We hear a lot of good music. It’s our job to sift through submission after submission. There are very few moments that we are completely blown away by something, but tonight is one of those moments. Swedish duo Taped Rai introduces their first release, “Shadow of The Sun,” after the collaboration with David Guetta on “Just One Last Time”. We’re honestly at a loss of words on how to describe this. The ethereal vocals are leaving us in complete awe, so we’ll just let you listen for yourself. Enjoy.
You gotta love when you stumble across a fantastic genre bending group; someone that really knows how to fuse styles together to create something really special. That’s exactly what we have here today for you. Brooklyn based quartet X Ambassadors, who recently signed to KIDinaKORNER/Interscope Records, are surely going to take the nation by storm with their new label backing.
Today we’re offering up a free download of a re-issued track “Unconsolable,” which is a reflection on the bands upbringing in Ithica. This track, which is a year old but still part of their debut EP Love Songs Drug Songs, features driving dark tribal drumming, emotionally crafted lyrics, and soft underlying guitars. Make sure to keep an eye out for this EP, as it comes out May 7th. Check out the YouTube snippet below.
Also, we’re pretty damn sure these guys would be amazing live. Check out their upcoming tour and snag tickets before it’s too late.
5/4 Brooklyn, NY Cameo
5/8 Raleigh, NC Red Hat Amphitheater w/ Imagine Dragons
5/10 Boca Raton, FL Sunset Cover Amphitheater w/ Imagine Dragons
5/11 St. Augustine, FL S. Augustine Amphitheater w/ Imagine Dragons
5/28 Los Angeles, CA Viper Room
5/30 Los Angeles, CA Hollywood Palladium w/ Imagine Dragons
5/31 San Francisco, CA America’s Cup Pavilion w/ Imagine Dragons
6/1 San Diego, CA SDSU Open Air Theatre w/ Imagine Dragons
6/3 Phoenix, AZ Comerica Theatre w/ Imagine Dragons
Last Friday night saw a few of your trusty Music Ninjas catch up with two of our favorite So-Cal groups; Carousel (whom we had the pleasure of interviewing a few months ago; read it here) opening for Mansions on the Moon. Our evening with the laid-back dance-pop gurus was booked at perhaps the most intimate and acoustically appealing live venue in Denver, the Larimer Lounge, and marked the last date as opening tour support for MotM. This was most likely the last time to catch the boys live before they once again lock themselves inside their gorgeous studio for the next few months to record material for another upcoming EP; and let’s just say we were absolutely ecstatic to be a part of such a wonderfully paired show.
Armed with an army of trusty synthesizers, MIDI controllers, Kevin Friedman’s incendiary electric guitar and Jackson Phillips’ angelic but masculine vocals, Carousel took to the stage opening with one of their many viral hits “Know It’s Right”, and a collective crowd feeling began to set in, telling us that we were auspicious witnesses to two extraordinary musicians doing what they love and do best. It was actually a little difficult not to be consumed with a perma-smile from their happy dance sounds as they flitted between their slew of Hype Machine dominating singles including “Let’s Go Home”, “Where Have You Gone”, “Stay Awake” and a few gems from one of 2011’s most noteworthy debuts, the 26 Allston EP, aptly named for their address while attending the coveted Berklee School of Music. While this was our second time catching them live in Denver, we would like to think of this last gig as their real introduction to our music scene as there were almost triple the amount of listeners in attendance this time around, and most of them weren’t as shy to twerk their proverbial stuff a little more freely either. Throughout such an entrancing, emotionally charged set, it also became easy to forget, when my eyes would drift away from the stage, that only two people were creating these sounds, rather than an entire backing band. But that endowment is part of the reason they remain one of our favorite bands here at TMN. Closing out the set was a toast to the crowd as the boys, who at this point were drenched in performance perspiration, downed a few shots of tequila and then perfectly crafted a brooding cover of Robyn’s anthem “Dancing On My Own” which featured full audience participation in belting out the chorus. There is just something strangely satisfying about seeing a good-looking male pair croon the lyric “I’m not the girl you’re taking home” and we’re pretty sure they have figured that out at this point as well. Carousel once again captured our hearts and imaginations in just over an hour, whilst setting the stage for the down-tempo, ambient pop-rock of fellow Californians Mansions on the Moon.
When you are down in the dumps, music can be the perfect amount of motivation you need to get right back up to solid ground . And sometimes, if you decide to stew in your own misery and turn on the “broken hearts club” playlist, it can drag you down right along with it. Funny how strong of a hold it has on us. We are basically putty in the hands of music. So whether you are having a good day or a shitastic one, let the indie dojo be your motivational speaker for the next 20 minutes. This particular list just happens to have a PowerPoint of positive vibes all prepared and ready to go….
Dreamy Birmingham indie rock quartet SWIM DEEP is back with another absolutely gorgeous tune to get you prepped and ready for summer. This time around we’re bringing you “Simmer” which is the b-side to “She Changes The Weather’” (13th May Chess Club / RCA). Make sure to pick this up when it’s released. It’s sure to get a spot in the regular rotation.
EELS is certainly not a new comer to the music scene. E’s (the lead singer) been prolifically cranking out gravely voiced, angst driven tunes for over two decades and now EELS has a nice fat double album for us! The effort is extremely enjoyable and accessible: the rock tunes are catchy and slower songs stirring. Best of all, whether you’ve been a fan of EELS since the 90’s or if you’re just discovering them for the first time (admittedly, in the case of this reviewer), you’ll enjoy this bluesy, crunchy, effective album from a seasoned band.
The album begins with the track “Bombs Away,” a gritty little track that launches with some top shelf drumming and a scratchy electric guitar as E growls a decidedly fed up lyrical message. Like the majority of the album, “Bombs Away” is immediately contagious and will stay with you as you walk out of your car and into work. “Peach Blossom” offers an interesting change up, beginning with some stomping percussion and distorted guitar that breaks periodically for strange but effective interludes of guitar and keyboards. It’s a fun, upbeat song. Finally, “On the Ropes” shows off E’s knack for songwriting, providing the listener with a folksy, simple and lyrically eloquent tune.
The back half of the album warrants its own review (the double album is a total of 26 songs) and contains some pretty impressive live music. The entire effort is worth the download. Listen to a few tracks here–
Call it catch-up Sunday, but I think it’s better to post a song that’s 23 days old than to never expose it to the masses at all. “I Heard” by Scottish trio Young Fathers is one such track; it’s hardly “hot-off-the-presses”, but it doesn’t make it any less write-up worthy. The cut is difficult to neatly categorize, but know this: it’s soothing, but rapturous, and offers a fresh blend of indie rock, soul, hip-hop and other unnameable, but creative elements. Plus, that light and cool falsetto is hard not to latch onto. Check it out above, and also peep its newly-released official video here.
Young Fathers’ new album, TAPE TWO, comes out June 11th via Anticon.