New songs to listen to this week

Blitzen Trapper- photo by Leslie Simon

Blitzen Trapper- photo by Leslie Simon

New music to listen to this week- the sun is shining, spring has arrived, and I’m really feeling sunny, dreamy songs with the occasional dance beat to get down to. Here are some of my favorite songs that have been released recently that you should check out:

King of Prussia “Your Work is Magic”- uptempo indie tambourine pop out of Athens, Georgia with unexpected and fantastic horns that remind me of a less political King Khan. Available for stream or download here at Stereogum:
http://www.stereogum.com/1673969/king-of-prussia-your-work-is-magic-stereogum-premiere/mp3s/

Yann Tiersen “A Midsummer Evening”- Toy instruments mix with acoustic to create a warped, gorgeous song complete with angelic backing vocals. Psychedelic church.

Medeski, Martin and Wood + Nels Cline “Bonjour Bese”- mixing wild spacey reverb noise with the heavy hitting sounds of MMW is a dream come true. If you don’t like dissonant noise fast forward three minutes (but really you should embrace the noise, it’s beautiful). Exclusively at Esquire here:
http://www.esquire.com/blogs/culture/mmw_nels_cline

Alpha Consumer “Ms Positron”- taking cues from 80’s art rock and adding mega fuzzy guitar riffs and catchy hooks, this Minneapolis group has collaborated with everyone from Andrew Bird to Brother Ali and are releasing their new album April 15th.

Thee Oh Sees “The Lens”- yet another awesome track from the upcoming release. Monty Python-esque psychedelic videos that are done well are always a treat.

Allah-Las “Had It All”- california psych pop with a delicate touch and throwback as hell

Chain and the Gang “Devitalize”- some of my favorite garage rock that doesn’t take itself so seriously. Plus, I’m a sucker for really bratty vocals.

Horse Thief “Little Dust”- psych tinged roots rock from Oklahoma City with theatrical fascinating Cameron Neal’s quirky pretty vocals taking the lead.

Driving Mrs. Satan “Hells Bells”- when I got an email about this band and saw “acoustic heavy metal” I put it on thinking I would get a laugh. Instead, I found they have beautiful arrangements, gorgeous vocals, and I like it better than the original.

Natural Child release silky smooth “Out in the Country” single today

naturalchild

With influences like J.J. Cale, Canned Heat and Waylon Jennings, Nashville’s Natural Child create a sound that is a cross of classic country, southern soul R&B and psych rock. Today they released my favorite track off their new album, “Out in the Country”, a smooth as silk song layered with gorgeous swirling guitar lines and delicately funky keys. They just announced a tour with the Black Lips after their SXSW performances, listen to the new song below and check out their tour dates for a show near you. Their new album Dancin’ With Wolves comes out Feb. 25th on Burger Records:

Mon. April 14 – Richmond, VA @ The National *
Tue. April 15 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat *
Thu. April 17 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall *
Fri. April 18 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer *
Sat. April 19 – Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club *
Mon. April 21 – Montreal, QC @ Corona Theatre *
Tue. April 22 – Toronto, ON @ Phoenix Concert Theatre *
Thu. April 24 – Detroit, MI @ Magic Stick *
Fri. April 25 – Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom *
Sat. April 26 – Chicago, IL @ Logan Square Auditorium *
Sun. April 27 – St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club *
Mon. April 28 – Omaha, NE @ The Waiting Room *
Tue. April 29 – St. Louis, MO @ The Firebird *
Wed. April 30 – Kansas City, MO @ The Riot Room *
Sat. May 3 – New Orleans, LA @ Siberia *

* w/ Black Lips

Curtis Harding “Keep on Shining” brings soul music around to a modern era

curtissoulpower

It’s no surprise that Curtis Harding used to sing backup for Cee-Lo Green, his voice is familiar almost instantly. Signed recently to Burger Records, Harding manages to create a sound that could have come from 2014 or 1964. The album isn’t due out til April 22nd, so enjoy the first single he just released “Keep On Shining”:

Woods new single “Leaves Like Glass” has a Bob Dylan feel

woods

As New York’s psych folk rock act Woods‘ sound constantly evolves, it bears to note that it always evolves for the better. The new single “Leaves Like Glass” from their upcoming album With Light and with Love has a perfect, sunshine-y, jangly spring sound that will be perfectly timed with its April 15th release date. Dylan-esque vocal inflections mix with beautiful organ chords and tambourine to create a perfect pop gem that is at once joyful as well as melancholy and bittersweet; the music builds gracefully before reaching a blissful crescendo.

Quilt’s new single “Tie Up the Tides” released today

quilt

I’ve been carefully devouring every single Quilt has thrown out before their new album Held in Splendour releases on Jan. 28th. While the previous fuzzy single showed Shane Butler on main vocals, the effervescent Anna Fox Rochinski is back here, with a voice that sounds like Mary Margdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar. She sounds like a good person to have around if you are sick, absolute soothing while the bouncy beat brings a golden hue to some slightly melancholy vocals. I can’t wait for the album to come out, Houston, you have a Fitzgerald’s date. Don’t miss this band before movie soundtracks scoop all this up for various good indie romances.

Jenny Lewis continues to do no wrong with new track on Girls soundtrack

jennylewis

Combining excellent songcraft with a great voice that hits your soul, Jenny Lewis can do no wrong in my eyes. Her long reign of awesome songs continues with “Completely Not Me”, a song that ran with the credits for HBO show Girls’ premiere. Recorded with Vampire Weekend‘s Rostam Batmanglij, the stomping beat, banjo, and effervescent backing vocals give the song a country church feeling complete with angels watching over.

Courtney Barnett – Artist to Watch

photo by Chris La Putt

photo by Chris La Putt

Melbourne’s Courtney Barnett is a refreshing, dry witted DIY performer who releases her earnest, psychfolk tunes on her own label, Milk! Records. Her single “Avant Gardener” made Pitchfork’s Top 100 singles list this year, and for good reason. She’s got a tint of Bob Dylan in her rambling, beat driven narratives that poke fun at herself and the rest of the world, with a deadpan singsong voice with inflections reminiscent of Liz Phair.

Listen to and buy the album here: http://store.milkrecords.com.au/album/the-double-ep-a-sea-of-split-peas