This has to be the best new music video on YouTube this week. This fan made video of The Muppets performing Dance Yourself Clean, the amazing opening track on LCD Soundsystem's latest album, is really really sweet:
It's basically a follow-up to the Kermit-starring fan video to LCD Soundsystem's New York I Love You from a couple of years back:
Today's post marks the tenth and eleventh music video starring puppets posted to Esoteric Mumblings. Be sure to check out all the past puppet themed posts from the Internet's number one (maybe) puppet music video blog.
After listening to Broken Social Scene's 'Hotel' on a bus trip the other day, I realised that there was something very familiar about the ending of the song. A quick listen to Feist's 'One Evening' confirmed what I had suspected - they have the excact same guitar riffs! How come I never noticed this before? Here's a mix I made where the two songs are blended together:
My apologies for the lack of updates in the last month! I know none of these are particularly new anymore by now, but anyway: Here are three of my favorite remixes right now.
- mp3: Broken Social Scene - Texico Bitches (Starslinger Remix)
- mp3: Asobi Seksu - Trails (Deerhof Remix)
- mp3: Placebo - Ashtray Heart (Timo Maas Unreleased Remix)
Enjoy some selected minimalist acoustic christmas tunes by Erlend Øye (Kings of Convenience, Whitest Boy Alive), E (Eels) and more. I guarantee you peaceful Christmas atmosphere if you fire up this playlist at medium to low volume on your living room stereo. Happy holidays, everyone!
mp3: Erlend Øye - Last Christmas
mp3: E - Everything 's Gonna Be Cool This Christmas
mp3: Mew - She Came Home For Christmas (acoustic version)
mp3: Coldplay - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
mp3: Seabear - We Like Winterclothes
mp3: Arcade Fire - Jingle Bell Rock
mp3: Okkervil River - Listening To Otis Redding At Home During Christmas
mp3: The Magnetic Fields - Everything Is One Big Christmas Tree
mp3: Uusi Fantasia feat. Eirik Bøe - Barefoot not Naked
My favorite musicians from Finland, electronica trio Uusi Fantasia, recently finally realeased a long overdue follow-up to their fantastic (and brutally underappreciated) 2004 debut Top Ten. The new album is titled Heimo and came out last month. Just like the debut album it's filled with chillout / jazz inspired electronica, but with a few more radio friendly and poppish tracks this time around. One of my favorite tracks is 'Barefoot Not Naked', a collaboration featuring Kings of Convenience's Eirik Glambæk Bøe. A long time friend of Uusi Fantasia, Bøe adds both his soft vocals and his characteristic acoustic guitar play to the track, which ends up as the best (but also only) Norwegian-Finnish song I've heard to date. The voice of Kings of Convenience's Erlend Øye worked really well with Röyksopp's chillout electronica classic Melody AM (2001), and bandmate Bøe suits the similar-sounding Uusi Fantasia landscape perfectly as well. (Check out Bøe's appearance on Cornelius' 2006 album Sensuous for another example of how well his vocals go with chillout electronica).
mp3: Beach House - I Do Not Care for the Winter Sun
Beach House have had a very successful year. Their third LP, Teen Dream, has and reaped much more critical acclaim, and reached out to much larger masses of people, than their first two albums cold ever dream of. It's featured in many end of year lists as one of 2010's essential records, and I ranked it as my fourth favorite album of the year. Now the band is giving back to its fans, and just announced via Twitter:
We wrote a holiday song for you, thanks for the great year!
The pleasure has been all mine, Beach House. Download the song (it's really good!) via the link above, or via Beach House's official website.
mp3: Asobi Seksu - Trails
James Hanna and Yuki Chikudate of NYC duo Asobi Seksu have given the world the first taste of their forthcoming fourth LP, Fluorescence. Judging by 'Trails', the band has left the honey glazed dream pop sound of 2009's Hush behind, and returned to a rougher shoegaze sound again. On this song, they're so My Bloody Valentine, and I'm loving it!
