A weekly (sometimes bi-weekly, or sometimes I forget about it for half a year) selection of new – and new to me – music that I have found myself listening to over the past week (on Rdio or elsewhere.)
And there goes almost an entire year without a weekly new music post, wow. Anywho, I’ve renamed this series from This Week on Rdio to just This Week in New Music for those of you who aren’t Rdio subscribers. Here’s the latest and greatest music that you may not have heard yet. Don’t forget to toss any records that I didn’t get around to in the comments – I’m always looking for more!
Click the band / album titles for Rdio links, if you’re a subscriber to the service.
Radioactivity return with their second LP of power-pop-punk barn-burners for the ever-reliable Dirtnap and Green Noise Records.
If you don’t already know, Radioactivity features members of The Marked Men and Bad Sports – the former of whom I became hopelessly addicted to after reading about their music in both Liz Prince and Mitch Clem‘s work and the latter of which I checked out after being tipped off on Radioactivity‘s debut.
If you like your punk rock super catchy, and ferociously speedy with that can’t-sit-still-there’s-other-melodies-to-barrel-through kind of energy, you definitely should be on Silent Kill right now (and make sure you take a U-turn and get into their previous LP as well, if ya know what’s good for ya.)
It’s been a few years since The Velvet Teen dropped an album on us – almost a full decade in fact. Their last record, Cum Laude! in 2006 was a rush of breakneck drumming and synth-noise-splosions, which likely came as a surprise to listeners who knew them for the relatively folksy and eclectic vibe of Elysium, potentially their most popular record.
Eclectic being a key phrase to keep in mind when talking about The Velvet Teen, as the group has always incorporated indie-orchestra sounds with their punk, post-rock and alternative influences. Their latest, All Is Illusory is another blender-record, opening with “Sonreo”, a harpsichord (I think?) led track with wonderful shifting melodies, before driving into the straight ahead alt-punk-rock of “Eclipses”.
Listeners who may shy away from the bombast of U2 (myself included) may find a lot to nit-pick about here (particularly the disc’s length, which is about 10 or 15 minutes too long) but otherwise there’s a lot to like. I’m just happy to see this underrated band’s surprising return (I had thought there were gone for good!) and hope that their rock-solid new record brings them a gaggle of new fans.
All Is Illusory is out on Topshelf Records, who have been on a real streak lately with the new Sorority Noise, Ratboy, Nai Harvest and now The Velvet Teen. Buy their stuff!!!
Here’s where the new to me part of the post comes in: I can’t remember how I got on this kick, but earlier in the week I decided to check out some of Simple Minds‘ earlier work. Obviously, like most people, I’ve heard their smash-single from The Breakfast Club just about a billion times (and love it, don’t care!) but I pretty much had no idea that their earlier work was so fantastic.
Their third album, Empire and Dance is thus far, my favourite of the bunch – though Reel To Real Cacophony gives it a run for its money. Equal parts post-punk masterpiece and dance-influenced body-shaker, this record is top-to-bottom phenomenal.
Discovering how wonderful their early career is has been an eye-opener – how many other bands have we written off in popular culture as one-hits or assumed their stylistic traits must fall in line with their singles? Hopefully I can keep these kind of surprises coming in the future (have any suggestions for similar bands? Throw ’em in the comments why don’t you?)
Noise-pop gods Cloud Nothings and Wavves collaborate on this album, which sounds quite a bit like you’d expect from the two songwriters – pop hooks and fuzzed noise abound.
The record is quite short – running at only 21 minutes – but with ethereal interludes and some major tunes, this feels much less a featherweight jam-session between like-minded musicians and more like a mutual mission statement. If you’re a fan of either of these dudes, you definitely shouldn’t be skipping this one – don’t forget that you can purchase the digital record through the Bandcamp embed above!
Jaill are a workmanlike band, through and through. After receiving a boat-load of buzz for their sophomore record That’s How We Burn (dropped via Sub Pop,) the band re-issued their debut on Burger Records, released their third LP Traps and are now back with Brain Cream.
If you’ve been following their thoroughly consistent career, you’ll know what to expect from the new record (also out on Burger): Jingle jangle pop niceness for about 39 minutes, which won’t blow you away, but it’s sunny and sweet and wraps up just about around the time you might reach for the skip button.
This record is fast digging a nice little corner spot into my heavy rotation, as the lightly psychedelic moments that they’ve tucked into some of these tracks work phenomenally well for me. This one could also be a grower, as it has arrived just in time for summer. Get into it!