08/03/11
 
The Gaslight Anthem have experienced incredible success in recent years, thanks to their last two albums, The ’59 Sound and American Slang. Does that mean it is time for the inevitable side projects? Gaslight frontman Brian Fallon teams with his friend Ian Perkins as The Horrible Crowes, who will release their debut album Elsie on September 6. The duo was inspired by listening to the music of the Afghan Whigs and PJ Harvey while on the road with Gaslight last year. "As much as I have this fantasy in the Gaslight Anthem of being Bruce Springsteen, I also have this fantasy of being Tom Waits or Greg Dulli," Fallon says. "These songs are very dark; they’re like hymns for lonely people. It’s really a trip through a breakdown and that dissent into madness and hopefully redemption." Fallon stretches his musical chops with the Crowes by playing keyboards and working with drum loops and string arrangements. The Horrible Crowes plan to tour later this year, with Fallon envisioning quiet, intimate venues as the perfect setting for their music. Lead single "Behold The Hurricane" debuts at #4t on this week’s SubModern Singles chart. Behold the Horrible Crowes at sideonedummy.com.


~ Joey Odorisio
The Horrible Crowes
"Behold The Hurricane"
(SideOneDummy)

I think we’re all quite familiar with the work of guitar genius/political activist/Cubs fan Tom Morello. With Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave and Street Sweeper Social Club, his guitarwork is instantly identifiable. However, as his alter ego The Nightwatchman, Morello has aimed for more of a Folk-Rock vibe. On the third Nightwatchman album, World Wide Rebel Songs, he fully plugs back in for a rocking set of songs. Morello says that during his 2008 solo shows, "I became comfortable melding my worlds as an electric guitarist and a Folk troubadour." When it comes to the latest batch of Nightwatchman tunes, "The settings are Tijuana, Kenya, Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. textile mills," he says. "All but a couple of the songs are autobiographical in nature specifically speaking as The Nightwatchman, addressing the experience of making this music and what it means to me." Lead single "It Begins Tonight" is a raw rocker and lands at #17t n the singles chart. "The core of The Nightwatchman is dark matter," says Morello. "But at the heart of every struggle, there's hope. So this is an album of rousing hopelessness—it's part Johnny Cash and part Che Guevara, part beacon light and part arson fire." Join the fight at nightwatchmanmusic.com or newwestrecords.com. Also, coming later this month from FMQB Productions: Inside Tom Morello’s The Nightwatchman: World Wide Rebel Songs hosted by Perry Farrell!


~ Joey Odorisio

Tom Morello: The Nightwatchman
"It Begins Tonight"
(New West)

07/27/11

Theophilus London first arrived on the scene a few years back as a genre-melding, Brooklyn-based, fashion-forward blog favorite. Mixing R&B, hip-hop and electronic influences with Smiths and Elvis Costello references, London released a few mixtapes and EPs, but his proper, major label debut Timez Are Weird These Days hit stores last week. Lead single and album closer “I Stand Alone” climbs to #3t on the SubModern singles chart, and no it is not a Godsmack cover. “Love Is Real” features singer-songwriter Holly Miranda in a cameo, while Sara Quin (of Tegan and Sara fame) contributes on the chorus of “Why Even Try,” a tune that originally showed up on last year’s Lovers Holiday EP. London collaborated with a number of producers on Timez Are Weird These Days, including TV On The Radio’s Dave Sitek, John Hill (Santigold), and Jokee of Teddybears.  Also check out the fun, squiggly synth-pop of “All Around The World” and album opener “Last Name London.” Call on London at theophiluslondon.net or warnerbrosrecords.com.


~ Joey Odorisio

Theophilus London
Timez Are Weird These Days
(Reprise)
One-man-band Kyle Andrews hopes with his new album, Robot Learn Love, he won’t be tagged as a “bedroom singer-songwriter.” A native of Chicago, Andrews now makes his home in Nashville. His tune “You Always Make Me Smile” gave him a major break in 2010, as it was featured in an ad for Holiday Inn that aired worldwide. While the title of his newest release may just be a way to sum up the plot to WALL-E in three words, Andrews says that “We work, create art, and communicate every day through some sort of computer device, some sort of robot.” Technology was a major influence on Andrews, who also played and recorded almost all the instruments on the album himself. Opener “Make Me Feel Human” is fully fleshed-out indie rock with big fuzzy guitar riffs. There’s buzzy, analog keyboard sounds and dance beats on the single “Lazer Tag With Imaginary Friends.” Album closer “The Search For A Heart” is reminiscent of Hot Hot Heat. Robot Learn Love will be in stores on August 16. Find out more about Kyle Andrews at (where else?) kyleandrews.com.



~ Joey Odorisio

Kyle Andrews  
Robot Learn Love
(Elephant Lady)

07/20/11

Few bands are better at the melodic Brit-pop game than The Kooks, who are set to release their third album, Junk Of The Heart, on September 13. The band recorded the new record in Los Angeles and London with producer Tony Hoffer (Beck, Belle & Sebastian). Singer/guitarist Luke Pritchard says the album is "upbeat; an album to play in the sun. What we really wanted to do was build a proper, full album. Something you can listen to from front to back. We’re an album band and this is a journey you come on with us." The lead single and title track dominates the SubModern singles chart this week, easily claiming the #1 slot. (FYI – the teaser cut "The Saboteur" actually isn’t on Junk Of The Heart, it’s a B-side.) The Kooks played three shows in the U.S. last month and will be concentrating on the U.K. and Europe for the next few months, but I’m sure they’ll be back in America soon enough. Head to thekooks.com or astralwerks.com to keep up with the Kooks.

~ Joey Odorisio

The Kooks
"Junk Of The Heart (Happy)"
(Astralwerks)
Big Talk is the solo alter ego of Killers drummer Ronnie Vannucci (the guy who kinda looks like Andy Kaufman or Jason Lee-as-Earl Hickey, depending on his facial hair). Lead single "Getaways" has been on the SubModern charts for a bit now, and his self-titled debut arrives in stores this week. When the Killers took some time off after years of the album/touring cycle, Vannucci took the opportunity to work on his own songs. "I needed to do this," he says. "And now, having done it, it feels like the right thing to do. It all feels very natural." He brought in his friend, guitarist Taylor Milne, to help out in the studio, but the majority of the instruments were played by Vannucci. Rentals main man Matt Sharp contributes bass on album opener "Katzenjammer" and "Under Water." Big Talk doesn’t stray too far from the Killers’ ‘80s Pop-Rock influences. "Katzenjammer" or "Replica" could almost fit in a John Hughes movie. The Cars can be heard in the single "Getaways" and there’s a Tom Petty vibe to "Girl At Sunrise." Big Talk lands at #5t on the album chart. The band is playing a handful of west coast dates this week to celebrate the release of the album. Find more at bigtalkmusic.com or epitaph.com.

~ Joey Odorisio

Big Talk
Big Talk

(Epitaph)

07/13/11

Americans first heard of the eclectic Swedish dance act Teddybears in 2006, when their album Soft Machine arrived. Two singles from that album, “Punkrocker” featuring Iggy Pop and “Cobrastyle,” appeared in a ton of commercials and movie ads. In fact, I think “Cobrastyle” is required by law to appear in one out of every four comedy trailers to date. Teddybears are back with their follow-up to Soft Machine, Devil’s Music (which actually came out overseas last year). Devil’s Music is another fun collection of guest stars and party beats, and climbs to #1 on the SubModern album chart this week. The highlight is “Crystal Meth Christian,” a collaboration with The Flaming Lips that sounds pretty much like a Flaming Lips tune. It comes in at #4t on the singles chart this week. “Cho Cha” brings together Cee Lo Green and The B-52’s (what took so long to get these Georgians together?!) as Green sings about, uhm, his cat? (Maybe?) And Swedish dance siren Robyn shows up on “Cardiac Arrest” (though she didn’t sing it on the original European version). Enter the Teddybears’ cave at teddybearsrock.com, wearebigbeat.com or atlanticrecords.com.
~ Joey Odorisio
Teddybears
Devil’s Music
(Big Beat/Atlantic)
If you’ve been digging The Joy Formidable in recent months, then you should definitely check out the up-and-coming Austin-based trio Ume. Pronounced “ooo-may,” the trio of singer/guitarist Lauren Larson, her husband Eric on bass and new drummer Rachel Fuller will release their first full-length album Phantoms on August 30. The Larsons met in high school and have been making music together ever since. They put the band on hold for a few years while Lauren entered a PhD program in psychology but went back to her passion for music. Lauren says the recording of Phantoms was a struggle, as "We booked time in the studio, the tape-machine broke. We'd spend weeks setting-up tours and every time the van dies at the worst time. We were forced to cancel one show and Thurston Moore shows up to see us. But we won't give up, no matter what ghosts try to stop us." Lead single “Captive” impacts the SubModern singles chart at #14t this week. Ume have a handful of tour dates this summer, including two dates opening for Mission Of Burma in Texas and a few festival appearances. Hear more at umemusic.com or modernoutsider.com.
~ Joey Odorisio

