Monday, October 31, 2011

SONG OF THE DAY: M83 - "Raconte-Moi Histoire"

m83- hurry up we're dreaming- 1-06 "Raconte-Moi Histoire" by hypethelookmusic

In order to properly get in touch with this tune from M83's excellent new album Hurry Up, We're Dreaming, we should first include the lyrics. Check them out below and then our reaction.

i heard about this frog
it's a very tiny frog
but it's also very special
you can only find it in the jungle
so far away from me
but if you find it and if you touch it
your world can change forever

if you touch its skin 
you can feel your body changing
and your vision also
and blue becomes red and red becomes blue
and your mommy suddenly becomes your daddy
and everything looks like a giant cupcake

and you keep laughing and laughing and laughing
nothing is ever quite the same really
and after you finish laughing
it's time to turn into a frog yourself
it's very funny to be a frog
you can dive into the water
and cross the rivers and the oceans
and you can jump all the time and everywhere
do you want to play with me?

we can be a whole group of friends
a whole group of frogs
jumping into the streets
jumping into the planet
climbing up the buildings
swimming in the lakes and in the bathtubs
we would be hundreds, thousands, millions
the biggest group of friends the world has ever seen
jumping and laughing forever
it would be great, right?

So this is pretty weird, I know. But it's a great song nevertheless. Anthony Gonzalez never ceases to amaze me, even with his strange obsession with using children in his songs (much to the chagrin of Carles). First off, I'm no expert, but I believe the title means "Tell me a story" in French, Gonzalez's native language. Apparently there are some theories that a frog like the one described in the lyrics does exist, you can discern that for yourself here, but I think it is more likely that this song is simply about a nice trip on some hallucinogenic drugs.

Whether you are creeped out by the little kid talking or not, you cannot deny that this song musically has some value. With a bubbly synth line, especially for M83 standards, alongside acoustic guitar chords and a simple bassline, this song builds and builds, moving along with the lyrics. The lyrics themselves give off the sense of happiness. The endearing innocent voice of the child, along with what he/she is saying is enough to make someone smile. Then it stops, and the build ends and you are in the wide open clear of the ambient synths as every noise in the song comes together for the last minute and a half and you just sit back in your chair and smile. The latter part of this song is like the moment as a child when you swing back and forth, back and forth and then get high enough to finally let go and for just a millisecond you feel like you can fly. It feels like that and I'm sure what it feels like when you use hallucinogenic drugs. 

VIDEO: Portugal, The Man - "All Your Light"

Found this psychedelic bit via The Steam Engine. Enjoy.


Portugal, The Man's excellent In The Mountain in The Cloud is in stores now.

LISTEN: The Flaming Lips - "7 Skies H3" (24-Hour Song)

Earlier this week, we posted Pitchfork's interview with The Flaming Lips' singer Wayne Coyne. You can now stream the band's brand new 24-Hour Song "7 Skies H3" at You can also buy the track... encased in a real human skull (see above) for $5000. They are only selling 13 so get on it... fast. 

LISTEN: Washed Out - "Call It Off"

Washed Out's LP Within and Without was released earlier this year to critical acclaim. Next week, they will release "Amor Fati" as a single from the record alongside this previously unreleased track "Call It Off." Stream it via their SoundCloud page below.


Washed Out will release the single "Amor Fati" along with "Call It Off" on November 7th.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

REVIEW: Vex Ruffin - Crash Course EP

Grade: 74% (C)

Go back to the setting of cult film Donnie Darko: The month of October in a sleepy town in the late 80's. But whacked out shit is going on: scary rabbits are appearing in the middle of the night, school water-pipes are bursting, and the world is apparently ending. Now think about the 80's pop that is played over-top all of these things coalescing to the Tears for Fears "Mad World" cover at the films pivotal scene. With his debut EP, Vex Ruffin uses just under twenty minutes to give the feeling of the entire movie through his spooky psych-pop. The disc is both eerie and enlightening, and could be even more mind-blowing if listened to with some additional help (AKA drugs). 

Using simplistic yet driving drum machine produced beats, it makes sense why Ruffin is releasing the EP just in time for Halloween. The record is creepy with it's affected vocals and atmospheric affects; basslines ride alongside the distorted guitar riffs underneath repeated lyrical lines and chilling keyboard pulsing. The seven songs as a whole chug along deep into the night with no real climax, ending with the oscillating, "Hey Jerald." But this isn't a random hook-up where you make out in a dark closet for a half hour and then walk away never thinking about the person again. You're left affected, both in mind and body after spinning Crash Course, reverting back in your head asking, "Did I enjoy that? Or did I not?" Then it's likely that a jet engine will crash into your room and kill you on the spot. 

