[Indie] Yellow Red Sparks – Monsters With Misdemeanors

Yellow Red Sparks is an indie/acoustic act born in the Midwest, but now based out of Los Angeles with hints of Fleet Foxes and early Nada Surf. The band, led by singer-songwriter Joshua Hanson, is quiet, humble, but filled with enough warm-blooded passion to thaw through even the coldest heart. They stun in the simplest ways, make music that’s beautiful in its subtlety. Take for example Hanson’s voice — it doesn’t soar or do curvaceous tricks, but its inherent tremble and crack speak volumes of emotion. Cozy up to “Monsters With Misdemeanors” tonight, you won’t regret it.

Yellow Red Sparks
Monsters With Misdemeanors

Yellow Red Sparks’ self-titled debut album comes out January 29th via Org Music.

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[MP3 Playlist] Indie Dojo (November 2012 Round #4)

It has officially begun. The flood gates of  “Fa La La La Las” and odes to Santa have burst open  So when you need a break from the sparkly spirit that infiltrates every public place you visit this month, don’t you worry your pretty little head, the Indie Dojo’s got you covered.

Time and Time Again
Smoke People
Jess Locke
How Does It Make You Feel
Patrick James
All About To Change
Velma Grove



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[Stream] Sufjan Stevens – Silver And Gold

There aren’t many modern artists who take Christmas music as seriously as Sufjan Stevens. For us, the listeners, we can’t really complain. His latest seasonal gift is Silver And Gold, an epic 10-volume, 50+ song release to give our holidays a healthy dose of charming — albeit sometimes eccentric — folk rock. There’s something for everyone in this collection, from weird numbers to calming lullabies, so don’t miss out. Below is one of the quieter tracks, “Justice Delivers Its Death”. If you enjoy it, head on over to NPR and stream all of Silver and Gold for free!

Sufjan Stevens, Justice Delivers Its Death
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[Dreamfolk] Mt. Wolf – Climax (Usher Cover)

Unless you’re an underground super-ultra hipster then you most likely possibly watched some part of the American Music Awards. Usher opened the show with a mash-up of some of his most recent hits including “Climax”. It’s a good song, but after hearing Mt. Wolf’s cover I’ve established that theirs is waaaaaaaay better.

Mt. Wolf is categorized under a genre known as “dark folktronica,” their songs are contrasts of deep bass, some traces of dubstep mixed with acoustic guitar and gentle vocals. It’s an odd mix, but it totally works. This cover of “Climax” is intoxicating, filling you up with Kate Sproule’s insanely delicate and crisp voice and a beat so quiet you can’t even hear it. But listen closer and your foot will start tapping and soon enough you’re in too deep to stop. Grab their EP Life Size Ghosts at Two Sister Records right here.

Mt. Wolf
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[MP3 Playlist] Indie Dojo (November 2012 Round #3)

Happy “be grateful for what you got” Week. Time to surround yourselves with love and stuff your faces with goodness. And while you lay on the couch with one button (or all) left undone,  let us serenade your tryptophan dreams with an Indie Dojo playlist to show how grateful we are for you.

Johanna Samuels
Count This Penny
The River Has Many Voices
She Wasnt Doing Nothing, Just Standing on the Balcony
Cicada Rhythm
Do Not Destroy
Chelsea Wolfe




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[Indie/Folk] Eliza and the Bear – Brothers Boat + The Southern Wild (Video)

The future couldn’t be brighter for the enthralling six-piece UK band Eliza and the Bear. With tough competition surrounding the indie/folk genre, standing out has become an ever increasing difficult feat for up and coming musician. Yet, Eliza and the Bear have cut their way through like a butter knife. In similar fashion to Mumford and Sons and rising stars from Denver The Lumineers, whose harmonic instrumentation and chemistry have enchanted the folk-driven scene, Eliza and The Bear have raised the the bar even higher for all indie/folk/rock.

Just five months ago, they released a teaser of their upcoming debut album with a song titled “Brother’s Boat’. With a slow and melodic intro, utilizing catchy guitar riffs and background trumpets, the band quickly sets a foundation of pure musical bliss. Soft and heart-warming lyrics quickly fill the track with a sense of honest reflection that is ultimately interrupted by one of the most explosives and welcoming organic ‘drops’ from an indie band we have encountered this year. No matter what the lyrics may be about, “Brother’s Boat” is a surprisingly wonderful gem that will have your heart skip a beat of utter joy.

There is absolutely no way anyone cannot fall in love with the sheer energy and emotional connection Eliza and The Bear has with music. They have already recorded their debut EP with the much-acclaimed producer Peter Miles at ‘Middle Farm Studios’ in Exeter (Devon) and are currently keeping a close-guard around it, as they tour and increase their live presence. God, I already feel dirty about the things I would do to just see them live.

Eliza and the Bear
Brothers Boat

Here is another preview of Eliza and The Bear performing “The Southern Wild” live at the Middlefarm Studios.

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[TMN PREMIERE] Benjamin Francis Leftwich – In the Open EP

The mark of truly inspirational music is something that evokes a strong emotional response. This could be feelings of joy and excitement, the need to hang out with friends for an epic evening, or heart-wrenching sadness. Regardless of what that emotion may be, you know once you’ve experienced it that you’ve heard something truly great. Benjamin Francis Leftwich’s work does just that. His ethereal vocals and emotionally crafted lyrics dig deep into planes of your subconscious to bring forth previous experiences and the feelings associated with them.

In the title track “In the Open,” (which has been available for streaming for the past month) Ben has crafted an uplifting sound using soft acoustic guitar strumming, tribal drumming, and welcoming strings. His lyrics, as usual, do an impressive job at creating a story in your mind. It’s always important for a title track to be the shining star since it’s bearing the name of the EP, and this doesn’t disappoint.

“Break the Day Open” provides vocals that glide over strumming notes with wistful lament. This track gave us quite the emotional experience, as we wondered what experiences crafted these soul-gripping words. This was our favorite on the EP, and is the perfect track for deep personal reflection.

The remaining two tracks on the album are equally as impressive. “Manchester Snow” has a hauntingly calming sound to it, while “Is That You on That Plane” features painfully beautiful lyrics, and gorgeous added female harmonies.

We’ve always been a fan of BFL’s work, and this new EP (Out 11/19) bears our same level of appreciation as any of his previous bodies of work. You may have already heard the title track, “In the Open,” as he made it available to stream it a little while ago, but the three other tracks along with it are an exclusive premiere here on The Music Ninja. Take some time to digest his music, as he’s one of the best new songwriters out there.

Benjamin Francis Leftwich
In The Open
Benjamin Francis Leftwich
Break The Day Open
Benjamin Francis Leftwich
Manchester Snow
Benjamin Francis Leftwich
Is That You On That Plane
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