Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Nov MP3 Drop Two

November 26, 2013

Lotta good stuff trying to cram its way into 2013! Here’s a varied mix.

1. “No Sleep Tonight” – Family Cave. The precision of indie-pop, the aesthetics of indie-rock, and the mood of indie-folk create an incredibly intriguing tune. Watch for Family Cave in 2014.

2. “Keep It Together” – Decent Lovers. Not a cover of a Guster tune, this DL jam is ironically pretty separated and hectic. It’s held together by a strong mood and a deep internal rhythm. Elijah Wyman is getting better and better at this really unique style of pop.

3. “Travelin’ Home (On Another Christmas Eve)” – Peter Galperin. If you’ve ever wondered what a bossa nova Christmas sounds like, Galperin has got your back with this charming, hummable tune.

4. “Don’t Shoot the Messenger” – Miles Hewitt. Reminiscent of ’60s and ’70s protest rock, Hewitt combines old and new into a hypnotic mix.

5. “Belfast” – William Steffey. Takes cues from Oasis with dashes of Portishead and Blur, this tune sounds completely British but is totally from Chicago.

6. “Heartbreakers” – Tomorrows. The Jim Ivins Band rebrands and revamps, moving from an adult-pop template to sounds more akin to Anberlin’s early modern rock. The prominence of vocal melodies has not changed, which is good.

7. “Love Is Not Allowed” – Gap Dream. Obligatory Eno namecheck. Aside from that, this is a gorgeous, swirling mass of analog-sounding synths, modulated vocals, and electronic drums that makes me swoon.

8. “Get In It” – Nyteowl. Funky, spacey, mostly-instrumental R&B. “Do you want to get in it?” Yes. Yes, I do.

9. “Get Down Baby” – Blacktop Daisy. You’ve got to hand it to a band which unabashedly labels its music disco. No violins here, but those harmonies!

10. “Can’t Let Go” – Black Checker. This pop-rock-punk tune comes from an EP called Fast. Yup, that’s pretty much all you need to know.

11. “The Ah Ah Song” – Stand Up and Say No. I miss the days when The Flaming Lips made jubilant, illogical, bright pop tunes. This joyful, exuberant pop-rock tune is exactly that.

12. “Ain’t No Sunshine” – Magi. This Bill Withers cover is minimalist lo-fi glory: the distant recording, the raw passion in the imperfect vocals, the deep sense of mood.

Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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