October 21, 2010

new album from 'the moondoggies'

it's out. the much-awaited honest-to-god Tidelands by The Moondoggies. and that indie sound's is giving it a ten (out of ten). they've shed their country infuences of the previous album Dont be a Stranger and have put out a better set of tunes. listen to their music not the critics for this muchly underrated band is coming into their own force. their easy americana harmonies fall into one another seamlessly and make for a great uninterrupted listen.

that indie sound loves the stupendous acoustic tunes of 'It's a Shame, It's a Pity', 'Empress of the North', 'A Lot of People on My Mind' and 'Cant be in the Middle.'

trust me on one thing: this is a band that's only going to get bigger with their music.

the sound:
Kevin Murphy: lead guitar, vocals
Caleb Quick: keyboards
Bobby Terreberry: bass
Carl Dahlen: drums

'it's a shame it's a pity'

'empress of the north'

October 12, 2010

a short post about a tall man

that indie sound is back with the tallest man on earth. he's what's been keeping me busy. sounds naughty neh. but not.

on a serious note, go, people, go, listen to this new-age bluesy bob dylan. he's the best alt-folk we have right now. multi-intrumentalist Kristian Matsson from Sewden has two fantastic albums - Shallow Grave and The Wild Hunt - under his tall hat, and another much-awaited - Sometimes the Blues is Just  a Passing Bird.

The Wild Hunt is a lovely treasure that makes you realise why you fell in love with music in the first place - lucid fingerpicking, to the beauty of the acoustic guitar; it's all there, washing your transgressions clean and just waiting to take you back in.

end of short post. let the tambourine man take over now.

 'King of Spain'

'Pistol Dreams'

'Where do My Bluebirds Fly'

September 26, 2010

reviving rockability: kim lenz and the jaguars

'there's no god, just rock n' roll.' rightly said by pater a long time ago. if you feel even remotely touched by the sentiment then this short post will rock thy boat. 

all those who've come to my place will have seen my shrine to elvis. yeah, yeah it runs in the family. so much so that pater had named our dog, King (god rest his soul),  after the southern rock n' roller. King the german shepherd hadn't been south of the Mississippi and had big shiny shoes to fill. but fill them he did brilliantly - bit our driver four times. once in the rear.

i digress. point is that, the sun's out, the skies blue, the chilled beer flowing and that indie sound was feeling like a bit of rock n roll. so it dug up Kim Lenz and the Jaguars's 2009 album It's All Right.

if you hadn't heard of them before here's what the Rolling Stone said about them:

'If Elvis had been a woman, he probably would have sounded just like Kim Lenz.'

you get the idea. this LA-based, red-haired songstress is on fire in this album. her sassy growls are stronger and the songs, super energetic. songs such as 'Ramblin' Feeling', 'Touch Me', 'Zombie for Your Love', 'Shined Up and Ready to Shout' make you want to get up and dance or maybe just have another drink.

keep that rock n roll alive. 

the sound:
Kim: vocals
Nick Curran: guitarist
Jake Erwin: bassist 
Scotty Tecce: drummer  

September 24, 2010

fresh intro

i think that indie sound has been misunderstood and needs a fresh intro. its been getting questions about why there's no mention of some of the biggies such as Animal Collective and Dirty Projectors. that's not totally true (see post on the Yeah Yeah Yeahs).

but essentially this space features bands that are more that indie sound's style, mainly americana and alt-folk. but that indie sound is always open to suggestions and different genres. and tis doesn't diss bands that it doesn't dig (although on an after thought, way too experimental rock, Kings of Leon, The xxs, and Animal Collective are just boring).

so there it is.


September 23, 2010

horse feathers

the lovely Thistled Spring album cover 

this evening i thought i caught a wiff of the onset of winter in the air. and i came home to play Horse Feathers. this one's for that space just between autumn and winter. it's apt because this elegant indie folk band is fantastic at doing just that - creating beautiful spaces in their songs for listeners to breathe and take it all in before they go on to the next verse. no, it's not music for the dying. that indie sound would never do that to you. point is that you've got to take time out to listen to Horse Feathers. but listen you must.

