Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Tuesday, December 30, 2014
#18 Camilla Sparksss
#17 The Invisible World
#16 Prins Obi
#15 Shocking Pinks
#14 Snooker Emporium
#13 Rachel Thomasin
#12 Repeat After Me
#11 Teen Men
Monday, December 29, 2014
Here are this year's Top 10 Videos to appear on the blog, based on our reader's individual pageviews:
#9 Cloud Seeding: Mirage
#8 Cassie: Old Light
#7 The Noise Figures: Out of Your Mind
#6 Postcode: Losing The Battle
#5 Mad Ones: Walking The Ceiling
#4 Prettiest Eyes: Live at Los Globos
#3 Bruch: Take Me Home Vienna
#2: The Callas: Disaster
#1: Foreign Films: Teardrop Town
Friday, December 26, 2014
Leeds UK's last Hymn have released their debut album, The Touch. The eight tracks are an exploration of sound and textures. Using both electronic and acoustic instruments, the album melds melody with unexpected sonic flourishes. Deep, engaging and beautiful, with vocals that draw one deep into the music, this is a superlative record. Stream and buy The Touch at the link below.
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Our friends at Brooklyn label Stars & Letters Records have a huge Christmas gift for everyone. From December 24th through January 1st, they are giving away their entire catalog for free download (or name you price). That includes the incredible return double album from Shocking Pinks, as well as works by Bad Blocks, Black City Lights, Misfit Mod, Gpsymth, We Are Temporary, Ruane Maurice and Empathy Test. That's 111 tracks in all. Readers of this blog should be familiar with all the fine music released by this label. So, here's your chance to get it all. The label's only request is that you tell your friends about the music via social networks, email and word of mouth. Get busy spread the word; stream and download Stars & Letters Records, The Complete Catalog at the link below.
Monday, December 22, 2014
Brooklyn based electronic auteur We Are Temporary, aka artist/producer and head of Stars & Letters Records, Mark Roberts, has released a stirring new single, I Can't Breath (In Memory of Eric Garner). Inspired by the events of the day, this track is an urban vision of dark realities, shattered dreams and an oppressive police culture. The track is available for free download, but all "pay what you want" funds will be donated by the label to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Stream and buy I Can't Breath (In Memory of Eric Garner) at the link below.
Friday, December 19, 2014
Whenever we think about the great music coming out of Chicago, our thoughts turn to Adele Nicholas, one of the busiest people in that fair city's music scene. Nicholas is an artist with multiple entities, an accomplished record producer and head of indie label Impossible Colors. Nicholas has come with a new album, Unmanageable, under her solo moniker, Axons. With lightly textured vocals, combined with darkish synths, melodic guitars and minimalist pads, she creates an ethereal sonic vibe of trippy beauty. This album is a must have. A limited edition CD-R is already sold out, but the release is available on hand packaged cassette or digital download. Stream and buy Unmanageable at the link below.
Thursday, December 18, 2014
Ontario indie rockers, The Bandicoots, have released the second single, No Turn On Red, in advance of the upcoming EP, This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things. The track is an indie rock gem that is reminiscent of Arctic Monkeys. The EP was produced by Michael Keire (The Dirty Nil, Wildlife), and mastered by Brian Lucey (The Black Keys, Arctic Monkeys). The video for the song was filmed & edited by the band in true DIY fashion. The video is 3 minutes of channel surfing; making pit stops on some of the most ridiculous commercials, t.v. shows, and movies from the 50's, 60's and 70's (Including the band's twist on Happy Days, Monty Python, and A Hard Days Night). Watch it below and then stream and buy No Turn On Red at the link below.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Experimental artist/producer Frank Alexander releases an imaginative format EP, 5x5, on North Carolina's Silber Records. Delivering 5 songs in 5 minutes, this EP blends elements of post-rock, shoegaze, ambient, electronic and jazz into a format that passes all to quickly. Grab this one before it's gone. Stream and buy 5x5 at the link below.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
UK indie label, Small Bear Records has released the digital reissue of Clara Barker's acclaimed debut album 'Indigo'. Originally released in March 2010, this edition has been gently remastered and sees the addition of the 'Christmas In New York' single. 'Indigo' contains a variety of songs, ranging from the joyous and playful 'Cowboy, Ninja, Bear!' to the more downbeat and dark title track and features many live favourites such as 'Abigail' and the original version of 'Sangion' Watch the video for the track Abigail and then stream and buy Indigo at the link below.