mp3: MGMT - Congratulations
mp3: Broken Bells - The Mall & Misery
mp3: Eels - In My Younger Days
mp3: of Montreal - Sex Karma
mp3: Broken Social Scene - Romance to the Grave
My Top 25 albums of 2010:
#16 - #11
15. Young The Giant - Young The Giant
//Favorite tracks: My Body, Cough Syrup, I Got
Very promising debut album from energetic indie rockers, reminiscent of the debuts of artists such as Franz Ferdinand, The Killers and The Strokes. Read more, or watch the video for my favorite song:
14. Jónsi - Go
//Favorite tracks: Kolniður, Hengilás, Boy Lilikoi
Sigur Rós' vocalist Jónsi is way too happy these days to make melancholic, dark and dramatic post-rock, it seems. We could already sense this in the band's 2008 album Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust, which was much more upbeat and cheerful than before, only occasionally diving into Jónsi's trademark melancholy. When he released his debut solo album this year, the recipe was exactly the same: happier and more fast-paced music. Turning solo also allowed him to explore several things that were harder to do under the Sigur Rós moniker, namely a complete overhaul of instruments and soundscape, and singing in English instead of Iceland or 'Hopelandic'. Check out the beautiful unofficial video for Kolniður below. It's basically shamelessly copying the style of Sigur Rós' Heima DVD, but I don't care - slow images of picturesque landscapes is what still works the best together with Jónsi's magical voice.
My favorite Jónsi song of 2010 is however not on this album! Check out the almost painfully beautiful 'Icicle Sleeve', a song that for some unfathomable reason didn't make the album, but has been played live on this year's tour:
mp3: Jónsi - Icicle Sleeve (live)
13. Gorillaz - Plastic Beach
//Favorite tracks: Some Kind of Nature, On Melancholy Hill, Plastic Beach, Empire Ants
mp3: Gorillaz - Empire Ants (feat. Little Dragon)
Damon Albarn and his many friends jump from genre to genre in this very eclectic album that just about anyone can find something they enjoy on. Hip hop legend, 60s/70s alternative rocker, and Swedish-Japanese indietronica singer - an amazingly diverse mixture of artists joined in on Albarn's project this time around, and contributed with their vocals. If you've ever found yourself at a party with a diverse musical crowd in 2010, you'll know that Plastic Beach has the rare gift of bringing together the indie kids, the electronica purists and the hip hoppers in front of the stereo, singing along to the lyrics in peaceful unison. This album is so full of hit material that it's hard to pick any favorite tracks - from the amazing buildup of electronica track 'Empire Ants', to Lou Reed's incredibly cool and nonchalant rapping on 'Some Kind of Nature', there are too many great moments to choose from. But I do know that this is the video I'll always remember this album for, and also that this is the song that will always come to my mind first when I think about the spectacular Gorillaz show I saw this summer:
12. Röyksopp - Senior
//Favorite tracks: Senior Living, The Alcoholic, The Drug
mp3: Röyksopp - The Alcoholic
For their fourth album, the Norwegian electronica duo went back to their roots - instrumental and atmospheric chillout music. After two albums of vocal heavy electro pop, they returned to their debut album's magical and at times even eerie soundscapes. The latter dominated on this year's album, as it's apparently inspired by darkness, drugs and … senior citizens. Read more, or check out the mesmerizing video for 'The Drug':
11. Vampire Weekend - Contra
//Favorite tracks: Horchata, Holiday, Cousins, White Sky
Ah, the sophomore album - it's never an easy task, and as for indie phenomenas MGMT and Vampire Weekend, we saw two very different approaches this year. While I very much respected MGMT's decision to not just follow the same formula as on their very hyped debut album, with the high risk of disappointing their fans by failing to re-create the debut's magic, I equally respect Vampire Weekend for just giving it a shot - and actually succeeding! The 2007 self-titled debut included lesson after lesson in magical pop song writing, with afropop rhythms that never tried to hide its very obvious strong Paul Simon influences. This year's album includes … exactly the same. And the same number of unforgettable songs. Check out my favorite song now:
