Candy Says – Not Kings [TMN ALBUM PREMIERE]

candy says not kings

Opening with handclaps and a frantic chorus of “got to get out before my heart explodes” throughout title track ‘Not Kings,’ Oxford-based newcomers Candy Says have burst onto the scene with their self-released debut. Possibly the most endearing pop duo to come out of the UK since Slow Club, Juju Sophie and Ben Walker create a similar sort of homemade sound that twists and turns, impossible to pin down.

As sweet as their name suggests but with an edge, Candy Says effortlessly meander between synth-driven melodies and acoustic rhythms. Their unique brand of chic charm is charged with bold claims of being “the Lord’s mistake,” but if that’s the case then ‘Not Kings’ is a mistake worth making.

Stand-out track ‘Favourite Flavour’ continues the sugary motif with an injection of that classic Brit-pop brand of sexuality (complete with a kiss) and an infectious round of Na-na-nas that will remain in your head long after the record stops spinning. Only the over-eager lullaby ‘Melt Into The Sun’ borders on saccharine with its declarations of like and sing-along counting.

‘C’est Pas Comme Ca’ and ‘Hummingbird,’ sprinkled with sultry and bilingual whispers, increase the intimacy, romantically drawing in listeners like sirens before unleashing the Kevin Barnes-esque barrage of stream-of-consciousness ramblings and electronic dance beats of ‘Dreamers.’ Towards the end of the album the tone shifts again with ‘Cool Sensation,’ a fuzzier track not unlike Phantogram at their sleepiest.

Overall, Candy Says launch a solid freshman effort in ‘Not Kings,’ proving DIY creativity and energy trump outside resources. They may not be royalty, but they’re certainly on the rise.

Tour Dates:

May 28 – The Waiting Room – London, UK
May 29 – Truck Store – Oxford, UK

’Not Kings’
’Favourite Flavour’
’C’est Pas Comme Ca’
’Lord’s Mistake’
’Dead On Arrival’
’Understand The Night’
’Cool Sensation’
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[Road Trip] Stargazy – The Fashion EP


As if pre-determined by the Music Gods themselves, The Fashion EP is a big, bright, shimmering ball of road trip perfection worthy of a few tanks of gas, some sunflower seeds, ice cold red bulls, and a few good friends. That’s right. It’s that time of the year. It’s time to pile into a car and head out on an adventure. Whether that adventure is with your special someone, just the boys, or a mix of both, NY-based Stargazy has you covered as far as music goes. You might even hit them up for gas money, but we doubt they’ll chip. Unless you invite them along, that is.

Dropping earlier today. this five song EP is primed and ready to flood your car speakers with mile-moving, smile-inducing happiness that will be loved by anyone who listens. Boasting glimmering, waivering guitar chords, upbeat percussion work and catchy hooks, these tunes are all too easy to get caught up in.

One of our favorite parts of this shoe gaze influenced indie rock record was the spacey bridges that connect verses effortlessly with dreamy basslines. Couple in the powerful vocals from lead singer Michael Romano, and you have a familiar blend of classic indie rock acts such as Mew, As Tall as Lions, and even Minus the Bear at times.

Comprised of members Michael Romano (Lead Vocals, guitar), Jared Lindbloom (Vocals, keys), Michael Panico (Guitar, keys), Alex Shifrin (Bass), Brian Garbedian (Drums), Rocco Romanelli (Auxiliary percussion), this six piece has a sound that’s perfect for whatever lies ahead for you this summer. Make sure to like them on facebook to stay up to date with everything they have going on.

’Half Life’
’Soft Words’
’The Fashion’
’Golden Hour’
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[Alternative/Rock] French Style Furs – Album Preview/Video


The newest addition to the long list of supergroup side-projects forming in recent years is here: LA-based French Style Furs, made up of Nathan Willett and Matt Maust of Cold War Kids and We Barbarians’ Nathan Warkentin, has announced Is Exotic Bait, a debut LP due out July 8th on Frenchkiss Records.

Named after a storefront in Brooklyn and cultivated in spontaneity, French Style Furs pulses with the kind of creative urgency that comes with writing and recording in between shows, with Willett’s signature howls, barks, and wails giving restless life to lyrics inspired by Trappist monk and mystic Thomas Merton’s poetry.

As he does with Cold War Kids, Maust doubles as graphic designer and videographer, and has created a moving collage lyric video for ‘Solitary Life.’ The track itself opens with a bass groove of his (you can almost see him jerkily swaying on stage as you hear it) before swinging horns, Haley Dekle (Dirty Projectors) vocalizations, and even some cowbell are layered on.

