[Album Stream] Mansions On The Moon – Mansions on the Moon

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There’s no hiding the fact that we’ve become just a little bit enamored with alt-pop Casanovas Mansions on the Moon. And on that note, we’ve been waiting ever so patiently for their debut long-player like good little ninjas for just slightly over four years now. Yesterday, the So-Cal ensemble finally released their self-titled album and truthfully, some of us have been looping it for just over 24 hours straight. We’ve previously covered a handful of singles -“Radio”, “The Truth”, “Don’t Tell”, “Somewhere Else Tonight”, “Heart Of The Moment”- but our ears have obviously been a bit more glued to the cuts in which we had never previously consumed including “Take A Ride”, “Notice Me” and “All There Is”. We got lead vocalist Ted Wendler to say a few words about each of the ten tracks contained within Mansions On The Moon, and here’s what one of our favorite indie-pop crooners graced us with:

1. “Radio” was written in response to growing pressure for the band to write a breakout radio pop single.  We set out to create a poppy track that ironically spoke of the growing lack of unoriginality in radio pop music today.

2. We wrote “Don’t Tell” while we were stranded in Scranton, Pennsylvania because our northeast coast dates were cancelled due to super storm Sandy.  We set up a studio in the hotel and made lemonade out of lemons.
3. “Somewhere Else Tonight” has been with the band for a very long time.  We’ve been playing it live for two years while we not so patiently waited for the completion of our first full length album.
4. “Where You Are” started with an instrumental foundation laid down by TRAKGIRL. Ted used a TC Helicon processor to achieve the robotic sound of the vocals.  Then we went hambodian in the studio to take it to where it is now.
5.  The lyrics for “Take A Ride” were written in Missoula Montana in 2006, the instrumental was completed with Paper Diamond in Boulder Colorado and the vocals were finally recorded in a closet in Los Feliz.
6. Ted first recorded the vocals for “Notice Me” over an acoustic arrangement.  The band, along with Sunny Norway and David Ott, used the original acapellas and took the song to a completely different space.  Maybe someday we will release the original acoustic version.
7. “The Truth” was the last song we wrote for the album.  Lane was insistent that it needed to be included in the release.  After Baby Jeff laid down the P-Funk the deal was sealed.
8. “Heart Of The Moment”  was written by our bassist Jeff and inspired by a spiritual revelation. We played the track for Zee Avi while hanging out at a friend’s apartment in downtown LA. She graciously accepted our request to sing on the song.  The version appearing on the album is remixed, re-arranged and remastered from its original release.
9. On “All There Is” Ben wrote the instrumental foundation for his mom as a birthday present.  Then Ted used this to write the lyrics.  We hope to inspire people to revisit forgotten dreams and goals they had in their youth, no matter how impossible they may seem.

10. Ted wrote “Time” while house sitting in the mountain town of Roanoke Virginia.  He spent that month prolifically writing and recording while a English bulldog named Oscar snored in the  background.

And there you have it. Now that you’ve got a bit of insight into the psyche of Mansions as they wrote their first album, take just under forty minutes and listen to their worthy entry into the LP format in its entirety below.

Radio
Dont Tell
Somewhere Else Tonight
Where You Are
Take A Ride
Notice Me
The Truth
Heart Of The Moment (ft. Zee Avi)
All There Is
Time (ft. Codi Caraco)
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[TMN Exclusive Interview] A Conversation with Ásgeir at Treasure Island Music Festival

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Ásgeir
Dýrð í dauðaþögn

At this point, it’s far from a secret that Iceland produces some of the most uniquely talented musicians in the world. Acts like Sigur Ros, Bjork and, more recently, Of Monsters and Men have solidified the international awareness of Iceland’s magical music scene. Although each artist brings something vastly different to the table, there does seem to be a sort of ethereal, mythological nature that ties them all together.

In 2012, Icelandic folktronica artist Ásgeir emerged in his home country with his debut album, Dýrð í dauðaþögn, which broke the record for best-selling debut in Iceland surpassing some of his immensely successful predecessors. The ten-track project features Ásgeir’s phenomenal oft-falsetto Icelandic vocals over folky guitar and subtle electronic elements, most notably employed in the bouncy ”Leyndarmál” (later adopted in English as “King and Cross”). With his album owned by nearly 1 in 10 people in Iceland, Ásgeir took to spreading his music to a broader audience by releasing a fully English-translated version titled In the Silence earlier this year taking him around the world touring.

We had a chance to catch up with Ásgeir’s after his incredible set at this year’s Treasure Island Festival to discuss his musical background, home country and plans for the future. Give the conversation a read below and make sure to keep Ásgeir on your radar.

TMN: Tell us a bit about your first experiences with music and how you got started.

Ásgeir: I started playing guitar when I was about 6. My first guitar was a classical guitar and my parents are classically educated so I went to school pretty early playing classical guitar. Pretty soon after that, I started having an interest in writing songs. Then, I started listening to rock and grunge music. I eventually wanted to play electric guitar and started forming different bands. It pretty much started with my family who had a lot to do with encouraging me.

 TMN: What were some of the artists that you were listening to a lot growing up?