#20 - #16
20. Nóra - Er Einhver Að Hlusta?
//Favorite tracks: Opin Fyrir Morði, Sjónskekkja, Skóflaðu Mér
Nóra's five multi-instrumentalists don't only play an impressive amount of different instruments on their debut album, they also wander through an impressively large number of styles. The male vocalist Egill and the female vocalist, his sister Auður, take us through ambitious Arcade Fire-style theatrical-sounding indie, Belle and Sebastian-sounding modest twee, a dark Radiohead-esque song, Nordic folk music and more through the album's fifty minutes of playful Icelandic pop. Download one of my favorite songs now:
mp3: Nóra - Opin Fyrir Morði
19. Hot Chip - One Life Stand
//Favorite tracks:Take It In, One Life Stand
While I feel that Hot Chip's latest effort in some was a disappointment compared to 2008's amazing Made In The Dark, it is still one of the albums I enjoyed the most this year. When the band released 'One Life Stand' as a preview track in late 2010, I got really hyped - while the track name surely is dorky, and the lyrics as well, they're both so incredibly and unresitably sweet. Hot Chip's short, geeky and shy front figure Alexis Taylor has always seemed like a major romantic to me. When I worked as backstage crew at a Hot Chip concert once, my suspicions were confirmed: I didn't find a wrecked backstage area afterwards, and no signs of wild partying with the local groupies - I found a clean and tidy room with a neat table with nothing to dispose of but a few burnt-out candles, as Taylor apparently had spent a romantic and relaxing evening backstage with his wife, who he of course had brought along abroad.
The whole album is chock full of warm declarations of love the title track's, but at the first listen, I didn't find any tracks that could match the title track's brilliance - until I reached the very end. After a few less convincing tracks, the album ends on the ingenious 'Take It In' - which is not only perfect album closer, but in my opinion also possibly the best song in Hot Chip's entire career. I continued listening to the album, and it grew on me more and more through time. After almost a whole year constantly on my iPod, 'Take It In' still feels as powerful, as fresh and as perfect as when I first heard it. Download it now, and you'll see what I'm talking about:
mp3: Hot Chip - Take It In.
18. Two Door Cinema Club - Tourist History
//Favorite tracks: Something Good Can Work, I Can Talk, Eat That up, It's Good for You
Uncomplicated, danceable and uplifting indie rock that any fan of bands like Phoenix, The Wombats or early Bloc Party will appreciate. Read more, or just watch the video below :
17. Holy Fuck - Latin
//Favorite tracks: Red Lights, Silva & Grimes, Latin America
Holy Fuck is lo-fi electronic music with no programmed elements, that feels like some sort of danceable electronic post-rock. Latin's their third album, and possibly their most intense one yet. Read more, or just check out the epic video for 'Latin America' below, which includes live footage, a video diary of the band exploring Japan, and very sweet lightning and color effects:
16. Seabear - We Built A Fire
//Favorite tracks: I'll Build You A Fire, In Winter's Eyes, Wolfboy
The Icelandic folk-ish indie poppers return with a sophomore album that mostly revisits the themes, moods and soundscapes of the first. But on some tracks, electric guitars and drums are given a bigger presence than on the very acoustic first album. To me, this has been the perfect album for slow and relaxing Saturday/Sunday mornings, and it's filled with charming and soothing songs that are impossible to dislike. Seabear should be checked out by any fan of fellow countrymen múm's later and more poppy albums. Check out the colorful and beautiful little video for 'I'll Build You a Fire':
#25 - #21
25. Yeasayer - Odd Blood
//Favorite tracks: Ambling Alp, Madder Red
In the beginning of 2010, Yeasayer returned. Still experimental and weird, yet more accessible than before. This is one of my favorite videos of this year, and it gives anyone new to Yeasayer a good indication of how wonderfully strange Odd Blood is:
24. Best Coast - Crazy For You
//Favorite tracks: Boyfriend, Crazy For You, Each And Everyday
Bittersweet indie pop about the female vocalist's heartaches - this debut album naturally appealed a lot to me, being a big fan of Camera Obscura (who released one of my favorite albums of 2009). But while being thematically close sometimes, Best Coast goes for a rough and fast-paced surf-rock sound, miles away from Camera Obscura's slow twee. This is simple, straightforward but magical pop music, and hard to dislike.
mp3: Best Coast - Boyfriend
23. Kele - The Boxer
//Favorite tracks: Tenderoni, Everything You Wanted
On his solo debut, the Bloc Party vocalist finally took the final step towards a completely electronic sound. Read more
22. Casiokids - Topp Stemning På Lokal Bar
//Favorite tracks: Fot I Hose, Finn Bikkjen!, En Vill Hest
The Polyvinyl signed oddball electro pop band from Norway finally invaded the US this year. Read more
21. Senera Maneesh - No 2: Abyss In B Minor
//Favorite tracks: Blow Yr Brains In The Mourning Rain, Reprobate!
