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 their production company, Dirty Canvas. They went on to write Believer, the first song to develop their signature sound. American Authors is comprised of Zac Barnett (vocals), James Adam Shelley (guitar/banjo), Dave Rublin (bass), and Matt Sanchez (drums). They 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. "I think people maybe expected two people on stage with a laptop, but we were adamant from the beginning that we would never do that!" says Lizzy. "We wanted the live show to do the recoded 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 in this week's Nation e-mail!
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. To art, maybe. Nashville’s LEAGUES (comprising 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. “It had to happen now,” Jeremy says with a seriousness that quickly fades to laughter. “Not a second earlier.” 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!
Twenty One Pilots
The duo that is Twenty One Pilots - Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun - has earned widespread applause for their energetic live sets and distinctive fusion of piano-driven schizoid pop and lyrical uplift. No strangers to the road, Twenty One Pilots has built a fervent national following via their electrifying live performances at innumerable headline shows and tours. The band made its Fueled By Ramen debut with a new EP titled Three Songs released last summer and will follow up with the full-length Vessel on January 8th.
Five childhood friends from the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, augmented by 3 mid-western transplants, The Mowgli's are a quintessential California band. Inspired by the magnetism of San Francisco, the grind of Los Angeles and the serenity of the Big Sur Coast, their songs are a joyous revival of rock n' roll, a twisting indie-folk dance and a heartfelt protest ballad. Sliding from indie pop to country and a host of genres in between, the band evokes modern artists such as Fun., Grouplove and Edward Sharpe And the Magnetic Zeros, whilst having their roots in the music of Neil Young, The Byrds, The Beach Boys and Fleetwood Mac. Part 60's Laurel Canyon, part 70's Venice Beach and part 10's Silverlake, the band and the harmonies are held together by their message of universal love, peace and the belief that the highest form of consciousness is achieved by togetherness and unity. Enjoy checking out San Francisco every day this week, thanks to Pro Guitar Shop!
There's not a lot we know about The Neighbourhood. Frontman Jesse Rutherford even told BBC that they have deliberately kept a low profile online, lending a romantic mystique to the band's guitar-driven hip-hop. We'll think you'll find Sweater Weather so haunting you might just play it on repeat for an hour without even realizing it. Enjoy your FREE download in this week's Nation e-mail, thanks to Pro Guitar Shop!
Boredom and Joy is the new single and album from Jets Overhead. It follows 2009′s No Nations, an album that brought the band to new heights with major festival performances at Coachella, Bonnaroo, Sasquatch, and the World Expo in Shanghai and opening slots for the likes of Broken Social Scene, The Temper Trap and The Dandy Warhols. Produced by Emery Dobyns (Noah & The Whale, Travis, Patti Smith, Antony & The Johnsons), Boredom and Joy was recorded in New York at Stratosphere Sound and Flux Studios. The album features the band’s trademark vocal and melodic interplay, set against a lush backdrop of organic and sequenced instrumentation. Its lyrical themes explore an evolving relationship that moves quietly from certainty to uncertainty. Check out Boredom and Joy at 9am, 4pm, 7pm and 11pm every weekday, and open your Nation e-mail this week for a FREE download courtesy of Pro Guitar Shop!
Alt-J (∆)’s name takes a little explaining. Pronounced “alt-J”, the delta sign is created when you hold down the alt key on your computer keyboard and punch ‘J’ on a Mac computer. The symbol has a deeper meaning for the band, as guitarist/bassist Gwil Sainsbury notes, “in mathematical equations it’s used to show change,” and the band’s relatively new name came at a turning point in their lives.
Gwil, Joe Newman [guitar/vocals], Gus Unger-Hamilton [keyboards] and Thom Green [drums] met at Leeds University in 2007. The four friends spent the next two years playing around town, developing a precise and unique brand of alt. pop that draws on poignant folk verses, crushing synths, smart hip hop syncopations and tight vocal harmonies. alt-J (∆) gave them a unique name to go with the unique, genre-bending sound they now concoct in the basement of a terrace house in Cambridgeshire.
