Junior Prom, the Brooklyn based duo of Mark Solomich and Erik Ratensperger create a whip-smart pop that you can dance to by bringing to their tunes a sky-scraping vocal range, playful humor, and crisp musical interplay. The songs on their self-titled debut (EP) bring sense of joy and levitation. The genre blended Junior Prom's goal is to bring something fresh and always fun. Where you expect them to go right, they dart left. Sheila Put The Knife Down is one of the featured songs on Junior Prom's new EP. It's also this week's New Music Heaven. Enjoy!
Blood Red Shoes
Blood Red Shoes, from Brighton, England feature Laura-Mary Carter (vocals/guitar) and Steven Ansell (drums/vocals), two enthusiastic punk-inspired brawlers who channel the clamor of Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the Duke Spirit. The two came together in late 2004 upon the demise of their previous bands. With one song in tow, the angsty duo landed a gig and Blood Red Shoes were born; the name is reminiscent of Ginger Rogers, who allegedly had to redo a tap dance scene so many times that her white dancing shoes ended up covered in blood. After releasing their first EP in 2005, Blood Red Shoes released a multiple singles in 2006 and 2007. By 2008, Carter and Ansell were finally ready to release their debut album, Box of Secrets, which was produced by Mike Crossey (Arctic Monkeys). Present day, Blood Red Shoes returned with their fourth studio album, an eponymous effort released on their own Jazz Life imprint. Check out classic post-punk band Blood Red Shoes' Light It Up, off their most recent album. If you're a NATION member, check your email for your free download.
The Strypes are 4-piece rhythm and blues band hailing from Cavan, Ireland, formed in 2011 by Ross Farrelly (lead vocals/harmonica), Josh McClorey (lead guitar/vocals), Pete O’Hanlon (bass guitar/harmonica) and Evan Walsh (drums). The group has spent the past 18 months launching their explosive R&B Rock assault on the clubs and festivals of Ireland, the UK, Europe and Asia, catapulting them to the top of the charts in both the UK and Japan. They now have their eyes set on the U.S. with their first single What A Shame. The Strypes recently wowed the crowds at SXSW and their sold out headlining tour, making fans out of Letterman, Conan, Rolling Stone, The NY Times, The Wall Street Journal, and anyone else who happened to be in their path. Having already been met with critical acclaim from greats such as Dave Grohl, Jeff Beck, Elton John, Noel Gallagher, Paul Weller and been tipped by NME as the No. 1 new band to watch, it seems things can only get better for The Strypes. Check your NATION email for this week's New Music Heaven track What a Shame by The Strypes!
Dum Dum Girls
Dee Dee Penny and her band, Dum Dum Girls released their 3rd album Too True late January of this year. Living in Too True is featured song "Lost Boys and Girls Club", which cooes and echoes Pat Benatar-esque vocals to give an 80s electric slow mo sound. Incredibly poetic Dee Dee Penny, a LA-native-New Yorker writes all Dum Dum Girls songs. She began writing for Too True while on tour supporting sophomore album, End of Daze. She writes how her songs "were bound together, not just by an overall sonic palette and new guitar pedal, but by time, intention, and fervor." Once winter came, she started recording and completing the album with her team and band. By then, "it was easy to add some flesh to my song skeletons." This week's New Music Heaven is "Lost Boys and Girls Club", which you can download for free upon receiving your NATION email!
Brick + Mortar
Brick + Mortar are an indie rock, drum and bass duo formed by Brandon Asraf (bass guitar, vocals) and John Tacon (drums, electronic samples, vocals). Brick + Mortar have garnered a notable amount of regional success since their 2008 formation, making them a significant part of the musical and artistic culture of Asbury Park, New Jersey as it is the first electronic drum and bass pop duo to have such success in the area. Fusing driving percussion, grooving bass, eclectic samples, and anthemic vocals, the band creates a new world sound. Check out their song Locked in a Cage, this week's New Music Heaven. If you're a NATION member, you'll receive a free download of the Brick + Mortar song!
Jack Antonoff, Fun.'s guitarist and songwriter, is also the man of Bleachers. Bleachers started as the Grammy award winning artist's side project while he was on a world tour, and since then he's been writing and producing in efforts to release I Wanna Get Better, Bleachers' first single. Hailing from New Jersey, 29-year-old Jack Antonoff has been in the music scene for over a decade, before he joined Fun. in 2008, he was lead singer or indie rock band, Steel Train, who performed on Late Night With Conan O'Brien and Late Show With David Letterman. This week's New Music Heaven is I Wanna Get Better. The pop-rock number from Bleachers has lyrical sentimate build around a catchy chorus and poppy synths, similar to Fun.'s anthemic qualities. NATION members, check your email for your piece of New Music Heaven by Bleachers!