Horse Feathers is led by songwriter/guitarist/vocalist Justin Ringle and supported by multi-instrumentalists Nathan Crocket, Catherine Odell, and Sam Cooper. and each one is f****** talented. that indie sound strongly suggests getting both their albums Words are Dead (2006), and their latest Thistled Spring (2010).


that indie sound's good friend - an electro-trash, acid jazz junkie (god save his soul) - was holding on to Thistled Spring to pass it on to me. the sealed cd and the eloquent words (thistled spring) were slowly eating him up alive. then one day he ripped it open and put it on. i gave him the raised eyebrow when i finally picked it up from him and saw the plastic gone. he turned back to his computer but not before muttering, 'breathless'. enough said.

songs to look out for 'Starving Robins', 'Thistled Spring', 'Cascades', 'Cur in the Weeds', 'Belly of June', 'As a Ghost', 'Hardwood Pews', oh just go and listen to them all.

curs in the weeds

starving robins


thistled spring

big echo by the morning benders

twentieth reason why california rocks:
The Morning Benders

that indie sound had given their first album Talking Through Tin Cans the good nod. and they still have that indie sound nodding with their new album Big Echo.

there's brilliance in this album. a pop record where every song is laid out beautifully with sonic brilliance. this will be on top of everybody's list this year (maybe after the black keys). the tiny, hidden melodies is what got that indie sound. there are very few numbers that have that genius. for example that indie sound had the Big Echo playing on for a week. end of week, it discovers two layered harmonies in 'Excuses'. dont you love these tiny surprises?

song picks would include 'Wet Cement', 'Excuses' (of course), 'Stitches', and 'All Day All Night'.

here's what that indie sound's favourite reviewer had to say about the album:

'Remember that line in As Good As It Gets when Nicholson’s character used one of the greatest panty-dropper lines of all time, “You make me want to be better man.” The Big Echo makes me want to become a better reviewer of music.'

the sound:
Chris Chu: vocals, guitar
Julian Harmon: drums
Tim Or: bass
Jon Chu: guitar, keys

September 22, 2010

here they go again

we all love the Ok Go boys. their pop-beat songs and super original coordinated dance videos win hearts. unfortunately they weren't on that indie sound's review list because the smaller cali bands had been taking up my time. today, a friend (keep them coming Dibakar) sent me a video from OK Go's new album Of the Blue Colour of the Sky and i just had to put it up.

now to get me hands on this album.

and another

September 16, 2010

a bird and the mysterious production of eggs

that indie sound has bored friends talking about him, shadily changed other people's music and played him, hollered from rooftops about him, and still hasn't had enough. in a way that indie sound is a breathing, living thing because of him. the conception of that indie sound started that day - when the people had grown tired of my obssesion, worn their coats, and gone back to playing their dave matthews, or jay z, in some cases. the rant needed a space even if it was to the depthless bowels of the web. so ta da! 

oh and i'm not being patronising. i do still like you  dave, after all these years, but i've discovered the internet - and i think i'm in love.

no, he's not 'fresh' and no, he hasn't come up with another album. but that indie sound isn't the site that keeps up with js. tis has deep, deep respect for this man. 

The kooky music man - Andrew Bird's music can conjure up places and people in vivid verses. he's actually a poet first, but can also give the kettle a run for its money with the kind of whistling he's capable of. lyrics of his song 'Scythian Empire':

five-day forecast bring black tar rains and hellfire
while handpicked handler's kid gloves tear at the inseams
their Halliburton attaché cases are useless
while Scotch-Guard Macintoshes shall be carbonized
now they're offering views of exiting empires
such breathtaking views of Scythian empires
Scythian empire
horsemen of the Russian steppe
Scythian empire
archers of an afterthought
routed by Sarmatians
thwarted by the Thracians
Scythian empire
kings of Macedonia
and the Scythian empire

lovely innit. 
Bird has the ability to combine antiquated sounds and adapt them to a new feel. yes, he does have a bachelor's in violin, and can play the guitar (duh), mandolin, loop pedal,  glockenspiel (the xylophone family). he can be jazz, rock, folk, blues, a ballad and anything else he wants to be, where ever he wants to be. but tis loves the fact that he's low-key and a bit nutty, and has a friggin smashing sense of humour. don't we love musicians who can still laugh. now he has one album too many and tis would go a bit mad trying to pick one to write about. so a list of songs instead to fire up that imagination, me lovelies (done with a four-beer-down scot accent)?

in no particular order that indie sound presents:
fake palindromes
a nervous tic motion of the head to the left
how indiscreet
sycthian empire (scroll up)
oh no (album starts with 'oh no' and closes with 'on ho!' the clever bird!)
fitz and dizzyspells (that indie sound's ever-favourite)
a sic of elephants
the trees were mistaken

go ahead and listen listen listen.

albums to look out for:
Andrew Bird and the Mysterious Production of Eggs
Noble Beast
Weather Systems


dont know if it sounds better on the album or live so here are both the versions.

