by: Lily C
Boats - Cannonballs, Cannonballs - (Kill Rock Stars)
Indie pop, cute nasal vocals - sometimes reminiscent of Weakerthans (two of whom mixed the album) catchy melodies, some country male/ female harmony, lo-fi electronic textures accompany jangly guitars more often clean than fuzzed. A nice array of sounds includes vintage sounding beat boxes, electric piano, horns, glock and melodica, while still a guitar-based indie rock sound at its core. Fun punk/folk rhythms. Overall almost sounds sea-worthy like their name and album title suggests.
Tony Castles - No Service - (Famous Class Records)
Somewhat experimental indie rock. Overall melodically bright feeling, but not cheery. Sounding a little like a stripped down, more modern-minded Walkmen. Guitars, bass, drums, keys and manipulated audio with varying rhythms, sometimes at once staggered and groovy. Each part has something interesting about it, and every song is a bit diffferent. The first track is brilliant, well worth the effort it takes to check them out.
Arc in Round - Diagonal Fields - (Self-Released)
Solid, modern shoegaze indie rock with big-wide, layered textures. Their dreamy atmospheres and mechanically groovy rhythms range from rocking to trance-inducing. Melancholy but not depressive melodies, beautiful and/or dissonant harmonies.
Timber Timbre - Creep on Creepin' On - (Arts and Crafts)
Pretty but sad, bluesy and cinematic. Drums, bass, keys, guitar, and horns are included, but the instrumentation is consistently minimal. Crooning, slap-delayed vocals like a more masculine Antony and the Johnsons. "Compelling unforgiving-country music, like Nick Cave's Bad Seeds stripped to a low-watt, high anxiety power trio." - Rolling Stone
Chain & The Gang - Music's Not For Everyone - (K Records)
Lo-fi teenage stoner blues-rock with minimal instrumentation, male/ female vocals hold a consistent, original character yet range from a mod-rock yell to Dylan or even Randy Newman rambling. Songs consist of traditional blues and rock progressions, phrases and structures, but warp the big picture with todays indie-rock ingenuity.
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Belong - (Slumberland)
Dreamy early 90s alternative rock and sweet 2000s indie rock, messed with 80s Cure/Smiths bounce and brightness. Layered and distorted guitars play poppy but melancholy chords for the smooth, dreamy male/ female vocals. "Ever wish for a Belle & Sebastian / Smashing Pumpkins collabo? Us too!" - Rolling Stone
Noah & The Whale - Last Night On Earth - (Mercury)
Classic rock inspired, hopeful indie rock. Elegant, timeless songwriting with mostly traditional rock instrumentation, but with enough synthesizers to remind you that its 2011. Production and arrangement is full, clear and beautiful. "..sweeping, mournful vocals."- The Syndicate
Wolf Gang - Wolf Gang EP - (Elektra)
Youthful new indie rock. Driving energetic rhythms, hopeful and romantic melodies, wide, lushly layered vocals and instruments. Beautifully written and dynamic songs taking Arcade Fire's sound up a notch.