[Indie Rock] Bad Suns – We Move Like The Ocean

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Bad Suns
We Move Like The Ocean

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock as of late, you’re probably familiar with the tremendous trajectory Woodland Hills based Bad Suns have been on. That’s right, these guys are pretty much on fire right now, and while we’ve already been fans for quite some time, “We Move Like The Ocean” has us shaking our heads saying, “No, no, no! Don’t stop a rockin’.

Dated Simpsons jokes aside, this newly released single is a piece of indie-rock mastery, infusing classic post-rock undertones, beckoning on such classics as The Cure, Echo and The Bunnymen and Joy Division. Featuring a playful, waivering guitar section, some electronic elements, and a solid pop-rock structure, “We Move Like The Ocean” is an indie-rock ballad worthy of your summer playlists.

Dropping on their debut album Language & Perspective (June 24th), you can pick this tune up, along with three others, by pre-ordering today.

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Q and A with Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr [TMN EXCLUSIVE]

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Following the release of their second album, The Speed Of Things, Detroit born and bred indie pop duo Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. have begun making a name for themselves for something beyond, well, their name. Quirky yet accessible, polished but never bland, Daniel Zott and Joshua Epstein have found the sweet spot between pop sensibilities and uniqueness, expanding their electronically-tinged hooks and dynamism just enough to keep things interesting without abandoning their comfort zone, deftly outmaneuvering any possibility of failing prey to the dreaded sophomore slump. The Speed Of Things changes gears often, shifting between exuberant choruses, love poem sensitivity, introspective melancholy and conversational assertions, but never stops moving forward through the swirling melodies and smooth vocals.

Joshua Epstein

Joshua Epstein

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. recently packed Chicago’s own Metro with a sold out crowd, their largest ever outside of their hometown. Epstein’s colorful world map jacket and Zott’s curly hair tied into a ponytail on the side of his head were framed by flashing J’s and R’s sidestage as they opened up the set with “Hiding,” singing into a disembodied phone receiver and thrusting fists in the air with every “Hey!” The solitary incandescent bulbs attached to each mic stand illuminated intermittently, seemingly signaling new ideas realized mid-lyric, while each half of the duo dutifully took their turn leaping into the crowd to lend credibility to their synth-infused single “If You Didn’t See Me (Then You Weren’t On The Dancefloor).”

TMN: Congratulations on what was your biggest ever show outside of Detroit to date! How does it feel?

It’s an amazing feeling to have people in another city show up at all, so to have a record crowd made it even more special.

TMN: How have you been enjoying the tour so far?

​It’s been the most successful and most fun. That’s a good combination.

TMN: You brought your dog Potato on stage during the show. What’s it like bringing him along? How does he like it so far?

​It’s actually Josh’s dog, but yes, he’s been incredibly well behaved. He brings a lot of joy to the bus and helps us keep things in perspective.

TMN: I understand you recently did a benefit concert to raise money for a sick child. Can you tell us a little bit about this? How much of a responsibility do you feel artists have to give back to their communities in ways like this?

​Alex is a kid who recently discovered he had brain cancer. His family got nailed with a huge bill and we were just trying to help out. It was a really fun day with him and his family. Being in a band is full of self-centered moments. You spend most of your time trying to make people care about you. So, it was good to spend a day thinking about someone else.

TMN: So I have to ask, what’s the story behind the name?

​We wanted a name that wouldn’t restrict our sound. It’s so outrageous that it gives us freedom to sound like anything we want.

TMN: Will your children carry on the legacy as Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. Jr.?

​Never.

TMN: Is Dale himself a fan?

​He is. He says so in a video on tumblr via fox sports.

TMN: I understand you started the band rather casually without many expectations. Do you believe art is always best created with spontaneity? Is your process more calculated now that you’ve found success?

​There’s a good mix of both. In order to finish any good idea you need to have vision and execution which is more calculated, but spontaneity is good for coming up with ideas and changes.

TMN: You both seem to split frontman duties 50/50 more or less. How does this work? Is your songwriting process the same?

​We are finding our roles more and more as we grow together. We never plan for it to be perfectly split, but it does seem to balance out.

TMN: Many people consider indie pop to be a bit of a contradiction yet you guys blend the two worlds perfectly. Do you consider yourselves to be more of one or the other? How do you find balance?

​We are just trying to make pop music in the old sense of the word. We’d like to make a popular song that has some substance to it.

TMN: How has the Motown style popular in your native Detroit and the presence of legends such as Jack White influenced your music?

​Greatly. There is pride that comes from being from Detroit. You respect the history and feel responsible for the future. Makes us work hard at writing good songs.

TMN: You recently made a hip hop mixtape, can you tell us a little about that? What inspired such a side project?

​It has been a dream for a while. We really like making beats and producing other people’s tracks. It was a way for us to let people know what we can do.

TMN: I heard Paul Simon worked on your new album in some capacity, what was that like?

​It was wild to get his thoughts. He didn’t just have general thoughts either. He gave some recording tips that really worked well for War Zone.

TMN: What’s next for Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.?

​I need some lunch.

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Photos by Andrea Calvetti

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[Indie] Bahamas – All The Time

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Bahamas Music
All The Time

Once again, we’re reminded how easy it is to fawn over Finnish-Canadian singer-songwriter Afie Jurvanen, better known to the masses as Bahamas.

