The Snow In Spring
Supergroups in indie rock are always a fun topic of discussion. The idea of a supergroup, even the idea of a “superstar,” in indie music goes against many of the core values of the artists making the music. But, we still have them: Mister Heavenly, Monsters of Folk, and Swan Lake are among the most notable. Now add The Snow to the mix. Who are they? They are three frontmen: Beach Fossils’ Dustin Payseur, Wild Nothing’s Jack Tatum, and Holograms’ Andreas Lagerström. With their powers combined, they’ve recorded a single called “Memory Loss” which will be available on Captured Tracks on Record Store Day (April 19th). If the sound was dominated by one of the members’ premiere groups, I’d have to say it has Beach Fossils written all over it. Holograms’ vocals, yeah, sure, I guess. But no way there are any of Wild Nothing’s grooves in this thing. And that’s not a knock or anything. This is a cool experiment. The song as a whole feels like a throwback to the mid-80s goth explosion, without the horrible sadness. It’s a somber, jangly tune. Check it out below, and make sure you go out and BUY MUSIC on Record Store Day!
Check out Beach Fossils and Wild Nothing on the MCU audio channel.
- Mike Popadines
Really Play Along With Real Estate
New Jersey’s Real Estate is a really cool band. Not just because they play in a jangly, guitar-driven rock band and create breezy, catchy indie pop, but also because they share their music in interesting ways. Check out the video below. They actually show you how to play one of the new songs off their upcoming album Atlas (out this Tuesday on Domino). It’s called “Crime” and whether you play lead or rhythm guitar, this how-to video is an excellent guide. It’s better than your average guitar teacher and leagues ahead of playing Guitar Hero or Rock Band for hours on end. Practice makes perfect, friends.
Check out Real Estate’s new single “Talking Backwards” on the MCU audio channel.
- Mike Popadines
Eternal Summers Return With New Single, Album
We at MC figured most of you reading this are probably feeling the effects of this “polar vortex.” Therefore, we’re going to try and jog your memory of a better, warmer time… like the summer. That’s why today, we bring you news from Eternal Summers, a dream-pop trio from a small little town in Roanoke, Virginia (a community which faced similarly harsh winter conditions back in the pilgrim days.) Fronted by singer/guitarist Nicole Yun, the group has been quietly making dark, lo-fi music since 2008. In 2012, they released Correct Behavior on their current home, Kanine Records. It was a modest second LP with some commercial success. But, the Summers are never ones to sit around and wait for a bigger break. They are back with a new track and album. “Gouge” is our first taste of The Drop Beneath, which is out on March 4th. The group channels a neo-shoegaze vibe which is seeing a popular resurgence these days with fellow indie rockers DIIV, The Horrors, Yuck, and Young Galaxy. At its heart, it’s still very much a rock song that screams college radio. We like what we’re hearing in this, and we hope you will too.
Check out “Gauge” on the MCU audio channel.
- Mike Pops
A Night Out With Bombay Bicycle Club
The BBC is no stranger to Music Choice. We hopped on their bandwagon as they were emerging from a tiny, indie outfit in a small pocket of London. That was way back in 2007. Now the lads are gearing up for the release of their fourth studio album, aptly titled So Long, See You Tomorrow, due next month on Vagrant Records. They quietly released a single before year’s end, called “Carry Me,” which is currently blowing up on charts across the pond. In the US, most of us are sinking our teeth into the second single, “Luna.” Accompanied by a beautifully choreographed video of a synchronized swimming team, the song itself captures plenty in a mere three minutes. It’s a tale of pre-date schizophrenia: nervous jitters, unexplainable rushes of confidence, and the agony of hoping for the “perfect night out.” We don’t know what our protagonist has planned for the evening, but the instrumental is uplifting and beautifully smooth enough to make us believers. Also, check out those female vocals. That’s a pleasant surprise! We were hooked instantly. That’s the power of indie pop, and Bombay Bicycle Club. Check out the song and video below.
Check out more Bombay Bicycle Club on the Alternative and MCU audio channels.
