Tag: Future Islands
While there are many great shows this week that can all be seen here at the Rock Report, there is one show that rises above all the rest. As you probably know, we here at WKNC worship the North Carolina bred synth-pop fanatics Future Islands. But what you might not know is that Future Islands was not the first endeavor of Samuel Herring, William Cashion, and Gerrit Welmers. Before Future Islands, the three of them were in a band with Adam Beeby called Art Lord & the Self-Potraits. They played their first show 10 years ago on Valentine’s Day. The band toured vigorously around North Carolina as well as a tour with Dan Deacon up and down the East Coast. After 2 years of existence, they laid the Art Lord to rest and started Future Islands.
This Valentine’s Day, Art Lord & the Self-Potraits are getting back together for a 10 year anniversary of their first show to release a double LP retrospective off Friend’s Records entitled The Definitive Collection. This release is their first vinyl release to date and compiles songs from their four albums. The show is at Kings Barcade this Thursday at 9pm. Brian Corum opens with a special solo Lonnie Walker set followed by GOOGOOLOO. Art-Lord and the Self-Potraits will then close out the night which is sure to be one of the best shows of this year. So grab your loved one and come on out to the show.
Check out a synopsis from Samuel Herring of how Art Lord & the Self-Potraits came to be below:
“AT THE BEGINNING OF THE 1980’S, THE SPECTRUM OF MUSIC AND ART WERE BEING BLOWN WIDE OPEN. THE WORLD WAS CHANGING AND THE PEOPLE WANTED A STAR, AN ICON, TO CHALLENGE THEIR MODE OF THINKING. SOMEONE THEY COULD FOLLOW, WHETHER TO WATCH THEM ASCEND OR PLUMMET INTO THE HISTORY OF TEXTBOOK LORE.
AT THE AGE OF 18, LOCKE ERNST-FROST, WOULD BE SUCH A MAN. PROPELLED INTO BEING—LOCKE—THE SELF-PROCLAIMED, GERMAN LORD OF ART (FROM GERMANY, OHIO), THE NEW YORK ART SCENE BY STORM. GIVING HIS ONE OF A KIND VIEWPOINTS ON THE BANALITY OF LIFE, HE TORE APART THE AMERICAN POP CULTURE IDOLATRY, AND CHASTISED THE WORLD AUDIENCE’S FOOLISHNESS FOR FALLING FOR SUCH SIMPLE TRICKS.
HOWEVER, THIS PROVED TO BE TOO GREAT OF A CHALLENGE FOR THE YOUNG MAN. WHILE THE WORLD HERALDED HIM AS THE SAVIOR OF ART, HE REALIZED THAT HE WAS BECOMING THE THING THAT HE DESPISED. THE SPOTLIGHT WAS TOO GREAT, THE LEVEL OF OBSERVATION TOO HIGH. HE WANTED TO ESCAPE THE LIFE HE HAD CREATED. AND SO, AT THE RIPE OLD AGE OF 19 HE BANISHED HIMSELF FROM THE SPOTLIGHT, TO A BUNKER IN ZURICH, NEVER TO BE HEARD FROM AGAIN.
FLASH FORWARD, FEBRUARY 2003, LOCKE ERNST-FROST EMERGES FROM THE BANKS OF THE TAR RIVER, IN THE SMALL, COLLEGE TOWN OF GREENVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA. IT HAS BEEN TWO DECADES SINCE THE ART LORD HAS SPOKEN, AND NO ONE KNOWS HIS NAME. THE MYTH. ERNST-FROST HAS BEEN IN SECLUSION FOR THE LAST TWENTY YEARS TRYING TO CRACK THE AESTHETIC CODE. HE HAS SPENT EVERYDAY, SINCE HIS RETIREMENT, DREAMING, SCULPTING AND PAINTING THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THING IN THE WORLD. HIMSELF. AFTER BEING SET AWAY FOR SO LONG, HE BELIEVED IT WAS TIME TO FINALLY STEP OUT OF THE DARKNESS, AND SING TO THE WORLD HIS TALES OF WOE.