Friday, December 12, 2014
New World is the debut solo album from former Sound of Contact keyboardist, Dave Kerzner. The eleven tracks comprise a concept album that follows the protagonist from being lost in the desert to finding his way back to his biodomed home city. Kerzner’s 78-minute concept album features an all-star cast of guest musicians including Steve Hackett (Genesis), Francis Dunnery (It Bites), Durga McBroom (Pink Floyd), Keith Emerson (ELP), Nick D’Virgilio (Tears For Fears), Simon Phillips (The Who), Billy Sherwood (Yes), David Longdon (Big Big Train), Heather Findlay (Mostly Autumn), Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree), Jason Scheff (Chicago), Russ Parrish (Thud) and more. Check it out at the link below.
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Good Winter is the debut EP from Chicago singer/songwriter Quinn Tsan. The six tracks range from quirky pop songs to deep folk rock ballads. What really grabs one right off are the superb vocals, that flow into some fine songwriting, with engaging lyrics. This is all tied together with excellent musicianship and production. There is always a plethora of good music coming out of Chicago and given that, this EP is a remarkable standout. Stream and buy Good Winter at the link below.
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
The Icarus EP is the debut from NYC and Paris based band DRLNG on Silber Records. The four tracks are dynamic shoegaze anthems with some phenomenal vocals and instrumentals. Bright, fresh and inventive, with sterling production and a thoroughly compelling vibe, this is one of our favorite releases of the year. This is a record just too good to miss and is a definite must have. Stream and buy the Icarus EP at the link below.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Close Your Eyes, Keep Talking is the debut album from Ontario indie rock quartet Big Lonely. The band of Jake Heise, Cole Mortillaro, T.J Bowman and Ciarán Downes deliver ten tracks of tight, well produced music. Furthering the tradition of fine Canadian indie music, this album is full of solid, radio ready, rock gems. Laced with wonderful melodies, crisp guitars and a rhythm section that never quits, this album is a must have. Stream and buy Close Your Eyes, Keep Talking at the link below.
Monday, December 8, 2014
Friday, December 5, 2014
Evocation is the sophomore album from Serbian ambient artist, Sava Marinkovic, on the Italian DOF Label. The seven tracks deliver over 40 minutes of darkish explorations featuring abstract guitar and electronic synthesis. Woven with poignant melodies, minimalist beats and well worn noise, the album reflects the influences of artists like David Sylvian, Christian Fennesz, Eivind Aarset. Stream and buy Evocation at the link below.
Thursday, December 4, 2014
Prins Obi is the moniker of singer/songwriter George Dimakis, leader of Greek psych rock outfit Baby Guru. Dimakis has just released his debut solo album, Notions, on Inner Ear Records. The eleven tracks are psychedelic and trippy sensations and hallucinations, with some recently written and others dating back 10 years. The album was recorded with the assistance of King Elephant and featuring special guests such as Sir Kosmiche, Kon Kon, KU and Christina. It is an amalgam of pop songwriting and electronic music (with particular emphasis on the use of the Moog synthesizer) and carries psychedelic frills and an aroma of late 60's-early 70's, but with unexpected changes in style. Stream and buy Notions at the link below.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Miriam Transmission is the debut EP on Hacktivisim Records by electronic artist/producer Ando Laj, aka Andy Lajeunesse. The Toronto based artist delivers six tracks of synth music that ranges from 80's retro sounds to dark post-apocalyptic soundscapes. While clichéd in places, the EP offer up some inspired passages and takes the listener through a forest of noisy sonic textures. Stream and buy Miriam Transmission at the link below.
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Ontario punk band Standards have released their new EP, Kid. This record can be described in one word...perfection. With influences playing out to the likes of like The Clash, The Sex Pistols and shades of Irish bands, Standards are able inheritors. Raucous, loud and brash, the four tracks are simply perfection with lo-fi production and an ethereal din worthy of reverence. Stream and buy Kid at the link below.
Monday, December 1, 2014
Austrian label Totally Wired Records steps out with a splendid release, Earthquakes Usually Come Around At Night, from electronic/synthpop producer I/II. Fusing experimental rhythms and electronic melodies that are all propelled by dance beats, the five tracks drip new wave, bringing forth retro images of Rick Astley, with a modern techno sheen, . Stream and buy Earthquakes Usually Comes Around At Night at the link below.
