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by Sarah Zupko

9 Jun 2011


Photo: Todd Gallopo

Piano pop maestro Gabe Dixon spent a decade fronting the Gabe Dixon Band, an ensemble that found enormous mainstream success, with the bulk of their 2008 release, The Gabe Dixon Band, getting various TV and film licensing deals. Of course, in the new economy of the music industry, that’s the real path to sustained profitability. Now Dixon is forging out on his own and his first solo album, One Spark, will be releasing via Concord Music this coming August 23rd (full tracklist and EPK video below). Marshall Altman (producer for Marc Broussard, Matt Nathanson and Kate Voegele) approached Dixon about working together and they trekked off to London (good idea) to work on new material with Iain Archer (ex-Snow Patrol), James Walsh (Starsailor) and Ricky Ross (ex-Deacon Blue).

Heading to Los Angeles, Dixon enlisted a new band of supporting players and aimed for a spontaneous spirit in the recording process. Dixon describes the process: “When we got down to recording, we’d listen to the last pass from rehearsals and then cut the song for the album. We didn’t have a chance to over-think anything. We recorded it as we felt it, and I think that gives the tracks an immediacy and a freshness I’ve never had on record before. It was great to step back and give a little rein to Marshall and the musicians, spread it around and just see what happens.”

That fresh approach has yielded sparkling results as the single “My Favorite” illustrates. The tune is infectious and expansive, with the chorus lodging in your head and refusing to depart. Contemporary piano pop is made up of a lot more than Ben Folds and Gabe Dixon has staked his claim to the top of that mountain. Let the guessing begin… which TV show is going to pick up this tune first?

by Jane Jansen Seymour

8 Jun 2011


The new release from Hooray for Earth, True Loves, is out this week and Spin.com has a link to listen to the entire collection of songs. Spin deemed the band one of their “5 Best New Artists for March” and is very complimentary in the accompanying write up. I had already picked the title track for my summer playlist with its fuzzed out bumps and grinding beat intro, so it was fun to preview the whole thing. This four-piece synth-pop band from Boston is now based in New York City, ready to take things to the next level. And just in case you’re wondering, the group is named for a line in the Nickelodeon cartoon Invader Zim. Streaming widget after the jump…

by Maria Schurr

8 Jun 2011


The Horrors
Skying
(XL)
Releasing: 25 July (UK), 26 July (US)

If music critics love three things, those things are name-dropping obscure bands, abusing adjectives, and post-punk. When reformed UK Goths the Horrors released their Chameleons-esque second album, Primary Colours in 2009, music critics filled a thesaurus entry for the words “haunting” and “drony”, as well as sentence after hyperbolic sentence praising the album’s many hues and layers. From the sounds of new song “Still Life”, critics will be hitting up thesaurus.com all over again come July 26, when third album Skying sees its release via XL. In the meantime, we can all enjoy the synths and, to an extent, Faris Badwan’s ever-improving singing voice with nary a descriptive in mind.

SONG LIST
01 Changing the Rain
02 You Said
03 I Can See Through You
04 Endless Blue
05 Dive In
06 Still Life
07 Wild Eyed
08 Moving Further Away
09 Monica Gems
10 Oceans Burning

by PopMatters Staff

7 Jun 2011

PopMatters’ David Maine recently said of Afrobeat luminary Vieux Farka Touré‘s latest album, The Secret from Six Degrees Records: “At this point, Vieux Farka Touré is very much his own man as a musician and recording artist, which is an astonishing thing to say about someone whose career has been so short and whose father was so dominant in the field. It is exciting to wonder where his creativity and talent will take him next. Judging from this release, it could be anywhere.”

Not that he needs to because he’s spectacular on his own, but Touré paired with a number of big name US musicians on the new album, including Derek Trucks on “Aigna”, which you can sample from an earlier PopMatters premiere. His latest collaboration is the album’s new single “All The Same”, in which American jamband favorite Dave Matthews lends vocals to a haunting Touré melody. The scripted video of a lone boy lost in his imagination in a rustic forest was directed by Sam
 Bathrick
 and is a Native Resonance production. Full credits appear after the jump.

by Timothy Gabriele

7 Jun 2011


YouTube user thenov29films has become something of the official unofficial videographer of much of the best underground electronic music coming out, most of which would never have a visual accompaniment anyway. The Nov 29 Films, filmmakers Kevin Paschold and Sebastian Kökow, thoughfully and precisely match clips of old art films, animations, video games, and whatever fits to modern music at lightning-fast speed, sometimes within days of a record’s release. Here is a week-old clip of a woman fluttering a fan to Venetian Snares’s “Ever Stopped the Heaviest” from their Cubist Reggae EP. Whereas Venetian Snares were at one time involved in the end of IDM that obfuscated beats, abstracted melodies, and skirted the fringes of listenability, their latest EP actually works in inverse by taking obscure elementals and ornamental production and highlighting the pop angles of such.

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