Great Underrated Songs of 2013 – Typhoon, Bent Shapes, Tim Kasher, Cumulus, Criminal Hygiene, Ski Lodge, Surf City
While 2013 may be mostly behind us, there are still fantastic songs we’re still spinning that we either never got the chance to feature on Indie Rock Cafe or that we may have sent out on Twitter or Facebook, and which for all intent and purposes, did not gain the amount of recognition we think they deserved, including singles from 2013 releases by artists and bands such as Typhoon, Bent Shapes, His Clancyness, Brass Bed, Tim Kasher, Ski Lodge, Surf City, Cumulus, Criminal Hygiene and Oneohtrix Point Never.
“Behead Yrself, Pt. 2″ – Bent Shapes from Feels Weird on Father/Daughter Records
“Zenith Diamond” – His Clancyness from Vicious on Fat Cat Records
I’ll Be There With Bells On” – Brass Bed from The Secret Will Keep You on Crossbill Records
“Where’s Your Heart Lie” – Tim Kasher from Adult Film on Saddle Creek
“Boy” – Ski Lodge from Big Heart on Dovecote Records
“It’s a Common Life” – Surf City from We Knew It Was Not Going To Be Like This on Fire Records
“Middle” – Cumulus from I Never Meant It To Be Like This on Trans- Records
“Rearrange Me” – Criminal Hygiene from CRMNL HYGNE on Small Smile Records
“Zebra” – Oneohtrix Point Never from R Plus Seven on Warp Records
Known for their experimentation with web-based technologies and apps, and how they can be applied in new and exciting ways to feature their music, Royal Forest used over 1,000 six-second clips of Vine app videos shot with an iPhone in different locations and settings to create their latest music video for their latest single, “Keeping Time.”
The band has experimented previously with recording and shooting videos on planes, across deserts and even underwater in submarines. The band calls their “Keeping Time” video a “beautifully kaleidoscopic ode to social media.” It’s also an ode to their infectious style of music as the song and video, premiered on their official YouTube channel, so wonderfully illustrate. As far as we know, no other artist or band has created a music video made up entirely of short Vine videos.
As we face a growing queue of hundreds and hundreds of music submissions, we’re experimenting with new ways to get through the enormous backlog. So, we decided to start a 5 to 1 poll. We present five tracks, and each of you choose the track of the five that you like the most.
Listen to the five tracks below and then pick your favorite at the end of the post. Please use the Comments section to let everyone know which track you picked and why. Whichever track receives the most votes, we’ll follow up with a post about the artist or band with the most votes and include a profile of the band, plus another track (when applicable). We are purposely not revealing the band names, although you can probably figure some of them out.
So, here you go. Enjoy.
Botany is the one man-band endeavor of Spencer Stephenson. Referring to his style of music as ‘hillwave,’ Stephenson produces his homemade experimental, synth-heavy compositions from atop a hill in rural Texas – mixing uplifting melodies, heavenly vocal dubs, twinkling sound effects and notes, and modern rhythms with such mastery and skill as to be admired by other so-called ‘chillwave’ artists; the same group of cats that have garnered a huge following in recent years, and a fair to ridiculous amount of blogger buzz to go with it.
Actually, Botany did not really go it alone on the production of Feeling Today. In fact, he had help from co-producer, multi-instrumentalist and engineer Jason Quever (Papercuts), as well as Ben McConnell, Thao Ngyuen, Amy Blaschke, and members of the Moondoggies each contributed in some way to the making of this album.
“Water Parker” – Botany from Feeling Today
“Feeling Today” – Botany from Feeling Today
“The Ornament” – Botany from Feeling Today
- The Glow
- Sitting on a Slow Clock
- A Mother’s Lament
- Pete’s Best
- Things Fall Down
Video Preview of Japan Benefit Album with Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Chairlift, Kurt Vile, Acrylics, Violens, Erika Spring Drops Aug. 4th
Recorded for Japan is a compilation album containing songs recorded between April and June 2011 to help raise funds and awareness to aid the victims of the earthquake, resulting tsunami, and nuclear emergency that followed in Japan.
All of the proceeds from the sale of this compilation will go directly towards the continuing recovery and reconstruction effort, specifically the Japanese Red Cross.