Thursday, November 27, 2014
FZB usually doesn't post on holidays, but today we use Thanksgiving here in the US to tell you about something special. Our friends at NYC label/collective Mama Coco's Funky Kitchen are have a special show... A Funeral For Rock N' Roll. Here are some very prescient words from them:
Mama Coco’s Funky Kitchen has read the writing on the wall, and has decided to throw a rowdy and joyous Funeral for Rock & Roll on December 6 at Aviv. Don’t miss this one!
2014: A hobbled record industry. A spectacularly diffuse and confused audience spread evenly across the imponderably vast internet. A music culture that is both increasingly marginalized and segregated by genre and social grouping. The ultimate commercialization of SXSW and CMJ, with no new avenues to discover and support new music. It’s enough to make the music-makers tear their hair out!
Recording studio, musician’s collective and all-around anarchic force Mama Coco’s Funky Kitchen has an idea: Let’s kill rock & roll as a concept once and for all, and flush the baby out with the bathwater, so that as musicians, listeners and people we can finally be free of all its attendant limitations, cliches and hang-ups. Let’s trash the bloated bag of bones, so that we may finally be reborn. Let’s usher in a new age of innocence, where music can be worshipped as the infinitely complex beast it is, and the only impediments to our musical explorations and experimentations are at the walls of our own imaginations!
Mama Coco’s will be throwing a New Orleans funeral for that beloved but mortally wounded old master on Dec 6 at Aviv, Brooklyn’s newest and finest DIY music venue. Headlining the show is psychedelic-folk legend and lawless force of nature PETER STAMPFEL, revered for his electrifying performances and for his groundbreaking work with the Holy Modal Rounders. Rounding out the bill are 5 more of MCFK’s finest: the riotously thrilling THE BROOKLYN WHAT, post-R&B weirdos THE GRAVEYARD KIDS, psychedelic rabble-rousers GOD TINY, neo-folk nomad LIAM and scuzz-rock heroes SKINNYBONES.
There will be a communal, moaning jazz freakout to close the night, and much pomp and circumstance throughout. We humbly request your attendance at the funeral.
A Funeral for Rock & Roll
with Peter Stampfel, the Brooklyn What, the Graveyard Kids, God Tiny, LIAM and Skinnybones
@ Aviv (496 Morgan, Brooklyn NY)
$7 at the door
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Low Country Hill is the self-titled debut from Hamilton, Ontario singer/songwrtiter Paul Hogeterp. The nine tracks evoke comparisons to such stalwarts as Hey Rosetta and Bon Iver, but yet really does not sound particularly like either. The tracks stand on their own as testaments to superlative songwriting and an album produced to showcase haunting, beautiful music. The album was a joint effort between Hogeterp and a cast of friends and guests, including Pat Sansone (Wilco) and Bill Dillon (Joni Mitchell, Peter Gabriel, Robbie Robertson and Sarah MacLachlan), and was produced by Dave King at his barn studio on the outskirts of Hamilton. This is a definite must have. Stream and buy Low Country Hill at the link below.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Bathing Music is the latest release from experimental outfit Rllrbll, on North Carolina's Silber Records. Blending a plethora of genre influences from post-rock to shoegaze, to jazz, to ambient, the nine tracks are a sonic exploration of depth and texture. Weaving together melodic elements with minimal rhythms, the effect is one of a dream state, where sound forms internal images that will be unique to each listener. This is one that everyone needs to give a listen, whether you're into ambient music or not. Stream and buy Bathing Music at the link below.
Monday, November 24, 2014
Canadian label Shaking Box Music has released Derelict Drift, the new album from Calgary based artist/producer Bitter Fictions, aka Devin Friesen. The six tracks are an experimental exploration of guitar based drone and ambient music. The album features Friesen on solo guitar with plenty of tape loops and feedback, all drifting and droning to create a unique sonic landscape. The 15 minute long track Dream Negation was written when Friesen opened for noise great Merzbow last May. This album is a fine example of the depth of artistry that can still be found in ambient based music. Stream and download Derelict Drift at the link below.
Friday, November 21, 2014
NYC shoegazers Whitewash have released their debut EP, Fraud In Lisbon, on Atlanta based label Human Sounds Records. The six tracks are reverby, atmospheric affairs with a nice post-punk edge. The production is not up to par, which is disappointing for an otherwise fine debut. The band of
Sam Thornton, Evan Glazman, Jonathan Ben-Menachem and Aram Demirdjian have a sound that is somewhere between Ariel Pink and GBV. Stream and buy Fraud in Lisbon at the link below.
