Tag Archives: records

Delta Spirit – Delta Spirit

After two records of hamming it up for the Americana folk crowd, San Diego natives Delta Spirit have suffered from a bit of an identity crisis. For their newest album the band have enlisted the production skills of Chris Coady, who has previously worked with the likes of TV on the Radio and Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

The result is a self-titled third album that the band believes to be the one true representation of their sound. They have reinvented themselves as alt-country rockers, which has come at the price of their spirit. To put it simply, if you’re the type who prefers Infinite Arms by Band Of Horses to their debut, Everything All The Time, you’ll probably like Delta Spirit.

Artist: Delta Spirit
Album: Delta Spirit
Label: Shock

Buy Delta Spirit Delta Spirit

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Catcall – The Warmest Place

For all of you wannabe pop vocalists belting Katy Perry songs into your hairbrush while standing in front of your bathroom mirror, the debut album from Sydney’s Catcall is your blueprint to mainstream success.

Like Katy Perry, the voice behind Catcall, Catherine Keller, isn’t particularly strong. What Keller lacks in god given talent she makes up for in catchy electro-hooks and sheer enthusiasm.

So remember, kids, just because you can’t sing, doesn’t mean you can’t ride the electro-pop slutwaves. Get yourself Pro Tools, autotune the shit out of your voice, and listen to lots of 80s New Wave records. Computers! The wave of the future!

Artist: Catcall
Album: The Warmest Place
Label: Ivy League

Buy Catcall The Warmest Place

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Alex Winston – King Con

It really is refreshing when a female pop star sings about something other than their cooch or getting shitfaced. Michigan born Alex Winston doesn’t write songs about her extra terrestrial rape fantasies, or getting high as a “starship” and engaging in promiscuous activity. Instead, the 24-year-old sings about parasitic playfulness and an infatuation with The King.

King Con is bubbling with enthusiasm, so much so that it runs the risk of being grating to some. However, only the coldest of hearts will find anything to dislike about this album. Winston’s genuine passion and zeal drive all twelve tracks, each one just as charming as the one that precedes it.

Winston’s imagination and eagerness results in a record that full of in-jokes and personal flights of fancy. Listeners may not fully understand what Winston is getting at, but the entire record is fun and infectiously catchy.

Artist: Alex Winston
Album: King Con
Label: Island

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Dawes – Nothing Is Wrong

I was once at a party in Australia where, after copious amounts of Carlton Draught (see vid below), a bunch of guys started singing along to the Eagles. They were egging me on to join them, assuming since I am American, that I must love the Eagles. I respectfully declined because, well, the Eagles are terrible.

It struck me as odd that so many of Australia’s youth have this unexplainable fascination with the Eagles. It is especially confounding when one considers the fact that the band’s ‘AM Gold’ mediocrity is common knowledge stateside. Listening to LA band Dawes is a lot like listening to the Eagles. You can fill in the rest.

Artist: Dawes
Album: Nothing Is Wrong
Label: ATO

Buy Dawes Nothing Is Wrong

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Van She – Idea Of Happiness

Sydney’s Van She is the definition of a guilty pleasure. When I moved to Australia, I realized Van She suffered from disdain and abhorrence among the people of their native country. But they’re still incredibly popular.

Which means that a lot of the people that claim they hate Van She are secretly lapping up the band’s brand of shimmering electronica.

Their second album, Idea of Happiness, is full of cringe worthy lyrics like “I feel Calypso” (?) and sunbaked tropical vibes inspired by the sounds of the Caribbean. The album is light and breezy, lacking substance but making up for it with flurries of infectious beats and uplifting synths. Perfect for some daiquiri-fueled ass shaking.

Artist: Van She
Album: Idea Of Happiness
Label: Modular

Buy Van She Idea Of Happiness

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Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – Here

It’s no surprise that many big name celebrities have undergone prefabricated makeovers in order to become famous.

Take Katy Perry for example. Before sporting a bra that shot out whipped cream from the nipple region, she was Katy Hudson, a rising star of Christian gospel rock. Or Margarita Carmen Cansino, who dyed her hair and had electrolysis to raise her hairline to become silver screen legend Rita Hayworth.

After spending a lifetime wallowing in the purgatory of the LA music scene, Alex Ebert reinvented himself as Edward Sharpe, the enigmatic leader of a group of hippy dippy folk musicians. Here, the second album from the band sporting membership in the double digits is nothing to write home about, but for an Age of Aquarius folk throwback, you could do worse.

Artist: Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
Album: Here
Label: Vagrant

Buy Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros Here

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Japandroids – Celebration Rock

Essentially Celebration Rock, the second album from Canadian duo Japandroids, is exactly the same as its predecessor, Post-Nothing. Same producer, same eight-song tracklist, (almost) the same artwork.

The same brazen attitude is there as well, as every song is drenched in the live-fast-die-young-leave-a-good-looking-corpse philosophy of youth.

It is appropriate that Japandroids bookend the album with the familiar pops of fireworks, as Celebration Rock is just that, a celebration of life, love and music.

Artist: Japandroids
Album: Celebration Rock
Label: Polyvinyl

Buy Japandroids Celebration Rock

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The Stepkids – The Stepkids

The first track off of the debut LP from Connecticut’s The Stepkids features a comically low baritone voice delivering the line “Sneaking your way to the heart” followed immediately by the prepubescent wail of “BraiiinnnNINJAH!”  It is totally ridiculous, but you can’t help but listen on.

The Stepkids remind me of the funk and soul music from one of those blaxploitation films of the 1970s, and they do it so well that you could call this album funxploitation.

It’s true that other bands have tread the same water, but The Stepkids craft psychedelic funk from another era, and it is groovy, baby.

Artist: The Stepkids
Album: The Stepkids
Label: Stones Throw

Buy The Stepkids The Stepkids

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