Big and beautiful noise. Read more
mp3: of Montreal - I Was A Landscape In Your Dream (Grizzly Bear remix)
mp3: Grizzly Bear - Boy From School (Hot Chip cover)
It's winter again, it's starting to get ridiculously cold again, and once again I'm turning to Grizzly Bear. Where I live, it's been creeping down to 3.2 degrees Fahrenheit / minus 16 degrees Celcius recently, and most of all I just feel like crawling down into some warm place and hibernate until spring, bear style. Since I'm not able to do that, however, turning to the slow and warming sounds of the four Brooklyn bears once more is a good second option.
You've probably all heard the band's three studio albums that are playing on repeat on my speakers these days, but I thought I'd share two rarer tracks with you today. Both are Grizzly Bear doing beautiful interpretations of songs by two of my other favorite bands. In the first, they turn one of the most easily overlooked tracks from of Montreal's most overlooked album into an amazingly atmospheric and layered little beauty, perfectly juxtaposing the soft Barnes vocals of the minimalist original with lush Grizzly Bear-esque soundscapes. In the second, they turn one of Hot Chip's very best, the electronic and synth-driven - and strangely uplifting - Boy From School, into a melancholic and mostly acoustic piece that relies almost exclusively on the beautiful and strong vocals, rather than electronic beat.
Hope you'll enjoy them! And continue to enjoy (or perhaps even discover or rediscover?) Grizzly Bear.
mp3: Doug Paisley (with Feist) - Don't Make Me Wait
Doug Paisley's album Constant Companion, which came out last month, features Feist on the above song.
Feist's new documentary film Look at What The Lights Did Now has recently been screening on an obscurely small number of cinemas across the world, but according to her website it will be released as a DVD in stores December 6th in Europe and December 7th in North America, with a bonus CD. I'm honestly excited about absolutely any new material from this lady, so I'm looking forward to it.
- mp3: Bloc Party - Flux
- mp3: Bloc Party - Your Visits Are Getting Shorter
- mp3: Kele - Tenderoni
- mp3: Kele - Everything You Wanted (RAC Remix)
The career development and evolution of musical style that Bloc Party's Kele has gone through is pretty much a typical nightmare scenario for lo-fi enthusiasts or any strict rock fan who frowns upon drum machines and electronic beats. While Bloc Party's promising earlier EPs and classic debut Silent Alarm saw them mostly wander in rough, unpolished post-punk landscapes driven by dirty guitar solos/riffs, the band took a turn towards slick studio production in the sophomore album Weekend in the City. Then, in the stand-alone singles Flux and One More Chance, and the third and final studio album Intimacy, Kele's growing love for danceable club music made the band delve deeper and deeper into electronic music.
Many old fans were disappointed by this turn, as so many of these all-electronic synth-driven tracks made a total waste of the incredible guitar skills of lead guitarist Russel Lisack, which arguably was one of the band's major trademarks in the early period of their career. While I can agree with those missing Lissack's soaring guitar solos, I for one actually really enjoy Kele's electronic material. It makes a lot of sense that Bloc Party now have (de facto) disbanded (they've officially been on hiatus for about a year) and that Kele has started up an electronic solo project, while Russel Lisack's makes use of his guitar skills on, among other things, Ash's live shows.
Above, you can download two of my favorite danceable electronic Bloc Party tracks, plus another two tracks from Kele's solo album that are stylistically quite close.
Kele's The Boxer came out back in June this year.