Ume
Captive
(Modern Outsider)

07/06/11

Nashville trio The Ettes return with Wicked Will, released on their own Fond Object imprint via Krian Music Group. We last heard from singer/guitarist Coco Hames, bassist Jem Cohen and drummer Poni Silver two years ago with Do You Want Power, which brought the band opening gigs for The Dead Weather and slots at Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits. The new record reunites the band with producer Liam Watson, who was behind the boards for their 2005 debut Shake The Dust. Wicked Will is due out August 2, but you should have an EP sampler for the record already (and it lands at #1 on our SubModern album chart this week!). Lead single “Excuse” hit #3t this week and it’s a blast of blues-rock goodness. Elsewhere on Wicked Will, the Ettes delve into some spooky, Country-tinged Rock, a la their Tennessee peers Those Darlins and dark, sassy sounds similar to the Dead Weather. The Ettes also recently began releasing a series of webisodes, with a new video to debut each week leading up to Wicked Will, which you can check out at theettes.com (where else?). They kick off their summer headlining tour with a hometown record release show in Nashville on July 30, with dates announced up to early September.
~ Joey Odorisio
The Ettes
"Wicked Will"
(Krian Music Group)
Eagles Of Death Metal frontman Jesse Hughes goes by many names… mostly Jesse “The Devil” Hughes but also “Boots Electric.” Hughes and longtime pal Josh Homme have released three albums as Eagles Of Death Metal, but Hughes is going at it alone under the Boots Electric name for Honkey Kong, due out September 20. Hughes collaborated with longtime Beastie Boys sideman Money Mark (who, as everyone knows, “ain’t havin’ it/just give him some wood and he’ll build you a cabinet”) on the new record. Honkey Kong was produced by Tony Hoffer (Beck, Depeche Mode, The Kooks). What better way to be introduced to the Boots Electric world than with the “Boots Electric Theme”? The track (which is currently available as a free download at boots-electric.com) lands at #8t this week on the singles chart and features some sexxy backing vocals from the one and only Brody Dalle (The Distillers, Spinnerette, Mrs. Homme). The song was also already added at WWCD (CD101). Put on your boots and walk over to dangerbirdrecords.com for even more.
~ Joey Odorisio

Boots Electric
“Boots Electric Theme”
(Dangerbird)

06/28/11

Brazilian dance-rock outfit CSS is back with their third album La Liberacion, due out August 22. To refresh your memory, CSS stands for Cansei de Ser Sexy (and not Cascading Style Sheets), which essentially translates to “tired of being sexy” in Portuguese. The collective, lead by frontwoman Lovefoxxx, headed home to Sao Paulo to record the new album. Lovefoxxx says, “Being in São Paulo helped a whole lot. I don't like being a foreigner for too long. I was in love with my life. Feeling energetic. I was feeling inspired and happy.” She adds that “I think [La Liberacion is] a celebration of our friendship,” says Lovefoxxx. “I think that this album has also a "finding your gang" feeling, like the movie "Warriors.” Lead single “Hits Me Like A Rock” features vocal contributions from Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream and debuts at #12t on the singles chart this week. CSS toured the States earlier this year with Sleigh Bells and currently only have dates announced overseas for this summer, but hopefully they’ll be back soon enough. Join the dance party at csssuxxx.com or v2music.com.

~ Joey Odorisio
CSS  
“Hits Me Like A Rock”
(V2/Cooperative Music)
While it’s tempting to be a smartass and just fill this entire section with a bio of Who’s The Boss? co-star Katherine Helmond, instead I will actually tell you about the Nashville quarter Mona. Made up of Nick Brown (lead vocals, guitar), Vince Gard (drums, percussion), Zach Lindsey (bass, backing vocals) and Jordan Young (guitar, backing vocals), the band is actually named after Brown's grandmother. Their self-titled debut was released last month and the single “Listen To Your Love” has been a mainstay on the SubModern singles chart in recent weeks. Three-fourths of Mona grew up in the church, making religious music, before moving on to secular Rock N Roll. Brown, Gard and Lindsey moved from Ohio to Nashville, where they hooked up with Young and completed the lineup for Mona. “Now we’re four horses pulling the carriage,” says Brown. “There’s a lot of people that wanted to be in this band. There’s a lot of people that locally support this band. But as far as having people that understand their roles, and being happy with their roles, it’s chemistry, man. It’s just like a relationship. It’s a marriage.” Mona is currently on an extensive European tour, with a number of festival dates lined up around the globe all summer long. They will be back home for a pair of gigs in New York City next month, and then at the Austin City Limits festival in September. Hear more at monatheband.com or islanddefjam.com.

~ Joey Odorisio
Mona
“Listen To Your Love”
(Mercury)

 

 

 

06/21/11

Electronic duo YACHT fly up the chart all the way to #1 this week with their new single, “Dystopia.” I am always a fan of stories about dystopian futures, but not so much a fan of yacht rock. However, this track falls into neither classification… YACHT began in 2002 as a solo alias for Jona Bechtolt, who officially teamed up with collaborator and vocalist Claire L. Evans in 2008. The pair recorded their album See Mystery Lights in Evans’ hometown of Marfa, TX and went on to open for LCD Soundsystem, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Vampire Weekend and others. Along with his work under the YACHT name. Bechtolt has been a producer and musician for years, working with Devendra Banhart and The Blow, among others. In addition to singing with YACHT, Evans is a science writer and artist. “Dystopia” appears on their newest album, Shangri-La, which was released this week and is the second YACHT album to feature Evans as a full-fledged member. YACHT is set to tour Europe for much of the summer, but will be stateside for some festival dates starting in August. Get on board at teamyacht.com or DFARecords.com.
 

~ Joey Odorisio
YACHT
"Dystopia”
(DFA)
If you think of Eisley as those teen girls who had to change their band name due to its original Star Wars reference, think again. The DuPree family members have grown up in public and on record over the past eight years, since their debut EP. Earlier this year, they released The Valley on their new label home of Equal Vision Records. The group is fronted by sisters Sherri, Chauntelle and Stacy, with a rhythm section of  brother Weston and cousin Garron rounding out the lineup. The Valley was inspired by a low period in the DuPree family, with all three sisters going through breakups a few years back, while the band broke up with their former label home of Warner Bros. The lush title track from The Valley is the second single off the album, which was released in March, following lead single “Smarter.” "There's a sense of self-empowerment in the lyrics, and sometimes downright desperation," says Stacy of The Valley. "I couldn't help but want to throw myself into these songs and try to make a point about letting something very painful go, and in the process gaining strength and being able to walk away.” Eisley just wrapped up a headlining tour of the U.S. earlier this month, but they’ll be back on the road sometime soon. Visit www.eisley.com or equalvision.com.
 

~ Joey Odorisio
Eisley
"The Valley"

(Equal Vision)

06/14/11

If you saw the great Lemmy: 49% Motherf***er, 51% Son Of A Bitch documentary, among the many things you learned about the iconic Lemmy Kilmister is that the Motorhead frontman has a Rockabilly side project. That band is HeadCat, who are set to release a new album, Walk The Walk…Talk The Talk on July 5 via Niji Entertainment Group (a label founded by the late Ronny James Dio and his wife Wendy). HeadCat is made up of Lemmy, Rockabilly guitarist Danny B. Harvey and Stray Cats drummer Slim Jim Phantom. The supergroup came together at an Elvis Presley tribute show in 2000 and have released two albums and a live DVD over the years. Lead single “American Beat” is at specialty radio now and is an original HeadCat song, but Walk The Walk…Talk The Talk contains covers of Chuck Berry, Eddie Cochran and The Beatles’ “You Can’t Do That.” In the Lemmy film, you see that he is a Beatlemanic but it’s still pretty awesome and surreal to hear Lemmy’s instantly recognizable voice singing a John Lennon tune. Visit theheadcat.com to find out more.

~ Joey Odorisio
 
 

HeadCat
“American Beat”
(Niji Entertainment Group)

Matt Pond and his band have been making their brand of lush indie-pop for over a decade now. The brand new Spring Fools EP is the latest addition to Pond’s extensive catalog. Pond has always been the constant in the band that bears his name, though multiinstrumentalist/producer/engineer Chris Hansen has been a regular contributor in recent years. The Spring Fools EP was written on the road, as a change from the writing process for last year’s album The Dark Leaves, which found Pond composing songs in a cabin. Pond and Hansen also recently scored the film Lebanon, PA and if that wasn’t enough, is now a member of The Wooden Birds, alongside Andrew Kenny (who plays on the Spring Fools EP). The Wooden Birds just put out a new album in June and are currently winding down their own tour. Ariel Abshire, Ethan Herr, Daniel Crowell and Leslie Sisson all also contributed to Spring Fools. Definitely check out the charming lead track “Love To Get Used,” as well as the Reggae beat of “Human Beings.” Jump in the pond at mattpondpa.com or altituderecords.com.

