Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Surfer Blood/ Holiday Shores

Two bands that really caught my ear last week were Surfer Blood and Holiday Shores. Both have that beach pop thing (you could probably tell that from their names), but they back that sound of now with really, really good albums.

Surfer Blood were one of those 'buzz bands' that music industry people like to talk about at CMJ.

I caught one and a half songs at their early afternoon slot at Cake Shop, couldn't see a thing and was kinda jetlagged so went to get an organic smoothy (Very Berry FYI) and sit out front of an expensive clothes shop watching people go by. Fortunately I managed to catch them again at Pianos, where they truly hooked me, and again at the Pitchfork party at Market Hotel.

There's lots of bands at the moment doing this beach pop/ lo-fi thing, but where Surfer Blood really stand out is the fact they have a lot of really good songs. Sounding a little like the Shins, a little like Weezer and a lot like a band people will fall in love with.

Pitchfork posted 'Swim (To Reach The End)' a few weeks back (download below), which is also my favourite track from their debut album 'Astro Coast' (out soon on Kanine)



Fresh from being on the cover of the New Yorker's arts section Holiday Shores played a bunch of shows too, after many misses I managed to catch them at that same Chocolate Bobka/ Underwater Peoples/ Two Syllable showcase the Real Estate video is from.

Having had the album for a while, I was keen to see how it's lo-fi Baroque guitar pop sounded live. They also drew quite a crowd. It was a pretty great show, the melodies that make the album so timeless and so 2009 were all there, it was pretty impressive to hear a band so easily nailing it.

The album is out now on the brilliant Two Syllable records, I suggest you go get a copy. And to entice you a little more, here's two of the many great moments from it, an MP3 and a video:


Holiday Shores - Edge Of Our Lives from Chocolate Bobka on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Real Estate 'Black Lake' live at CMJ

Real Estate played a bunch of shows at CMJ last week, one being the Chocolate Bobka/ Underwater Peoples/ Two Syllable showcase at the Delancy (basement - grotty sweat box playing host to lo-fi bands/ upstairs - DJs playing mashups and Lady Gaga).

They went on around 3am, after great sets by Holiday Shores, Pill Wonder, Frat Dad and some others. Everyone was pretty drunk and sweaty by this point, but they managed to play one of the best sets of the week, where the ever excellent Chocolate Bobka got this footage:

Real Estate - Black Lake from Chocolate Bobka on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

LCD Soundsysem 'Bye Bye Bayou'

I love LCD Soundsystem, as in proper nerdy love. Both albums are up there as two of my favourite's from the last few years. And, let's face it, 'Losing My Edge' is the best song of the last 10 years.

Anyway, LCD Soundsystem have covered Alan Vega's 'Bye Bye Bayou', from his pretty patchy debut solo album. Although to be fair, the dude's about 900 years old and he was in Suicide so he can be forgiven the odd ropey album (although 'Saturn Strip' is pretty awesome). LCD's version turns it in to a pulsing 7 minute long disco tune. You can download the MP3 from here

There's also due to be a new album in March next year.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Weed Diamond

WEED DIAMOND, who will be the other side to the Ancient Crux 7" we're putting out, is Denver, Colorado based Tim Perry. His songs also take in the lo-fi 60s pop thing, although these tracks are more stoner psych jams with long forgotten doo wop bands' melodies floating around behind the fuzz.

Weed Diamond's side of the split 7" will have his heartbroken prom song 'Nothing To Write Home About', which is up on his myspace to listen to (and download if you know how to work the internet)

You can download 'Mr Vacant Stare' below, which sounds like a lost 60s San Francisco garage band playing spooky electric folk:


You can order his 'Sweater Kids' tape on Mirror Universe, limited to 100 copies so get in quick.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Ancient Crux

ANCIENT CRUX is primarily 19 year old Travis Von Sydow (also of LA punks Rapid Youth), he writes, records all the Ancient Crux stuff himself, but plays live with a couple of other dudes. We first stumbled across them on the No Pain In Pop blog a few months ago. We instantly fell in love with the lo-fi Roy Orbison pop of 'In Teen Dreams', sounding like it should've soundtracked Jason Priestly's mercurial (if tragically short lived) turn as Buzz Gunderson in 'Teen Angel'.

So, next year we'll be releasing that song (which is on the Ancient Crux myspace if you want to hear it) as a double a-side split single with Denver, Colorado based Weed Diamond (more on him later). In the meantime, you can download 'Vanisher' from the 'Interracial Coupling EP' on Family Time Records.


Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Julian Lynch 'Seed' video

Julian Lynch who released one of my favourite albums of the year, the psych soul and electric folk of 'Orange You Glad' (buy from here) has just posted the new video for 'Seed', directed by Amy Ruh.


Download his Cyndi Lauper cover here: JULIAN LYNCH 'TIME AFTER TIME' MP3 [MEDIAFIRE LINK]

Tuesday, 6 October 2009


Earlier this year we released a 12" EP by Banjo or Freakout called 'Upside Down'. One of the remixes we had done was by London club night running/ blogging/ label running/ DJs Allez Allez. Which turned the title track in to an extended Kompakt-esque techno wonder (download from RCRDLBL)

Well, since then Alessio and Sam from Allez Allez have got together to form a band called Walls

Below is the first fruits of their labour and brilliant it is too:

Walls - Gaberdine by wallsjams

Friday, 2 October 2009

Banjo or Freakout 'Left It Alone (Becoming Real Remix)' MP3

After Pinglewood tipped us off about London's Becoming Real and his Blank Dogs via Dilla lo-fi dubstep, we knew we had to get him to fuck with something we're involved with. So, below is his reinterpretation of the upcoming Banjo or Freakout single 'Left It Alone'. It'll be available on iTunes and whatnot as part of a digital EP in a few weeks.

Becoming Real has also just done a little interview on Fader, where he talks 9/11 and the Microphones.

Banjo or Freakout 'Left It Alone (Becoming Real Remix)' MP3 (Sendspace link)

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Fool's Gold

Fool's Gold released their debut album this week on IAMSOUND. I've only had it a couple of days and it's already in my top 10 of the year.

Having initially been put off by their name, thinking they'd be some baggy, Madchester shit (which I hated at the time and still hate), I thought I'd give it a go as I'm a giving kinda guy. What I wasn't expecting was a 7 minute African pop song, all high-life guitars and Hebrew/ English vocals.

'Surprise Hotel' MP3

(via Pitchfork)

Here's the video to the song, if you can't be arsed with downloading free music. It's got old men spraying Fanta and Coke at each other, lizards, girls in a pool and the band mooching around. Everything you need in a pop video: