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Track of the Day

This might be my favourite track to come out this year. It’s by Adam Haworth Stephens, who you might know from his work in Two Gallants, and it sounds like if Bob Dylan re-wrote “Another Brick in the Wall”.  It’s off his first solo release, We Live On Cliffs, which is out today.

There’s almost nothing better than some funk in your folk.

you won’t need me where i’m goin

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Singer/songwriter Darren Hanlon is reasonably well-known in his native Australia, but he’s a complete unknown almost everywhere else. So US indie Yep Roc’s decision to fly him over for the big international release treatment is a bit of a risk then, right?

Not really. Hanlon’s fifth album, I Will Love You At All, fits snugly into the M. Ward/Andrew Bird canon, with the singer’s mild Aussie twang the only potentially divisive feature of an otherwise terrific album. (And everybody loves Aussie accents, right?)

‘All These Things’ isn’t the best song on the album, or even one of the best, but it is a nice jumping off point in that it sort of condenses the entire record into an upbeat four-minute pop song. Strummed mandolin shows off Hanlon’s prowess in the mini-guitar genre (he’s also a decent banjo player), while piano and tuba lend the track some welcome gravitas. The best part, though, is the simple call-and-response routine generated between Hanlon and Portland singer Shelley Short.

Darren Hanlon’s I Will Love You At All is scheduled for release in the United States on September 21.

Darren Hanlon – ‘All These Things’

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Darren is currently on a mini-tour of the US with Billy Bragg:

09.08.10 – Minneapolis, MN @ Cedar Cultural Center
09.09.10 – Milwaukee, WI @ Turner Hall
09.10.10 – River Forest, IL @ Dominican University
09.11.10 – Ann Arbor, MI @ The Ark
09.14.10 – Indianapolis,

Baths‘ new album Cerulean has been blowing me away for only twenty four hours but I must share its excellence with the world. I’d write a review but the video for “Lovely Bloodflow” is memorable and haunting enough make the sell on my behalf.

Baths – “Lovely Bloodflow” from anticon. on Vimeo.

Besides having really great album art and a frustratingly hip name, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. have talent. They can write a damn good pop song. “Vocal Chords” is one of three examples off their Horse Power EP, which also includes a cover of the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows”.

Have a listen:

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To the uncultured ear (and that includes my own), searching for good post-rock can feel like a hiding to nothing. It’s not that there isn’t plenty of good material to choose from – there is – but otherwise it can take an awful long time to figure out that something is, in fact, shit.

Irish trio Halves gave me no such trouble – featured tune ‘May Your Enemies Never Find Happiness’ practically assaulted me the first time I heard it. It’s not that it’s particularly loud – they don’t seem to go to the same ear-splitting levels as other, more conventional bands (on record at least) – but it builds slowly and deliberately with soft vocals and a chiming blues guitar motif, so that the inevitable crescendos are just an aspect, rather than an aim, of the song.

It sounds like a typical post-rock track, and it is, but it’s also an incredibly moving one.

‘May Your Enemies Never Find Happiness’ is taken from the seven-track EP Haunt Me When I’m Drowsy.

This fall Cee-Lo will release The Lady Killer, his first solo album since 2004’s Cee-Lo Green…Is the Soul Machine.  Appropriately enough, “Fuck You” is the first single off The Lady Killer, a song that soulfully belts about a gold digging woman in such a graceful fashion.  Honestly, it proves how fickle curse words are and how beautiful they can sound.  If you hadn’t figured it out, this song has a few curse words, so be mindful of your surrounding before listening, even though I’m sure no one will care, but rather sing along.

