Thursday, May 5, 2016

Late Spring 2016 New Music Playlist

Here is another listening session of new music released this spring, full of heavy-weight veterans such as Radiohead, Travis, The Dandy Warhols and Peter Bjorn and John plus new bands such as LNZDRF, Bayonne and Sofi Tukker. There’s also some country twang found in White Denim, Frightened Rabbit and Band of Horses along with some fuzzed-out indie songs from Autolux, Caveman and Cullen Omori. Listen on Spotify or as a YouTube Playlist.


1. “What You Talking About?” – Peter Bjorn and John
Swedish indie pop band Peter Bjorn and John is ready with a seventh album since 1999, Breakin Point, full of hook happy tunes like the lead single, “What You Talking About?”  With a blast of feel-good synths that sound like a cheery whistle, the song bounces along even while bemoaning issues of communication.

2. “Cinnamon” – Cullen Omori
Chicago’s Cullen Omori (formerly of Smith Westerns) continues on a similar course solo with psych pop leanings for his solo debut, New Misery. The melodic song “Cinnamon” cleverly skims the surface as he sings about the euphoria of finding love.

3. “Get Out” – Frightened Rabbit
Scottish quintet Frightened Rabbit recently released a fifth album, Painting of a Panic Attack, produced by Aaron Dessner of The National.  The band formed in 2003 and took a break after a long tour in support of the last album, 2013’s Pedestrian Verse, but returns to continue the journey with gritty, soulful indie rock.

4. “Casual Party” – Band of Horses
Southern indie rockers Band of Horses will soon release its fifth studio album since 2004, Why Are You OK. The single “Casual Party” is a full on musical love fest as the quintet takes the theme of meaningless social interactions.  

5. “Thank You” – White Denim
Austin rockers White Denim had to reinvent itself after two band members left, so singer James Petralli likens the new album Stiff to a debut release although it counts as number seven since 2006. The song “Thank You” finds the group’s roots rock intact, while the new kicky sound brings a new energy to the music.

6. “Burn the Witch” – Radiohead
English indie supergroup Radiohead lives up to the hype for its first song in five years, “Burn the Witch,” an epic swirl of strings, pulsating rock rhythms and singer Thom Yorke’s plaintive vocals. It serves as the single and title track for the group’s ninth album since 1985, the first in five years after 2011’s King of Limbs.

7. “Styggo” – The Dandy Warhols
The Dandy Warhols, Portland’s alt rock juggernauts, has released its ninth album called Distortland. The tune “Styggo” chugs along with the signature swagger of singer Courtney Taylor-Taylor’s vocals and confidence galore amid this quartet.

8. “Never Going Back” – Caveman
Brooklyn’s indie rock quintet Caveman will soon release its third album since 2010, Otero War. The teaser single “Never Going Back” presents a pop melody over a grand scale of band mechanics to bring the sound to another level.

9. “Lates” ­– Bayonne
Bayonne is the music project of multi-instrumentalist Roger Sellers, who likes to call it electronic/minimalist material. “Lates” is a dreamy track off the debut full length album, Spectrolite.

10. “Magnificent Time” – Travis
Scottish indie stalwarts Travis is ready with its eighth studio album since 1990, Everything At Once.   This carefree single, “Magnificent Time,” is fueled by a enthusiasm that other bands might find hard to fathom otherwise.

11. “Ocean” – Rogue Wave
California’s indie rock quartet Rogue Wave has released its sixth studio album since 2007, Delusions of Grand Fur. The zippy tune “Ocean” features the laid back vocals of frontman Zach Schwartz (a.k.a. Zach Rogue).

12. “Selectallcopy” – Autolux
L.A. alt rock trio Autolux returns after six years with a third album called Pussy’s Dead. Eclectic songs like “Selectallcopy” draw from influences such as post-punk, Krautrock and experimental electronic music.

13. “Hey Lion” – Sofi Tukker
New York-based duo Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern has made an impact on the strength of singles such as “Hey Lion,” a funky dance tune with a sparse instrumentation and sexy vocals. A self-titled EP is planned for later this year.

14. “Solitude”­ – M83
M83 is a French-American electronic music band led by Anthony Gonzalez, now based in L.A. The cinematic tune “Solitude” is the second single off Junk, a seventh studio album for the group since 2001.

15. “Beneath the Black Sea” – LNZNDRF
LNZNDRF, a new band touting post-punk and Krautrock influences, was formed by Ben Lanz (member of Beruit and collaborator with The National) and brothers Bryan and Scott Devendorf (both of The National).  “Beneath the Black Sea” is one of eight songs on the self-titled debut improvised and edited down from the recording session’s 30 plus minute jams.

16. “Neighboring in Telescopes”  – Eluvium
Eluvium is the moniker of ambient recording artist Matthew Cooper, who is based in Portland after being raised in Louisville. The floating soundscape of “Neighboring in Telescopes” is found on his eighth studio album of unreleased material from 2009 – 2015 called Curious Things.