Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Caribou - Melody Day

As if getting a PhD in mathematics wasn't enough, Caribou main man Dan Snaith has consistently released solid albums year after year. His last proper album The Milk of Human Kindness still currently ranks as one of my favourite all-time albums. So, it is with great anticipation that I had expected to patiently wait for the release of his new album Andorra on August 21st. Fortunately, I don't have to wait that long, and nor do you. Snaith knows he has big expectations on his head, and he gets off to a strong start with the lead-off track "Melody Day", which combines the psychedelic style he's known for, along with some 60s Motown sounds, and a cacophony of percussion. Snaith has always had the ability to walk the fine line between pop and experimentation, between sounding completely nostalgic and completely modern, and this new album is no different. The song is right on the brink of becoming a noisy mess, but Snaith is able to hold it all together with some incredibly poppy and catchy melodies. There are definitely some exciting things going on here.
"She's the One" features a guest appearance, and is co-written by Junior Boy Jeremy Greenspan.

Bonus Track - She's the One

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Architecture in Helsinki - Heart it Races

I know it seems like I spend more time talking about what music I hate than about what music I like, but again, I have to admit that I really didn't like Architecture in Helsinki's last two albums. Perhaps, it was a little too twee-pop for me, or maybe I'm just a stubborn guy, but I found both their previous albums, though having some solid pop songs, were fairly boring and inconsistent overall. Needless to say, I wasn't expecting much from this new album, in fact, this release wasn't even on my radar. But from what I've heard so far, I am completely blown away. It's obvious that with this album AiH are trying to create something completely unlike what they've done before, and in doing so I think they've created the most unexpectedly enjoyable albums of the year. The album leads off with the startling, and magically enjoyable "Red Turned White" before quickly fading into the wonderful new single "Heart it Races". Not to be outdone, "Like it or Not" sounds the most like their earlier stuff, but surprisingly even more poppy, and sing-along happy. I'm expecting this to be on my top ten at the end of the year.

Bonus Track - Red Turned White
Bonus Track - Like it or Not

New Young Pony Club - The Get Go

I have to admit that I'm kinda getting sick of all this dance-punk music. Prior to this year, I thought the whole movement was waning and that rockabilly would finally emerge as the next big thing! But apparently, I'm wrong. So, it is with some surprise that I find myself really digging "The Get Go". Despite having great energy and spirit, this song also has a really simple melody that really drives the core of the song. I think it's this simplicity that attracts me to this song, and it reminds of early post-punk bands like Gang of Four that were able to create complex melodies out of very basic song structures.

Bonus Track - Ice Cream

the Harlem Shakes - Red Right Hands

The Harlem Shakes album Burning Birthdays seemed to slip just under my radar. But, with only a self-released EP to their names, I guess it's no surprise that the band hasn't received much press yet. However, I kept hearing their name pop up on Pitchfork's website through their guest lists section. The Harlem Shakes seem to have won the favour of several prominent indie bands who have named them their favourite current live band, and this encouraged me to seek them out (Pitchfork mind-bogglingly gave them a 7.3 rating along with a quite negative review). While they compared them to the Beach Boys, I hear a bit more of a rockabilly feel to their music. In fact, the band kind of reminds me of another young up-and-coming band, the Born Ruffians. They both have a penchant for odd, off-beat lyrics and catchy melodies. Definitely a band to keep your eyes open for.

Bonus Track - Sickos

The Teeth - Shoulderblade

The Teeth are a band out of Philadelphia who have garnered comparisons to all kinds of celebrated British musicians, everyone from The Kinks and The Beatles to Elvis Costello and early David Bowie. Clearly I had my doubts, but still I couldn't resist checking them out, and in the end was quite pleased to find some fantastic vocal harmonies dancing around jangly rock rhythms. You're My Lover Now is their third release, and yet it still feels like a band in the midst of discovering their sound; the album jumps around quite a bit between polished pop gems and raucous scorchers. At times they remind me of The Kaiser Chiefs, other times more like The Hives, but for the most part it is all enjoyable. Interesting side note: the album was apparently mixed by Nick Krill of the Spinto Band. Check out "The Coolest Kid in School" for the closest they come to emulating Ray Davies and Co. You're My Lover Now is available now on Park The Van Records.