September 14, 2010

all that furr

apologies for being lazy. lots of new music coming in from good friends all around. and that indie sound has been doing the listening. among the piles of music was Blitzen Trapper's new album Destroyer of the Void. that indie sound still has a throbbing toe after stubbing it while jumping around, album clutched tightly to self, on discovery of it.

most of us in the indie world think no end of Blitzen Trapper. however, after a first listen that indie sounds feels that their new album is a bit shy of that big big applause we had given Furr - the fourth album from this Portland sextet. 

Furr was all things good in life. their earnest-to-god, poetic, late-nineties americana style sets them apart from all other bands. they write music beautifully, understand harmony better than most, and have their feet are firmly planted on green terra firma. Furr is an intimate, poignant, no-fuss album - an album you know you'll go back to years later. it's for keeps. fyi: for this album, Earley wrote and recorded many of the songs on an old piano (a new element for the band) missing a few of its teeth, which mysteriously 'appeared in the hallway' of where they were recording. Their label says, 'The beast has gone away to the landfill now, but you can still hear the clacking and clattering of its rickety skeleton in songs like "Not Your Lover" and "Echo".'

song picks would include 'Furr', a song for a yellow summer's day. 'Black River Killer' - a dusty, outlaw song about murder is that indie sound's favourite. 'Love U' with its big electric guitars and strong vocals takes me off my feet. Then, there are 'Lady on the Water' and 'Not your Lover' - both lyrical, folksy numbers. and with its opener being called 'Sleepy time in the Western World', why wouldn't you want to give it the listen?

smarties: blitzen in german means 'lightning', and one of santa's reindeer is also called that (the other is 'donner' or dondor, i.e. thunder). 

the sound:
Eric Earley: vocals, guitar, keyboards
Erik Menteer: guitar, keyboards
Brian Koch: drums, vocals
Marty Marquis: guitar, keyboards, vocals
Michael VanPelt: bass
Drew Laughery: keyboards

September 10, 2010

hell yeah!

i cannot begin to describe how much i love this band. mostly because Karen O's genius vocals take a bit of me with every listen. they rock the NY way - in that noisy, smokey, garage pub rock way and suddenly do the turn and slip into the acoustic with supreme ease. they can put me out of any misery i may have. they make me tell the world to fuck off. this Brooklyn art-rock trio isn't trying to please anyone. they do their thing just they way like it. so get your leather on or fuck off (it's the music doing the talking now).

the Yeah Yeah Yeah's 2006 album Show Me Your Bones was a gargantous album with tracks such as 'Cheated Hearts' and 'Gold Lion' making it to the top of many charts. they broke all bounds with that one. their new album - It's Blitz - has a brand spanking new sound - a daring reinvention with disco beats that resonate from Brooklyn streets, a synth-pop touch, and a cleaner, maturer style, but with the only constant - Karen Os clear-as-water 'Budweiser-banshee wail'.

'Heads will Roll' is as exlposive as its title - a slick disco-rock call to the dancefloor. ear open for the barely-audibly, but sexy as hell, 'uh-oh's' in 'Soft Shock'. 'Skeleton' is breathtaking. for YYY lovers there's a pop rendition of their previous beautiful acoustic number 'Hysteric'. then Karen's O's crying vocals in 'Zero' enunciates the band's underlying ethic - that they'll play their music the way they want to and the critics can, well...fuck off.


Link: Yeah Yeah Yeah's - Gold Lion

bonding with the devil

folk-rock again. can’t help it. AA Bondy’s sophomore album (2009) - When the Devil's Loose – has got me hooked to its roomy languid music and haunting lyrics.

