• Top 15 of 2014

    5 Jan 2015, 15:37 by JaimeChiens

    My favorites from the past year!
    The rankings are a bit arbitrary, but these are all really great records (and I slipped in two EPs... together that's basically one album!)

    15. Hookworms - The Hum

    14. Beach Slang - Cheap Thrills on a Dead End Street / Who Would Ever Want Anything So Broken (Both EPs)

    13. United Nations - The Next Four Years

    12. Single Mothers - Negative Qualities

    11. Plague Vendor - Free to Eat

    10. Cloud Nothings - Here and Nowhere Else

    9. Mitski - Bury Me At Makeout Creek

    8. The Growlers - Chinese Fountain

    7. Shellac - Dude, Incredible

    6. Caves - Leaving

    5. Ex-Cult - Midnight Passenger

    4. Cayetana - Nervous Like Me

    3. Together Pangea - Badillac

    2. Zig Zags - Zig Zags

    1. Pup - Pup

  • Top 13 Albums of 2013

    21 Jan 2014, 17:10 by JaimeChiens

    Here is my 2013 – in music - boiled down into one arbitrary blog post. For nostalgia when I’m 30 – to remind myself I used to be pretty hip/’in the know’ – to keep with tradition – all of the above.

    Let’s start with the bad so we can get it out of the way? Gogol Bordello and Franz Ferdinand are two of my favorite artists… ever. Check the charts – they’re up there. But both of their 2013 releases were pretty lackluster. There are a couple songs on Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Actions that I enjoyed – but like the title, it ends up being mostly filler.

    Now to the golden 13! That’s right – I’m getting older, more picky, no more top 25. Try harder guys…

    1.Arctic Monkeys – AM
    There’s no denying this record belongs in my #1 spot – despite how little I have cared for these guys in the past. It’s great lyrics, catchy beats, great production, and it’s dynamic from start to finish. Mr. Turner & Mr. Helders have really grown up; there’s no way a record of this magnitude could have come any sooner in their career.

    2.Warm Soda – Someone for You
    Sugary indie-pop that is even better live. Matthew Melton was born to lead. Also, this is another record that made it to the prime spots because I’ve listened to it from start to finish, countless times throughout the year.

    3.Mikal Cronin – MC II
    I think MCII is 10x better than his s/t debut. What you might deem “hipster” music - I wouldn’t blame you. He sings about fleeting youth and nostalgia and I’m a sucker. It sounds good too. And comforting. Like your grandmother’s den, filled with sunshine and fresh madeleines and tea.

    4.Valleys – Are You Going to Stand There and Talk Weird All Night
    This is one of those albums I kind of ignored upon release, then decided to check out randomly, then fell in love with after first listen, and now hate everyone who doesn’t appreciate how good this is – especially for a debut! Montreal always has the best music. I can’t even put my finger on what makes this so good – each track is so different and just hits the right spots. I also love the snarky title / I would totally say that.

    5.Deafheaven – Sunbather
    2013 has been a year where I’ve let metal into my life. In part due to a certain acquaintance, in part due to this album. I’ve always loved post-rock. It has this sweeping beauty to it but unlike a Jeff Buckley song – it comes in crashes instead of whispers. Majestic as fuck, per se? Now add metal to it. Genius. Honestly Deafheaven’s earlier stuff – not that impressed, but they really hit it out of the ballpark with this release. And who doesn’t love the beachy coral-pink sunset cover – it’s like a big fuck you/gotcha to what you’ve come to expect.

    6.Chvrches – The Bones of What We Believe
    I’ve had mixed feelings about these guys. I loved “Recover” from the first listen, months before the actual album came out – but I didn’t really get the hype surrounding previous singles. After a few forced listens in the office from coworkers who apparently suffer from binge-listening – I came around. There are way too many tracks on here that I enjoy for me to not acknowledge them. Will I pay $50 to see them at Terminal 5 – fuck no but I will be revisiting this release well into 2014.

