April 30, 2012

S. Carey - "Two Angles"

S. Carey, the drummer and backup vocalist of Bon Iver, is following up his debut effort, All We Grow, with an EP, Hoyas, out May 8th. The first track, "Two Angles," hints at a much more lush, synth-based sound than his mostly acoustic debut. While maintaining the all consuming calming demeanor of his music, Mr. Carey seems to be branching out. We like it!

S. Carey-"Two Angles"

April 28, 2012

Of Oceans - "Slow"

Of Oceans, one of my preferred ambient electronic producers, has just released another soothing, gorgeous track, "Slow." Designed for relaxing the listener, the track washes over you, and makes it impossible for life not to slow down in those tranquil three minutes. After releasing the incredible Of Oceans EP in 2010 with the standout track "In Love, Not Limbo," the singles that followed failed to provide the same meditative calmness. Luckily, with this new track, the Detroit-based producer has made another gem. Take a listen below, and also hear his latest EP, Introvert. You might wanna lay down for this.

April 27, 2012

Stream Tenacious D - Rize of the Fenix

Tenacious D will release their highly-anticipated Rize of the Fenix on May 15th. As of today, you can stream the album in its entirety below! Enjoy!

Jack White on Colbert

Last night, Jack White made an appearance on The Colbert Report, performing "Freedom at 21," a track from his recent album, Blunderbuss. The meeting even resulted in Colbert releasing a single on White's Third Man Records!

April 26, 2012

Torche - "Kicking"

Florida metal group Torche released their latest album, Harmonicraft, this week. With the lead single, "Kicking," the group showcases what sets them apart from your average metal band: They sound happy! Their sound, often compared to sludge metal, takes its own turn by displaying a wider range of emotions than is typical in metal these days. As they put it, they "rip with a smile." Take a listen to "Kicking" and enjoy the hard-hitting happiness.


April 25, 2012

Macklemore Talks Otherside, Lil' Wayne, and Seattle Hip-Hop

Hard Knock TV recently interviewed Macklemore & Ryan Lewis while at Paid Dues Festival in California. Macklemore discusses substance abuse, Lil' Wayne, the importance of balance in hip-hop, the process of writing "Otherside," and the benefits of the "Gateways" program. Check out this great interview. Enjoy!

Hey Marseilles Covers Daniel Johnston

Seattle's Hey Marseilles recently recorded a beautiful video with Look Sessions. The video captures the folkestral group putting their own spin on Daniel Johnston's "True Love Will Find You In The End." The cover is available for free download right here. Enjoy!

Said The Whale - "Safe Harbour" and "Lucky" Music Videos

Canadian rockers Said The Whale released two more videos to accompany songs on their recent album, Little Mountain. The video for "Safe Harbour" is a strange one that consists of solely an old man in the rain. The clip for "Lucky" on the other hand is a sunny beach scene, demonstrating that the band members truly are lucky indeed. Enjoy!

Field Report - "Taking Alcatraz"

Field Report, the stage name of former DeYarmond Edison member Chris Porterfield, has released another peek at his upcoming debut album. The new track, "Taking Alcatraz," is another beautiful one from Porterfield, only increasing our curiosity about a very promising project that nobody seems to know much about yet. Take a listen!

Field Report-"Taking Alcatraz"

April 24, 2012

Shower Hour - Spring Show #25

Last night I played a wide variety of tracks from The Lumineers, Town Hall, Beats Antique, The White Panda and more!

Stream Shower Hour #25

Passion Pit Announces New Album

Passion Pit has announced their followup to their 2009 breakout release, Manners. On July 24th, the group will release Gossamer,  twelve tracks that singer Michael Angelakos describes as "a product of technology today." They will go on tour in the summer to support the release. 

April 23, 2012

Town Hall - Roots & Bells

After the barrage of inventive cover videos and the fantastic EP Town Hall had released, I knew that their debut full length would be a treat. But I was definitely not prepared for exactly what was released last week: one of the most promising folk-pop albums I have heard in a long time. The New York trio of youngsters crafts a uniquely charming brand of folk that makes you want to be their friend and curl up inside their tunes. Powered by the soft harmonies of Stefan Weiner and Phoebe Ryan, and the intricate yet delicate guitar work of Jesse Kranzler, their debut album, Roots & Bells, shows incredible promise. Both voices are beautifully tender, and when combined, weave into the music gently, creating something calming, and captivating.

