[LP] Hooded Fang – ALBUM (w/ “Straight Up The Dial” & “Sleep Song”)

not looking for sympathy, just need some tenderness

♫ Hooded Fang – Straight Up The Dial

Bonus points if you noticed that this Hooded Fang album is not the one I dropped some tracks off of a few months back (and on the summer mega mix!). Album is the Toronto band’s debut LP from 2010 that I tracked down with a hunch that it would be good. High five for hunches because this thing is stellar! Lightly roasted marshmallow-y folk pop that sticks to your ears and leaves you wanting more. Plus there are horns! “Straight Up The Dial” bounces and shuffles with a perfect “do do do do do do” refrain that gets me grooving every time. Album‘s next track, “Laughing,” turns the energy up a bit as drums and bass propel the song along with great boy/girl vocals. However, the goodness doesn’t even begin to slow there as the hat-trick of “Green River,” “Highway Steam,” and “Promise Land” offer up enough varied tempos and grooves to make me think that Generationals added some more members and hot-boxed the studio. Awesome!

♫ Hooded Fang – Sleep Song

And then there is “Sleep Song.” Ahh, yes. Doesn’t make me want to sleep so much as skip along the beach with a radiant girl/sunset combo. To me, this is the sound of falling in love. With a person or a band, whatever, I’m smitten.

Don’t think that the tracks I haven’t mentioned are any less worthy, Album is magic from start to finish, I just didn’t want to blather too much. Although maybe I should! It seems that for some insane reason nobody is talking about these guys. Is there no justice in this world!? Whatever, I’m off to get their latest album, Tosta Mista.

Band links: Facebook / Soundcloud / Bandcamp

[MP3] Power Player – “Waterguns & Rabbits”

there will come a time, in my lifetime

♫ Power Player – Waterguns & Rabbits

Go ahead and hit play already cause this one is complicated and will take me a second. While you are enjoying the evolution of gentle intro tinkling to propulsive electronic whirlwind I’ll tell you about a guy named Ryan Ross Smith, also known as Power Player. The seasoned musician worked with numerous bands in NYC before moving to Oakland to start his often-solo project. At some point along the way he scored a film (Puncture with Chris Evans, coming soon), picked up the banjo, and decided to cover a bunch of songs. The thing is that the songs he decided to cover were all… his own. Nice. So anyway, besides the surging greatness that is “Waterguns & Rabbits,” you can also get Power Player’s stripped down cover of his song at his Bandcamp. You can also get the surprisingly good full album of covers (of his own songs) for free but this is the last day. Ok, so that was really complicated. I’m just gonna sit back and enjoy the music now.

Artist links: Bandcamp


♫ Baby Monster – Russian Lights

1 of the best songs of the year (“Mr Success”) + a handful of gems make for a strong, sexy, & soothing debut from an under-loved duo. 7/10

[Quickies are mini-reviews that can fit into a 140 character tweet. They are of albums that people already know of but perhaps are curious about our take on it. What did you think of the disc?]

Band links: Facebook / Soundcloud

[MP3] Christopher Norman – “Maps”

i don’t know how or why or when, your voice keeps playing back in my head

♫ Christopher Norman – Maps

Ok, so side story here. 5 years ago, when I lived in NYC, I worked part time at the amazing Christopher Norman Chocolates in the financial district (they still have my product photos up on the website!) The owners were two of the coolest guys I could ever work for and I spent my days listening to Bloc Party, The Shins, Copeland, and The New Amsterdams on repeat as I learned to pull a proper espresso from the Italian finance guy who came in every day and coached me just so he could get a himself decent shot.

So yes, all that was awesome and a long time ago but here we have something that is also awesome but is happening right now! And it’s also called Christopher Norman! So the lesson is that if you name your child Christopher Norman it will be awesome! Fact. So this CN is a young singer/songsmith who blends the juicy haze of Junior Boys with the tender piano stylings of James Blake. “Maps” is a beautiful piece of music that should have a home in everyone’s ears as well as some excessively heart wrenching scene in a movie. Mister Norman has 2 EPs out now and is working on a 3rd. Clearly a craftsman. I love it.

Artist links: Facebook / Soundcloud

[EP] Capital Cities – CAPITAL CITIES EP (w/ EP Stream)

you are the kiss i don’t expect, remind me never to forget my youth, i’ll leave it up to you

YES! YES! Aww, hell yes. You know how you find a track you love only to get the full EP/LP and realize it was a total anomaly? Then you know that rarest of rare occasions when that gem leads you to a gold mine of jewels just like it?* This is it! We are in the gold mine, people!