    7.Pissed Jeans – Honeys
    Apparently this is the album I have listened to most this past year – color me a little surprised because I mostly like Pissed Jeans for their live shows. In any case, this album is a lot of fun. Beer-spilling, yelling, angry at everything, fun. I read that the guys in the band all have full-time jobs, so no one in the band depends on the music for their livelihood – which could be misconstrued to mean they have no reason to give it their all – but in actuality gives them a lot more freedom.

    8.Primitive Hearts – High and Tight
    I like these guys for the same reason I like Warm Soda. It’s upbeat, lo-fi, indie-pop. Garage pop? Fuzzy line between those two, but it’s always fun to hear and the album literally flies by. These guys are on FDH Records which is the first label I can really say I trust with any release.

    9.Cyanide Pills – Still Bored
    Re: Warm Soda & Primitive Hearts, fun, tongue-in-cheek, power pop. Not as sugary sweet as Warm Soda, in fact it’s a little bit reminiscent of Ramones stuff. They also have a song titled, “Can’t Get it Up” – which I find amusing, and obviously starred on Spotify.

    10.Arcade Fire – Reflektor
    Not including this on my top 10 would be lying by omission. I would hardly consider myself a fan of Arcade Fire but they do make solid albums. And they do put on a good show. And I fully understand why they can easily fill stadiums. That being sad, “Porno,” “Normal Person,” and “Reflektor” are the standout tracks.

    11.Diarrhea Planet – I’m Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams
    This is a band I wrote off because of how stupid the name is. My bad, but come on. I ended up seeing them live before having heard the record, and I enjoyed their set more than the band I originally went to see. So reluctantly, I have come around. I’m already planning on seeing them a second time, and have looped several of their tracks. “Lite Dream” and “Field of Dreams” are my favorites, but I wouldn’t mind hearing the whole thing at any given time.

    12.Savages – Silence Yourself
    These guys have intrigued me since last year but I never went to see them at CMJ and Husbands quickly lost its novelty. I’m still on the fence between really loving their conviction and almost theatricality (absolutely admirable) but I also can’t shake the feeling of kitsch that comes along with it. They were great when I caught the end of their set in Iceland but it all seemed very, rehearsed. Which is disappointing since the thing I like most about them is that everything out of Jehnny Beth’s mouth sounds like it’s meant solely for you, and delivered with begging eyes and urgency – once you lose that, it loses the appeal.

    13.The Lovely Bad Things – The Late Great Whatever
    This is the band I went to see when I decided I liked Diarrhea Planet more. They’re fun, and it’s a good record, same vein as the other power-pop bands I listed, the only difference is this one has female vocals.

    Turf War – Years of Living Dangerously and FIDLAR – FIDLAR are two more albums I thoroughly enjoyed (and would have placed in the top 10) but I associate them more with 2012, despite official release dates for physical copies.

    And for a list of songs that almost made me include the albums on my top list but then I realized I was just playing this one track from each release:
    Son Lux – “Lost it to Trying”
    Chelsea Wolfe – “The Warden”, “Lone”
    Beyonce – “XO”, “Jealous”
    Twin Shadow – “Old Love/New Love”
    Skaters – “I Wanna Dance (But I don’t know how)”
    The National – “Don’t Swallow the Cap”
    Minks – ‘Painted Indian”, “Hold Me Now”
    Rhye – “The Fall”, “3 Days”
    Tough Age – “We’re Both to Blame”
    Twin Peaks – “Fast Eddie”
    Drake – “Hold On, We’re Going Home”
    Haim – “The Wire”
    Weekend – “Mirror”, “Adelaide”
    Kvelertak – “Kvelertak”
  • Kobra And The Lotus,Thursday 7th Nov,Joiners,Southampton.

    17 Nov 2013, 18:53 by Alicksryte

    Thu 7 Nov – Kobra And The Lotus

    A worthy trio of acts played one of my favourite small venues tonight.There were two support acts at this gig-and both were well worth staying out of the bar for!

    Dendera were a surprise,in a good way.Their capable vocalist came out screaming and sounded like a cross between Bruce Dickinson and Rob Halford on something.Decent guitarists often played twin lead and the tight bass and drums kept the whole thing anchored admirably.

