Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Wait and See

John O'Regan (D'Ubervilles) has a new one man group: Diamond Rings. I don't know about you, but when I see neon, eighties fashion, guyliner and neo-romantic haircuts, I automatically assume 80's new wave. But this is nothing like 80's new wave.

The actual music surprised me a little bit. It wasn't as Europop or glam as I assumed it would be. Sure there are computer beats and synthesizer, but he's got a clear baritone and I can imagine these songs as pure guitar power pop. The electronic elements add to the mystique of the Diamond Rings, but they don't seem to be at the forefront of the music. You could strip down the electronic elements down to just a guitar and these songs would still hold their own.

Diamond Rings - Wait and See (mp3) (buy)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Paper Lions lost the war, but won the battle.

Can't get enough of Paper Lions' Trophies EP. It's catchy and poppy and rocky and perfect! I felt so proud of them when I saw it for sale at a major record store about a week ago. Immediately I started reminiscing about going to one of their shows last year and getting a free hand out of a previous EP with a hand-stamped brown paper bag casing.

Here's their video for the first single "Lost the War".

I LOVE flip books!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Buddy Holly Glasses

Nobody in Melbourne's the Greasers wears Buddy Holly glasses, but if it wasn't for this press shot, I would have assumed that they would. They definitely pull most of their influences from the days of Chuck Berry, Roy Orbison and girl groups like the Ronettes. They have the bouncy guitar, glottal stop vocals, and you could also hear the "whoo-oo-oohs" and "sha-la-las" coming up.

But they're sound production is much more indie and there are hints of Pavement-esque slacker attitude that carries throughout their album Night to Night, which is available for free on their myspace.

According to their myspace, "Now that I'm a Rock N Roller, I don't ever have to write a resume again." Amen to that.

Greasers - Shelley (Likes to F**k) (mp3) (download entire album for free on their official site)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Disco Kisses

You know how you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover? It's bad form. But... I totally judge books by their covers. And I judge bands by their band names. I'm sorry, but it's a first impression kind of response. If a band has a silly name, I'll be less likely click on a link that leads to their myspace page. I think that a band should have a name that somehow conveys what they are trying to achieve with the sound.

The name Kisses just sounds like it's going to be a a girl group or a boy/girl duo. It's definitely not stuff you wanna listen to when drinking beer with the boys. And that assumption is more or less correct. Jesse Kivel (Princeton) and Zinzi Edmunson have created sad-eyed songs that have strains of 70's disco, 80's new wave and electro Europop. Sounds about right.

Kisses - Bermuda
(mp3) (buy)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

When I'm With You

If you were to ask Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast which is the best coast, the answer is obvious: it's the west. Hailing from Los Angeles, Best Coast's new album, Crazy for You is an ode to sunny LA and it's boys.

While lyrically, the songs sounds like a page out of a 16 year old girl's diary, the fuzzy l0-fi surf-rock with girl group vocals makes it work. A little retro with some modern cynicism, it's a hazy summer sound that can just transport everyone in the Western world to a time in their lives when it was all about lounging around and dreaming about boys (or girls).

Best Coast - Boyfriend (mp3) (itunes)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

F*** You!

Along the lines of "Song for the Dumped" by Ben Folds Five, but only more explicit, the Cee-Lo half of Gnarls Barkley is releasing a CD in October titled "The Lady Killer". His latest single is making the internet rounds at an incredible rate. Be warned, it's super catchy. Oh, and there are swear words (gasp).

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Business Casual

Montreal duo Chromeo's third studio album, Business Casual is set for release September 14, 2010. Featuring first two singles "Night by Night" and "Don't Turn the Lights On." According to P-Thugg, it's got more sexytime tracks on it than Fancy Footwork.

Chromeo - Don't Turn the Lights On
(mp3) (buy)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Goodbye Bad Vibrations

I have been obsessed with surf pop lately. Oakley, CA's Dashing Suns has got that vibe that makes you wanna get out your swimsuit, bottle of SPF and go eat junk food by the nearest sandy shore. It's garage rock that's poppy, jangly and slightly fuzzy with reverb.

Their LP, Really Like You, will be released on August 24, 2010.

Dashing Suns - Future Thunder (mp3) (iTunes)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Civic Holiday... um, Simcoe Day!

It's the August long weekend here in Toronto. Widely known as Civic Holiday, it is beloved for breaking up the dog days of summer. But it's also known as Simcoe Day in Toronto, Mountie Day in North York, Colonel By Day in Ottawa, George Hamilton Day in Hamilton, British Columbia Day in British Columbia, Heritage Day in Alberta, as well as various other names in other provinces and municipalities (Wikipedia told me so). Oh Civic Holiday, why didn't we just stick to one unifying name?

In celebration of this holiday that seems to have an identity crisis across Canada, I present Broken Social Scene's new video for their single Forced to Love. Awesome song, trippy video. I generally dislike describing something as "trippy" because really, what does that mean? But this video is what I imagine hallucinating would be like.

I also highly suggest picking up the CD (Forgiveness Rock Record). It's short-listed for this year's Polaris Music Prize for a very very good reason! You can stream this entire record at their website.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I Need Fun In My Life

The Drums have the worst haircuts. Their music videos look like they've been using film equipment from old British sitcoms. Their sound references 1960's girl groups, surf pop, synthesizer bands from the 80's and a whole lot of reverb. How can these guys be from the States?

Normally, any of the above would get a kid beat up by the other kids. But I guess it works if you're in a band. Their sound is a delicious sprinkling of everything unabashedly fun and geeky. So behind the times, it's actually cool.

Drums - Forever and Ever Amen (mp3) (buy)