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Record Shopping with Jack Antonoff -- the fun. guitarist talks Bleachers, Bruce, and the bands that inspired him

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“I could probably name thousands of albums that I want,” Jack Antonoff muses, sifting through the stacks at Permanent Records in Greenpoint, Brooklyn (just blocks, coincidentally, from Café Grumpy, where his girlfriend, Lena Dunham, pretends to work on HBO’s Girls).

Lucky for us, the 30-year-old fun. guitarist and vinyl junkie kept his focus on a select few, including vintage punk favorites and a Boss classic, and reflected on the role they’ve played in his musical education. One title Antonoff couldn’t find? His own band Bleachers’ debut, Strange Desire, released July 15 and featuring the lead single “I Wanna Get Better,” which currently sits at the top of the Alternative Songs chart. “That, I desperately want,” he says. “It’s coming!”

Below, the results of his haul after spending sunny Saturday perusing vinyl with EW. —Ray Rahman READ FULL STORY

Hundred Waters are patiently becoming pop stars

Hundred Waters started making waves in the music industry two years ago when a self-titled album they recorded for a small independent label in their hometown of Gainesville, Florida, ended up getting them spots on tours with the xx, Skrillex, and Alt-J and a deal with Skrillex’s then-new OWSLA label. It was a remarkably successful record for one the band hadn’t even set out to make.

“We didn’t really know we were doing an album until we were a bunch of songs in,” says multi-instrumentalist Trayer Tryon. “We didn’t know what it was going to be. We were just making songs. After the 11 songs on the album were done, that was the album.”

The band–Tryon, keyboardist-vocalist Nicole Miglis, multi-instrumentalist Paul Giese, and drummer Zach Tetreault–ended up staying on the road after Hundred Waters was released, touring and hanging out in different cities across the country. That included a stint at the live-in studio Skrillex built in downtown L.A., where they’ve since relocated. Despite the peripatetic circumstances, the album they wrote and recorded in this period, The Moon Rang Like a Bell, feels incredibly grounded, blending pop hooks, glitchy electronics, and indie earnestness into a coherent whole that could justifiably be compared to everything from Kate Bush to Massive Attack to FKA Twigs.

“This time around we knew who we were more, and what we were after a little more,” Tryon says. “That made it a lot harder to get to the final thing, but it also made the final thing more of a full piece of work rather than kind of stumbling into it.”

With its muted tones and dreamy vocals, Moon is a deeply mellow record that unfolds patiently rather than hurrying to impress an audience right out of the gates. Fittingly, it’s been building a fan base slowly but steadily. “We wanna say something as precisely as we can,” says Giese, “and hope as many people understand it as they can instead of saying something that can reach as many people as possible.”

Still, their momentum continues to grow: They recently played the Pitchfork Music Festival, and they’ll spend November on the road with a newly reanimated Interpol. If things keep progressing at the same rate, breaking out with a mainstream pop audience isn’t out of the question. Hundred Waters aren’t rushing to fame, but they seem to be headed there all the same.

Watch El May's NYC-centric video for 'I Played a Role'

For the first video from her forthcoming sophomore album, The Other Person Is You, singer-songwriter Lara Meyerratken, aka El May, took to the streets of New York City with director Yaara Sumeruk. The Australian musician brought along a pair of headphones and an iPhone loaded with her bouncy, dancehall-infused single “I Played a Role” and captured the reactions of people on the street hearing the track for the first time. Like Meyerratken, the song and the video’s conceit are fun and more than a little cutesy without crossing over into full-blown twee quirkiness.

“The train scene was our dream come true,” Meyerratken, who resides in L.A., writes in an email. “We had imagined a best-case scenario, where our journey around the city over the two days coincided with some amazing subway dancers. At the end of the day, headed to our final locations, exhausted on the J train, we heard the famous call: ‘SHOW TIME!’ So we approached them… it turned out to be a real highlight!”

The Other Person Is You, which features contributions from indie rock royalty like the Vaselines’ Eugene Kelly and Britta Phillips and Dean Wareham from Luna, is out Aug. 26.

Hear Yawn's psych-rocking new track 'Flytrap'

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Yawn is an electronics-heavy pop band who has spent the past five years building up a reputation in the Chicago DIY scene, and the band is starting to ease its way up aboveground. Last year, they played Lollapalooza, and this year they’re releasing their second album, Love Chills, with an immediately catchy lead single.

Like the rest of the LP, “Flytrap” was recorded in the band’s live-in studio, which was formerly occupied by the bro-metal band Disturbed (of “Down With the Sickness” fame), and its combination of swaggering fuzztone riffs and trippy electronic flourishes sound like something that will land them a nice spot on the festival circuit.

Love Chills is out September 9 on Old Flame.

Q&A: Broods talk about their breakout single 'Mother & Father'

Broods are a brother and sister—Georgia and Caleb Nott—based out of Auckland, New Zealand. Geographically inclined pop listeners will note that this is where zeitgeist-dominating teen pop phenomenon Lorde also lives, and the two acts have more in common than just a hometown–Broods’ upcoming album, Evergreen, was produced by Joel Little, who also helmed Pure Heroine, and they share a common goal of uniting radio-friendly pop hooks and the cool-toned minimalist aesthetic that’s been dominating hip-hop during the Drake era.