‘An Awesome Wave’ was released at the end of May 2012 and crash landed into the Top 20 whilst peaking at #3 on iTunes, making it one of the biggest debuts of the year so far. An amazing feat for a debut album by an indie act with little marketing spend, it caused a shockwave in the pop and r’n’b dominated charts. The release came with a plethora of amazing reactions that saw it touted as the “hottest debut album” by NME, hailed as “strong, addictive and enthralling’ by the BBC and chosen as album of the week on Radio 1 and album of the day on 6music. They'll be at the Star Theater December 15th - see 'em then, and in the meantime, enjoy Fitzpleasure at 9am, 4pm, 7pm and 11pm all this week, thanks to Pro Guitar Shop!
Blondfire...Where the Kids Are
“We were driving around with friends and someone said ‘I smell a bonfire,’” recalls Erica Driscoll, lead vocalist-keyboardist-guitarist of the brother-sister duo Blondfire. “We thought they said ‘Blondfire,’ and at first we kind of jokingly said it should be our name – but it stuck. We liked the fact that it was masculine and feminine at the same time. It represented who we are in a cool way.” That push-pull of elemental forces is fundamental to the siblings’ sound. Winsome, melancholy vocals and ’80s-influenced melodies float atop shards of guitar and propulsive beats, leavening Blondfire’s infectious pop tunes with real punch. Alternately haunting and ebullient, their debut Young Heart represents the purest example yet of Blondfire’s unique musical hybrid. Take a listen to Where the Kids Are!
The debut self-titled EP from Australian quintet Gold Fields bursts forth from the speakers with a freshness that cannot be denied. Gold Fields is a pretty harmonious lot, the result of friendships that predate the band’s formation in early 2010. Growing up in Ballarat, a Victorian era boomtown about an hour’s drive west of Melbourne, the five lads attended school together starting around age 12. While that camaraderie is the glue that bonds Gold Fields, this was no leisurely idyll or excuse to hang out. From the outset they were dead serious about reaching a wider audience. Rather than claw their way up through the club scene, the quintet concentrated on writing and recording the best original material they could. See what you think of Dark Again (Lights Out) all this week and keep your eyes peeled for your Nation e-mail with a FREE download of the track!!
Family of the Year "Hero"
Los Angeles-based Family of the Year offer sweet harmonies and easygoing, sunny folk tunes. They've actually been featured on New Music Heaven once before, but their new song is so nice, we made it twice! They're opening up for Walk the Moon November 21st at the Crystal Ballroom. Nation members, keep your eyes out for your e-mail with a FREE download of Hero!
Tegan and Sara...Closer
Some of you may already be huge fans of Tegan and Sara, the Canadian twin sisters who sing frankly about their own faults and inner thoughts. If you're not yet, welcome aboard! Why not check them out at our December to Remember show where they'll join The Killers and M83 December 5th at the Rose Garden? Nation members, check your e-mail this week for a FREE download of Closer!
Sheppard "Let Me Down Easy"
For indie pop Brisbane band Sheppard, sibling rivalry sparked the formation of a group like no other. George, Amy and Emma Sheppard perform with a desire to artistically and creatively express their take on the world and to engage the youth that live within it. The family holds a strong bond to Papua New Guinea, where George, Amy and Emma grew up. After relocating to Australia the three siblings began discovering their unique musical talent and ability to play a variety of musical instruments. It wasn't long until the family discovered the talents of Sydney musician/songwriter Jason Bovino. Jay was quickly recruited as a valuable member of the songwriting team. The group soon grew when they saw great potential in musicians Michael and Jared. They're six big kids in one creative family, bound by their love of music. See what you think of Let Me Down Easy!
Robert Francis "Heroin Lovers"
Robert Francis had his first musical epiphany when he was 10 years old. “It was at Harry Dean Stanton’s birthday, and my sisters were opening up for his blues band,” he remembers. “I was noodling on guitar outside the club when the guitar player in Stanton’s band motioned for me to come onstage. He hung his big Gibson ES-335 over my shoulders and I started taking a solo. I looked up at Harry Dean in his white suit, holding a highball glass and singing, and then Chaka Khan came onstage and she was on her knees singing to me. That was the moment I knew I wanted to play music.” Robert Francis’ musical prowess stems both from his genes and his upbringing. His father is a producer, pianist and collector who has single-mindedly devoted his life to classical music. In his teens Red Hot Chili Peppers’ John Frusciante took him on as his only student and a few years later, he released his first album One by One – at nineteen. Strangers in the First Place, his new release, represents a breathtaking artistic leap for the singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, and it’s where we get Heroin Lovers, this week’s slice of New Music Heaven, brought to you by Pro Guitar Shop!