AFTER AUDITIONING MUSICIANS FOR HIS PROJECT, HE REALIZED IT WAS FRUITLESS. NO ONE WAS GOOD ENOUGH TO PLAY FOR HIM. DETERMINED, HE GAVE LIFE TO THE ONLY BEINGS WHO WERE WORTHY TO STAND ON THE STAGE BESIDE HIM, FOUR TEARS DROPPED ON CANVAS, AND HIS SELF-PORTRAITS WERE BORN. TOGETHER, THEY SET OUT, LOCKE, #1, #2, #3, AND #4. FINALLY, THE ART LORD AND HIS SELF-PORTRAITS, COULD TELL THEIR STORY TO THE WORLD…HOW HARD IT IS, TO BE, SO GREAT.”
by sarahnade on Nov.02, 2012, under Local
NC State football will face Virginia on Saturday, November 3 for this year’s homecoming game. The game begins at 12:30PM, if you make it through your shotgun-ridden beer pong-playing pig-roasting tailgating, that is. Festivities have been going on all week, including last night’s Pack Howl concert featuring Wale and the week-long “Wear Red Get Fed” campaign, where broke hungry college students are rewarded with free food from local businesses for donning the school’s famous color.
What we here at WKNC are most excited about though (we have a few hardcore sports fans, a sports show, etc. — but let’s face it, music is the priority here) are the string of free shows taking place all afternoon into the night. Hillsborough Street’s Homecoming Music Fest will begin at 4:00PM at Schoolkids Records. Similar to Halloween’s hike night, bars, restaurants and venues along Hillsborough will have bands playing:
5:00PM - Spider Bags @ Schoolkids Records
6:00PM – Homecoming Parade on Hillsborough Street
7:30PM - Jason Adamo Band @ Sadlacks, Love Under @ Hotbox, Bullfrog McGhee @ Chili Bomba, Side Car Social Club @ The Keg, SupaTight @ The Alley, Sai Surrealia @ Pack House, E-Train @ East Village, Future Islands @ Schoolkids
8:00PM – Free Karaoke @ Brickhouse
10:30PM – MSRP & The Last Tall Boy @ Sadlacks, Windsor Oaks Band @ Hotbox, DJ @ Chili Bomba, DW Band @ The Keg, TheAmateurs @ The Alley, Synergy and Heads on Sticks @ Pack House, Hot Damn Band @ East Village, The Embers @ Pantana Bobs, Spider Bags @ Schoolkids
by DJ Ones on Dec.31, 2011, under Daytime
It’s that time of the year again, and as we say farewell to 2011 and greet 2012 many of us here at WKNC reflected on what the best albums of the year were. Much like the previous two years I sent out a request to the Daytime staff to see what their favorite albums of 2011 were, and below are their top five individual favorites.
1. Sarah Jarosz- Follow Me Down
2. Chris Thile & Michael Daves- Sleep With One Eye Open
3. Bombadil- All the Rain Promises
4. The Decemberists- The King Is Dead
5. Mandolin Orange- Haste Make, Hard Hearted Stranger
1. Wye Oak- Civilian
2. The Dodos- No Color
3. St. Vincent- Strange Mercy
4. Fleet Foxes- Helplessness Blues
5. James Blake- James Blake
What are your favorite albums of the year? Comment below.
Sunday, November 27 Lonnie Walker, Ed Scrader’s Music Beat and Future Islands took the stage at Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro. According to Sam Herring, it was the best-selling show yet of their US tour — and it was date #30.
Local band Lonnie Walker opened. The set started a little early and was shorter than the fans wanted. What can we say – we love Lonnie. After closing out with their most popular songs, Ed Scharder’s Music Beat took the stage. The two-piece is from Baltimore, where Future Islands now reside. The songs were short but powerful, up-in-your-face without scaring you away.
