Bishop Allen: “Butterfly Nets”

It’s the end of the month, so in addition to bills, you can also expect a new EP from Bishop Allen. May was released today and can be purchased for $6 (or $4 for the digital download, or $7 for both the physical and digital). Not only is it surprising that these folks are still keeping up with their EP-a-month schedule, but it’s amazing that they actually seem to be getting better as they go along.

MP3: Bishop Allen – Butterfly Nets
As a part of their EP project, Bishop Allen have pushed the limits of their “sound,” and as a result, provided more than their fair share of shocking moments. The piano’s first appearance in “Corazon.” The delay in “The Monitor.” The dreamy quality of “Flight 180.” It is without any trepidation that I say this month’s surprise moment surpasses all the rest. This marks the first time that Bishop Allen has written a song with a female lead vocalist: a special guest named Darbie

“Butterfly Nets” is a spectacular song. The inclusion of the female vocals isn’t for novelty or even the sake of being cute–it’s just another example of the band doing all they can do serve the spirit of the song. Darbie’s vocals are innocent and beautiful, perfectly complimenting a song about the popular children’s game of catching butterflies. Cap it all off with a lazy saxophone solo and you’ve got the perfect cloud watching song.

Bishop Allen on Myspace
Buy the EPs (physical)
Buy the EPs (digital)

Headlights: “Put Us Back Together”

While everyone’s focused on that other album that took forever to leak, I’d like to shift focus for a second. Headlights wrapped up work on their new album Kill Them With Kindness not too long ago, but we’ve still got that grueling three month wait until it gets released. To entertain you in the mean time, here’s another song off an album that will most likely be one of the year’s best. I think this is a somewhat different version of the song than the one which appeared on their last split EP, but I could be wrong.

MP3: Headlights – Put Us Back Together
“Put Us Back Together” is a beautiful song, but it’s also a very anxious song. We barely even get half a minute of elegant piano before the quickened pulse of the drums kick in and brings the song onto a completely different level. Whereas you might expect Headlights to capitalize on lovely vocals and an expertly arranged string section by turning it into a dreamy, romantic song. Not so. “Put Us Back Together” is simultaniously relaxing and beautiful, and energetic and charging. It’s this kind of duality that makes me thankful that good music still gets made.

BONUS MP3: Headlights – TV

Headlights on Myspace

So today I begin my Lexington adventure. We’re renting a U-Haul and loading it up tonight, then tomorrow it’s off to the big city! Ah, it’s the American dream. I’ll be sure to keep you guys posted as to when I start my radio show. Until then, I’m sorry if stuff slows down. I might not have the internet for a while and will be blogging out of the school library. That’s me: Matt Jordan, Rogue Blogger.

Thom Yorke’s ‘The Eraser’ Has Leaked

It’s out. I’m not going to post any of the songs (though XL is a non-RIAA label), but I will say that this thread on atease is a good place to go if you’re looking around.

I haven’t heard it yet, but I hope to fix that right after my shower. For those of you who’ve already downloaded it, what do you think? Was it worth the wait?

The Winks: “Abalone”

Sometimes I really kick myself for losing track of a band. The Winks are a good example. I’ve loved a couple of their songs (especially “Snakes”) since I got them a while back, but for whatever reason never remembered to check up on them. Boy was this a mistake. Not only did they release an EP last year from which “Abalone” comes, but they’re working on recording for their next album.

MP3: The Winks – Abalone
Neither the cello, nor the mandolin, nor the flute are instruments that seem to be given their due in most music unfortunately saddled with the awkward title of “indie.” Thank God for The Winks. “Abalone” finds the band moving into a style almost like what you could imagine a teenage Jens Lekman sounding like. More than anything, this song impresses me because it’s a step forward in production for The Winks. I believe I once described “Snakes” as a “minimalist approach” to songwriting, but there’s very little trace of that here. Sure they make good use of every instrument, but it’s a lot more layered their most of their previous work.

BONUS MP3: The Winks – Snakes

The Winks on Myspace

So I’m addicted to The Tick once again. I used to watch it every Saturday morning on Fox; now I watch it every night at 4am on the Disney channel. Man, the mid-80s to mid-90s were the best thing to happen to comics ever (The Tick, Scud, Watchmen, the list goes on). I think I was born in the wrong decade.

Matt and Kim: “Verbs Before Nouns”

Apparently Matt and Kim are dating. I don’t know, I can’t say for sure. What I can say is that they work the keyboard/drums couple almost as well as Mates of State (though this duo has the male on keyboard and the female on drums–how novel!) They’ll be releasing an album this summer, but in the mean time you can check out one of the demos.