From the same hometown as Auckland naitive and grammy winner, Lorde, brings us a new up and coming teenage dynamo, Broods. Caleb Nott, 21, and sister Georgia, 19, share not only the same blood, but the same musical talent. The synth-pop duo's debut single, Bridges gained immediate attention from music blogs, racking up nearly a half-million Soundcloud plays in a few months. Additionally, the two have recently been featured in Billboard and Vogue. Broods' first EP -- which was officially released February 2nd, featured production and co-writes from Joel Little, the man behind Lorde's Royals. Broods' tacks have garnered compaisons with the dreamy electro pop sounds of Ellie Goulding, Foxes, and Chvrches. This week's New Music Heaven artist duo is so new, the ink on their Capitol Records deal isn't even dry! Check your NATION email for your free download of Bridges from Broods, thanks to Century Link High Speed Internet.
Jordan Kelley and Jason Huber make the pair behind the ambitious and emphatic Nashville duo, Cherub. The two craft hooky electro-pop that lyrically captures the risque, pleasure-seeking impulses of their youth, while their studio expertise results in alluring grooves. The two met in college, Huber was fronting a psychedelic folk-rock band, whereas Kelley was something of a mainstay in the Nashville hip-hop scene. Named one of Paste Magazine’s “12 Tennessee Bands you Should Listen to Now,” Cherub had a massive 2012, with appearances at such major festivals as Bonnaroo, SXSW, Electric Forest, Hangout Fest, Snowball Music Fest, and with STS9 at Red Rocks Amphitheater. The duo released their second album, MoM & DaD in February 2012, which includes the smash viral hit, and this week's New Music Heaven, Doses and Mimosas, a fresh, uptempo electropop tune with washed out keyboards married with playful guitar licks and lush synthesizer textures. NATION members: enjoy your free dose of weekly New Music Heaven by checking your email and downloading Doses and Mimosas!
New York City quartet Skaters' music, ethos, and attitude are remarkably entrenched in the late nights, eclectic characters, and punk roots of their hometown. When it came time to record their Warner Bros. debut, the band looked directly to its hometown for inspiration. Manhattan is more than an album — it's a statement of purpose and a portrait of life in New York City. "We were all bartenders, so the songs are tales of experiences we had or saw, and other people who were characters in our life during the first year we were in this band," says Michael Ian Cummings, singer and songwriter. The album’s first single, and this week's New Music Heaven, Deadbolt, was written from the perspective of a man who started shooting at cops from a building right near Cummings' Chinatown apartment and subsequently became the subject of a manhunt: "I was thinking about how that guy would have felt,” he says. “He probably wanted to be forgiven at the very last moment." Check your NATION email for your free download of Deadbolt from Skaters!
Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Lo-Fang – aka Mathew Hemerlein – conceived and wrote his debut album Blue Film while traveling around the world and across the United States over the last three years. His passion for making music led him to pick up and play with musicians in Cambodia, Bali, London, Nashville, Tokyo, and other points along the way. A classically trained musician, Lo-Fang is fluent in diverse genres and styles of playing, which are juxtaposed throughout Blue Film. He sings all the vocals—his falsetto is soulful and often hypnotic—and plays every instrument, among them, violin, cello, piano, guitar and upright bass. The set veers from minimalist to intimately symphonic, including ten original songs and two covers. The tracks are sequenced into an atmospherically ethereal blend of shifting textures, beats, and moods. His upcoming plans include touring with the lovely Lorde this spring! This week's New Music Heaven features We We're Fire by Lo-Fang. Find your free download in your NATION email!
The Orwells are five guys from Chicago playing rock'n' roll music with an unmatched ragged intensity. Cousins Mario Cuomo (vocals) and Dominic Corso (guitar), twins Grant (bass) and Henry Brinner (drums), and Matt O’Keefe (guitar) have been playing together since 2009, when they were in 9th grade. The Orwells sound isn't just garage or punk, it comes from a deeper, different place that is both long forgotten and yet timeless. NPR called them a "thrilling, charismatic teen garage-rock band with infectious energy". Their Who Needs You EP was released in September. Producer Dave Sitek (TV On The Radio/Yeah Yeah Yeahs) helped produce the title track Who Needs You - it's this week's New Music Heaven!
KONGOS is a rock band of four brothers Johnny, Jesse, Dylan and Danny Kongos. Born in London and South Africa, all four brothers were raised around musicians, which included their father South African/British singer-songwriter, John Kongos. Growing up in recording studios and diverse cultures exposed them to a wide variety of musical influences. Completely self-contained, they write, produce, engineer and mix/master their music as well as direct, shoot and edit all their own music videos under the label they formed with their father, Tokoloshe Records. KONGOS opened for Linkin Park on their stadium tour, playing to more than 100,000 people. This last March, they played several Arizona festivals and five showcases at SXSW, including the Live Nation Showcase, Amazon MP3/Whole Foods Party, and Marshall Headphones/Crave Magazine Party. This week's New Music Heaven is Come With Me Now by KONGOS. Check your NATION email for your free download!
