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by PopMatters Staff

7 Apr 2011

Times New Viking have just released a new free MP3 from their upcoming Merge debut, Dancer Equired, releasing April 26th. The band has also announced US and Canadian tour dates for May and June, listed after the jump.

Times New Viking
Dancer Equired
Release date: 26 April (US)

01 It’s a Culture
02 Ever Falling in Love
03 No Room to Live
04 Try Harder
05 California Roll
06 Ways to Go
07 New Vertical Dwellings
08 Downtown Eastern Bloc
09 More Rumours
10 Don’t Go to Liverpool
11 Fuck Her Tears
12 Want to Exist
13 Somebody’s Slave
14 No Good

by PopMatters Staff

6 Apr 2011

Photo: Alex Cairncross

After a long cycle of touring their last album, Big Eye Little Eye, with the likes of Sloan and Feist, Toronto’s Golden Dogs seemed to be at the end of the line. The band was exhausted and their bass player, Stew Heyduk, left the group. Main man Dave Azzolini and Jessica Grassia headed back to Canada to recharge their creative juices and began crafting new material in a small garage studio in Toronto owned by their pals, Carlin Nicholson and Mike O’Brien, otherwise known as Zeus. Soon other musician friends began to join in and the band was on a roll. As Azzolini descibes, “It was very much a ‘best idea wins’ situation and the songwriter always had final veto power. It made for a very comfortable environment to make music. It was just musicians getting together to bounce ideas off each other.” The result of the creative ferment is the new album, Coat of Arms, releasing 26 April. First up is the latest single, the uber catchy “Long As You Like”, which has a brand new video that we are premiering today.

by PopMatters Staff

6 Apr 2011

Austin’s Britrock-esque quartet Sounds Under Radio channels the anthemic melodicism of Coldplay and Muse on their latest single “Sing”. The song is so instantly memorable and catchy that it was just selected by American Idol for use in their latest promo spots. That means Sounds Under Radio is going to be getting some major league exposure really soon and will likely be playing those larger venues that their expansive sound is designed for. The band’s latest album is Where My Communist Heart Meets My Capitalist Mind, releasing 3 May, and is described by the group as “a record about people and the internal governing of the self”. Lofty stuff, but it’s good to aim high. The video for “Sing” was directed by Jeff Ray.

by Steve Horowitz

6 Apr 2011

Harry Nilsson allegedly wrote the song “One” after unsuccessfully trying to reach the object of his affection. The beep beep beep rhythms at the beginning of the song are meant to mimic the busy signal he heard on the telephone. “One” went on to become a big hit for Three Dog Night, but never was the song more effective than when movie director Paul Thomas Anderson used an Aimee Mann cover version of it over the credit sequence and as the trailer to Magnolia. The 1999 film concerns a day in the life of some seemingly random characters living in the San Fernando Valley. The people, played by such great performers as Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Jason Robards, John C. Reilly, William Macy, Julianne Moore, and Tom Cruise, weave in out of each other’s stories in a series of chance encounters. Mann annunciates every word in a clear and somewhat vulnerable voice.  She never falters, but always seems a little on the edge. Anderson plays it over shots of the characters who frequently can be seen speaking, yet cannot be heard. This simultaneously expresses their inability to communicate and their profound isolation. They and we are all “One” so to speak, separate but still together in our loneliness.

by Jane Jansen Seymour

5 Apr 2011

Lykke Li

This playlist sat empty before hearing the buzz bands of SXSW and a few key releases of fave groups (Moby, the Strokes, Radiohead). It began filling up so fast, I’ve already started another. This is a good omen for another great year of new music. The list includes many band members who have grown up together, either in the same family or as childhood friends, which can only reinforce the notion that it’s a good thing not to burn any bridges in your teens or otherwise. After the miserable winter in many parts of the country and heavy snows still pounding some areas, it’s time to celebrate spring with a bevy of new bands and new tunes of some veterans.

1. Smith Westerns/Weekend
I heard plenty about this young trio from Chicago before this song got stuck in my head. The band was formed by brothers Cullen Omori and Cameron Omori with Max Kakacek when they were still in high school. Now just a few years later, this single off their second release provides incredibly catchy psychedelic pop to the indie rock scene.

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