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 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
Howdy, howdy, friends! I hope you were able to join in the festivities this week as fun. celebrated the fifth anniversary of the release of their debut album Aim & Ignite with a 5-day-only-limited-time download of the album in full. I hope other bands join in the tradition and a free album download takes over for wood/silverware in the traditional fifth anniversary gift department. Someone get Hallmark on the phone! For the celebratory party punchbowl, this week’s picks create a raucous cocktail of explosive alt-rock, R&B-fueled pop, infectious hip-hop, with some laid-back acoustic folk to provide a smooth finish. Bottoms up!
There’s no better way to continue the 5-year birthday celebration of fun.’s debut album Aim & Ignite than spinning their 4-song companion EP Selections & B-Sides from Aim & Ignite. While the EP features All the Pretty Girls from Aim & Ignite, the other three tracks are pure b-side/rarity/remix goodness. There’s a remix (Walking the Dog (RAC Mix)), a live track (Take Your Time (Coming Home)), and a non-album track b-side (Stitch Me Up), all of which prove to be a nice continuation of Aim & Ignite‘s inventive and playful sonic environment. If you still can’t get your fun.-fix, they’ve also got their Before Shane Went to Bangkok live EP available on our site as well.
You may recognize the name and voice of Mikky Ekko from his appearance on Rhianna’s Stay from her Unapologetic album. Just 3 short years before the quadruple-platinum single was released, Ekko put out his debut EP Strange Fruit. Available here in its entirety, Strange Fruit showcases Ekko’s otherworldy vocals and his uniquely creative sonic touch. Only In Dreams floats in and out before your ears know what hit them, leading into Sedated, the song that got Ekko his first exposure. Give it a listen and you’ll see exactly why so many artists have tapped Ekko for collaboration and why he has been able to rise so far, so fast.
This self-titled EP from Shopé isn’t his first foray into music-making (he used to rap under the name Spoken), but it is his first under the Shopé moniker. So because of that and because it’s an introduction to his new sound consider this a well-earned debut. Opening track Cinema brings you right up to speed with Shopé’s overflowing bag of songwriting and production talents. The song opens with a piano-flavored mid-tempo groove, changes direction half-way through with layered ornamental beats and aggressive tongue-twisting lyrics, and then returns to the laid-back feel for its closing. Pretty cinematic indeed.
With his unpretentious vocals and unassuming guitar-playing, Americana singer-songwriter Luke Brindley inhabits a beautiful cross-section of classic country balladeering and modern folk songwriting. With a little vocal help from Laura Tsaggaris and some banjo/mandolin accompaniment from Mike Meadows (Taylor Swift), Brindley has crafted The Whiskey Switch to be sonically relaxed and emotionally resonant. I recommend Cold Hearts for its melancholy musings and Minnesota for its Springsteenian storytelling.
When writer Will Hodge isn’t five minutes in and bored again, you can find him running off at the keyboard about music, concerts, and vinyl at My So-Called Soundtrack0
Goooooood morning NoiseTrade! After such a heavy week of sadness, hurt, and ugliness going on all around us, I sincerely hope you are able to find (or steal) some quiet moments of repose and renewal this weekend. To aid in that endeavor, I’ve got a few musical recommendations for you to try out. First, we released another NoiseTrade EastSide Manor Session this week with Australia’s alt-folk outfit Boy & Bear. These talented Aussies crafted a wonderful 5-song live set that’s perfect for the closing weeks of summer. We’ve also got some amazing multi-cam videos of their performances, an interview, and some candid behind-the-scenes footage available on our YouTube channel as well. This week’s Weekend Wrap-Up foursome also contains some stellar releases that span the gamut from spunky pop punk to acoustic roots singalongs to humorous hip-hop to cinematic indie-folk. Who else is offering you inventive covers of The Ramones and Taylor Swift in the same batch of sonic suggestions? That’s NoiseTrade, baby!
If you’re looking for some amped-up pop punk with energetic female vocals and a sense of humor, then The Dollyrots have got you more than covered. Acting as a fantastic primer of the band’s sound and attitude, their playful mash-up cover of The Crystals 1963 smash Da Doo Ron Ron and The Ramones 1978 fan favorite I Wanna Be Sedated closes out their most recent album Barefoot and Pregnant. The tongue-in-cheekily titled record was released earlier this year and was named so because singer/bassist Kelly Ogden was pregnant during the recording of the album. If you dig this single and want to hear more, the band has Barefoot and Pregnant available on their website in swanky looking pink vinyl. They’ve also got a handful of other singles (including another great 60s cover of The Turtles Happy Together) available here on NoiseTrade.
