THE SWEET SERENADES debut has been ON MY stereo all week. No WAY I’m taking it off soon.

Sweet Serenades

have a drink, put that red dress on, i’m on my way

♫ The Sweet Serenades – On My Way

“On My Way,” from Sweden’s The Sweet Serenades, landed in my inbox a week ago and before I had heard a note I saw this promo photo. Needless to say that when I finally pressed play I was surprised. And excited (not about the photo, although kinda. It’s pretty cool). After tracking down their previous single, Mona Lee, and being thoroughly floored, I was sold. Balcony Cigarettes is only out in Sweden, Germany, and Benelux (??) but because I’m no dummy I have an eMusic subscription and got it there no problem. And then, And THEN, AND THEN! I listened to it and it was great. Then I listened to it again and it was fantastic. This is the kind of album that I can’t wait to see performed live. I have no doubt that these guys murder it onstage and that the crowd is equally pumped. I super-duper recommend this album so get it. You know how. In the meantime play “On My Way” everytime you get in your car and I guarantee you will shave 2 minutes off your commute.

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PEARL JAM have apparently got THE FIX(ER) for a lackluster decade? I know, JUST BREATHE.

backspacerwhen somethings bored i wanna put a little exciting on it

♫ Pearl Jam – The Fixer

I don’t care if Pearl jam were never really “your thing,” try and tell me that “The Fixer” is not a freaking jam. Edder and co. are back and they mean business with the recently released Backspacer, a solid listen that kicks down your door and then gets it’s angsty mosh on all up in your living room. Now lets be clear, Pearl Jam have never really been my guys, either. 1993’s Vs. is one of my all time favorites (possibly best opening 40 seconds of an album) and Yield was my pre-Y2K jam, but that’s the last I really listened to them. Various post-millennial singles floated through my ears but never laid roots. Then they go flip the script on me and nailed this one. Sure it’s front loaded with the real shredders but after 12 straight minutes of headbanging you will need a breath. (Cue fantastic slow jam)

♫ Pearl Jam – Just Breathe

It picks back up, don’t worry. Just buy it. Album art is by by brilliant editorial cartoonist Tom Tomorrow, and there is a pretty cool backstory at Wikipedia.

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SLOW CLUB’s album should have nobody GIVING UP ON it. I LOVE it.

slow_club_yeahif you’d given me straight answers I would never have had to guess

♫ Slow Club – Giving Up On Love

I know I wrote about Slow Club back in June but that was before their LP Yeah So was released and became one of my favorite albums of the year. I have been revisiting it a lot lately and it seemed like a good time to emphasize it’s greatness. People seriously need to get on these two Sheffield kids. Their tunes range from rollicking foot-stompers (“Giving Up On Love,” above) to subdued downer-beauty (“No Good Way,” below) but are always brimming with honesty and emotion. Their back and forth guy-girl vocals give all their songs a real-life-scenario feeling that I love. It’s kind of like a not-shitty romance movie. Only as music. And with less happy endings. Although often dealing with the darker side of life and love, their lyrics are one of the best things in the songs: always insightful, poetic, and beautifully delivered. If it seems like their darker tendencies would make for a depressing listen then you clearly did not press play on “Giving Up On Love” above. The title is self explanatory, yet it’s the kind of tune that makes you want to swing-dance with your sweetheart as you sing the lyrics out loud. The album acknowledges that relationships are tough but doesn’t wallow in misery and, appropriately titled Yeah So, it turns those complications into something to celebrate. Just remember the title of the track in our June post, “It Doesn’t Always Have To Beautiful Unless It’s Beautiful.” Amen.

♫ Slow Club – There Is No Good Way To Say I’m Leaving You

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DRAGONETTE want you to PICK UP their new LP, your feet, and THE PHONE. OKAY, DELORE?

Dragonette Fixinyou’re still very young and we only just started having fun

♫ Dragonette – Pick Up The Phone

Dragonette’s 2007 debut, Galore, was one of those albums that I was fully ready to like but just never hooked me. It felt like they were trying to hard at the electro-pop game but were missing something. Whatever was missing, we had a taste of back in May when their “comeback single” Fixin To Thrill” dropped. Had little Dragonette finally grown up? The song was a huge, hook-laden rock-fest with big claims, but was it all bombast? Would the other tracks match up? 2nd single, “Pick Up The Phone,” (video here) kicks some big cracks in that worry, even topping “Fixin” in my book, getting stuck in my head in a great way. Yesterday Australia and Canada got the full Fixin To Thrill LP and it’s high time to take a look at the goods. I just finished my second spin through it and this stuff is no joke. It’s that mix of bounce, synth, big riffs, and perfect vocals that just get my goose. If the first 2 singles haven’t got you hyped then peep this late-album favorite of mine.

♫ Dragonette – Okay Delore

“Okay Delore” is like “Hey Mickey” only without the overplayed baggage and Wayne’s World connotations. Dragonette has truly outdone themselves with Fixin To Thrill. This is looking to be a favorite album of the year. Or at least October.