Beware of Darkness
Beware of Darkness’ (Kyle Nicolaides, Tony Cupito, and Daniel Curcio) album Orthodox is a musical assault—filled with squealing guitars, barbed hooks, and timeless glam posturing. At first listen, the album is a mindless good time—aimed somewhere between the gut and dirty dive bar. It is not, however, a thoughtless endeavor. This week's New Music Heaven, All Who Remain, is a ballad about understanding loss, co-written by John 5 of Rob Zombie. “We’ve never got a reaction to playing a song like that,” says Nicolaides. It’s really special. It’s a slow jam and it’s about somebody dying that’s close to you. I’m excited for people to hear that." So, NATION members, go ahead and hear it! Your New Music Heaven download, All Who Remain, will be in your weekly NATION email.
Max Frost developed his eclectic style of music playing in various projects throughout his teen years. He started playing shows at 12 and collaborated with a diverse array of artists like Austin icon Bob Schneider and hip-hop MC/producer Kydd. Later, he began incorporating hip-hop elements into his blues-inspired stylings, interested in the idea of combining modern rhythms with classic vintage tones in his music. The musician released single, White Lies, a boisterous number that expresses the feeling of paranoia one finds in a relationship and reflects that aching fear of betrayal in April. The track hit No. 1 on The Hype Machine’s “Most Popular Tracks on Blogs Now” that same month. For the musician, the EP is an opportunity to showcase the way he pulls in aspects of various styles, from blues to funk to electro to hip-hop to pop, and fuses them together in a new way. Check out this week's slice of New Music Heaven, White Lies. NATION members, check your email for a free download!
Two-time Grammy nominated superstar producer/DJ Avicii, aka Tim Bergling is well known for his international mega-hit Le7els which conquered club charts world wide, and his growingly popular Wake Me Up. He rocketed to the #3 position on DJ Mag’s yearly poll of the Top 100 DJs after three years of performing and was ranked #2 on Forbes Most Powerful Artists Under 30. Avicii will turn 25 years old this year. The follow-up to his worldwide smash hit Wake Me Up, Hey Brother is Avicii’s latest, and it’s this week’s New Music Heaven. Check your NATION email for your free download!
Dylan Rau started Bear Hands to spite a romantic rival. In disconnecting himself from the love triangle he was able to write about 70 new and exciting songs. Joining forces with fellow Wesleyan university alumnus Ted Feldman and iconoclast punk veterans Val Loper and TJ Orscher the band started to stomp live. Touring became a new way of life for Bear Hands after the 2007 release of their Golden EP. The band opened for MGMT, Vampire Weekend, The XX, Les Savy Fav and spent time on roads all over North America and Europe with now-dear friends Passion Pit, Obits, We Were Promised Jet Packs, Hockey, Manic Street Preachers, and Mayer Hawthorne and The County. Bear Hands delighted crowds at such iconic festivals as Reading, Leeds, Siren, Rockness, and Forecastle.This week's New Music Heaven is Giants by Bear Hands, a song that mixes post punk and indie rock components. Check your NATION email for your free download of Giants!
Magic Man's distinctive Americana synth-rock first innocent glimmers began in preschool, where Alex Caplow and Sam Vanderhoop lee formed a friendship and later played in their elementary and middle school bands. Although Alex headed to Tufts and Sam to Yale for higher education, the two traveled France together, where they stayed in an attic room with three sheepdogs, and wrote and played music with a guitar with one string missing. Real Life Color, Magic Man's first album, was recorded entirely on GarageBand and placed on Bandcamp. By the time they took the album down, it had been downloaded over 25,000 times. When Neon Gold Records emailed them the following summer, a wheel started turning that resulted in the band signing with Neon Gold/Columbia in 2012, the same year that Sam and Alex graduated from college. Magic Man was now a five-piece band and have toured with Walk The Moon, MS MR, St. Lucia, Grouplove and more. September 10th marked the release of EP You Are Here. Off of You Are Here, 94/7 features Paris for this week's New Music Heaven. Check your NATION email for a free download, and enjoy!
Electronic rock duo Phantogram came out of nowhere (New York) in early 2010 with the release of their debut album Eyelid Movies. Founders Josh Carter (vocals, guitar, samples) and Sarah Barthel (vocals, keys, samples) met as teens, and since have replaced their previous day jobs with new careers touring the world and living on the road. This weeks very New Music Heaven is a song called Fall In Love, which blends an electro-orchestral sound with pop-rock. Check your NATION email and give it a download!
New York rock band, PAPA, is the sum of Los Angeles natives Darren Weiss (singer, drummer, and guitarist) and Danny Peasant (bassist and co-songwriter). The two met when they were 8 years old, and begun exploring the magic of music and playing instruments when they were 11. They've been playing together ever since, and in early October, the pair released their full-length debut Tender Madness through Loma Vista. It's a collection of songs that brings to mind the taut post-punk grooves of Echo & The Bunnymen, the fractured tone of Pavement and the lyrical directness of classic pop icons like John Lennon. After getting snubbed in New York early in their career, PAPA recently sold out the venue that wouldn't book them, and are getting buzz from Stereogum and BBC 1 for the singles Put Me To Work and If You're My Girl Than I'm Your Man. And now, PAPA is our featured artist for this week's New Music Heaven! Check your NATION email for your free download of Put Me To Work.