If you think you don’t like Future Islands, go to one of their shows and you’ll think again. Watching this band live is an unforgettable visceral experience that will leave you tired, sweaty and wishing for more. You will be entranced by frontman Sam Herring’s theatrical stage presence and how every word he sings is so infused with genuine energy, passion and (usually) heartache. Sam is charming, entertaining and rigorously emotional all at once and his performance is one from which you will not be able to look away – you will see him crouch to the ground, jump, dance and beat his fists against his chest all while singing in his gruff and deeply yearning vocals. In between songs, Sam steps out of this character and engages the crowd instead with lighthearted anecdotes that starkly contrast the intensely emotional songs. The way the band interacts with the audience is humble despite all this, letting you know they’re excited and grateful to be there, too.
Over the past few years every Future Islands show I’ve attended has seemed more packed than the one before it, and Sunday night’s performance at Cat’s Cradle was no exception. This is a band that consistently puts on a stellar live show and that has helped them continue to build a loyal following in the Triangle, and hopefully beyond. While their records are absolutely worth thousands of listens, if you have never seen Future Islands before I guarantee that after you do, you will appreciate this band in a way that you cannot even imagine now.
Last Sunday, Future Islands along with Lonnie Walker and Ed Schrader’s Music Beat captivated the audience at Cat’s Cradle with their diverse and energetic performances. These are three unique live acts that are definitely worth keeping an eye out for, whether you missed the show on Sunday night or because you can’t wait to see them again.
1. Future Islands – On The Water (Thrill Jockey)
2. Zola Jesus – Conatus (Sacred Bones)
3. Widowspeak – Widowspeak (Captured Tracks)
4. Young Man – Ideas of Distance (Frenchkiss)
5. The Field – Looping State Of Mind (Kompakt)
6. Class Actress - Rapproacher (Carpark)
7. St. Vincent – Strange Mercy (4AD)
8. Megafaun – Megafaun (Hometapes)
9. Youth Lagoon – The Year of Hibernation (Fat Possum)
10. Sugarplum Fairies – The Images We Get (M-M)
11. Various Artists - GRPTPS Vs. PTLCK (Grip Tapes)
12. Viva Voce – The Future Will Destroy You (Vanguard)
13. Wilco – The Whole Love (Anti)
14. Wild Flag – Wild Flag (Merge)
15. Mandolin Orange - Haste Make/Hard Hearted Stranger (Self-Released)
16. Icebird - The Abandoned Lullaby (RJ’s Electrical Connections)
17. Real Estate – Days (Domino)
18. M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming (Mute)
19. Bonnie Prince Billy - Wolfroy Goes To Town (Drag City)
20. Wavves – Life Sux (Ghost Ramp)
21. Mike Doughty – Yes And Also Yes (Megaforce-Snack Bar)
22. High Places – Original Colors (Thrill Jockey)
23. Jens Lekman – An Argument With Myself (Secretly Canadian)
24. Touché Amoré - Parting The Sea Between Brightness And Me (Deathwish)
25. Donora – Boyfriends, Girlfriends (Rostrum)
26. Phantogram – Nightlife (Barsuk)
27. Jono McCleery – There Is (Counter)
28. Patti Smith – Outside of Society (Columbia)
29. Hella – Tripper (Sargent House)
30. Wu Lyf - Go Tell Fire To The Mountain (L Y F)
“Thursday is the new Friday,” proclaimed front man Sam Herring as he watched the sea of hands surge upward. The first night of Future Islands’ Raleigh performances had begun. The hype was building earlier as the shirtless front man and drummer of Ed Schrader’s Music Beat screamed into the microphone as he rapped his drum. A ghoulish low angle light illuminated his body, yet the tactic seemed appropriate and fitting. Islands’ entrance was quick, but their deliverance was timely.
Dressed in more formal attire (which Herring seemed to slowly rid himself of as the night progressed), they delivered crowd favorites like “Tin Man” and “Long Flight” which were played back to back. Both tracks are off of Future Islands’ sophomore release “In Evening Air.” The Baltimore band also showcased some new tracks which I suspect are part of a rapidly approaching album release. Herring’s usual stage facial expressions seemed surprising less theatrical Thursday night. I did, however, have a sneaking suspicion that the band was holding back for their second night. Fellow WKNC DJ The Mensch commented on the evening’s performance: “Having never heard Future Islands in concert I wasn’t entirely sure of what to except. Through, hearsay I knew they were amazing live from the chitchat around the studio… It’s safe to say that this was one of the best, if not the best concert I have ever seen in the Triangle.”
by DJ Mollypop on Feb.28, 2011, under Promotions
The warm weather got you wanting to get out of the house? Spring Break plans fall through?