MP3: Matt and Kim – Verbs Before Nouns
While the other song I’d heard by Matt and Kim leaned more towards the Futureheads signing over Mates of State (an updated version of “Silver Tiles”), “Verbs Before Nouns” is a bit more, well, wild. While the music is very basic, Matt’s vocals make it sound as though it hurts him to let go of the words. In this form, Matt and Kim almost seem like they’re vying to be a poppier opening act for Think About Life. I’ll be interesting to see if they continue down this path, or opt for the more Mates style on their first album.

Matt and Kim on Myspace

J’aime Tambeur Leaves Islands

MP3: Islands – Rough Gem

According to a post dated May 28th on Islands’ website, drummer and ex-Unicorn J’aime Tambeur will be leaving Islands. He had this to say about his departure:

“The fact is that I don’t need to be in a band anymore. I think Islands is one of the best, if not the best band out there these days, and I have every confidence that they will do incredibly well. I’m just not sure that being in a successful band is all that important to me anymore. I’m not leaving because of any problems with people in the band. It’s very hard to do this, Nick and I have been creating together for quite a long time now… our relationship, both creative and personal is something that I will cherish for the rest of my life.”

The site goes on to say that the band will continue touring and recording and will be doing a tour of Europe in the summer, the dates for which can be found below.

02-Belforth, France Eurockeennes
03-Malmo, Sweden Accelerator
05-Gothenborg, Sweden Accelerator
06-Stockholm, Sweden Accelerator
07-Borlande, Sweden Peace & Love Festival – Accelerator Stage
08-Helsinki, Finland Klubb Gang
10-Frankfurt, Germany Brotfabrik
12-Munster, Germany Gleis 22
14-Frankfurt, Germany ASTA Sommerfest
15-Dour, Belgium Dour Festival
16-Amsterdam, Netherlands Paradiso
17-Nijmegen, Netherlands Valkhof Affaire
18-Liege, Belgium L’Escalier
19-Utrecht, Netherlands Tivoli (de Helling)
22-London, England TBA
23-Manchester, England Roadhouse
24-Glasgow, Scotland ABC2
25-Dublin, Ireland Sugar Club
26-Birmingham, England Bar Academy
27-London, England Bardens Boudoir

05-Haldern, Germany Haldern Festival
11-St Malo, France Route du Rock
17-Avenches, Switzerland Festival Rock’O Z’Arenes

Grizzly Bear: “Lullabye”

I’m so glad that Owen from Final Fantasy mentioned Grizzly Bear’s new album, Yellow House during our interview. That way I’ve been given enough time to mentally prepare myself for its arrival. As more tracks from it continue to leak, I think that I’m starting to near being ready. It’s not the album of the year like Owen suggested, but it might not be far off.

MP3: Grizzly Bear – Lullabye
It was probably not a good idea for me to listen to “Lullabye” at 4am this morning–I was asleep in bed within ten minutes of having heard it. There’s something just so beautiful and calming about the first half of the song that you can’t help but feel relaxed. The harmonies of “restless night” are enough to make me curl up in a ball and go to sleep right now. In true Grizzly Bear fasion, the song warps into something new halfway through. It crescendos into a gentle explosion of cries of “cheer up! chin up!” before trailing off into the night.

Grizzly Bear on Myspace

Happy Memorial Day to all my American readers! Have fun not doing anything today!

Audio “Teen Repllent”

While not music related, per se, I found this incredibly interesting. The BBC reported on a theater that is using an “ultra sonic tone” to keep people under 25 from lingering outside. From their article:

“Crime Reduction Officer Bob Walton elaborated further: ‘Effectively, it’s a transmitter which sends out a specialised frequency noise which according to the manufacture is particularly audible to young people under the age of 25.

“He said: ‘I’m in my fifties and when it’s turned on all I can hear is a very faint buzz. But I understand from young people who have been exposed to the noise, it is very annoying.'”

You can listen to an mp3 of soundwave here. I’m 19 and it gave me a headache after about 30 seconds of it. I’d be interested to know if you all could hear anything, and if so, what age you are. Apparently if you can’t hear it, you just a sort of buzzing sound.

Strangely enough, now kids are using this to make “teacher-proof ringtones.” What smart kids.

Treetops: “Gospel”

“Gospel” is the title track of the EP by the Australian band Treetops. If their Myspace page is to be believed, they’re unsigned at the moment, but I don’t think that’s likely to continue too long after people start hearing their EP. It’s good, good stuff.

MP3: Treetops – Gospel
I’m starting to think that it takes decades for American and European music to make it to Australia. The Vines did their punk rawk/Nirvana thing (and did it well for one album) and now Treetops have added some hipness and neaveau pop to the whole Neil Young or Paul Simon idea of songwriting. As long as they don’t follow The Vines’ career too closely, I think the world can make more room for another nostalgic band from Australia–especially when they sound this good.

Treetops on Myspace

This week I’ll be moving back to Lexington. That’s right, in the past month, I’ve moved most of my posessions from Lexington to Elizabethtown, then back to Lexington. I don’t even know if our cable will be hooked up when I get there, so my fingers are crossed on that one.