Lucius knew from the start they were on to something special. Centered around the powerful voices and compelling songwriting of Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig, the Brooklyn band has evolved from a promising duo into the dynamic quintet. Hailed by Rolling Stone as a Band to Watch, alliteratively lauded by The New York Times for their “luscious, luminous, lilting lullabies” and praised by NPR for their “charisma and charm,” Lucius pairs the synchronous vocals of Wolfe and Laessig, who play synth and keyboards, with guitars and drums from Dan Molad, Peter Lalish and Andrew Burri. Together, they make music that evokes classic girl-group pop and iconic rock ’n’ roll with a modern twist, that belongs solely to Lucius. From their EP Wildewoman,Turn It Around is this week’s New Music Heaven, a sweet medley of retro doo-wop sound and modern day sass. Be sure to check your NATION email for your free download of Lucius’ Turn It Around.
The music recorded by Ernest Greene as Washed Out has been nothing if not dreamy, but for his second full-length, he’s taken the idea of letting your mind wander to another state a huge leap further. On Paracosm, the Georgia-based musician explores the album’s namesake phenomenon, where people create detailed imaginary worlds. The concept has been used to describe fantasy lands like Tolkien’s Middle Earth and C.S. Lewis’ Narnia. Listeners will be immediately struck by Paracosm’s seamless melding of organic and synthetic sounds, which are related to Washed Out’s past but also find Greene redefining his trademark dreaminess. Amidst the sound of kids playing and birds chirping, Paracosm offers plenty of opportunities to sing along, including the jangle-squiggle jam All I Know (which sounds like Smiths-era Johnny Marr collaborating with Passion Pit). With its gorgeous execution and uplifting attitude, Paracosm is primed to be this year’s summer record that gets you through the winter. This week's New Music Heaven features All I Know, from Washed Out. Be sure to check your NATION email for your download.
The Royal Concept
Sweden's irresistible indie rock group The Royal Concept recently released their new Royal EP via Lava Records. Forming in 2010, the band quickly earned worldwide critical acclaim thanks to their catchy songs like Gimme Twice (a past New Music Heaven featured track!) and D-D-D-Dance, both of which skyrocketed on Hype Machine and gained the attention of fans and the media alike. From Goldrushed, their 2013 summer anthem On Our Way has been tearing up radio charts ever since, and became a featured track on EA Sports' FIFA 14. Soon, the band will be embarking on a massive tour of North America, in November and December 2013. The band has gained praise from Rolling Stone, NYLON, FILTER Magazine, and Indie Shuffle. This week The Royal Concept is back On Their Way to New Music Heaven! Check your NATION email for your free download of On Our Way by The Royal Concept!
A lot has happened to Hellogoodbye since the Huntington Beach, California-based act released their breakthrough album Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs! back in 2006. Over the past four years the band have parted with their old record label, retooled their lineup, released a handful of EPs and performed everywhere from the Philippines to living rooms. All of these cumulative experiences play into the band’s new album Would It Kill You? a collection of perfect pop gems that not only proves that Hellogoodbye are still relevant but affirms that if anything, they’ve sharpened their musical edge over the past few years. Musically the disc retains Kline’s love of doo-wop and Oldies, but puts them into a fresh, new context to keep these influences from sounding clichéd. When it comes to the lyrics, Would It Kill You? is deceptively complex and is more of a mental journey than a traditional narrative. “I went through a lot in the course of making this record because it took a very long time,” Kline explains. “Just before I started it I got engaged and by the end I was married, so there are a lot of songs dealing with the process of being unsure about a relationship to knowing you made the right decision." This week's slice of New Music Heaven is Hellogoodbye's (Everything Is) Debateable, an upbeat track that will have you tapping your feet! Be sure to check your NATION email for your free download.
The band’s initials, a new morning, an analogue radio frequency and an existential statement - the title of Arctic Monkeys’ fifth album AM suggests all of those things and more. And the record itself lives up to this resonant billing by being, in drummer Matt Helders’ typically forthright estimation, “the album we’ve always been waiting to make”. Recorded in a small East Hollywood studio with long term collaborator James Ford riding the faders, the third album Arctic Monkeys have made in their adopted home of LA takes the best elements of its two predecessors and gives them an entirely fresh twist. The album also features guests vocals from the one and only Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age. The album kicks off with the infectious lead single Do I Wanna Know?, which we'll hear this week on New Music Heaven!