Dropping off of his upcoming album Bahamas is Afie (due out August 18th), “All The Time” is a delectable single that flaunts a perfect blend of both charming folk style and modern song-writing appeal. With a backdrop of some crunchy guitar chords that casually mingle with light and airy fingerpicking and a simplistic percussion pattern, this song is a beautiful way to cure the blues we’ve all been experiencing during this two year hiatus.

If you’ve seen Bahamas live, you’ll definitely appreciate this song in particular, due to the stellar solo Afie laid down. If you haven’t seen Bahamas live just yet, know that you’re in for some unique and eye opening guitar work, amongst finding yourself swooning over his every word and some nonchalant comedy in between songs.

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[Folk] Anand Wilder & Maxwell Kardon – Wedding Day

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Anand Wilder and Maxwell Kardon
Wedding Day

Talk about an all-star cast: Yeasayer co-founder and multi-instrumentalist Anand Wilder and longtime friend and composer Maxwell Kardon have announced the completion of a new musical featuring fellow bandmates Ira Wolf Tuton and Chris Keating, James Richardson (MGMT), Christopher Powell and Ryan Kattner (Man Man), Rostam Batmanglij (Vampire Weekend), K Ishibashi (Kishi Bashi, of Montreal), Haley Dekle (Dirty Projectors), and more.

According to the press release, Break Line The Musical “harkens back to rock concept albums of the early 70′s,” exploring “the classic arc of lost love, betrayal, and pride,” and is based on “a labor conflict in a Western Pennsylvania coal town” that the duo’s fathers had discovered in “an old folk song taught in Quaker schools in the 1950s.”

Conceived six years ago, Wilder’s project began to take shape in between Yeasayer albums and is reminiscent of his band’s debut LP, with a lighter, springier version of All Hour Cymbals’ freakier folksy vibe. Taking inspiration from The Kinks and The Byrds, the musical puts a contemporary twist on a classic art form.

Ahead of Break Line’s release this July 15th on Secretly Canadian (July 14th, rest of the world via Mute), Wilder and Kardon have given us a small taste of what’s to come with ‘Wedding Day,’ a sleepy track that begins with children’s laughter and reversed guitar strums before Wilder’s croons raise the tempo into full-blown folk-pop festivity.

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Racing Glaciers – First Light [TMN VIDEO PREMIERE]

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Racing Glaciers
First Light

Macclesfield’s indie-rock quintet is primed and ready to turn some heads with their official video for “First Light”. The visual interpretation of their recently released single perfectly mirrors the expansive and evocative beauty of the song, providing a stunning audio-visual debut.

First Light is a personal song. It’s about consciously choosing ignorance over acceptance at the end of a relationship. The ‘biting your tongue’ line kind of sums it up. Living in denial so things stay the same. – Danny Thorpe

The band have enjoyed quite the journey in 2014, getting a rise out of the blogosphere and the Hype Machine alike. If that wasn’t enough, Racing Glaciers were recently added to the BBC Radio 1 playlist after a blistering set at BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend festival last weekend.

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Shoffy – Into Oblivion [TMN PREMIERE]

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ShoffyMusic
Into Oblivion

Are you experiencing a general lacking of feels? Do these symptoms keep you up in the middle of the night? Do you wish you could have a life full of feel-rich experiences? If you answered yes to any of those questions, we have just the thing to cure what’s ailing you.

Coming out of the City of Angels, soulful producer/vocalist Shoffy just dropped his first song under this moniker. Previously known as Alexander Shofler, this brand new sound will be coming your way, little by little, over the next month or so. “Into Oblivion” is your first glimpse into this new project, paving the way for electronically based, RnB. Dripping with atmospheric layering, muted drums and bassline, and Shoffy’s understated vocals, we’re left swooning over this debut release.

Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road. via On The Road by Jack Kerouac

Take a listen and then head over to his facebook where you can pick this tune up for free.

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[TMN Exclusive/Premiere] Max Frost – White Lies (The Tailors Remix)

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Max Frost
White Lies (The Tailors Remix)

One of our favorite indie tunes of 2013, Max Frost’s “White Lies” has enjoyed a potent viral run in the past few months, even managing to push out of the blogosphere onto mainstream radio waves and charts since its sparkling inception. While we were thoroughly enamored with the original; on account of a seemingly endless amount of malleability, we’d been waiting to hear what “White Lies” could offer through another vantage point, and assuredly we’ve found the grooviest take of all. The Dutch duo of Bastiaan B & Jesse V, more widely known as The Tailors,  have taken Max Frost’s upbeat tune, and slowed its cadence to a breezy Summer stride while maintaining an air of buoyant and shimmery vibes. Their remix begins simply enough behind a snappy four bar intro, but once a sultry sax line paints its way onto the arrangement, it’s pure sexy dance-pop from there. Further bolstering The Tailors’ seductive instrumentation is of course the original hooky vocal track which gets partially pitched down, sounding even more filled out, and right as we were sucked into a sea of tasty lyrics  in waltzes a syrupy sweet 5 note guitar arpeggio, completely sealing the entire pop-house movement with a certain delicate expertise we haven’t heard on an electronic track in some time. The Tailors have managed to pull off the enviable task of creating a record that plays out equal parts club-groover and chill-listener, offering a precious quality to be aurally consumed on both a sweaty club night or driving down a coastal highway with the top down and speakers blaring.

If you couldn’t tell, we are gushing all over this one, and are ecstatic to exclusively premiere and host The Tailors’ remix of “White Lies” here for you savvy Ninjas. Take a listen above, we know it won’t let you down. Be on the lookout for Max Frost’s White Lies Remixes EP in the coming months, but until then, get your fix here at TMN.

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