Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Spring/Summer MP3 mix

February 24, 2014

Part two of this seasonal MP3 mix sees me getting antsy with the quietness I usually cover and jonesing for some big, brash rock and pop sounds.

Spring/Summer

1. “Fourth of July” – Zoo Brother. This unabashedly summery indie-pop cut starts off with fireworks blasting.

2. “What Love Looks Like” – Rebecca Roubion. Are you tired of pristine, joyful folk-pop from guy/girl duos like the Weepies and Jenny & Tyler? ME NEITHER.

3. “Sun Models (Feat. Madelyn Grant)” – ODESZA. Even post-dub artsy electronic groups are getting in on the summery vibes. I am thoroughly on board with this upbeat, airy track.

4. “High Times” – Blonde Summer. This one’s just a gimme, you know? Excellent summery pop here, complete with awesome video.

5. “Modern Romance” – The Forty Nineteens. The joke on this one is that this is a ’50s-style rock’n’roll band with heavy surf influences singing about modern things. Modern when? Who cares. Summer on.

6. “I’m a Freak” – Wise Girl. The components of this song are exclusively big guitars, loud drums, a bass guitar (I think?), and female vocals. I love power-pop.

7. “Killing Time” – The Mirror Trap. Big, brash, Killers-esque rock, because nothing says springtime to me like humongous synths. Chase winter away.

8. “Hex X.O.” – North by North. Rock swagger, flamboyant vocals, and dramatic flair (a la My Chemical Romance) make this track total road trip fun.

9. “Alabama Movies” – Skating Polly. If your version of summertime driving includes snarling, female-fronted grunge, Oklahomans Skating Polly need to be on your radar.

10. “Bulash” – Walrus. Ain’t no summer without woozy, off-kilter psych.

January Video Jam Part 2

January 28, 2014

Kris Orlowski’s clip for “Believer” reminds me of Arcade Fire’s visual aesthetics. The song is a much louder indie-rock than he’s previously put out, and the guitar-heavy backdrop frames his vocals beautifully.

WolfCryer is on a hot streak, even while walking around in the snow playing a guitar. (“Sparrow”)

Okay, no dancers here. But this is a really, really good surrealist montage; bands try to do this all the time, but most fail. This one is mesmerizing, irresistible, and truly bizarre.

Yuri’s Accident – Lights from Yuri's Accident on Vimeo.

A crazy party in reverse. (“My Friends Never Die” – ODESZA)

Mini-mix: Dark and Lovely

September 24, 2013

Quick mix to clear out the queue!

Dark and Lovely

1. “If There’s Time” – Odesza. Chilled-out post-dub with some trip-hop vibes. In other words, let’s jump in the car and be real cinematic about this.
2. “Parade of Youth” – Ponychase. The art for this track is a cassette tape, because this dreamy new wave/synth-pop jam is the sort of thing we were putting on plastic love notes to each other in the mid-’80s.
3. “Goldleaf” – RCRDS. Once existential dread hit the ’80s, then RCRDS’ ears perked up. Check out that analog bass magic.
4. “Start Something New” – Devotion. Then along came shoegaze, which was the other thing that the ’80s spit out besides grunge. The vibe here is golden.
5. “Flowers” – Humfree Bug Art. Killers + Funeral-era Arcade Fire = wonderful.
6. “The Photo Line” – Pale Houses. Remember the first time you heard “Transatlanticism” by Death Cab for Cutie and it was the most important thing that had happened in the whole day? “The Photo Line” is like that.

Tea, Maps and Noah: An Odds and Ends Jam

February 21, 2013

I was a judge for the latest round of SpinTunes! Check out the tunes!

Ben Fisher is doing a Kickstarter to raise funds for a new album. Noah Gunderson will be helming the project!

Tea for Tyrants is a project that pairs green tea and indie music. How has this not happened already? This is awesome.

Here’s some joyful, intricate indie rock from Maps and Atlases. How can you not love this?

I can’t explain why I’m suddenly so into artsy, dubby electronica, but hey, at least I can explain that I love fireworks because of their mystery.

Dreamy Winters Mix

February 9, 2013

So our Kickstarter is going splendidly, as we’re 84% funded after less than 48 hours of being open. The rapid success thrills and humbles me, as this little project (and by extension, I) have been the recipient of much generosity over the last two days.

But even with golden days about us, there’s still work to be done! Here’s a large mix of solid singles that have floated my way recently.

Dreamy Winters Mix

1. “Make Believe” – Sleepy Tea. The ease with which Sleepy Tea pulls off nuanced confidence made me sit up and take notice. Put your radar on for this band.
2. “Fields” – Tiger Waves. Hazy, gauzy, chilled-out indie-pop reminiscent of The Shins.
3. “Lead Balloon” – Carroll. Calm, quirky tune reminiscent of Grandaddy, recent Death Cab, and even a bit of Tokyo Police Club.
4. “Spinoza” – Generationals. Seriously, what type of world are we in that Generationals isn’t adored?
5. “Glowing” – Dream Curtain. Didn’t we call this chillwave once upon a time? Whatever it’s called, I still love it.
6. “Burn It Down” – Dark Colour. For a second I felt like I was in a LCD Soundsystem track, which is about the highest compliment I can give a dance track.
7. “Mysterieux” – White Blush. If you hadn’t guessed, I’m getting seriously into downtempo, pretty music. Or maybe the world is just catching up with something I always loved.
8. “Locks and Keys” – Glyphs. Beautiful, intriguing Postal Service-esque electro-pop with a perfectly corresponding video. I can’t wait to hear more from this band.
9. “Don’t Stop” – Odesza. Got some trip-hop, Portishead-esque vibes going on in this instrumental.
10. “I Remember the World Begin to Sway” – Antennas to Heaven. Named after a Godspeed You! Black Emperor album, Antennas to Heaven deliver some slow-building, post-rock beauty.
11. “I’ve Got the Feeling We’re Not in Kansas Anymore” – I Used to Be a Sparrow. The jubilation of post-rock meets the concrete vocal melodies of indie-rock in a powerful tune. Totally stoked for their new record.
12. “Peace In The Valley” – Cliff Dweller. Old-timey gospel? And beautifully, unabashedly so.

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

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