~  Joey Odorisio
  

Matt Pond PA
Spring Fools EP

(Altitude)

06/08/11

Atlanta’s garage rock oddballs Black Lips are back with Arabia Mountain, their sixth studio release. The four member group is made up of singer-guitarist Cole Alexander, singer-bassist Jared Swilley, singer-guitarist Ian St. Pé and singer-drummer Joe Bradley (yes that’s how they’re listed and yes they all sing). The new album was recorded with superstar producer Mark Ronson, who encouraged the band to take their time in the studio, instead of bashing things out in a few weeks. Lead single “Modern Art” has been rocking out on the singles chart for weeks now, and Arabia Mountain hits #2t on the album chart this week. Opener “Family Tree” is a blast and “Spidey’s Curse” is actually a song about Spider-Man, which is OK in my book (Maybe it’ll show up in next year’s rebooted The Amazing Spider-Man!). “Bicentennial Man” is one of many tracks with a great ‘60’s Nuggets vibe. Black Lips are currently on a North American tour that winds up June 25 in Pomona, CA, with overseas dates throughout the summer. Climb the mountain at black-lips.com or vicerecords.com.
 

~ Joey Odorisio 
 
Black Lips
Arabia Mountain

(Vice)
Le Butcherettes‘ debut full-length Sin Sin Sin has been gradually climbing the SubModern album chart in recent weeks, and hits #10t this week. Led by frontwoman Terri Gender Bender (aka Terri Suarez), Le Butcherettes were formed in Mexico originally as a duo, known for their live act full of fake-blood. She eventually moved to Los Angeles and drafted Gabe Serbian as the band’s new drummer. Omar Rodriguez Lopez of The Mars Volta became a fan and produced Sin Sin Sin. He also plays bass on the album and released it on his own Rodriguez Lopez label. Jonathan Hischke currently rounds out the lineup on bass. Fans of the , Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ earlier, raw work will definitely appreciate Sin Sin Sin. Check out “New York,” where Terri is definitely doing Karen O proud. (in fact, Le Butcherettes opened for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs in Mexico last year) The catchy “Henry Don’t Got Love” opens with a twisted, surf-blues riff, and also check out “I’m Getting Sick Of You.” Le Butcherettes are currently out opening for the Deftones. Hear more at lebutcherettes.net.

~  Joey Odorisio  

Le Butcherettes
Sin Sin Sin
(Rodriguez Lopez)
06/01/11

Bon Iver main man Justin Vernon was already a known commodity in the indie rock world for his folk-rock harmonies on the critically acclaimed 2007 debut For Emma, Forever Ago. However, Vernon’s voice reached a whole new audience last year, when Kanye West invited him into the recording sessions for West’s mammoth My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy album. Originally West wanted to sample a Bon Iver track, but ended up recording a number of vocal tracks and musical ideas for the album, most notably on "Lost In The World." Meanwhile, a new Bon Iver album was in the works as well, the confusingly-titled Bon Iver, Bon Iver; due out June 21. Vernon makes sure to point out that "Bon Iver is often equated with just me but you are who surrounds you, and for Bon Iver, Bon Iver I wanted to invite those voices as musical catalysts," and a number of additional musicians lend a hand throughout the new album. The atmospheric lead single "Calgary" shot to #1 last week on the SubModern singles chart and remains there again this week. A summer tour in support of Bon Iver, Bon Iver kicks off in Milwaukee with two shows on July 22 and 23. Hear more at boniver.org or jagjaguwar.com. (And for the record, it’s pronounced ‘Bone ee-VAIR.’)

~ Joey Odorisio
 
 

Bon Iver
"Calgary"
(Jagjaguwar)

The Detroit duo known by the silly moniker Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. made enough of a splash with their debut EP last summer to sign with Reprise for their proper debut album, It’s A Corporate World, due out next Tuesday. A tongue-in-cheek reference to their new bosses? Perhaps… Josh Epstein and Daniel Zott (the two gentlemen who make up Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.) met after Epstein saw Zott play a gig in the Motor City and was impressed by his performance. The pair soon began collaborating and released their debut EP, Horsepower, less than a year ago. The EP received rave reviews and led to It’s A Corporate World. Lead single "Morning Thought" impacts the SubModern world this week and hits #10t On the singles chart this week. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. kick off their tour tonight in Phoenix, with dates announced up to the end of the month with a hometown show in Detroit. Visit daleearnhardtjrjr.com or warnerbrosrecords.com.

~  Joey Odorisio  

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.
"Morning Thought"
(Reprise)

05/25/11

Some folks may have written off Art Brut after their sophomore effort It’s A Bit Complicated didn’t reach the heights of their debut, but the British five-piece came back with a vengeance on 2009’s excellent Art Brut Vs. Satan. Now Eddie Argos and his crew have released their fourth album, Brilliant! Tragic!, getting a little experimental…or at least experimental by Art Brut standards. The band worked once again with the legendary Black Francis as producer, who encouraged Argos to stretch beyond his familiar sing-speak style of vocals. "I honestly thought I had no other vocal style except shouting," admits Argos. "We tried a lot of different vocal styles on each song. Luckily Black Francis is a very patient man." Eddie ended up using a bit of a raspy, almost-whispered style on a number of the tunes on Brilliant! Tragic!, including lead single "Lost Weekend," which is the latest in the band’s series of "weekend" songs. "Bad Comedian" finds Argos mocking an ex’s new boyfriend, while "Martin Kemp Five-A-Side Football Rules!" is full of distinctly British (and therefore a bit obscure over here) childhood references. Apparently Argos has become psychic in "I Am The Psychic" (unless he’s just writing from the POV of J’onn J’onzz, the Martian Manhunter?). Brilliant! Tragic! debuts at #4 on the SubModern album chart this week, and you can catch Art Brut on a short North American tour in June. Head to the top of the pops at artbrut.org.uk or cookingvinyl.com.

~ Joey Odorisio
 
 

Art Brut
Brilliant! Tragic!

(The End/Cooking Vinyl)

The trio of Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone and Andy Samberg got their start making funny videos online, before joining Saturday Night Live in 2005 (Samberg in the cast, with the other two on the writing staff). A certain rap song in late 2005 about seeing The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe was a game-changer when it came to viral comedy videos and brought us a series of increasingly absurd and catchy songs, many of which were compiled on The Lonely Island’s first album, Incredibad. The album sold almost a quarter of a million copies and brought us even more Lonely Island on SNL…but what do the guys do for an encore? Even more hip-hop parodies and random absurdity! The new album, Turtleneck & Chain, compiles a few Digital Shorts from the past two seasons of SNL (including "Motherlover," the sequel to You-know-what In A Box) and "I Just Had Sex," which sold over 250,000 digital singles when it was released last year. While there are a number of all-star cameos on the record from the Pop world (including Nicki Minaj, Rihanna and of course Justin Timberlake), two of my favorite artists from our SubModern corner of the universe show up: Beck on the catchy "Attracted To Us" and Santigold on "After Party." Then there’s their latest viral smash and official single from the record, "Jack Sparrow," featuring the one and only Michael Bolton. Crash land on the island at thelonelyisland.com or universalrepublic.com.

~  Joey Odorisio
  

The Lonely Island
Turtleneck & Chain

(Universal Republic)

05/18/11

There has been a buzz building on Lafayette, LA-based group Givers, who were formed by founding members Taylor Guarisco (vocals/guitars) and Tiffany Lamson (vocals/percussion) back in 2005. The group’s two lead singers met in the music program at the University of Louisiana and began collaborating on songs, finding that their voices complemented each other’s perfectly. “There’s a very magical part,” says Guarisco. “We slowly started inspiring each other to sing more and more. Honestly, that’s one of the major miracles of my connection to Tiffany, and hers to me. We didn’t have anyone else in our lives beckoning us to sing out.” The pair eventually filled out the lineup of Givers with fellow Lafayette-based musicians, and Lamson says Lafayette itself was a huge influence on their sound. “I can't imagine growing up anywhere else and being the way we are. There is a life about the music here. People are drawn to dance with freedom; there is a sense of enjoyment in music that I haven't seen in many other places,” says Lamson. Givers eventually nabbed opening slots with Ra Ra Riot and Dirty Projectors, two bands that definitely complement their sound. Their uplifting lead single “Up Up Up” is up up up to #2 this week, with their debut album In Light on the way June 7. Givers are currently on the road, with dates announced throughout the U.S. into late June. Hear more at giversmusic.wordpress.com or glassnotemusic.com.

