Articles posted in September 2011

I Break Horses – “Hearts”

I Break Horses
Sweden’s I Break Horses has been getting a lot of press lately, but I had never actually listened to the band until Chris from Indie Music Filter convinced me to, mainly because I was turned off the by the name. (I can’t help it: my girlfriend works with horses and has told me unpleasant stories about people who have treated animals poorly.)

But what’s in a name? That which we call I Break Horses, by any other name would still make sweet music. Below is the shoegazing electro pop winner “Hearts,” which begins with clubby synths before going widescreen with a blurry wash of reverb. Gorgeous.

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Humans – “The End”

On Sunday, I went to Bon Iver and Jorge Garcia (AKA Hurley from Lost) was sitting a few seats in front of me. Jealous?

On an entirely unrelated note, Vancouver electro duo Humans seem to be gaining a foothold here in their hometown with their sweaty, dance party-inducing live shows. The band’s latest release isn’t exactly a hedonistic club jam, however. “The End” is an instrumental folktronica track with cinematic overtones that range from spaghetti western to blood-curdling slasher.

Below, you can watch the gory (read: totally gross) horror movie-style music video. This track is part of a new two-song single, which you can check out here.

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Lightning Dust – “Never Again”

Lightning Dust
Now that Black Mountain seems to have wound down for the time being, Amber Webber and Joshua Wells are back with more Lightning Dust material. Here’s the moody “Never Again,” which is carried by expansive synths, echoing electro beats and Webber’s quivering vocals.

This comes from the duo’s new split 7″ with Hard Drugs, which is coming out October 4 through the Storyboard Label. Go to Exclaim! for more.

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Atlas Sound – “Terra Incognita”

Atlas Sound
Bradford Cox is one of the most consistent songwriters in indie rock. Since 2007, he’s released three Deerhunter LPs (not including Weird Era Cont.) plus two Atlas Sound solo albums and a smattering of smaller releases, and they’ve all been pretty awesome.

He will releases Parallax as Atlas Sound on November 7. Go to Exclaim! to read more. The low-key, acoustic guitar-driven “Terra Incognita” is below.

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Brasstronaut – “Opportunity”

Vancouver ensemble Brasstronaut just put out a free digital EP. The title track is “Opportunity” and it’s a dance-worthy electro cut that’s a departure from the band’s jazz and baroque-tinged past work (although this is still pretty jazzy).

I interviewed frontman Edo Van Breemen about the EP (and the impending sophomore LP) for Exclaim!, so check that out for more. Also, kudos to the band for coming up with a genuinely twisted promotional photo (see it to the left).

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Blood Diamonds – “Dreams”

Blood Diamonds
Blood Diamonds is the record alias of Mike Tucker, and he’s become Vancouver’s latest buzz-generator. (Don’t worry, Dirty Beaches, this town is big enough for both of you.) Tucker’s music is woozy, reverb-hazed electro pop with a distinct R&B influence. Given the recent success of like minded acts like How to Dress Well and the Weeknd, it’s no surprise that he’s found some traction in the blogosphere. I’m pretty sure I saw this dude at the Waldorf last weekend. He’s hard to miss.

The single “Dreams” is below.

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Jon McKiel – “Strands”

Jon McKiel
It’s not so long since we last heard from Halifax songwriter Jon McKiel. His new single, “Strands,” reminds me a bit of something that could have appeared on Chad VanGaalen‘s latest LP. It’s slow but noisy, with a straightforward guitar rock style that’s augmented by a subtle undercurrent of weirdness (in this case, distant blips and bleeps that sound as if they’re coming from a mid-’90s home computer). The production is brittle and no-bullshit, and the vocals are hauntingly double-tracked.

Go to Exclaim! to read about McKiel’s upcoming Tonka War Cloud.

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Dog Day – “Part Girl”

Dog Day
Alliterative east coast outfit Dog Day has a new album called Deformer out, and the initial run is available in a glow-in-dark package. This is why I still enjoy music in physical formats. I dare you to find your MP3s at nighttime in a power outage.

The lead single is called “Part Girl,” and it’s a “Waiting for the Man”-style stomp which eventually turns into a fuzzy pop rocker. What really carries this dark and stormy tune are the looming, subtly echoing vocals of Seth Smith. Deformer is the band’s first album since becoming a duo, and the stripped-down approach works excellently here.

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Blouse – “Videotapes”

Do you like the Angelo Badalamenti-composed soundtrack to Twin Peaks? Of course you do. Everyone does. Proof is here and here.

That’s why you should listen to Blouse, a Portland-based band that concocts a similarly synth-heavy sense of gothic drama. The new single “Videotapes” comes from the band’s upcoming self-titled debut, and it features lots of wonky pitch warping alongside the band’s usual woozy pop stylings. Go to Exclaim! to learn more about it.

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