MP3:Saskatchewan – Dreamboat
You guys have no idea how happy I am that there’s finally a popular trend in not-that-popular music that I’m behind 100%. All this dream pop, nostalgic/retro stuff like Cults, Oregon Bike Trails and Saskatchewan is so right up my alley that it basically is my alley. And Saskatchewan seems like he’s got an exceptionally bright future ahead of him if he can keep this up.
I have this terrible habit of leaving 7+ tabs open in Chrome as I’m browsing. It’s like a weird to-do list from the internet. Right now I have tabs open about travel, two about making a favicon, a recipe I want to try, a Pitchfork story, an interesting cover … and this song from Shaky Snakes that I first listened to on Friday. So even though I have some wildly inefficient ways of getting things done, in a weird way it helps me check out great new music like this.
MP3:Shaky Snakes – It Sure is Fun in the City
There’s a weird lesson to be learned from me finding, enjoying and posting about Shaky Snakes. The first time he emailed me there was no subject and I never opened it. The next time he emailed me with the subject “haze pop” and I opened it immediately. The first thing to learn from that is that you should always put a good subject on your emails. The second is that Shaky Snakes are some good, hazy pop music.
Well, it’s not really free so much as it is pay-what-you-want; it’s just that “free” is going to get so many more people to check it out. Je Suis France’s new album Let’s Give Em Something To Talk About is out now on Bandcamp. They also have some really unique pricing options to reward those fans who pay for the album…
$5 – You get a FREE TSHIRT
$10 – You get a copy of the album on Vinyl & a FREE SHIRT!!
$1000 – You get to ride around in the back of a Uhaul partying with the France (with a keg) while we try to play a private show back there.
Really hoping one of you goes for that $1K option just so I can hear what it’s like.
I was really excited when I heard about the Thao/Mirah team up, but kinda forgot to follow the project until it was already released. The good news of this, though, is that the collaboration is even better than I expected. Their voices are quite complimentary, as are their songwriting styles.
MP3:Thao & Mirah – Eleven
I don’t know that I would have expected a track like “Eleven” to come out of either Thao or Mirah’s solo work, so maybe we can chalk this one up to the power of the collaboration. There’s some quick, light percussion and an effortlessly catchy pop song at the heart of it. I must admit, though, that Mirah steals the show in this one. Thao has great accent sections “to sweet for my mouth! too soft for my hands!” but this one’s Mirah’s to win. It’s OK though — Thao gets more than her share of the spotlight through the rest of the album. You’ll have to pick it up to see where she really shines.
MP3:Mutual Spirits – No Names
This sounds like indie pop’s boy/girl vocals answer to Joanna Newsom. It’s very regal, but just sounds like a joyous spring day. This is the first I’m hearing of them, but color me a big fan of Mutual Benefit.
How cool is it that beyond-established veteran Will Oldham is teaming up with the fresh faces of Phantom Family Halo to put out a four-song EP this month? “Very cool” is the answer. Very cool.
MP3:Bonnie Prince Billy + Phantom Family Halo – The Mindeater
I’m not going to lie to you good people: this is not my favorite BPB song. I think it’s really just the chorus that bugs me, but it just doesn’t seem to fit him that well. Still, I’m very interested to hear the rest of the record. Not sure that I’ll buy it before I can hear the full product of the collaboration, but I’ll definitely be checking it out.
My friends at Hop Hop hipped me to the next great Lexington band: Estadio Olimpico. If all goes as planned, his next record will come out on Hop Hop, but you can snag his last one for free from his Bandcamp page.
MP3:Estadio Olimpico – Cracked Lip Days, Remembered Ageless Gracing (great title) is a really diverse record that offers up pretty much everything I needed for spring. There are Panda Bear-ish compositions like this one here, there are straight up pop songs (“Spectators”) and there’s a lot in between. I can’t wait for this guy to start playing around town and sharing his gift with a wider audience.
I wrote about this Givers track over a year ago, but given that they finally have their album ready for you I figured it was worth reminding you how good they are. If you dig the peppiness of Vampire Weekend, give this one a go.