~ Joey Odorisio
 
 

Givers
“Up Up Up”
(Glassnote)

San Francisco indie rockers The Heavenly States have been quietly climbing the SubModern charts in recent weeks with their newest release, the seven-song EP Oui Camera Oui. It is their first release since 2008’s Delayer. “We started thinking about the death of the record,” says singer/guitarist Ted Nesseth. “People are broke, their attention spans are waning. We have all these ideas so we thought, let's just rock out five or six songs, give the EP a rebirth.”  Oui Camera Oui opens with the likable acoustic-based track “Model Son.” The instantly-recognizable voice of Spoon’s Britt Daniel appears on “Berlin Wall” (and check out the animated video for it here - http://vimeo.com/22713488). Nesseth befriended Daniel a few years back, which led to the Heavenly States opening for Spoon in San Francisco and eventually Daniel’s appearance on Oui Camera Oui. The trio, which includes singer/multi-instrumentalist Genevieve Gagon and drummer Jeremy Gagon, nabbed comedian Eugene Mirman to record the last track on the disc, a recitation of quotes from less-than-positive reviews of the band’s music. Oui Camera Oui climbs to #2 on the album chart this week. Find out more at http://www.theheavenlystates.com.

~  Joey Odorisio
  

The Heavenly States
Oui Camera Oui

(Had Records)

05/11/11

The French electronic duo Justice took off a few years back with a ton of buzz around their noisy techno stylings. After winning Best Video at the 2006 MTV Europe Music Awards for Justice vs. Simian – “We Are Your Friends,” they got to work on their proper debut album Cross, which was released to rave reviews in 2007. Since their live album A Cross The Universe in 2008, Justice have been fairly quiet (though they did win a Grammy in 2009 for their remix of MGMT’s “Electric Feel”). “Civilization” is the first taste of the new Justice album…which doesn’t even have a title or a release date yet! There will be a new EP on the way ahead of the mysterious new album. “Civilization” features vocals from British singer Ali Love and appears currently in an Adidas ad directed by Romain Gavras, who directed Justice’s video for “Stress” in 2008. “Civilization” hits #1 on this week’s SubModern singles chart and is already a smash hit in Australia, where it was the most-played and most-requested song on Triple J radio down under. Demand Justice at www.myspace.com/etjusticepourtous.

~ Joey Odorisio
 
 

Justice
“Civilization”
(Ed Banger)

We first got to know the St. Louis band Living Things with 2005’s “Bom Bom Bom” off their album Ahead Of The Lions. The Berlin brothers (and Cory Becker) made brash, politically-tinged rock and roll. However, on their latest release, Malocchio, they make some interesting experimental left turns. But don’t call Malocchio an album…the band consider it a mixtape, which is why it was released for free on their website. The mixtape was recorded during a 7-day recording session is January and is the first of two planned mixtapes for 2011, leading up to the band’s third proper album in the fall. This flood of new tunes from Living Things came out of a trip to Jamaica, where they recorded 33 songs in six days in a makeshift studio set up in three hotel rooms in Kingston. There is a bit of a synth-dance-rock beat to lead single “The Stupor.” “Pollen Path” is a moody, haunted track, which we get some cool funky guitar riffing in “Terror Visions” and Reggae-influenced horns on “Unemployment Line” and “Gang Banksters.” “The Stupor” climbs to #7t on the SubModern singles chart this week. Find out the latest at livingthingsmusic.com or brotherlyrecordings.com. 

~  Joey Odorisio
 
 

Living Things
Malocchio

(Brotherly Recordings)

05/04/11

Last week The Antlers burst out of the pack to land their new single “Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out” at #1 on the singles chart right out of the gate. The band is set to release their new album, Burst Apart next week. The trio of singer/guitarist Peter Silberman, drummer Michael Lerner and keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist Darby Cicci self-produced the follow-up to 2009’s critically acclaimed Hospice at the band’s studio in Brooklyn. Silberman had started the Antlers as a solo alias, but Burst Apart is the second proper record from the full band as a trio. He says Burst Apart is “a record about moving forward. Hospice was kind of all-encompassing for a while and this record feels like us trying to figure out the way to move on from it. Not to abandon it, but to keep it in its place and figure out what’s next.” While Burst Apart is a mellow affair, Silberman says the group doesn’t want to be “pigeonholed as a ‘sad band.’ … We have a lot of different feelings about things.  There’s a whole spectrum of emotion to explore and I think that’s what we were trying to do on this record.” The Antlers will play three shows in England later this month, then begin a month-long North American tour in Washington, D.C. on May 17. Find out the latest at antlersmusic.com or frenchkissrecords.com.

~ Joey Odorisio 
 

The Antlers
Burst Apart

(Frenchkiss)

The first time I heard of Darwin Deez, I presumed he was British, partly because his name just sounds like a U.K. act. Well he was actually raised in the Carolinas, but his music did catch on overseas first, with the NME naming him the “tenth coolest artist in the world” and “seventh-best new band of 2010,” as well as already putting him on the cover of the popular music magazine. And for the record, Darwin’s real name is Darwin Smith and “Darwin Deez” evolved from a stage name to become the name of his four-piece band. The hooky single “Radar Detector” is just catching on in the SubModern realm, but has already been a hit on British Modern Rock radio. Darwin was raised on ‘90s Alt and College Rock, then took a detour in the electronic world before getting back into the Rock world in college. Moving to New York after college, he fell into the anti-folk scene. Somehow all these different sounds combine to make up Deez’ sound, which he describes as “a little bit Thriller, a bit Dismemberment Plan.” Darwin Deez is on tour extensively overseas for the next few months, but returns to North America starting in San Francisco on July 6. Enter the world of Darwin Deez at darwindeez.com or luckynumbermusic.com.

~  Joey Odorisio 
 

Darwin Deez
Darwin Deez

(Lucky Number Music)

04/27/11

We are introduced to Bowling Green, KY’s own Sleeper Agent this week, via a sample of their upcoming album Celebrasion. The latest addition to the Mom+Pop roster, Sleeper Agent  is made up of Tony Smith on guitar and vocals, singer Alex Kandel, bassist Lee Williams, Scott Gardner on keys and drummer Justin Wilson. Smith says. “As our other bands wound down, Justin and I decided to form another band in which we’d both sing. After a mutiny occurred with that line-up, we asked Alex to join as the new vocalist, allowing Justin to get back to playing drums. After several different musicians sat in for certain shows, we recruited Lee Scott and Josh Martin to fill out the rest of the missing parts.” Lead single “Get It Daddy” is a fun slice of catchy grrrl-punk (with a crazy breakdown) and climbs to #16t this week on the SubModern chart, while the Celebrasion sampler debuts at #11t. Also check out the fun “Proper Taste,” with Kandel and Smith trading off vocals. Celebrasion was produced by Jay Joyce (Cage the Elephant, The Whigs) and recorded last July at Nashville’s Tragedy/Tragedy Studios. Sleeper Agent will be out on the road opening for fellow Bowling Green natives Cage The Elephant and Manchester Orchestra later this spring. Join the celebrasion at www.myspace.com/sleeperagentmusic or momandpoprecords.com.

~ Joey Odorisio 
 

Sleeper Agent
Celebrasion
(Mom+Pop)

The four-piece Motopony are set to release their self-titled debut record on May 24. The group is made up of singer/guitarist Daniel Blue, Buddy Ross on “beats and keys,” guitarist Brantley Cady and drummer Thomas Williams. The group floats between twangy folk-rock and more ethereal sounds. The band grew out of Blue’s music-making in the Tacoma, WA scene a few years back, performing solo or with a guitarist under the Motopony name until he met Ross. “I had to have Ross’ beats under my songs,” Blue says. “I bugged him with emails until he would give me a listen.” The lineup was finally rounded out by Cady and Williams. Tracks from their eponymous debut have already spun in recent weeks on WEQX, KJEE, WCNR, WZNE and WHHZ, among others, and the record comes in at #21t this week. Motopony have a handful of west coast dates announced in May, but will likely be adding more live shows following the release of their album. Hear more at motoponymusic.com or tinyogreent.com.

~  Joey Odorisio 
 

Motopony
Motopony

(tinyOGRE)

04/20/11

Indie-folk-rock band Okkervil River returns with I Am Very Far, following a very busy period for main man Will Sheff. In the past few years, he made an appearance on The New PornographersTogether, wrote a song for Norah Jones’ last album and collaborated with the legendary Roky Erickson. After all this outside work, Sheff went back home to New Hampshire to focus on his main gig. "I wanted to go back home and re-start writing again, like I'd never written a song previously," he says, "and I wanted the music and lyrics to be both completely wedded together and a little bit beyond my control." The result was I Am Very Far, of which Sheff says, "The goal was to push my brain to places it didn't want to go. The idea was to not have any idea – to keep myself confused about what I was doing." Lead single "Rider" debuted at #2t last week and comes in at #4t This time around. I Am Very Far arrives in stores on May 10 and Okkervil River kick off a tour in New Orleans on April 28, with dates announced into late June. Swim over to okkervilriver.com or jagjaguwar.com to find out the latest.