    Santa Cruz were huge fun,very much in the G N'R/Crüe vain but looked like they were enjoying every minute...and it was infectious,it has to be said.

    Kobra And The Lotus I have followed since I heardRide Like Sugar on a free Classic Rock magazine CD and thought 'Hey,this is all right' .They were as worthy as I remembered them to be from Download 2012 and vocally on great form,even though they had to do battle with a muddy mix from the live desk.To my chagrin,I wasn't familiar with all the newer material but tonight was an excellent chance to get to know it better.
  • March '13 Discoveries

    25 Oct 2013, 11:16 by randombob18

    Why not check out my other monthly discoveries by clicking one of these links:
    Jan '12 / Feb '12 / March '12 / April '12 / May '12 / June '12 / July '12 / Aug '12 / Sept '12 / Oct '12 / Nov '12 / Dec '12 / Jan '13 / Feb '13 / March '13 / April '13 / May '13 / June '13 / July '13 / Aug '13 / Sept '13 / Oct '13 /

    Woodkid is Yoann Lemoine (Lyon, March 1983) , previously known for his career as a video director (Yelle, Moby, Katy Perry, Lana Del Rey). After studying in London, and during a shoot in the USA, Woodkid received, straight from the hands of great American guitarist Richie Havens, a banjo that immediately replaced his piano, at least for a while.

    His debut album, The Golden Age, was released on March 18, 2013,through independent label, green united music. It features orchestrations by Bruno Bertoli and is mixed by Julien Delfaud. The next single to be extracted from the album was “I Love You” which features a Pharrel Williams remix.

    Run Boy Run Iron Brooklyn


    It’s been only 3 years since Iceland’s new king of lo-fi layered lushness, Sindri Már Sigfússon, began his official recording career. “Summer Echoes”, the new and second album of his solo-project Sin Fang (he dropped the “Bous”) is now already his 4th album release (including 2 records of his other musical outlet Seabear) since 2007. The album oscillates wildly unearthing glimpses of familiarity - vintage Flying Nun here, Paw Tracks there and a Belle and Sebastian pop nous - while retaining the own stark originality of this uber-talented artist and producer.

    Because Of The Blood Always Everything Only Eyes


    Young Galaxy are a Canadian indie rock/dream pop band, whose members are Stephen Ramsay (vocals/guitar) and Catherine McCandless (vocals/keyboards), and Stephen Kamp (bass/vocals)

    Young Galaxy formed in Vancouver, Canada, as duo including Stephen Ramsay and Catherine McCandless. Through that summer of 2005 and the spring of 2006 they recorded with appearances and contributions of friends at Jace Lasek’s Breakglass Studio. Their sound has been described as similar to the bands Slowdive, Galaxie 500 and Luna as well as Pink Floyd and Spiritualized. The band has toured in Canada, The United States and Europe, opening for Arcade Fire, The Album Leaf, The Frames, Peter, Bjorn and John, Stars and Death Cab For Cutie. They later moved to Montreal, where they recorded their self-titled debut. The album was released on April 24, 2007.

    They recorded their second album Invisible Republic in Montreal at Hotel2Tango studio with Radwan Moumneh engineering (A Silver Mt. Zion, Pas Chic Chic) and at Breakglass Studios with Jace Lasek of The Besnard Lakes engineering. Invisible Republic was released independently on August 25, 2009 through Fontana North. It was mixed by Tony Doogan (Mogwai, Belle & Sebastian, Snow Patrol) in Glasgow, Scotland. It was subsequently released in July 2010 in the U.S.A. by Paper Bag Records, and received a long list nomination for the 2010 Polaris Music Prize.

    The band followed up in fall 2010 with YG No Art EP, an EP comprising unreleased tracks and remixes from the Invisible Republic sessions.