The album features the contributions of Acrylics, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Beige, Chairlift, Erika Spring, Ice Choir, Kurt Vile, K. Heasley, Kuroma, Pablo Picasso, Patrick Cleandenim, Regal Degal, R. Stevie Moore (feat. Members of MGMT), and Violens. The digital-only compilation will be available on Aug. 4, 2011 worldwide. (Note to self: A band named Pablo Picasso is wrong on so many levels)
The majority of the songs on Recorded for Japan were recorded and mastered at Vacation Island Recording studio, Brooklyn, NY, and otherwise recorded by the artists themselves. This album has been a genuine group effort, made possible by the generosity of the artists, recording studio and labels involved. Japan continues to need our help and your purchase is greatly appreciated.
Artwork by Max Hooper Schneider
01. Beige – Focus*
02. R. Stevie Moore (feat. Members of MGMT) – You Are Too Far From Me*
03. K. Heasley – Belief Match
04. Ice Choir – Two Rings (Hard Mix)
05. Chairlift – The Chase (Propaganda cover)
06. Pablo Picasso – Whip*
07. Kurt Vile – Been Searchin’
08. Kuroma – Running People
09. Acrylics – Sparrow Song*
10. Violens – When To Let Go*
11. Erika Spring – 6 More Weeks (Vacation Version)*
12. Patrick Cleandenim – In My Baby’s Eyes (After Dark Version)*
13. Regal Degal – Excuse Me Who Am I Talking To?*
14. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Thespian City (Live)
Twenty-two year old Trevor Powers, whose musical venture is called Youth Lagoon, has had a long year. Not because he’s been endlessly touring or pursuing some wild dream, but because of life – the life of a kid going to college, being in love, dealing with heartache, and just living.
“July” – Youth Lagoon from The Year of Hiberation – Sept. 27th
“Youth Lagoon isn’t me.” says Powers. “It’s merely a part of me. I was in and out of different bands in high school and always tried to define myself by what music I played. I tried to find a sense of meaning by being in a band. But it wasn’t until this last year – when I realized I was more than just music – that I was able to create music that means something to me. And that is Youth Lagoon.”
Throughout the course of 2010, Powers began to write an album about things he had a hard time talking about. He claims that when he tries to talk about it to people, he doesn’t make sense. So he wrote an album about it titled The Year of Hibernation.
“For my whole life I’ve dealt with extreme anxiety.” says Powers. “Not anxiety about passing a test or somewhat normal things, but weird.. bizarre things. Things that only I know. I sometimes feel like I’m literally being eaten up inside. So I started writing these songs. Not just songs about my anxiety, but about my past and my present. Songs about memories, and all those feelings that those bring. I know that if I can be honest about what is inside my mind, there will be others that will be able to relate to it.”
Although his music seems somewhat dreamy with the first listen, the lyrics show a different side to the matter. Hidden beneath the melodies is a voice that is eerie yet nostalgic. Powers claims his music is like letting people read his journal. “I don’t think I could ever write a completely happy album. It’s not that I’m not a happy person,” claims Powers, “but I just have too many things in my mind that haunt me.”
“Cannons” – Youth Lagoon from The Year of Hiberation – Sept. 27th
The Year of Hibernation by Youth Lagoon is due Sept. 27 on Fat Possum (and on Lefse in Europe).
09/02 San Francisco, CA The Sub
09/03 Los Angeles, CA FYF Afterparty – location TBA
09/04 San Diego, CA Tin Can Ale House
09/05 Phoenix, AZ Rhythm Room
09/07 Austin, TX Emo’s Alternative Lounge
09/10 Raleigh, NC Hopscotch Festival
09/12 New York, NY Mercury Lounge
09/13 Pittsburgh, PA Stage AE
09/14 Columbus, OH The Basement
09/15 St. Louis, MO Cicero’s
09/16 Columbia, MO The Blue Note
09/22 Urbana, IL Pygmalion Festival
09/23 Bloomington, IN The Bishop
09/24 Cincinnati, OH Midpoint Music Festival
The Year of Hibernation
Street Date: Sept. 27, 2011
8. The Hunt
LP will come with a bonus 7″ single (also available as digital bonus tracks):
B: Ghost to me
For the past year or so, Dan Deacon has been working closely with director Francis Ford Coppola on the score & soundtrack for the new film TWIXT, and now the public is going to finally going to get its first taste of the film this Saturday at Comic-Con where Coppola and Deacon will appear together to present the trailer to the film and to unveil other unique aspects of how the film will be presented.
Coppola will be presenting portions of his upcoming film TWIXT at a panel discussion on Saturday, July 23 at Comic-Con at Hall H. TWIXT stars Val Kilmer, Bruce Dern, Elle Fanning, and Ben Chaplin. Coppola describes the film as, “one part Gothic romance, one part personal film, and one part the kind of horror film that began my career.”