~ Joey Odorisio
 
 

Okkervil River
I Am Very Far

(Jagjaguwar)
 
Old school indie rockers The Feelies are back in business with Here Before, their first new album in close to two decade. The Feelies were formed in the late ‘70s New York rock scene by original members Glenn Mercer and Bill Million and released their debut album back in 1980. However, the band took a hiatus before re-emerging with a proper rhythm section and released their sophomore album six years later. So the group is no stranger to taking time off…however, this new re-emergence of the Feelies comes after 19 years apart! In 1992, Million left the music business and moved to Florida with his family, while the rest of the members remained active in a number of projects. The band officially reunited in 2008 to open for Sonic Youth and began playing occasional shows once again. By 2010, this led to Mercer and Million writing new tunes, and recording what became Here Before last fall with the classic lineup once again. Here Before lands at #6 on the SubModern album chart this week and is full of strummy classic indie pop. Check out the focus track "When  You Know," while "Should Be Gone" has some backing vocals their old friend Mike Mills of R.E.M. would be proud of. The Feelies have a handful of East Coast tour dates slated for May and June. For even more, go to bar-none.com.

~  Joey Odorisio
 
 

The Feelies
Here Before

(Bar/None)
 

04/13/11

Didn’t we just have a collaborative project from the prolific Danger Mouse a year or so ago? Actually we had two: Broken Bells (with James Mercer) and Dark Night Of The Soul (with the late Mark Linkous aka Sparklehorse). Well the man born Brian Burton is back with his latest endeavor, Rome, a collaboration with Italian composer Daniele Luppi. Years in the making, the album is being presented as a film, “starring” Jack White and Norah Jones. Their distinctive voices appear throughout the Rome album, with White singing on the lead single “Two Against One.” Jones sings on “Black,” the single currently at Triple A. Rome was inspired by classic Italian film music and Luppi even rounded up some of the original musicians that worked on classic spaghetti westerns like The Good The Bad And The Ugly for the sessions. The music was recorded in the Forum Studios in Rome, using vintage equipment and making every effort to replicate the recording style of the ‘60s and ‘70s. White’s and Jones’ vocals were the last part to be recorded, back in America. “I’m so happy with how it’s turned out, but it’s been a real labor of love,” says Burton, who funded the entire project himself. “It’s taken up a lot of time and effort, not to mention the cost, but it’s because it had to be a certain way.”  A series of short teaser videos are gradually being unveiled at romealbum.com, as part of the visual aspect of the record, overseen by director/photographer Chris Milk. Find out even more at capitolrecords.com.

~ Joey Odorisio
 
 

Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi
 Rome
(Capitol)

Rockers Chiodos released their third album, Illuminaudio, late in 2010 but have a new single currently impacting radio. The moody rocker “Notes In Constellations” is the newest single from the record, which also was the debut of Chiodos’ new lineup. New lead signer Brandon Bolmer and new drummer Tanner Wayne joined the lineup of Bradley Bell (keyboards), Jason Hale (guitar), Pat McManaman (guitar) and Matt Goddard (bass). Illuminaudio finds the band's sound evolving and Bell says, "Even if the lineup had stayed the same, I feel that the direction of sound would've turned out similar. We don’t feel like our vision was lost or compromised in any way throughout the writing process.” To the band, Illuminaudio “means a new chapter, it means change, and a fresh start. Some of the songs are very personal, and I’m happy to have that,” according to Bolmer. “There is a meaning and point to each song, and when put together, it creates something that I will remember for the rest of my life.” “Notes In Constellations” comes in at #20t on the SubModern singles chart this week. Chiodos wrap up their current North American tour this weekend in Clifton Park, NY, before heading overseas for a few weeks of touring the U.K. Hear more from them at chiodos.net or equalvision.com.

~  Joey Odorisio
 
 


Chiodos
"Notes In Constellations"
(Equal Vision)

04/06/11

After taking some time off, Maritime return with Human Hearts, the band’s fourth studio album. The Milwaukee-based band formed out of the ashes the highly influential late ‘90s emo-indie-pop-punks The Promise Ring, with singer/guitarist Davey von Bohlen and drummer Dan Didier founding the group back in 2003. (The lineup is rounded out by guitarist Dan Hinz and bassist Justin Klug) Following a flurry of releases in the mid-‘00s, Maritime had been fairly quiet since 2007’s Heresy And The Hotel Choir. With Human Hearts, Maritime join the roster at Dangerbird and are reunited with the Promise Ring’s former manager (and current Dangerbird co-owner) Jeff Castelaz. You first heard a taste of Human Hearts on our recent SubModern sampler CD with the chiming guitars and electronic textures of "Air Arizona." There’s almost a synth-dance pulse to album opener "It’s Casual" and be sure to check out other album highlights "Paraphernalia" and "Annihilation Eyes." The album flies to #9t on the SubModern album chart this week. Maritime only have a handful of live dates announced so far in support of Human Hearts, all of them close to home in the middle of the country. Find out more at maritimesongs.com or dangerbirdrecords.com.

~ Joey Odorisio
 
 

Maritime
Human Hearts
(Dangerbird)

When I got the new album from Those Darlins in the mail the other week, I was expected something much twangier, based on what little I knew about them. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised by Screws Get Loose and its mix of garage rock and ‘60s girl group melodies, along with a dash of the band’s earlier, country leanings. Think of the Dum Dum Girls…but a bit trashier, in a good way. In the grand Ramones tradition of fake last names, the band is made up of singer/guitarist Jessi Darlin, rhythm guitarist Kelley Darlin, bassist Nikki Darlin…and (male) drummer Linwood Regensburg, who joined the band following the release of their debut. Screws Get Loose kicks off with the rocking title track and is followed by the amusing "Be Your Bro," which is the band’s (slightly crass) take on saying "Let’s just be friends." Regensburg takes the lead on the jangly "Let U Down" and then there’s the absurd food-centric retro-rocker "Fatty Needs A Fix." Screws Get Loose lands at #22t this week on the SubModern album chart. Those Darlins are currently on tour, with dates announced well into the summer (a Lebowski Fest performance in July!). Get loose at thosedarlins.com.

~  Joey Odorisio
 
 

Those Darlins
Screws Get Loose

(Oh Wow Dang Records)

03/30/11

A few weeks back, I started hearing about a new Brit band simply named Brother, who sounded like they took a time machine from the Oasis-Blur Britpop wars of the ‘90s and jumped to 2011. Hulk Hogan’s favorite new band ("brother!") is made up of singer Lee Newell, guitarist Sam Jackson, bassist Josh Ward and drummer Frank Colucci. The lead single "Darling Buds Of May" flies way up to #6t this week on the SubModern singles chart and is the first taste of their EP, Fly By Nights¸ due out in April. The band comes from the British town of Slough, best known Stateside as the location of the original U.K. version of The Office. Their debut record is still in the works for later in 2011, and is produced by Stephen Street, who was behind the boards for one of the seminal ‘90s Britpop records: Blur’s Parklife. Brother played multiple gigs at SXSW earlier this month and were on my list to see, but sadly wasn’t able to get to them. However, I heard nothing but great things about their gigs. For some reason, their official website is acidlove.net (because Googling "Brother" isn’t much help) or head to amoctone.com for more.

~ Joey Odorisio
 
 

Brother
"Darling Buds Of May"
(A&M/Octone)

You may recall the Greek-born, London-raised Livan (pronounced Lie’van, not lee-VON like the Elton John song) from his 2009 record Happy Accidents. Well the multi-instrumentalist is back with a new release, Off The Grid, and a new single, "Undead." The ominous, rocking song hits #17t on the singles chart this week and appears on the latest SubModern sampler disc as well. Livan recorded Off The Grid with guitarist Will Crewdson (Adam Ant, Johnette Napolitano) and drummer Damon Wilson (Ray Davies, Joss Stone) live in the studio, hence the name. He says, "I called the release Off The Grid because of the digital recording revolution, so many people are making records in their bedrooms with ProTools. They lay everything on the ‘grid.’ But it’s soulless. It fails to grab the onstage vibe of musical interaction that’s inherent in a live band." Livan added, "We recorded the whole thing with no click, as we play it live. It’s like it used to be, like rolling the tape…so if there are glitches on the record, we’ll live with that; it’s real." Livan has been recently opening up for Peter Murphy of Bauhaus (an appropriate pairing), and will be on the road in the U.S. up to mid-June. Visit livan.co.uk

~  Joey Odorisio
 
 

Livan
"Undead"
(Pumpkin Music)

03/23/11

One of the best live sets I saw in Austin last week was Eastern Conference Champions, a band I was already familiar with being that the group originated in the Philadelphia suburbs. Frontman Josh Ostrander and drummer Greg Lyons were originally in the Philly-based Laguardia, before forming ECC a few years later, with Ostrander’s distinct voice the main constant between the bands. The new band released an EP in 2006 and their debut, Ameritown, the following year. A few years ago, Melissa Dougherty replaced bassist Vern Zaborowski, and the release of the Santa Fe EP followed. The newest version of ECC had a big break last year when the unsigned band beat out over 400 other acts for a slot on the Twilight Saga: Eclipse soundtrack with their song "A Million Miles An Hour." That brings us to now with the release of their second proper record, Speak-Ahh, on their own RockHampton Records label. The album is impacting now at specialty radio and lands in stores on April 26. Speak-Ahh debuts at #13t this week, with the single "Atlas" at #17t. Live, "Atlas" grows into a massive, percussive, set-ending jam, with all three members banging away on Lyons’ drum kit. Also check out the catchy "Bull In The Wild" and opener "Attica." ECC have a brief west coast tour slated for the end of April, with more touring ahead. Find out more at eccmusic.com.