Let us provide you with some options.
Be the right caller and you could win!
This week at WKNC, we have the following giveaways:
Remember, you have to listen win!
Oh, and while you’re winning free tickets to great show, remember to vote WKNC best in College Radio as according to MTVu. Vote often, vote much.
To state the obvious, we here at WKNC love music. A lot. We also love live music. A lot. Most, if not all, of us attend many concerts and music festivals each year. What follows are lists of some of WKNC’s deejays’ favorite shows of the year. They range from national to local acts, regular shows to festivals. Some (myself included) went to so many it was hard to narrow it down to five, so we listed ten. Some lists are in numerical order, others are not. Caribou, Future Islands, and the inaugural Hopscotch Music Festival were some of the most common favorites, among dozens of other acts. Check it out:
Synthesiser Patel (Daytime/Afterhours)
- Metric @ Lollapalooza
- of Montreal @ Cat’s Cradle
DJ Mensch (Daytime)
1. The National @ Raleigh Memorial Auditorium
2. Minus The Bear @ Lincoln Theatre
3. Max Indian @ Hopscotch Music Festival
4. Broken Social Scene @ Hopscotch Music Festival
5. The Rosebuds @ Hopscotch Music Festival
May Day (Daytime)
1. Broken Social Scene @ Hopscotch Music Festival
2. Camera Obscura @ Duke Gardens
3. Surfer Blood @ Cat’s Cradle
5. OK Go @ Lincoln Theatre
DJ Mollypop (Daytime)
1. Paul McCartney @ Sprint Center (Kansas City)
2. The Weepies @ Lincoln Theatre
3. Phoenix @ Koka Booth Amphitheatre
4. Crooked Still @ Casbah
The Noobhammer (Chainsaw)
5. Boris @ Cat’s Cradle
Iris G (Daytime)
- Mumford & Sons @ 9:30 Club (Washington, D.C.)
- Ratatat @ MeetFactory (Prague)
- Active Child @ Hopscotch Music Festival
- Cassis Orange @ Duke Coffeehouse
- Veelee @ Duke Coffeehouse
- Old Bricks @ Kings
- Deerhunter @ Cat’s Cradle
Sarahnade (Daytime/Post Rock Block)
1. Trans-Siberian Orchestra @ RBC Center
3. Phoenix @ Koka Booth Amphitheatre
6. This Machine Kills Cancer benefit
DJ Ones (Daytime)
1. Phoenix @ Koka Booth Amphitheatre
2. The New Pornographers @ Memorial Hall (UNC-CH)
3. Broken Social Scene @ Hopscotch Music Festival
4. The Big Pink @ Cat’s Cradle
5. Sharon Van Etten @ Hopscotch Music Festival
DJ Hammerhead (Chainsaw)
The Blog Lady (Blog Editor/Staff Photographer)
1. The Avett Brothers @ Asheville Civic Center Arena
2. Lost In The Trees @ Cat’s Cradle
3. Mandolin Orange @ Troika Music Festival
4. The Rosebuds @ Hopscotch Music Festival
5. Chatham County Line @ Troika Music Festival
DJ Vice (Daytime)
2. Passion Pit @ The Fillmore Charlotte
3. The Avett Brothers @ Asheville Civic Center Arena
Just John (Daytime)
2. Beach House @ Cat’s Cradle
3. Every Future Islands show
4. Joanna Newsom @ Carolina Theatre
5. Ponytail @ Siren Music Festival
The Cosmic Cowboy (The Church of Bluegrass and the Truer Sound)
1. John Prine @ Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival
2. Joanna Newsom @ The National (Richmond) and Variety Playhouse (Atlanta)
4. Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy @ Borque’s Social Club (Scot, LA)
5. Charlie Louvin @ Borque’s Social Club (Scot, LA)
DJ Elly May (Daytime)
1. Delta Spirit @ Cat’s Cradle
3. Holy Ghost Tent Revival @ The Pour House
4. Minus The Bear @ Lincoln Theatre
5. Turbo Fruits @ Local 506
8. Alice In Chains @ Raleigh Memorial Auditorium
Agent Orange (Daytime)
1. Broken Social Scene @ Hopscotch Music Festival
Riff Raff (Daytime)
- Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros @ Cat’s Cradle
- Ludacris @ Reynolds Coliseum
DJ Kligz (Daytime/Local Lunch)
4. Beach House @ Cat’s Cradle
1. LCD Soundsystem @ Pitchfork Music Festival
3. The National @ Raleigh Memorial Auditorium
4. Wilco @ Durham Performing Arts Center
8. Deakin @ Hopscotch Music Festival
9. GWAR @ Lincoln Theatre
What were your favorite shows and/or music festivals of the year?
