London’s Crystal Fighters are one of the more interesting contemporary bands as they mash up musical styles to create the most memorable of catchy earworms. Melodies and instruments from Basque folk music are intertwined with electronic music beats. Acoustic, electric, and electronic elements coalesce utterly naturally in their music. This Friday the band is due to release their third album, Everything Is My Family, and we’ve got the premiere of Crystal Fighters’ brand new anthemic single “Lay Low”, which rises to rousing crescendos and wall of sound vocal choruses. It’s a stellar, joyous, glorious tune, with killer melodies and it promises that the band’s new record may be the very best yet.
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Mike Watt is a punk rock legend whose bands Minutemen and fIREHOSE had a huge influence on both punk and rock generally. In 1995, Watt first went solo as he toured the US, eventually stopping at Chicago’s Metro on May 6th for an incendiary set that crackles and thrills 21 years later. It’s that performance that Columbia/Legacy has chosen to memorialize with the release of Watt’s “ring spiel” tour ‘95 due for release on November 11th. The tour followed the February 1995 release of Watt’s first solo album, ball-hog or tugboat?, which has stood the test of time with a set of songs that featured the playing of Henry Rollins, Flea, Thurston Moore, J Mascis, Adam Horovitz, Mike Diamond, Frank Black, Dave Pirner, Evan Dando, Nels Cline, Pat Smear, Dave Grohl, Eddie Vedder, and more.
That unimaginable wellspring of curiosity known as Pepe Deluxé, and its chairmen James Spectrum and Paul Malmström, would not have been appointed professors of madness at Oxford University by DJ Food were it not for the support of their long time label, Catskills Records. For the past two decades, equally as long as Pepe has been around, the feline imprint helmed by Brighton brothers Amr Mallassi and Khalid Mallassi has tirelessly supported music on the fringes of the dancefloor, coming up during the peak of trip-hop and big beat end evolving through folktronica, future funk, mutant pop, and anywhere else inspiration may take them.
World music master Piers Faccini couldn’t have picked a better time to release his new album, I Dreamed an Island, which celebrates cultural diversity in a time of increasing intolerance around the world. It’s a noble aim for sure. Faccini did his historical research as he wanted to based his new album around the idea of an island where a multicultural people live in harmony. So, he ended up choosing 12th Century Sicily as it was a decidedly metropolitan place where the Western, Arabic and Byzantine worlds all came together.
Kingsley Flood is one of those bands that matter as they address race, identity and class issues in a serious way in their music. It’s music with something important to say, like the Clash, all backed with with a hard-charging folk-inflected rock sound. Frontman Naseem Khuri is a Palestinian American, which gives him a strong vantage point to examine these issues and his wife is a speechwriter for President Obama. The band used a year-long PledgeMusic campaign to fund their latest album, Another Other, releasing today. That allowed the group the time and space to create the best music of their career as they labored long and hard to get things just as they wanted them on Another Other.