Thursday, November 20, 2014
New Jersey singer/songwriter Christopher Reilly has released his latest EP, Lies Told From Under The Cocoa Tree. The five tracks are indie folk stories from a troubadour in the same vain as Colin Meloy and other fine story tellers. What really sets this EP apart from the typical folk foray, is its huge sound. With big production, hot mastering and towering vocals, this is a folk album that will also appeal to those more interested in rock. This is a must have. Stream and buy Lies Told From Under The Cocoa Tree at the link below.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Drawing Suns is the sophomore album from Greek singer/songwriter The Fisherman, aka Tony Panou. The thirteen tracks are a forceful romp through straight up indie rock n roll. No pretense, no genre bending, just strong songwriting, strong performances and catchy tracks. This album is a breath of fresh air in a world of too much reverb, too many effects and a multitude of sound alike artists. This album is a definite must have. Stream and buy Drawing Suns at the link below.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Plastic Preacher is the debut EP from The Moon Apes, the London, UK duo of Elias Elgerud and Daniela Trojmar. The three tracks are not your everyday post-punk. The EP is marked by a dissonant approach to songwriting, which requires a bit of a sonic leap from the listener. While highly experimental and unique, the constant dissonance make the three tracks a difficult listen. Without the respite of any resolved chord progressions, the EP takes on a vibe that is disconcerting and leaves one with the tension expected from such a musical aesthetic. Not our cup of tea, but worth a listen. Stream and download Plastic Preacher at the link below.
Monday, November 17, 2014
Way Down Deep is the debut album from Chicago singer/songwriter Angela James. Taking Americana influences from such stalwarts as Patsy Cline and Rosanne Cash and blending them with alt-country touches ala Neko Case, James has crafted an album of superlative style and grace. Featuring contributions from members of Califone, Pillars & Tongues, Iron & Wine and Whirlpool, James has shown that she is an artist to expect great things from. Get in on the ground floor. Stream and buy Way Down Deep at the link below.
Friday, November 14, 2014
deepnet. is the new album from Melbourne's the ORIGINS. The duo of Andrew Wright and Michelle Balestrat make very retro sounding, 80's electronic music. The eleven instrumental tracks are darkish, with simple melodies, fleeting guitar rhythms and minimal production. The tracks conjure up a sense of listening to music meant for background to the various scenes of a sci-fi movie. No grand synthesizer excursions or indie pop statements here. The album lacks cohesion and while enjoyable for what it is, the album fails to engage with a meaningful sonic vibe. Stream and download deepnet. for free at the link below.
Thursday, November 13, 2014
UK indie label Small Bear Records, gives us a twist on the Sex Pistols' first album cover with their cover for Never Mind The Baubles, the label's third annual holiday album. This year's album is a more international affair with artists from our Manx homeland (Nanaki, Phil Reynolds and the Dearly Departed, Postcode, Harmony Dischord) joined by acts from Sweden, Norway, Belgium, America, France and the UK.
The album features established Small Bear acts such as The Bordellos, Matt Bouvier and Dog, Paper, Submarine alongside new recruits to the Small Bear cause. As usual there is a variety on offer here, from post-rock to indiepop, lo-fi, garage rock and more. Of course, this being a Christmas album, it can be streamed and downloaded for free at the link below.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Cage of Bones is the debut album from Metz, France's Venus In The Dust. The duo of Stéphanie Maon and Fabien Pilard combine bohemian influences with industrial textures and a theatrical rock bent to create tracks of rare originality. Dark, yet accessible, the songs have a varied feel that keeps the listener closely tuned to the musical journey being traversed. Stream and buy Cage of Bones at the link below.
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Future Planz is new EP from Chicago post-punkers Heroin Chic. The six tracks find the band searching more for the right tones and textures to give life to the recording, but at the same time keeping the roughness brought by their live act as well. The band's influences range from Deerhunter and Dirty Projectors to Minus the Bear, to the Bronx, something the band like to call "melancholirock" because of the crooning lyrics mixed with punk beats and reverb-soaked guitar. Something, psychedelic, something poppy, sometimes hard, sometimes soft. Stream and download Future Planz at the link below.
Monday, November 10, 2014
Greek indie label, Inner Ear Records, have dropped another catchy release, the S/T debut album from Athens based My Drunken Haze. The band make 60’s psych-tinged melodies with fiery pop flourishes. The album was produced by King Elephant, best known as the drummer of Baby Guru, and focusses on the character of a woman in search of love, longing, separation and redemption, set against a backdrop of daydreaming, drugs and the hot sand of a summer beach. Stream and buy My Drunken Haze at the link below.