» Bonus Track: The Coolest Kid in School
» Buy it on Amazon

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Montag - Softness, I Forgot Your Name (feat. Final Fantasy)

Going Places is an apt title for the latest album from electronic musician Antoine B├ędard, aka Montag. Although he has a number of self-released EPs and records already under his belt, there is good chance that this could be the one that truly catapults him into the spotlight. After making in-roads with the Arts & Crafts crowd and pulling off collaborations with several other successful Canadian indie bands, he was able to recruit an impressive cast of guest contributors including Amy Millan, Final Fantasy, M83, and Ghislain Poirier. The result is a wonderfully varied electronic album that moves between robotic pop melodies to sweeping orchestral movements. Owen Pallett's presence is obvious in the song "Softness, I Forgot Your Name", but the result has an unexpected and delightful Stereolab-esque element to it. Make sure you give this album a listen when it hits stores on June 5th.

» Bonus Track: No One Else
» Pre-order it on Amazon

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Spoon - You Got Yr Cherry Bomb

Even though the new Spoon album isn't out yet, it seems that most people have come to a decision that the album doesn't even come close to their previous works. However, the more I listen to this album, the more I enjoy it. To me, Spoon has always been slightly inconsistent as a band, putting out incredibly catchy, innovative songs, while also releasing very mundane tracks. So, it comes as some surprise that fans would suddenly fault them now for their inconsistency, especially on an album that seems to be their most consistent so far. The album lacks much of the experimental pop aspects that originally attracted me to the band, but by no means is this a sell-out album. This new album finds them toying with a lot of early pop sounds, perhaps with bit of an Elvis Costello feel to it. My favourite track "You Got Yr Cherry Bomb" has a definite 60s pop feel to it and the more I listen to it, the more I'm amazed that the band is able to create a totally nostalgic, and yet current sounding track. Definitely one of my favourite songs, and possibly albums of the year.

Bonus Track - Don't Make Me a Target

Monday, May 21, 2007

Les Savy Fav - The Equestrian

I've been anxiously waiting to hear some new music from Les Savy Fav ever since they announced that their hiatus was off and that they were recording a new album. That said, I certainly never expected to hear a new track from them debut on one of these free Adult Swim compilations! You may already be familiar with some of the free hip-hop EPs that Adult Swim has been putting out online, teaming up with Dangerdoom and other artists on Stones Throw Records. Well this time they've decided to increase the indie rock quotient and put out a new collection of MP3s called Warm & Scratchy featuring new songs from such bands as Broken Social Scene, Liars, The Raveonettes, and The Rapture. I'm telling you, these Adult Swim folks are marketing geniuses. "The Equestrian" is another manic Les Savy Fav track that should appease fans and make them even more eager to get their hands on the new album. Either way, you can't argue with free music right? Download the full album complete with artwork via the link below.

» Bonus Track: TV On The Radio - Me-I
» Preview Tracks and Download Everything Here!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Young, Fast and Scientific Music Podcast #1

Our good friend Jay (who has co-hosted the Muzak For Cybernetics Mixtape a couple times before) recorded a little music podcast of his own and shared it on his personal blog. I am now reposting it here so that even more people can enjoy it. Here's what he has to say about it: "Welcome to the very first episode of the Young, Fast & Scientific Music Podcast... It's an opportunity for me to play some songs I enjoy and talk about some stuff that interests me; in this instance, plane crashes."

Playlist:

Brian Eno - Burning Airlines Give you so much more
Animal Collective - People
Archers of Loaf - Chumming the Ocean
The Castanets - You Are the Blood
Flaming Lips - Pilot Can At the Queer of God
Brainiac - Hot Seat Can’t Sit Down
Frog Eyes - Ship Destroyer
The Mae Shi - Heartbeeps
Shy Child - TV Tuner
Trans Am - Stereo Situation
Joy Division - Atmosphere
New Order - Dreams Never End
Chemical Brothers - Asleep From Day
Les Balayeurs Du Desert - Decollage
Hella - Movement 8: Earth’s First Evening Jimi Hendrix-less and Pissed

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Ozma - Heartache vs. Heartbreak

I still remember the first time I heard Ozma's album Rock and Roll Part Three. It was around the same time Weezer had announced their reformation for "The Green Album", and it suddenly became clear to me just how far reaching their influence had been over the past decade. I mean, these guys sounded exactly like Weezer... in some ways, even better than the new Matt Sharp-less Weezer. Then they actually went on tour with Weezer, before going on to release Spending Time on the Borderline, an album that took their sound in a different, more "mature" direction. I'll be honest, I thought it was kind of dull. Then they broke up.

Luckily, the story doesn't end there as Ozma decided to get back together in 2006 and play some shows before sitting down to record a new album. Pasadena hits stores next week, and it marks a return to that catchy Weezer sound... which is great in my opinion, because the real Weezer seem to have lost it a long time ago. If that's not enough to get you interested, the song "Heartache vs. Heartbreak" features vocals from Rachel Haden of The Rentals. The album also features new recordings of the songs "Eponine" and "No One Needs to Know".