Recently they released the first single from Evergreen, “Mother & Father,” and with its sweeping hook and up-to-the-minute production it’s already looking like it has a good chance of continuing the Kiwi takeover of the American pop charts. (Their upcoming tour with Sam Smith should help as well.) EW got on the phone with Georgia Nott to discuss it.

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White Arrows get electro-psychedelic with 'We Can't Ever Die'

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Los Angeles quintet White Arrows are indie rockers with big pop ambitions and a whole bunch of synthesizers. This combination has earned them spots on tours with taste-making bands like Cults and White Denim and slots at big festivals like Coachella and Sasquatch. After several years of touring behind their debut album, Dry Land Is Not A Myth, they’ve finally followed it up with In Bardo, out Sept. 16 on Votiv. On the lead single, “We Can’t Ever Die,” funky, disco-inflected verses segue smoothly into arena-worthy hooks that sound like a modern, not-annoying reincarnation of U2, with the whole thing decorated with burbling 8-bit-style synths. They’re on tour with the Neighbourhood and Danny Brown through the end of the month.

Video: Heaven's Jail premieres 'Suicide'

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Francesco Ferorelli grew up on rap and heavy metal, but as the primary songwriter for the group Heaven’s Jail he makes folk rock with a traditionalist bent and an attitude that recalls sardonic ’70s singer-songwriters like Kris Kristofferson and Loudon Wainwright III. The group’s latest, Ace Called Zero (out Aug. 26 on Heart Break Beat), was recorded last fall in Connecticut, with Matthew Houck (a.k.a. Phosphorescent) producing and Ben Greenberg of the Men engineering, making it kind of a super-session of Brooklyn roots rockers.

The first video from the album is for its second single, “Suicide.” It was directed by Curtis Wayne Millard, who’s who’s worked with The Head and The Heart, and its chilly visuals pair well with the song’s bare-bones arrangement. Ferorelli says, “This video was born in a moment of inspiration. We drove up to the woods to shoot the album cover and halfway through Curtis said ‘I think we might have a music video too,’ so he grabbed the Super 8 and just started filming. The weather was on our side providing thick rolling mist and drizzling rain, a couple feet of snow still covered the ground and night was approaching quickly. In several short enigmatic scenes he harnessed the fleeting spirit of the song and created an elegant visual companion.”

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Video: EULA goes retro for dance-punky 'Orderly'

The art-punk band EULA got its start in New Haven, Connecticut, a few years ago as a home recording project for frontwoman Alyse Lamb. A handful of records, several tours, and one move to Brooklyn later, the group has solidified a sharp-edged, frenetic sound that ties together postpunk, No Wave, and Riot Grrrl revivalism, producing something that could work equally well as the soundtrack for a riot or a dance party.

Last month, they released a new single recorded with Martin Bisi, who manned the boards for seminal albums by alt-rock icons like Sonic Youth and the Swans. Now the track, “Orderly,” is getting its own video that mashes up images of Lamb and some old-timey dancing ladies to kaleidoscopically psychedelic effect.

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Blood Orange releases wonderfully sad remix of Sia's 'Chandelier'

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Dev Hynes, better known as avant-R&B genius Blood Orange, has been lying low since suffering a catastrophic apartment fire back in the winter. But he’s been starting to regain some of the momentum that last November’s Cupid Deluxe album had begun to generate. He’s been getting back to releasing his series of consistently entertaining videos for Cupid Deluxe tracks.

Now, he’s released a radically deconstructed remix of Sia’s summer jam “Chandelier” that strips the song of its triumphal arena rock swagger and, well, pretty much everything else, which he’s replaced with his own vocals, a twitchy drum part, and a tasteful thumb piano part. In the process he’s remade one of the most inspirational get-pumped anthems of the year into an anxiety-ridden slow jam, stripping Sia’s chorus from its surroundings to let it hang almost unadorned in a way that transmutes its YOLO-ness into something starkly desperate. It does the exact opposite of the original, but it’s just as compelling.

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Haim teams up with A$AP Ferg on 'My Song 5' remix

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“My Song 5″ is one of the more surprising moments on Haim’s breakout album Days Are Gone, interrupting a collection of clean-lined songs with an eccentrically gangly mishmash of angular melody, hard-rock drums, and a blatting, cartoony parody of a dubstep bass synth. The trio has doubled down on the song’s weirdness by releasing a new version with a verse from rapper A$AP Ferg, of “Shabba” fame.

Ferg’s verse is way raunchier than the original lyrics, but they continue the theme of confusion and garbled communication between romantic partners, and his raps work well with the song’s big-ass drums. Haim and Ferg are both coming off of highly successful records, and are well positioned to doing whatever they want next. They should consider messing with people’s heads and making a whole album together.

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