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!
Palma Violets are a new band out of London. They've got their feet planted firmly in the rock genre, with some Garage rock and psychedelic influences. Their first single, Best of Friends, was voted NME's song of the year for 2012. They're even opening for The Rolling Stones (!) in July - talk about a warm reception from their homeland. Before they do that, though, we'll take a listen to Best of Friends for New Music Heaven, and we'll even enjoy a session with the band this Thursday (4.25) before they play Holocene with Guards. Text JOIN to 44624 to get your invitation, and keep an eye out for your Nation e-mail with a FREE download of Best of Friends!
Standing strong between the high-handed anthemic choruses of The Killers and the retro-synth melodies of MGMT along with a dash of wildman flutist antics, Gentlemen Hall has established itself as one of the buzziest bands to emerge from Boston in recent years. After winning numerous accolades such as MTV's Best Breakout Band in 2009 and Boston's Best Act in 2011, the band was nominated and won Billboard's Battle of the Bands and made history being the first independent band to perform on the Billboard Music Awards in 2011. In September 2011 they released their debut EP When We All Disappear to critical acclaim and toured nationally throughout 2012. They are currently finishing their full length album, due out later this year. 'Til then, enjoy your FREE download of Sail Into The Sun in this week's Nation e-mail!
The Sheepdogs built their name on hard work and determination. Having funded their first three albums and early years of touring on their own, this rock and roll band’s momentum began to build exponentially with the release of the 2010 album, Learn & Burn. The band would go on to win three 2012 JUNO Awards (the Canadian equivalent of a Grammy): New Group of the Year, Single of the Year and Rock Album of the Year. With a list of accolades this impressive the band is on the brink of engaging fans on a wider scale. The Sheepdogs will do just that with the release of their new self-titled album, produced by The Black Keys’ Patrick Carney and Austin Scaggs, which will genuinely introduce them to the U.S. and beyond. See if your FREE download of Feeling Good makes you feel just that - you'll find it in this week's Nation e-mail!
Brooklyn-based alt rockers American Authors first met as students at Berklee College of Music. Shortly after, the foursome dropped out, moved into a small apartment in Bushwick, New York, and started a band. While playing a show in the city, they were noticed by music producers Shep Goodman and Aaron Accetta, who eventually signed them to Dirty Canvas. They went on to write Believer, the first song to develop their signature sound. Zac Barnett (vocals), James Adam Shelley (guitar/banjo), Dave Rublin (bass), and Matt Sanchez (drums) each bring their own influences and experiences to the writing table to create pop-flavored alt rock sprinkled with four-part harmonies, spirited lyrics, and contagious optimism. As Barnett says, “We’re not afraid to be goofy one day and serious the next. We just want to be true to ourselves and share our stories for as long as people are willing to listen.” Check your Nation e-mail for a FREE download of Believer!
It’s a stroke of serendipity that Lizzy and Max (MS MR) are even making music together. They may giggle uncontrollably and complete each other’s thoughts, but these Vassar alums never really knew each other during college. Lizzy was a media-studies major, releasing records under her burgeoning imprint Neon Gold (releasing records by artists such as Passion Pit and Ellie Goulding). Max was an urban-studies major with a concentration in modern dance, and started composing music for his choreographies. After they graduated, Lizzy needed an unbiased sounding board for her secret project, and Max was looking for new artists to collaborate with. MS MR finally unveiled their live personae in March at Brooklyn’s respected Glasslands Gallery. "We wanted the live show to do the recorded tracks justice," continues Max, "so we perform as a band to give it the lushness and energy we aim for while recording." Enjoy your FREE download of Hurricane!
World-weary in spirit if not in practice: Hey Marseilles first won hearts across the US with its 2010 debut, To Travels and Trunks, an album that reveled in the education and inspiration only globe-trotting exploration can provide. With Matt Bishop's lyrical wayfaring abutting an instrumental palette that embraced folk tradition—accordion, strings, and horns; gypsy, Gallic, and classical—To Travels and Trunks gave musical voice to the universal longing for unfettered freedom. NPR called the record "sublime and heartfelt." Their newest offering, Lines We Trace, is not about going out and searching. It's about finding you’re already where you need to be. Perhaps you'll fancy your free download of Bright Stars Burning. You'll find it in this week's Nation e-mail!
Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian, the front men behind the breakout alt-dance group Capital Cities, are a success story spawned by the loyal fans that has continued to blossom. The LA-based act took the blogosphere by storm with their self-titled debut EP. Their electronic-infused pop rock represents all that is right in modern music making, and makes the perfect soundscape for a day at the beach, or a night in the dark part of town, as long as you're ready to dance. Safe and Sound, the first single, is uplifting, sincere, catchy, and, like all their songs, full of heart. Enjoy your FREE download in this week's Nation e-mail!
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Yeah Yeah Yeahs spent almost 4 years depriving us of new tunes before finally announcing that their new album Mosquito is due April 16th. First track Sacrilege experiments with distorted vocals and gets a little help from a gospel choir. It's weird, but it's exciting. See what you think - check your Nation e-mail this week for a FREE download of the song!