A little over a year and a half ago, songwriter/composer Keegan DeWitt and multi-instrumentalist Jeremy Bullock stripped down a small Nashville row house to build a custom studio. In this space, and together with friend and drummer/producer Dabney Morris, they would record and eventually form a five-piece band with Harry West (bass), and Eric Wilson (keys/synths) around their debut album Youth. Their vision was simple: to share songs akin to fleeting, auditory memories. A collection of 13 captured moments, much like a found box of letters and photographs, Youth serves as a loose examination of how life refines us as we move through it, how the choices made along the way shape us in potentially unexpected ways. Mixing programmed sounds and live performances – and recorded in less than two months – each song was run through a TASCAM 4-track cassette tape recorder to maintain an intimate, diary-like feel. The lyrics scatter and focus, abstract and refine, encapsulating the elusive feelings of small moments cast aside, such as late night drives, the limitlessness of falling in love, and the freedom of finding a true friend or co-conspirator in an immense and sometimes empty world. The album transitions seamlessly between infectious electro-pop, tropical rhythms, and quiet washes of cinematic new wave reflection. This week's New Music Heaven features Wild Cub! Look for your free download of their song, Youth, in this week's Nation e-mail!
It's not every day that an artist's debut album sells 1.5 million copies. It's even more rare that an artist's debut album sells 1.5 million copies despite being comprised completely of cover songs. That impressive feat speaks to the power of Birdy, whose voice plugged the listener straight into the emotional mains, and an innate understanding of texture, nuance and restraint, deep beneath the skin of songs such as The xx’s Shelter, Bon Iver’s Skinny Love and The Postal Service’s The District Sleeps Alone Tonight. We'll take a listen to her take on Skinny Love this week on New Music Heaven this week. Check your Nation e-mail for your FREE download of the song (which has racked up 49 million views on Youtube - not too shabby).
With its play on words, Vice Verses, the title of Switchfoot’s new album, coherently suggests the album’s theme: everything has two sides. “Every blessing comes with a set of curses,” singer-guitarist Jon Foreman sings on the title track. That theme runs through the album’s 12 songs and is even reflected in the album’s black and white cover.
“The whole thing is about polarity,” says Foreman. “We wanted to write about the polarity of what it means to be human, the lights and darks. I’m always intrigued by the tension that exists between life and death. When making Hello Hurricane, there was a graveyard right by the hotel we were staying at while we were mixing it, and I spent a little bit of time there each morning walking through and sorting it out…really Vice Verses started there. This record is as much about loss as it is about what we still have while we’re living.” You can get your FREE download of Who We Are in this week's Nation e-mail!
These Reigning Days
These Reigning Days brings us anthemic, epic stadium rock, fusing layers of strong but understated guitar lines with a twisting, indie-pop synth sound quietly driving the compositions. Dan Steer’s stunning vocals and soaring guitar are underpinned with a pulsing rhythm section from drum phenomenon Joe Sansome and formidable bassist Jonny Finnis. A formidable live band, this summer they supported Bon Jovi at the San Siro Stadium in Rome and played the main stage at the Polish Woodstock to a crowd of over 300,000 people. The band’s single releases have enjoyed global radio and TV airplay including on BBC Radio in the UK and their single Too Late has topped the MTV charts in Europe. It's this week Slice of New Music Heaven!
We'll forgive Chvrches for rebelling again the letter "u," but only because they kind of rule. They got a great review on their recent MusicfestNW set, and we can't help but agree with the raves coming from Consequence of Sound, Stereogum and the like. We're looking forward to The Bones of What You Believe hitting stores September 24th - The Mother We Share is this week's Slice of New Music Heaven. Look for your free download of the song in this week's Nation e-mail!
Dubbed as "The chameleons of pop", Sydney indie pop group The Griswolds formed two years ago by singer and guitarist Christopher Whitehall and lead guitarist Daniel Duque-Perez. Now the 4-man-band looks to become a globally known act. The Griswolds were thrown into the spotlight immediately after they found instant success in early 2012 when they became Australia’s Triple J “Unearthed” feature artist and won a slot on the 2012 Parklife Festival lineup alongside Passion Pit. The Griswolds’ lineup is rounded out by bassist Tim John and drummer Chris Riley. The Griswolds self-recorded and released their debut Heart of a Lion EP in Australia during the fall of 2012 without actually having a band name yet. After a long late night conversation, the name The Griswolds came up through their mutual love for National Lampoon’s Vacation film series and it stuck. Heart of a Lion, the single, with its charming and buoyant toe-tapping sounds, has received airplay in over 20 countries worldwide. The track was also featured as an iTunes “Single of the Week” and notably created a huge buzz in the Netherlands, where it reached No. 3 in radio airplay. Heart of a Lion is also *drumroll please*, this week's New Music Heaven. Check your NATION email to receive your free download!