Crystal Fighters "At Home"
Did you know folk-tronica was a thing? Well, Crystal Fighters are out to prove it. Their debut album Star of Love hit stateside earlier this year, around the same time they invigorated numerous audiences at SXSW with energetic, engaging live performances. At Home might be perfectly at home in your music library - listen for it all week at 9am, 4pm, 7pm and 11pm, and look out for a FREE download in your Nation e-mail!
The Whigs "Waiting"
With their new album Enjoy The Company, The Whigs have created a raucous ode to rock and roll. The record offers a powerful sonic rendering of a band opening up to the depth of their past and kicking open the doors to their future. But most of all, this is the undeniably established sound of a band affirming their legacy in the American rock and roll paradigm. The group sought the guidance of veteran producer John Agnello (Dinosaur Jr, Son Volt, Sonic Youth) and the solitude of Dreamland Studios housed in a historic church in rural Woodstock, New York. “We went out there to record without any distractions,” bassist Timothy Deaux explains. “There were no girlfriends there, no bars to go out to. It was just us and the music. Our last album focused on some pretty dark themes and with this one I think there’s a newfound sense of optimism and purpose. We didn’t make a sugary record, but I think we are honestly feeling good about the band and our lives and it comes across in the sound.” We'll see how the record turned out with Waiting all week long, courtesy of Pro Guitar Shop!
The xx "Chained"
Three years after their Mercury-winning debut, The xx are back with a new album, Coexist, and a new perspective. Where their first record lent in close to whisper in your ear, Coexist gazes warmly in your eyes. Much has happened to lead to this point: most pertinently, they’ve grown up. Coexist is an album of confident adult reflection. Angels, sung by Romy, is a perfectly distilled love song. Its counter is Fiction led by Oliver, a bittersweet ballad that’s strength lies in naming its fear. What has changed for The xx? Nothing, and everything. Older and wiser, surer yet still so tender, Coexist finds itself on the other side of heartbreak, when the light returns.
The Chevin "Champion"
The Chevin are a band who grew up relishing the magnificent swathes of moorland stretching from York to Leeds visible from atop the hill overlooking their home town of Otley - the geological marvel after which they're named - and instintively destined the wonder of it in music. "Otley sits in a valley in Wharfdale and the hill on one side of the valley is The Chevin," singer and songwriter Coyle Girelli explains. "I like the romance of naming ourselves after something so local and personal, and at the same time it creates an image of being stood on the edge of a ridge or a cliff looking out. If you go up into the hills, you can see all the way to York on one side and as far as the eye can see on the other. When you write without being contrived you're directly influenced by your surroundings and growing up in a place with such a wide landscape we naturally go towards that sort of feeling." As a teenager, roaming the tiny market town of Otley in The Chevin's shadow with a head full of Nirvana, Oasis and The Beatles, Coyle had a soundtrack to his life spooling constantly through his head. See how well he and the gang are adapting those sounds with this week's Slice of New Music Heaven, brought to you by Pro Guitar Shop! All Guitars, All The Time. Portland, OR USA.
Churchill began with two friends, acoustic guitarist and singer/songwriter Tim Bruns and mandolin player Mike Morter, who decided to join forces and start a new band in Denver. While the two musicians came from a country-bluegrass background, the addition of the bass/drum powerhouse of Tyler Rima and Joe Richmond brought more of a rock vibe into the mix. Keyboardist/vocalist Bethany Kelly, came from a classical background and rounded out the lineup. The process took only a few weeks, and the chemistry was apparent, resulting in a dynamic fusion of styles into a sound that is uniquely and unmistakably Churchill. The much-anticipated new record Happy/Sad was largely funded by existing Churchill fans through a Kickstarter campaign. Hope you enjoy hearing Change by Churchill at 9am, 4pm, 7pm and 11pm all this week - Nation members will score a free download of the song courtesy of Pro Guitar Shop. All Guitars, All The Time. Portland, OR USA.
