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Guy Ivory is the next in a long line of slender blue eye soulsters from the UK. I have no idea why this has continued to be a thing, and what the cultural and political ramifications of such a thing are. I’m sure there are entire graduate semesters dedicated to unpacking the problematic carpetbagging going on here. But that’s not what I’m here for. I’m here to share with you a surprisingly pleasant cover of an old favorite of mine. D’Angelo, for myriad reasons, has basically entered the realm of the unfuckwithable. With only two proper albums under his belt and the occasional masterful live performance through the years, he has left enough mystery and sexual tension in our collective memories to elevate him to pedestal status. He is legend. So it takes a reasonable amount of chutzpah for this kid from England to attempt one of D’Angelo’s signature songs.
Now, there is a lot of minimal r’n’b going on these days, both all colors and creeds. My issue with a lot of it comes down to run time. These songs can drag on for what seems like dry desert days. The nice thing about Guy Ivory’s track here is that it doesn’t linger. It fills a necessary amount of space, shows off his pipes and his keys and then leaves before outstaying its welcome. This is a great calling card.
He also has original tunes, like the spry Any Day which is decidedly ’90s in flavor. It doesn’t work quite as well as the cover, but he’s on the right track and I think he’ll eventually get there.
Look, I know this is everywhere. But if I’m being honest, the Haim record was on rotation last year more than any other. By a wide margin. And here we are with this disco remix that, while a little toothless, still updates the fun from the record and gives it new life — exactly what a remix should do.
Guys. Bird Tapes is just killing it lately. This is just a classic burn and it will become someone’s favorite song, played over and over until the cassette wears out. It’s funny but it’s well-crafted and pretty. And stick around for the breakdown!
The new tape from Thee AHs is out on Bird Tapes now and the sweet price of five dollars and fifty cents. It is worth every penny.
When the analog thing is done right, it looks like this.
This video comes from the Brooklyn band Neighbors, brainchild of Noah Stitelman, a guy who got tired of his bands not taking off. He took matters into his own hands and made songs with swirling synths, percussion that sounds like a million ’80s drum fills, and a guy feverishly practicing guitar in his bedroom. Then he forced people to dance through electrodes. “Wild Enough” is on the Neighbors record Failure, out March 25.
I’m constantly amazed at how many uses people have found for three chords and some loud guitars. The Rich Hands aren’t doing anything new with “Teenager,” but they’re doing it well, and with some goddamn passion. Here’s to the barnburners.
The Rich Hands hail from the garages of San Antonio, and you can find “Teenager” on their new record Out Of My Head, out May 6 on Fountain Records with a cassette release by Burger Records to follow.
I first posted Death Vessel back in November of 2005. That was a lifetime ago. The post is all full of exclamation points and amateurisms and everything else that hasn’t changed about this site. The band, however, is decidedly different. Back then, it was just Joel and a ragtag group of whoevers playing a sinister form of broken folk (the Cave Singers would later totally stoke the vibe and run with it). Now he’s got Jonsi on guest vocals and the whole thing is thick and rich and frothy as the Horchata he sang about way back when. I’m inspired by the band’s slow evolution and I really want to hear the whole album, which comes out this month on Sub Pop.
It’s funny what happens when a band slows things down. I’ve only known Phantogram in the context of their hits, which are decidedly bangers; songs full of frustration and sex and doubt, tension and release. But when we stretch things out to a single stark piston beat and a half-remembered soul sample, we see the tired vulnerability of a band who has been working very hard. It’s also basically a slowed-down version of lead single “Fall In Love.” It’s funny that they watch Lost in Translation and empathize with Bill Murray’s character and not young Scarlett. They’re just a tiny band with themselves for company, touring the world and bone tired. I like the new direction, which is more Beach House with bounce and less Sleigh Bells with soft edges. I’m not 100% sold on the new record, but I wanted to put this hear to remind me to keep listening.
New record comes out on Valentine’s Day via our old friends at Barsuk Records.