Kyle Andrews

October 20, 2008

Perhaps third time is the charm for Kyle Andrews as his latest album, Real Blasty has gotten quite the praise in the press:

Real Blasty is the breakthrough album.”
– Timothy Zila, Patrol Magazine

This is a bed-room rock Brian Wilson of depth and character. Most highly recommended.”
Dot Shop

His previous efforts, full lengther Amos In Ohio and EP Find Love, Let Go were both released on Badman Recordings, but this time Andrews has set up his own label, Elephant Lady Records for the release of the self-recorded, self-produced Real Blasty. It’s a quirky but sincere album, positively sparkling with electronical flutters and catchy hooks, which is quite the change from his former acoustic sound.

Besides reinventing himself, Andrews has also found time to tour with Josh Rouse, and open for  Peter, Björn and John. Now though, his focus is on Real Blasty which will hit stores January 20th, 2009.

~ “Sushi” ~

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Dancer Vs. Politician

October 7, 2008

Dancer Vs. Politician‘s music perfectly matches the season where the colours are warm and the wind is cold. Yes, I’m talking about autumn. By far my favorite season of the four, A City Half-Lost is an album that enhances the richness of the current state outside my window. And that’s pretty impressive considering that I barely understand the majority of the lyrics.

Hailing from Germany, Dancer Vs. Politician is the project of Sanni Baumgaertner. In the late 90’s she moved to Athens, Georgia and has for the last three years traveled between her two homes, performing and recording in both places. Though now settled in Athens, the previous dual citizenship can be heard in her lyrics as she sings in English as well as German. The music itself is sweet indie-pop, richly layered with strings, horns, accordion, glockenspiel and Sanni’s soft voice. Amongst her influences, Sanni lists Velvet Underground, Azure Ray, Belle & Sebastian, Tom Waits, and Neutral Milk Hotel, which gives you a pretty good inkling of what her sound is like.

Dancer Vs. Politician’s album A City Half-Lost is due for release on November 4 but can already be ordered from here. For now though, check out the beautiful video of a live performance of the song “Justin Fairborn”, as well as the mp3s:

Dancer Vs Politician: Justin Fairborn
by eikonproductions

~ “Justin Fairborn”, “Mach Dich Los.” ~

Little Teeth

August 14, 2008

At first impression one might want discard of Little Teeth as just some crazy kids making crazy music. You can probably leave it at that and just enjoy the craziness. Personally, I think it’s brilliant.

Consisting of three rather erratic souls, Little Teeth’s music isn’t for everyone. (But then what is?)Lead singer Dannie Murrie growls, shrieks and snarls more than she actually sings at times, which combined with their quirky melodramatic indie-pop might be a bit too much for some. But if music isn’t for channeling your inner turmoil, then what is it for? Because turmoil is something that seem to be in the center of Little Teeth’s sound, whether it’s about raw pain pure energy.

Besides Dannie Murrie, Little Teeth consists of Ammo Eisu and Andy Tisdall, all of which contribute with a range of multi-talents to the band (bass, guitar, keys, banjo, accordian, synth, vox, violin, cello, you name it). Combine that with their list of influences (Sparklehorse, Xiu Xiu, Animal Collective, Múm, Joanna Newsom, Mountain Goats) and you might get an idea of what they sound like.

Their debut album Child Bearing Man (out Sept. 9th, on Absolute Kosher) is the result of 14 months of doing all the tracking, mixing and production themselves to stay true to their unique outlook on the world. The final product is an erratic, energetic and compelling record to sink your own little teeth into.

~ “Japanese Candy”, “Between My Ears” ~

Magic Wands

July 27, 2008

Perhaps it’s supposed to be endearing but the above picture kind of freaks me out. Ever since I saw an early TV adaptation of Narnia as a kid I’ve been a bit wary of creepy stuffed lions. Thankfully, Magic Wands have some really sweet tunes to make up for bringing my childhood fears back to haunt me. Plus, the story how the duo got together is actually rather endearing.

Chris and Dexy first met briefly in 2006 and didn’t get in touch again until a year later when Chris fell in love with a song he’d found on MySpace. As it turned out, said song (“Teenage Love”) just happened to by sung by – tada! – Dexy. Since they lived far apart they communicated mainly through e-mail and phone calls, even making songs together on the Internet. Apparently this is were the (in my opinion) creepy stuffed lion comes in – Chris and Dexy would send each other packages, such as toy lions, old records, candy and even handwritten poems. Yes folks, this is a love story.

The two finally met up in L.A., realized that they were destined to be together and somehow ended up in Nashville where they began recording music under the name of Magic Wands (a magic wand happened to be Dexy’s favorite gift that Chris had sent her). They are now set to release an EP in the fall.