» Bonus Track: Underneath My Tree
» Pre-order it on Amazon

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Franz Ferdinand - All My Friends (LCD Soundsystem)

A few weeks ago this song emerged on Franz Ferdinand's MySpace page without any indication of where it came from, or if would ever be released. Being a big fan of the original version on LCD Soundsystem's Sound of Silver album, I really loved Franz Ferdinand's even more upbeat, dancey version of the song. Well, it's officially been announced that this song will be released as a bonus track on LCD Soundsystem's single for "All My Friends." But even more notably, the CD single also features another version of the song covered by Velvet Underground founder John Cale (included below). As you can guess, his version is not quite as catchy, but a treat nonetheless. As if that wasn't enough, the single also features three previous unreleased tracks, including the amazing "Freak Out."

Bonus Track - John Cale - All My Friends

Original Silence - If Light Has No Age, Time Has No Shadow

When you hear of a supergroup group featuring Thurston Moore, Jim O'Rourke, Mats Gustafsson, along with Paal Nilssen-Love, Terrie Ex and Massimo Pupillo, you have to listen. If even experimental music isn't right up your alley, this is the type of project that begs to be heard. And not surprisingly, their album The First Original Silence doesn't disappoint at all. The album features only two songs, the one included here, which runs at 15 minutes and a second track coming in at 45. I've included the shorter track here to give you a taste, being entirely convinced you'll be hooked after a listen of it. The songs have surprisingly more structure and fluidity than I expected, but that is just one of many expectations that were blown away with this album, and that is exactly why I'm becoming so addicted to this album.

The Goodbooks - The Illness

I'll admit that I haven't traditionally been a fan of what we commonly call Brit-pop, but I'm starting to get the impression that I've been missing out on some good bands. For me, the Goodbooks are the type of band that makes me confront all my poor stereotypes of British music. "The Illness" comes from their recently released The Illness EP, and I might consider it one of my current obsessions. Their reliance on pop music structures allows the band to create truly unique interpretations of pop music. Ironically, the raw energy and powerful emotive lyrics of this first single reminds me of another British band - Bloc Party. But whereas Bloc Party often makes straightforward pop music, the Goodbooks take these structures and work them for their own benefit and create some really amazing works. In particular, you need to check out "I Will Find You" included below.

» Bonus Track: I Will Find You
» Pre-order it on Amazon

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Muzak For Cybernetics Mixtape #10

So I finally decided to get off my ass and record another podcast. This one's chock full of good summer listening, whether you're about to go play frisbee at the park, do some rollerblading, or hit up the beach to catch some rays. (Okay, so maybe the weather's not quite that warm yet... at least not here it isn't.) Hopefully somewhere in this latest mix you'll find your new favourite band. Download the MP3 above, or subscribe to one of the podcast feeds below!



Playlist:

Tokyo Police Club - Be Good (RAC Remix)
Beck - Shake Shake Tambourine (Adrock Remix)
Young Buck - Shorty Wanna Ride (Ratatat Remix)
Junior Senior - Take My Time
Chromeo - Fancy Footwork
Architecture in Helsinki - Heart It Races
Dragonette - Magic Fantastic
Lucky Soul - Get Outta Town!
Nouvelle Vague - Ever Fallen In Love
Elk City - White Walls
The Shondes - Let's Go
Final Fantasy - Flare Gun
The Flaming Lips - The Supreme Being Teaches Spider-Man How To Love
Black Moth Super Rainbow - Rollerdisco
Handsome Furs - Hate This City
Coconut Records - West Coast
Memphis - I'll Do Whatever You Want
Rivers Cuomo - Pig (demo)

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Walkmen - Red River

I'm telling you, the marketing people for Spider-Man 3 know what they're doing. Oh sure, they could have easily thrown together another radio-friendly Spidey soundtrack chock full of new songs from Hoobastank and Chad Kroeger, but this time around they decided to go with a collection of bands that, while equally radio friendly, lean a little more towards the indie crowd. Now they've got the hipsters blogging about these new tunes from Rogue Wave, The Flaming Lips and Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and it's generating even more free publicity for the movie! (Heck they even managed to fit Coconut Records in there.) Ingenious. I don't know if it's going to sell more copies of the CD itself, but the hype for this flick is pretty much through the roof. As it turns out, the song "Red River" by The Walkmen is probably about the last thing I would ever associate with a summer comic book movie, but I guess I can't really complain. It sounds like it could have been lifted directly from their last album. The soundtrack is released through The Record Collection, and you can find it in stores now!

» Bonus Track: Black Mountain - Stay Free
» Buy it on Amazon