The Ruby Suns
Travel through the desert of pop long enough and, no matter the odds, eventually you’ll find an oasis. And it just might be frozen. When The Ruby Suns’ main mover Ryan McPhun alighted in Oslo, Norway in the winter of 2010, he knew he’d found an artistic haven. Recently split from his long-term girlfriend and bandmate, on holiday from his adopted home of New Zealand, McPhun was ready for something new. Christopher is an album about starting over, but not necessarily moving forward. It’s a breakup album, but as one listen will tell you, not necessarily a sad one. Chris Coady of Beach House, Grizzly Bear, Gang Gang Dance and others helped McPhun polish Christopher to an opalescent sheen, yielding expensive-sounding, future-leaning ear candy. Get your FREE download of In Real Life in this week's Nation e-mail!
In their short time together, the Virginia based band RDGLDGRN - an abbreviation of red, gold and green, the colors of the Jamaican flag - have racked up some serious love. Combining hip-hop, rock, (they all play instruments) and a groove that they’ve dubbed indie go-go, this up and coming trio have found themselves with a growing and enthusiastic fan base that includes mega producer/artist Pharell and Dave Grohl. Already a force on the internet, RDGLDGRN’s forthcoming debut is the sound of a three guys willing and loving to take chances and have a funky good time. Enjoy your FREE download of I Love Lamp in this week's Nation e-mail thanks to Pro Guitar Shop!
Richie Follin needed a break after leading the Willowz and moonlighting in his sister Madeline's band Cults, and everything clicked after he and Loren Humphrey teamed up with Kaylie Church. Ready to Go invokes the same kind of youthful exuberance as we love in Arcade Fire's Wake Up - you just can't help but sing along. Be on the lookout for your Nation e-mail with a FREE download of Ready to Go courtesy of Pro Guitar Shop!
C2C is not yet a household name for electro/urban music enthusiasts. But the three-letter name is nonetheless legendary in the world of “turntablism,” a highly technical yet intensely musical discipline, with performers using turntables as a bonafide musical instrument. The four members of C2C met in high school during their teenage years, and soon started developing their own unique performing style. Their achievements in the competition circuit come second to none. The quartet has been ranked #1 in the DMC World Competition four times in a row (2003-2006), thanks to their unique blend of breathtaking technical dexterity and innate musical sensitivity. Audiences are continually astonished by their highly playful, yet incredibly precise and spectacular routines, and the intoxicating jazzy tunes they manage to create through their deceptively simple contraptions. We're pretty sure you'll groove to Down the Road!
Hailing from Manchester, The 1975 have been playing together for over a decade, beginning in their preteens taking them to now, their early 20’s. The EPs combine their enthusiasm for pop, rock, electronica and contemporary production techniques with the innovation that only a band accustomed to playing together can pull off. The 1975 are currently at work on their debut album with producer Mike Crossey (Arctic Monkeys, Foals). The album is set for release in Spring 2013 and will be followed by extensive touring worldwide. Check your Nation e-mail for a FREE download of Sex coming your way in this week's Nation e-mail!
New Politics have a motto: “Fu** It.” It’s kind of a crass, apathetic motto. But for the Copenhagen band it doesn’t mean giving up. It means taking chances—something they do with reckless abandon. For instance, when the band was on the verge of signing with RCA in November, they realized “If we’re going to become insanely famous in the U.S. we might want to actually live there.” So the three musicians packed up their instruments and recording gear, said “Fu** it” and moved into a loft in Williamsburg, Brooklyn after drawing major attention for a raucous and wild performance at Denmark's Spot Festival. Now that they've released a self-titled debut and toured with the likes of Neon Trees and 30 Seconds to Mars, they're ready for the next step. The trick, as the band will tell you, is not to spend too much time worrying about the technical aspects of the music. Just play with energy and passion, say “Fu** it” and everything else will take care of itself eventually. Enjoy your FREE copy of Harlem!
Some things in life are built by coincidence, some by hard work, others by a sheer set of circumstances – not exactly random, but not contrived, either – that lead us to a place of pure synchronicity. Nashville’s LEAGUES (singer Thad Cockrell, guitarist Tyler Burkum and drummer Jeremy Lutito) might not credit one over the other in terms of which could best explain how they, deep into their careers and different paths, were able to drop it all at this very moment to make music they’d never quite played before but never sounded so right. The ten tracks that make up their debut, You Belong Here, encourage both dancing and introspection, and show a group of men leaving behind any preconceived notions or expectations but never their innate musicianship or love for the craft of songwriting. “I’m not inspired by artists,” says Thad. “As much as I’m inspired by songs.” Tears for Fears’ Everybody Wants to Rule the World. Wanna be Startin’ Somethin’ by Michael Jackson. “Songs that stop the room for a quick second,” adds Jeremy. Just try and keep your toes from tapping for your FREE download of Spotlight!
Detroit. Willesden. Olympos, on the Greek island of Karpathos. “The inside of our skulls”. These are the places that make up Holy Fire, Foals third album, their most direct and fully realised album yet. Foals have stepped up from, as Yannis puts it, "songs for indie clubs" to something much, much bigger. It's all a long way from the group's early years in Oxford, where Yannis Philippakis, Jack Bevan, Walter Gervers, Edwin Congreave and Jimmy Smith convened after spells in various well-regarded bands. Debut album Antidotes attempted to capture the live energy and sense of spontaneity that had made Foals one of the most sought-after live acts in the UK. 2007 follow-up Total Life Forever was a surprise to many (Foals never sit still for long) dealing in more expansive, eloquent sounds and a more mellow feel inspired in part by Foals' long-time enthusiasm for weed. Now, as they approach their 30s, Foals are moving on from the "kind of lost boys club element to how we've lived for the past six years" to make their best music yet. See what you think with Inhaler!