- Who: Michael, James, Luke, Thom, Graham
- What: Instrumental electro freak pop, like Civil Civic, Is Tropical, Joe & Will Ask?
- Where: London, UK + Facebook
- When: Buy The Second Renaissance EP now.
- Why: Portasound are solid favorites at TBE HQ but the world doesn’t seem to like awesome instrumental electro party jams as much as I do! With under 1000 likes on Facebook they fall squarely into the same under-appreciated camp as similar TBE instrumental faves Civil Civic. Just try cranking up “To The Colours” on a night drive and not rolling down the windows, lead-footing the pedal, and generally feeling like a badass. You cant! EP opener “Dreadnought” may start off slow but when it kicks in it brings full-on 80s car chase grooves with it! Rage on!
With previously posted Joe & Will Ask track “Freya” kicking off Vikings you know it starts right. And if you know the legendary status of their previous jams then you can imagine it continues just as right. And then you could toast to having been 100% correct so far. Cheers. This London duo continues flying under too many radars as they drop glitchy, bouncy, funky, groove jams that openly beg for low lights and high body movement. They may not be dancefloor crushers to everybody but the kinetic mood they set is undeniable. “Santander” builds up and then pulls back, leaving various trails of a beat in its path. Its a journey you just have to give yourself to.
Stream Vikings in full here.
you should dive into this night like its the only one we’ve got
- Who: R.J. Whitey
- What: Electro dance rock, like Alex Clare, Gemini Club, Young Empires
- Where: Los Angeles + Facebook
- When: Buy Lost Summer now.
- Why: Whitey is a dude I haven’t rocked out to since pre-TBE days when “Wrap It Up” was my jaaam. Apparently he has been regularly releasing music and albums since them but the guy’s success is so underground I didn’t even know about it. Thank goodness I got my hands on his new album Lost Summer because “Brief and Bright” is one of my new favorite songs. A big beat stomp that demands to be turned up! The album is full of other jams like 1st single “Saturday Night Ate Our Lives” and “People” so dive into them below and then get caught up on one of the most talented and underrated guys making electronic indie dance music.
no if you’re never gonna move, oh my love, you’ll make me come to you, but i’m still dancing on my own, still dancing on my own
Jessie Ware is so killing it right now. The former back-up singer for TBE alum’s like Jack Peñate (Where is he these days?), Man Like Me, and SBTRKT already dropped one of the years best songs with “Wildest Moments.” Now that I have been selfishly getting acquainted with her debut LP Devotion, I can finally come up for air long enough to make sure you get on board. It’s beautiful, sexy, and will probably stop you in your tracks on more than one song.
JESSIE WARE BONUS CORNER:
1. I was just thinking about that Jack Peñate connection and remembering that his backup singer from the 2009 tour (with Miike Snow!) struck a chord in my mind at the time. A quick zip through my iPhoto revealed these. She is looking a lot fitter these days but it’s still hott to know I was only an arms length away from her…
Jessie Ware on tour with Jack Peñate – September 2009. Maxwells, Hoboken, NJ.
2. Star Slinger on “Wildest Moments”
3. Joe Goddard on “Night Light.”
when i see you again and i’m greeted as a friend, it is understood that we did all we could
If for some reason you haven’t been mellowing out to The xx’s new LP Coexist for the past few weeks then let this serve as a reminder to get with it. The subtle evolutions in their sound are slipped into Jamie xx’s slightly bigger beats and the result – while perhaps not as addictive as their debut – is fantastic. Basking in the jumpy beat of “Sunset,” its clear how his attention to perfection is evident in every sound you hear. Not to mention the perfect complimentary vocals of Romy & Oliver. However, for the full experience you’ll have to catch them live.
swims like a dolphin, fresh like a turtle
- Who: Boy/girlfriend combo Amélie and Quarles
- What: Space funk disco, like D.A.R.E., Sam Padrul, Toro Y Moi,
- Where: Paris, France + Facebook
- When: Buy debut LP Juicy Lucy now.
- Why: The stellar “ANDY” remix of Jupiter’s “One O Six” was my first introduction to the duo and after that remix made the Best Of The Year list I had to do some research on the original. That led me to their full album, which led me to much chair-dancing at work. Track after track of sparkling, unabashed, disco magic that does not disappoint The title track is perhaps my favorite and a great video for it actually came out today. Who is Juicy Lucy? Find out below. Then groove on to the Little Boots remix!
Dragonete have done a lot of awesome things since they last dropped the solid Fixin To Thrill three years ago, becoming a unique crossover creature and “underground pop” gem. My feeling on Dragonette is that they always have 2-3 amazing songs per album and the rest fall flat. I kinda had that expectation again as I covered new single “Rocket Ship” but then I got into the album and am slowly realizing that Bodyparts is something else. Seeing songs like massive first single “Let It Go” live on Tuesday made me realize that these 3 Canadians are getting bigger and tighter with each pass.
hard to leave when you look like that and are all ready for more
- Who: Martin & Mathias, the “woodsmen of indie pop.”