Young Blood Hawke "We Come Running"
Inspired by the Herman Wouk novel of the same name, Youngblood Hawke was born out of late night creative musings between longtime friends Sam Martin and Simon Katz. Exhausted by two years of touring with their former band and the general turbulence that comes with music industry success, Martin and Katz looked for a more simple creative outlet where they could write and share music with friends and family without commercial pressures. Katz's longtime friend Tasso Smith moved to Los Angeles from Texas to join the band when he heard the first demos, and Alice Katz, who was a key part of the original songwriting sessions, joined as well. To round out the lineup they recruited drummer and friend Nik Hughes. Youngblood Hawke captures the sound of 5 friends in mid-journey. It is the snapshot of a state of mind where, one mountain has been climbed, and there are more in the distance. But for right now, the view is beautiful. Look out for a free download of We Come Running!
JEFF the Brotherhood "Sixpack"
An actual brotherhood, though not actually containing anyone named Jeff, JEFF the Brotherhood is the brainchild of brothers Jake and Jamin Orrall. The sons of successful songwriter Robert Ellis Orrall, the Nashville duo started out in 2001 while they were still in high school. Combining psychedelic rock, garage, and power pop influences, the pair have cultivated an eccentric, driving sound that explores the boundaries of rock & roll without forgetting the importance of a solid melodic hook, at times evoking a heavier, but more stripped-down version of Cheap Trick. Through their own Infinity Cat label, JEFF the Brotherhood created a prolific body of work starting in 2002 with I Like You. The band followed up with a quick run of limited albums, including 2005’s The Byzantine Empire, 2006’s Castle Storm, and 2008’s The Boys R Back in Town. In 2009, the pair released their first widely distributed album, Heavy Days, and expanded their fan base to include the indie set through collaborations with Best Coast and Screaming Females. 2011 would also prove to be a big year, with the band releasing the live album Live at Third Man through Jack White’s Third Man Records, as well as another full-length, We Are the Champions. Their next album found the band participating in two high-profile team-ups, first recording with the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach, and then signing on with Warner Bros to release their 2012 album Hypnotic Nights. Listen all this week for Sixpack!
Polica "Dark Star"
An offshoot of Minneapolis, Minnesota's prolific Gayngs collective, electro-pop outfit Poliça features singer Channy Leanagh and producer Ryan Olson as its core members. Leanagh's vocal prowess was well-known around town, and Olson asked her to join Gayngs as a touring member. The pair began collaborating on their own music in June 2011, putting Leanagh's versatile voice (she'd previously fronted the folk-rock band Roma di Luna with her former husband, Alexei Moon Casselle) in Olson's smooth electronic soundscapes, which borrow equally from R&B and goth pop. Within a month, they had an album's worth of songs ready and began recording, recruiting drummers Ben Ivascu and Drew Christopherson, bassist Chris Bierdan and Bon Iver collaborator and vocalist Mike Noyce to flesh out the sound they envisioned. The results, Give You the Ghost, were mixed by Spoon's Jim Eno and released by Olson and Christopherson's Totally Gross National Product on Valentine's Day 2012. Your latest slice of New Music Heaven comes courtesy of Polica. Be on the listenout for “Dark Star”. As per usual, we’ll be pushing play around 9am, 4pm, 7pm and 11pm all this week. Nation members, your free download is as good as in your inbox. You know we’re good for it. It’s New Music Heaven from your trusty new music delivery service aka 94/7 Alternative Portland, and Pro Guitar Shop. All Guitars, All The Time. Portland, OR USA.
The Weeks "The House We Grew Up In"
The Weeks are an indie rock band from Jackson, Mississippi. Formed by Cain Barnes, Chaz Lindsay, Cyle Barnes, Damien Bone, and Uel Dee in March of 2006. The band signed to the Esperanza Plantation label, with the debut album, Comeback Cadillac, released in July 2008. The album blended southern rock and alternative, and featured a duet with labelmate Allie Peden on "Sailor Song". The album suggested a strong influence from Kings of Leon, with Rilo Kiley, The Mars Volta, and My Morning Jacket also suggested as influences. A second album, Rumspringa, followed in 2009. After some lineup changes that left them with a four piece of the Barnes twins, Bone and Williams, the band relocated to Nashville, TN. In March 2011, they returned to Water Valley, MS to work with Winn McElroy at his Black Wings Studio on the six songs that encompass a 12" EP entitled, "Gutter Gaunt Gangster", out October 11 on Esperanza Plantation. “The House We Grew Up In” is this week's slice of New Music Heaven and you can check it out 4 times daily at 9am, 4pm, 7pm and 11pm. As always, Nation members you can expect a free download in that handy little email box of yours. It’s New Music Heaven from your friends here at 94/7fm and Pro Guitar Shop - All Guitars, All The Time. Portland, OR USA.
