CFP: The Legacy of Radiohead's 'The Bends' 20 Years On [Deadlines: 29 Jan / 12 Feb]

 
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Monday, Jan 26, 2015
Featuring what might become the official surf rock jam of Brooklyn, Sarah McGowan's Indian Summer is an EP filled with ebullient sing-alongs and hooks aplenty.

No, you’re not mistaken: on “Williamsburg Boy”, the opening track of her new EP, Indian Summer, New York City-based songwriter Sarah McGowan is indeed singing about the ever-bourgeoning Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg and not the California coast. Such a mistake is forgivable given the tune’s sunny surf rock vibes, in addition to its well-placed Valley Girl-ism (“I would literally fucking die”). Although this sonic isn’t repeated throughout Indian Summer, the rest of it does match “Williamsburg Boy”‘s elating handclaps and effortless hook, resulting in a brief yet undeniably catchy collection of indie pop numbers. McGowan is a singer that fans of twee pop best keep their eye out for.


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Monday, Jan 26, 2015
Dark and brooding, "By the Waves" finds the Swedish collective Baron Bane playing off the grim sonic world of bands like Massive Attack and Porcupine Tree.

“By the Waves”, the latest tune by the Swedish outfit Baron Bane, is described by the group as “a dark and dreamlike story about losing your grip on reality and being pulled out by the waves into the unknown.” Far from the kind of flowery language music writers—this one included—often lean on, this description gets right to the brooding heart of “By the Waves”. Opening with a dark, pulsating cloud of distortion and bass drum reminiscent of Porcupine Tree, the band then brings in a moody piano chord progression that frames the song. Then the march-ready drums enter, matching the rhythm of the piano. This builds an intensity that doesn’t let up until the track has reached its last second—when, one would imagine, the unknown has finally been reached.


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Monday, Jan 26, 2015
After teaming up with Broken Social Scene's Kevin Drew, the reputable singer/songwriter Andy Kim reinvigorated his musical passions with his new LP, It's Decided.

You might now him as Baron Longfellow—or just Longfellow—but no matter the name changes he’s undergone, Andy Kim ( Andrew Youakim) has never shed his distinctive songwriting voice. Having been active in the music world since the early ‘60s, Kim has a musical pedigree that is beyond reproach. Most famously, he cut the number one 1974 single “Rock Me Gently”, as well as the classic Archies tune “Sugar, Sugar”. It’s been quite a long time since those years, but Kim hasn’t lost any of his verve, as evinced by his latest studio affair, It’s Decided. For this record, Kim teamed up with Broken Social Scene founding member Kevin Drew, who proved to be a boon to Kim in the recording process. One of the fruits of this artistic union, “Longest Time”, can be streamed below. The track is indicative of Kim’s impressively young-sounding voice and his knack for effervescent melodies.


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Friday, Jan 23, 2015
"The Night Air" finds a black-and-white look into the past is met by an intoxicating, moody tune by the Denver group Shady Elders.

When it premiered “The Night Air” last year, Wondering Sound described the Denver band Shady Elders as “the hazy, heavy-lidded beauty of Mazzy Star… cross-wire[d]... with the shady, shadowy balladry of Beach House”. Such is certainly the case for The Night Air EP as a whole, which finds Fox Rodemich’s intoxicating, dusky vocals married to warm and nostalgic guitar parts. Nostalgia is a key operative element in The Night Air‘s title track, the video of which you can stream exclusively below.


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Friday, Jan 23, 2015
Canadian indie rock outfit Arkells gives you a behind-the-scenes glance at the "choose your own adventure" video for "Leather Jacket". Disclaimer: several beers were involved in the making of this video.

Here’s a choice quotation from PopMatters’ review of Arkells’ 2014 LP High Noon: “Arkells… exist solely on a plateau of their own, and that’s what makes them so darn special.” The group’s creativity and pop smarts are on full display both on High Noon and the music video for the album cut “Leather Jacket”. Below, you can watch a video where the group gives you an exclusive look at the making of the video for the song. Spoiler alert: there’s plenty of beer involved.


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