Scot Bondy’s got a lot of flak for dramatically moving on from much-loved Verbena – his earlier indie-rock band – to his acoustic guitar and harmonica. so it came as a surprise when his debut album American Hearts, a one-man show, got the number of listeners it did. for When the Devil's Loose, Bondy’s put together a band and the results have been stellar.

his lyrics are poetry and the intricate detailing of music (echoing mics that complement the song ‘When the Devil’s Loose) is genius. the opener ‘Mightiest of Guns’ is a favourite with its Dylan-like lyrics and feel. that indie sound picks ‘I Can See the Pines are Dancing’ as the winner; weary yet soul-lifting, its lucid and earthy lyrics remind me of Neruda’s poetry. 

I Can See the Pines are Dancing

this is a hammer
this is a hymn
this is a match
to a ball of lies
this is the blade
this is the beauty
these are the stars
raining down from the sky

this is the light that shines and
I can see the pines are dancing
this is the leaving of another love

this is the howling at the moon
these are the arms you fell into
i am a fire and I must burn today

this is an echo
this is the glory
this is the pounding of a midnight heart
this is the mountains
this is the lightning
this is the man pulling on his iron chains
this is the light that shines
and I can see the pines are dancing
this is the leaving of another love
this is the howling at the moon
these are the arms you fell into
i am a fire and I must burn today

just had to.

September 9, 2010

chief's modern rituals

this one's for those days when you're good, no great; when you all you need is the day to unfold in unexpected beautiful folds around you.

Chief's full-lenght debut album - Modern Rituals has the unmistakable Californian folk-rock buzz. the boys started their days in Santa Monica, California, then moved to NY (weird how they wrote these impossibly melodious songs in urban NY) for a bit and now they're back in Cali. the quartert's soulfully strummed mellow songs can bring in the long road and the breadth of the Appalachians into a room.

not many have taken to them but that indie sound loves their guitar licks, their end-of-summer lyrics, their warm earth feel, and most importantly, their long hippie hair :)

Modern Rituals gets better with every listen.


September 8, 2010

keyed up

minutes after i turned on Brothers, my under-versed-in-indie brother hopped into my room asking me what in the blue blazes the fantastic music was. it was the hopping that confirmed my hope of Brothers being the album of the year. hopping still isn't that generous an action for it. there are people who want to marry the album, yes the album, for godsake.

this blues-rock duo - Dan Auerbach and Pat Carney - have put out fifteen of the fiercest and freshest tracks for the year. that indie sound need not actually write any more posts for they've done the work for the music industry. to hell with what the critics say. burned-barn riffs, vintage floorborad-creaking beats, Auerbach's wicked stripped-down, sandpaper howl, and percussions with an eighties feel is what you'll get from their latest album.

i can't decide which track i love the most. they're all stupendous. their opener - 'Everlasting Light' - is sacred, with Auerbach's acid vocals preened to perfection, hymn-like with its choir-ish background vocals, and Carney's drumming abandon. 'Tighten Up' begins with playful whistling and carries a torn-jeans raw edge through, till at the last minute there's a sneaky swerve, changing the tempo - it made my head spin. gold, pure gold.

'The Only One' is a bluesy rock ballad. and then there's wind running through my hair, riding a caravan through a vast expansive desert road past a solitary church - restless tumbleweed rasping at its door - where a choir sings its blues in Too Afraid to Love You. if you think i exagerrate here's what my favourite music reviewer said when he first heard Brothers: 

'I would let Dan & Patrick violate me in ways that aren’t even human. And I would let Patrick play bongos on my buttocks.'

this coming from a married, father-of-three man.


past must-listen-to album: Attack & Release

an indie year

2010 is the year of indie music, and that called for a space (or a few drinks if you will). there are bands that are playing some incredibly sweet music. we know of a few - Arcade Fire, The Flaming Lips, Animal Collective - but there's so much more that is happening in the indie scene, although confined mainly to the US - where a renaissance of americana, folk-rock, vintage rock is flowering - and of course internet radio stations.

so what is indie music, you will ask? technical answer: bands that work with smaller, independent record labels, which may/or may not go commercial later in their career. some say 'underground music'. that indie sound prefers not to describe it. it knows indie music when it hears it. but it you’re putting a gun to its head then here it: stoned rock made up of sea-washed lazy guitars, echoing riffs overhung with percussions, alive with pulsating drums, and most important heady, mind-blowing lyrics. that indie sound is putting up, as best as it can, the bands that are making this music happen.