Commanding, crisp, and perfect for summer: Cast Away is the highly anticipated debut album by Melbourne, Australia’s electro-pop charmers Strange Talk. Packed full of shimmering synths and pulsing pop beats, Cast Away is one epic, dazzling listen. Strange Talk has joined the line-ups of such festivals as Parklife, Stereosonic, Future Music, Soundscape and Falls, opened for the Rapture, Neon Indian and Marina and The Diamonds, hit the #1 spot on Billboard’s Uncharted chart in the United States and wowed New York City at 2011 and 2012’s CMJ Music Marathon. A year of shows and Strange Talk has morphed into one of the country’s most exciting live acts. It’s a long way from the bedroom duo Stephen and Gerard envisioned when they met on MySpace almost three years ago. “We all know each other a lot more now,” Stephen laughs. “It’s weird how it works with such a diverse mix of backgrounds, but I think that does the project justice. Climbing Walls was when the penny dropped for us. Now, we just want people to have fun, lose themselves in the songs. Enjoy the journey, from start to end.” Here at 94/7, we are excited to announce Climbing Walls as this week's New Music Heaven! Check your NATION email for your free download.
The Colourist first stumbled upon one another in an underused warehouse in Orange County, CA, where Adam and Maya discovered the harmonic chemistry that has come to define the band’s bright and anthemic signature sound. Having spent much of 2012 honing their live show with the likes of Grouplove, Fitz and The Tantrums, Electric Guest and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., The Colourist begin 2013 holed up in a small studio in Southern California. It’s there that Adam Castilla (vocals, guitar), Maya Tuttle (drums, vocals), Kollin Johannsen (guitar, bass), and Justin Wagner (bass, keys) committed their pop-fueled, indie-bred rock to tape before embarking on their first tour which included appearances at Coachella along with support shows with Metric and Youngblood Hawke and Atlas Genius. On August 20th The Colourist will release their first recorded music into the world with an EP called Lido. The 4 songs represent a sampling of this band’s ability to write smart, engaging songs laced with hooks that leave you wanting more. One of such songs, Little Games, is this week's New Music Heaven! Check your NATION email for your free download.
Jagwar Ma formed in Sydney Australia when Jono Ma and Gabriel Winterfield bonded over a mutual passion of melody and experimental beats. The pair set out creating a sound that would fuse the elements of disparate music, vocal sweetness, and the modern electronic space of the past 40 years, they created a contemporary take on psychedelia, with the beauty and simplicity of classic sun-soaked, beach pop. Just weeks after putting music online, it secured heavy airplay on Australian radio triple j and a seven inch release on new UK label The Blue Rider. The music received a positive reaction to the mix of old and new, the uninhibited rhythm and its classic harmonies sliced apart by a lyric informing how lonely love can be. Their first release from these sessions, The Throw, saw them occupying a space where screamadelica and its wayward children used to live. A joyful seven minutes weaving melodies and beats with the sole purpose of making people move, of throwing caution to the wind and reaching a higher level with a greater purpose, or maybe without one at all, it touched a nerve and helped soundtrack the last few months. Second single Man I Need is more introspective, beats minimal and Gab singing ‘all you say to me, is you’re not the man I need, that’s what you said to me”. Across the album, Howlin twist its hooks in dirty clanking breakdowns. Pop songwriting is buried in layers of crunching synths and pedal effects.Check your NATION email for your free download of Come Save Me from JagWar Ma's Howlin!
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.
Formed in late 2009, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. is the off-kilter title under which Detroit-area natives Joshua Epstein and Daniel Zott record, release and perform music. While Epstein and Zott have no ties to popular NASCAR circuit driver Dale Earnhardt Jr,the band’s peculiar name was initially suggested to the duo on a lark. The pair assert that the strange moniker has been kept in tact due to the freedom they came to realize such a title gave them to explore whatever musical endeavors they could think up. “The idea being”, Epstein says, “that if one can accept a band being named Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., then you’ve already opened yourself up to listening to anything that band can come up with. You’ve already decided to leave expectations behind”. From that mantra, the foundation of their partnership was built. Each having spent a good deal of time in various recording and performance environments prior to working with one another, Epstein & Zott set out to explore the many intricacies of cross-genre songwriting and production together with a willingness to borrow as much from the Beach Boys as the Geto Boys if it meant a more dynamic form of pop music. An organic vs. synthesized perspective which by necessity lacked a specified audience or desired outcome, outside of challenging oneself. Check your NATION email, and enjoy this week's New Music Heaven free download from Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., If You Didn't See Me!
Swedish threesome NONONO, is making us here at 94/7 say yesyesyes! Having worked together for ten years, primarily on hip hop, production duo Tobias and Michel aka Astma & Rocwell were looking for a vocalist for a new project when they met front girl, Stina Wappling at the tender age of 21. The three found instant chemistry, and soon became the trio of NONONO, a name which highlights an important philosophy for the band. NONONO believes that saying "no" is an important way of life; a way of promoting respect for your personal boundaries. From their recently released album Like The Wind, this week's New Music Heaven track, Pumpin Blood is the kind of percussion-heavy, gloom tinged pop set with overwhelmingly positive sentiment and a rousing whistling hook that will give you instant appeal and a summery feel. Check your NATION email to download your free download of Pumpin Blood!
