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If some of the vocals on the New Royales’ take on the 1973 Foster Sylvers’ hit “Misdemeanor” sound familiar, it might be because you recognize singer Liz Rodrigues from her featured role on Eminem’s “Survival”. Consisting of industry pros who’ve produced and written for the likes of Jay-Z, Dr. Dre, and Pink, the New Royales recently came out with their new mixtape Freedom’s for the Brave, a collection of covers that ranges from Jefferson Airplane to Depeche Mode. Their level of know-how shows on the polished, jaunty take on “Misdemeanor”, which premieres here on PopMatters.

 

Coming on the heels of a busy 2013, when he released the first Locust album in a dozen years and collaborated with Slowdive‘s Neil Halstead in Black Hearted Brother, electronic music trailblazer Mark Van Hoen is embarking on yet another project in 2014, Children of the Stones. A combo consisting of Van Hoen and Martin Maeers, along with a number of guest stars including Halstead and Rachel Davies from Esben & the Witch, Children of the Stones are announcing two new releases due in the next few months, with the self-explanatorily titled Extended Play EP coming out on 18 February and a proper full-length The Stars and the Silence due later in the year, both via Saint Marie Records.

It’s only fitting that the Party Dolls’ new album Love Wars Baby (This Is American Music) will drop on Valentine’s Day. The record isn’t only about heartbreak, but there’s no shortage of it, either. Penned by District Attorneys frontman/songwriter Drew Beskin, this batch of personal songs gets gorgeous harmonies and arrangements courtesy of Jeremy Wheatley (Crooked Fingers), Tedo Stone, and fellow District Attorneys members Frank Keith IV and Walker Beard. The title track is an excellent representation of the record, wrapping pleasing sounds around direct, emotional lyrics.

 

“Coyote” tells you everything you need to know about what this super fine band of players has up their sleeves this go-around. Killer harmonies, warm countryesque textures, and the winsome voice of Miss Shevaughn, who channels her very own Emmylou Harris on this gorgeous tune. Meanwhile, Lean Into the Wind sets the band on a fresh course after a year spent dealing with the tragedies of severe illness and death of loved ones.

There’s a great deal of familiarity in a song like “The Dead Leaves”, the newest offering from the songwriters behind the New York-based Modern Rivals. Indie pop remains, as it is said, all the rage these days, and lush slices of garden pop such as this one aren’t hard to come by. But what Modern Rivals do, as any great band should, is remind us of why those things become familiar in the first place: simply put, they’re unshakably appealing.

//Blogs

'Herald' Attempts the Troubled Waters of the Colonial Narrative

// Moving Pixels

"The “colonialism” at play is not between nations, rather it seems more interested in how it influences a man recently come of age.

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