REVIEW: Shimmering Stars - Violent Hearts

Grade: 78% (C+)

Getting something over nice and quick is not always the best way of handling things especially when you try to disguise it with false information. That's often what people might think of a record when they see fourteen tracks over within just twenty-nine and a half minutes. Don't get that idea on Shimmering Stars' debut LP Violent Hearts. The Vancouver trio manages to take these tracks and get everything they can out of them in the shortest time possible. There is no extra flab, nothing that shouldn't be in there, but everything that needs to be there is arranged in a nice and simple fashion. The overall tightness of this record is very solid. No track hits the three minute mark but you're not left yearning for anything more. An extended guitar solo or jam would feel out of place. 

With drums and bass that sounds like it was taken out of a 50's high school talent show, you could guess from the album's title that the instrumentation is overlaid with boyish lyrics. If you had to picture the band on stage you would imagine drums, bass, guitar and then three backing singers wearing identical outfits "oooooing" into their mics and shifting back and forth while they synchronize their clapping and finger snaps. The best comparison here is to Cults in almost any form but their is somewhat of a Oh, Inverted World feeling on the vocals. The band has yet to escape their home town but it won't be long until they are featured on an iPod Nano commercial, or at least they sound like they could. Leave me alone I'm just trying to get this review over quickly. 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

VIDEO: Bombay Bicycle Club - "Video Games" (Lana Del Rey Cover)

I love Lana Del Rey's version of the track, but I think I enjoy this take a little more.


Bombay Bicycle Club's third LP A Different Kind of Fix is out now.

REVIEW: Bombay Bicycle Club - A Different Kind of Fix

Grade: 82% (B-)

Tokyo Police Club recently released their 10x10x10 album, covering ten songs over ten years in ten days. These songs vary over genres, from the long piano infused "All My Friends" by LCD Soundsystem to the mainstream pop hit "Party in the USA" by Smiley Miley Cyrus. It's difficult to combine these genres on a whole album and still have the record have a "feel" to it. Somewhat similar on their newest effort, Bombay Bicycle Club, with the names ironically alike, bring about a comparable kind of effort but with their very own music. On A Different Kind of Fix, the band's musical influences range from genre to genre, decade to decade. This isn't just a British-folk take on some established musical stylings; instead, the album is the band's personal injection of their own theories into the basic algorithms of the genres. Somehow they manage to make it work too, with each song moving to the next with only minor, "where did this come from?" moments. The jump from the touchy-feely first track to the grungy second is smooth enough to handle and still helps you sort through the mess. The record even has a "feeling" to it, giving off the impression that the four members gathered and decided to take it to the very precipice of indie-pop, but fall just short to maintain their folk status. 

Who do these musical stylings evoke though? With it's poppy piano riff , "Shuffle" sounds like a synth-less Passion Pit while the groovy 80's bassline on "Lights Out, Words Gone" sounds like a Phil Collins track from way back when. The poppy "Take the Right One" has the dreamy feel of Coldplay minus the questionable lyrics and the acoustic led "Beggars" saves face with their folk status and jumps the broom with it's smooth bassline and electric accompaniment. "Your Eyes" reaches pop-status and then impresses with it's strong bridge with vocals moving alongside the instrumentation and is surely going to be a concert staple. Most notable however, is the album's closer "Still." Vocalist Jack Steadman seems to be channeling his inner, dare I say, Thom Yorke. With the beautiful piano rhythms and strong vocals, the song sounds like it could've been taken right off of Amnesiac and needs to be added to whatever "Sleep Playlist" you have on your iPod. The genre splitting album is strong, and it would be very interesting to inspect the North London band's iPods themselves to figure out what exactly the fix was that helped them make this album

Friday, October 28, 2011

SONG OF THE DAY: Cloud Nothings - "Should Have"

With the announcement of their newest LP Attack on Memory to be released on January 24th, we decided we would showcase a great track from Cloud Nothings' debut self-titled record.

With a quiet guitar opening into the driving bass-line, "Should Have," showcases Cloud Nothing's ability both instrumentally and lyrically. Guitar riffs rip through the song almost equivalent to Dylan Baldi's vocals. Ever affected, Baldi's lyrics tear at some of the core values of what seems like his own teenage relationship back home in Cleveland, Ohio. Both the power chords and slight high guitar soloing during the chorus will catch your attention alongside the well placed cymbal crashes. One of the longest songs on the album, it is seemingly over in a flash as it is pedal to the floor throughout up until the very last strum. 


