Thursday, April 28, 2016

New Song by Band of Horses, "Casual Party" (New Album Out in June)

Tyler Ramsey, Bill Reynolds, Ben Bridell, Creighton Barrett & Tyler Ramsey of BoH
Indie rock band with a Southern twang Band of Horses (BoH) is ready with its fifth studio album, Why Are You OK, to be released in June via Interscope Records and American Recordings. The new collection was announced in a scripted love note in video form on the BoH website, declaring "It's awesome and so are you."  This is the follow up to 2012's Mirage Rock, with producer powerhouse Rick Rubin in charge. I caught the group live at The Capitol Theatre during the summer of 2014 and the concert easily made it on my list of Top 25 Concerts of all time.

BoH songs have been a constant presence on my new music playlists here - hearing the single "Casual Party" was easy to i.d. with the grand scale of layered good vibes in the music. It's almost cathartic really, despite singer Ben Bridell's lament about the "awful conversation at the casual party." He recently told about writing the songs at home with his family of four daughters, "I work all night and take them to school in the morning. I'm the fucking scariest dad in the school, I'm sure." The twelve songs were then recorded in Stinson Beach, California and Woodstock, New York, with the usual collaboration between this tight group of guys. Check out the tune in this Korean karoke-style video and look for the hashtag ready album #YRUOK, sure to be worth a listen.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

New Song by Travis, "Magnificent Time" (New Album Out April 29)

Neil Primrose, Fran Healy, Andy Dunlop & Dougie Payne of Travis
Scottish indie band Travis is ready with its eighth album due later this month via Caroline Distribution called Everything At Once, the first since 2013's Where You Stand. I caught the band in NYC back then supporting that album, rolling out new songs among their vast back catalogue. Hits such as "Sing" and "Why Does It Always Rain On Me?" turned into massive sing alongs with the crowd, as arms waved in communal bliss.

The new teaser single "Magnificent Time" rolled out last month is classic Travis, a joyful celebration of life in song with a chorus that comes across more like a rallying chant at a soccer – sorry, football – match.  In the video, singer Fran Healy drives a cardboard box car around in a colorful cartoon world with band members embedded in the walls and a cute group dance right when you think things couldn't get any sillier. The song alone will make you smile, take a listen and see for yourself!

Friday, April 8, 2016

New Song by LNZNDRF, "Beneath The Black Sea" (Debut Album Out)

Scott & Bryan Devendorf w/Ben Lanz (Photo via 4AD)
Now and then music will just appear out of nowhere by a band I've never heard of - such is the case with "Beneath The Black Sea" by LNZNDRF (pronounced "Lanzendorf"). It's a fuzzed-out jam of a song that had me hooked immediately and left me wanting to learn more about the band. Turns out the group is made up of members of The National and Beirut, two of my favorite bands - no wonder I was an instant fan!

Formed in 2011, the trio includes The National's Devendorf brothers (bass player Scott and drummer Bryan) along with Beirut member plus collaborator with The National and Sufjan Stevens, multi-instrumentalist Ben Lanz. (Lanz also has a musical project called Hoferlanz.) They bonded over early influences of Krautrock and post-punk, and decided to celebrate that spirit again. LNZDRF's self-titled debut album came out in February with eight tracks crafted from 30+ minute improvisations, recorded over two and a half days in a Cincinnati church (hometown of the Devendorfs). Listen to the "Beneath The Black Sea" in a live video here, and check out the rest of the album as well. 

Friday, April 1, 2016

New Song by Autolux, "Selectallcopy" (New Album Out & NYC Tour Date April 5)

Eugene Goreschter, Carla Azur & Greg Edwards of Autolux
L.A. noise pop trio Autolux has released its third album today, Pussy's Dead (30th Century Records). It is the first since 2010's Transit Transit, which landed the song "Audience No. 2" on my Winter 2011 New Music Playlist. The single for the new album, "Soft Scene" was shared last fall, but the lead track "Selectallcopy" caught my ear recently via KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic.

The introduction alone is worth a listen, with all its sonic complexity. Autolux is not your typical mope rock band, all fuzz and desperation (although you gotta love the chorus bemoaning how "it's so so sad, to be happy all the time.") "Selectallcopy" is here, but the entire album is worth a listen.  The group is also heading out on tour -- dates include a stop at the Bowery Ballroom April 5, along with festivals like Coachella and Seattle's Sasquatch!