The Twees are this really adorable three-piece indie pop-rock band from New York. Their backing is super light and Strokes-inspired; the vocals are deep and have Kapranos written all over them. And there's something just a little off about their guitar parts for whatever reason, which makes them a pretty fun and memorable listen.
Stream their four song EP "Lessons to Connect" on myspace.
I'm definitely overdue to give these Washington State nature-rockers a couple of nice words on their recent release Tiny Dots.
The seven song album is a mix of older and newer tunes. It's been just about a year since I first stumbled on their myspace page, so the new songs (Stay in Tune with the Moon, Without You...) are a lot tighter than some of the older cuts, like Rubix Cube. Mind you, a first time listener probably wouldn't get this out of it, but the combination of older, charming recordings and the new crisper ones definitely makes for a nice compilation.
All and all it's perfectly crafted pop in its simplest form.
[upop+] Interview I did with Yarn Owl here [official] myspace / website [mp3] Their label LNA said I could offer a few tracks off of "Tiny Dots". email me.
Born Ruffians' follow-up to their 2008 super debut Red, Yellow & Blue is nearing completion: Luke (on the right, vocals/guitar) is currently here in New York working on the mix with their producer Rusty Santos.
There's no news of the record's name or any hint of album art, but everything should be wrapped up by early next year. Touring will follow- see them play if you can! These Torontonians are a fantastic live band that generate a lot more energy than you might expect from a three piece.
Apologies for the excess of Vampire Weekend coverage, but here is the video for their single Cousins. It's a bit weird, but also appropriately fitting for VW's quirkiness and love of using a single shooting track/angle for their videos (See Oxford Comma).
I think the reason people are so excited by this record is because Julian Casablancas is The Strokes. He's the icon of the iconic group. And it's been a long time since the collective's done anything (coming up four years). Because of this, it's easy to be disillusioned by the idea of a Casablancas solo, because there's a desire for the twenty-year-old Strokes who loved Lou Reed and Blondie (and made records to reflect it) to be resurrected. In all honesty, that sound was slowly lost over the three albums they've already put out and will probably never be again. What we've got now is the thirty-year-old Strokes, who have sobered up on many levels. They're no longer drunk on Red Stripe and Velvet Underground vinyls, which was what made them so cool to begin with. Time will tell if they ever resurface again.
So with this eight-song mess of electronic beats and auto-tune that is Phrazes for the Young, it's essential to account for the past but not to let it weigh heavily on the present. The thing is uncohesive. Plain and simple. There's seemingly endless types of styles under depressing lyrics without any sort of thread tying them all together. Long gone are the untouched guitar and, most awful of all, the rawness of his vocals, something that defines Casablancas musically.
The most interesting track is probably Four Chords of the Apocalypse. It seamlessly loops around gospel-inspired verses, a singer-songwriterclassic sounding chorus and a metal-esque guitar bridge. But at the same time, this is the oddball track of the album: the electro is toned down to the minimum and the vocals seem less warped. If only the rest of Phrazes could follow its cue.
Luke Lalonde of Born Ruffians plays an acoustic version a new song, Oh Man, live in Toronto's Bellwoods Park. It remains to be seen if it will be part of the tracklist for their upcoming sophomore LP, which is due out on WARP Records early next year.
San Diego's indie group The Soft Pack have just released their single Answer to Yourself from their upcoming untitled sophomore LP. Drawing from Strokes-y riffs, it's three minutes of indie rock in its most fun and perfect form.
Congratulations to Nikolai for completing the New York City marathon! He came in 23,347th place, and over 100,000 runners registered. His twitter page will now be doing Strokes updates.
Meanwhile, Julian Casablancas' solo album Phrazes for the Young is out in the US today ($4.99 on iTunes!), and he's done a Christmas song- I Wish it was Christmas Today. The song is available on iTunes as part of a Deluxe Edition of Phrazes.
Director Sam Taylor-Wood recently debuted plans for his John Lennon biopic entitled Nowhere Boy at the London Film Festival. Interestingly, a few of the trailer's cuts are narrated by weathered, archived recordings of John's voice, which provides an interesting contrast to the glossy footage.