The Polyphonic Spree
Make yourself familiar with The Polyphonic Spree, a choral psych-phonic pop rock band from the Dallas, Texas. Formed in 2000 by front man, Tim DeLaughter, this 16-member band, who performs in their signature choir robes, creates instrumental color with their choir and wide variety of instruments, including a trumpet, trombone, mandolin, french horn, cello, and more. Their new album, Yes, It's True, and tour were funded with a Kickstarter campaign last fall that, within 30 days, raised more than $136,000, about $36,000 more than their initial goal. In 2003, they recorded Light and Day/Reach For the Sun, which was made recognizable by countless Volkswagen/iPod commercials, and was also used in a 2004 NFL preseason special, the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind soundtrack, and The Lorax movie trailer. The Polyphonic Spree will be dropping a new album, Yes, It's True, on August 6th, it's first original studio recording since 2007. See what you think of You Don't Know Me - it's this week's FREE download in your Nation e-mail!
Two-time Grammy nominated superstar producer/DJ Avicii, aka Tim Bergling, will release #TRUE, where he collaborated with an eclectic group of artists including Aloe Blacc, Michael Einsinger from Incubus, blue grass singer Dan Tyminski, Nile Rodgers, and the legendary Mac Davis.The first single, Wake Me Up retains the hallmarks of Avicii’s production in it's driving beat, rousing arrangements and uplifting melodies. A scuffed guitar riff adds layers to the rhythm section and a stirring lead synth riff is complimented by rich vocals and storytelling lyrics. Avicii is well known for his international mega-hit Le7els which conquered club charts world wide. He rocketed to the #3 position on DJ Mag’s yearly poll of the Top 100 DJs after three years of performing and was ranked #2 on Forbes Most Powerful Artists Under 30. Avicii will turn 24 years old when #TRUE comes out later this year. Be sure to tune into this week's slice of New Music Heaven from Avicii, and check your Nation email for your free download of Wake Me Up!
From their native Tennessee roots to Vancouver, Washington, The Features have served up slice after slice of hook-fueled brilliance - with subtle nods to new wave, '60s garage, southern rock, Krautrock and beyond. Capturing their thrilling, stage-tested sound was a no-brainer on previous albums. But for The Features, Pelham and his bandmates - keyboardist Mark Bond, bassist Roger Dabbs and drummer Rollum Haas - were game to shake things up. This Disorder - an instant classic in The Features' esteemed catalog - throbs with a tense funk pulse, jagged guitar swipes and staccato synth lines, as Pelham's tightly wound vocal offers words of caution in the scatterbrained smartphone age. Hear The Features every day this week at 9am, 4pm, 7pm and 11pm and check your Nation e-mail for a free download of This Disorder!
The unlikely combination of a Cambridge graducate, particle physicist and a local sailor make up the three legged didactic table that is Little Comets, proud descendents of the hue drenched hills of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, a northern city in the British Isles. Bearing a name picked at random from a list of others; Robert, Michael and Matthew attempt to create a lilting combination of deft percussive nuance and melodic shimmer, shrouded in a veil of abstract lyrics. See what you think of Jennifer - it's this week's FREE download in your Nation e-mail!
Sonically Lonerism is a quantum leap forward for Tame Impala, the seeds of which were sown shortly after mixing of their debut album Innerspeaker had been completed. Again recorded and produced almost entirely by Kevin Parker in studios, planes, hotels and homes around the world, and mixed by the trailblazing Dave Fridmann, it's a sound not so much reinvented as completely redrafted and stretched way, way out. Lonerism's most apparent advance is in it's synthesizers - there's swathes of them cutting melancosmic shapes across almost every track. And it's a heady, heady record for all the loners, lyrically sweet and casual, relaxed but at times deadly serious, and oddly, deeply amorous. Lonerism is where you can find Elephant, this week's Slice of New Music Heaven, which might give you the feeling that Spirit in the Sky went further skyward to outerspace. Check your Nation e-mail for a free download of it!
Bursting out of London’s underground music scene with its thrilling world of pirate radio, crude DJ set ups, improvised studios, and bleeding edge beats come Rudimental (Piers Aggett, Kesi Dryden, Amir Amor and Leon Rolle): A pioneering melting-pot collective who have taken the British music scene by storm, championed for their uncompromising approach to music-making whilst avoiding rigid classification. They've certainly made a few big impressions - their historic BBC Radio 1 Hackney Weekend extravaganza was only their second ever live show yet became the most shared performance of the entire festival. And their profile increased when The XX blogged Rudimental’s airy soulful house offering Spoons in February. This week we'll take a listen to Feel the Love during New Music Heaven!
