Broken Twin, a female duo from Denmark, has been making waves in the blog-ocean with their classic Scandinavian cold, sparse piano tunes. Their first track, "Out Of Air," features a lonely piano line wandering about, soon joined by tender vocals. On the track "Beaches," it is clear that these women know a lot about restraint. At one point in the song, there is a pause, a long one that tests the listener's patience while making the resolve all the more satisfying. You can also catch them on tour with Jens Lekman. You can stream their whole Hold On To Nothing EP here via Under The Radar.
If You Like: Daughter, Town Hall, Julia Easterlin, Braids
Justine Bowe, a Tufts University graduate (Go Jumbos!) has adopted the name photocomfort, and the choice couldn't have been more fitting. Her music, a blend of folk-y singer-songwriter fare with pounding drums and fantastic writing is both visual and comforting. Her debut self-titled EP is available for free on her bandcamp and below. The five tracks all maintain a level of poppy energy while never letting your attention wander from her robust voice. She packs quite a punch and her songs will wiggle their way into your head for days. Enjoy!
Two hot producers, Hudson Mohawke and Lunice, have combined forces to create something even larger. They go by the name of TNGHT, and have just released an EP of the hardest, heaviest, most intense hip-hop beats I've heard in a while. The five enormous tracks have been making waves that big too. Apparently the duo are being courted by quite a few rappers who want to use some of these beats. And I don't blame them. They are simple, and impossible not to headbang to. Listen to all of "Higher Ground" and a sampler of the whole EP below. Go crazy.
When I saw the amazing Delta Rae perform in New York, I got an extra treat when the opener, Aunt Martha, took the stage. The band (nobody is named Martha) drew a small crowd of rabid fans, and their tender acoustic folk stood out. The problem with bands like this is that there are so many that, at first, sound very much alike. And I must admit, Aunt Martha, may sound like one of the pack at first. But give them a deeper listen, and you will be pleasantly surprised. The melodies stick, the vocals never disappoint, and live, they are captivating. Below, you can stream one EP, and download another. Check it out!
Ever since I downloaded Dylan Owen's latest EP, Keep Your Friends Close, I have been intrigued by the young MC's poetic, powerful rhymes. He has wisdom beyond his years, and a focused seriousness that is hard to find in any musician these days. Last night at the Gramercy Theater, his performance seemed to polarize the audience a bit, separating those with more sophisticated taste from those in attendance simply to hear headliner Watsky crack some jokes. While not everybody seemed prepared for Owen's intense subject matter, those who were were likely thinking the same thing I was: this kid is damn good.
Opening with the heart-stopping "Bookmarks," Owen plowed through his unfairly short 30 minute set with grace, charisma, and focus. He mostly stuck to his new material, yet he also played a few fan favorites from his previous album, Senioritis. When Owen threw wristbands out into the crowd, an attendee in front of me hit me in the eye trying to grab one. At a normal concert, that would make me pretty pissed, and distract from the music for a minute. But not this time. Not even a hit to the face could take me away from Owen's poetry.
Listen to the whole EP below and remember, you can download the entire thing for free right here.
Town Hall, the adorable indie-folk trio behind one of my favorite albums of the year so far, Roots & Bells, has always had a thing for covers. They have released a whole bunch of videos showing their calm and quiet renditions of everything from R. Kelly to Jimmy Eat World. Luckily, we can now have all of it! They just released Town Hall Plays the Classics, Vol. 1 via Bandcamp. The free EP gives us five of their finest covers and a quite creepy album cover. The release not only showcases the group's chameleon-like genre-crossing skills, but also guitarist Jesse's obsession with R. Kelly. Ever wanted to hear Ja Rule played by a folk group? Well now you can.
One of our favorite blogs, Fuel/Friends, has been recording lovely acoustic sessions with bands that have been going through Colorado. The Chapel has seen some great groups come through, recording beautiful new music along their way. Recently, The Head and the Heart stopped by for the second time, sharing some exciting new material! If you caught the group at Sasquatch and enjoyed the new tunes they played, you can now hear them recorded. Read about the whole session right here, and download the whole thing for free here!
Chris Porterfield and the rest of Field Report headed over to Austin, Texas to record a session with Daytrotter. The recordings, including three previously unheard songs and "Fergus Falls," add to their growing catalog, and inspire listeners to have even more hope for the up-and-coming group. Besides the few tracks that have popped up online, not much has been heard from the band until now. So take this opportunity to get acquainted. Download the free session here!
Dylan Owen, the New York rapper behind the excellent Keep Your Friends Close EP, has a new music video for the track "In The Corner" featuring Kinetics. The video gives us a glimpse of the young rapper, and how sincere his rhymes are. Remember, the whole EP is available for free right here! Owen represents one of the most promising young voices in rap today. Enjoy!
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!
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.
After the barrage of inventive cover videos and the fantastic EPTown 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 EPintroduced 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.
Siblings who can sing often can create harmonies that are greater than the sum of their parts. The fact that voices can be literally related, while still different, can create the underpinnings of a great band (See The Belle Brigade and The Avett Brothers). After getting a huge amount of buzz with a little help from a tweet by Kesha, LA group HAIM added to their hype by ending up on quite a few Best of SXSW lists. The band, made up of three sisters, mixes R&B vocals with old school rock sounds to create something familiar, yet very intriguing, and stunningly simple. Their debut, Forever EP, is available for free download below. Watch out for these girls; they are still young and have plenty of time to take over.
The band formerly known as The Morning Benders, the group behind the catchy jam "Excuses," has changed their name to Pop ETC. In light of the name change, the group has released a free mixtape on their new website. Download it here! Also, read their reasoning behind the change here.
I am a big fan of electronic music. But I often get tired of the countless number of producers that don't do anything new with the art. I tend to gravitate to towards the artists that expand the scope of the genre, artists like Pretty Lights, Big Gigantic, or Skrillex. That is why I took a liking to James Egbert. After first hearing his Blackhawk EP, I was shocked to find that the young producer had not garnered much attention yet. His four-song EP combines strong melodic components with heavy drops, and dubstep sounds that I have yet to hear anywhere else. The songs are available for free download below. Keep an eye on this guy. He's gonna be big. Enjoy!
Between the years of 2003 and 2006, C2C, a group of French DJs reigned supreme by winning the DMC World Team DJ Championship four years in a row. Years later, the quartet has reappeared with their first attempt at producing original music, the Down The RoadEP. The EP is one of the most exciting debuts of electronic music I have ever heard. The five tracks all showcase different aspects of their songwriting and feature soul samples, infectious beats, and good old record scratches. The title track, "Down The Road," has been on repeat in my headphones for a solid week now, and I personally challenge any reader of this to listen it without wanting to dance. It is impossible! They even scratch up a harmonica solo! Enjoy the track and take a look at their creative and visually spectacular music video for "F.U.Y.A." below.
Andrew Bird has released a free four song EP that you can download via NoiseTrade. The EP features "Eyeoneye," the lead single from Bird's upcoming release, Break It Yourself, available March 6th. It also includes "The Crown Salesman" and "So Much Wine," tracks from a recently released seven-inch, and "After Dinner Jam," a track that didn't quite make the album. Download the EP for free below, and enjoy!
Minneapolis Rhymesayers rapper Brother Ali has just dropped a new 7-song EP, titled The Bite Marked Heart! The EP, just in time for Valentine's Day, is available for free download! If you're a fan of his labelmates Atmosphere or Grieves, you'll enjoy this!