“Safe and Sound” is one of the best songs of the year and so I naturally tracked down this bearded LA duo’s debut EP to see what else they had cooking. If you’ve hit play below then you know they are cooking some sweetness: Indie pop grooves that are as polished as they are infectious yet somehow don’t feel superficial. And that is a tough task. “Patience Gets Us Nowhere Fast” is going to be my pick for next favorite track but it’s not easy denying the handclap funk of “Center Stage” or the amen sentiments of “I Sold My Bed But not My Stereo.” Jeez, thanks for the tough decisions, Capital Cities! At least one choice is easy, to buy the ep.

*see Mammal Club, Y Luv, Jack Littman, and Dream Jefferson, for similar experiences.

Capital Cities EP by Capital Cities

Band links: Facebook / Soundcloud


i pledge allegiance, uh, to my grandma, for that banana pudding, our piece of americana 

The boring “Otis” song/video made hopes low but jams like “Ni**as in Paris” & super ballad “Made in America” bring heat. I’m down. 6/10

[Quickies are mini-reviews that can fit into a 140 character tweet. They are of albums that people already know of but perhaps are curious about our take on it. What did you think of the disc?] Read more

[LP] Colorfeels – SYZYGY (w/ “Geneology”)

gimme any topic, step into my office, tell me all your problems, they’ll go away, i do it every day 

♫ Colorfeels – Geneology

Colorfeels landed on my radar with quite a luau sized blip a few months ago and I wasted no time in taking advantage of their name-your-price album offer. The album took a while to simmer to the top of my review pile but I know that has a large part to do with how stoked I was on “Pretty Walk” and how high the standards were. The band’s debut LP, SYZYGY, isn’t 12 times “Pretty Walk” and while that may sound disappointing, it means the disc is a much more varied and textured adventure. Many of the tracks are mellower chill-pop, tapping into hazy afternoon energy more than hip-shaking evening vibes. But you know there is still some hip shaking to be done and my recommendation would be “Unplanned Holiday,” or other standout track “Geneology” which kinda makes me want to dance proper waltz-like with a lady and all. The track runs real grooves alongside some tender harmonies and the result is beautiful. Overall, SYZYGY doesn’t deliver as much pep as I know Colorfeels could stir up but the toned down side of them is also pleasant listening.

Band links: Bandcamp

[MP3] Forbidden Friends – “Tiny Hands”

hold you in my lap, pet you like a cat, and feel the sun shining until the moon rises

♫ Forbidden Friends – Tiny Hands

The Thermals’ frontman Hutch Harris has a side project where he still collaborates with the other two Thermals members (Plus the drummer from Telekenisis). So, if we have learned anything after yesterday’s Alexander post, it’s that the modern side project is all about working with your normal band. But whatever, really, because this is fun stuff. Like Thermals lite. A bit more laid back and airy, letting the grooves shine through. As if my favorite Thermals tracks like “Never Listen To Me” and “I Don’t Believe You” were stripped naked and given a few cocktails (“pet you like a cat”!?).

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Brandon’s TBE Digest 29 – [10.11.2011] New Jams, Remixes, & Covers!

Artwork by Jacob Youngblood Ziegler

Brandon’s TBE Digest is a place where I gather up all the recent jams that are worth a listen (or 10) but don’t necessarily need their own post. Here you will find new tracks by known bands, remixes, covers, and even mashups if they are interesting. My favorites of the lot are in bold.

It’s a big one folks. Proceed with caution (and good speakers). Also note the new Digest logo that will be here to stay. Enough of that little weird cartoon guy we had for so long, amiright!? Cheers to new beginnings! And new jams!

For more jams by any of these artists use the ‘tags’ links at the bottom of the post!


♫ Toro y Moi – All Alone / Toro y Moi continue their Digest domination with this great jam off their new EP Freaking Out.

♫ ROSTAM – Wood / Vampire Weekend’s resident production whiz goes solo.

♫ Sigmund Droid – Night Race / Sigmund Droid return!