STREAM: “My Own Face Is F Word” from Meetle Mice” - Dan Deacon
Coppola and Deacon have developed a unique new approach to the presentation of the film that will incorporate live music by acclaimed independent performance artist Dan Deacon. Deacon will attend Comic-Con with Coppola to help demonstrate the interactive experience of the film. The film incorporates both 2-D and 3-D elements.
This week Deacon is also preparing to dig into the vaults and reissue two of his early LPs, Meetle Mice and Silly Hat Vs. Eagle Hat, on double LP via Carpark Records on Sept. 13. Also, limited cassette versions of Meetle, Silly as well as Spiderman of the Rings and Bromst will be issued and made available at shows and on the Carpark online shop. In October, Carpark will also reissue Spiderman of the Rings on LP.
Notes by Dan Deacon on the Reissues:
The music contained on these two albums (Meetle Mice & Silly Hat Vs. Eagle Hat) I wrote while in college (and a few while in high school) when I was just discovering computer music. I wrote them for fun, never planning on doing anything with them at that the time or expecting them to be heard outside of my circle of friends. When I was asked to play a show on campus I thought it might be a good idea to burn some CD-Rs and try to sell them at the show.
Going through my files, I found the pieces that I liked the most, grouped them into two different collections and gave them the most appropriate/absurd titles I could think of. The organization of the songs was somewhat thoughtout but mostly chaotic: make sure the granular synth pieces are far from each other; keep the songs with beats spread out; sound collages placed amongst sine wave drone pieces. They were more like compilations of my experiments than albums of compositions.
I made only 8 CD-R copies of each in photocopied sleeves with contact paper on the discs. I sold all but 1 of each for $7 or two for $10. Explosions were going off in my head, dollar signs appearing in my eyes. Making $70 from selling CD-Rs was blowing my mind. I started selling them at every show, even though the music contained on them didn’t represent what I ever performed live, since the music on Meetle Mice and Silly Hat was never meant to be performed live (except for the acoustic ensemble pieces).
The CD-Rs and artwork are riddled with mistakes. There’s digital clipping on many of the tracks; ‘Silly Hat vs. Egale Hat’ was meant to be ‘Silly Hat vs. Eagle Hat’; “copy write” should have been ‘copyright’, etc., but I thought the typos were funny and kept it with each batch of the CD-Rs. Since I was only selling them on campus or a few shows in NYC it didn’t really matter.
I hated stuff that took itself too seriously so keeping my spelling mistakes glaring was important to me. And considering the music was made in a vacuum with no intention of it ever seeing the light of day, it made sense to keep all the errors in their original state (true of this reissue as well the artwork for this reissue was scanned from the original run of 8.)
I was a very different musician back then trying to figure out how to interact with sound, what could be done with it, where it could go, learning music software for the first time. Since then my aesthetic has shifted, my absurdist mindset subdued. At times I feel like these albums are skeletons in my musical closet. Many of the song titles are absurd or toy with the idea of what is offensive and what is not, many of them created as a commentary on the super politically correct atmosphere that was Purchase College in the early 2000s.
These albums are like seeds. They sound, look and feel very different from the fruit that they’ve grown but they are still of the same tree.
STREAM: “Spring” - Dan Deacon from Silly Hat Vs. Eagle Hat
“Pockets” (Annie Vocal Remix) – K-X-P
“The Smoke” – Home Video
“Bad Day (Darwin Deez Mix)” – Javelin
“Life Magazine (Optimo Flexipop)” – Cold Cave
“Counterpoint” – XwX
“Another Day (Blood Diamonds Remix)” – Apache Beat
“I Get You (Daniel Haaksman Remix)” – Classixx
“Electric Counterpoint” – Ill Fas
“Eyes Wide” – Fools Gold Remix featuring Aristotle Pop A Bottle
“Get (Daniel Remix)” - Classixx
“Into The Night” (Nicholas Jaar Remix) – Azari III
One of the world’s greatest rock bands of the past 30 years, R.E.M., have just made available the first single from their first album in three years, Collapse Into Now. The legendary band’s 15th studio album is set to drop in March.
The new single, “Mine Smells Like Honey” (purchase via AMZ for 99 cents) is R.E.M. in true fashion – upbeat, hooklicious pop rock with a catchy beat, soaring, jangly guitar work from Peter Buck, the ironic lyrics and unforgettable nasaly and grumbling voice of Michael Stipe, and the sweeping chorus heights, preempted by the wild “call-and-response” backup vocals of Mike Mills.