Bastille – the top-selling debut act of 2013 in the U.K. – makes its U.S. debut with the four-song EP Haunt, out now under Virgin Records. The band, which was recently featured in Billboard’s “Bubbling Under” column, will return to the U.S. for a fall tour after its European festival dates, which include Glastonbury, Isle of Wight, Reading, Leeds, T in the Park and more. Bastille has opened for such artists as Two Door Cinema Club, Foster The People and Muse and its fall 2012 U.K. run sold out the day it went on sale. Bad Blood, Bastille’s full-length debut, recently entered the U.K. albums chart at No. 1. Pompeii, which the band recently performed on U.K. television program The Jonathan Ross Show, is this week's Slice of New Music Heaven!
Pythons, the new album from West Palm Beach rock band Surfer Blood, hits stores June 11th. Front man JP Pitts, Thomas Fekete (guitar), Kevin Williams (bass) and Tyler Schwarz (drums) recorded Pythons in Los Angeles with producer Gil Norton (Pixies, Echo and the Bunnymen.) Rob Schnapf (Beck, Elliott Smith, Guided By Voices) mixed the album. Pythons is the follow-up to Surfer Blood's critically-acclaimed debut album Astro Coast, which earned spots on "best of" lists from Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Filter, Paste, NME and the BBC. NPR's Bob Boilen called Astro Coast his "favorite album of 2010" and declared Surfer Blood to be "America's best new pop band." They're currently on tour with FOALS, and you can hear Demon Dance all week long - check your Nation e-mail for your free download!
Empire of the Sun
Exotic, gaudy and lavish, Empire Of The Sun brings together two unlikely collaborators from Australian pop. Luke Steele, the enigmatic wunderkind behind The Sleepy Jackson, and Pnau’s Nick Littlemore have a friendship which Luke describes as “this fireball of electricity”, and which eventually resulted in debut album Walking On A Dream – a bold, visionary and quite brilliant album, which manages to sound exhilaratingly contemporary, audaciously forward-looking, yet also curiously archaic all at once. They've moved on to new album Ice on the Dune which will be released on June 18th. You can get a free download of Alive in this week's Nation e-mail!
The Unlikely Candidates
Who would've thought small town boredom, adrenaline, and a lust for recklessness mixed together on the suburban streets of Fort Worth, Texas would end up producing raw, real and infectious rock anthems? Cole Male and Kyle Morris were booked on separate counts of grand theft auto and ened up in a Fort Worth juvenile detention center together. They two became fast friends, and as their brush with law came to an end, they decided to focus their energy on music. Bringing classmates Kevin Goddard, Josiah Maughn and Brenton Carney into the fold, The Unlikely Candidates were born with a shared reverence of The Beatles, The Strokes and Bob Dylan. See how you like your FREE download of Follow My Feet in this week's Nation e-mail!
Despite the varying musical tastes of each member in Diamond Youth, they all share a very common back catalogue of bands who have inspired and defined their developing years as budding artists. From Weezer to Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, and all the way back to the Beach Boys, the influence these bands had on Diamond Youth is ever-apparent. When it comes to what Diamond Youth has to offer, what you see is what you get; what you get is often times more than you can handle. With a rigorous background in art, design, and skateboarding, the boys of Diamond Youth are known for their ability to create and produce all of their own artwork, merchandise, web sites and videos. Diamond Youth is a band that has a tight grip on their career and firmly believe in the DIY mentality which allows them to do all of this, and still give away their music for free. Speaking of free, you can download Cannonball for free in this week's Nation e-mail!
Dan Croll, the one-time rugby fanatic/sensitive acoustica/former nightclub doorman who lives above a strip joint in Liverpool, has a simple goal. "I want music with life and a bit of a story, that comes from genuine inspiration, to be in the mainstream," he says. "Not just songs put together in a day by a bunch of anonymous writers chosen by a record label. Music from the heart, with meaning, that means something to me and will hopefully be meaningful to listeners." He won the Songwriter of the Year award from the Musicians Benevolent Fund and was one of eight students picked to have a one-to-one with LIPA founder Sir Paul (like, McCartney), a 40-minute session during which the former Beatle praised Dan's songwriting and apparently said "groovy" a lot. See if you think From Nowhere is groovy - it's this week's Slice of New Music Heaven!
The recurring theme throughout Tape Deck Heart, Frank Turner’s fifth album, is change. One of several break-up songs on the album, Recovery sets tales of cider-fuelled nights in strange flats to joyous, jubilant, singalong rock. “I like that contrast between upbeat music and dark lyrics,” says Turner. “It sounds like a happy song, but it’s clearly not. The album is about unexpected change and a big part of it is relationships ending. I was in a long term relationship with someone and it was a huge shock for me when we split up last year. Because I write in a reactive way, I knew it would come out in the songs. As you can tell from the record, I’m still not sure the split was for the best. That’s something else I’m conflicted about!” Check your Nation e-mail this week for your FREE download of Recovery!