~ Joey Odorisio
 
 

Eastern Conference Champions
Speak-Ahh

(RockHampton Records)

The comedy trio of Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone and Andy Samberg met in junior high, and went on to make a mark in the early world of Internet comedy videos. The trio eventually joined Saturday Night Live and history was made! Oh wait…that’s The Lonely Island. I’m supposed to be telling you about The Lonely Forest, a new band signed to Trans-, the label run by Death Cab For Cutie’s Chris Walla. In fact, Walla produced their new album Arrows and will be bringing the Lonely Forest on the road this year as Death Cab’s opener. The Lonely Forest formed in 2005 and are made up of singer/guitarist/keyboardist John Van Deusen, guitarist Tony Ruland, drummer Braydn Krueger and bassist Eric Sturgeon. The band gained a reputation in the Pacific Northwest, playing steadily and eventually nabbing slots on the Bumbershoot and Sasquatch festivals. "We Sing In Time" is the lead single from Arrows, which is impacting at specialty radio this week. Before the Death Cab tour, the Lonely Forest are on the road right now, with plenty of dates throughout the spring. Enter the forest at thelonelyforest.com.

~  Joey Odorisio
 
 

The Lonely Forest
Arrows

(Trans-)
03/16/11
With all the bands making comebacks and doing reunions lately, don’t let Rival Schools fall under your radar. The post-punkers released their debut album, United By Fate, back in 2001 and now a decade later, are set to release their sophomore effort, Pedals. To refresh your memory, Rivals Schools is fronted by Walter Schreifels (Gorilla Biscuits, Quicksand), along with guitarist Ian Love, bassist Cache Tolman and drummer Sam Siegler (who played in Youth Of Today with Schreifels¸ as well in CIV, Head Automatica and many more). Rival Schools ended their hiatus in 2008 to tour, and soon after got to work on new material. The melodic rocker "Shot After Shot" is the first taste of Pedals and climbs way up to #2 on the SubModern singles chart this week. "This record was put together with a greater sense of purpose and band identity," says Schreifels. "I’m happy that we’ve been able to come back to it with so much positive energy, with the challenge of making a new record and plotting a new creative course." Rival Schools are set to head overseas to tour alongside And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead… for a few weeks, but they a West Coast run of dates slated for late May. School is in session at rivalschools.net and photofinishrecords.com.

~ Joey Odorisio
 
 
Rival Schools
"Shot After Shot"
(Photo Finish)
We first met the Liverpool-based trio of The Wombats a few years back with their danceable-Brit Pop tunes like "Kill The Director" and "Let’s Dance To Joy Division." After touring endlessly behind their debut record, The Wombats Proudly Present: A Guide to Love Loss & Desperation, singer/guitarist Matthew Murphy hit a wall when the band got off the road. "My downfall was I got used to it," he says, "and then when it all stopped it was a bit of a reality bite-back and I had to level myself out. It was my general unhappiness of not being on the road and being in a new city." "Every night for a couple of years to have always been on your way somewhere," adds drummer Dan Haggis, "always about to do a gig or an interview or whatever, always people interested in talking to you about music. Then suddenly stopping and not doing gigs and not having the adrenalin rush every night, it’s like hitting a brick wall." When Murphy started writing new songs again, they were much heavier songs that caught the band’s label by surprise. Murphy returned to Liverpool to get inspired and start over, which resulted in This Modern Glitch, their upcoming sophomore release. The band took musical inspiration from The Killers and Echo & The Bunnymen; layering synths over the new songs. "Tokyo (Vampires and Wolves)" is the hooky first single impacting now at radio. Hear more at thewombats.co.uk or brightantenna.com.

~  Joey Odorisio
 
 
The Wombats
"Tokyo (Vampires and Wolves)"
 (Bright Antenna/ILG)
03/09/11
Canadian musician Joel Zimmerman is known the world over as the award-winning deadmau5 (pronounced "dead mouse"), one of the most popular acts in the electronic music realm. With just a few releases to his name, deadmau5 is a rising star, who was a major contributor to last year’s MTV Video Music Awards. If you’ve never seen him, his trademark look is a giant mirrorball mouse helmet (think Daft Punk-meets-Mickey) which Zimmerman wears onstage as his alter ego. He is not technically a DJ, with no turntables in sight when deadmau5 performs live. Instead, he uses music composition software Ableton Live and a futuristic touch screen controller called a Lemur, to mix tracks together. "Sofi Needs A Ladder" is deadmau5’s first real single at radio outside the Dance charts and climbs to #8t this week. The song comes from his latest release 4X4=12 and was nominated for a 2011 Juno Award for Dance Recording Of The Year. Enter the mau5 house at deadmau5.com or ultrarecords.com.

~ Joey Odorisio
 
deadmau5
"Sofi Needs A Ladder"
 (Ultra)
The trio known as Royal Bangs are poised to make a big bang in 2011 (sorry for the obvious bad joke there), with a move to Glassnote Records for their upcoming album, Flux Outside. Made up of singer/multi-instrumentalist Ryan Schaefer, guitarist Sam Stratton and drummer Chris Rusk, the group has already released two albums via Audio Eagle Records, which is Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney’s personal label. Carney singed the band after discovering them via MySpace, while the band was taking a hiatus. The lead single from Flux Outside, "Fireball," is an interesting little song, with a fake-out detour into Celtic music early in the song, before heading into fuzzed-out Rock territory. Royal Bangs have approximately a bazillion gigs lined up for SXSW next week…OK, actually nine shows scattered across six days. Then they’ll hit the road on an extensive North American tour, starting in Greenville, NC on March 30. Hear more at www.myspace.com/royalbangs or glassnotemusic.com.

~  Joey Odorisio
 
Royal Bangs
"Fireball"
(Glassnote)

03/02/11

Soft Swells is the first salvo from radio promo vets Chip and Erin Adams and their new label/management creation, Modern Outsider Records. Soft Swells is the new project from singer-songwriter Tim Williams, who released three albums under his own name on Dovecote last decade. After moving to Los Angeles, he formed Soft Swells (a reference to the Pacific Ocean bordering his new home state) alongside his friend Matt Welsh of the alt-country group Phonograph. The lovely, optimistic “Every Little Thing” makes its SubModern singles chart debut at #10t. There isn’t a full length Soft Swells album just yet, but Williams and Welsh plan to record it this summer. There will, however, be a second single, “Lifeboats,” coming next month, with both songs on a vinyl release together. Of course Soft Swells will be performing at SXSW later this month, as part of Modern Outsider’s showcase on Saturday, March 19 at Skinny’s Ballroom. Hear more at softswells.com or modernoutsider.com.

~ Joey Odorisio
 

Soft Swells
“Every Little Thing”
(Modern Outsider)

We first met the Brit-rock-influenced (but Minnesota-based) Idle Hands in 2009 with their album The Hearts We Broke On The Way To The Show and the single “Loaded.” The group is back with a new EP, Life Is Beautiful, and an excellent new single, “Socialite Death Squad.” The Idle Hands formed when British-born brothers Ciaran and Criostoir Daly joined forces with keyboardist Eileen Omizo-Whittenberg, guitarist Al Wires and drummer Nicco Franz Huber. “Socialite Death Squad” rides a great, danceable groove. Elsewhere on the EP, I dug the buzzing synths of “Dead Letter” and “Uptown Burning,” which sounds like it belongs on a lost-‘80s John Hughes soundtrack. The Life Is Beautiful EP was released this week and is a teaser for the band’s sophomore album, expected out in the summer with an accompanying North American tour. The Idle Hands will also be playing at SXSW as well. Keep your hands busy at www.myspace.com/theidlehands or theprettykidscollective.com.

