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Tag: Indie Rock (1-10 of 679)

The Rentals' Matt Sharp talks new record and living in Weezer's shadow

In 1995, when Weezer bassist Matt Sharp released the first album by his side project The Rentals, he was at the peak of an alt-rock explosion that was reaching its apex, and with the smash success of “Friends of P,” he was positioned as one of the music industry’s golden boys. Then he quit Weezer, split to Europe, and recorded a moody concept album about being a famous rock star drifting through Europe (1999’s Seven More Minutes) that failed to reach “Friends of P” levels of popularity. Sharp then dissolved the band and dropped out of the public eye, popping up here and there with art projects and oddball, small-scale recordings.

Recently Sharp recruited a new team of Rentals, including Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney, and recorded Lost in Alphaville, a long-awaited return to form that was enthusiastically received by the fervent cult following that his project has grown over the years. During a stop in New York City he spoke with EW about the new album, his admiration for film directors, and the long shadow that Weezer’s first album still casts over his career.

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Get a taste of synesthesia with Deep Sea Diver's vibrant 'One by One' video

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Jessica Dobson has spent the past few years as a guitarist for hire, with a résumé that includes stints playing with Beck, The Shins, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Spoon, and The Divine Fits. Deep Sea Diver is her outlet for her own music, which trades the jangly guitars of the bands she’s been playing with for a more electronics-based sound and a songwriting style that combines quirky indie-pop with more dance floor-oriented stuff.

The video for the band’s new single “One by One” from their recent EP Always Waiting was directed by its drummer (and Dobson’s husband) Peter Mansen. It’s Mansen’s first attempt at shooting a music video but it has an interesting concept: Those large fields of color throughout it were chosen by fans of the band who have a type of synesthesia that lets them experience different sounds as specific colors. The dancer is Mansen’s younger brother, who combines a 6’10” frame with a very unique dance style.

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21 thoughts on 21 years of the Afghan Whigs' masterpiece 'Gentlemen'

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When I first started this job back in April 2011, I was subjected to an EW tradition: I was sent a list of questions whose answers made up an office-wide introduction to my cultural obsessions. When it came time to express an all-time favorite from the music world, I settled on the one name I always shout out whenever anybody asks me what songwriter I defend above all others: Greg Dulli.

Dulli has made excellent work I have absolutely adored in several different guises, including the Twilight Singers, the Gutter Twins, and the Backbeat Band. But he got started with the Afghan Whigs, a mercurial indie rock/R&B hybrid from Cincinnati who first appeared on the scene with the haunting Big Top Halloween in 1988 and wrapped up their original run with 1998’s 1965. (They recently reconstituted for an ongoing series of shows and the brand new album Do To The Beast, which came out earlier this year.) Their masterpiece is, undoubtedly, their 1993 major-label debut Gentlemen, which is getting the deluxe reissue treatment today in the form of Gentlemen at 21. The new version contains a remastered version of the original record, plus a second disc of demos, B-sides, and live tracks that further flesh out the strange and wonderful universe the band helped create more than two decades ago.

Gentlemen has been a cornerstone album for the better part of its existence (and, subsequently, mine), so in honor of this definitive work now being able to legally order a boilermaker, here are 21 thoughts about Gentlemen. READ FULL STORY

DMA's give the Britpop revival a boost with 'Laced'

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It’s been 19 years since Oasis released (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?, so it’s about time for Britpop to have another day in the sun.

There’s already been a marked increase recently in bands sonically referencing Britain’s crunchy but unabashedly poppy response to the relatively dour American alt-rock movement, and a few, like Newtown, Australia’s DMA’s, who seem to consider it a primary musical touchstone. The handful of home-recorded songs they’ve released so far have not just the slurry, ragged lead vocals of classic Oasis, but that band’s buoyant sense of melody as well.

Their latest, “Laced,” combines that with some of The Verve’s stoned ambience and Britpop godfathers XTC’s fizzy bubblegum edge. “Laced” and “So We Know” be released as a single in November, available digitally via Mermaid Avenue in the U.S.

