Minneapolis-based Polica (@thisispolica) is the musical culmination of GAYNGS members Channy Leanagh and Ryan Olson, who realized their collaborative potential when touring with the outfit in 2010. The duo’s sound is a blend of electronic-heavy pop and soulful R&B. Leanagh also uses her vocals consciously as an instrument, applying filters and employing repetition for impact. Backed by ethereal textures of sound and thumping [READ ON]
For some time now, the ever elusive “they” have told us that lightning never strikes twice. After listening to Sleigh Bells (@sleighbells) sophomore effort Reign of Terror on repeat, though, I’m inclined to disagree. Alexis Krauss and Derek Miller shot into the hearts and ear-drums of many back in 2010 with their debut Treats. A sonic exploration of 90′s guitar shredding, big beats and sharp stabbing vocals, the pair’s genre bending antics [READ ON]
Hailing from Athens, Georgia, and now LA based, electrorock-pop oufit Reptar (@reptarathens) have released their new single “Sebastian” from their debut Body Faucet, following a lengthy collaboration between Vagrant Records and veteran producer Ben Allen. The song expertly splices together a plethora of fun, industrialized videogame pop, a Bladerunner-esque opening and a bouncy, disjointed Kooks chorus. This bizarre [READ ON]
Week’s Top Releases The Albums You Need to Know About Every Week
Update: We mistakingly listed Alex Winston’s King Con as being released today. That album is actually coming out on April 10. Sorry!
Featuring music that spans the indie pop spectrum, this leap year week’s new albums are definitely a bit on the eclectic side. From the 80s-tinged sounds of School Of Seven Bells, Ava Luna and We Have Band, to the more gleeful Alex Winston and folk-pop Fanfarlo, this is a great opportunity to explore some on-the [READ ON]
Suggested NYC Concerts The Best Indie Shows Hand-picked Each Week
There are many times when it’s wonderful to live in New York City, yet few times are quite as amazing as these next fews weeks, a time when tons and tons of amazing bands come through town before they make their way down to Austin, Texas for SXSW. It does make sense, what better way to build up some hype before the year’s most important [READ ON]
Monday Threesome Like a Pandora Station but Better
This installment will examine a trio of artists who have all worked together in the past and all released exemplary records in 2011, each rooted in a similar sonic landscape. All three albums relied heavily on a consistent vibe of textural, layered, and interlocking guitar melodies, often soaked in a smoky, reverb-laden haze. I’ve always been drawn to records that sound cohesive and timeless — this threesome nailed that concept.
Kurt Vile (@therealkurtvile) has been a key cog in the Philadelphia indie rock scene since the mid-2000’s, releasing records primarily rooted in garage rock with a nod to the classics (Springsteen, Petty, etc). Following this initial local success, his profile took a significant upturn in 2009 when he signed to Matador and released Childish Prodigy to critical acclaim. 2011’s Smoke Ring For My Halo, though, was what truly helped him make the leap. I remember hearing that Vile would be doing an in-store at Academy Records in Brooklyn on the day the record dropped. I sauntered over expecting to hear a loud, muddy set through a bad PA system. Boy, was I wrong. It was just him with an acoustic guitar, delicately finger-picking gorgeous melodies beneath poignant lyrics. I immediately bought the record, which would soon become my favorite of the year. The guitar work throughout Smoke Ring For My Halo is masterful. Check out a Take Away Show clip of “Baby’s Arms” to feel the song’s hazy warmth with layer after layer of pleasant guitar melodies. This collection of songs feels tied together in perpetuity, which is a damn good quality for a record to have.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Kurt Vile was a founding member of another great Philadelphia band. What band you ask?
The War On Drugs (@warondrugsjams) was formed by Philly natives Adam Granduciel and Kurt Vile over a shared love of Bob Dylan. While beloved on the regional scene, the band was reluctant to tour and thus had difficulty gaining national attention. This didn’t prevent them from getting signed to a respected indie label, though — Secretly Canadien inked the band and released their debut record Wagonwheel Blues in 2008. The band has always consisted of several shifting members, and this trend continued when Kurt Vile left to pursue a solo career. Granduciel kept the spirit of the group intact, though, which brought us their 2011 album, Slave Ambient. I would be hard-pressed to find two albums by two different artists that sound so sonically similar yet triumphantly unique as TWOD’sSlave Ambient and Vile’s Smoke Ring For My Halo. Tracks like “Brothers” (video below) display just how closely these groups are intertwined. The War On Drugs are a phenomenal live band as well, having stolen the show when they opened for The National at The Beacon Theatre in December.
Real Estate (@realestateband) shares some tangential connections to the artists above, having released content, along with Vile, on the imprint Woodist and toured as his support. The reason they’re present in this Monday Threesome, though, is the sound of their most recent release Days. I was familiar with the band after their critically lauded, self-titled 2009 debut, but I felt largely indifferent towards them. It wasn’t until a lazy afternoon spent browsing at a record shop that they caught my ear in a good way. I actually thought I was hearing an unreleased instrumental b-side from Smoke Ring over the store’s speakers. I’ll admit, the album hasn’t moved me as strongly as those of the aforementioned projects, but few have, and this is still a fantastic record. The layered guitars that swirl and double back are expertly arranged, and the percussion stands out as simple yet remarkably refined. The instrumental that I heard in the store is called “Kinder Blumen”, and most definitely fits the vibe of this threesome. Another gem from this Ridgewood, NJ outfit is “Out Of Tune”, with the intricate layering of guitars, both strumming and finger-picking. There is a resonance to Days’ sound that contributes to the cohesiveness of the album and puts them in some great company.
#FF is a weekly series of posts from The Wild Honey Pie where we suggest one music-related person for you to follow on Twitter and tell you why they’re so great.
It’s no surprise that former SNL cast member Jenny Slate (@jennyslate25) is hilarious on Twitter. The chick who co-created Marcel the Shell with Shoes On tweets a mix of jokes and hilariously dry observations. From thoughts on the pubic hair of people with dreadlocks to pictures of texts from her fiancé, the tweets are [READ ON]
I doubt that anything could go better with the music of Beirut than a dance hall full of hard drinking soldiers and nurses. Shot in black and white and with the added bonus of chicken chasing and eyeball magic tricks, the video for “Vagabond” is, well, perfectly Beirut. There’s some smoking, drinking, vomiting and shots of the lovely Zach Condon signing in a very sharp suit — in other words, there’s a lot of awesome. We love the video for “Vagabond” as much as we love the song, so if you haven’t picked up last years The Rip Tide yet, you really should. Otherwise, you’re sending a message to people that you don’t like good music.
Lots of people talk about music being the “soundtrack to their lives”, and while it’s true that certain songs and lyrics seem to perfectly capture the daily trials and emotions of the human condition, life’s more mundane activities could use some background tunes as well. Enter Air Drops(@air_drops), the project of a mysteriously elusive 21-year-old college student from Pennsylvania. Air Drops creates song structures that give an equal amount of weight to every element. Even vocals are treated as an additional instrument, blending into the overall [READ ON]