songs from their self-titled debut album, two songs from this year’s O, and an unreleased gem titled Box Crate Weirdo. If you need an entry point, Friends Make Garbage (Good Friends Take It Out) will gently lead you into their world of sonic wonder.
With their debut full length album set for release later this month, UK-based surf-pysch trio The Wytches have released the Gravedweller digital single to whet your aural appetite. Finding a unique sonic intersection somewhere between the rawer side of Nirvana, the bluesy side of The White Stripes, and the experimental side of Sonic Youth, The Wytches are really fun to listen to and provide the perfect eerie backdrop for a night drive through someplace you’ve never been before. As a bonus, the Gravedweller single also contains two non-album B-sides that will not appear on Annabel Dream Reader (out August 26).
The search for inspired indie hip-hop can be a bit of a hit-or-miss activity, but finding someone who is doing something different makes the task worthwhile. A good example of this is found in Good Times, Good Rhymes , the new mixtape from Adam Robb. Robb’s lyrical flow is both confident and playful, and the production found throughout Good Times, Good Rhymes shows both a tuned-in ear and a slick hand. Sins of the Father feels like the standout track on here, with Robb getting a little help from fellow rapper Josh Hill as well. In just six tracks Good Times, Good Rhymes covers a lot of sonic and lyrical territory to great effect, making this mixtape well worth your time and attention.
When writer Will Hodge isn’t getting arrested at the Mardi Gras for jumping on a float, you can find him running off at the keyboard about music, concerts, and vinyl at My So-Called Soundtrack