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Wild Cub blend heartachy hooks and hypnotic visuals in a new version of 'Colour'

Back in the spring, Nashville indie rockers Wild Cub released a video for their song “Colour” from last year’s Youth LP, a swoony ballad possessed of a nervy postpunk energy and a visual (created by Drew Bourdet and Dustin Lane) with pretty young people doing the low-key profound things that young people do, like drive around in cars and make out with each other. The band’s latest release is a “Colour” single, which includes not only the radio edit of the song but a radically different version recorded with Spoon drummer/producer Jim Eno and featuring singer-songwriter Jessie Baylin that slows things down, smooths them out, and lets it all breathe in a way that shows an entirely different side to the composition that’s softer and even a little heartbreaky. Similarly, the accompanying video presents the original material in a different way, editing outtakes from the first “Colour” visual into a dreamy, hypnotic collage.

The “Colour” single, which also includes a remix of the Youth song “Thunder Clatter” by Jensen Sportag, is out digitally now on Mom + Pop, with a limited edition 10″ vinyl version out Oct. 28. They’ll be heading out on tour with Fun. offshoot Bleachers starting later this month.

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Manchester Orchestra share a playlist of inspired cover songs

Atlanta’s Manchester Orchestra have followed up their 2014 album, Cope, which combined indie rock melodicism with hard rock heft, in a novel way. Their new LP, Hope, is a track-by-track reimagining of Cope as a much quieter and more subdued affair, replacing crunching guitars and pounding drums with delicate acoustic picking, soft horn and piano arrangements, and the marked influence of both rootsy Americana and intricately assembled chamber pop. It’s a daring concept, but the band’s managed to pull it off, creating an album that not only sheds a different light on Cope but may even be an improvement, at least to some listeners.

In keeping with Hope‘s theme of radical musical reinvention, MO has assembled a playlist of covers songs that offer a far different experience than the originals (plus a Paul Simon demo that shows how much Graceland‘s “Homeless” changed between inception and completion).

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Hear the Afghan Whigs demo of 'Debonair,' an exclusive premiere from 'Gentlemen at 21'

The Afghan Whigs’ Gentlemen, originally released in 1993, not only represents the band’s major-label debut, but it’s also the platonic ideal of the group’s sound. Over the course of 11 tracks, the Whigs melded the sultry slink of R&B with the jagged crunch of indie rock, all fueled by frontman Greg Dulli’s sly, savage take on relationships.

On October 27, Rhino will release Gentlemen at 21, a deluxe reissue of the album celebrating the fact that it has finally reached drinking age. In addition to the original remastered album, there are 17 bonus tracks that include a bunch of b-sides, live performances, and the original Gentlemen demos.  READ FULL STORY

Eaves's 'Timber' is sweet, slightly dark folk-pop

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Leeds, England-based singer-songwriter Eaves sounds remarkably mature for an artist who’s only in his early 20s. The three songs on his upcoming Old As the Grave EP forgo the ’90s-style fuzz and postmodern electronic sounds of most buzzy young acts, presenting his songs with bare-minimum arrangements that give his deft melodies and crystal-clear voice plenty of room to breathe. The songs recall low-key folkies from Nick Drake and Fairport Convention to Bon Iver, but Eaves’s emotive vocals and the hint of darkness that he adds to them—even on the lilting piano ballad “Timber”—make them feel bracingly original.

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Weaves have a hot new rock song with an NSFW title

Weaves has a slippery sonic identity that can change radically from song to song, turning on a dime from fuzzy electropop to a compellingly weird amalgamation of the B-52’s and UK postpunk to straightforward power pop. It might make for a confusing listen if the group didn’t have frontwoman Jasmyn Burke’s distinctive achey voice to pull it all together, as well as the chops to pull off seemingly whatever style they tackle.

On their latest single—whose title EW style prevents us from publishing in the headline, but which we can tell you here in the body of this post is actually “S–thole”—the Toronto four-piece sounds a little like The Pixies at their proto-grunge best covering a Burger Records stoner-pop song. The single comes out Oct. 20 through Buzz Records.

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Synths and psychedelia collide on Canopies' 'The Plunderers and the Pillagers'

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Milwaukee electro-psych-pop quintet Canopies have a lot of synthesizers and a lot of patience. Despite the buzzworthiness of their sound, which should resonate with fans of MGMT, the group eschewed the urge to rush into releasing its first album and instead went two solid years with a pile of vintage equipment patiently assembling their debut, Maximize Your Faith (out Dec. 9 on Forged Artifacts).

The payoff to their slow-moving approach is apparent on the intricately layered instrumentation on “The Plunderers and the Pillagers,” which you can spend multiple listens peeling apart to find the nifty little flourishes woven into the mix. Or you could just sit back and enjoy the song’s expansive hooks and crackling energy, which make it an excellent choice for starting off your weekend with a synth-heavy bang.

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