~  Joey Odorisio
 

The Idle Hands
“Socialite Death Squad”
(Pretty Kids Collective)

02/23/11

The newest Next Big Thing from across the pond, The Vaccines land on these shores with a handful of super-catchy garage rock compiled as the EP Extended Play (get it?). The youthful group just formed less than a year ago, made up of  singer/guitarist Justin Young (who previously worked under the name Jay Jay Pistolet, playing indie folk in the same circles as Mumford And Sons), bassist Árni Hjörvar, guitarist Freddie Cowan (whose brother Tom is a member of The Horrors) and drummer Pete Robertson. The demo for their song "If You Wanna" received airplay and praise from the BBC's Zane Lowe last summer. The super-fast "Wreckin' Bar (Ra Ra Ra)" is the focus track on here, but I can't get "Post Break-Up Sex" out of my head, with its Julian Casablanacas-tastic chorus. (Or maybe it’s a peppier Interpol?) On “Blow It Up,” Young experiments with some My Morning Jacket vocal reverb. Extended Play debuts on the SubModern album chart this week at #3t. The Vaccines recently made their Stateside live debut, and will be back in North American for SXSW. Their full-length debut What Did You Expect From The Vaccines? is due out later in 2011. Find out more at thevaccines.co.uk or columbiarecords.com.

~ Joey Odorisio
 

The Vaccines
Extended Play
(Columbia)

I think when most folks hear the name Edwyn Collins, they think of his one big U.S. hit, the swingin’, mid-‘90s classic “A Girl Like You.” However, Collins was already well known in many circles as the frontman of the seminal Scottish ‘80s indie-pop band Orange Juice. Collins’ new album, Losing Sleep, is his first since a major health battle from a few years back. In 2005, he suffered a pair of life-threatening cerebral hemorhrages. Collins was able to perform again by the fall of 2007, and started writing songs again in 2008. Which brings us to now and the release of Losing Sleep, a solid new record full of cleanly-produced, straight-forward new tunes. Check out the fun lead single “Do It Again” which features Alex and Nick from Franz Ferdinand, a band greatly influenced by Orange Juice. I also dug “What Is My Role,” which Ryan Jarman of The Cribs plays on. The legendary Johnny Marr also shows up on Losing Sleep, along with members of The Drums, The Magic Numbers and Aztec Camera. Collins will be coming to the States for a handful of shows next month, with two in New York City on March 13 and 14, and more at SXSW later that week. For more, go to edwyncollins.com. P.S. – Losing Sleep is a digital-only servicing from The Syndcate. Reach out to Rob Wilcox at rob@thesyn.com for more information.

~  Joey Odorisio
 

Edwyn Collins
Losing Sleep

(Co-Op Music/Downtown)

02/16/11

We first met the British electro-rock act Does It Offend You, Yeah? back in 2008 with their much-hyped debut, You Have No Idea What You’re Getting Yourself Into. Singles like "We Are Rockstars" and "Dawn Of The Dead" made an impact on the SubModern charts (and in various movie trailers) and the band was handpicked to open some of Nine Inch Nails’ mind-blowing "Lights In The Sky" tour that fall. Now they’re back with the appropriately-titled sophomore effort, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You on their new label home of Cooking Vinyl. I’m loving the incredibly fun lead single, "The Monkeys Are Coming," and obviously you are too since it debuts way up at #2 this week. The track is reminiscent of some of The Crystal Method and The Prodigy’s most enjoyable moments. "This is our break-out album," says synth player Dan Coop. "It has got balls-out angry stuff and serene melancholic, quite depressing stuff as well. We’d rather show all our hands like that rather than write a whole album that sounds the same." Does It Offend You, Yeah? just wrapped up a run of dates opening for Linkin Park, but they’ll be touring more extensively in 2011. Enter the monkey house at doesitoffendyou.com or theendrecords.com.

~ Joey Odorisio
 
Does It Offend You, Yeah?
 "The Monkeys Are Coming"
(The End/Cooking Vinyl)
You may remember the duo known as Dodos best for their song "Fools," which is in turn best known for being in a beer ad a few years ago. Meric Long and Logan Kroebler have been making music together since 2005 and will release their fourth album, No Color, on March 15. "Black Night" is the first taste of the record and debuts this week at #10t. Long previously stuck mostly to the acoustic guitar, but plugs in on No Color. He says, "I have a love for ‘90s riffs that I haven’t gotten to showcase in this band. The most fun I had with this record was when I got to strap on the electric guitar and come up with Billy Corgan riffs while the tape was rolling." No Color also reteams Dodos with producer John Askew, who worked with the band on their first two albums. Neko Case also appears prominently on No Color, after the Dodos befriended her while opening for The New Pornographers. Case would frequently join the opening band live for backing vocals. Dodos kick off a North American tour in Reno on March 10. They’ll be playing a number of gigs at SXSW in Austin; then resuming a tour that wraps in San Diego on April 9. Dodos prove that they are far from extinction at dodosmusic.net or frenchkissrecords.com.

~  Joey Odorisio
 
Dodos
"Black Night"
(Frenchkiss)

02/09/11

I’m always happy for us to have new music from the Swedes in The Sounds. "Something To Die For" is the lead single and title track from the New Wavey band, who released their debut album Living In America back in 2002. The Sounds have been a model of consistency and always popping up somewhere, from Dave Grohl’s t-shirt to the opening slot on No Doubt’s comeback tour to Rock Band 3. They have a new label home, SideOneDummy, and a new producer – themselves. Guitarist Felix Rodriguez says, "We’ve grown so much together and we know exactly what we want. So why hire other people? This is the first time we’ve produced an album ourselves and it was an amazing experience. We are the ones that know each other best." Something To Die For brings a little more of an electronic edge into the Sounds’ hooky songs. As frontwoman Maja Ivarsson says, it is "something kinda harsh and a little cold." "Something To Die For" debuts at #9t this week, while the album itself will be out on March 29. The Sounds only have a few tour dates announced right now in Europe, but I’m sure they’ll be living in America later in 2011. Hear some more at the-sounds.com or sideonedummy.com.

~ Joey Odorisio
 

The Sounds
"Something To Die For"
(SideOneDummy)

The quartet of Funeral Party is a hard band to pin down. They’re not screamy enough to be post-screamo and they’re not heavy enough to totally rawk out. Funeral Party just released their debut album, Golden Age Of Knowledge, but you should have the EP Live At The BBC. This features live version of three songs from the record, along with a few remixes. The group is made up of singer/keyboardist Chad Elliott, guitarist James Torres, bassist Kimo Kauhola and Tim Madrid on drums. Funeral Party formed in the L.A. suburbs of Whittier, CA. Elliott calls Whittier a "dead town" and "boring," which is why Kauhola says that Funeral Party "definitely want the music to sound like an escape." They took their name from The Cure, as Elliott explains, "It was the perfect name for a band like ours because we come from this jail town: no one gets out until they’re dead. We also liked the name because it sounded like a hardcore band, but it had the word ‘party’ in it, so it fit in on the East L.A. dance party fliers. Initially, that name tricked people into seeing us." The Live At The BBC EP comes in at #18t this week. Funeral Party start a tour in the U.K. and Europe starting tomorrow night, but I can’t imagine they won’t be back on these shores later this year. Hear them at myspace.com/funeralparty or rcamusicgroup.com.

~  Joey Odorisio
 

Funeral Party
Live At The BBC

(RCA)

02/02/11

I’ve really been digging the new song "Sun Of A Gun" by Oh Land in the last week or two. A native of Copenhagen, Denmark, Oh Land is the alter ego of Nanna Øland Fabricius, a former ballet dancer-turned-musician. A serious back injury put an end to her ballet career and she says, "The only thing that got me through it was music, because I felt like I could still dance through it; like I could lie down, close my eyes, and figure out melodies without moving." The songs on the Sun Of A Gun EP fits somewhere between last week’s Buzz Band artist Lykke Li and the ethereal world of Florence & The Machine, and I’ve seen comparisons to Feist as well. The EP is a taste of her self-titled debut album, due out March 15. Oh Land says that her music "has a unique landscape all on its own.  I strive to make the possibilities endless and to have all the senses collide in to a language on their own." She adds that "I want my music to feel like 2050 meets something really classic, like meeting a stranger that feels as familiar as an old friend." Oh Land plays Los Angeles tonight, before coming back to North America opening for OMD in March. She’ll be at SXSW as well. Enter her world at ohlandmusic.com or epicrecords.com.