Although the Sticky Notes & Paper Scraps EP introduced their great sound, they saved some of their finest for the album. "Fix This House" showcases Ryan's stunning Joanna-Newsom-but-less-abrasive voice, as well as the group's creative rhythmic choices. "Mary A. Longden" is the perfect album opener, combining all the members' skills and entertaining lyrics about a woman's mysteriously smooth skin. "Food" is proof enough that Weiner could lead any group with his voice alone, but "Small" says the same exact thing about Ryan. If I haven't convinced you to buy this album yet, let the music do the talking. You won't be disappointed.

Buy Roots & Bells on iTunes/Bandcamp

Town Hall-"Mary A. Longden"
Town Hall-"Fix This House"

April 21, 2012

Reviewed: The Lumineers with Kopecky Family Band

The Red Room @ Cafe 939, Boston, MA

Between The Lumineers' set and their encore, the manager of the intimate 200-capacity venue took the stage to share a few words. "These bands have outgrown this venue," she said. "We were lucky to book this tour right when things were getting big." Boy was she right. The sold-out, intimate, heartwarming show was clearly a sign of things to come for the fantastically rustic Denver trio.

Openers The Kopecky Family Band gave me as a pleasant surprise. The Nashville group (not actually a family) played a rousing set of swamp-rock that brought to mind their former tourmates, Givers. The members busted out some hidden talents including cameos of accordion, pedal steel guitar, trombone, and cello. A great match for The Lumineers, the faux-siblings let us hear some new tracks that they had been working on, and won over a crowd that was clearly in attendance for the other performers. Frontman Gabe Simon's voice proved to be the highlight of their set, echoing out over the dancing listeners. Also, they were the only band I have ever seen to pass out instruments into the audience. 

Fronted by Wesley Schultz, The Lumineers made the already small venue feel like a living room jam session. Roaring through a concise set filled with hand-clapping and foot stomping, the band radiated fun as much as the crowd. Schultz's harmonies with cellist Neyla Pekarek were much more powerful live, and added more pep to "Dead Sea" as well as lead single "Ho Hey." 

Because the group only has one fantastic album under their belts, they managed to squeeze in some beautiful covers. A raucous rendition of "I Ain't Nobody's Problem," written by their friend Sawmill Joe, showed the band's prowess when it comes to straightaway blues crooning. They ended the performance with "The Weight," a tribute to Levon Helm, that they claimed they weren't too good at. On the contrary, the cover really showcased Pekarek's stunning, powerful vocals that had been hinted at throughout the set. 

On the love song "Dead Sea," Schultz sings "You'll never sink when you are with me." While in the song the words are directed towards a love interest, he might as well be talking to the crowd. After that show, anyone in the audience will not sink for quite some time. 

April 19, 2012

Submission Of The Week - River Whyless

This week, our finest submission comes from River Whyless, a Baroque-folk group from Asheville, North Carolina. Their debut album, A Stone, A Leaf, An Unfound Door, was released in January, and is very reminiscent of Fleet Foxes, especially on the standout track "Stone". Imagine Robin Pecknold's songwriting, mix in some male/female harmonies, add a dash of The Head and the Heart, and there you have it. After playing at SXSW earlier this year, the group embarked on a nationwide tour, and luckily for their fans, they're doing it again. You can see their tour dates after the jump. As can be seen in a beautiful video below, the lead vocalists' voices are as beautiful in an empty field as they are on the record. Enjoy!

River Whyless-"Stone"

River Whyless-"Unfound Door"

Want to have your music featured as a submission of the week? Send your music, or music you recommend to writetothebeat@gmail.com

Bon Iver on Ellen

Last night, Bon Iver, fronted by a newly-beardless Justin Vernon, performed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. They played gorgeous renditions of "Towers" and "Michicant". Take a look!

April 18, 2012

Little Owl - "Tucked Away, Our Home Our Mountain"

Little Owl, the Santa Barbara group that caught our attention last year with their EP, Stories and Observations of Argus Madur, are now signed to Cool Summer Records. They will be releasing a 7" on May 25th and you can now hear the sunny, synth-rock A side track, "Tucked Away, Our Home Our Mountain." Enjoy!

Glen Hansard - "Love Don't Leave Me Waiting" Music Video

On Glen Hansard's latest single, from his upcoming album Rhythm and Repose, he opts for a poppier, cleaner sound, without his trademark gravely croons. Even so, "Love Don't Leave Me Waiting" is a beautiful song, albeit an unusually safe one for Hansard. Enjoy!

Purchase the song on iTunes

The Shins - "The Rifle's Spiral" Music Video

Here is The Shins' latest music video, for "The Rifle's Spiral," the first track off Port Of Morrow. The animated clip, directed by Jamie Caliri, includes a magician, three funny men in top hats, and a very large, fire-spewing  rabbit. Enjoy!