Call Her Matangi
Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam is her birth name, but the world knows her as M.I.A. And even beings from other planets probably know of her inescapable and massive hit single from 2008, “Paper Planes” (You heard it everywhere, admit it. It’s not a bad thing!). The years have been good to the 38-year-old mother of one. Her energy for both the stage and studio over the span of her career has accumulated in a new album, out now via her own N.E.E.T. label. Matangi is difficult to put a finger on; calling it “all over the place” would give it a negative connotation that it certainly doesn’t deserve. But it’s safe to say, with all the hype and publicity leading up to this release, it’s an album that has captured people’s attentions for good reasons. There’s EDM, there’s worldbeat, there’s dance punk, there’s straight up hip hop… and it’s all very M.I.A. Her music can be a bit overbearing at times, but that’s because it’s not meant for everyone. M.I.A., the artist, is never going to be as universal as “Paper Planes”, and she doesn’t need to be. Matangi is where Maya is right now, in the moment, and it’s a fusion of everything that is cutting edge in the world of bubbling pop music. She collaborates with The Weeknd on the album’s highlights (“Exodus” and “Sexodus”), but there is also a lot to love in her singles “Bad Girls,” “Bring The Noize,” and “Y.A.L.A.”. This blogger got the chance to see her kick off her tour of the States, and I’m still trying to get the paint stains off my clothes (I won’t go into detail, just go see her live… and where clothes you don’t care about ruining). On record and live, in front of thousands, M.I.A. is in complete control of her art.
Night Time, Her Time
Sky Ferriera is riding a wave of momentum, even after her much publicized drug bust for ecstasy possession in mid-September. It just goes to show you that a true artist never stays down for long. The reason for the 21-year-old model/singer’s latest surge is the release of her debut studio album, Night Time, My Time. This was truly a work in progress, especially after such successful singles like “17,” “One,” and “Obsession” came out almost three years ago, without any sign of a proper LP. In recent months, album titles were confirmed, then taken back, and then reaffirmed, until in late August when Sky finally announced to the world (via Facebook) that the record was simply “done.” Capitol Records released the 12-track indie pop gem (with cover art that um… bares it all) last week, and the reviews are pouring in. The verdict? Generally favorable. I’d like to go above that, and say this is a fantastic effort, one that champions pop music but stays true to the alternative world. There are dance floor bangers, late night confessions, vengeful siren songs, and much more. Pick it up today, or better yet, tune into MCU. We’ll be spinning the hell out of “You’re Not The One” and “24 Hours,” the two dynamite singles on this album. Judge for yourself, but we certainly love a little controversy that comes with great pop music.
Jake Bugg’s Highly-Anticipated Second Album Out Soon
Jake Bugg, the 19-year-old British indie singer/songwriter behind the Gatorade-fueled single “Lightning Bolt”, is readying his second album. It’s called Shangri La (which is actually a made-up place, one that’s hypothetically beautiful and peaceful – is he thinking New York City? I hope not) and it’ll see the light of day on November 18th. If you haven’t heard anything other than “Lightning Bolt,” which I’m sure you have, whether or not you know it by name – you need to hear some of the deeper stuff in his catalog. MCU spins “Two Fingers,” “Seen It All,” and now, his brand new single, “What Doesn’t Kill You.” Here’s a quick background on his sound and style to save you some time: He’s got a thick Nottingham accent, quick string-pickin’ fingers, and a laid-back approach to songwriting, meaning stories come easy to him. He also has friends in high places, like major alternative artists Noel Gallagher (Oasis, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds) and Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers). This kid is the real deal, and his songs have that infectious spell that stays stuck in your head for days, but never outstays its welcome. Pick up the Rick Rubin-produced Shangri La from Mercury Records, put your headphones on, and hear the sound of a young star who’s on his way to being a major player in the years to come.
Check out more Jake Bugg on the MCU and Alternative audio channels.
Arctic Monkeys Get Down on the Farm in New Video
“One For The Road” is the latest album track to receive the video treatment off Arctic Monkeys’ fifth studio release, AM. In this black and white clip, the Sheffield lads find themselves far from city streets of London, and roaming around rural farmland that reminds me a lot of my college town. It’s desolate, basically deserted, and the only way to get around seems to be to hop on a John Deere tractor (and there’s no speed limit in these parts, apparently). The gang hangs out by an old barn, looking all GQ and mysterious and not much happens until the sun goes down. At dusk, some fireworks and band gear are delivered on a truck bed, and mannequin-like bombshell women walk onto the scene. A jam session ensues under what looks like The Fourth of July, or (because they’re British) Guy Fawkes Day. If you’re still interested in watching the video even after I just told you everything that happens, it’s below. Nevertheless, it’s classic-cool Arctic Monkeys, and that’s always welcome.
Check out more from Arctic Monkeys on the MCU and Alternative audio channels.