Cloud Nothings' newest LP Attack on Memory comes out January 24th and you can see the preview video and tracklisting here

NEWS: The Flaming Lips to Play High School Halloween Party

In his recent interview with Pitchfork, Flaming Lips leader Wayne Coyne discussed a variety of things, from human skulls, to the band's new 24-hour song to the band's plans for this Halloween. Apparently, a 17-year old girl from West Virginia requested the band's presence at her Halloween party this Monday... And they agreed. Check out the picture of the human skulls which their new 24-hour track will be released in below and read the entire interview via Pitchfork, including my favorite quote:

"All of her friends are going to come over. We're going to play "Halloween" by the Dream Syndicate and then do one or two Flaming Lips songs before the police show up to shut the thing down. I'm going to let her be the one who decides how many people are gonna come. There's always an element of "let's make it outrageous!" but I don't want every idiot in town to show up drunk at this girl's house."

REVIEW: Lana Del Rey - "Video Games"

Grade: 86% (B+)

It's scary how big Rebecca Black blew up earlier this year. A couple thousand dollars from her parents to make a video and a typical pop song led to millions of views on YouTube and everyone knew her name. But she was, and still is, hated. Why is Lana Del Rey so hated? She has blown up as well, but without the parents money and company producing her video. She did it the "old fashioned way." Now she isn't Justin Vernon, but she might beckon some comparisons. 

"Video Games" is just a well orchestrated track. With the chiming bells smoothing into the harp and strings, the pulsing piano keys ride along the spine of the song evoking a back and forth feel backed by both her lyrics and subtle yet deep voice. Lizzy Grant's childish innocence when pronouncing, "bestest" and "big kiss" makes you somewhat feel for her. But what if it really is just a ploy to be the "next big thing?" Then the second verse comes, and this slow, downbeat song still has you nodding your head back and forth. More ambient sounds are added with a slow high plucking, a deep bass humming and a snare drum drawing you into the second chorus. 

We haven't even touched the lyrics. If you like COD don't be fooled by the first impression of anti-gaming. Lizzy sings with an idea in mind. She plays along with the boys, "whistling her name," she even likes it. Is she the bad girl she references? You might think she relishes that role, but she isn't. She simply wishes she were. Dealing with things in a back and forth role. That's how relationships work, back and forth. Go play your video games, just expect to give something in return. Go blow up on the internet Lana, but expect some harsh reactions. 


Lana Del Rey's single "Video Games" with the B-Side "Blue Jeans" is out now. Her debut album is due out early next year

NEWS: Cloud Nothings to Release New Album "Attack on Memory"

Cloud Nothings is having a quick turnaround. The band will release it's second LP Attack on Memory on January 24th, 2012, just over a year after their debut self-titled release. Check out the tracklist for the album and a jam infused dirt road video teaser below via Pitchfork.

01 No Future/No Past
02 Wasted Days
03 Fall In
04 Stay Useless
05 Separation
06 No Sentiment
07 Our Plans
08 Cut You

NEWS: Interscope Signs Lana Del Rey and New Single

Indie buzz songstress Lana Del Rey (AKA Lizzy Grant) has reportedly signed to Interscope records. With her recent singles "Video Games" and "Blue Jeans" having been recently released, Grant has also said that her new record is, "half done," and should be released in early 2012. Check out her interview from the Q Awards below and her video for internet hit "Video Games."

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Song of the Day: LCD Soundsystem - "All My Friends"

So I decided that I would give Sound of Silver a couple of spins throughout the month of October to see what all the hype really was about. Not that I was skeptical, but I just wanted to fully experience it. Sure I had heard some of the songs before, but not the album in it's entirety. I've gotta say, after the first run through, I was hooked. The songs collectively are so synced up and work so perfectly together. The flow of the album as a whole is nothing less than perfect; most importantly, the arrangement of the songs and tracklisting is top tiered. You move from up to down, again and again; you glide over these lengthy ballads to short bursts throughout the entire fifty-six minutes of sound. Of the nine songs on the record though, "All My Friends" is, deservedly, the best and most important.

The track starts with the driving piano riffs of two simple chords… Up, and up, and up. This riff continues throughout the song. The percussion builds and the baseline is faintly heard rising. "Build" is probably the best way to describe this song. Throughout it's entirety, the constantly moving parts are building and shifting in and out of the spotlight of the track. Lyrically, the song builds, telling a story of what seems like a single day in a human life, to a conclusion, where James Murphy finally gets to the title, "All My Friends." If you have friends back home, listen to the lyrics and you'll get what he is talking about. Listen for the faint guitar solos that come in and out when there is minimal singing. The entire song is a hook. No wonder this album is so highly rated. It's difficult to describe, but there is a driving force to this song that makes you think of home, and most importantly, friends. 

VIDEO: Arctic Monkeys - "Evil Twin" (NSFW)

Check out Arctic Monkey's newest video for their single "Evil Twin" off of this years Suck it and See. This is very not suitable for work and we suggest you just don't let your spouse see you watching it as well. Watch and you'll understand.

