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Friday Favorites: Have a Good Summer With Bon Iver

While I hope most of you are resourceful enough to have found this on your own by now, I will oblige those that have not found the time, expertise, or lack of moral code to do so.  Bon Iver/Justin Vernon has returned with a stellar sophomore release in Bon Iver/Bon Iver.  From start to finish, the album is cohesive, composed, and captivating, melodious, mesmerzing, and mature.  I was personally enthralled with his work in Gayngs and so was enamored to find his solo sound speckled with flecks of that “soft jam vibe.”  Get lost in the lush landscape, fantasize about the falsetto, swoon over the sexy saxophone, and, if you dare, decipher the dialect.

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Friday Favorites: Get Your Engine Revving With Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.

Despite the blatant NASCAR reference, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. is not a twangy country band, nor do you need earplugs to drown out environmentally-unfriendly engine revving.  It’s a Corporate World came about June 7 and drops on vinyl June 28.  In harmony with the Horse Power EP, the debut full-length expands on the infectious, intricate innovation that the band has honed into a happy halcyon.  Save your quarters for laundry and download here for free.  Click-thru pic to keep things interesting and inconspicuous.

For further Friday frivolity, download their Daytrotter Session, which boasts a badazz cover of Beach Boys “God Only Knows.”  Too lazy to log in?  I’ll give your noggin a little nookie, on the sly, of course.

SIRSLY

One of the easiest, and best, ways to discover bands is by checking to see if any of the members of the bands you already love have side projects.  I’ve already declared my love for Zona Mexicana, and now I turn to Sirs, which includes Hart, the guitarist/vocalist of Zona (maybe you recognize them from the Short Attention Span compilation).  With roots in Purchase, NY, Sirs manifest as catchy without a hint of commercial, biting without a bad aftertaste, energetic without being entirely ear-raping.

Start by getting your hands on the $5 Vas Deferens EP, where you’ll find raw raucousness and gregarious grit melding and morphing into a melting pot of melodious mêlées.  Sirs forge fiery paths through traditional song structures, making them a distant, antiquated memory.  

Next, venture on to BVVVVVVV, the split with Chalk Talk, currently on 7″ vinyl and soon in hip cassette form, put out by Cassanova Cassettes.  Pick one up on tour, or wait until they are available through the label. 

Speaking of CC, Sirs were also featured on the recently released rowdy Sampler, which is an entirely free download, giving you no excuse not to click on through and dedicate some dead space on your hard drive to some fresh, ripe, local produce.  Stay healthy with the tracks from Sirs below, best enjoyed while building sand castles, shotgunning Bud Lights, and buzz cutting your buddy’s hair, Jackass style.
 
 
 
 

Friday Favorites: Looking to Join a Few Cults

It’s been a while since my last post and what better way to return than with a fresh face, courtesy of Matt Goold of Nom Now, and a new Friday Favorites Free Download.

I went on a brief vacation this past weekend and, as is customary for any trip that will culminate in 2 hours or more of driving, I made a mix.  My mixes are usually a smattering of songs, many new that caught my attention on blogs I frequent, while others familiar favorites are mixed in for good measure.  This specific mix was entirely of new material, most of which I had only listened to a few snipets and decided deserved a “real listen.”  Keeping to a loose theme, each track had an air of summer, allowing the sea breeze to flow out of the speakers while I basked in the sunshine that left me with an uneven driver’s sunburn.  I inevitably discover new favorites this way, and for this mix, I found it in Cults.  “You Know What I Mean” caught my attention immediately with a cool, 70’s vibe and shimmering she-vocals about “coming right away.”  A catchy chorus kept me coming…and coming back for more.

Cults self-titled debut drops June 7, but why wait when you can click through and download it for free.  Don’t say I never gave ya nuthin’.

***Disclaimer:  I used to host a blog featuring other signed bands but was often chastised for the free downloads, which, sadly, led to its demise.  Hopefully featuring commercial bands this way will be a lavish loophole.

Friday Favorites: Finding a New Outlet Within Inlets

Despite my extensive collection of music, I am tirelessly scouring the blogosphere for new, exciting bands to take grip of my attention and pique my interest.  It’s rare that a new band blows my mind–I’d say it occurs maybe a handful of times per year–but I am eternally earnestly eager to expose my ever-evolving tastes to new musical delicacies.  Most recenently, I have found revelry with Inlets, a one-man-band (Sebastian Krueger) out of Brooklyn by way of Wisconsin.  Melding murky melodies manifested by refined riffs and reeds, cultured keys, and lush, layered lilting, Inlets could be described as a stripped-down Andrew Bird, with most of the ornate orchestration and intricate instrumentation, but with less looping.

Inlets released a lengthy EP for free in November of 2006.  A little digging will lead you to an active download link to enjoy the “oldies” on Vestibule.  2010 saw the release of his debut full-length, Inter Arbiter, as well as the priviledge of recording a reputable Daytrotter session; for those with a short attention span, be sure to snag the two stand-out tracks below off of the LP.

Inlets – Bright Orange Air

Inlets – In Which, I, Robert

While You’ve Been Sinking, I Have Been Floated

Finding a home base in Ewing, NJ, I Have Been Floated is masterminded by Brian McLendon.  If you’re familiar with the local scene in New Jersey, you’ll recognize him from a number of other projects, including, but not limited to, Wisdom Tooth and the now defunct, but still relevant, Slides and Swings, ASL PLZ, and Small Town Pond.  A talented multi-instrumentalist, Brian winningly weaves his way in and out of a loom of lucidity, dexterously designing determined decipherments.

Manifesting as lo-fi existential garage rock in his latest effort, Syncopated Peach, Brian captures a cohesive combination of calculated cacophony and alacritous ambience, laying claim to a brilliant, boisterous embodiment of energy and enticements.  Layers of gauzy vocals lace luscious swirls of spacey synthesizer while eager, earthy guitars provide formidable footing for each foray into fascination.  Put on in the background, the album is an easy listen, accessible and audacious enough to appease any ear, but given a closer listen, especially through suitable speakers, each track offers an appealing analyzation of experimentalism, trippy yet tactful, distinctive and diverse in deliberation. 

Brian is currently residing in Rome (as in Rome, Italy).  Let’s hope he has some spare time left over from mingling in the Mediterranean to put towards capturing his experience sonically.  In the meantime, let the fruits of his labor sink in.

I Have Been Floated – Minor Slide out of House

I Have Been Floated – New Mexico Ghost

Tucked In and Covered Up

BSwen has been at it again, creating another cogent compiliation, this time centered around covers, creating an emulsion emulating the better artists of the last few decades.  Appropriately titled Cover Up and featuring astute artwork a la Matt Goold, the comp combines covers of Pavement and The Beach Boys, Pedro the Lion and Bruce Springsteen, The Beatles and the Beastie Boys, among other mordant musicians.  Local acts that have been featured on Peppered Mouth/Salty Tongue abound and include Quiltary, Algernon Cadwallader, and Chalk Talk.  My favorite track, a cover of “There She Goes” by the energetic and elusive Consecos arrives late in the listing, but impetuously projects prominence.  Download for free and fill your Friday with some news faces, featuring fluctuations of fervid familiarity.