1:06 pm - Mon, Sep 30, 2013

Kramies - The Wooden Heart

Ever since I discovered the Australian label Hidden Shoal Recordings last year, I’ve been really enjoying almost every single release they’ve put out, and the new EP from the Coloradan group Kramies is no exception.
An expert use of melody, dissonance and dynamic range lends “The Wooden Heart” a delicate, nuanced and yet incredibly rich sound, reminding me a lot of Air.

You can pick up the MP3 for free at the Hidden Shoal store here!

8:27 pm - Tue, Sep 17, 2013
1 note

Linea Aspera - Glaciers

10:52 pm - Tue, Sep 10, 2013

Sky Between Leaves - OOBE

1:39 am - Tue, Jun 18, 2013

Here’s some music for driving fast: “Outside” by The Last Outpost.

7:38 pm - Mon, May 6, 2013

The Sky Drops - Let It Sound

This new track from The Sky Drops isn’t just the best track I’ve heard from them yet, it’s one of the best songs I’ve heard, ever. So good, tears came to my eyes.

You can grab The Sky Drops’ tracks here on Bandcamp.

4:26 am - Fri, Apr 5, 2013
1 note

Mentalease - Living Dream

Spencer Harris from Mentalease wrote me about ten days ago about his upcoming album “Living Dream”, and I was seriously remiss in not giving it a listen and reviewing it until now.

Because Mentalease is a one-man show, there’s necessarily quite a lot of electronics involved, but Spencer deals with this by taking it head-on, embracing artifacts and glitches and making them an integral part of his sound. Guitars and hazy laptop electronica fit together perfectly in an Atlas Sound manner, whether on the dreamy, drony “Presence” or the folk-electronic “Post-Nostalgia Withdrawal”.

I want to think of a criticism with this album, but I really can’t. For something written, performed, and produced by one person, it’s a tour de force. There’s no phoniness, no borrowed nostalgia for unremembered decades here: “Living Dream” feels genuine and unironic- a real breath of fresh air.

You can get “Living Dream” as a hand-printed CD or a name-your-own-price download on Bandcamp.

3:24 pm - Thu, Apr 4, 2013
5 notes

You have got to be kidding me.

EDIT: Update with their utterly brazen response here.

I woke up this morning to find this email from Indie Music Album Reviews, offering to review my latest single in exchange for money.

I know there are promotion companies that have bands write their own reviews, which then go out to a roster of no-name blogs that publish everything the promoters send- but this is utterly audacious.
What does it mean for music journalism when bands pay for reviews? What does this do for trust in the music community, when anyone expressing enthusiasm for something might be just doing it for a buck?

Further audacity: The free “weekly roundup” is a JPEG so it doesn’t turn up in search results and they don’t have to link you.

If this were radio, we’d be calling it payola. And of course, this also means that the bands featured on their blog paid to be there.

You submitted an album entitled “Dark Days” to our website. The staff took a vote this morning and we decided to move forward with a review. If you are unfamiliar with our website, we only review submissions that we like. Your review will either have a favorable, good or great rating meaning a 3.0 or above. (We think it’s a little more fun to keep the detailed rating a secret till your published date). In order to maximize the exposure to our audience we give the artist a couple of different options.
Option 1 (Free)
With this option your album will be included in our “weekly roundup” section. This section is published once a week (on Friday) and is a list of the albums we enjoyed. Here is an example of what it would look like:
Option 2 (25 dollars)
With this option your album is featured as one of our daily reviews
One of our trusted writers will elaborate on the rating we have given. We talk about the genre of music, the tracks we felt were highlights, where the band is from, etc. This includes its own distinct URL, cover art,two links of your choice (bandcamp, website, reverbnation, facebook, record label, etc) and a professionally written review. (2 -3 paragraphs sometimes more)
Here is an example of what it would look like
Option 3 (35 dollars)
This option includes everything from option 2 and also includes a song or songs of your choice to be embedded from soundcloud or bandcamp.
If you want people to actually hear your music from our site while reading your review-we can do that to. The song or songs have to be uploaded to soundcloud or bandcamp. We will embed it right on our page.
Here is an example of what it would look like
Option 4 (40 dollars)
This option includes everything from option 2 and 3. It also includes a video upload. The video must be on youtube and be a music video or live performance.
Here is an example of what it would look like
No matter what option you chose we will need to hear back from you to confirm your review. (You will need to reply to this e-mail telling us what option you selected in the body of the e-mail.)
If you chose option 1 all you need to do is reply to this e-mail and put option 1 in the body. Within a couple of days we will send you a follow-up e-mail confirming what day your review will be published. If you chose option 2, 3, or 4 we will send you a invoice through paypal for the option you selected to your e-mail (let us know if you want us to send the invoice to a different e-mail). Once the invoice is paid we will send you one last e-mail confirming the date that it will be published.
For option 2, 3,or 4 we will also need you to include the proper links for soundcloud,bandcamp, youtube video, your mp3 etc.
This review will be up on our website forever with its own specific URL. Feel free to put it on your website, use it in your press kit or send to fans.
The team at indiemusicalbumreviews.com

8:40 pm - Thu, Mar 28, 2013
1 note

The Bilinda Butchers - The Lovers’ Suicide

New indie pop from The Bilinda Butchers! While other reviewers go for the obvious and make My Bloody Valentine comparisons, the BBs remind me most of a male-fronted Club 8.
This A-side off their latest single The Lovers’ Suicide is surprisingly upbeat for its title- fun, danceable pop with sidechained fuzz and a tune made for whistling.

I’ve been a fan of these guys since I discovered their track “Tulips” on a free Beko compilation back in ‘09. Since then, Adam and MichaƂ have put out two EPs- regret, love, guilt, dreams and goodbyes, both of which are name-your-own-price on Bandcamp.

2:10 am - Sun, Mar 24, 2013

Orkid - Eagle Flight Misfortune

Hazy synths from Orkid.

8:52 pm - Sat, Mar 23, 2013
3 notes

Flights to Nowhere

For a while now, I’ve been looking for music that would capture the same feeling that I got from Ulrich Schnauss’s debut album Far Away Trains Passing By. It was with some excitement, then that I discovered Flight to Nowhere’s EP Screaming Underwater.

Flights to Nowhere is the solo project of Canadian artist and architecture student Chase Simmons. Influenced by Sigur Ros and Hammock, he combines ambient electronic sounds with filtered, processed live instruments to create some truly delightful, contemplative ambient electronica.

The EP can be downloaded here.

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