//// German DJ Dennis Kaun, also known as Kaos, makes cold sounding but somehow still uplifting electro/house music that takes you right to the clubs of his native Berlin. Both of these tracks are a few years old, but I didn't discover him properly before now, and you shouldn't miss out either!
mp3: Kaos - Lessons In Love (feat. Erlend Øye)
mp3: Kaos - Cerebral Tremolo (Brennan Green Edit)
//// Another German artist, Digitalism is a duo from Hamburg, which together with Berlin is one of Germany's major electronic music hubs. The Daft Punk influenced duo rose to international fame with their 2007 debut album Idealistic, which has been described as 'dance punk' or 'house-rock hybrid'. Their debut was very innovative and fresh sounding, and one of my favorite electronic albums of all time, so I was very excited when they released a new track to the internet earlier this week. Unfortunately 'Blitz Trailer' is literally just a 'trailer' to their upcoming EP, but it still makes me hungry for more. Download it below, and also check out two older tracks if you're new to these Hamburgers.
mp3: Digitalism - Blitz Trailer
mp3: Digitalism - Idealistic
mp3: Digitalism - Pogo (Shinichi Osawa Remix)
//// Holy Fuck is a quite unusual electronic band, with highly progressive songs that fall somewhere between post-rock and electronica in their sound. While Digitalism merge Electronica with the beats of danceable indie rock bands, Holy Fuck pushes electronica towards soundscapes closer to bands like Godspeed You Black Emperor. Another band to emerge from the booming alternative music scene of 00s Toronto, Canada, the members of Holy Fuck of course are intertwined with the other alternative music artists of the city that we have covered so extensively in this blog, most notably Broken Social Scene. BSS producer Dave Newfeld also produced Holy Fuck's debut album, and band member Brian Borcherdt used to play in By Divine Right, a Toronto band who also counts (Broken Social Scene's) Brendan Canning and Leslie Feist to its former members.
mp3: Holy Fuck - Silva & Grimes
//// Norwegian dance-synthpop-band The New Wine (which I most recently covered a month ago) just released their debut album in their home country, and are aiming to internationally release their blend of guitars, funky bass lines and retro Nintendo-esque samples sometime around new year's. Check out the track 'Words on Fire', which in the band's own words is one of the album's "more clubby/dancy songs".
mp3: The New Wine - Words on Fire
The song is called "Miracles" and takes its biggest samples from Micheal Jackson, but it goes all over the place and has a great sound quality.
While generally not a huge fan of mash-ups, this song has it's own appeal for its sheer size, artist selection, and decadent feel.
What a guy.
mp3: Eels - Baby Loves Me
An unusual Eels video, but possibly one of my all-time favorites from the band's 15-year career. Love the combination of the songs innocent lyrics/sound and the video's plot.
mp3: Eels - Spectacular Girl
mp3: Animal Collective - Bluish
The lyrics are simply beautiful. Try giving this stripped-down acoustic cover a listen, and this fact will probably become even more apparent to you:
mp3: Sondre Lerche - Bluish (cover)
mp3: Stardust - Music Sounds Better With You (Eat More Cake Remix)
Turn down the lights, take it easy and enjoy these two chillout remixes. Eat More Cake are a four-piece electronica band from London, here doing a very sweet take on Stardust's 1998 French house classic. Kevin Drew and Ohad Benchetrit are two of the many members of supergroup Broken Social Scene, and here they add their personal touch to one of my favorite tracks off their own band's latest album, Forgiveness Rock Record.
Here are the two originals:
Classic music video that takes me right back to elementary school.
Cute and minimalistic live performance.
mp3: Silverfish Eyelashes
A song with a lot of build-up, and it's rather long. It's definitely worth it though. There's a reason these two essentially spawned an entire generation of relationships and music that is Broken Social Scene, Arts & Crafts, and all the various bands and histories of each of its members and collaborators.
Enjoy, and try to see them live if you get the chance. An amazing show. Buy their album and a t-shirt!
mp3: The New Wine - Delete, Rewind
Norwegian synthpoppers The New Wine (I previously covered them here and here) finally came out with new material in Norway yesterday, the single-track digital release 'Delete, Rewind'. The band will be touring Norway in October and Europe in November. It is unfortunately still unknown when they will start releasing material outside Norway, and also when their fabled debut album - which they reported recording in studio back in May - will finally be out. Good to hear something new from them though, and it makes me hungry for more!
