[19 March 2012]
Why not jump into the spring season a bit early after the “winter that wasn’t” with a bunch of new tunes ready for the next playlist? The time change an hour forward is never easy, but releases from Chairlift, Porcelain Raft and Dr. Dog can help ease the transition. Also much appreciated are the free downloads from Pretty Lights and Converse’s latest collaboration, bringing together the Gorillaz, Andre 3000 and James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem to round out the mix.
1.”Amanaemonesia” – Chairlift
2. “Sidewalk Safari” – Chairlift
Now a duo comprised of Caroline Polachek (vocals/synths) and Patrick Wimberly (bass/keyboard/drums), Brooklyn based Chairlift made a point of recording during the day to capture a bright energy with their indie synth pop and it shows. These two sprightly songs are off the band’s sophomore release, Something.
3. “Back of Your Neck” – Howler
This young quintet from Minneapolis updates the early rock ‘n roll sound on their debut release, America Give Up. In a classic story, the group formed out of boredom to skewer all conventions—piling up fans at their energetic live performances.
4. “Drifting In and Out” – Porcelain Raft
5. “Unless You Speak from Your Heart” – Porcelain Raft
Composer Mauro Remiddi, an Italian ex-pat now living in New York City, creates a fuzzy electronic pop vibe as Porcelain Raft. These two tunes, off the release Strange Weekend, capture the varying moods of this band.
6. “DoYaThing” – Gorillaz featuring Andre 3000 and James Murphy
Converse’s latest foray into the music business put Damon Albarn of the Gorillaz in a studio with Andre 3000 and James Murphy. This funky dance track was released as a free download on the Converse website, along with a sprawling, twelve-minute version.
7. “Champagne Coast” – Blood Orange
This spacious single is off the 2011 debut album, Coastal Grooves, by British singer/songwriter Devonté Hynes. He has penned songs for others such as Florence and Machine, but with this collection Hynes has full control of the final product with his own band.
8. “Lonesome” – Dr. Dog
9. “These Days” – Dr. Dog
Philly-based band Dr. Dog has a renewed commitment to their live jam sound as evidenced in these two songs off their latest release, Be the Void. The raucous party continues for over a decade now, led by guitarist/singer Scott McMicken’s raw vocals.
10. “Origins” – Tennis
Tennis is a husband and wife indie pop duo featuring Alaina Moore (vocals/keyboards) and Patrick Riley (guitar). This song is off their sophomore release, Young and Old, which brings a welcome mix of expanded instrumentation to their music.
11. “Simple Song” – The Shins
Singer/songwriter James Mercer creates a new line up for the new release, Ports of Morrow, yet this single shows a return to the Portland band’s classic indie rock sound. The building melody finds space for a playful interlude, complete with choral harmonies behind Mercer’s crooning.
12. “Coastal Brake” – Tycho
Tycho is Scott Hansen’s ambient music project full of blissed out tracks of electronica, this one off the latest release Dive. Based in San Francisco, Hansen is also known as ISO50 for his photographic and design works.
13. “Genesis” – Grimes
Montreal musician Claire Boucher creates indie dream pop, with her vocals floating over synths. This is the single off her latest release, Visions.
14. “Dour Percentage” – Of Montreal
This song is from Georgian Kevin Barnes’ eleventh releases of musical visions, Paralytic Stalks. His soulful singing compliments the band’s psychedelic groove in this meandering composition.
15. “Raw Umber/Twilight” – Walls
The U.K. electronic duo of Sam Willis and Alessio Natalizia layer the beats with guitars, synths and harmonies to create a musical glitch haven. This song is off their second release, Coracle.
16. “We Must Go On” – Pretty Lights
Colorado native Derek Vincent Smith is the mastermind behind the electronic music of known as Pretty Lights. This soundscape was released with a self-produced video on the band’s website, its hip hop vibe punctuated with an uplifting yet reflective vocal hook.