Wednesday, June 29, 2011

New Track Rundown

It’ been some time since I had a proper update. I figure the best way to go about things is to post a new track rundown that covers everything I have been really into during the month of June. This starts with one of my favorite songs of 2011. Every year since 2005, an album featuring Spencer Krug has made my top 10. I thought this would be the year to break the chain, but then Moonface released “Fast Peter”. The song embodies everything I love about the prolific indie songwriter. It harnesses a fast, steady beat accompanied by experienced storytelling and emotive delivery. As typical, it is a composition that immediately strikes the listener and is full of creativity. It comes from the brilliantly titled Organ Music Not Vibraphone Like I’d Hoped. The album - the cover of which is above – will be out on August 2, 2011.

Mister Heavenly also debuted a noteworthy track with “Pineapple Girl”. The super group includes Man Man's Honus Honus, Islands' Nick Thorburn, Modest Mouse's Joe Plummer, and Michael Cera (yes that would be Mr. Scott Pilgrim). It does an excellent job of combining the strengths of the group’s eclectic makeup. There were also a lot of high profile bands that did not let down fans. Beirut lived up to the hype with their new single “East Harlem”. It is a beautifully executed song that ranks up there with Zach Condon’s best work. Arcade Fire made a big splash this month with their David Byrne assisted track from The Suburbs deluxe edition. The collaboration was every bit as engaging as I had hoped.

Handsome Furs released one of the year’s best this week with Sound Kapital. A much more electro and krautrock influenced affair, the record showcases the songwriting strengths of Dan Boekner, the non-Spencer Krug songwriter in Wolf Parade. I was going to use the album’s splendid cover at the top of this arcticle but I know a lot of people will be reading this at work. Among the electro, indie, and rock, Domo Genesis (of Odd Future) and Shabazz Palaces add some diversity to the playlist with two standout rap jams. I also have to mention JEFF the Brotherhood who killed it when opening for Fucked Up when I saw them last week. Their latest record, We Are the Champions, has been dominating my turntable ever since and “Shredder” is a great example of why.

The videos below are among the most creative I have seen in years let alone 2011. Battles, Chad VanGaalen, and Memory Tapes are the most memorable ones; easily setting themselves apart from less ambitious music videos. The Battles’ video utilizes ridiculous image collages in the same way as last year’s best video, “Bombay” by El Guincho. This is no surprise since it comes from the same director who goes by the name Canada. Chad VanGaalen, on the underhand, is an adventure through an animated psychedelic fantasy land that showcases VanGaalen’s signature artwork. Memory Tapes have a more elegant look to their trippy video featuring remarkable cinematography and a unique vision.

Broken Social Scene brings a darker narrative to the table with their video for “The Sweetest Kill”. Portugal. The Man have a similar approach but on a more epic scale. Their video includes the two new songs “Sleep Forever” and “Got It All (This Can’t be Living Now)” from their highly anticipated major label debut, In the Mountain in the Cloud. These two tracks combined with a gorgeous and masterfully executed video make for one of my favorite moments of the year so far. These singles are extremely catchy without lacking innovative songwriting prowess. I will be shocked if Portugal. The Man are not one of the biggest buzz bands by the end of the year. UNKLE is the other band with an impressive concept video. UNKLE paired with Nick Cave is an instant recipe for success. The video projects social commentary on greed and British politics. As typical these days, most of the videos are NSFW so make sure your boss isn’t lurking around your cubicle.

Moonface - "Fast Peter"

Mister Heavenly - "Pineapple Girl"

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks - "Senator"

Arcade Fire featuring David Byrne - "Speaking in Tongues"

Beirut- "East Harlem"

Sun Airway - "Wild Palms"

Handsome Furs - "Repatriated"

The War on Drugs - "Baby Missiles"

Fool's Gold - "Street Clothes"

When Saints Go Machine - "Kelly"

Disclosure - "I Love ...That You Know"

Balam Acab - "Oh, Why"

Gabe Goodman - "Splinters"

Zammuto - "Yay"

Shabazz Palaces - "Swerve... The Reeping of All That is Worthwhile Noir Not Withstanding"

Domo Genesis - "Boss' Life"

Male Bonding - "Bones"

White Hills - "The Condition of Nothing"

Drummers - "Planes II"

JEFF The Brotherhood - "Shredder"

Natural Child - "Yer Birthday"

Buffalo Killers - "Circle Day"

Extra Happy Ghost!!! - "So at One"

The Coathangers - "Trailer Park Boneyard"

O'Death - "Bugs"

Alina Simone - "Beautiful Machine"

Battles - "Ice Cream"

Dominique Young Unique - "Follow the Leader"

Chad VanGaalen - "Peace on the Rise"

Memory Tapes - "Yes I Know"

Broken Social Scene - "Sweetest Kill"

Portugal. The Man - "Sleep Forever" & "Got It All (This Can't Be Living Now)"

1,2,3 - "Work"

Seasick Steve - "You Can't Teach An Old Dog New Tricks"

The Grates - "Turn Me On"

Computer Magic - "The End of Time"

Computer Magic - "The End Of Time" from stereogum on Vimeo.

UNKLE featuring Nick Cave - "Money and Run"

Unkle featuring Nick Cave "Money and Run" from Tom Haines on Vimeo.

Mr. Dream - "Croquet"

Mr. Dream - "Croquet" from stereogum on Vimeo.

Tera Melos - "Kelley"

Tera Melos - "Kelley" from Consequence of Sound on Vimeo.

Ford & Lopatin - "World of Regret"

Ford & Lopatin "World of Regret" from Thunder Horse Video on Vimeo.

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