Ásgeir: I went through different periods. From 6 to 11, it was all Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Metallica and that kind of stuff. At the same time, I was playing classical guitar and I didn’t really feel connected to the instrument until I grew up more at 13 or 14. At that time, I started listening to more folk artists. I got my first acoustic guitar with steel strings and that’s where I kind of found country music. Johnny Cash was one of my favorites and an Icelandic artist Mugison. Sigur Ros was always one of my favorites as well as Sufjan Stevens and Kelly Joe Phelps.

 TMN: Icelandic artists tend to have a very distinct, unified sound. How has that played into your music and why do you think that is?

Ásgeir: A lot has to do with just the music in Iceland and what we grow up listening to, which inspires us. I grew up in the northwest side of Iceland in a really isolated small town and I was always really close to my environment as well. I can’t really put my finger on what it is that connects us and makes the music how it is. But there’s definitely an Icelandic vibe and sound that comes from our unity. I think its just how small of a nation we are, how few people live there and everything like that.
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[TMN Premiere] Honeymilk – Let’s Talk About Compassion

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Honeymilk
Let's Talk About Compassion

Let us talk about compassion for a minute, ok?
Today, we are honored to premiere Honeymilk’s latest single ‘Let’s Talk About Compassion’, a beautiful indie/rock song in which the only real wonder is, where has all the compassion gone in this world? The trio from Stockholm, made up of Marcus, Nikki, and Erik, have a sound that reminds us of a blend of Wilco and The Strokes. Erik rattles off an impressive drum continuation while Nikki blares some sweet and catchy guitar measures. Finally, it’s Marcus’ raw yet stunning vocals that cater to any listener’s ears. This catchy song shows just where the compassion has gone, it has gone straight into their music. But all these gentlemen really want is for people to feel more compassion towards others and express that perfectly in this rock piece.

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[Dreamy] Talos – Bloom

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Bloom

Talos has made quite the splash in the industry, and it’s not hard to see why. Bursting to the forefront of the blogosphere back in March with his debut song, “Tethered Bones,” this Irish multi-faceted artist racked up over 300,000 plays. Some people take years to get that many plays on a track. He saw it shortly after the track went live.

Boasting a similar new-school electronic R&B vibe, we find a little more inclusion of classic instrumentation in the build. Somewhat reminiscent of Active Child or James Vincent McMorrow, “Bloom” carries a chilling build, complete with haunting piano, rolling tom hits, and those oh-so-glorious falsettos. The song takes a cinematic turn at the two minute mark when a devilishly deep bassline hits, creating beyond-sultry vibes. It’s undeniably charming, causing you to sink deep in its soothing grip. Do yourself a favor and just submit. You’ll be glad you did.

“Tethered Bones”/”Bloom” is released on 12″/digital on Feel Good Lost on December 01, with remixes from WIFE (Tri-Angle), Eomac (The Trilogy Tapes/R+S) and Slow Magic (Downtown Records.) We suggest you mark your calendars.

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[Ticket + Signed Merch Giveaway] Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr – Fox Theatre – Oct 28

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Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr
James Dean

We hate to use that classic line, but if you’ve never seen Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. before, you’re really missing out. Coming from a group of people who see hundreds of shows a year, we can easily say that this Detroit-based electro pop outfit is one of our favorites. No joke. They’re that good.

With that in mind, we’ve teamed up with the Fox Theatre to bring you a chance to win a pretty epic prize pack. Two tickets are a part of it, per usual, but this time the deal is sweetened with a signed album and a t-shirt. All you have to do to enter is fill in your information below. It’s that easy.

We’ll pick a winner on Oct 27th at 4:00PM. Please check your email at 4:05PM to see if you’ve won. Seriously. Put a notification in your calendar.

There are a few rules, of course:
- You are responsible for transportation.
- You must bring a valid form of ID to pick up your tickets at will call.
- You ABSOLUTELY MUST come correct with your hottest dance moves and put them on display the entire day on behalf of The Music Ninja



 

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[MP3 Playlist] Indie Dojo (October 2014 Round #3)

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Fall is here. Time to snuggle up, cuddle up, nuzzle up, bundle up. Whatever it is that suits your fancy. Just don’t forget to bring the Indie Dojo all up in those warm covers with you. We really like to cuddle to the sweet sounds of indie too.

Firewood Island
Whats Underneath
Kevin Morby
Parade
Ed Prosek
Hold On Tight
The Night VI
Drops (Naked Noise Live Rework)
Vita Bergen
Curtains
Leo Stannard
Please Dont
Lapsley
Falling Short
Rheya
Alone on the rope
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[Synth-Pop] PHOX – 1936 (Carousel Remix)

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PHOX
1936 (Carousel Remix)

Carousel have certainly made a resonant impact here at TMN over the years and continue to be an act we call upon with regularity to deliver a healthy dose of happy-dance inflamed pop music; whether it’s through their sterling original productions or pliable, John Hughes soundtrack-esque remixes. Today the highly schooled duo have taken on Phox‘s folk-pop ditty “1936″ and completely shifted perspective towards a slice of 80′s electro-pop. When listening to both tracks, it becomes even more impressive that Carousel so easily took a beautiful tune with zero electronic influence and turned in a version we would have thought was the original had we not been in the know. Their airy synths punctuate a sea of leisurely percussion, and Phox’s vocal track plays in perfect harmony to the pair’s sophisticated instrumentation, marking yet another gem added to the Carousel palate. Let’s get a little vibey on this beautiful Friday. Stream Carousel’s “1936″ remix above.

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