mp3: Röyksopp - The Alcoholic
I posted the first small tastes of Röyksopp's fourth album, Senior a month ago, and now the release date is just around the corner: September 13th is the day the acclaimed Norwegian electronica duo's new all-instrumental concept album is officially released. I've had the chance to listen through Senior in its entirety, and I must say it's definitely darker and less accessible than last year's radio-friendly Junior (the best way to experience the new album, the two musicians suggest, is 'in a dark room with an opium pipe in your hand'), but ultimately much better. Check out my favorite track, 'The Alcoholic'.
mp3: of Montreal - Enemy Gene
Another much-anticipated album that comes out next week is False Priest, the tenth studio album by Athens, GA based indiepop eccentrics of Montreal (out September 14th). Two months ago, I wrote about my anticipations for the album after having heard the first leaked track, 'Coquet Coquette'. Back then, I was puzzled by how the album was supposedly going to be very r&b and funk influenced, while 'Coquet Coquette' really sounded like one of their more straightforward indie rock tracks. Now, after having given False Priest ten listens, the answer is clear: 'Coquet Coquette' is really just an exception, and not representative of the album's style at all. In of Montreal's manic-depressive catalogue, False Priest is the manic answer to the depressive Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer: a hyperactively manic, upbeat, funky and flamboyant affair with an ever present pumping bass and high falsetto throughout its 53 minute playtime. Beyoncé's younger sister Solange Knowles as well as close of Montreal friend Janelle Monáe make wonderful vocal contributions to the album and not only make the whole 'indie pop turned r&b' concept work, but actually seem quite sincere too. Check out the track 'Enemy Gene' featuring Monáe, or read my blog entry about her previous collaboration with of Montreal.
My body tells me no / but I won't quit / I want more!
I'm hooked to this track - so energetic, raw and catchy. Young The Giant are a quintet from Newport Beach, and even though their self-titled debut record isn't out until October 26th, they've already grown a considerable fan base through their very solid live performances (check out the video below to get a taste!) and an EP. The sweet guitar riff, the rough, organic sound, their tireless youthful energy and the hedonistic lyrics on this track remind me of the young Strokes of the Is This It era. I'm looking forward to hear more from these guys next month!
(This one is my personal favorite. My first car looked just like that, but was red)
Anyway, it turns out these guys weren't a real band and just actors paid to sing the song. While an effective jingle, the freecreditreport.com marketing team decided to take it up a notch and do a band search for the new face of freecreditreport.com. The search took a few months and got plenty commercial coverage (including MTV!), but finally we have a winner.
They are the ... Victorious Secrets! (irony)
What does everyone think? Did they deserve to win? The other 3 runner ups will be posted at the bottom of the post if you didn't get to catch them.
(exert from their myspace)Here's what other anonymous people are saying about
The Victorious Secrets!
"They are not too bad actually."
"Hey... they're okay."
" They remind me somewhat of a grungier Sloan. Shocked that this isn't horrible! I'm sure I'll be sick to death of it though. "
"...interesting chord progressions, and lead vocals that don't infuriate me."
"If I have to put up with it, this is perfectly acceptable."
" Something about their songs remind me of the Von Bondies. I kinda don't hate it. "
" It's not horrible... "
THE OTHER BANDS WHO FAILED
"Dude, you got some ... Arnzt on you"
For anyone living under a rock or for anyone who just gave up on the band, Weezer is releasing their latest album on September 14. Back with a tongue in cheek album cover and title, Hurley**, is set to be more "raw rock and roll" then previous albums and the current single shows this to be true. "Memories" is a step up from the latest batch of Weezer turdlets i.e. Raditude, but will the new album show promise to go back to the days of the famed Blue Album or even Pinkerton? Not quite, but for now we just got to give Weezer time.
"Memories" along with the other 9 tracks on Hurley are the first releases from Weezer on their new label Epitaph. Maybe after the big label move Weezer will start to make more and more sonic changes to a less "pop/rock/radio friendly snooze fest" and more to some of "Say It Aint So".
In the meantime, this song will be rocking most alternative/college radio station playlists for a long while and Weezer will be headlining the ever famous Seattle Bumbershoot festival this sunday along with Rise Against and Hole.
**An album named after the famous character played by Jorge Garcia on the television show Lost. To be honest I was hoping for a Lost concept record, or maybe some answers to Season six but you cant win em all.
mp3: Arcade Fire - We Used To Wait