by DJ Ones on Dec.28, 2010, under Daytime
Another year is practically in the books, and with it comes time to recapture our favorite moments in music from the past year. I sought to get a large number of Daytime deejays to give us their favorite albums of the past year. And what a year it was! Below is the collection of great albums as decided by a great deal of Daytime deejays. See you next year!
1. Justin Townes Earle – Harlem River Blues
2. Various Artists – Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows: The Songs of John Prine
3. John Prine – In Person & On Stage
4. Megafaun – Heretofore
5. Tallest Man On Earth – The Wild Hunt
1. Peggy Sue – Fossils and Other Phantoms
2. Tallest Man on Earth – Sometimes the Blues Is Just a Passing Bird
3. Laura Marling – I Speak Because I Can
4. Bonnie “Prince” Billy and the Cairo Gang – Wonder Show of the World
5. Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas – Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas
1. The National – High Violet
2. Laura Marling – I Speak Because I Can
3. The Black Keys – Brothers
4. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
5. Mumford and Sons – Sigh No More
1. Tallest Man on Earth – The Wild Hunt
2. The Black Keys – Brothers
3. Mumford & Sons – Sigh No More
4. The National – High Violet
5. Blair – Die Young
1. The Love Language – Libraries
2. Future Islands – In Evening Air
3. Tallest Man On Earth – The Wild Hunt
4. Phantogram – Eyelid Movies
5. MGMT – Congratulations
1. Future Islands – In Evening Air
2. Beach House – Teen Dream
3. The Morning Benders – Big Echo
4. Broken Social Scene – Forgiveness Rock Record
5. Gorillaz – Plastic Beach
1. Future Islands – In Evening Air
2. Beach House – Teen Dream
3. Surfer Blood – Astro Coast
4. Caribou – Swim
5. Four Tet – There is Love in You
1. Titus Andronicus – The Monitor
2. LCD SoundSystem – This is Happening
3. Beach House – Teen Dream
4. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
5. Tallest Man on Earth – The Wild Hunt
1. Mumford and Sons - Sigh No More
2. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
3. Tallest Man On Earth – The Wild Hunt
4. Vampire Weekend – Contra
5. Broken Bells – Broken Bells
What are some of your favorite albums of 2010? Leave your comments in the comment section below.
by DJ Kligz on Dec.09, 2010, under Local
It’s December, which means the Best of 2010 album lists are already coming out all around you. If you’re like me, this means going back through iTunes and Last.fm to see what was really listened to the most or has made that special impression on you since January. Being Local Music Director, I listen to much more local music than anything else and am finding that quite a few local albums have made their way into my list for this year.
The folks over at NPR Music have already put out their top 50 favorites of 2010 and the list includes most of the important albums released since January. I was excited to see North Carolina’s own Carolina Chocolate Drops on the list with their spring release “Genuine Negro Jig” alongside bands such as Arcade Fire, The National, and Sharon Van Etten.