    Come and See Wing your heartache Outside the City


    Foxygen is an American indie rock duo originally formed in Westlake Village, California in 2005 by Jonathan Rado and Sam France, “high school kids obsessed with the Brian Jonestown Massacre

    After their formation in 2005, the band played wildly experimental music, which featured many influences from 60s psychedelia and avant-garde. They self-released many EPs between 2007 and 2011, only a few of which are still available. In early 2011, they were ‘discovered’ by famed producer Richard Swift, with whom they recorded their Take the Kids Off Broadway EP, which was also self-released at some point in mid-2011. The group were later signed on to Jagjaguwar Records. Their first studio album, Take the Kids Off Broadway, was released by Jagjaguwar on July 24, 2012. On January 22, 2013, Jagjaguwar will release Foxygen’s second album, We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic. This album was produced by Richard Swift and recorded at his National Freedom studio earlier this year. “Shuggie,” the first single from the record, was released on October 4, 2012

  • Once Were by Red Traces, Out Now

    3 May 2013, 05:49 by Red_Traces

    Artist: Red Traces
    Release: Once Were
    Label: The Revera Corporation

    Download/listen for free on BandCamp or!

    Brutally contagious from the opening whirr of synth, ‘Once Were’ is the first puzzle piece from the forthcoming Red Traces album and as Ovadia reveals, “an extension of my most honest self”. Amongst his inspirations from the get-go, the debut single is Ovadia’s sacrificial response to his compulsive playback of Blonde Redhead’s ‘Spring By Summer Fall’ – and boy, it’s a striking start.

    Drawing from the frenzied energy of ‘Spring and by Summer Fall’, Ovadia answers with oh-so sinister organ synth and improvisational drum beats that were “recorded in a single take”. Dizzy bass-lines and desolate vocals unite the ambiguous setting of ‘Once Were’ and embark the listener through a path of unrequited moments in star-crossed lyrics “once were / binary stars / once were”.

    The fine-tuned ‘Once Were’ sets the pace for Ovadia’s record, exposing his sincere appreciation for each stage of development. Each track is isolated and treated individually, by a collaboration of engineers (Bo Boddie, Brian Lucey), all ensuring devotion to every piece of the record. From the lingering sequences to the layered fade-outs, ‘Once Were’ offers an exciting glimpse into Red Traces’ infectious and mature beginning.

    -Gemma Dempster

    Additional links:
  • Coming Around - Matt Henshaw album OUT May 1st !

    18 Apr 2013, 05:16 by ilsonowl

    Coming Around OUT May 1st !

    The new album from Matt Henshaw & ReggiiMental, the second slice and second episode of B-Boy Soul entitled Coming Around will be out on May 1st available from iTunes, Amazon, etc. and available to stream on Spotify,, GrooveShark and many more ...

    You can pre-order the album @ and preview tracks through the month of April ...

    The artwork is fresh, the website has been updated and all the social networks are a buzzin' and a cookin' ... follow, like and share away !!!

    With Love,

    Matt Henshaw

    PS. if you're a writer, blogger or journalist please feel free to reply to this email to request an advanced press copy of the album for review.
  • 2013 Album Ratings

    3 Jan 2013, 21:14 by TheeFringe

  • November '12 Discoveries

    20 Jan 2013, 14:59 by randombob18

    Why not check out my other monthly discoveries by clicking one of these links:
    Jan '12 / Feb '12 / March '12 / April '12 / May '12 / June '12 / July '12 / Aug '12 / Sept '12 / Oct '12 / Nov '12 / Dec '12 / Jan '13 / Feb '13 / March '13 / April '13 / May '13 / June '13 / July '13 / Aug '13 / Sept '13 / Oct '13 /

    Ice, Sea, Dead People

    Ice, Sea, Dead People are an energetic young three-piece from Bedford, taking inspiration from Fugazi, Jarcrew, Q And Not U, Liars, Kill Kenada and more.

    Hence:Elvis I'm Cat Grean Tee



    Ducktails is the solo project of Matt Mondanile with the occasional collaborator. Matt also plays in the bands Real Estate and Predator Vision.

    Hamilton Road Killin The Vibe In The Swing


    Dirty Beaches

    Alex Zhang Hungtai, known by his stage name Dirty Beaches, is a Taiwanese-born Canadian lo-fi musician based in Montreal, Quebec.

