Glasgow has always been a cradle for an amazing plethora of British indie pop: think Orange Juice, Belle & Sebastian and Camera Obscura. The latest band of misfits to come out of the city are Glasvegas, whose four somber members wear black on the outside (because black is how they feel on the inside). Musically, they're like the psychotic scribbles of the Jesus and Mary Chain coupled with Wall-of-Sound-era Phil Spector production. It makes for a pretty great listen, and Italian music blog Frequenze Indipendenti featured a few demos today, so why not click over and take a look? For extra depression points, listen to "Daddy's Gone", a song about abandonment as catchy as it is sad and gripping.
Our boys (and girl) the Willowz set sail on a very lengthy national tour with the Electric Six earlier this week and will be tearing through a new town almost every night from now until the new year. For those of you who want to hear a bit from these scrappy and lovable rockers, you can stream their triumphant jam "Jubilee" on the Dim Mak channel. And if you dig what you hear, you can download their tour dates widget and keep tabs on their comings and goings. Sweet.
Willowz On Dim Mak Blog
There are few things as awesome as quirky '80s British songstress Kate Bush and RCRD LBL favorites Ra Ra Riot, so the marriage of the two is simply perfection. The kids in Ra Ra recently recorded a version of their fan-approved Kate Bush cover, "Suspended in Gaffa", for our friends at Daytrotter . With their mini string section and front man Wesley Mile's trembling vocals, they do the song more than justice. We know this has been a theme today, but we just love seeing great people connect.
Speaking of Swedish hardcore, Refused were everyone's favorite '90s hardcore band until they broke up in 1998 (and last year's lauded rockumentary, Refused Are Fucking Dead, definitely didn't hurt in upping their international profile). The kids over at Missingtoof just posted a boatload of Refused MP3s (including a favorite of ours, "New Noise") and a couple of electroremixes by the likes of San Diego producers Shark Attack and an old school Bomba Je re-edit. Sorta makes ex-Refused singer Dennis Lyxzén's other band, the (International) Noise Conspiracy seem kinna meh, no?
Photo Cred: Ulf Nyberg
We're big fans of folk guitarist Jose Gonzalez here at RCRD LBL, and we're very, very excited to bring to you an exclusive, unreleased song from his side project: ethereal folk rockers Junip. Jose created Junip in the late '90s with his best friends Tobias Winterkorn (organs) and Elias Araya (drums), after he had spent his formative years in various Swedish hardcore bands. If you find it hard to imagine the mild-mannered, acoustic hero in a hardcore setting, it's not much of a stretch: Junip's songs have the emotional heft of any Black Flag or Minor Threat song, only channeled through organs and acoustic guitars. The band is currently recording an album in Sweden, so be sure to check back for more details as they emerge. Enjoy!
Junip - Chickens
Junip's RCRD LBL Page
While many of you know us for our "going for it" dance stuff (see our first post for a quick primer), there's another, softer side to Modular that we wanted to share with you this morning. That softer side is captured beautifully in "Microwave" by the Soft Lightes, our very favorite lo-fi, dream pop group.
We figured that, like us, you probably had a late night out last night and so we wanted you to end your week with this beauty of a tune. C'mon, how can you not resist singing "I am just a microwave/I am just a microwave/I am just a MI-CRO-Wave" over and over to a sweet vocal melody? In our world, this song would be a top forty hit!
Oh yeah, if you live in LA, the band is playing this Monday, the 19th, and next Monday, the 26th (peep their tour widget!), so come on out and say hi.
photo cred: kane skennar
Last week, one of our favorite bands played a glorious show at the Society for Ethical Culture in NYC. If you can imagine high ceilings, shimmering vocal harmonies and a four-piece band creating the sounds of an entire orchestra, that was the Grizzly Bear show that we were lucky enough to catch. The set was great front to back, but what really sealed the deal was their encore, a cover of the Crystals' "He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss)"— just released on their Friend EP. It's up for grabs at the Warp blog right now, so hit them up.
Grizzly Bear - He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss)
Grizzly Bear's RCRD LBL Page
On October 16th, 2007 Soulsavers released their new album It's Not How Far You Fall, It's the Way You Land on Columbia Records. The band is made up of producers Rich Machlin and Ian Glover, and 5 of the songs on this album feature vocals from Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees, QOTSA, Twilight Singers). The reviews have been pretty impressive, including a 4 1/2 stars on All Music and 9 out of 10 stars from PrefixMag. They also enjoy the distinction of being one of the first bands signed and released under the new Rick Rubin regime at Columbia.
We loved the record the first time we heard it because of it’s dark, moody atmospheres and gospel vocals laid on top of grimy, laid back beats that sound like they’re ripped straight from Endtroducing (Soulsaver’s first album, Tough Guys Don’t Dance was often compared to Unkle’s first release). Lanegan sounds like a contemporary version of Johnny Cash reflecting on his darkest moments. The album is also beautifully cinematic. Each song sets a scene where a dark tunnel might lead to sorrow and pain or redemption and enlightenment. Please check out the excellent "Paper Money" on our SEEN Music player (to the right of this very blog post) and you can see for yourself why we are so drawn to this group as both musicians and just plain ’ol interesting individuals.
Recently we were able to ask co-producer Rich Machlin a few questions about his cinematic influences and what video games keep him and his mates up until morning.
SEEN: Your music is so cinematic, do you picture scenes while you are writing songs or does the music grow into that organically?
Rich Machlin: It usually just grows organically, but cinema is still a pretty big influence on the music we make for sure. There's no doubt that a couple of tracks like 'Ask The Dust' & 'Arizona Bay', the main influence on them pieces of film i'd seen.
S: Have you done any writing specifically for film, ads, games or other visual media?
R: Yes, a few different ones. I'd started out doing scores for a couple of feature length documentaries & I'm looking to cross into features.
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For our next RCRD LBL-exclusive track, we wanted to mellow out the vibes a tad and share a psych-tinged tune that's been getting lots of late night spins here at RCRD LBL HQ, Kings & Queens' "Celebrate". In the words of their close friend, the artist Tahiti Pehrson: "'Celebrate' is a track that explores the lesser-known nuances of the word. To make known publicly; proclaim; solemnize. Painted in wash of morphinic richness the track floats down stream slowing in swells occasionally to smell the roses." There must be something weird in the water out in their hometown of Nevada City, California, but we must say it does make for some lovely music.
Oh, and if you are keeping tabs, Rich Good, the band's front man, used to play with Joanna Newsom in the shag rock group the Pleased. Bonus!
Kings & Queens - Celebrate
Kings & Queens' RCRD LBL Page
Kings and Queens website
Hello all, welcome to the Downtown blog on RCRD LBL. Here you'll see all the latest news and exclusives from Downtown Records.
Downtown is an independent label and publishing company with offices in New York and Los Angeles. Launched in 2006, Downtown’s diverse artist roster includes Gnarls Barkley, Eagles of Death Metal, Art Brut, Cold War Kids, Justice, Spank Rock, Amanda Blank and others.
Say hi to Downtown Records by adding this page to your bookmarks. And stay tuned for the latest Downtown music on RCRD LBL!