[EP] THE ECLECTIC MONIKER should soundtrack an EASTER party on an ISLAND

i’ll break the boat but i’ll keep floating, i’ll get another transport right away

♫ The Eclectic Moniker – Easter Island

The weather is getting warmer and the vibrations of the sun are slowly warming our spirits. Such a defrosting needs the appropriate soundtrack and sometimes such a tropical solution comes from an odd place like Denmark. Name dropping Barcelona, The South Pacific, Argentina, and itself, “Easter Island” does a damn good job of transporting me straight to the beach and placing a beautiful cocktail umbrella in my blended drink. Grab the rest of The Eclectic Moniker’s sun-kissed EP A Part Of Something Bigger for free at their Bandcamp. And remember to use sunscreen on the tops of your feet.

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[EP] BUILT BY ANIMALS have an ANIMAL of a track followed by a brief PARADE of further goodness

it’s so strange what people do when you wake up somewhere new

♫ Built By Animals – Animal Parade

“Animal Parade” may start with sounds of birds and the seaside but things quickly evolve into the kind of poorly-lit and meandering basement rock that Built By Animals excel in. You can almost feel the musty sweat in the air as the track morphs into twangy guitar plucking and raspy vocal harmonies. A perfect track for mumbling to yourself as you navigate a crowded evening sidewalk with your hood up. The 3-track Summer of Shmiz EP is out now and packs a lot more peppy percussion and cutting guitar riffs. Check out the oddball video for second track “Ellen paige” to get another taste. Closing the EP out is the excellent “Red Breasted Bastard; Or, The Feel Bad Hit of the Summer” which grinds a bit of Surfer Blood with some 90’s alt-radio flair for a solid chuck of body rocking goodness. And that’s not even mentioning the highly sing-along-able “yeah, yeah”s and “ooh, oooh”s. Just what the springtime doctor ordered!

UPDATE: Hahahaha, holy crap. So I was just doing some further investigating on these guys and turns out they went to my alma matter, Vassar College. Naturally all their epicness now makes perfect sense! I would have loved to see these guys tear up a TH party or two.

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[EP] GOBBLE GOBBLE are anything but BORING and it would be a HORROR to lose them

that’s not what your body said

♫ Gobble Gobble – Boring Horror

Hold on to your faces, people, new Gobble Gobble just in time to loosen your limbs and send you into Friday ready for full dance floor flexing! “Boring Horror” is another ultra-spazz electro jam that defies you to move in time with the insane beats, jittery sounds, and chopped vocals. Gobble Gobble are the clearly insane Canadians behind last years epic “Seizure To The Metronome” and the whirlwind “Eat Son Son” (Part of the band is in side project Purity Ring as well!)  Those two tracks are bundled with “Boring Horror” and a couple fantastic remixes on this song’s 12″ single (I’m gonna call it an EP) which is out now! Play with care, everyone. Chiropractic care is not cheap.

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[MP3] PUNCHES fill this SLEEPLESS CITY with people FEELING just RIGHT

i mean i was ’til i found you

♫ Punches – Sleepless City (Snacky Tunes LIVE)

It’s a little embarrassing to say but even though Punches did that great Tokyo Police Club remix last year I never dug deeper into their sound. So what a pleasant surprise when I was listening to the free Snacky Tunes Vol. 1 compilation and this song pops up, instantly grabbing my ear and pulling me in to it’s soulful piano-n-handclaps breeze. Add on the crisp horns and throw-back percussion and it’s simply a stunning song. After playing on repeat a few times I had to dig deeper into these guys. Turns out the live version is an excellents rendition of the also fantastic original. I am not even sure which version I like best.

Punches – Sleepless City by punchesbk

Punches describe themselves as “late night disco” but I feel like that doesn’t do their music justice. There is so much more weight and heart coming through on these tracks.

♫ Punches – Feeling Right

First full single from the Sleepless City EP is “Feeling Right” and besides it’s great video it’s a monster of a funked up dance track all on it’s own. I can’t believe I’ve been sleeping on these Brooklynites for this long. What a dumb-ass. Good thing I can now dance away the pain. Head over to their Soundcloud for another free track “Let Go” as well as a handful of great remixes.

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i don’t know how to progress, it’s just a lack of confidence

♫ Butterflies on Strings – What Did John Stuart Mill Say Again?

There is something about Butterflies On Strings that seems transplanted straight from the mid-Nineties. That friendly alt-pop bounce and easy-breezy sing along vibe instantly brings me back to the early days of my love affair with music. “What Did John Stuart Mill Say Again?” is crisp guitar work, big hooks, and both “oooh”s and “aaahs,”  making it an instant pleasure to my ears. “What Did” is the London band’s debut single and is released April 1st as a sort of mini-EP with 2 b-sides. “The Suitcase Kid” is more ramshackle rock fun while “The Funniest Joke” is a tenderer affair, slowly picking up steam as is takes off into full churning breakdown. It’s all a bit of fresh air in this time of fuzzed out this or synthesized that. Nice.