April 17, 2012

Watch Death Cab Live In Chicago

Tonight, Death Cab For Cutie is performing in the historic Chicago Theater with the Magik*Magik Orchestra. While most people can't attend, you are able to watch the entire set streaming on YouTube right now! Check it out right here!

If you like what you see, check them out on tour!

Shower Hour - Spring Show #24

Last night's Shower Hour included lots of electronic artists (Amon Tobin, Beats Antique, Draper) as well as some new hip-hop (Dylan Owen, Aesop Rock). Take a listen here!

Outside Lands Lineup Announced

Outside Lands, San Francisco's finest music festival, will take place in Golden Gate Park from August 10-12. They have just announced the lineup for this year's edition. At the top of the bill will be Metallica, Stevie Wonder, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Jack White, Foo Fighters, Beck, Skrillex, Sigur Rós, and Justice. 

Other acts include Dispatch, Regina Spektor, Passion Pit, Andrew Bird, Big Boi, Explosions In The Sky, MSTRKRFT, Wolfgang Gartner, Dr. Dog, City and Colour, Of Monsters and Men, Alabama Shakes, Big Gigantic, Michael Kiwanuka, Yellow Ostrich, and many more! Check out the full lineup right here.

April 16, 2012

Dylan Owen

Dylan Owen, a 20-year old rapper based in New York, recently caught my attention in an article about the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at NYU. The music entrepreneurship program gave birth to Lady Gaga and currently includes Owen as well as Town Hall, one of our favorite new folk groups. Owen's humble, sincere, and honest flow is most comparable to that of Seattle-based Grieves. His latest release, Keep Your Friends Close, is eleven tracks of heartfelt rhymes from one of the most promising young voices in rap. The excellently produced album tells of the importance of getting lost and taking wrong turns. You can download the album for free right here. Check him out!

Dylan Owen-"Bookmarks"

Dylan Owen-"Ghosts"

Dylan Owen-"The Comeback Home"

Michael Kiwanuka Take Away Show

After opening for Adele on her recent British tour, soul singer Michael Kiwanuka got some significant buzz, due to his beautiful, fragile voice and gentle guitar strumming. He got signed to a major label after playing them only two songs. If that doesn't make you interested, nothing will. Take a look at a recent Take Away Show he did with La Blogotheque.

April 15, 2012

Watch Bon Iver and Radiohead at Coachella

Last night, some of the finest live acts around hit the stage at Coachella. For those of you who can't be there, here are some great videos of Bon Iver's performance, as well as the entirety of Radiohead's set. Enjoy! And remember, you can watch dozens of acts live right here.

April 14, 2012

Dan Mangan - "Post-War Blues" Music Video

Canadian folk crooner Dan Mangan released another music video from his excellent 2011 album, Oh Fortune. The clip for "Post-War Blues" tells a 1950's-style story of an unnecessary war. It features many well known Canadian actors, and is a great companion to a wonderful song. Enjoy!

April 13, 2012

Watch Coachella From Home!

As you read this, Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival is going on in Indio, CA. For the hundreds of thousands of fans each year that can't make it, the festival has teamed up with YouTube to find a solution. Starting this evening, dozens of the shows in the desert are streaming live for our viewing pleasure! You can watch most of the festival right here! Enjoy!

Scarlett Johansson and Massive Attack

The Gershwin classic "Summertime" has been twisted and turned into hundreds of various covers and interpretations. The latest one comes from a soundtrack collaboration between Scarlett Johansson and 3D of Massive Attack. The song, intended for the upcoming Mexican thriller, Dias De Gracia (Days of Grace), is a haunting rendition of the classic song that would feel right at home in the film. Take a listen!

Scarlett Johansson & 3D-"Summertime"

The Shins on Jimmy Kimmel

Last night The Shins performed material from their new album, Port Of Morrow, on Jimmy Kimmel Live. While there, they took the time to film a great clip with their tips on how to survive the heat and crazy people at Coachella. Hope it helps!

Yellow Ostrich - "Marathon Runner" Music Video

Yellow Ostrich have a knack for strange music videos (see "WHALE" or" Mary (Alternate)") and they continue that trend with their latest offering. "Marathon Runner," the lead single off their latest album, Strange Land, is one of their best, and is now accompanied by kids in creepy Jason masks. Enjoy!

April 11, 2012

The Head And The Heart - "Beacon Hill"

A few weeks ago, Fuel/Friends showed us a beautiful cover of "Beacon Hill" by Damien Jurado, done by Jon Russell of The Head and the Heart. Now, a video has surfaced of the group's three lead singers all coming in on the tune. The trio adds tender harmonies to an already gorgeous song. Enjoy!