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FREELANCE WHALES are a GENERATOR that outputs jams. Jams stacked to the ^ 2ND FLOOR.

freelancewhalesdon’t fix my smile, life is long enough

♫ Frelance Whales – Generator ^ 2nd Floor

I struggle with finding music to accompany my mellower times. Whitest Boy Alive is one of my top artists on Last.fm, not because they are one of my all-time favorites, but as a band with 2 solid chill-out albums, they are my frequent go-to for those moods. Freelance Whales ave just stepped into the ring with their debut, Weathervanes, and it sounds like the perfect soundtrack for fall. “Generator ^ 2nd Floor” is one of the bouncier tracks on their debut (so it’s not a surprise it would appeal the most to me) but it’s also the best track about accepting death since Jack Peñate’s “Let’s All Die.” Their softer fare is equally appealing and the whole album is like ice cream melting on hot pie: sweet and satisfying, with just a bit of a sugar high. Where does this magical music come from? Freelance Whales hail from Brooklyn, where they are known to play in subway stations and use instruments like the harmonium, banjo, glockenspiel, and waterphone. With tools like that it’s no surprise that they channel a bit of Sufjan Stevens, especially on the breathily-sung “Broken Horse.”

♫ Freelance Whales – Broken Horse

I recommend Sufjan get’s his next state-themed album rolling ASAP because Freelance Whales have already took his place this fall. Or not, Suffy. Stay lazy with your years-old King Of Indie crown. It’s time for a regime change anyway. If you like what you hear then buy Weathervanes at eMusic or iTunes. Seriously. Oh, and check out the fantastic live perfomance of “Generator ^ 2nd Floor.” Singing about death at midnight in the abandoned farm was never so fun and cuddly.

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The Very Best bring us Yalira from The Warm Heart Of Africa

tvbwhoa

well we all need someone to tell us when to go

♫ The Very Best – Warm Heart Of Africa (Ft. Ezra Koenig)

Since The Very Best have been well blogged about (including their mention here at TBE) I’ll skip the back story and get into the music. The first public taste of their upcoming album, it’s title track “The Warm Heart Of Africa,” has been out and about for a while now but I never fell in love with it so it ever ended up on TBE. Then leaked the other much hyped tracks, “Julia” and “Rain Dance ft. MIA.” Much like anything with MIA I felt they were over-hyped and passed on sharing them. Finally I have got a track off the album I can get behind! The Very Best recently released the “Warm Heart Of Africa” single and included the B-side “Yalira” (and Warm Heart Of Africa album opener) as a free download. I can’t think of a more perfect album opener. The thing is perfectly crafted to get me excited about the album I am about to hear! Hairs raise on my neck and a smile is still on my face every time I hear it. And to be honest, “The Warm Heart Of Africa” has grown on me. I am just not so sure Ezra is much of an expert on the subject. Anyway, if is your first time hearing the amazing Esau Mwamwaya sing then you are in for a treat. The guy sings in a variety of African dialects (a product of having a civil servant father) and kills it with each one, even though you have no idea what he is singing about. I wont say much about the whole album here, it’s still a few weeks away from dropping in September, but I do hope this gets you hyped for it. It’s pretty, prettttty, prettttttty great.

The Very Best – Yalira

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Dinosaur Pile Up warn of an impending Cat Attack. With balls.

Dino PileUp

i try my best to bust a kick but hurt my back

♫ Dinosaur Pile-Up – Cat Attack

Dinosaur Pile-Up sound like the 90s. Or at least they sound like my 90s. Listening to these guys makes me feel like I’m sitting in my old bedroom doing math homework as crunchy guitar sounds escape from my old-school radio. The guitars shred. The drums pound. The vocals are rough and urgent. It’s music you want to see live so you can jump up and down and rub your sweat on your neighbor. Their new EP is out now and I am feeling these jams. “Summer Hit Single” in particular is another epic standout. The Most Powerful EP In The Universe is quite a claim for an EP title but I like the balls. Rock music has been missing balls lately and it’s good to see them. Good to hear them, too. Balls suit rock. My world is right.

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Generationals’ debut ‘Con Law’ is a Wildlife infused Sculpture of a perfect album

generationals_cover

know that your old friends overestimate your demise

♫ Generationals – Wildlife Sculpture

Oh boy! Finally! Generationals debut album Con Law (which I wrote about back in April) is out and those of you who streamed it back then know it is fantastic. Don’t let the terrible album art fool you, Con Law is a varied and addictive album that wont be leaving my regular rotation anytime soon. The 10 tracks span all different styles and no two songs sound the same. “Wildlife Sculpture” sounds like a whole different band than on previously featured “Angry Charlie,” but they share a common thread of solid craftsmanship, perfect energy, and great hooks. “Wildlife Scultupre” was my first favorite track off the album so I am hoping it will hook you too. Over at their MySpace you can stream 5 others including first single “When They Fight They Fight” and a few others. How they pick a single out of such a solid and filler-less album is beyond me. Do yourself a favor and pick up Con Law. It is definitely on my short list for top albums of the year and more people need to recognize.

Previously – ♫ Generationals – Angry Charlie

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