When I first ran into Further Seems Forever on 1999 Deep Elm Records compilation An Ocean of Doubt, I was immediately arrested by the emotive timbre of Chris Carrabba’s vocals. Through the next few years, I eagerly followed his whisper-to-a-scream voice through his time with Further Seems Forever and into his creation of Dashboard Confessional. When I heard Carrabba debut his new band Twin Forks at last year’s SXSW, I was so pleased to hear the same passion and fervor of his previous bands filtered through the country and folk influences of his childhood. Twin Forks released their debut self-titled album this past February and they’ve been creating quite a buzz in roots music circles. This exclusive four-track sampler EP features two tracks from their debut Back to You and Kiss Me Darling as well as a previously unreleased song called Good and Slow and an infectious cover of Taylor Swift’s Mean that will not leave your head anytime soon.
While humor isn’t quite a foundational requirement for hip-hop lyricists, Phoenix-based rapper Foreknown might make you think it should be. Embodying the vacant (or previously non-existent) space between the societal consciousness of Common and the wit/intelligence mix of Weird Al, Foreknown quickly and effortlessly slides between making you really laugh and making you really think. Songs like Quartermaster and #FootyPajamaPizzaDanceKaraokePartyGo! contain some of the biggest punchlines and Little Miss So & So and The Truth about Flight, Love, and BB Guns contain some of the biggest pull-no-punches lines. Rarely before in hip-hop has humor been used so effectively to highlight deeper truths and differing perspectives. Ornithology is Foreknown’s debut album and I certainly hope it’s just the first in a long line of releases from this talented and engaging rapper.
There’s this significant moment in Like You Do the opening track to Swear and Shake’s new EP where the bouncy bass, plunky piano, and vintage vocals give way to a slinky slide guitar and a huge singalong chorus. That moment contains everything you need to know about Swear and Shake’s individualized sonic identity. It’s cinematic, melodic, crystalline, and downright fun to experience. The other four songs on Ain’t That Lovin’ display the same enthralling elements and guarantee multiple spins through this all-too-short EP. The songs Daggers and Good as Gone convey life on the road, while Wishful Thinking on Seagrass Shoal and Be Your Strength deal with navigating relationships and life events. If you enjoy Ain’t That Lovin’, Swear and Shake are also offering their debut album Maple Ridge here on NoiseTrade as well.
When writer Will Hodge isn’t sounding his barbaric yawp over the rooftops of the world, you can find him running off at the keyboard about music, concerts, and vinyl at My So-Called Soundtrack0
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 Mandolin Orange does best.
If you’re in the mood for some dreamy Icelandic alt-folk, then 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 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 Soundtrack0
If you’ve heard of FKA Twigs by now, it’s likely thanks to music sites like Pitchfork, which have been featuring the singer’s warped, R&B-infused tracks as she’s quickly gone from self-releasing her first EP to planning one of the more exciting LPs of 2014. She’s now a week away from releasing her first album, the descriptively titled LP1, and it’s just become available to stream on iTunes. LP1 is a must listen, filled with carefully moody tracks that make as impressive a use of empty space as they do of noise. And if you haven’t seen it, there’s an incredible music video to back up one of the best of them. Put on some good headphones and get listening.0
Spencer Krug, formerly of Wolf Parade and Sunset Rubdown, has announced a new EP under his Moonface moniker. City Wrecker is the latest body of work since last year’s Julia With Blue Jeans On LP, and arrives September 16 on Jagjaguwar. According to a press release, the new set of tunes marks the final dispatches from Krug’s temporary home of Helsinki, Finland. Below, check out the EP’s tracklist, as well as a crisp, black-and-white clip for its title track.
In a press release, Krug writes:
City Wrecker is the title track of the EP. I wrote it before Miley Cyrus released Wrecking Ball, but I cannot prove it. Oh well. In describing the song (and maybe the whole EP) I would say it’s the aesthetic opposite of Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus, which is not to say that’s a good thing or a bad thing, just an apple for you to hold up beside your orange. Regardless of all that, my friend Eetu, who recorded this EP, still likes to call the song Wrecking Ball and to sometimes call me Miley, but that’s okay cuz we’re buddies.
01 The Fog
02 City Wrecker
03 Running in Place With Everyone
04 Helsinki Winter 2013
05 Daughter of a Dove
A Sunny Day in Glasgow have shared a new song called “Almost Like Emotion (The Drop)”. The song comes from an EP called NO DEATH, which is being released at select UK record stores (Norman, Rough Trade, Piccadilly, Rise, Recordstore) as a limited edition bonus to their recently-released album, Sea When Absent. Listen to it above.
The EP also features a remix of “Bye Bye, Big Ocean (The End)” by Ice Choir, aka Kurt Feldman of the Pains of Being Pure at Heart. Listen to the remix below, and check out the EP’s tracklist.
NO DEATH EP:
01 Almost Like Emotion (The Drop)
02 I’ll Be Signal (Sad Songs)
03 Bye Bye, Big Ocean (The End) – Ice Choir Remix
04 Boys Turn Into Girls (Initiation Rites) – The Buddy System Remix
05 In Love With Useless (The Timeless Geometry in the Tradition of Passing) – Fang Island Remix