EW recently talked to Brooklyn indie heroes The Drums about their new album, Encyclopedia, and you can read the jumbo-sized Q&A with founders Jonny Pierce and Jacob Graham here. We also asked the pair for a playlist, and they gave us 10 tracks covering an impressive range of sounds and styles, from ambient goth to jittery postpunk funk to the Disney Robin Hood soundtrack.
Tag: Indie Rock (11-20 of 675)
Every so often, a session musician will strike out from the backline to lead a group of his own. Much of the time, the resulting music is technically impressive but less than compelling—more or less underlining why he was playing backup rather than fronting a band in the first place.
But Ben Cassorla, who’s toured with bands like Washed Out and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes (and, interestingly, Slick Rick), has proven himself to be an exception to the rule with his group, Cassorla. Back in the spring, he released an EP called Amigos—named for the group of buddies, including Aubrey Plaza and members of the Magnetic Zeroes and Blitzen Trapper, who played on it—that emphasized his nifty pop songwriting chops over any flashy guitar skills he possesses.
The band’s about to head out for a fall tour with Blitzen Trapper. In preparation, he’s recorded a new single. Co-produced by Mighty Mike, who’s previously worked with Carly Rae Jepsen and Kelly Clarkson, “The Right Way” expands Cassorla’s sonic pallette by combining his signature punchy, riffy rhythm guitar playing with glassy keyboard flourishes and trap music’s flickering hi-hats, resulting in an odd but very interesting hybrid of indie rock and digital pop.
Brooklyn trio Nude Beach have a rare talent for borrowing sounds and ideas from various high points in rock history without coming off like copycats. Part of the reason is that they tend to collage bits from different styles and periods within one single song — part of it’s the quality of material that they’re drawing from, and part of it’s just a gift for writing undeniable hooks. While they’re getting ready for the release of their third LP 77 and an accompanying fall tour, the band took a break to make EW a playlist of songs that inspired the album. Covering everything from modern jangle revivalists to classic country to psychedelic folk, it’s proof that when it comes to making records, the band’s working with top-shelf ingredients.
The Jazz June was one of the biggest bands during emo’s creative heyday during the ’90s, distinguishing themselves through a combination of intense musical ambition and accessible pop songwriting. The Pennsylvania four-piece released their last album Better Off Without Air in 2002, shortly before disbanding, but they’ve reunited just in time to catch the current emo revival wave. On Nov. 11, Topshelf Records will release the band’s first full-length recording in 12 years.
After the Earthquake will include 10 new songs produced by emo revivalist Evan Weiss (aka Into It. Over It.), including “Edge of Space.” Frontman Andrew Low, who relocated to London after the group’s breakup, says that the song “is loosely based on the story of Felix Baumgartner, who broke the record for skydiving 25 miles from space.
The most important movie soundtrack this year was undoubtedly the top-shelf compilation put together by Season Kent for The Fault In Our Stars, and not just because it gave us Charli XCX’s inimitable “Boom Clap.” Kent has quickly become one of the go-to names in music supervision, and though she’s working on more and more film projects (she just got started working on the Magic Mike sequel), she has primarily made her bones on television.
This season, she returns to both Arrow and Revenge, and adds the brand new Arrow spin-off The Flash to her portfolio. In an effort to give our Shazam apps a rest during the forthcoming TV season, we asked Kent to make us a playlist of songs that we’ll eventually be hearing under our favorite dramatic moments and montages. Check out her picks and listen to the Spotify playlist below.
Ariel Pink never stays away for long. On Nov. 18, he’ll release his first album since 2012’s Mature Themes, ending a hiatus that’s an especially long one for the prolific freak folkie .
The album, pom pom, will be a double LP, and Pink’s first record without his group, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti. “Although this is the first ‘solo’ record credited to my name, it is by far the least ‘solo’ record I have ever recorded,” he said in a statement. We’ll see what exactly Pink means by that in a couple months.
For now, he’s given us the album’s first single, “Put Your Number in My Phone,” which you can listen to below. The groovy cut picks up where 2012’s flowery “Only in My Dreams” left off, while spurning the mellow vibes of classic Ariel Pink songs like “Round and Round” and “Baby”
“Put Your Number in My Phone” will be one of 17 tracks spanning pom pom‘s 69 minutes and four sides—which are slyly labeled P-I-N-K rather than A-B-C-D.
Plenty of bands right now are tapping into the ’90s for inspiration, but few can provoke a full-on Clinton-era flashback like Brooklyn’s Field Guides. The first single off their upcoming debut LP Boo, Forever (out Nov. 11 on Muir Woods) not only nails the jumpy, jangle-heavy sound that about a million twee-pop bands took up in the wake of the influential C86 compilation, its title’s oblique reference to a mainstream-compatible alternative rock star perfectly nails the combination of snark and sublimated fame worship that indie rockers at the time were all about.
Along with sharing their new song with EW, they’ve also made us a playlist that shows off their ambitious and eclectic listening habits.
Wampire’s Bazaar is one of the more ambitious rock records of the year. Over the course of just nine songs the Portland quintet (formerly a duo comprised of primary songwriters Rocky Tinder and Eric Phipps) touches on at least a dozen of rock history’s more interesting stylistic movements, including glam, psych, bubblegum, New Wave, and whatever you want to call the enthusiastically quirky prog-pop of ’70s-era groups like Sparks. The opening track “The Amazing Heart Attack” alone pulls together pounding rockabilly drums, steely postpunk guitars, and the headbanging anthemic quality of classic Pixies, setting a high bar that they spend the rest of the album clearing with apparent ease.
Bazaar is out Oct. 7. You can pre-order here.
When some people think about Sweden and automobiles, they think of clean-cut blondes driving Volvos. But since the dawn of hot-rod culture in the U.S., there’s been a subculture in Sweden that’s been bound together by their mutual worship of tail-finned American steel, cheap beer, and rock ‘n’ roll. Known as “raggare,” they throw a hefty, fuel-inefficient monkey wrench in the popular preconception of Swedes as the neatest and most polite people in the world, and they seem like they have a blast doing it.
For the video for their new single “Lightweight,” Berlin-based rock group Zulu Pearls’ creative mastermind Zach Van Hoozer traveled to Sweden to hang out with the raggare gang Moonshine Cruisers and caught the experience on film. The result creates an interesting juxtaposition of sugary retro-rock sounds and pastoral images of grizzled hot rodders shotgunning beers.
If someone could figure out how to distill whatever it is that keeps Bob Mould at the top of his game over 30 years into his career and turn it into an energy drink, that person could easily make billions. At age 53, while all of his contemporaries from the early ’80s American underground rock scene have either called it quits or slid comfortably into nostalgia-fueled reunion tours, Mould continues to bash out loud, tuneful guitar jams that are just as good as anything he’s ever done, still puts on a killer show, and, if the video for his new single “The War” is any indication, still at least occasionally carries his own gear.
Shot by Dave Markey, director of the grunge-era-defining documentary 1991: The Year Punk Broke, the clip follows Mould and his band (comedian/Superchunk drummer Jon Wurster and indie-rock journeyman Jason Narducy) through a gig night from loading up the van to loading out of the club, bookended with a pair of more stylized scenes.
Stick around until the end for the cameo by another indie-rock notable who happens to be wearing a very sweet Robocop patch on his jean jacket. (And when you’re done with that, go watch Mould and the rest of his first band Hüsker Dü being interviewed by Joan Rivers in 1987.)
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