When it comes to the garage rock revival of the '00s no one has been close to the consistently great output of Greg Cartwright, who still remains largely unknown to most people. Cartwright's main project for the past decade has been Reigning Sound, who begun as a country rock band before steering back to Cartwright's usual garage rock sound - a sound which could be described as a mix of The Sonics and The Rolling Stones. Reigning Sound's fourth, and newest, studio album Love & Curses was released in 2009 on In The Red Recordings and was my favourite record of that year, and a top 15 of the '00s in general.
Reigning Sound recently released a split 7" single together with Last Year's Men as part of the Scion A/V Garage single series, with Reigning Sound being represented by a brand new song called "What Did I Tell You". "What Did I Tell You" is a classic Reigning Sound track, showcasing Cartwright's songwriting skills, and you can listen to, and download, it below. We've also got Last Year's Men's contribution "In My Car" available too - I haven't heard anything by them before but it definitely sounds good to me.
Yesterday Best Coast released a Drew Barrymore-directed video for "Our Deal", from their debut lp Crazy For You, which was released last year, and today they've shared a brand new track called "How They Want Me To Be". In a blog post Best Coast leader Bethany Cosentino explains that it's a track that'll end up on their upcoming second record, but that this version of the track is nothing more than a rough demo and that it'll be re-recorded for the album. Check out the full blog post and story behind the song here, and listen to the track here.
|Photo by Badlands|
If you've been reading this blog regularly you'll know that I'm a big fan of Balto, a New York folk rock band who self-released their debut record October's Road earlier this year and is currently touring the US. A couple of weeks ago, on July 14 right before the first show of the tour, Balto leader Daniel Sheron plus Philippe Bronchtein (who performed on October's Road) and Alex Lewis of Hip Hatchet recorded a bluesgrass-styled cover of Bruce Springsteen's classic "I'm On Fire", from 1984's Born In The U.S.A., for Badlands. Listen to and download the cover below.
Swedish folk singer-songwriter The Tallest Man On Earth is set to team up with Idiot Wind, aka Amanda Bergman, another Swedish singer-songwriter to record a film score for Gorki Glaser-Müller's Once A Year. While The Tallest Man On Earth has gotten pretty well-known by now Idiot Wind is most likely an unknown face for anyone who hasn't seen her open for The Tallest Man On Earth, but her music definitely deserves a larger audience.
Frank Turner released his fourth studio album, England Keep My Bones, in early June and today he released a video for "If Ever I Stray". "If Ever I Stray" will be released as a single on Xtra Miles Recordings and Epitaph Records on August 29, and the video was directed by Alex White. Watch it below.
I'm guessing everyone has heard Don Henley's "Boys Of Summer" a few times, or more likely far too many times, but the pairing of "Boys Of Summer" with Sub Pop recording artist Papercuts is enough to get me intrigued. Papercuts, or Jason Robert Quever who is the man behind the name, posted the "rough" cover (recorded last year) to the Papercuts tumblr yesterday and you can stream it below. If you haven't heard Papercuts' Fading Parade (released on Sub Pop earlier this year) make sure you do - easily top ten of the year material.
Cymbals Eat Guitars' second album Lenses Alien is now less than a month away from release in North America, where it's released on August 30 via Barsuk, while the European release on Memphis Industries is due on September 12. We've already gotten a taste of the album with the opening track "Rifle Sight (Proper Name)" and yesterday they released another one of Lenses Alien's highlights in "Definite Darkness". Download "Definite Darkness" below, and make sure to check out the album when it's released - it's one of the best albums of the year.
Best Coast have released a video for "Our Deal" from Crazy For You, which was released last year on Mexican Summer. The video is part of MTV's Supervideo series and it's directed by Drew Barrymore (yes, that Drew Barrymore) and features romance, tragedy and gang war, starring Chloe Moretz, Tyler Posey, Miranda Cosgrove, Alia Shawkat, Donald Glover and Shailene Woodley. Watch the video below.
Timber Timbre released their fourth album Creep On Creepin' On in April this year and they've now released a third video from the record for "Bad Ritual", following the ones for "Woman" and "Black Water". The video is directed by Olivier Groulx and features similar eerie imagery to their previous two videos. Watch it below, and if you get the chance be sure to check them out live on their upcoming European tour (dates below).
As I mentioned in my post about My Morning Jacket's European fall tour yesterday, I seldom bother to post tour announcements by themselves so this marks a special occasion with two in two days. Blitzen Trapper and Dawes have just announced a co-headlining fall tour for the US, stretching from October 7 to November 15, something I'd love to see. Please take it to Europe too? Please?
Smoke Fairies and Belle Brigade will the opening acts, doing one half of the tour each. In celebration of the tour announcement Blitzen Trapper and Dawes have pulled together a tour sampler with three tracks each, which is available for free download below. The sampler contains "Love Is All I Am" from Dawes' debut album North Hills and "Time Spent In Los Angeles" and "Little Bit Of Everything" from their new album Nothing Is Wrong, while Blitzen Trapper share the title track from their upcoming album American Goldwing (out Sep 13 on Sup Pop), "Evening Star" from last year's Destroyer Of The Void and the title track from their excellent 2008 album Furr. Download the sampler below and check out the full tour dates below the widget.
