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Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever
The French Press
Sub Pop
Blackouts Coastal Fever’s Rolling songs have always had all the page-turning qualities of a good yarn and The French Press is no different. The band often start with something rooted in real life – the melancholy of travel on ‘French Press’, having a hopeless crush on ‘Julie’s Place’ – before building them into clever, quick vignettes. The result is lines blurred between fiction and reality – vibrant stories which get closer at a truth than either could alone. The music: Echo and the Bunnymen meets The Happy Mondays.
The Orwells
Terrible Human Beings (Explicit)
Atlantic
 
All of Terrible Human Beings’ songs ooze over and flood into one another.  In “Creatures,” it’s the suspiciously warped guitar line that adds to the song’s funhouse-mirror effect. In “Hippie Soldier,” it’s the eerie, high-pitched backing vocals accompanying the tale of a guy who’s losing his mind. Elsewhere, it’s the subject matter that veers toward the sinister: “Heavy Head” describes vengeful decapitation.   Album closer “Double Feature” features a stack of drum loops and guitars and voices coming at you from all different directions until it collapses in on itself towards the dead end. A sordid threesome between the Pixies, Oasis, and The Black Lips, Terrible Human Beings is worth the penicillin.
Dams Of The West
Youngish American
30th Century/Columbia

One afternoon in the bowels of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, ya boy Chris Tomson (of Vampire Weekend fame) was quite lost. Somewhere between Didion and Deadspin, he blindly took an exit which was intriguingly signed as Drummers Who Aspire Take Heart. Unsure of whether to bear towards “All She Wants to Do Is Dance” or “Monkey Wrench.” Instead he called upon the powers of Elvis Costello, his day gig (again: Vampire Weekend), and the production prowess of The Black Keys’ Patrick Carney. Thus, Youngish Americans came to be – a mush-mouthed, catchy, and often hilarious pop delight.
A Will Away
Here Again
Triple Crown

 

Imagine for a second that you live in Connecticut and you’re into punk rock—there really aren’t two things further apart from one another. While much has been written over the years about vibrant scenes in nearby Brooklyn, Boston and various locales in New Jersey, the Constitution State lacks a strong musical identity and is frequently overlooked. But if you ask Matt Carlson, that’s how he discovered his musical voice. Here Again is emotionally resonant and musically powerful, with fully realized rock songs that sit comfortably between underground guitar rock stalwarts like Balance and Composure and Transit without feeling derivative of either.
Sorority Noise
You’re Not As ______ As You Think
Triple Crown
Sorority Noise recorded You’re Not As _____ As You Think with producer Mike Sapone (Brand New, Taking Back Sunday) over the span of 10 days – three times longer than it took to track Joy, Departed – and this increased time allowed the band to hone their songwriting and visceral performances. Singer/guitarist Cameron Boucher, who prefers not to edit or overthink his lyrics, empties both his pen and soul on songs like No Halo, Disappeared and A Portrait Of, stark vignettes that find him coming to terms with the death of close friends. So what you’re getting is an emotional bulldozer – an unfiltered, inward look at the last year of the band’s life that’s filled with intimate, visceral details yet remains universally relatable.
Sarah Bethe Nelson
Oh, Evolution
Burger
 
Poet Frank O’Hara wrote, “Each time my heart is broken it makes me feel more adventurous.” Think of the eight songs on Oh, Evolution, then, as the catchy beat from a ‘60s AM radio, driving along the sun-kissed California coast, where all sadness melts away into the ocean. You’re on a road trip with San Francisco singer-songwriter Sarah Bethe Nelson, who’s at the wheel, meditating on her adventures with Mission District drag queens, DIY garage rockers, beer-logged poets, and romantics. The top’s down, you’re feeling the warm wind across your face as you escape the claustrophobic anxiety of cosmopolitan life.
Findlay
Forgotten Pleasures
The End

A cat scratching in her throat, full of banter and insolent, tearing cracks through nature, Findlay comes from the same bloodline as PJ Harvey or The Kills’ Alison Mosshart. Her first album, Forgotten Pleasures, is representing her inner world by 13 songs that fit together despite their stark contrast. The album jitters with her indie rock influences – Beck, Tame Impala, The Velvet Underground – but she seizes the listener with her own firm grasp on music mythology and makes it her own. “Forgotten Pleasures is the cream of all the songs I’ve written in the last few years documenting my life,” she says. “I wanted to make a record that connects with anyone else who’s experienced what it’s like to be young, fucked up, in love, out of love and demanding to make sense of a world that doesn’t always make sense.”
Simon Kirke
All Because of You
The End

 

Drummer Simon Kirke kept the beat for two of the 70’s most popular bluesy hard rock bands – Free and Bad Company. Kirke recorded his new solo album, All Because Of You, with the band Empty Pockets over the course of four studio sessions in Chicago. With Kirke on lead vocals, drums, guitar, keyboards, and ukulele, his cohesion with Empty Pockets will lead you to believe that they’ve been recording together for years. Fans of Bad Company will be especially excited about All Because Of You’s ukulele-rendition of “Feel Like Making Love,” (which was written by Kirke). All Because Of You also features guitarist Warren Haynes (ex-Allman Brothers, Gov’t Mule) on “Trouble Road.”
Ethan Gruska
Slowmotionary
Sire
Ethan Gruska’s solo debut, the luminous Slowmotionary, embraces a range of sounds and styles, with influences from jazz and folk to ambient and alternative, Slowmotionary integrates everything into a whole that is original, idiosyncratic, and embraces its own imperfections. “I really tried to let that humanity in and to not only leave these quirky blemishes in, but to highlight them,” says Gruska. “I didn’t want perfect. I wanted true. I wanted honest.” He made room for a little serendipity in his creative process, sensing that too calculated an approach would diminish the impact of the music. The results are beautifully minimalist: songs as whispered confidences, with what Gruska calls an “arctic” sound, windswept and cold, befitting lyrics that depict moments frozen in time.
Migration will be the record which cements Bonobo’s place in the very highest echelons of electronic music. By turns lush, manic, beautiful, melancholy, joyful, packed with both emotion and technical skill, Migration is Bonobo’s most ambitious attempt to capture the very textures of human existence in his work. Migration was written and recorded in Los Angeles — a city which proved to be the perfect respite from three years of non-stop touring.  This new environment — combined with the “euphoric, spiritual moments” he experienced playing his all-night DJ sets in New York – had a profound effect on Migration. Bonobo has placed the unstable, the heartbreaking, often beautiful migratory life at the core of how he understands humanity and, hence, how he understands music. Migration is to him, “the study of people and spaces,” he expands, “It’s interesting how one person will take an influence from one part of the world and move with that influence and affect another part of the world. Over time, the identities of places evolve.” As such, Bonobo’s newest work is itself a statement of this change and growth. And, of course, you can dance to it.

Bonobo –
Migration

Ninja Tune

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The Coalition of Independent Music Stores (CIMS) is a group of some of the best independent music stores in America. CIMS was founded in 1995; its current membership is made up of 29 accounts that handle 47 stores in 21 states. Many of the accounts have been recognized by the music industry and their local communities for their outstanding dedication to customer service and developing artist support.

Each member is bound by its shared love of music, a reputation for great selection and customer service in its community, yet each CIMS account is as unique as the market it represents. Most importantly, CIMS member stores continually seek to challenge the jaded, color-by-numbers advertising and marketing of other retailers.

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