Friday, June 29, 2012

Rhye - Hunger

Rhye's debut single, "Open", could very well be my favorite track of 2012 if I were in to ranking things. It's such an addictive song, you can't just listen to it once. The song was out in February, yet my love for Rhye's sound has not been diminished. I can't get enough of the jazzy jams which is why it's awesome that you can now stream the other two songs off of Rhye's debut EP. The full length album has yet to be announced, but I'll gladly let you know when I hear about it. Until then enjoy these.

Purchase the EP on sexy clear vinyl.

Lastly, because it's Friday and I love you guys, these two songs seem to fit right in the mix.

Beachwood Sparks - By Your Side (Sade Cover) via Aquarium Drunkard

Kopecky Family Band - Animal

Kopecky Family Band started in 2007 in Nashville. They have 3 EPs to their name, all of which were fantastic and has fans anxiously waiting for their first full length. Hopefully, the long wait means it'll be a good one. One of the reasons I was instantly attracted to them (besides the three part harmonies and warm folkiness) was what I found written on their bandcamp page about their track "Animal": One of the first songs we wrote as a band. We love the gang vocals at the end of this one. It is sassy while exploring the world of a woman's need to be known. If that's not enough to get you to listen I don't know what is. Also check out the video of their live performance at KEXP below.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Tiger Waves - Weekends

Tiger Waves is a band that developed over a 1,000 mile distance with songwriters James Marshall in Austin, and Reid Comstock in Chicago. Eventually they ended both ended up in Austin and expanded the band to a quintet and their sound blossomed. Their songs sound like indie pop (many have even said Beach Boys) with an underlying psych-rock groove. "Weekends" is a heavily textured track with great percussion and amazing background harmonizing that is carried through until the end of the song. Put this on your summer mix.  
It's the city lights that call you home 
but honestly, I'm going to take you far away from here. 
This time I'll keep all my promises.

Connect: Site // Soundcloud // Bandcamp

Hospitality - Hospitality

Hospitality has been a huge grower, jumping to the forefront of my musical go-tos after sitting with it for two months. The band largely plays with upbeat pop songs put off by cynical lyrics resulting in playful songs that command your full attention. I guess it took me a while to give it my full attention, but once I did I fell under their spell. I listen to the album at least once a week and somehow managed to see them live three times in three months, that's just how good it is.

Hospitality - Eighth Avenue

So much of my attraction to the album is the all too familar 20-something uncertainty syndrome that comes through in nearly every song. Tracks like "Friends of Friends" and my favorite "The Right Profession" admit to not having it all figured out, being stuck, and finding it hard to change.

The song "Liberal Arts" scoffs at the uselessness of a degree, making sure to add some very catchy do do, do do, do dums along the way. "You found the lock but not the key, and all the trouble of a B.A. in english literature instead of law or something more practical. You traded all your time for money and the blues."

Their label, Merge Records, has a page for Hospitality and they suggest Eleanor Friedberger and Camera Obscura if you like Hospitality. There couldn't be a more fitting suggestion because in many ways Hospitality is quirky mix of the two.  The sounds are well layered, busy in a good way, and just completely fun (because there really is no other word to describe it). Just listen to "All Day Today" and try not to tap your toes, it's hard to do.

This was a review I started back in February and I'm still finding different aspects of their music to hold my interest for weeks at a time. You can quote me on this in December, but this is a top 10 album of 2012.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Beat Connection - Lotus Blossom

Beat Connection have released yet another single, "Lotus Blossom", off of thier first full-length, The Palace Garden 4am. Beat Connection made a big imprint on 2010 with their perfect summer songs "In The Water" and "Silver Screen". I'm happy to see them back with an album that again appeals to the warmer summer days. This time their music feels more like a respite from the sun and more like lounging in the shade. The album is available digitally in the US via Classic Ills on June 19th, physical on July 25.


Fear of Men - Green Sea

How addicting is this song? Normally I'd write more, but it's such a gorgeous track it can speak volumes for itself. "Fall asleep in the breeze until my eyes paint me pictures of you."

Fear of Men is a new band split between London and Brighton comprising of two girls and two boys.They have a small handful of songs that you can stream/buy at bandcamp or soundcloud. Buy merch or their 7" here.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Amanda Mair - House

Let's offset this morning's depressing post with the latest Swedish pop darling. Amanda Mair has followed in the footsteps of the impossible not to love pop stars like Lykke Li, Oh Land, Jenny Abrahamson, Robyn and many others. It's straight forward pop with a beautiful girl and her beautiful voice. What else did you expect?

Connect: Site // Facebook // Watch the video for Sense

Lace Curtains - Bedroom Honesty

Lace Curtains is a side project of the band Harlem's Michael Coomers. "Bedroom Honesty" is off of the debut album, The Garden of Joy and the Well of Loneliness, to be expected in July.
As the story goes, this song 'premiered' through a posting on a Craigslist Casual Encounters board. The subject line was "Bedroom Honesty" and the words in the post were simply "looking for whatever that means to you". You can ponder that all you want, but if this song is what bedroom honesty means to him, well, just listen to the lyrics of the first verse:

Monday, June 25, 2012

Pure Bathing Culture - Ivory Coast

Sometimes I want to start a slow clap for Father/Daughter records. They pull these bands out of seemingly thin air and release dynamite EPs on their label, Pure Bathing Culture being the latest and possibly even my favorite of all their releases. I know this song has been around the blogosphere more than a time or two but I'd be remiss if I didn't post about a song that had me completely hooked within the first ten seconds.