Alongside the fifty chosen by NPR Music’s staff, music lovers everywhere are getting the chance to vote for their very own top albums of 2010. The results of the poll will be revealed during All Songs Considered on Dec. 14 and Carolina Chocolate Drops, Future Islands, and Lost In The Trees are all nominees. You can vote through the link below and listen on Dec. 14 for the results!
This past Friday (November 19) was a great day for local music in Raleigh. Hopefully most of you dropped by after work or class and came out to the Harris Field lawn to check out our November installment of Fridays on the Lawn featuring The Tender Fruit and The Tomahawks. Despite the chillier weather, we experienced a great turnout as people came out with blankets and snuggies to enjoy the free pizza and music.
The Tender Fruit was represented solely by Christy Smith, an N.C. State graduate in English, who managed to hold her own as she worked the kick drum and strummed her guitar. Smith’s voice is really something to admire. On the band’s recent album, Flotsam & Krill, I was blown away by her vocal dynamics, especially on track “Get Out of the Car.” Performing live, she was equally as powerful and her set proved to be calming but also a pleasant juxtaposition against the grittier headliners, The Tomahawks. This past August, Indy Week covered an interesting story on Smith, her past relationship with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, and how Flotsam& Krill is a response to Vernon’s hit album For Emma, Forever Ago. You can check out the article here.
Although the concert was over before 9 p.m., local music fans were in luck as Future Islands were headlining at Kings Barcade in downtown Raleigh that night as well. Well, that is, if they had bought a ticket in advance as the show was sold out. Although I missed the opener NAPS, I was greeted by the familiar and pleasant sounds of Veelee upon walking into Kings. Matt and Ginger focused their set on their newer songs off their latest album The Future Sight. Veelee recently opened for Merge Record‘s powerhouse, Caribou, on Halloween, which is a sign there are bigger and better things awaiting them.
Lonnie Walker was the last band to perform before the headliners came on stage. The bands are well known friends as Walker and Future Islands recently put out a split 7″ together. The crowd at this point of the night were getting into a frenzy. The front part of the stage where I had posted myself had become a dance floor. My head was particularly swaying to many of the tracks on Island’s recent album, In Evening Air. The night was everything to be expected of Future Islands: funny antics from lead singer Sam Herring, stage dancing, and great music.
by DJ Kligz on Aug.31, 2010, under Local
Yep, you read it right! WKNC will have the great pleasure of premiering two brand new songs by local favorites Lonnie Walker and Future Islands from their split 7″ coming out this November. We are the very first ones to have the tracks, so you’ll just have to tune in to the Local Lunch this Wednesday to hear them (and trust me, they rock).
The one and only DJ Ray will be unlocking the treasure chest of two brand new singles to rock you through the next week and a half until we get to see both bands live at Hopscotch! Are you as excited as I am?!??
Unfortunately, schedules have a way of tying up. Samuel and William of Future Islands will no longer be coming to the station, but rather they will be calling the studio around 4pm for a live phone interview. No hard feelings; these guys rock. They will be at the Local 506 tonight, don’t miss it!
If you’ve been in the Triangle for any number of years like I have, then you’ve likely seen Future Islands play. Their dark-wave synth dance music is addicting and the experience is an intoxicating modern take on Shakespeare. Their live performances never leave the crowd unsatisfied. Band members Gerrit Welmers, William Cashion and Samuel T Herring have moved the band from Greenville to Raleigh and most recently to Baltimore where they quickly became part of Dan Deacon’s artist collective, Wham City. However, the Triangle has been an important middle ground for Future Islands. Kind of like the lunch room in middle school where that delicate mix of young minds are eager to find other young minds, the triangle has provided this cultivation for collaboration.
I’ll sit down with the band Friday and talk about their voyage. Tune in to hear tracks from their discography and old favorites from their first project, Art Lord and The Self Portraits. And if you have any stories or experiences from a Future Islands show that you’d like to share, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll take it to the airwaves with the band. They will be at the WKNC studio Friday for an on-air interview at 4 p.m. The band is touring in support of their recent release, “In Evening Air.” The release is their second LP and first on the Chicago Indie Label, Thrill Jockey.
