Opus Vitae followed up their stellar debut jam “Hold On” with a finger lickin good video for earworm “I’ve Been Wrong”. And now we finally have a full EP that adds the tender “Sail Away” and jangly “Hold Me Closer” to the mix. As a whole, the EP is a stellar opening statement for one of the more underrated bands killing it in LA these days. Such killer guitar work bouncing around ripping drum parts. There is something fresh yet timeless in this indie rock. And I’m looking forward to more.
It’s been a long 2 years for the band called Ambassadors that we fell in love with at our 2012 SXSW showcase. The NoteOn remix of their mega jam “Unconsolable” ended up topping our list of the years best remixes, they then added an X to their name, and recently collaborated with Keljet and The Knocks on some great dance tracks. But all that was just the prelude.
Now we have some proper new X Ambassadors tracks and damn if the main course doesn’t blow those other snacks away. The Reason EP is wall to wall with Sam Harris huge voice and their signature pounding percussion. “Unsteady” picks up where “Unconsolable” left off, beautifully showing off what they can do with the tender side of things, stripping their sound back to those bare X Ambassadors essentials. EP opener “Free & Lonely” is a more raucous affair, perfect for singing/clapping/swaying/air-sax-ing along to. I highly recommend you do all 4 of those when you see them live soon. They are on tour now.
oh its just a little bit of feelin’ too fine
Y Luv recently released the All I Wanna Do EP and I subsequently became obsessed with them all over again. “All I Wanna Do” kicks things off with a massive groove, epic guitar riffage, and a chorus that begs for sing alongs (Also a trippy desert adventure/party video). These guys are perfecting their brand of indie psych rock more with every jam. “Fire” has a propulsive synth groove and singer Freddy Janney is almost rapping at times yet the whole thing flows effortlessly. Download the whole EP below and grab soaring slow burner “My Sweet Life” and a radio edit of fan favorite “Driftin”.
Also up for streaming is new track “Just Enough” the guys wrote with Chris Cester of Damn Dogs and Jet. It’s a more stripped back sound for Y Luv but still shows off their knack for catchy rock music.
goodbye baby, yes i’m going, have no place to go
- Who: 4 DJs: 20 Syl, DJ Pfel, DJ Greem, DJ Atom
- What: Indie scratch grooves, like folk, blues, hip-hop, & dance in a blender.
- Where: Nantes, France + Facebook
- When: Tetra is out now.
- Why: Damn, I’m sorry. I’ve been loving this album so damn hard it’s made it hard for me to write about. How will I ever do it justice!? Well, you know what? I won’t. The jams themselves will speak for themselves.
The 4 DJs in C2C got together as far back as 1998, have over a 1/3 million likes on FB, have been covered by TBE fave Bernhoft, and are just now starting to make waves in the US. Their upcoming appearances at Coachella are the single most exciting thing about that desert (fuck)fest. Just watch any of their live videos to get a sense of the mind bending talent and music they dish out. While the quartet ranked #1 in the DMC World Championships four times in a row (2003-2006. Watch the amazing 2005 video here), I have no patience for turntablism for turntablism’s sake. I do have patience for the way they deftly blend insane scratching skills with blues samples to make downright catchy and infectious grooves. Get into it!
and now i’m letting you know
New Zealand’s Lorde is not just another indie-pop-girl riding the trend (even though she is Grimes-approved). Even though she is just 16, I feel like something great is going on here. This post is weeks late because I couldn’t figure out which track I liked best. So dive into her waves of tiny swagger and get funky with the chopped beats of “Million Dollar Bills,” the slow burn of “Royals,” or the laid back synth bounce of the title-track. Its all good in Lorde’s hood.
when i had my eye, staring at the sun, growing old and wise, but staying young and dumb
We’ve already been massaged by the jittery bongo & guitar shuffle of American Royalty’s mellowed out single “Honey & Queen” and now the LA group has dropped the Prismatic EP which has 4 more tracks of their psyched-out groove rock.”Hungry” follows EP-opener “Honey” and is the real party starter. Gutars shred over whiplash a rhythm section and it makes me want to rock. Then they get tender on “Mariah” before bringing the slow burn weirdo funk on “EVO.” Its an excellent document of the band’s continually evolving sound and proof that there are more ideas going on in their heads then they will ever be able to record. Get on this adventure while you can.
i see you hidden in the night
- Who: Keegan DeWitt (TBE alum!) & Jeremy Bullock
- What: Danceable indie rock, like Generationals, Kisses, Young Empires
- Where: Nashville, TN + Facebook
- When: Buy debut LP Youth now.
- Why: First of all, I’m sorry. Sometimes I find an album that takes me by such surprise, that makes me so satisfied with it’s sounds, that I keep it to myself for far too long. I’m caught between the disbelief that it is as good as I think, and the nerves that come with writing a review of an album I love. It’s all illogical and foolish at best, but its the way I am. I’m like the partner that loves you so much that they don’t even know how to show it. Sorry Keegan and Jeremy, I do love you. And I love the beautiful baby Youth you’ve raised into this world.
My recent favorite tracks “Thunder Clatter,” “Straight No Turns,” and “Jonti” are are the perfect triangulation of their sound somewhere between the shaggy indie rock appeal of Generationals and the synth dance shades of Kisses. Hell, “Wishing Well” even throws some 80s nods to classic Peter Gabriel. Wild Cub draw rich water from a variety of wells but the cocktail they mix is undeniably their own.
but all your sighing heavily and semi-silent mutterings are another guarantee that it’s too late to stop me
Peter & Kerry’s “Knees” is one of my favorite sad-sack breakup folk songs in recent years so it was a pleasant surprise to hear them pepping things up for the sonically fun yet still break-up-y “Split For The City.” The fun kept coming when months late I finally got my hands on their debut full length La Trimouille. The album takes the elements of “Knees” that made it so infectious and blends them with a variety of fun and quirky songs stylings and a dash of hip-hop delivery that all adds up to and endlessly pleasing album. Even though the lyrical content is often classically English and mopey I can’t help but Read more
lived our lives with adventures in our heads, we were the kids without a care
It’s been almost a year since Set Sail’s last EP so perfect timing for their Australian Summer. And perfect timing for me imagining I was in their Australian Summer. Title-track “Hey!” instantly hooked me with its fuzzed vocals and infectious guitar lines layers over jittery percussion and a chorus that demands you sing that hey! along with it. It’s got just the kind of fun I love Set Sail for but with a hint of maturity since the all out goofiness of “Boat Song.”
[Download “Hey!” here.]
we loved and we laughed, thought we would last
It’s been a year since we heard from Sweden’s sneaky sex-groove masters Newtimers so it’s about time we got some more magic. The Ego EP just dropped and if you and yours need some heat during these frosty times then throw these jams on the fire. It’s like Prince, only relevant. Like The Weeknd, only less depressing. Like sex itself, only less complicated. Even breakup songs like “Heavy Weather” are bound to inspire one last hurrah. Oh, and we get a dance-off video cut to “She’s A Gun”? Sexy women. Sexy outfits. Sexy dancing. The band can even be in it. In the background.