I’ve been racking up a lot of new music and I’ve been doing an otherwise terrible job at sharing it with you all. So here’s some great tunes to kick start your Wednesday morning. I checked out The Republic Tigers last night at the Towne Lounge.? You never know how you feel once you get out of work and if staying up late is worth it.? I didn’t stay for the whole set, but what I did see I was impressed with.
I do sorta dig The Republic Tigers breed of sensitive electronic rock. It’s not quite progish, not even close, but that’s the descriptor that comes to mind. Like it’s an Americanized late-period Britpop.? The Tigers write tight upbeat pop songs, with dark and moody underpinnings.
Photo by: Jalapeno at Philly’s North Star Bar
One day I will get my camera back up and working.? So on to the new music.?
The Cold War Kids
I loved The Cold War Kids‘s debut album. They had such a unique sound, loose structures, jangly guitars, blues rhythms and they sung about some heavy shit. Not even shy to sing about religion or alcoholism and the characters in their songs were all lovably damaged. They’re back with a new album out in September, Loyalty to Loyalty. From the sounds of their first single “Something is Not Right With Me” they’ve amped up their sound. Listening to this reminds me of what it’s like after pounding down 12 cups of coffee before 8 a.m.
GZA will always have Liquid Swords to fall back on but he’s called The Genius for a reason. His new album Pro Tools drops August 19 and the beats and lyrical flow sounds like GZA is still going strong. I like how he transitions between doing dope soundtracks and his own albums, plus the last Wu Tang album was like a master thesis.? If his new track “Alphabets” doesn’t get your morning going, then you need to go back to bed.
Mp3: GZA – “Alphabets”
From Bubblegum to Sky
The pop group is actual the work of one Mario Hernandez. The album A Soft Kill is out now and it’s reminiscent of the bouncy pop of The Beach Boys, The Turtles mixed up with the distorted buzz of say, early shoegazer. Still, it’s an easily listenable and relatable album. Unlike say, Dr. Dog, Hernandez is pushing forward while also looking back. He’s building on the music he loves instead of just aping it. Not an easy thing to do.
The Best of the Rest
– Oh man, there is nothing like hearing a symphonic song full of banjo, trumpets, falsetto singing and shimmering joyous song writing. Somehow Jeff Hanson pulls that off. New favorite artist alert.? It’s not easy, but this is a summery song that I’ve been digging a lot. “If Only I Knew” (Mp3) is off his Kill Rock Stars release Madam Owl.
– I wasn’t much of a Kings of Leon fan because when they first hit the scene they seemed superfluous and derivative, but lately either they’ve been getting better or I’ve just broken down and given in to their scuzzy, bass heavy brand of Southern Rock.
Their new album Only By the Night is out Sept. 23 and the Followill Clan bring the noise again with their new single “Crawl” (Mp3). It hits you heavy out of the gate, with that thumping bass line.? Holy hell is all I can say.? I’m coming around in a big way.
– And finally, two tracks I’ve enjoyed from Portland bands. One because of the recent closing of the Oregon State Hospital, which was where One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was filmed. “Medication” (Mp3) by Super XXMan is a morose reminder of the importance of mental health.? Okay, not really.? But it’s an oddly infectious tune, hypnotic might be the better word.? Also, this might be the raddest video going, with a claymation chicken.? It’s not for the song “Medication” but who cares.
– System and Station rock things with a mid-nineties alternative song, sorta like Built to Spill, that just hits all the right notes. Takes me back to high school in a good way. I love that this song isn’t complicated, as most of their songs are just straight up rocking tunes, but has some nice changes in the structure of the song. This is off their fourth album A Nation of Actors which comes out Aug. 19.