A new signee to Carpark Records, Lesser Gonzalez Alvarez boasts not only a catchy name, but also the ability to dabble in multiple genres adeptly. The Baltimore resident has done electro-pop with his now-defunct Cache Cache outfit, played in a folks music band, and makes electronic music on the side with his project The Ruby Stallion Ensemble. For his debut album under his given name, Gonzalez turns to acoustic guitars and simple melodies with Why is Bear Billowing?, set for release in mid-August. All that plus he's a member of Baltimore's esteemed Wham City collective with Dan Deacon. We imagine his iCal is pretty booked up at this point.
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In the words of Takka Takka member Gabe Levine, the band's new record, Migration, is about experimenting with sound and form, being in places one doesn't belong, honesty, and his mother. What that adds up to on the track "Silence" is a lyrical landscape about loneliness layered down over catchy guitar hooks and snares. The band, who has been playing together since 2004, commissioned Sean Greenhalgh (Clap Your Hands Say Yeah) to produce the album, which was recorded in Brooklyn and also features performances by The National's Bryan Devendorf and Lee Sargent of CYHSY. It's indie-pop at its most ambitious, and we're loving every layer of this tune.
One has to expect good things from an outfit that goes by the name Doomtree. The Minneapolis crew of producers and rappers is nine men strong and finally, the members have united for their first-ever all-inclusive release. Doomtree is, at its core, a hip-hop album, but the crew brings in elements from multiple genres, from indie-rock to punk-rock. "Game Over" features a hard-hitting beat, bubbling basslines, scratches, and crisply uttered lyrics.
This track catches the ear immediately with its combination of staccato synths, breathy vocals, and ghostly reverb that all appear within the first thirty seconds of the song, and it's a good introduction to what the listener is in for with Fight Bite. The Denton, TX-based band–formed only late last year–combine founding member Leanne Macomber's pension for sad love ballads with the songwriting capabilities of Jeff Louis. The latter has a knack for weaving melancholy harmonies around and multi-instrumental layers around Macomber's original work, adding a keyboard strain here, a xylophone there, and a few drum machines as well. Minor chords reign supreme here, and if you're not in tears by the end of this track, you must truly be dead inside.
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If it's dreamy, shoegazy songs you're after, look no further than Edmonton, Alberta-based five-piece outfit Faunts. The band's M4 EP is still, several months after its release, a musical tear-jerker and one of the most gorgeous discs to drop in 2008, with gauzy guitar chords, gentle, persistent snares, and densely layered synths. Formed in 2000, the band has shared a bill with the likes of fellow Canadians Broken Social Scene and Do Make Say Think, and are set to embark on their first-ever West Coast tour this fall. Check "M4 (Part II)" for all the shoegazy goodness needed this week, and for the truly avid fans, we've also got "M4 (Part I)" available for download.
Tussle's back! With a new bandmember, a new album, and a forthcoming tour in the works, the S.F.-based experimental band is keeping very busy in 2008, but they did have a few minutes to lace us with this track off the new full-length. Cream Cuts took the band nearly two years to complete and finds the four-piece outfit playing with elements of psychedelic and dub elements, as well as incorporating its usual round of precise hi-hats and kicks, courtesy of the band's drummer extraordinaire, Warren Huegel.
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