[Alternative] Trails and Ways – Skeletons

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Trails and Ways
Skeletons

Oakland-based band Trails and Ways first found their way into our hearts a few years back starting with their brilliantly organic and original covers. As if their approach to covers wasn’t indicative enough, their 2013 debut EP, Trilingual, solidified T&W as one of our favorite indie acts out. After a relatively quiet period during which they were performing, practicing and working on new material, Trails and Ways were officially signed to Barsuk Records, the label of Death Cab For Cutie, early last month with a debut full-length album on the horizon.

Today, we get the first single, and opening track, from their anticipated debut and it proves more than worth the wait. “Skeletons,” which we first caught live at their hometown show last year, feels like the perfect next step in the talented group’s sound. Following an intro of atmospheric guitar and emphatic cries, the verses recess into gorgeous, breezy vocals before unleashing one of the most infectious, energetic choruses you will hear all year. Trails and Ways’ aesthetic, influenced by the band members’ international travels and outdoor hobbies, has an enchanting, transformative effect that feels best suited for a dance party in the midst of mother nature. We’ll certainly have this on repeat today and until their debut, Pathology, drops on June 2nd–pre-order here.

P.S. If you like what you hear, check out our exclusive interview with Trails and Ways from last year’s Outside Lands Festival.

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[Space Pop] The Landing – Then Comes The Wonder

landing
The Landing
Then Comes The Wonder

We’re taking a few hours to scour through the past few weeks of music, given the fact that we’ve been fully preoccupied with SXSW and WMC for the better half of March. One of our most intriguing finds comes via solo, Brooklyn-based act The Landing.

“Then Comes The Wonder” is a cosmically gratifying indie pop tune that boasts an infectious nature one can’t quickly shake, no matter how hard they try. Not that anyone would want to though, what with the glowing vocals, playful synths, and booming, repetitious percussion.

While this did come out two weeks ago, we feel like it still deserved a moment on TMN. We’re pretty damn sure you’ll agree with us.

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[Indie] Patrick Watson – Places You’ll Go

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Patrick Watson
Places You Will Go

As winter’s icy fingers slowly release their deathly grasp on the world, mother earth is gladly opening her eyes from the long winter’s rest to awaken the flora and fauna for yet another spring. As if pre-destined for that very happening, “Places You’ll Go,” is an articulately crafted ballad created for the engendering of the warmer months.

With slow, rolling guitars, fluttering synths, and Patrick Watson’s near-unbelievable vocals, this newly released tune is a welcome breath of fresh air for his fans. Staying out of the international limelight for some time, this distinctive Canadian act is thankfully back.

We’re honestly overwhelmingly enamoured with this new take from Watson, and all we can close with is we’re once again left jaw agape and extremely satisfied, as we’ve come to expect time and time again.

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[Indie] Mew – Satellites (Acoustic)

mew
MEW Official
Satellites (Acoustic)

There is a group of people in the world who have been continually listening to the same songs over and over again. This pattern has continued for the past five years, and while most won’t complain, we’re all extremely pleased that pattern has come to an end.

While we’ll never stop playing favorites like “Am I Wry? No,” and “Special,” Mew fans from across the globe are celebrating with jovial glee with the release of new music. This fan in particular got to partake in its American debut at SXSW, and can personally assure you that it’s worth the painfully long wait.

“Satellites” glows with calculated beauty, the kind that makes us think back to the first time we truly fell in love with a band’s sound. Jonas’ vocals boast the same haunting heft, soaring along the backbone of a subdued percussion, accentuating synths, and a rolling piano melody. It’s everything that we’ve come to love from this band and more.

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[MP3 Playlist] Indie Dojo (March 2015 Round #5)

indie-dojo-music-ninjaYou’re lucky it’s March 31st, otherwise we’d be obligated to April Fool’s you. But have no fear, we won’t pull a fast one on ya. We’ve got nothing but a good ‘ol indie dojo. No tricks, no gimmicks, no foolin’ allowed.