- What: Scruffy indie pop, like Summer Camp, Nicky Blitz, Two Gallants
- Where: Stockholm, Sweden + Facebook
- When: Buy new LP Help Me! now.
- Why: You may remember these handsome fellows from one of my top albums of 2009. The Sweet Serenades have one of those shaggy pop sounds that is just loose enough to keep my ears interested while maintaining enough pop sensibility get me addicted. First new single “Moving On” teased us with more of their signature handclaps and “ooh ooohs.” New single “Can’t Get Enough” is a familiar tale of of insatiable lust that prominently features a kazoo. ‘Cause thats just how these dudes roll. It also has a funny video. Get down with the rest of the album ASAP. “Run (Run Run)” is a badass bass jam, “Terminal 2” has a knee-slapping honkey tonk vibe, and “Bright Lights Big City” upgrades the traditional “ooh oooh” for the rarer “bom bom bom.” Well played.
- Who: Scott Hansen
- What: Tropical Spacewave , like Poolside, Com Truise
- Where: San Francisco, CA + Facebook
- When: Buy Dive now.
- Why: When he isn’t designing gorgeous things or running the addictive blog named after his design moniker ISO50, Scott Hansen makes beautiful music that defies everything you thought you knew about the word ‘chillwave.’ His instrumental songs are true journeys, taking you over hills and through valleys, across plains and into the darkness behind your eyes. The grooves emerge like dawn’s first rays of sun and the beat seems to follow the rhythm of the wind. Its all very soft and palatable, yes, but see his band live and its an epic and transfixing experience.
i’ll pretend that i don’t think of you at all
- Who: Sean, Bradley, Michael, Reese, Ryan and sometimes Joseph.
- What: Heartache rock, like The National, Of Monsters and Men, Mumford & Sons
- Where: Echo Park, Los Angeles + Facebook
- When: Get their debut EP Don’t Worry for free here.
- Why: I have been hearing about No for at least 8 months and have stubbornly neglected to track down any of their music. A local band with a name that nondescript can have that kind of negative-motivational effect. If only someone had mentioned that they would remind me of The National then I wouldn’t have been spending all this time not rocking out at their shows and not loving this EP. Embarrassing times. Well, lets forget about all that and soak in the sadness of “Another Life’ and its tale of lost love. Shuffling percussion, dancing guitar lines and delicate vocals swirl together so beautifully that when the “oooh oooh ooooooohs” kick in it’s like literal icing on the cake. I’ll have another slice, please. Lucky, because there are 5 more on the EP.
truth for the fools who believe what they want to at night to sleep
Gemini Club are no slouches. From their smash single “By Surprise” straight through their standout SXSW set they have been rocking hard and keeping their game tight. Their 2012 EP Here We Sit is no exception. 7 tracks full of the finest dance grooves you will hear this year. The kind of music you can dance to on the 1st listen just as easily as the 10th. Picking a favorite jam to showcase here is a bit of a silly affair but I’m gonna go with “Show My Hands” for it’s stuttering beat, tense groove, jangling guitar and handclaps. Oh, handclaps. If you were worried that these guys were too polished and easily enjoyable then you dubheads will be happy with the dirty bits in “Can’t Believe You Said That.” “Sparklers” follows with a high speed synth assault on your dance nerves that should be banned from playing in cars for causing excessive speeds. And the rest of the jams follow suit accordingly. I’d write more but really I’d rather get back to rocking out. Stream it all here. Cheers.
tall woman, pull the pylons down, and wrap them around the necks of all the feckless men that queue to be next
After falling hard for “Breezeblocks” a few weeks back it’s been pretty much non-stop Alt-J around TBE HQ. Their debut album An Awesome Wave is clocking highly regular rotation and few people escape close proximity to me without having something played for them. “Tesselate,” “Fitzpleasure” and now “Matilda” are all growing on me strong. Even the interludes are magical. Needless to say, I was excited for their show on Tuesday. Excited but Read more
i’ll stay home with most of me tonight, all dressed up and wrapped around you tight
We have already heard, loved, and appropriately rocked out to “Automocar” but it is now clear that The Danks have much more than just one jam up their Canadian sleeves. Their debut LP is brimming with raspy, jangly, garage pop that feels fresh and timeless. “Die Now” is my current addiction. Less than two and a half minutes of guitar and drum hooks with that bouncy beat and high danceability. This kind of rather raw throwback rock can easily sound uninspired and same-y but The Danks give a distinct flavor to each track, and often in under 3 minutes. This is summertime! Rock accordingly!
we got time, gonna waste it all, gonna be fine
- Who: Keith, Michael, Darren, Steven
- What: Indie groove pop, like Passion Pit, Foster The People, Midi Matilda
- Where: Australia + Facebook
- When: Debut EP Through The Glass available now.
- Why: You’ll remember “Trojans” as one of last year’s great tracks and now we have two more gems to round out their debut EP. “Back Seat” is a slinky nighttime groover with hushed percussion and plucky guitars under buttery vocals that woo you right in. More music like this and Atlas Genius will be well on their way to big things.