No doubt you've noticed that we're in midst of our 2013 Fall Fundraising Drive. We are asking you to support listener powered radio so that we can continue to bring you the features and programming that you love. One of the services we offer regularly is our weekly roundup of new releases, where we gather as many samples from the records that we think you will love. So please consider making a gift to support the station where you discover the most new music.
But now on to the new releases. It's another big week, so let's jump right into it. Topping this week's list is Spanish band Delorean, whose fourth album our Music Director, Don Yates, calls "a smoother, more polished and song-driven take on their sunny dance-pop sound, featuring actual vocalists (rather than the chopped vocal samples of 2010’s Subiza) on irresistibly warm and breezy songs with glittering synths, ringing guitars, pulsing rhythms and bright melodic hooks". In a terrific across-the-Pond collaboration of an iconic UK rocker and versatile NYC funk-rock band, Elvis Costello and The Roots co-wrote songs and reworked some of Costello's classics, ultimately "transforming them with gritty hip hop rhythms, chunky funk guitars, horns, strings and more accompanying Costello’s acerbic lyrics of romantic and political treachery". Stalwarts of classic "indie rock", Sebadoh follow up their EP from earlier this year with their first LP in 14 years, and it's "a strong return to form with a variety of well-crafted songs combining fuzzy guitars, mostly energetic rhythms, melancholy vocals and angst-ridden lyrics". And the baritone voiced iconoclast Bill Callahan (who sometimes records as Smog) is releasing his latest solo effort, which is sure to be another spare emotional stunner.
Other excellent albums out this week come from Australian group Cloud Control, who follows up their insanely catchy pop debut with a more heavily produced second album that broadens "their genial psych-pop sound a bit by incorporating some electronic, hip hop and other influences, though the focus is still on the band’s close harmonies and sugary pop melodies"; Seattle' Grayskul, whose latest is "another excellent set of underground hip hop combining banging beats from a variety of producers (Aesop Rock, Smoke, Void Pedal and Moodie Black) with JFK & Onry Ozzborn’s intricate flow and dark, dystopian lyrics"; LA indie pop group Islands, led by ex-Unicorns front man Nick Thorburn, whose new LP is "an often-dark set of quirky, psych-tinged pop ranging from bouncy, piano-driven prog-pop to moody, desolate ballads"; Brooklyn band Crystal Stilts, whose third album 'is another dark, moody blend of post-punk and psych-rock, combining fuzzy guitars, woozy organ and Brad Hargett’s reverbed baritone croon"; and former Screaming Trees frontman Mark Lanegan, who's releasing this second album of covers, featuring "mostly brooding ballads with spare guitar and lush strings accompanying Lanegan’s deep, raspy vocals" and focusing on many of the songwriters he first heard in his parents' record collection while growing up.
There's a lot more besides, including debuts from Brooklyn chamber-pop band San Fermin, British downtempo trio London Grammar, and Northampton, MA, pop-punk band Potty Mouth, and followups from long running bands like The Sadies, Nightmares on Wax, Tift Merritt and Sidi Touré. You're also not going to want to miss the latest from Grouplove, múm, Campfire OK, Blouse and Trentemøller. If you're feeling adventurous, try out the controversial new album from MGMT, on which they move even further away from the pop songs that first made them popular.
There's plenty here for everyone to love, so sample all of these fine tunes before heading out to pick up your new favorite albums at your local record shop.
Arp - High-Heeled Clouds
Is today really the day you can get a free Nirvana tattoo? Why, yes it is. From noon to 6PM today at Seattle's Silver Platters (and a couple of other places in the U.S.), you can get the squiggly Nirvana smiley face tattooed permanently on your body for free... well, for free if you pick up the 20t…
The kids may be off to school but former teen group Arctic Monkeys is all grown up. Now on their fifth full-length, out this week, the British-born, LA-based band have left behind any brattiness for what our Music Director, Don Yates, calls "a slower, thicker and more atmospheric rock sound, while …