By Will Hodge
Friends, Romans, NoiseTraders, lend me (and these worthy bands) your ears and I promise to give them back in somewhat adequately working order. (That buzzing will eventually go away, I swear). As the last few weeks of summer lazily fade away (or outstay their welcome, depending on where you stand on the matter), I hope that there’s still room in your windows-down, fun-in-the-sun playlists for a couple more rambunctious recommendations. I’ve got some tasty tunes on tap for you this weekend and if you don’t find even one song you dig, I promise you a money-back guarantee on your free download. I hardly think you’ll run into that predicament though because these four albums are so top-shelf goodness that you’ll be surprised if you haven’t snatched them up already. As a bonus, I challenge any church-goers to try and sneak Lucius’ killer version of Power in the Blood somewhere into your Sunday service. It’s a divine dance party waiting to happen!
As a huge fan of both The Rentals and Tweedy, I’ve come to really love the bewitching joint-vocal stylings of Lucius even more after hearing them paired against some of my favorite singers. However, the fun and energy of their own indie-pop songwriting is really, really fantastic as well. Lucius Gets Noisey is an interesting 6-track EP that features the triple threat quintet in a live setting during their pre-Wildewoman days, along with the album version of Hey Doreen that fans have come to know and love so well. I promise you that the flawless vocals and tight percussive thump of Don’t Just Sit There and Turn It Around will have you double-checking that they are live versions and not over-dubbed studio recreations. As a bonus, do not miss their retro-electro version of Power in the Blood as it’s one of the hands-down-coolest versions of the hymn I’ve ever heard. It was written exclusively for WNYC’s Radiolab program and it is available on this must-grab EP.
Anyone who self-identifies as a modern day hobo and has actually earned the title by living on the road in a van is guaranteed to get at least a curious listen out of me. In the case of Caroline Rose, I’m all the luckier for it. While Rose’s fearless Americana-based instrumental experimentation, enticing vocal rasp, and road-dog storytelling defies her 24 years, the authenticity that flows through each performance allows her songs to feel genuine and uniquely singular to her wander-fueled experience. Featured on this sampler are seven tracks from Rose’s debut album I Will Not Be Afraid and the garage-blues pulse of At Midnight and the squiggly-keyed folk of Tightrope Walker are fantastic entry points. Existing somewhere in the space between the uninhibited vocals of Janis Joplin and the feisty younger sister of Shovels and Rope, Rose is playing by her own rules and thankfully we’re invited to the game.
The Orwells decided there’s no better way for them to prove their well-deserved best live band in America NME-bestowed moniker than with an EP capturing their incendiary live performance. Recorded at the legendary London punk club Dingwalls, Live from Dingwalls features The Orwells at their abrasively melodic best. This is unrefined rock & roll from its embryonic American incarnations and the raucous ruckus in the room is palpably felt through the all-too-short 4-song EP. Come for the Dirty Sheets and stay for The Righteous Ones, you’ll be glad you did. Don’t miss them if they come through your town and if you get the chance to catch them, bring a dry shirt to change into for after the show.
If you know of another sampler on NoiseTrade that highlights bands featuring folks like Pete Yorn and Liam Gallagher, as well as former members of Oasis, The Las, and World Party, please point me in that direction. The roster for < strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>Harvest Records is an embarrassment of sonic riches that features the aforementioned Yorn and Gallagher bands (The Olms and Beady Eye, respectively), as well as a ton of new bands that are mind-blowingly great. Take a listen to the soulful dance-groove of This Is What It Feels Like by BANKS or the expansive indie-rock sweep of Sleeping Giant by Bootstraps and I guarantee you’ll be enticed to just dive into the whole mixtape.
When writer Will Hodge isn’t right here, right now (d’you know what I mean?), you can find him running off at the keyboard about music, concerts, and vinyl at My So-Called Soundtrack0