    Like Bo Diddley or minimalist synth provocateurs Suicide, Dirty Beaches’ compositions are not so much stripped down as refined to their essence. Drum loops, Hungtai’s croon, and the yearning melodies draped overtop belie as much a sense of haunting mystery as they do romanticism and wry humour.

    Lord Knows Best True Blue Sweet 17


    Two Wounded Birds

    Two Wounded Birds are back. And now, at long last, they will release their debut album, the self-titled Two Wounded Birds, and what a glorious debut it is! Not just a collection of songs, but a true album, well-rounded and fully formed.

    It’s been a busy couple of years for the band: they have released an EP—2010′s well-received Keep Dreaming Baby—recorded a BBC session, played Glastonbury, released two singles with Moshi Moshi Recordings and toured extensively with the likes of my band The Drums, Grouplove and Black Lips

  • September '12 Discoveries

    20 Jan 2013, 14:57 by randombob18

    Why not check out my other monthly discoveries by clicking one of these links:
    Jan '12 / Feb '12 / March '12 / April '12 / May '12 / June '12 / July '12 / Aug '12 / Sept '12 / Oct '12 / Nov '12 / Dec '12 / Jan '13 / Feb '13 / March '13 / April '13 / May '13 / June '13 / July '13 / Aug '13 / Sept '13 / Oct '13 /


    Tribes are a London-based indie band formed in Summer 2009, consisting of Johnny Lloyd, Dan White, Jim Cratchley and Miguel Demelo. For their sixth gig in June 2010, Tribes were asked to support the celebrated American band the Pixies at the London Troxy. Their 4-track debut EP, We Were Children, was released on 17 April 2011. Their debut single, “Sappho,” was made available for download on 11 July 2011.

    Evil Ways Mississippi


    San Cisco

    San Cisco are from Fremantle in sunny Western Australia. On the weekends they love to go skateboarding, play Nintendo 64 and make a bit of indie pop on the side. Scarlett bangs the drums, Nick plays the electric bass, Jordi & Josh are the guys that play the guitars, write the songs and sing them.

    San Cisco have spent the last year graduating high school, performing at some festivals and playing round town pretty much every weekend. They have also produced their first EP called Golden Revolver, which is set for release early 2011. Confident with stage presence & strong with vocals San Cisco continue to impress with their brand of upbeat summer pop.

    Jordi says: “San Cisco is a place situated between reality & a dream state. It is kind of like a huge cauldron we put all out creative input into, mix it together to make a super explosion of fantastic, wild creations. This is San Cisco.”

    Awkward Golden Revolver Reckless


    General Fiasco

    General Fiasco: Based in Belfast. Annoying the Neighbours. Not the Australian ones.
    The band was formed by the Strathern brothers Owen and Enda and Shane Davey who met at St. Mary’s Grammar School Magherafelt. After Shane’s departure, he was replaced by Stephen “Leaky” Leacock who they met at Rainey Endowed School in Magherafelt, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. They formed General Fiasco in early 2007 and played their first gig at the Glasgowbury Festival near their home town on July 26th of that year. They soon supported bands such as The Wombats, One Night Only, The Pigeon Detectives and The Enemy, and played at Oxegen, Belsonic and the Reading and Leeds Festivals. Their debut single Rebel Get By was released on 10 November 2008. In an interview Owen said how they got their name. “There were loads of names going about. Someone came up with General Music which no one really liked and I came up with Marley Jedrejak Fiasco. So it was just a combination of two terrible names. There was someone in my class at school called Jedrejak, I think they were Australian. I just thought it was a really cool name.”

    Don't You Ever Gold Chains Bad Habits



    John Jagos, the brain behind and sole member of Brothertiger, doesn’t aspire to be anything other than himself. His tunes are ostensibly “chillwave,” but with a sparkling melodic sense that sets them apart from other artists under that umbrella. Since the project’s beginning during Jagos’ freshman year at Ohio University, Brothertiger has developed a nuanced sound that attempts to blend the human and animal elements suggested by its name. As a live performer in the Athens house party scene, he’s gained a reputation for intense joyfulness. Recorded, his songs are more precious, with details and ideas that only reveal themselves with repeated listens. Buoyed by his voice - which contains both adult timbre and youthful disposition - Jagos’ songs combine layered, interweaving electronics with warm, satisfying melodies. He’s been releasing them at a fever pitch, earning favorable press from places like Pitchfork Media and the Fader while preparing his first full length less than two years after he began. Yet even with this gathering momentum, Brothertiger maintains a personal humility and unassuming nature that echoes the subtle exuberance of his music.