Listen only on 88.1FM or streaming online.
by DJ Ones on Apr.11, 2010, under Daytime
The Apples in Stereo- Travellers in Space and Time
Playing off of space motifs and sounds that would easily fit inside a 70s shows about the Universe, these guys create another amazing album that’s easy to dance to and lighthearted.
Matt Pond PA- The Dark Leaves
Beautiful, enchanting, romantic. These are the types of songs that guys in high school play to their girlfriends on prom night. Imagine a fast paced Bon Iver.
Black Francis- Nonstoperotik
Like The Pixies? This is a solid effort by front man Black Francis who abandons more psychodelic elements and leans more toward traditional rock and roll.
Codeine Velvet Club- Codeine Velvet Club
This vexingly vintage album from Lou Hickney and Jon Lawler (Fratellis) sounds as sultry and fun as the cover looks. You get that late 50s/early 60s Big Band sound with amazing boy/girl duets.
Roky Erickson & Okkervil River- True Love Cast Out All Evil
This album is amazing. This Texan legend dabbles in all kinds of musical genres on this recorded including country, blues, garage rock, and lo-fi psychedelic folk. His lyrics are of a man who has been through a lot and trust me, they will tear at your heart and soul.
Rotary Downs – Cracked Maps & Blue Reports
This is like psychedelic art pop. Sometimes feels a little to much like a jam session but the layered male/female juxtaposes between the innovative instrumentation. Sounds like a mixture of Pavement, Sonic Youth, and Wolf Parade!
Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy & The Cario Gang- The Wonder Show of the World
Beautiful folk songs that are equally heartbreaking and uplifting sometimes. This album general has minimal instrumentation which gives it that haunting feel yet it still delivers with a powerful punch. A perfect addition for any fans of Iron and Wine.
Future Islands- In Evening Air
WOW, they really out did themselves with this one. Post-new wave synth rockers with a lead singer that will melt your face off with his crooning. A+ gentlemen, A+.
Benyaro- Good Day Better
An acoustic trio from Brooklyn that sings folky country music that resembles the Avett Brothers. Pretty decent, but at times I got annoyed with how happy they are.
Imagine if the band Grandaddy and Iron and Wine decided to create a dark, almost distorted rock music together. Not bad, but at times this can get a little heavy and overloaded.
Trans Am- Thing
Post electronic instrumental rock music. I mean do what you want with that.
Turin Brakes- Outbursts
The fifth album in nine years from this London modern folk duo, this CD is a perfect transition from winter into spring. Melodic strumming, finger picking, and interesting lyrics combine to create an uplifting feel; however at times I feel the vocals are straining and the album loses energy as it progresses.
Nathaniel Rateliff- In Memory Of Loss
Minimalistic neo-folk; imagine the power and affecting emotion of Mumford & Sons slowed down to the pace of Bon Iver. He can be quiet, or bellowing, but his voice always moves you. All he needs for instrumentation is tip-toeing pianos and guitars around the edge of his booming voice.
Mimicking Birds – Mimicking Birds
Drawing heavy influences from Modest Mouse [maybe because the whole album was recorded in Isaac Brock's home studio] this CD creates an ethereal ambiance. Intricate lyrics paired with soothing guitar melodies, soft pianos, light horns and the added whispering and raspy vocals give way to a delicate album filled with layers. Play if you are in a slow and soft mood.
Hurricane Bells – Tonight is the Ghost
Secret solo project of Steve Schiltz from Longwave, Hurricane Bells was popularized by the featured track on the New Moon soundtrack. While more subdued and mellow than “Monsters” it has a Shout Out Louds kinda feel. Even the more upbeat tracks have a quiet and gentle feel. At times he opts for natural vocals and other times he uses a filtered effect which gives the album an interesting twist.
True Womanhood – Basement Membranes
Eerie, dark, and texturally fascinating, this debut album features vviolent crashes and other weird sounds as percussion which round out this experimental album from three DC natives. Experimental like early Radiohead, but way more accessible. Play if you feel like going on a unconventional journey.