Husky "History's Door"
Cousins Husky Gawenda and Gideon Preiss grew up in Australia and developed a love of music, writing songs and listening to records together throughout their teenage years. In 2008, the two started a band, enlisting Melbourne scenesters Evan Tweedie on bass and vocals and Luke Vollins on drums, augmenting Preiss' keyboard and vocal duties and Gawenda's vocals and guitars. Taking the name Husky, the band was born. The group drew on Preiss and Gawenda's shared love of literate classic rock staples when developing its sound, melding artful songwriting inspired by the likes of Leonard Cohen and the Doors with Gawenda's poetic lyrics. The bandmembers worked tirelessly on songwriting and live performance, eventually setting up a makeshift home studio to record the basic tracks for their debut album. After working for months on the basic tracks, Husky handed over their raw materials to producer Noah Georgeson (famed for his work with artists like the Strokes and Joanna Newsom) to handle the final mixing process. The end result was their hauntingly folky debut album, Forever So, released in late 2011 on Liberation Music. In 2011 the group also won the Pushover talent competition hosted by Australian radio institution Triple J. This opened many doors for Husky, and the band quickly gained new fans as well as landing support slots for established artists such as Gotye, Devendra Banhart, and Noah and the Whale. Husky began negotiating a deal with U.S. indie mainstay Sub Pop, which planned a global re-release of Forever So for 2012. Get to know Husky all this week at 9am, 4pm, 7pm, and 11pm as we offer up “History’s Door.” It’s your latest slice of new Music Heaven from your friends here at 94/7fm and Pro Guitar Shop - All Guitars, All The Time. Portland, OR USA.
For San Cisco, there has been very little waiting around. The four-piece have followed their own path since emerging from Fremantle, Western Australia, a few years ago. From humble beginnings of weekend jams to being nominated for a 2011 Unearthed J Award and landing themselves at #7 in triple j’s Hottest 100 countdown the band have a natural chemistry, growing organically into their own mold to create their sophomore EP, “Awkward”.
Lead single ‘Awkward’ is an unmistakable pop gem featuring the vocal talents of both Jordi Davieson and drummer, Scarlett Stevens. Penned in the studio one afternoon, the song was voted in to the top 10 of triple j’s Hottest 100 and scored almost 1,000,000 plays on youtube.
Following on from their success of their debut EP, “Golden Revolver”, San Cisco returned to the recording studio with Steven Schram (Little Red, Little Birdy and Cat Empire) in Melbourne to delve further into the songs they had perfected on stage and in the backyard shed. The finished product is their sophomore EP, “Awkward” featuring five tracks of indie pop goodness, showcasing Jordi’s turn of phrase and Josh Biondillo’s varied influences in his music writing. In its entirety it is an eclectic mix of indie pop with dashes of rock and slashes of synth. Each member of the band brings a different influence to the table from their diverse and eclectic palate of indie, rap, hip-hop and jazz.
Listen for "Awkward" as this week's Slice of New Music Heaven, and look out for a FREE download of the song in your next Nation e-mail!
Brick + Mortar "Bangs"
Brick + Mortar represent the underground, the oppressed, the disillusioned, and voiceless. Fusing driving percussion, grooving bass, eclectic samples, and anthemic vocals creates a new world sound that is so fresh you truly need to hear it for yourself. Their live show is a party that erupts like a magnetic sonic volcano catching the attention of everyone in the room, drawing them to the stage full of intrigue and energy. It's hard to really put it into words. Words never do them justice, you’ll have to check it out for yourself. Be listening all this week for “Bangs” from Brick + Mortar. We’ll play it like clockwork daily at 9am, 4pm, 7pm, and 11pm. We’re calling it another slice of New Music Heave. We’re pretty sure you’ll call it your favorite new song. It’s New Music Heaven brought to you by 94/7fm and Pro Guitar Shop-All Guitars, All The Time. Portland, OR USA.