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Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014
The simple alt-country of Lines West's music goes a long ways in softening the Connecticut band's intense lyrical explorations, as its new single "Lover" attests.

One of the wonders of music is its ability to soften the impact of intensely personal subject matter through the use of “happy sounding” technique and key signatures. As Chris Thile once said about bluegrass, “If you want to be happy, listen to the music; if you want to be sad, listen to the lyrics.” “Lover”, the latest single from the Bridgeport, Connecticut alt-country duo Lines West, is an ideal example of the tension between affable music and emotionally probing lyrics. The team of John Radzin and Brian Larney behind the Lines West name bring out this classic feature of country and bluegrass music especially on “Lover”. It’s a tune one will likely hum along to, whether or not one notices Radzin’s melancholy self-exploration.


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Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014
Boston rockers We Were Astronauts have a fun new summer jam in the .38 Special-esque "Keep It Together", which should fit cozily on any summer road trip playlists.

The operative word in the band name “We Were Astronauts” is “were”, for the Boston rock quartet that bears the appellation sounds firmly rooted to the earth. Such is definitely the case for “Keep It Together,” a track off of their upcoming recording Artificial Light, which following a successful Kickstarter campaign was recorded in Los Angeles with producer Warren Huart. Rooted in the country-tinged classic rock of groups like .38 Special, “Keep It Together” is as ideal a summer road trip radio tune as there could be.


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Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014
Drew Daniel continues to show off his love for heavy metal following the release of his incredible Why Do the Heathen Rage? He has now compiled a menagerie of intro and outro tracks from his favorite black metal LPs.

The Soft Pink Truth‘s Why Do the Heathen Rage? is one of 2014’s most daring musical experiments. Drew Daniel has used the Soft Pink Truth name to cover artists before, with 2004’s hardcore punk tribute Do You Want New Wave or Do You Want the Soft Pink Truth? With Why Do the Heathen Rage, however, Daniel takes his musical vision to even gutsier heights, offering up catchy and off-kilter electronic covers of black metal songs. Dancing could be a side effect of these tunes, yes, but there’s a much bigger point being made by Daniel, who arranged these covers to shed light on the darkest, most overlooked aspects of black metal’s history, namely its racism, sexism, and homophobia.


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Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
The 2014 World Cup is now in full swing in Rio. To celebrate, we are offering up a 15-CD collection of amazing Brazilian music from our friends at Six Degrees Records.

Esteemed world beats label Six Degrees Records sports an enviable library of Brazilian music and we’re giving a way a slice of that in this timely contest. If you’d like to check out the CDs, head on over to Amazon. A single lucky grand prize winner will score the set, whilst five runners-up will be awarded with a copy of BossaCucaNova’s new CD, Our Kind of Bossa. Follow all of the goings on at Six Degrees via their newsletter.


Win a 15-CD Pack of Brazilian Music CDs from Six Degrees Records! in PopMatters Contests on LockerDome

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Tuesday, Jun 24, 2014
In bringing together the stylings of classic California rock and dusty, melancholic noir, indie rockers Sugarplum Fairies create their own unique vision of Los Angeles in their song "Escondite".

The dusky, shadow-tinged depiction of Los Angeles that is “Escondite”, a track off of the latest Sugarplum Fairies album Godspeed & Silver Linings, brings to mind the infamous opening credits of The Big Lebowski, tumbleweed and all. Yet while the sonic-to-aural comparison is uncanny, there are no bedraggled bowlers or mustachioed narrators here; instead, the echoey vocal of frontwoman Silvia Ryder plays against the gravelly bass vocals of RT Valine, crafting a sonic landscape indebted to ‘70’s California rock. The vision of Los Angeles that Sugarplum Fairies construct throughout Godspeed & Silver Linings, however, is entirely their own.


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