Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

ENERGY AND STUFF

January 15, 2014

My last MP3 drop was pretty chill. Here’s some decidedly energetic MP3s to get you through the middle of the week.

ENERGY AND STUFF

1. “The Scope of All This Rebuilding” – The Hotelier. Let’s take a moment to appreciate the incredible title of the album this comes from: Home, like Noplace Is There. Then appreciate the frantic, emotionally charged, complex arrangements of this mile-a-minute pop-punk rager. It’s a workout, y’all.

2. “On Your Own” – Germany Germany. Clubby house with some neat synths and a great nighttime vibe? SECRET TECHNO FAN EMERGES!

3. “Tear Your Hate Apart” – Monks of Mellonwah. I cover hardly any modern rock, but man–these guys know what’s up. Interpol-esque moods, great falsetto, and strong control of atmosphere call up Muse comparions, but without the proggy bloat.

4. “Here We Go Again” – King Champion Sounds. The line between punk and post-punk is muddied here by horns that aspire to stay out of ska territory by being textural and integral to the sound.

5. “Evergreen (Feat. I AM DIVE)” – Brunetto. Moody electro incorporating fractured breakbeats, muscly tones, and some chill vocals (for contrast).

6. “Pulsing (Feat. Nina K)” – Tomas Barfod. You’re driving on an empty highway through a major metropolitan area at 4 a.m. This perfectly titled electro track is playing on the stereo.

7. “How Do You Know” – Scary Little Friends. Neil Young guitars, skyscraping vocals, and a ragtag alt-country feel propel this tune to great heights.

8. “Head for the Hills” – Night Beds. Night Beds can do no wrong so far, as the folky troubadour gives us a few triumphant indie-rock moments here. Give your ears a rest and enjoy this one.

Alt Your Country Are Belong to Us

February 25, 2013

February-April is Spring release season, and there’s always more than I can cover as a single man. However, I can mitigate this partially through mixtapes! Today I’ve got a folk/country one; tomorrow I have an indie-pop-rock one.

Alt Your Country Are Belong to Us

1. “You Don’t Know Better Than Me” – Luke Winslow-King. Easy-going folk/country vibe hits some New Orleans swing with gorgeous results.
2. “Beneath the Willow Tree” – The Lonesome Outfit. This yearning, gospel-inflected country tune features great vocals.
3. “Grandstanders” – Sunjacket. Carl Hauck is in a band? Of course it’s wonderful. Fans of Animal Collective and My Morning Jacket will enjoy this moody, rumbling, intricate tune.
4. “Ramona” – Night Beds. Everyone’s all up in Night Beds. They are totally right.
5. “Fall With You” – Mikaela Kahn. Snare shuffle, a beautiful voice and a strong mood: yup, you’ve sold me.
6. “Griping” – Dear Blanca. The horns and vocals in this song are absolutely excellent.
7. “Secret” – Time Travels. If there is clapping and singing in your song, I will cheer. This jaunty, indie-pop by way of alt-country tune makes me cheer.
8. “Junior Year” – Case Closed. A little bit country, a little bit pop-punk, a little bit The Format.

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

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