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[LP] THE RURAL ALBERTA ADVANTAGE are from the great white NORTH and often STAR in my itunes

will we ever take a chance or will we restart? the sky is a map that’s guiding back to my heart

♫ The Rural Alberta Advantage – North Star

The Rural Alberta Advantage’s debut album Hometowns stuck with me so long that it made my top albums list in both 2008 and 2009. To date, they are also the only band I’ve ever done a proper TBE interview with. Needless to say I am a bit of a fanboy of theirs and it’s exactly that fact that puts their sophomore effort up against some pretty ridiculous standards. Debut single “Stamp” took a little while to grow on me but eventually gained solid listening status and is now quite beloved. With that said, and a handful of listens to Departing under my belt, I can’t help but feel that RAA have lost that barely-holding-on energy that ran like wildfire through their debut. The songs were so loose and ragged that it felt they were mere beats from falling apart. Departing feels much more calculated and timid, the band plodding through the RAA playbook and Nils sounding much less like he is singing for his life. But maybe I am just too biased and like last year’s follow-up releases from Tokyo Police Club or Gaslight Anthem, this too will grow on me as my expectations cool off. “North Star” is quite a nice song, I just can’t help but hold it up to “In The Summertime” and find it lacking. I guess it’s a lot like going back to city you once lived in and expecting the same intensity of life that you remember. Everything pairs with a moment in time – with a part of our lives – that will never be repeated. Or so I keep telling myself as I come back to this album, waiting for it’s time to come.

All dramatic ramblings aside, I enjoy the album and play it regularly. “Stamp” is still a rollicking jam. “Muscle Relaxants” and “Barnes’ Yard” have a bit of that amped up folksiness that I loved on Hometowns. Truth is you’ll probably need to dive in and make your own call on this one.

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[LP] COLD WAR KIDS are not exactly LOUDER THAN EVER, per se, but they are still rocking

all my stones become your pearls, all of my trials are your treasures

♫ Cold War Kids – Louder Than Ever

After being pretty stoked on Cold War Kids’ 2010 EP and it’s standout track “Audience of One” I was a bit let down by “Royal Blue” the first taste of their latest LP, Mine Is Yours. 2nd taste “Louder Than Ever” didn’t do much for me either. Then came Passion Pit’s remix of the title track and I was stopped dead. It is a stunning track that while clearly bearing many marks of The Pit, hinted at solid base material. And so I dove into Mine Is Yours with renewed hopes, as well as a better appreciation for both “Royal Blue” and “Louder Than Ever” which had both grown on me over time.

Cold War Kids – Mine Is Yours

So it turns out that Mine Is Yours is kind of a funny album. My trouble in pinning it down is why it’s taken me this long to post on it. On the one hand, I really like it. Tracks like “Mine Is Yours,” “Bulldozer,” and “Broken Open” are snippets of the band exploring new sounds and taking me right along with them. On the other hand, the album clearly lacks the ramshackle urgency of the debut LP that won everybody’s hearts. Considering that most of you have already heard the album and formed your own opinions I’ll keep this brief. Dig into these tracks and if they strike your fancy then just stream 90 second clips of every song right here. I think this album is one everyone will have to figure out for themselves.

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[EP] TURBOWEEKEND are turning INTO THE kind of band with chops as hard as PAVEMENT

we’re out of here, going anywhere

♫ Turboweekend – Into The Pavement (ft. Casper Clausen of Efterklang)

Turboweekend have been kicking around since 2006 but were only recently tipped off to me by TBE reader Arletta. She introduced the band thusly:

Turboweekend is a three piece band from Copenhagen. They released 2 LP’s: Night Shift and Ghost Of A Chance. The second album is brilliant, has it’s own atmosphere and it got to Poland along with the single “Trouble Is.” 11 songs creates amazing collection of unique sounds. Amazing vocals, hypnotic bass sounds and perfect drums. Plus extraordinary lyrics and an atmosphere of the music makes me wanna listen to it 24/7.

I was sold. Luckily Arletta also mentioned their new EP, Bound, which is available for free on their website. I nabbed the EP immediately and have been thoroughly enjoying it ever since. Arletta hit Turboweekend’s sound on the head with her description. It was hard to my pick favorites of the 5 tracks for this post but “Into The Pavement” makes the cut for it’s spacey synths, gruff vocals, and perfect bounciness.

♫ Turboweekend – Spider of Light

Bound closes with “Spider of Light,” the song creeping between piano, drums, and quickly strumming guitar as wispy synths swirl around it all. It’s a perfect example of Turboweekend’s current craftsmanship and progression since the rougher-around-the-edges indie rock of their hit “Trouble Is.” Catch that video below and grab Bounce for free.  Read more