Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Non-fruited Summer Jams: A Mixtape

July 12, 2012

I haven’t done one of these in a while, but I haven’t been this behind on singles in a while either. It’s time for a mixtape.

1. “Zambezi” – Tinashé. Not new, but this incredible, enthusiastic pop tune is new to me.
2. “It Goes On” – Tin Can Radio. Mid ’00s dance-rock meets Tokyo Police Club-esque pop-rock. And they’re Australian!
3. “Lady Percy” – King Charles. If you don’t hear summer in this, I don’t think summer is in you. It’s either the steel drums or his impeccable clothes.
4. “Burn Out” – Youth Sounds. Cheery, dream-haze synth-pop cut through with direct vocals and pushing drums, which takes it to the next level.
5. “Samar” – The Clouds (Jakarta). Jangly, airy and lightweight, the Indonesian indie-pop band’s name matches this tune.
6. “Jukebox” – Oceanics. Remember The Cribs? Perky British mid ’00s indie-rock? Take out some of the sneering, and here’s your Aussie equivalent. Fun track.
7. Black Horses – Charlotte & Magon. Haunting indie-rock that has silent movie drama, trip-hop tension and enveloping female vocals.
8. “Love is a Devil” – Laneway. These Aussies know how to make pitch-perfect, dark American country music. Shiver-inducing.
9. “Kingston” – Corduroy Kids. When Jack Baton’s voice is in his low register, he can make a folk song sound ominous and mournful at the same time.
10. “Zambezi (Mbira Version)” – Tinashé. The energetic tune gets a quiet, pensive rendition via the gorgeous, mesmerizing tones of the mbira.

Awesome jams

April 24, 2012

Rifftastic Austin magic meets West Coast tour funkiness in Megafauna’s “Touch the Lion” video. Everyone wins.

Fool’s Gold unleashes sure-fire mixtape magic with “The Dive.” If African influences and orange-tinted summer videos ever fall out of style, it will be a sad, sad day at IC HQ.

Dirt bike wheelies on the freeway, dudes hip-hop dancing, and a vaguely ’80s cast to the whole thing? Sign me up for the video to Phoebe Jean and the Air Force’s electro jam “Day is Gone.”

Charlotte and Magon have been batting 1.000 with their pensive, trip-hop-esque indie rock. Depending on your aesthetic, “Dice” is yet another grand slam or a complete strikeout. I suppose it depends on how you feel about absurdist adventures in the desert.

Blue-collars

January 30, 2012

Red Wanting Blue is the personification of the blue-collar road warrior band. Since 1996, the band has been cranking out melodic rock’n’roll/pop that fits neatly next to Counting Crows—which is a great thing in my book, as I know almost every word of August and Everything After. RWB’s newest, From the Vanishing Point, just broke into the Heatseekers chart at #10, which is a hard-earned spot for a band that’s worked diligently for so long. As my Dad quips, “One of these years I’ll be an overnight success.” Here’s their video for the ridiculously catchy “Audition.”

Charlotte & Magon have been charming me for a while (exhibits A, B, C and D), and “The Mining” is no different. The tense, sparse tune draws from trip-hop, electro-pop and post-punk before bursting into a wicked guitar solo. Yes, a guitar solo. They’re ratcheting up for the release later this year of their “magnum opus, rock novel” Life Factory, which is “the story of the working man in search of hope and truth.”

Mesmerizers

November 21, 2011

I’ve been tracking the haunting, spare, organic music of Charlotte & Magon for some time now, and it just keeps getting more beautiful.

Charlotte & Magon – Modern Times (official video) from Charlotte&Magon on Vimeo.

This hypnotic, entrancing video somehow fits with Joakim’s weird and wild dance track; I seriously stopped thinking about everything else in my life and just focused on this video the first time I saw it. YOU KNOW HOW HARD THAT IS. But this video makes it so easy.

Robert Deeble’s gentle, knowing acoustic shuffle on “Heart Like Feathers” feels like putting on a warm sweater. Also mentioned in the press was “inspired by G.K. Chesterton,” which is pretty much an auto-listen in these parts.

Robert Deeble – Heart Like Feathers – Digital Single by fanaticpro

PJ Bond sounds like a more desperate Rocky Votolato (!) and that’s because of his punk-rawk background (phew). He’s playing acoustic tunes now and circling the globe, but he stopped off in Lynchburg, VA, long enough to record a live take of “I’m in a Bad Way.” That link jumps to the MP3, hosted by Alt Press.

Single: Charlotte & Magon's 'Modern Times'

January 28, 2011

This stark, genreless tune from Charlotte & Magon will stick in your head, even without the sparse, haunting video. The clouds of breath that Charlotte makes only enhance the ghostly feel. It’s like Two Gallants without the drums and a female singer. I know that sounds like a stretch, but yeah. That’s what I’ve got. Comparisons aside, it’s a brilliant track, and it makes me look forward to their not-so-soon-forthcoming album.

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

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