"Suck it and See" will be released as a single on October 31st with "Evil Twin" as a B-Side.

VIDEO: The Black Keys - "Lonely Boy"

The boys aren't satisfied with their MTV Music Video Award... even if it was botched. They come right back with this video which is, in it's own right, pretty out there.


El Camino is due out December 6th, and you can pre-order it at "Lonely Boy" will be released as a single on Record Store Day: Black Friday (November 25th).

TRACK REVIEW: The Black Keys - "Lonely Boy"

Grade: 91% (A-)

2008 doesn't seem like it was really that long ago. Fleet Foxes frontman Robin Pecknold sported his grizzly northwestern beard while his band climbed into the indie buzzband sphere with it's self-titled debut. Jim James (AKA Yim Yames) of My Morning Jacket rocked the southern guitar slasher look with his long mane and beard as his band's funkiest album to date gained Top 10 Album of the Year recognition. Justin Vernon of Bon Iver used his facial hair to stay warm in the Wisconsin winter as his self-released debut blew up on the internet. And Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys went above the rest, streaming his full head of hair down to his shoulders alongside his biker style beard as if his band's album Attack & Release didn't posterize him as a badass enough. Each band has since released a follow up to their 2008 LP's in the past year, with the Black Keys' El Camino coming this December after 2010's Grammy Winning Brothers. Auerbach's face however, is the only one completely shaven.

What does his smooth face mean about his music? Apparently nothing. Auerbach continues to sing lyrics of a bleeding heart and still manages to be the complete badass that he is on the guitar, just as he was with a full beard back in '08. The straightforward and direct lyrics overdubbed with classic TBK vocal distortions on "Lonely Boy" refer one back to some of their earlier work. The opening hazy guitar reverb is strikingly familiar to that of the title track of their earlier Thickfreakness. This leads into an opening guitar riff that sounds as if it was taken off of a Limp Bizkit album which offers an opening for Patrick Carney's simplest and freshest drum kit opening to date. Funky guitar riffs continue as Auerbach jumps up a key to a higher note leading into the increasingly distorted chorus with backing vocals. This is back to the stripped down, in your face, drum/guitar action that we know The Black Keys can punch you with. The beard is back, figuratively, and maybe realistically. Let this song kick your ass a couple of times before you figure it out. 


The Black Keys' newest LP El Camino is out December 6th. Pre-order it at the website and check out their preview video for the album below. 

"Lonely Boy" will be released as a single along with another new track called "Run Right Back" on Record Store Day: Black Friday (November 25th). Check out the video for "Lonely Boy" here. 

ALBUM REVIEW: Young Man - Ideas of Distance

Grade: 82% (B-)

Chicago native Colin Caulfield, working under the alias of Young Man, somehow complicates the simplicity of his music… if that makes any sense at all. Guiding us through his newest album Ideas of Distance, Caulfield leads with quiet acoustic guitar plucking and riffs, and then mixes in unorthodox sounds to the background. Recorded entirely in his bedroom, the record has the grittiness and feel of Animal Collective’s early Campfire Songs. With lyrical effects leaning your mind to declare it neo-psychedelia, Ideas of Distance’s ability to grab your attention with it’s aura of calm and nothingness will also cause you to compare it to the likes of The Antlers and a toned down version of Bon Iver (the album). Or simply think of it as M83 with a guitar driven mindset. Running with eight songs over forty minutes, the record will certainly beckon you to give it listen after listen, leaving each session having no idea what to do next. 

ALBUM REVIEW: Big Troubles - Romantic Comedy

Grade: 84% (B)

Hailing from New Jersey, Big Troubles follows up last year’s lo-fi debut Worry with 2011’s upbeat jangle-pop Romantic Comedy. With a voice eerily similar to that of the Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan, Alex Craig crafts his lyrics around a seemingly destructive relationship and the album as a whole could work as the soundtrack for “(500) Days of Summer”. This is especially evident in, “Sad Girls,” where he smoothly sings, “love is in the air, but I don’t care, cause I don’t want to love anymore, and if I hear the word again, I think I’ll drill a hole in my head.” On “Minor Keys,” he touches a nerve with nearly every boy who’s ever been attracted to a female remarking, “It’s the one that got away… It’s the girl you never kissed.” Don’t be turned off by the teenage boyish lyrics though. On the upbeat lead single, “Misery,” Craig looks forward to the days where he can get over his previous misconceptions and, “just have some fun for once.” The overall record maintains a steady rhythm and feel, with basic percussion arrangements (their debut was recorded with a drum machine before they replaced it upon playing their first shows) and guitars that build right into a wide array of choruses.