Recorded in the home of band leaders Ryan Peoples and Rebekah Goode-Peoples, the latest album by Atlanta’s Oryx & Crake has lofty ambitions sonically, taking great inspiration from such Canadian acts as Arcade Fire and Broken Social Scene. However, the aptly titled Marriage remains refreshingly grounded throughout, the band’s lavish orchestral pop meshing with exuberant new wave influences. A fine example is the late-album track “Hold Hand for Dry Land”, which locks itself into a mighty groove, Moog synths and fun vocal “whoo”s accentuating that lively mood.
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At first Vancouver band Animal Omen sounds cut from the same retro heavy rock as Black Mountain from the same city, relying on lugubrious tempos and roaring, fuzzed-out guitar riffs and melodies, save for one major difference. While Black Mountain’s psychedelic influence keeps their music at an arm’s length from the audience, Animal Omen head straight in the opposite direction, injecting genuine soul into the music. No detachment, just emotion, but in a tasteful way: there’s no cock rock swagger, nor any post-millennial whining. Debut single “Susan” is just a gorgeous song about a girl, played and sung with complete sincerity, displaying a level of tenderness that quite frankly is missing in modern rock.
A winner of the Independent Music Award for Best Social Action Song, Seth Glier isn’t exactly known for cute comedy songs. On a whim he wrote one with his pal, based on a “mostly true” story about a breakup and a woman selling her ex’s furniture on Craigslist, and as you can hear in this exclusive live performance, it is pure gold.
Better known as the lead singer for Little Grey Girlfriend, Erika Lloyd has ventured out on her own with her solo debut Power, on which she blends eccentric indie pop with chamber music. The title track, which you can hear below, is especially effective in the way it hearkens back to the experimental pop music of the 1980s, how it sounds high-gloss and ornate at the same time.
The band name is a mouthful, but this Colorado roots band strips its sound down so much, combining Appalachian folk and honky tonk energy so well that you think these musicians arrived straight out of the 1920s. New album Eat the Moon features a wonderful little track called “Back Door” that’s full of humor and affability, which couldn’t be a finer choice to premiere here.