Articles posted in July 2011

Say you trust me

Wot are you fookin lookin at?
Oh hey, the Pack a.d. has a new album coming out. Unpersons drops on September 13 through Mint.

The first single is “Sirens,” and it finds the duo in exceptionally badass form. It abandons the band’s usual bluesy sound is favour of straight-up garage rock, uncharacteristically melodic vocals and textured production. We likely have iconic Detroit producer Jim Diamond to thank for that.

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I want to buy you something

It was a really fucking comfortable couch
One of my favourite artists of 2010 has just announced a new album. The Drums will drop Portamento on September 12 via Island (in the UK, at least). Overly self-aware new wave aping aside, I still listen to the band’s self-titled debut a lot, so I’m pretty jazzed about this.

I wrote an Exclaim! story when the title leaked. Now, the single “Money” is here. It’s a little darker and more atmospheric than the band’s past work, but it’s still a buoyant and blissful pop tune, mainly thanks to the fact that it’s about a million BPM (give or take a few). It’s filled with gorgeous production touches: the synth plunks during the intro, the percussive vocal gasps, the cavernous kick drum at 2:21. I love this!

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I skated on a frozen sea

Real Estate pose with real estate
Get ready to have a totally laid back fall: Real Estate is releasing the album Days on October 18 via Domino. The new single is called “It’s Real,” and you can check it out in the widget below. With its watery guitar effects and warm, reverb-y production, this is just as dreamy as the band’s previous work.

These fancy widgets are sure getting popular, aren’t they?

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Hope is a real thing

Tape, natch
Frederick Squire‘s new album is called Frederick Squire Sings Shenandoah and Other Popular Hits. Wait, he sings what? I’ve never heard of “Shenandoah,” but Wikipedia tells me that it’s an old folk song. Huh.

Well, “popular hits” or not, this one is still well worth checking out. As a member of Daniel, Fred & Julie, Squire has already proved that he’s a master of vintage folk. The slow, eerie “All Things Past Serve to Guide You on Your Way” is no exception. Hear Squire’s dusky baritone below.

Frederick Squire Sings Shenandoah and Other Popular Hits is out now via Blue Fog.

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They don’t make no love

Are you guys friends?
Last night, I reviewed the massive Summer Live concert in Stanley Park for the Georgia Straight. It was a blast.

Below, check out a rare track from headliner Mother Mother. I had never actually listened to this extra cut from 2008′s O My Heart sessions until this morning (although I believe I may have heard it live at some point). It’s a buoyant pop rocker that sounds like classic Mother Mother.

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Everyone out here is so high

If you're rated X
The new album by the Rosebuds is a bit of heartbreaker, isn’t it? Entitled Low Planes Fly Low, it’s all about band founders Kelly Crisp and Ivan Howard getting divorced. Kind of a drag? Yeah, but it’s also beautiful and insightful.

Here’s the song “Woods,” which is one of the louder songs on the melancholic LP. It’s also one of the only ones that’s not explicitly about divorce (at least as far as I can tell). Thanks to One Thirty BPM for the stream.

I interviewed Kelly Crisp for the Georgia Straight.

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Please read between the lines

Big fans of Sparke and Fade
Vancouver’s Redbird recently released an EP with the gloomy, fatalistic title We’re All Friends and Lovers Until It Falls Apart. Bummed out? Don’t be. “No Game” is a catchy pop rock tune, building from a quiet intro to a brisk, dance-y groove that’s laced with chiming guitar licks. The slight overdrive on the guitars gives this tune just a hint of grit.

Check out the EP over at Bandcamp.

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When I am buried in the ground

Attention fans: Dan Mangan's new plan
When I interviewed Dan Mangan for Exclaim! a few months back, he promised that his new album, Oh Fortune, would be more experimental and noisy than 2009′s Nice, Nice, Very Nice.

The title track, however, isn’t much of a departure. “Oh Fortune” sounds more or less like Mangan’s past work, expect for the explosive drums, which are placed jarringly high in the mix. Get it below, and read my preview of Oh Fortune here.

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Going to the corner store

Plotting a candy raid
Bollocks to concussions! On Thursday night I was at a show and fainted due to low blood pressure. The Tasmanian nurse at the hospital didn’t say anything about a concussion, but it’s four days later and I’m still dizzy and can’t think properly.

Here’s a Monday morning (well, afternoon) pick-me-up from Kidstreet. It’s called “Penny Candy,” and it’s a comically speedy electropop tune about buying candy from the corner store. I’m pretty sure the vocal track is sped up, but maybe the band just ate way too much candy.

This is the B-side to the band’s new digital single, “Birthday Boy,” which is out now through Nettwerk. Go to Exclaim! to read the article I wrote about the band’s past EP.

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Let’s go to the beach

Staring contest
When I interviewed Shimmering Stars singer Rory McClure for the Georgia Straight, he advised me to listen to the Vancouver band Dizzy Eyes. It was a good tip, since “Let’s Break Up the Band” is one of the catchiest tunes I’ve heard in ages. It’s a sugary, noise-soaked stomper, but what really makes it great is the thrilling vocal performance of frontman Alejandro Constanzo. He’s scarcely singing a melody, but his Jagger-esque (ha!) shouts ooze with charisma.

This is the A-side of the band’s 7″ for Hardly Art.

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