In preparation for the album release, French Style Furs are doing a free residency at The Satellite as well as a few dates in New York:

6/2 – The Satellite – Los Angeles, CA
6/9 – The Satellite – Los Angeles, CA
6/16 – The Satellite – Los Angeles, CA
6/23 – The Satellite – Los Angeles, CA
7/7 – Mercury Lounge – New York, NY
7/9 – Rough Trade – New York, NY

’All The Way Down’
(World In My) Bloodstream’
’Solitary Life’
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Toy Cities – Pretend [TMN PREMIERE]

Toy Cities

Uniting under the moniker Toy Cities, friends from bands The Aviation Oranges and Moving Mountains drew upon their adept previous histories to bring forth a complimentary contradiction of tightly melodic structured sound and hazy indie fuzz.

Presenting the premier of fresh track Pretend, Toy Cities have in their hands an accomplished offering of the polished, yet raw and scuzzy, dream-pop variety. Laden with spacious synths, resonating reverb and walls of sound plentiful enough to build your hopes from: Pretend embodies the introspective woozy swoon of shoe-gaze gone. Modernised, revived and tightly wrapped in densely melodic indie; Toy Cities penchant for perfected song craft, simmers and erupts so confidently, the after effect feels effortless.

Produced by Chris Moore (whose golden touch has graced the likes of Yeah Yeah Yeahs and TV on the Radio), the outcome of offbeat and immaculate indie is perhaps expected, but nevertheless present.

With a competence of craft that exceeds its contemporaries, Pretend is an almost ironic titling of a track which more or less sings of the real deal.

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[MP3 Playlist] Indie Dojo (May 2014 Round #4)


Whether you celebrated a 3 day weekend or not, we know it’s not easy to slide back into reality either way. We’re just hoping a new indie dojo will help lessen the blow.

’Lany – Hot Lights’
’Elliot Moss – Slip’
’Emerson Jay – FEELZ YOU’
’Midnight – Adonis (prod. By Nick Leng)’
’Im dun – Had You Both’
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[TICKET GIVEAWAY] Made In Heights – Denver 5/24 – Lost Lake


We knew when we first stumbled onto LA-based electronic duo Made in Heights back in December, that we needed to see them live. Luckily for the Mile High City, they’re making their way to Denver, and we’re proud to be presenting them at the Lost Lake Lounge. Playing the official Metromony after party, this bass heavy outfit is sure to bring some trap-style beats, accentuating vocalist Kelsey Bulkin’s stunning vocals. It should be quite the spectacle to witness.

To celebrate their arrival, we’re offering up a pair of tickets to three lucky winners. As always, entering is beyond easy. Just “like” the Made in Heights and The Music Ninja Facebook pages and enter your e-mail into the widget below. The winner will be picked on Friday (5/23) at 5:00 PM Mountain Standard Time, so please be paying attention to your email after that.

There are a few rules, of course:
– You must be 21 or over to enter.
– You are responsible for transportation.
– You must bring a valid form of ID to pick up your tickets at the door.
– You Must have a solid arsenal of dance moves in your toolbox to display on behalf of TMN.

Good luck, ninjas!

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Noosa – Wildfire [TMN PREMIERE]


Photo Credit: Myles Pettengill

As we close out a full week of premieres from Los Angeles based indie-pop goddess Noosa, we’re sporting a big toothy grin as we start to write up what’s always been our favorite song from this album (released today). If you’re sitting down, be prepared to start grooving in your seat. If you’re standing up, give yourself plenty of room to frolic around the room. In fact, you might want to put the dogs away for this one. Well, unless you have a dog big enough to have them stand on their back legs and dance with you. In which case, grab those front paws and get ready to move.

We digress. When we first agreed to premiere each song from Wonderland one by one, we were anxiously awaiting getting to write this one up. Not that we didn’t love the entire album, but this song has undeniable charm. Charged up with space-like fluttering synths (courtesy of production wizard Mickey Valen) ‘Wildfire’ crackles with infectious incantation.

Boasting a upbeat, pop-driven sound that we fell in love with on tracks like ‘Sail,’ this song showcases Sky’s often intoxicating lyrical imagery. It won’t be long before ‘Wildfire’ is populating all kinds of playlists, including some that will carry names like “Summertime,” “Happy Place,” and “Favorites.”

Even though iTunes messed up the artist listing, we still encourage you to head out and pick it up today. For only $8.91, you can’t go wrong purchasing this stellar indie album.

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