The music of Magic Wands isn’t quite as sugary as one might think though – sure, they are very fond of things like magic, dreams and fantasy (and each other of course), all of which is reflected in their sound, but don’t except Rainbow Brite to jump out of your speakers. As much as their music is magical, Magic Wands are more like The Goblin King, you know, David Bowie’s character in “Labyrinth”: a bit dark, a bit rebellious and very seductive. To put it simply – they will put a hex on you and you will like it.

~ “Black Magic”, “Teenage Love” ~

6Killer

June 26, 2008

Considering that they list Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Clint Eastwood and Spaghetti westerns among their influences, I really shouldn’t like 6Killer. Because neither Cash nor Presley’s music have ever interested me much, and westerns bore me to death, especially those starring Eastwood.

Yet, here I am, posting about 6Killer anyway because yes, I do like them. Even though I shouldn’t. Gah! Their music can be described as a fusion of soul, blues and rock but don’t let their sound fool you – 6Killer don’t hail from some outlawed western town in America, but dreary old Sweden (I’m Swedish, so I get to say that). Other than that I don’t know much about them so I’ll just copy and paste this little introduction from their Myspace:

And the visual aesthetics and the suggestive sound landscape takes us on a psychedelic safari through Greasy strip joints, Rock n´roll clubs, Las Vegas neon signs and Mexican villages populated by desperados, pistoleros, mariachis and senoritas satanicos. – No ladies and gentlemen, it´s not a new Tarantino-Rodriguez cooperation nor a new psychedelic substance – It’s just 6Killer bringing back the sound of the city of sin.

~ “Way Down To Mexico”, “Hot Sun” ~

Small Feral Token

June 24, 2008

First time I heard Small Feral Token’s “You Think You Know” was about a year ago. I thought it was a pretty sweet sounding pop song, although perhaps a bit rough around the edges.

Anyway, I sort of stumbled over their MySpace today and was pleasantly surprised by the progression of their sound. The two Stockholm-ladies have stepped up their game, making their electropop (or as it says on their website: “computer generated music with hints (of) acoustic instruments”) fuller and sharper.

Their album “Digipop” will be out sometime in September, but until then you can listen to the new tracks on their MySpace, as well as check out their latest video “A Girl’s Best Friend”.

Cloetta Paris

June 9, 2008

 

Apparently I’m terribly late to the party when it comes to Cloetta Paris, as this Swedish duo has already gained a lot of attention for their sweet sounding Italian-disco music for the past year or so.

Oh well. I’m going to post about them anyway. And not only because the “Cloetta” part of their name makes me think of the Scandinavian company that makes candy and yummy chocolate.

Their debut album, “Secret Eyes” is available on Skywriting Records, and has been compared to the sound of two other soft-voiced Swedish disco ladies, namely Sally Shapiro and Friday Bridge. So yeah, you know it’s good.

Although perhaps not quite as good as chocolate.

~ “Secret Eyes” ~

CHAINGANG

April 23, 2008

Have I been cursed? I can’t help but wonder since I’ve yet again fallen for a band who spell their name LIKE THIS.

Aussie rockers CHAINGANG are a lively bunch to say the least. Their music throbs with energy, dark energy – from the pounding drums, growling guitars and murmuring bass line, down to the fantastic vocal antics by singer Hayle.

A bit of pop, 70’s punk and some Gothic rock all mixed into one – these guys are sure to speed up your heart rate quite a bit. Just listen to the brilliant “Get Off My Stage”, and you’ll know exactly what I mean.

~ “Get Off My Stage” ~

The Search

April 20, 2008

I first heard The Search about a year ago when stumbling over one of their songs online. The song, “Love Shock” was a throwback to the 80’s synthpop, something which I rarely can resist. So yeah, I got hooked.

Unfortunately I didn’t find anything else by the band for a long time. But a few days ago I got an e-mail about their up-coming album Saturnine Songs along with some MP3s – yay!

And what can I say? The Swedes are still staying true to their synthpop sound, although it seems a bit more polished this time around. The press release mentions The Cure and Joy Division as comparisons, but personally I think they sound more like mixture between 80s band Blue Nile and fellow Swedes The Ark.

Either way, I like it!

Saturnine Songs will be available worldwide on April 25th.

~“Distant”~

Blackstrap

April 14, 2008

Tee Pee Records tend to sign mostly hard rock and metal bands, which is really not my thing. Sweden’s Blackstrap show a softer side to their rooster though as their music is described as as “blissful rock and roll drenched in the warm rays of fuzzed out guitars” in the press release and draws comparisons to bands like Spiritualized, Primal Scream, and The Jesus and Mary Chain.

The band formed in 2001 and released their first album Ghost Children two years later which they are now about to follow up with Steal My Horses And Run. The album is a slightly odd mixture of trash rock and shoegaze, but it works for the most part, especially on the songs where singer Maria’s hazy vocals are prominent.

Blackstrap’s Steal My Horses And Run will be available in the US on May 20th, 2008.

~ “Steal My Horses” ~