    Lovers Wind at My Back Feel


    Alabama Shakes

    Alabama Shakes is an American rock band formed in Athens, Alabama, United States in 2009. The group consists of lead singer Brittany Howard, guitarist Heath Fogg, bassist Zac Cockrell, and drummer Steve Johnson.

  • Top 25 Albums // Top 100 Tracks of 2012

    2 Jan 2013, 05:00 by JaimeChiens

    You know what I hate? People who publish their end of year lists the first week of December. Can you guys relax?*

    With that off my chest - here's this year's top 25. Along with a link to 100 of my favorite tracks of 2012 - on Spotify. These are definitely 25 albums I've played the most / loved the most - but the actual rankings are fairly fluid. #2 could be #7, and vice versa. No strong feelings and based solely on how i feel today. (which is great, thanks for asking!)

    *this rant may or may not have a little to do with my own procrastination / need to validate the 2013 posting date of a 2012 list. Oops.

    Favorite tracks of 2012 - handy dandy Spotify playlist

    (25) Cold Showers - Love and Regret
    Fave Tracks: BC, Alight

    (24) Spiritualized - Sweet Heart Sweet Light
    Fave Tracks: So Long You Pretty Thing, Hey Jane

    (23) Arrange - New Memory
    Fave Tracks: Caves, North

    (22) Grasscut - Unearth
    Fave Tracks: Impossible Windows, Trading

    (21) The Gaslight Anthem - Handwritten
    Fave Tracks: Biloxi Parish, Blue Dahlia

    (20) Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - The Heist
    Fave Tracks: Neon Cathedral,

    (19) Merchandise - Children of Desire
    Fave Tracks: Become What You Are, Time

    (18) White Laces - Moves
    Fave Tracks: Impossible Windows, Trading

    (17) She Does Is Magic - Her Height in Heels
    Fave Tracks: Means Nothing, You'll Miss Me

    (16) Floating Action - Fake Blood
    Fave Tracks: Matador, Seized, Complete the Myth

    (15) The Menzingers - On the Impossible Past
    Fave Tracks: Nice Things, Gates, The Obituaries

    (14) DIIV - Oshin
    Fave Tracks: Follow, Doused

    (13) Mrs. Magician - Strange Heaven
    Fave Tracks: There is no God, Dead 80s

    (12) Breton - Other People's Problems
    Fave Tracks: Wood and Plastic, Jostle

    (11) The xx - Coexist
    Fave Tracks: Missing, Reunion, Sunset

    (10) Tanlines - Mixed Emotions
    Fave Tracks: Not The Same, Nonesuch

    (9) Chromatics - Kill for Love
    Fave Tracks: Birds of Paradise, Back from the Grave

    (8) Miike Snow - Happy To You
    Fave Tracks: The Wave, Devil's Work, Say You WIll

    (7) The Babies - Our House on the Hill
    Fave Tracks: Get Lost, Alligator

    (6) Of Monsters and Men - My Head Is an Animal
    (Technically released in 2011... US release was this year)
    Fave Tracks: Little Talks, From Finner

    (5) Kindness - World, You Need a Change of Mind
    Fave Tracks: Swinging Party, House

    (4) Twin Shadow - Confess
    Fave Tracks: Run My Heart, Golden Light

    (3) Mumford And Sons - Babel
    Fave Tracks: Broken Crown, Hopeless Wanderer

    (2) Japandroids - Celebration Rock
    Fave Tracks: Continuous Thunder, The House that Heaven Built

    (1) Cloud Nothings - Attack on Memory
    Fave Tracks: Wasted Days, Stay Useless