In my last post on this blog, I spoke of my ‘long hiatus’ (it was all of two weeks). This time, I’ve upped the ante and have refrained from posting for a full 4 months. After some effort, the Norwegians have managed to drag me out of my self-imposed literary slumber. Celebrate by checking out Royksopp’s latest mashup: ‘This Space’

This Space by Röyksopp

This was released online a couple of weeks ago, but I totally had no idea Ra Ra Riot were even releasing a new album until last week. Since then The Orchard (which comes out 8/24) has been pretty much all I’ve been listening to. Can’t say I was a huge fan of their debut, which reeked of a bit too much Vampire Weekend, but their new album is far more stately, pushing the strings (and those gorgeous girls) to the front of the mix and generally slowing the pace down. Of course, “Boy” differs from most else on the album by being ridiculously bubbly, but it’s also infinitely catchy and is just the kind of summer tune I want right now.

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Derek Vincent Smith, known by his moniker Pretty Lights, has blown up on the electro/hip-hop scene during the past two years.  Supporting acts such as DJ Shadow in Dublin, Ireland along with playing nearly every major festival in the country for the past two years that it’s only a matter of time before Pretty Lights explodes once again.  Tomorrow, I will post a full interview with Derek, but first, a preview of what Pretty Lights are all about.  This track entitled “High School Art Class” is the first track off Spilling Over Every Side, the second of three EPs to be released this year, all of which can cost you as little as nothing to any amount that you would like to donate.

High School Art Class by Pretty Lights

On September 29, 2009, DJ Shadow announced the DJ Shadow Remix Project, an open opportunity for DJs and producers from around the world to remix some of the most legendary material in the trip-hop canon. Nine-and-a-half months later, the anticipated child was born, a release from Reconstruction Productions featuring 19 tracks of remixes stretching across Shadow’s discography. Endtroducing and The Private Press get the largest overhaul, including two remixes of the classic “Building Steam with a Grain of Salt.” Featured here is the Ruby My Dear remix that speeds up the song for a frenetic, rapidly changing remix that goes from Venetian Snares to The Flashbulb to Bonobo in the blink of an eye, all while keeping the main purpose in sight–demonstrating the wide influence that Shadow has had and still has for emerging producers around the world.

Building steam with a grain of salt by RubyMyDear

Check out the rest of the project here

Huge, yearning, beautiful. What the avalanches might have sounded like in 2010, where dilla may have been going. Star Slinger picks up where they left off, and, when he’s on his game, brings it to the moon. Four minutes of bliss.

“Bumpkin”

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Salem

I heard Salem’s “King Night” a little over a month ago when a few blogs started premiering it, but I have to admit that I hardly paid attention. To be honest, I have no idea how this did not draw me in back then. What was I distracted by? It could have been The Roots, Big Boi, Sleigh Bells, or any of the other incredible music I had been digesting around that time, but “King Night”, the first track released off of Salem’s forthcoming album of the same name, shows just as much promise as any of the great music that has already come out this year. It’s a post-dubstep masterpiece, and not in the way that Mount Kimbie makes a weak, watered-down mixture for the headphones. “King Night” moves the grimy underbelly of Burial to a cathedral, featuring none other than a choir singing “O Holy Night” with walloping, powerful bass as the choir’s accompaniment. It’s an inspired tour de force of music for the new decade.

King Night is released on September 28th.

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Oh you’re so silent Jens. How long has it been? 3 years since you last charmed us with Night Falls Over Kortedala? Where have you been? What have you been up to? Heartbreak, if “The End of The World is Bigger Than Love” is anything to go by. Staggering, string-laden heartbreak.

Jens Lekman – The End Of The World Is Bigger Than Love by stripeyjumper

For those like me who really hated the new M.I.A. album, white-guy-gone-Carribean production duo Major Lazer are dropping a new EP entitled Lazers Never Die that features, amidst a Thom Yorke remix and a Buraka Som Sistema remix, this song heavily featuring M.I.A.  It just makes me wonder why Diplo, half of Major Lazer, couldn’t come up with anything this good for /\/\/\Y/\.  Lover’s tiff, I suppose.
Anyway, here’s to hoping that I never have to type /\/\/\Y/\ again.

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