~ Joey Odorisio
 
Oh Land
Sun Of A Gun EP

(Epic)
Irish rock-folk-punks Flogging Molly are beginning a new chapter in their career with their upcoming fifth studio album on their own Borstal Beat label. The new single, "Don’t Shut ‘Em Down," is the first taste of the new album, Speed Of Darkness, which is slated for a May 24 release. The seven-member band spent the second half of last year in Detroit, writing songs about the devastating effects of the economy and taking inspiration from the current circumstances in the Motor City. The title to "Don’t Shut ‘Em Down" was inspired by graffiti the band spotted in Detroit. If you don’t have it yet, "Don’t Shut ‘Em Down" is available as a free download at floggingmolly.com and lands at #14t this week. Flogging Molly traditionally tour like crazy around St. Patrick’s Day, and they kick off their "Green 17" trek in Dallas on February 8, with dates announced up to March 19 in Oakland. They’re also on the bill for Coachella later this spring, and I’m sure there will be another round of touring after Speed Of Darkness comes out as well.

~  Joey Odorisio
 
Flogging Molly
"Don't Shut 'Em Down"
(Borstal Beat/Thirty Tigers/RED)

01/27/11

Swedish artist Lykke Li received attention in 2008 for her debut album, Youth Novels, but the woman born Li Lykke Timotej Zachrisson is poised for even bigger things in 2011 with her upcoming sophomore effort, Wounded Rhymes. Since the release of Youth Novels, Lykke Li has seen her profile rise in the States thanks to appearances at Coachella and Lollapalooza, as well as a song on the Twilight: New Moon soundtrack ("Possibility"). The first taste of the record, "Get Some," comes in at #7t this week and is a peek into a darker, more expansive sound on Wounded Rhymes. Over haunting, tribal drums; she declares "I’m your prostitute, and you’re gonna get some."  Wounded Rhymes was produced by by Bjorn Yttling of Peter, Bjorn & John, who also co-produced Youth Novels. In an interview last fall, she told Pitchfork Media the new album is "darker, moodier, and the lyrics are heavier. There's less atmosphere, more directness. I was 19 when I recorded my first album, and I've been exposed to many things during these last few years." Wounded Rhymes will be out March 1 in the States, and Lykke Li will kick off her North American tour on May 15 in Washington, D.C., with dates announced up to May 31 in Los Angeles. Check out some new videos and remixes at lykkeli.com, or head over to atlanticrecords.com for more.

~ Joey Odorisio
 
Lykke Li
"Get Some"
(LL Recordings/Atlantic)
Tracy Bonham’s new favorite band, Mother Mother, leap to #6 on the SubModern Singles chart this week with "The Stand." The track is the first taste of the Canadian quintet’s third album, Eureka, due out March 15. Mother Mother frontman, guitarist and main songwriter Ryan Guldermond produced Eureka and calls the new record "a vivid depiction of where the band’s at right now, which is the height of our musicianship, song writing and strength as collaborators." The rest of the lineup is filled out by Guldemond’s sister Molly on vocals and synths, Jasmin Parkin on vocals and keyboards, bassist Jeremy Page and drummer Ali Siadat, Mother Mother have been making waves in Canada over the past few years, and are poised to make a splash Stateside with Eureka. "The Stand" is not a song about Stephen King’s apocalyptic classic, but instead Guldemond tells the story from the POV of "misanthrope who corrupts the minds of two young school girls." Mother Mother have a short tour of Canada and the west coast slated for February, but I’m sure they’ll be on the road even more in 2011. Hear more at mothermothersite.com or lastgangentertainment.com.

~  Joey Odorisio
 
Mother Mother
"The Stand"
(Last Gang Records)

01/19/11

Last year at SXSW, U.K. rockers The Boxer Rebellion gained plenty of buzz, but the band was touring behind an older album at the time. (Spin even named them “Best Men In Black” at the event.) Since then, the band made a cameo in last year’s Drew Barrymore rom-com Going The Distance, but now the group has a new record, The Cold Still, and a new single making waves on the SubModern chart. The band is London-based, but the members actually come from around the globe. Frontman Nathan Nicholson was born in Tennessee, but moved to London a decade ago. He met guitarist Todd Howe (originally from Australia), and the pair eventually found a British rhythm section in Adam Harrison (bass) and Piers Hewitt (drums). Produced and mixed by Ethan Johns (Kings Of Leon, Ryan Adams), The Cold Still is due out February 8 and impacts next week at radio. Lead single “Step Out Of The Car” has spent two weeks in a row at #9t. The new material mixes Interpol’s brooding with Snow Patrol’s haunting brand of Brit-Rock. The Boxer Rebellion will make a triumphant return to SXSW this spring, which is currently the only U.S. appearance on their touring schedule. Get in the ring at theboxerrebellion.com.

~ Joey Odorisio
 

The Boxer Rebellion
The Cold Still
(CO5)

First off, don’t get this new band confused with Groupon, the deal-of-the-day website that has been gaining in popularity over the past year. No, this is Grouplove, a new five-piece band that packs their debut EP full of upbeat harmonies. Members Hannah Hooper and Christian Zucconi met in New York; then Hooper found the rest of the members of Grouplove while doing an art residency on the island of Crete (bringing Zucconi along as well). Hooper, Zucconi and the rest of their new friends (Sean Gadd, Andrew Wessen and Ryan Rabin) reconvened in Los Angeles to form the band. Lead track “Colours” sounds like emo kids who grew up and wanted to sound a little like Modest Mouse. (And check out the crazy video here, where the members of Grouplove appear to be renegade members of Peter Pan’s Lost Boys) The tune comes in at #5 this week, while the Grouplove EP (produced by drummer Rabin) lands at #6t. "We never could have dreamt this up" says Zucconi, "but at the same time we're not at all surprised - Grouplove is meant to be. Our story a testament to fate, and our music is something we are ready to share." Grouplove is winding down a residency in Los Angeles every Monday in January, then will tour the U.K. in early February. Share the love at grouplovemusic.com or canvasbackmusic.com.

~  Joey Odorisio
 

Grouplove
Grouplove
(Canvasback)

01/12/11

Greg Dulli is back again with his first release under The Twilight Singers moniker since 2006. When we last heard from the former Afghan Whigs singer, he was teaming up with his old pal Mark Lanegan as The Gutter Twins for their great Saturnalia record two years ago. The new Twilight Singers record, Dynamite Steps, will be out February 15 but you got the first single, “On The Corner,” via our last SubModern sampler CD of last year (and a CD single is on its way as well). The track comes in at #9t and features Dulli’s trademark moody-yet-soaring vocals. The sampler also included another new Twilight Singers track, “Blackbird and the Fox,” which features Ani DiFranco. Dulli also collaborated with many of his old friends on Dynamite Steps, including Lanegan, Joseph Arthur, Petra Hayden and ex-Verve guitarist Nick McCabe. The Twilight Singers will tour extensively in 2011, but so far the only dates announced are in Europe in March and April. Find out the latest at thetwilightsingers.com or subpop.com.

~ Joey Odorisio
 

The Twilight Singers
"On The Corner"
(Sub Pop)

Up-and-comers Foster The People debut on the SubModern singles chart this week with “Pumped Up Kicks.” The song is definitely reminiscent of MGMT’s hazy psychedelia and debuts at #21t. The trio of Mark Foster (vocals/keyboard/guitar), Cubbie Fink (bass) and Mark Pontius (drums) formed in Los Angeles in the fall of 2009. Their debut EP will be out January 25, with a full-length record expected out later this year. “Pumped Up Kicks” has already gotten Foster The People a good bit of early buzz, with placements in episodes of Entourage and Warehouse 13. They were even ranked #23 on the NME’s 50 Best New Bands of 2010…despite just having a few songs to their name! Foster The People are currently on an extensive tour of California only, but I’m sure they’ll tour more later this year (and I know you’ll be able to catch them at SXSW). You’ll be hearing much more about these guys as 2011 rolls out, and fosterthepeople.com and columbiarecords.com is a good place to start.

~  Joey Odorisio 
Foster The People
"Pumped Up Kicks"
(Columbia)

01/05/11

Do you remember the British indie rockers The Veils? I know, I know…there are a lot of British bands and a lot of “The” bands out there nowadays. In mid-2009, these guys had a pretty cool single “The Letter” from their third album Sun Gangs. Hopefully that rings a bell. Anyway, they’re back with a new EP, Troubles Of The Brain on their own Pitch Beast label. The band’s rotating lineup has always revolved around frontman Finn Andrews (whose father Barry was in XTC in the band’s early days). Andrews and company recorded the new EP last summer in his home studio with prolific producer and ex-Suede guitarist Bernard Butler, who has worked with the Veils in the past. Troubles Of The Brain kicks off with the driving opener “Bloom,” which debuts at #3t on the first SubModern singles chart of the year. Also check out the strummy-yet-glammy “Don’t Let The Same Bee Sting You Twice” and “The Stars Came Out Once The Lights Went Out,” which invoked the Arcade Fire and might be the first song I’ve ever heard to reference the iPhone in its lyrics. The Veils haven’t announced any new 2011 tour dates just yet, but you can keep up with them at theveils.com.

~ Joey Odorisio 
The Veils
Troubles Of The Brain EP
(Pitch Beast)

 


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