Listen To This Sh*t
This is what has been in heavy rotation at The Sound Medium this year.
Battles – Gloss Drop
The departure of Tyondai Braxton reduced Battles to a trio with no lead singer, but they didn’t let that stop them from making a solid album. In particular, drummer John Stanier kicks serious ass through the record’s experimental ride. Highlights include debut single “Ice Cream”, the calypso-esque “Inchworm”, and “Sundome”.
Debut album from California’s lighter version of Yeasayer; Torches has already hit the top of the Rock and Alt charts and deservedly so. In addition to the summer anthem “Pumped Up Kicks”, “Houdini” and “Warrant” are solid as well.
MMJ return to their roots with their sixth studio album, Circuital, which is centered around the idea of growing physically, but perhaps not mentally, old. Lead singer Jim James shines on the album standouts, “First Light”, “Outta My System”, and the 7 minute title track.
Breakout artist of the year so far. Reptar’s debut 5-track EP is solid from end to end with indie / electronica / fusion / party music. They’re from Athens; Ben Allen produced their debut (he produced Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavilion); and they apparently rage live. Pretty good combination.
Jet Horns – Onward Space Hologram
Electro funk fusion from Austin self-described as an “immersion into a galaxy of positivity”. Who would bet against that? Highlights include “Jungle Hit Machete”, “Whiteroom”, “Indian Eagle Hair”, and “I Once Was A Glass of Tang”.
Mean Lady – Kid Friendly EP
Smooth, tropical beats with old vinyl samples underlying Katie Dill’s excellent vocals. Great chillout music. Download for free here.
Brit rockers who’ve busted onto the scene with a spectacular debut. The easy comparison upon first listen is to The Ramones, but The Vaccines offer a lot more range and production. The album has it’s punk tracks like “Wreckin’ bar (ra ra ra)” and “Norgaard”, but also has surf-rocking “Blow It Up”, the soaring “Wetsuit”, and an epic “Family Friend”.
Nashville’s innovative hip hop duo drop their first album mixing glitch and dubstep beats with party rap. Why hasn’t anyone else done this before? Grab the album for free at samandtre.com.
Music masters and pioneers Radiohead don’t necessarily make drastic changes on their latest release, but they do maintain focus on what they do best. The eighth studio album from the Brits contains spooky, undermining layers of instrumentation with Thom Yorke’s haunting vocals.
Akron/Family - S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shiniu TNT
This band somehow seems like a cross between The Black Keys and studio Phish. They bring elements of soul and guitar fuzz on some tracks (“So It Goes”) with soft, breezy tunes elsewhere (“Cast a Net”). Awesome band live.
Ghostly International is a label full of super-talented artists that has carved out a space for itself in electronic music. If you like eclectic music, smooth sounds, and/or complex compositions, check this compilation out. The highlights include Outputmessage’s “Bernard’s Song”, Tycho’s “Coastal Break”, and JDSY’s “Horizon Line”.