It’s weird, when you think of a band from Brazil you immediately envision weekend-long parties, insane dancing and favela funk festivals. But when Nancy came along—a five-piece from Brasilia, the country’s capital—our perceptions were totally changed. The band of globetrotters churn out lovely, alt. country indie pop, like Camera Obscura escaping Scotland and basking on a beach in the Rio sun. The track we’re featuring today, “Glicerina Dreaming” from Chora Matisse!, Nancy’s first full-length, is a droning landscape of slide guitars, xylophones and melodicas sweetly sung by front woman Camila Zamith in her native tongue of Portuguese (though it’s so dreamy we can’t be sure). Maybe it has something to do with it being summer in Brazil right now, but we’re feeling a little warmer after listening to this track. Peep it below:
Ghostly artist and RCRD LBL affiliate Christopher Willits is teaming up with legendary Japanese musician and composer Ryuichi Sakamoto for Ocean Fire, a lush ambient record dedicated to the ecological state of the world’s oceans. It’s the perfect marriage of Willits' digitalized guitar sounds and Sakamoto’s (who, as a member of the seminal Yellow Magic Orchestra in the late ‘70s/early ‘80s, helped pioneer electronic music as we know it today) pianos compositions. The collaboration is kind of epic and we’re interested to see how it is received when the album drops next month on 12K Records. Check out the links for more info.
The Brooklyn-based band Freeblood (the post punk pairing of ex-!!! member John Pugh and fashion designer Madeleine Davy) have just signed on to tour America with Hot Chip, which is a real coup for the underrated outfit. The first time we saw them was at Studio B (after hearing friends rave about them for literally years) and they took us aback with their minimal electro funk. Both members sing and John plays stuttering, slimy basslines, akin to old school post punk bands like 23 Skidoo and Maximum Joy. The Music Slut (them again) featured some Freeblood stuff today.
Edinburgh-based Broken Records are DiS’s latest Band Of The Day, are an enterprising bunch to say the least: a seven-member melee of gypsy-folk and inspired indie rock, their track "If Eilert Lovborg Wrote a Song, It Would Sound Like This" is a four-minute-long romp through about as many genres as one can muster with traditional instruments. Head over to the DiS RCRD LBL blog to check it out.
Turntable Lab continue their best of 2007 interview series today with Mark Ronson, producer/DJ/music celebrity to the stars (and one half of a Blu Jemz “bromance”, apparently). Anyone who read any music press last year knows that Ronson hit it big, with the release of Version, his second solo album (a covers record featuring guest appearances by Lily Allen, Santogold and Amy Winehouse, among others), toured the world, and got nominated for a Grammy for Producer of the Year. Turntable Lab got him to spill the beans regarding his favorite things of 2007, including choice British sitcoms, the Arcade Fire, and Dizzee Rascal.
Special treat coming your way today: three tracks off of Sufjan Stevens’ 2001 electronica album Enjoy Your Rabbit. For those of you who only know Sufjan as the insanely lauded, soft spoken indie superstar of Michigan and Illinois, prepare yourselves for a mild, yet pleasant, shock: Enjoy Your Rabbit is anything but banjos and butterfly wings, and actually relies heavily on Shibuya-kei, a ‘90s subculture of Japanese cut-and-paste electronic rock music epitomized by bands like Buffalo Daughter and Cornelius (just to give you some reference). The album’s concept—this is a Sufjan Stevens record after all-- is the Chinese zodiac cycle, thus each track represents an animal. It’s bizarre and awesome, and brings to question what the indie landscape would be like right now had Sufjan (arguably a strong influence on acts like the Arcade Fire and Clap your Hands Say Yeah) had continued in this vein of glitchy electronics and hadn’t taken a turn towards more traditional folk tendencies. Hm.
RCRD LBL affiliates Ghostly International had a splendid 2007—what with Matthew Dear releasing Asa Breed and garnering all sorts of critical acclaim, along with Kiln and Skeletons & The Kings Of All Cities releasing their albums Duster and Lucas respectively. But why focus on the past, right? Today the Ghostly RCRD LBL blog is offering downloads from songs off of three new releases that will see the light in 2008: Ben Benjamin’s “Selective Perriphera” from The Many Moods of Ben Benjamin, Vol. 1 (light, laid-back electro-folk), Dabrye’s “Game Over (Flying Lotus Remix)” from Get Dirty (straight-up indie hip hop) and Solvent’s “Wish” from Deconstruction Tape (1997 – 2007) (ethereal electro pop sung by lovesick robots). So get into discovering these new tracks, and expect choice cuts from Ghostly (and RCRD LBL, natch) all through 2008.
Today we’re debuting a new track from George Pringle, she of the Macbook-fueled poetic tirades, the Simone de Beauvoir of the MySpace generation… “I’m Very Scared Buster, Yes, At Last” stands out from the other Pringle songs we’ve featured if only because of the song’s crazy breakbeat and “found sound” recordings (typing, coughing etc) found within its creases. The lyrics deal with Pringle staying in her room for a week after having one of those bad, bad party nights we’ve all experienced more often than we’d care to admit. The title is a reference to Blake Edwards’ 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany’s, which everyone in their early 20s will recognize as the perfect recipe for constructive depression.
Check out the DiS RCRD LBL blog today also, as they have more info on the track, Pringle’s upcoming EP Poor EP, Poor EP Without a Name… and a handwritten note from the lady herself explaining “I’m Very Scared, Buster…”
What with the Futureheads off trying to regain their crowns as the reigning kings of quirky Britpop, The Wombats crept up behind their backs and made one of the most fun albums of 2007. A Guide to Love, Loss and Desperation features songs ripped from the band’s diaries (literally) and “Backfire at the Disco” is one of them. The tale of a perfect date gone awry, the angular pop riffs (prevalent in all of the Wombats’ material) are great for jumping around bedrooms to, or grinding to on sticky dance floors, etc. A Plague of Angels (always a good place to pick up on stuff like this) featured a few Wombats tracks today, so why not have a look…
British Sea Power are exciting because they’re one of the only truly indie bands at the moment who have a great image and concept, understated yet obviously present. They were doing that whole I’m-going-to-play-a-million-instruments-in-a-church shtick way before the likes of the Arcade Fire, and their new single, “Waving Flags” (for download at their label World’s Fair’s Website) is a cluster of pop hooks smothered in shoegaze guitars. Check it out…