First Aid Kit
The Lion’s Roar
First Aid Kit is Swedish sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg. The first single and title track to their sophomore album, “The Lion’s Roar”, was recorded with producer Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, Monsters of Folk, Jenny Lewis) in Omaha, NE. The record sees the band exploring a bigger sound and more instrumentation than on their debut album”The Big Black and the Blue”, but maintains the signature storytelling and harmonies they have become renowned for.
The Black Keys
The Big Come Up
There is something hugely satisfying about the unfettered moans of a vintage Fender Telecaster. For some solid sonic evidence, look no further than the gutsy 2002 debut of Ohio blues duo, The Black Keys. If you’re not hooked by the time Dan Auerbach finger-picks his way into the whining guitar groove of opener “Busted,” then the delivery of his sandpaper vocal drawl – ably assisted by Patrick Carney’s whiplash drumming and ‘medium fidelity’ production – will assure you that, in the US Midwest, they still keep their blues traditionally bottled. And therein lies the key to The Black Keys’ brilliance – the ability to make exciting new tunes sound raw and well-travelled, without falling into lame pastiche or parody. Check out the woozy, melodic leanings of “Yearnin’” or the straight-out garage barnstorm of “I’ll Be Your Man” – both tracks successfully fusing valve-humming cool with a contemporary edge that, five years and four LP’s down the line, remain founding cornerstones of The ‘Keys unique and wickedly uncoiled oeuvre. – Ross Bennett / Mojo
Phantogram’s music sounds like it’s made by a band from the city. Electronic loops, hip-hop beats, shoegaze, soul, and pop each find its way into their songs. Unexpectedly, the band doesn’t live and work in a major urban center, but rather calls the town of Saratoga Springs, NY home. Despite the cultural influence of local Skidmore College (where fellow beat-experimenters Ratatat formed) Saratoga isn’t exactly teeming with fans of J. Dilla, My Bloody Valentine or Serge Gainsbourg. Using various samplers, tapes, records, synths, drums, and both percussive and stringed instruments, Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel, the duo that make up Phantogram have allowed their natural surroundings and metropolitan influences to mix, resulting in brilliant, unusual recordings that are beautiful yet hard, dreamlike yet substantial, danceable yet smart.
Time’s All Gone
Nick Waterhouse is the New Breed – An R&B fanatic who combines an uncanny old-school sensibility and with a charged, contemporary style. Having just turned 25, he joins the ranks of similar acts and producers of recent times – Mark Ronson, Amy Winehouse, Sharon Jones, Mayer Hawthorne, Aloe Blacc et al — that are all moving forward into the past, yet all quite different. For Waterhouse, his muse is the over-modulated sound of vintage ’50s R&B and Rebel Rock n’ Roll. His take on such a time-honored tradition evokes the back-alley thrill of New Orleans, Detroit and Memphis in their heyday. He combines an astute attention to detail recording on all vintage equipment with an honest desire to match the emotional impact of the music that inspires him.
mewithoutYou returns with their 5th studio album, Ten Stories. Helmed by producer Daniel Smith (Sufian Stevens) and mixed by Brad Wood (Smashing Pumpkins), Ten Stories is an allegorical coellection of songs that, at first listen, follows a winding narrative about a circus train crash in 19th century Montana. Long time fans will know that although we are introduced to a talking elephant, fox and tiger there is always more then meets the eye.
Jukebox the Ghost
Yep Roc Records
Jukebox the Ghost’s album Safe Travels, the ambitious follow up to their 2010 breakout, was produced by Dan Romer (Ingrid Michelson) and features 13 new, original tracks. JTG remains pianist Ben Thornewill, guitarist Tommy Siegel and drummer Jesse Kristin. After the release of 2010′s Everything Under the Sun Jukebox The Ghost’s fanbase exploded as the band played hundreds of shows and headlined the largest venues of their career, including a packed house at DC’s legendary 930 Club and NY’s Brooklyn Bowl. During their rapid rise the band’s music was featured in an iPad ad, they played on Letterman and Lollapalooza, and much more.
Old Man Gloom
Sun Kil Moon
Among the Leaves
Among The Leaves is the 5th full length album by Mark Kozelek under the Sun Kil Moon moniker. Played almost entirely on nylon string guitar, this 17-song all original album was recorded between October 2011 and January 2012 in San Francisco. Among The Leaves – words which caught Mark’s attention from a John Connolly novel – finds Mark relaxed, singing playfully about his life as a musician while retaining the melancholic spirit of his 20 year catalog.