M. Ward on Conan O'Brien

Last night M. Ward appeared on Conan O'Brien to perform "Primitive Girl" off his latest work, A Wasteland Companion. The album was released on Tuesday and features a few cameos by She & Him bandmate Zooey Deschanel. Enjoy!

Glen Hansard - "Philander" Music Video

Glen Hansard, who recently announced his first solo album, has released the first sneak peek of his upcoming work. The video for "Philander" is uneventful to say the least, but the song shows that his incredible, raw voice hasn't lost any spark since gaining fame in the film Once. The album, Rhythm and Repose, will be out June 19th.

April 10, 2012

Lollapalooza Lineup Announced

Lollapalooza, one of the largest music festivals in the country, and now around the globe, has announced their lineup for the 2012 edition, taking place August 3-5 in Chicago's Grant Park. Black Sabbath, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Jack White will headline the fest with The Black Keys, Justice, and Avicii filling out the top slots. 

Also on the bill are Sigur Rós, The Shins, Bassnectar, Kaskade, Big Gigantic, M83, Miike Snow, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Yellow Ostrich, Givers, The Head and the Heart, Passion Pit, Alabama Shakes, Delta Spirit, The Tallest Man On Earth, Dr. Dog, Dawes, Doomtree, Of Monsters and Men, Bowerbirds, Milo Greene, Hey Rosetta!, First Aid Kit, Madeon, and many many more. Tickets are available at the festival website

You can view the whole lineup here.

Macklemore "Victory Lap" Music Video

Along with the excellent new song that popped up on the XXL Freshman Mixtape, Macklemore has now released a video to accompany the track. The music video features tons of great footage of his rise to fame, starting with a clip of a performance from 17-year-old Macklemore. Take a look!

Shower Hour Spring Show #23

Last night I played a whole lot of new material from Of Monsters and Men, as well as The Lumineers, Alabama Shakes, and more!

Stream Shower Hour Fall Show #23

April 09, 2012

New Macklemore - "Victory Lap"

Macklemore was voted to be part of this year's XXL Freshman class. The hip-hop mag takes the top ten rising stars each year and features them on the cover, in cyphers, and on a mixtape. The mixtape just dropped and is available for free download here. The last track on the tape is aptly titled "Victory Lap" and is yet another Macklemore classic. The guy simply doesn't write bad verses. While the beat on this one is more poppy than usual, he lays down yet another perfect track. Enjoy!

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis-"Victory Lap"

Milo Greene Announce Debut Album

WttB favorites Milo Greene have finally announced that they will be releasing their debut full length on July 17th! We can't wait! You can see the tracklist above. In the meantime, check out their previously released tunes here!

Of Monsters And Men - My Head Is An Animal

Aside from Bjork and Sigur Rós, Iceland has produced very few musicians whose work has gained recognition in America. Luckily, the Scandinavian island has recently exported a gem in Of Monsters and Men. Last week, the folk sextet released their debut album, My Head Is An Animal, stateside. The group has received some ecstatic reviews, hailing them as "the next Arcade Fire" and comparing them to every hugely successful folk group of the last decade. And let me tell you: it's all true. Led by the infectiously joyous single, "Little Talks," the album is soaked in Icelandic charm that translates to their live performances. As can be seen in their live performance a few nights back of "Your Bones," vocalists Nanna and Raggi can easily be called the Icelandic Alex and Jade of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. But instead of portraying jangling hippies, they evoke a quieter, more genuine character.

Beginning with the driving "Dirty Paws," the record is surprisingly free of dull moments. The quieter tunes, especially the beautiful "Sloom," display quaint harmonies about love and family. The livelier songs, such as "Little Talks" and "Mountain Sound," showcase the jam-like feel of the disc. But unlike many jams, this one does not go on too long. Instead, I did not want the album to end.

Of Monsters And Men-"Dirty Paws"

Of Monsters And Men-"Mountain Sound"

April 07, 2012

The Lumineers Endsession

The other night, before their album release show, The Lumineers recorded a lovely live session with Seattle's 107.7 The End. If their album wasn't evidence enough to see them on tour, this should be. Also, you can download their single, "Ho Hey," for free on iTunes this week!

April 06, 2012

Flight Of The Conchords vs. Jay-Z

Jay-Z mashups have been all over the web for years, from Danger Mouse's The Grey Album, to "99 Secrets." Today, one of the most creative mashups combines Hov with Flight Of The Conchords, the finest comedy-folk duo to walk this earth. Jay spits "Hola Hovito" over the acoustic guitar of "The Most Beautiful Girl (In The Room)". This hilarious tune definitely brought a smile to my face. Enjoy!