My Morning Jacket announced a European tour for November yesterday and followed that announcement with releasing a new video for "Holdin On To Black Metal", taken from their new album Circuital. Check out the psychedelic video below.
Okkervil River will release a 7" single for "Your Past Life As A Blast" via Jagjaguwar tomorrow in the US and on September 5 in the UK, and the single will include the previously unreleased b-side "Gold Faces". "Your Past Life As A Blast" is taken from Okkervil River's new album I Am Very Far which was released in May this year, and it's the third single from the album following "Wake And Be Fine" and "Rider" (all featuring new b-sides). Head over to Pitchfork to give "Gold Faces" a listen, and check out the artwork for the single above.
I usually don't bother posting tour announcements but I've been waiting for this one since My Morning Jacket cancelled their 2008 European tour after Jim James fell of the stage and got hospitalised. The band is usually ranked among the best rock live bands active and they recently did a well-received gig at Somerset House in London, but in Novemeber they're returning to Europe for a full tour, between November 2 and 19 with fourteen gigs scheduled.
The tour will take the band through the UK, the Benelux area, Germany, Sweden and Norway and I will definitely attend either the opening gig in Glasgow or the finishing gig in Stockholm - or maybe even both. Check out the full tour dates below.
Today, August 1, Viva Brother released their debut album Famous First Words and all I can say is that there isn't much to say. The album sounded as expected; British guitar-pop with big influences from both Oasis and Blur. The quality of the songs are quite uneven, some are really good like the first track ”New Years Day” and ”Darling Buds of May”, which has both been released as singles, while songs like ”High Street Low Lives” and the following track ”Electric Daydream” are quite boring. You've heard this kind of tunes before, many times before.
Famous First Words is worth listening to one or maybe two times, but I will not add it on my iPod. I give it 5/10.
This post marks the first appearance of WU LYF on Birds Need Feet, for the simple reason that I haven't listened to them before. This is a couple of days old but WU LYF recently recorded a studio session at Maida Vale and performed a new track called "Brooklyn Girls", which features bassist Tom McClung on vocals. I gave the track a listen after Cymbals Eat Guitars compared the vocals to Paul Westerberg's on their band Twitter account, and like the Replacements junkie that I am I had to give it a shot.
I wasn't disappointed - it's a really good track, and the only other WU LYF track I've given a listen so far sounded good too. Anyway, give "Brooklyn Girls" a listen below and judging by this live review by my friends over at One Thirty BPM their live show is something special, something I will hopefully experience myself during the Way Out West festival in less than two weeks.
As we reported in late June A.A. Bondy will release his third solo album, Believers, on September 13 via Fat Possum, and today NPR premiered a first track from the album. "The Heart Is Willing" is the opening track of Believers and sees Bondy returning to his usual style without losing any quality, and it definitely shows promise for the full-length. Head over to NPR to give it a listen.
UPDATE: We've now got an embedded stream below:
Thrill Jockey will release San Francisco psych rock band Wooden Shjips' third proper studio album, West, on August 16 and we've already gotten a taste from the album in the form of "Lazy Bones". Today Wooden Shjips premiered the black-and-white video for the opening track of West; "Black Smoke Rise", and you can watch the video below. Personally I find the black-and-white footage to work very well with the music, but judge for yourselves.
A couple of weeks ago I posted an mp3 of The War On Drugs' "Come To The City" and today they presented the beautiful video for the track together with a stream of Slave Ambient in full. The video is part of Urban Outfitters UO Video Series and it was directed by Peter J. Brant. Check out the video below and head over to Urban Outfitters' site to read an interview with War On Drugs frontman Adam Granduciel.
The War On Drugs are finally set to release their second lp, Slave Ambient, after two years of waiting on August 16 via Secretly Canadian, but you can stream the full album already. Slave Ambient is the follow-up to their 2008 debut Wagonwheel Blues and last year's Future Weather ep, and so far we've gotten two pre-release mp3s for "Baby Missiles" and "Come To The City" and a video for "Baby Missiles".
Slave Ambient is without a doubt one of the strongest album's of the year so far and should gain the band a far larger fanbase, especially since they've streamlined their sound a bit since Wagonwheel Blues (don't worry, it's still good). Slave Ambient will, besides the regular versions (cd/lp/download) also be released on cassette, with 40 minutes bonus material, which looks pretty cool - check out the info here. Head over to Urban Outfitters to stream the album in full, and watch the brand new video for "Come To The City" here.
UPDATE: We now have an embedded stream of the album for you below, via The Line Of Best Fit.
Viva Brother's debut album Famous First Words, is released tomorrow for the U.K. crowd and August 2 in the US. But it's been available to stream on youtube (VEVO, unfortunately) since July 28. So for those who can't wait until tomorrow to hear it, here you go.