♫ The Rapture – How Deep Is Your Love? (A Trak Dub aka Dub For Mehdi) / The tragic loss of DJ Mehdi last month is Read more

[MP3] Cultfever – “KnewYouWell”

It’s just the two of us here and we’re all alone

♫ Cultfever – KnewYouWell

After spending the last four days in San Francisco (and seeing Star Slinger live!) I have a confession to make: Cultfever was the band ruling my headphones all weekend. Bringing a very full and fresh sound to the table, the Brooklyn based duo have definitely won me over. I’m feeling slightly guilty about one thing though; I’ve barely been able to make it past “KnewYouWell” on the album! Take a listen, and if you would like to know more about the duo, check the link below.

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[BATTLE] M83’s “Midnight City” mashed up with both Kanye West & Gotye?!

TBE Battle is a new series on The Burning Ear where I will occasionally put up two tracks that make for interesting comparison, debate, or whatever. Let the battle begin in the comments below! There is also a contest running to design the TBE Battle logo that will be used in each post. See below!

♫ The White Panda – Midnight Life (M83 & Kanye West)

♫ M83 & Gotye – Somebody At Midnight (Nimrodbz mashup)

So besides being two of the best songs of the year, M83’s “Midnight City” and Gotye’s amazing “Somebody That I Used To Know” are also two of the most remixed. Kaye West is also very popular, I hear. I am personally digging all the attention these jams are getting so now it’s time to see how they hold up as mashups? But these tracks raise some questions: Does adding Kanye West to any track just seem desperate or does add undeniable swagger? Is mashing up two of the years best songs sacrilegious or genius? Dou have a favorite? Or have the originals just been bent over a dirty kitchen table and ruined?

CONTEST: TBE Battle is going to be a semi-regular feature so it is going to need a logo or artwork or whatever so all you graphic designers get to work on something that can represent these Battles every time. Send it to me by next Monday (Oct 17) at midnight (EST) and let the battles begin!

Band links: The White Panda / Nimrodbz

[LP] Alexander – ALEXANDER (w/ “Truth” feat The RZA & “A Million Years”)

i’ve grown up some, different kind of fighter, and when the darkness come let it inside you

♫ Alexander – TRUTH Feat. The RZA

From the normal sized band of electro poppers Ima Robot, to the oversized collective of Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeroes, frontman Alex Ebert did the only thing left and released a solo album this year. Yeah, yeah, many of you know about it already but if you are late to it like I was then I recommend you give it a spin or two. Main single “Truth” was featured on this season’s premier of Breaking Bad (yes!) and also got itself a remix with The RZA on it (above).

♫ Alexander – A Million Years

“A Million Years” is another choice example of the soulful folk that makes this album a great choice for the whole family. The Magnetic Zeroes acted as backing band on the album and there are plans for similar projects for band members Jade Castrinos and Christian Letts before we get a second Edward Sharpe album. At least the stuff in the meantime is sounding plenty nice.

Band links: Facebook

[STREAM] Red Kite – “Montreal”

i guess i should have known that i’d wind up on my own, well this is an apology for the man I couldn’t be 

Guitars! Drums! Bass! Vocals! Such simple ingredients but somehow they can still be combined in ways that sound so good (I mean, I’m not giving all the credit to the xylophone here). London’s Red Kite only have this one song released but let’s not hold that against their 100% record for sweet jams. I’m personally loving the way the song picks up it’s pace, getting more and more frantic as the tale of the love that fell apart unravels before us. I hope his heart mends quickly because I’m gonna need these guys focusing on putting out some more primo tracks like this. Or screw it, if heartbreak is what fuels this gold then stay hurt!

Montreal by Red Kite_Band

Follow the bands progress and read about the bird behind the name at their Soundcloud.

Soundcloud / Bandcamp

[MP3] Jonny Antari – “Faceplant”

♫ Jonny Antari – Faceplant

Ughhhn! Get gritty Jonny! Not only is that synth grind awesome but it is composed of Jonny Antari’s sampled voice. Thats the kind of innovation and experimentation I like to see in my  electronic music! Seeing Jonny is only 18 I feel that we may be hearing more of this Londoner as his experiments grow even more epic!

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[MP3] Sam Padrul – “All I Do”

why don’t you just stop these games cause thinking about you is all i do

♫ Sam Padrul – All I Do

Sam Padrul lays his cards and beats on the table as he slips his love confession between the pages of this masterful beat book. A perfect way to get zen for a Friday night. Whether eyes closed meditating on the evening’s plan or hair-dryer-in-hand dancing, “All I Do” has you covered.

Get loud at Soundcloud / Facebook