April 05, 2012

Town Hall - "Good Boy" Music Video

Town Hall has released the lead single from their upcoming release, Roots & Bells, due out April 15th. "Good Boy" tells the story of a terrible child who only shows his sparkling clean image to his mother, and is accompanied by a very well done music video, out today. You can download the song for free right here. Enjoy!

Bright Moments

Bright Moments, the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Kelly Pratt, is really a combination of some of the greatest indie sounds of the last decade. Pratt, between touring with Arcade Fire, Beirut, and LCD Soundsystem as a horn player, began recording demos utilizing the help of all the talented musicians he surrounds himself with. The poppy record that came out, Natives, grows with each listen. It is soon clear that Pratt is extremely detail oriented and creative, sampling live bats on "Milwaukee Protocol," and bathtub splashing on "Traveling Light". The songs are filled with lively synths, and resounding brass melodies. While readily taking influence from the indie titans he performs with, Pratt thankfully forges his own path, and quite a beautiful one at that.

Bright Moments-"Milwaukee Protocol"

Bright Moments-"Lightning"

Of Monsters and Men Stream Live Show

Of Monsters and Men are playing tonight at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. The show, like many on their tour, is sold out. But tonight, you can stream their show live on YouTube thanks to The Bowery. To watch the show, you can tune in at 10pm right here.  Enjoy!

April 04, 2012

Glen Hansard Announces Solo Debut

Glen Hansard, the tender Irishman from The Swell Season and The Frames, has announced that he will be releasing his first debut album, Rhythm and Repose, on June 19th. The album will include cameos from Once-mate Marketa Irglova, as well as the horn section from Bruce Springsteen's band! Can't wait! In the meantime, enjoy one of his songs from Once. 

Said The Whale

Canadian rockers Said The Whale are storming into America in a big way. After winning the Juno Award for Best New Group in Canada last year, the group has just released its third album, Little Mountain, and it's their best yet. The five-piece from Vancouver takes a Manchester Orchestra-like sound, quiets it down a bit, sings about nature, and keeps it ridiculously catchy. So many of their tunes are perfect for crowd sing-alongs, and I am excited to see their skills on the stage when they come to Sasquatch this year. If you are a fan of Manchester Orchestra's soft side, or if you have always wondered what Fleet Foxes would sound like if they plugged in their guitars, Said The Whale is for you.

Said The Whale-"Loveless"

Said The Whale-"Camilo (The Magician)"

Said The Whale-"Heavy Ceiling"

April 03, 2012

Shower Hour - Spring Show #22

Last night, I had the chance to play some great new songs from Of Monsters and Men, as well as Field Report and more! Take a listen here!

Recent Releases - 4-3-2012

Of Monsters And Men - My Head Is An Animal
Of Monsters And Men-"Little Talks"
Buy on iTunes

The Lumineers - The Lumineers
The Lumineers-"Ho Hey"
Buy on iTunes

Alabama Shakes - Boys & Girls
Alabama Shakes-"Hold On"
Buy on iTunes

April 02, 2012

New Songs From Edward Sharpe

Hippie-folk group Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros have given us two sneak peeks of their upcoming sophomore album, Here, due out May 29th. These songs indicate that the new release will be more concise, and slightly less jam-focused than their debut album, Up From Below. Regardless, they sound as chill as ever! So take a listen and see if you like the direction they're heading in. Also, the group has announced that they recorded so much material for Here, that they will be releasing another album in 2012! Together, the albums supposedly sum up their band members' lives at the moment. Sounds good to me!

"That's What's Up"

"Man On Fire"

Haim "Go Slow" Video

Haim recently gathered around a mic to record "Go Slow" with the Warby Parker Citizen Sessions. The three sisters jam around a drum, a tambourine, and a keyboard. Their three voices intertwine and make the performance so casual yet so so good. You can still download their Forever EP for free here.

Alabama Shakes - "Hold On" Music Video

Alabama Shakes has released their music video for "Hold On," the lead single from their upcoming album Boys & Girls. The album, which releases on April 10th, is now available streaming on NPR! Be the first to hear it!

April 01, 2012

Givers With Theophilus London

The other night, Givers was playing a little secret show in an apartment in New York. It was soon discovered, however, that Theophilus London was doing the same exact thing a few floors up! So why not jam together? That's exactly what they did. Luckily, La Blogotheque was there and caught the whole thing on film. London freestyles over Givers' hit "Words". While the video doesn't really speak to his freestyle talents, it really showcases how lively and fun Givers are live. Enjoy!