The groundhog predictions were just plain wrong this year as snow stayed in the forecast, along with the cold weather, through the first day of spring. At least there was plenty of new music to dig through with new albums by Toro y Moi, Frightened Rabbit, Phosphorescent, and Youth Lagoon, to spice up the continuum of life indoors. Teaser singles from upcoming albums featuring the Flaming Lips, Fitz and the Tantrums, and Phoenix also kept music fans longing for spring, while new bands Parquet Courts, Cayucas and Painted Palms reinforced the seasonal theme of renewal.
**EXTRA CREDIT IF YOU CAN NAME EVERY BAND WITH BROTHERS IN THE LINEUP (ANSWER AT END OF THE POST!)
1. “Sun Blows Up Today”—The Flaming Lips
Oklahoma’s own house band, The Flaming Lips, keep the party going with this latest psych rock experiment, which debuted on the Super Bowl as a Hyundai ad. This single provides a blast of fun from the upcoming thirteenth studio album, The Terror.
2. “Rose Quartz”—Toro y Moi
Chaz Bundwick of Toro y Moi decided to indulge in R&B and 90s house music influences for his third album, Anything In Return. His smooth delivery still gives off the chillwave vibe he’s known for, even in this varied context.
3. “High School Lover” – Cayucas
This Santa Monica based quartet knows firsthand about that sunny California mindset pervading their music, layering their pop tunes with ambient party noise and other samples to keep things interesting. “High School Lover” is a tale of unrequited teenage love from their upcoming debut album, Bigfoot.
4. “Out of My League”—Fitz and The Tantrums
Fitz and The Tantrums are back after their retro sound and constant touring caught the ear of many new fans. This single from their sophomore album, More Than Just a Dream, expands the sound to incorporate 80s synths while threatening to bury Fitz’s stellar blue-eyed soul voice.
5. “Borrowed Time”—Parquet Courts
Brooklyn based band Parquet Courts brings a resurgence of punk attitude in their debut album, Light Up Gold. Inspired by the NYC bands before them, the quartet charges through songs with a no holds barred approach to vocals and raucous rock performance.
6. “Weird Shapes”—Surfer Blood
West Palm Beach alt rock quartet Surfer Blood is getting ready to release their sophomore album, Pythons. Singer John Paul Pitts lets loose in a yelping chorus, describing the song as an individual’s manic episode (which unfortunately might remind fans of the domestic battery charges filed against him last year).
7. “Circles”—Shout Out Louds
Swedish indie pop quintet Shout Out Louds return to the music scene with their fourth album, Optica. The instrumental crunch of synths introduce this dreamy tune set in a 80s dance groove.
8. “The Woodpile”—Frightened Rabbit
Singer/guitarist Scott Hutchinson is responsible for yet another heart on the sleeve story highlighting his honest, earthy delivery. The Scottish indie rock quartet recently released their fourth studio album, Pedestrian Verse.
9. “Song for Zula” – Phosphorescent
Alabama native Matthew Houck, now based in Brooklyn, has been recording under the name Phosphorescent since 2001. This song is from his fifth album of indie folk infused with a rock music sensibility, Muchacho.
10. “Entertainment” – Phoenix
French alt rock quartet Phoenix is returning since 2009’s breakout Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix with album number five, Bankrupt! After an Asian influenced intro, singer Thomas Mars commands another signature soaring chorus, instantly reminding fans of the band’s appeal.
11. “Click”—Painted Palms
San Francisco based duo Painted Palms released this track as part of a preview for their upcoming debut album, Carousel. The tune crafts an indie pop treatment of introspective, interwoven vocals over a percussive foundation.
12. “Dropla”—Youth Lagoon
Idahoan Trevor Powers of Youth Lagoon branches out from personal shoegazing to low-fi conceptualizations of metaphysical musings, along with some ascribed pop music influences. This floating meditation is from his sophomore album, Wondrous Bughouse.
13. “Trojans”—Atlas Genius
Australian indie rock quartet Atlas Genius creates tightly formed pop songs with an infectious vengeance. This catchy single is a solid introduction to their debut album, Through the Glass.
14. “Sacrilege”—Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Alt rock trio Yeah Yeah Yeahs have served as a point of pride for New York City since 2000. This single from their fourth studio album, Mosquito, adds a gospel choir as the only really appropriate background singers for the majestic voice of singer Karen O.
15. “Photon”—Pantha du Prince & The Bell Laboratory
German electronic music producer Hendrick Weber, a.k.a. Pantha du Prince, has teamed up with Norwegian percussion group The Bell Laboratory to layer chiming bells over his synth universe. The resulting collaboration is Weber’s fourth studio album under this moniker, Elements of Light.
16. “You Were Afraid”—Night Beds
23-year-old Nashville native Winston Yelten writes spare songs late at night and it shows. This is the first tune he wrote (at age 18) as Night Beds, dealing with the bittersweet realization that a relationship would soon end.
DID YOU GUESS 4 BANDS? (IT COULD BE 5 IF WAYNE COYNE’S BROTHER MARK WAS STILL IN THE FLAMING LIPS!) BONUS POINTS FOR ADDING TWINS AND THREEPEATS…
1. PARQUET COURTS
2. FRIGHTENED RABBIT
4. ATLAS GENIUS—THREE OF THEM!!!