It's no coincidence that you've seen this on countless summer mixes because it's a summer love song of the utmost perfection, a total heart melter. This song makes you want to grab the hand of someone you love and walk down the beach, and not in a cheesy postcard way, but in a sincere declaration of love. This song is flowing summer dresses, forehead kisses, coy smiles, beds with fluffy white sheets, ceiling fans, and waves upon waves. 

Motopony - King of Diamonds

Motopony's album was released a year ago but the first time I heard about them was two weeks ago when the Doe Bay Festival line-up was announced. The band sums up why I like them so much in their own lyrics, "You got everything I needed, that's why I'm loving you so much". Everything is here from the gentle lull of the melodies, the soft and soothing vocals, and the stories the lyrics outline. This music was made for daydreams, let them soundtrack yours.

Connect: Site // Facebook

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Purity Ring - Fineshrine

Purity Ring is not a band I expected myself to like but now, for whatever reason, I can't get enough of the entrancing singles they've released over the past few months. They've built a nice momentum leading up to their debut album, Shrines, to be released on July 24 through 4 AD/Last Gang. "Fineshrine" is the lastest of the singles they've released which does a fine job showcasing singer, Megan James' vocals against the backdrop of some dark electro-pop.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Breaking News: It's Hot

I scratched the post that was supposed to be here today because it's just too hot to do anything other than listen to summer mixes. Below are a few jams I always go to when it's hot and links to summer mixes of yesteryear, plus a small link round up of mixes by other bloggers. Stay hydrated, stay cool.

Dalton - Breaker I know this was on the mix I just posted, but I'm completely obsessed.
Bye Bye Blackbird - Pure Never forget 2010, the summer of chill wave.
Tony Castles - Black Girls in Dresses - Kisses - Kisses - Looking Glass - Brandy (You're a Fine Girl) - Mungo Jerry - In The Summertime

Summer 2011: Brightest Days / Sleepless Nights Mix

Original Post // Download ZIP

Summer 2010: Beach Traffic Playlist*

Original Post // Download ZIP

*I was in my 6th month of music blogging, 3rd month of doing it for real. I still didn't know how to properly post songs and only 40 people read my blog a day, it gets weird. But the music is good.

Other Summer Mixes from Friends: 

Songs For The Day - Summer Mixes (Days and Nights)
Adam is a mix making master. These aren't just songs thrown in a playlist, they are well thought out mixes that I happen to have been listening to non-stop. Get them.

The DaDaDa - Summer Mix 2012
It's perfect and delightfully different. Trends more towards the indie rock stuff.

Daily Beatz - Blogwave Summer Mixes
The first year is still my favorite from this annual blogger collaborative mixtape.
Stream the first year // post
Blogwave Summer Vol II
Blogwave Summer Vol III

Fuel/Friends - Smooth Sailing from Here
Just posted today, it's hot off the internets. Heather's mixes are always chock full of new discoveries but I especially look forward to her Summer mixes.

Sunset in the Rearview - Hot Ass Summer Day
It really and truly is meant for the extra hot days.

A Mississipster Summer Mix 2011
I really liked this one last year.

IGIF: Endless Summer Vol 1 (2010)
Forever in debt to this mix for the introduction to The Shaky Hands "Summer Life", now a summer classic for me.

The Shaky Hands - Summer Life

Let me know of any other mixes I need to check out, I know there's lots out there to be had.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Superchunk - This Summer

Every summer run I take leads me to the water, every summer drive takes me to the beach. Sometimes the best part of these trips is the music that gets played loudly on the way there. This is one of those perfect summer anthems, from DIY punk rockers, Superchunk. There are also handclaps. You'll be singing along in no time.
We got sweaty seats and an ocean view
and it feels like a time machine. 
Well, you can't forget what you never knew, 
So come erase this summer with me.

Superchunk released this via record label Merge as a limited release 7" (350 online/1300 total) with 'This Summer' as the A side and a very guitar driven punk cover of 'Cruel Summer' as the B side. The 7" is sold out online but you can find it at your record store or purchase it digitally here.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Where Summer Begins Mix

A friend told me it wasn't my best mix as we sat on picnic benches, sipping beers, and catching the last glimpses of sun as it set behind the city skyline. It wasn't the first time in recent months that I'd failed to prepare the right songs, in the proper order, to suit an occasion. I used to be good at it, but I lost my mix making mojo and I'm still trying to recover it. It might not be the most 'summer' mix, but for me this is where the Summer of 2012 started, with these songs soundtracking my days and nights for the past six weeks.

Mostly though, this mix is here for the readers who have stuck around. I wouldn't be back here if it weren't for them. Especially the ones who tweeted/emailed/facebooked to ask where I went. I will forever be thanking all of you in mix tape format.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

I'm Back

And I say, with purity and candor, I've missed you.

It didn't hit me until I listened to Cataldo last night, a musician I never would've known about had I not started a music blog, that I really missed this site. I almost posted a blog termination letter in April, and I almost posted a mix in May, but instead I posted nothing (still might post that mix though, can't let that paragraph or mix go to waste). Despite my silence over the past three months, I've been thinking a lot about what to do with this site.

Mostly I thought about shutting it down, but I didn't have the heart. Every once in a while I would catch myself thinking about how much this blog has influenced my life: the friends I have, the people I've met, the places I go, the projects started, the jobs I quit, and the jobs I took. How do you stop doing something that made such a huge impact? I can't, not even now that my other site, Brewery Sessions, has a life of it's own.

I'm not sure how to create the time I need to continue with NMC, but I'm ready to make time for it and that's a big change. I will be writing two to three times a week. Just like before, I'll simply be posting the music I like, nothing more. The time off was refreshing but I've missed it here, really and truly.

These boots are broken in
From always leaving you
This road takes lots of turns
Each one leads me back to you
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