Harrison Storm
The Words You Say
Amason
Duvan
Mike Main and The Branches
Everythings Gonna Be Alright
Pollimer  
Drive
Martin Stahl
Goodbye
The Wanderer
Down The Road
Andrew Belle
Wants What It Wants (Hushed)
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[Piano Session] Mario – Let Me Love You (Jack Garratt Cover)

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As we continue on our month of Jack Garratt’s residency, we’re continually reminded why we’ve developed a sincere adoration for this UK-based musician. Today continues our ever-growing infatuation, as we get a glimpse at an entirely new side of this quickly-rising star.

Set against the backdrop of nothing more than powerfully cascading piano chords, we’re offered an intimate listen at the simplistic beauty and raw musical finesse from Garratt. Showing some love for the early 2000’s R&B hit “Let Me Love You,” we’re instantly taken away to another place, being helplessly consumed with each memorable lyric.

Originally played at Huw Stephens BBC Radio 1 show at SXSW, this cover (originally sung by Mario), accompanied a piano ballad-style version of his  song “The Love You’re Given.” If you’re unfamiliar with that one, take a gander at the original version below.

Jack Garratt
Let Me Love You (Live Cover @ SXSW
The Love Youre Given
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[TMN Exclusive Interview] Get to Know: Kid Astray

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Kid Astray
It's Alright

Norwegian six-piece, Kid Astray, don’t represent a single genre but rather a distinct state of mind–one of youthful energy. Through a string of singles, the up ‘n coming band have shown us everything from indie rock on tracks like “No Easy Way Out” to Passion Pit-inspired electro pop like “Still Chasing Nothing.” Their latest single, “It’s Alright,” lands squarely in the center of that spectrum mixing airy guitar-driven verses with an undeniably catchy chorus powered by an addicting electronic melody. That juxtaposition is one they masterfully toy with, reimagining and transitioning between different styles all within one track. We had a chance to chat with a few members of Kid Astray–get to know them below and give their infectious latest single a spin above. Kid Astray’s debut album drops this June!

TMN: Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions! Starting from the beginning, can you tell us how you all first joined forces and the story behind the first song you all wrote together?

Jakob: No problem! We are currently stuck in our rehearsal space, preparing for our upcoming scandinavian tour, so it’s nice taking a short break. And talking about ourselves, haha.

We first met back in high school, where we were all studying music. Everyone but Even and myself knew each other from secondary school, and had already been playing together. Personally, I didn’t know anyone else on the school, but I really wanted to play in a band. I just played with anyone who wanted to play with me. I was the only drummer in our class, so Benjamin and Elizabeth didn’t really have many people to choose from, haha. We had our first rehearsal the same day we met. We played our first show after one week, playing cover songs. The first track we wrote was called ‘Eternal Gifts’ and was written in our rehearsal space at the time, Benjamin’s basement. That song is very different from what we do now, it’s pretty much a guitar based rock track without any synths. It’s still a bit nostalgic thinking about the song, since it was the track that earned us our first manager. Who knows, maybe we will use the core from the track again in the future!

TMN: Who were some of the artists you listened to growing up that you feel have inspired your sound?

Benjamin: Michael Jackson has been a huge inspiration! As a child I learned all the dances and songs by watching the videos and live DVDs. I have definitely brought elements from him into the KA sound. For example the pluck funk guitar. My whole family is a bunch of musicians, so it’s hard to name some specific artists. It’s everything from jazz and synthpop from the 80s to mums punkband! It’s all a part off our sound in a way.

TMN:Kid Astray has more members than most contemporary bands. How do you all approach studio time and how does that collaboration process work? Does it make things easier? more difficult?

Alex: There are definitely up-sides and down-sides of being six people. Traveling becomes more expensive, but also becomes more fun. Cause we’re six good friends, so we’re never bored! And even though we’re unusually many people, we’ve got more than enough to do on stage. We even have to be multi-instrumentalists to successfully get through the new album. The studio part of things works very well. We have our little mastermind Benjamin who starts on an idea, and then we all kinda get together and finish it off. I’m not really sure if things are simpler or more difficult, cause it’s the only way we know. But it definitely gives a lot of variety since so many of us have different musical preferences. Continue reading

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