Sarah Jarosz – Song Up In Her Head
While the female vocals are almost on the verge of being too simple, the contrasting intricacies of the composition and instrumentation of each song creates a very pleasing overall balance. The picking, strumming, and plucking of strings rivals that of Mumford & Sons, but the lyrics aren’t quite as profound. Play if you want to add some bluegrass flavor without making you listeners lose their daytime appetite.
Tunng- And Then We Saw Land
Sprinkled with bursts of electric guitars, woodwind riffs, and synthesizer blips, this is twangy, sensitive Brit folk-rock with soft, sweet vocal harmonies (think The Boy Least Likely To). It’s oh-so-precious and it improves with repeated listens.
Laura Marling- I Speak Because I Can
Beautiful British folk. The songs are soft and poetic working off of Marling’s amazing voice and acoustic guitar. She’s not as sad as she is defiant in this one.
The White Stripes- Under Great White Northern Lights
If you love The White Stripes you’re going to love this live album. Jack White showcases his amazing talent as a guitarist and constantly gets creative with whatever song he is playing. This is on that sounds better the louder you listen to it.
Manchester Orchestra- Live at Park Ave.
Super slow paced live songs that are pretty stripped down and simple. If you’re a fan of down tempo live music, you’ll probably like this one too.
River City Extension- And the Unmistakable Man
This is the kind of album a guy writes after he had a nasty break up. Energetic out of frustration there is still a hint of loneliness. They use instruments that at first come together as Tex-Mex, but they do so in a way that gives it a pop tempo at times.
Jesse Malin and the St. Marks Social – Love it to Life
Jesse Malin is back on the map with his latest release. Loud pianos, jumping guitars, and drums that keep up a fast beat, create a rock sound that is sure to get you moving and stomping your feet. “The Archer” and “Lonely at Heart” were inspired by Salinger which is evident because these songs are softer than the rest of the album. Very cohesive and catchy Malin proves he isn’t ready to stop making music yet.
Communist Daughter – Soundtrack to the End
Simple, sweet and luscious this six piece Minnesota band debuts with a melancholy pop sounding album. Never hard, they smoothly transition from song to song and blend dreamy boy/girl harmonies reminiscent of Belle & Sebastian to give listeners a warm feeling. They make sad lyrics sound happy and will be easy to get into.
Night Driving in Small Towns – Serial Killer
Hushed and quiet, this duo is a lighter version of Rilo Kiley but with equal male and female vocals. They incorporate youthful, intimate lyrics with pretty harmonies and at times remind me a lot of Stars minus the synth and more amateur. Even though the production of this album could have been better, it will provide a perfect blend into your indie show.
herMajesty – Images from the Vanishing Night
Not really my cup of tea, but worth a listen. Enchanting post-rockish with a lead singer who sounds like he’s from some old Morrisey-ish type band. Play if you’re feeling a little curious for something different.
Meklit Hadero- On a Day Like This
I am seriously addicted to this album! Fresh, easy going, jazzy and R&B inspired, I feel like I’m floating on clouds listening to the intoxicating vocals of Meklit. Violins, light drums & jazz instruments paint the perfect backdrop for her breezy lyrics. Along the same lines of Fiona Apple, Florence, just mix in a soulful, Ethiopian twist.
Elsinore- The Chemicals EP
Elsinore is in the FYC of indie rock school – they just can’t decide on what they want their sound to be yet. While their slow numbers have potential (think the XX), their more up tempo tracks are what stand out (think a less mousy Ben Gibbard with a clash of Temper Trap). Track 5 rightly named “Yes Yes Yes,” comes out of nowhere at the end, with a mad blend of clapping, horns, and electronic beats. This is the sound they should major in, hands down (or up!)
Dr. Dog – Shame, Shame
This album makes me happy. It’ll make you happy, too. It’s like one of those mix cds you find jammed under the passenger’s seat it’s familiar, nostalgic even, yet surprisingly refreshing. Dr. Dog has truly embraced their sound (think Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips, or the Morning Benders singing 50′s Brit rock this time adding layer upon layer of synths, vocal harmonies, and surging guitar hooks. It’ll be a shame shame if you don’t play this.