Apr
18

Download of the Week: Cheap Girls “Ruby”

Lansing, Michigan’s finest punk-damaged power trio, Cheap Girls, wear their influences all over their songs’ sleeves – a little Sugar here, some Alkaline Trio there, a smattering of the Hold Steady everywhere. Having worked with Tom Gabel of Against Me! on their third and latest album, the newly released Giant Orange, the group sounds as tight as ever. The instantly catchy “Ruby” is our early favorite on the album, although several others give it a run for its super-melodic money.

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Cheap Girls

Apr
11

Download of the Week: Brendan Benson “Bad As Me”

If you recognize Brendan Benson‘s voice, it’s likely from hearing the Raconteurs, the band he co-founded with fellow Michigander Jack White in 2005. His solo career, however, dates back to the mid 1990s, so it’s hardly surprising that his new single, “Bad For Me,” sounds so remarkably assured and well-crafted. The song – and its soaring choruses that seem plucked straight from Elton John’s 1970s songbook – is pulled from Benson’s upcoming record, What Kind Of World, due this month on Benson’s own Readymade Records. If the rest of the album is as brilliant as “Bad For Me,” it’ll turn out to be one of our favorites of the year, hands down.

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Brendan Benson

Apr
04

Download of the Week: Ravens & Chimes “Hearts of Palm”


If Ravens & Chimes‘ baroque pop sounds familiar on first listen, you’re probably a fan of Montreal acts such as Arcade Fire and Stars. Dig deeper, though, and you’ll hear strains of the Decemberists and even Nick Drake on the New York band’s pair of albums – their amazing 2007 debut, Reichenbach Falls, and its follow-up, Holiday Life (out April 3). The new record, several years in the making, is rich in subtle beauty and could likely turn out to be one of our favorites of 2012…an ideal soundtrack to spring days ahead.

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Ravens & Chimes

Mar
28

Download of the Week: Pyschic Babble “Five Fold Kiss”


Though he plays guitar in Philadelphia rock outfit Circa Survive, Colin Frangicetto clearly possesses a softer side. The music he creates on his own – recorded and released under the name Psychic Babble – is built around his reserved vocals and reflective songwriting, and we think it’s the ideal soundtrack to the few remaining cold nights of winter ahead. Visit Psychic Babble’s Facebook page to order the new album, My Brother’s Ears / My Sister’s Eyes, as well as for a free download of an earlier EP, My Own Stupid Mouth.

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Psychic Babble

Mar
21

Download of the Week: Eternal Summers “Able To”


Considering how we completely fell for Eternal Summers‘ most recent album, Silver, it should come as no surprise how excited we are for the Virginia trio’s upcoming release, The Dawn Of Eternal Summers. As the record’s title implies, it’s a collection of older tunes, starting with the band’s first EP (from 2009) and continuing through various other orphaned-out tracks, including a few choice covers by Guided By Voices and others. “Able To” perfectly captures Nicole Yun’s super-girly vocals and strummed guitar playing – an ideal tune for a sunny spring morning!

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Eternal Summers

Mar
14

Download of the Week: Erin Ivey “Amelia”


It says a great deal when Austin’s legendary music scene considers you its darling, but such is the case these days for velvet-voiced Erin Ivey. While the singer-songwriter’s past releases have toed a folk-rock line to one degree or another, Ivey recorded her latest album, Broken Gold, with R&B/dub organ trio the Finest Kind, a decision that’s yielded a slinkier sound well-suited for sunny spring days – in Texas or anywhere. Even though Broken Gold just came out in late February, we’re already huge fans…and we think you’ll be as well!

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Erin Ivey

Mar
07

Download of the Week: Work Drugs “Dirty Dreams”

At first glance, Work Drugs‘ own claim that they make music “specifically for dancing, yachting, sexting, and living” seems unbelievably cheeky…until you dig into their songs. At that point, their self-description becomes awfully apt. On singles such as “License To Drive” and “Daddy Bear,” the Philadelphia band channels the spirit of a less dramatic M83 and a warmer Radio Dept. to create music that we find undeniably sunny, yet hardly empty-headed. Visit their site for a handful of free downloads and fun videos, and follow them on Twitter for even more good stuff.

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Work Drugs

Feb
29

Download of the Week: Zambri – “ICBYS”

Zambri are actually sisters, Cristi Jo and Jessica, who have been creating music together since they were children, always using the Zambri name. Their newest release, Glossolalia, was released late last year and is the first album they consider to be entirely their own, doing things how they want, just the two of them. Most of the sounds on the EP are homemade, many of which are built from vocals, which is perhaps what inspired the title (Glossolalia means speaking in tongues). Dreamy, a little dark, and always interesting, we’re definitely going to follow what these ladies do next. Check out their wild new single “ICBYS” (pronounced Ick-Bees) and see what we’re talking about.

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Zambri

Feb
22

Download of the Week: Lissy Trullie “It’s Only You Isn’t It”


Since Lissy Trullie‘s 2009 EP Self-Taught Learner was one of our favorite debut records of the last few years, you know we’re super-excited that she’s finally about to put out a full-length release. Expect the upcoming self-titled album to feature another major dose of attitude, its infectious songs all fueled by Trullie’s signature brassy wail. This time around, the ex-model worked with a pair of top-tier producers – John Hill (Santigold, M.I.A., Shakira) and Dave Sitek (TV On The Radio, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Liars) – and laid down all tracks in their Los Angeles studios. Look for the album soon!

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Lissy Trullie

Feb
15

Download of the Week: La Sera “Please Be My Third Eye”

Katy Goodman – a.k.a. La Sera – of Vivian Girls has been one of our favorites since we picked up last year’s self-titled debut LP, so even though her new record won’t be released until late March, we love what we’ve heard so much that we can’t keep quiet about it. The album, Sees The Light, contains ten of the most upbeat songs you’ll likely ever hear about that age-old songwriter subject, the almighty breakup. Whether it’s pushing forward, finding strength in yourself and your friends, or simply staying positive, the album offers no shortage of lyrical ideas for how to best move on – all driven by infectious melodies, breakneck rhythms, and Goodman’s sweet vocals.

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La Sera