Friday, November 7, 2014
Detroit based shoegaze artist Rayning, aka Gerald McKay, has released a new self-titled EP on Hacktivism Records. The six tracks are dense works with a liberal expanse of noise, heavy reverb and towering instrumental riffs. The vocals are buried a bit too much in the mix, but the EP is none the less a masterful work, that offers an immersive listening experience. Stream and download Rayning at the link below.
Thursday, November 6, 2014
Thrown Into the Sea is the new EP from Australian singer songwriter Obscura Hail, aka Sean Conran. Taking the path of folk troubadour, Conran builds five tracks of lush acoustic guitar, tasteful instrumental flourishes and superlative vocals. With a each song the story of life plays out across the melancholy and the uplifting. This is just a stunning EP that needs to be enjoyed by everyone. Stream and buy Thrown Into The Sea at the link below.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Our friends at Stars & Letters Records in Brooklyn, are on their way to becoming the premier synthpop label on the planet. Their latest release is the EP Throwing Stones, by London based Empathy Test. The duo of Isaac Howlett and Adam Relf are all about finding emotion in the machine, with soaring synthetic chords, precision beats, and jubilant 80s melodies; all coated in soft, irresistible melancholy textures. Rather than sounding like a mere update of 80s’ electro, Empathy Test produce a mesmerizing and immersive identity which sets them apart from pretty much everything else currently on the scene. Stream and buy the Throwing Stones EP at the link below.
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
Michigan based experimental ambient outfit Cestine, have released the sumptuous new album, Level, on Australian label Twice Removed Records. The duo of Dominic Coppola and Theodore Schafer deliver over 45 minutes of music across 5 tracks. Laced with dark soundscapes that are layered in lush synth pads, the album provides an immersive sonic experience. These ambient auteurs continue to plow new ground since there 2013 debut release. Steam and buy, Level, at the link below.
Monday, November 3, 2014
FZB favorite Lykanthea, aka Lakshmi Ramgopal, has released a video for the track Telos, from her FZB reviewed debut EP Migration. The video was filmed in Chicago by filmmaker/director E. Aaron Ross and styled by acclaimed Chicago designer Laura Prieto-Velasco of Hunter Gatherer jewelry.
Lykanthea - Telos from Lykanthea on Vimeo.
Friday, October 31, 2014
Chicago pop-punk outfit Dead On TV have a new EP out, Creeper. The band of Daniel Evans, Chris Smits, Vince McAley, Mike TeeVee and Corey Devlin let loose with a radio ready EMO sound on the six tracks. With obvious comparisons to bands like Panic At The Disco and My Chemical Romance, the EP is marked by prominent hooks and an alt rock production sheen. This is an EP long on traditional alt rock clichés and short on any real edge. Stream and buy Creeper at the link below.
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Sweden is the place to find indie folk auteurs John Moose. The band of André Szeles, Emil Florell, Ia Oberg, Petter Falk and Tobias Norén conjure comparisons to Fleet Foxes and Father John Misty, with their beautifully appointed track Flower. Featuring lush, airy harmonies and tight musicianship, this is a perfect way to start your day. Watch the video below.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Australian indie band Hamjam, have released their debut self-titled EP. The five tracks are psychedelic, shoe gazey affairs, that invoke the likes of Mac Demarco and Ariel Pink. Lots of reverb, lots of 60ish rhythms and plenty of indie goodness. This is one of those records that just make you happy when you listen to it. Get happy, stream and buy the Hamjam EP at the link below.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Experimental band Yellow6 graces us with a new album, Closer To The Sea Without Moving, on North Carolina's Silber Records. The ten tracks combine aspects of drone, shoegaze and post-rock into an artist canvass of lush soundscapes. The music finds each element and texture adding personality to the overall aesthetic. What emerges is an album of sublime taste and beauty. Stream and buy Closer To The Sea Without Moving at the link below.
Monday, October 27, 2014
FZB favorite Anda Volley has a wonderful new track, Blacklight Vegas. This track sees the Boston based artist stretch her legs with more intricate instrumentation on a haunting song, featuring literary worthy lyrics. We hope this is a preview of what we can expect on her next album. This is an artist that everyone should get hip to. If you are in the UK, catch Anda Volley on tour in November. See her tour dates and stream and download Blacklight Vegas at the link below.
Friday, October 24, 2014
Hamilton, Ontario rockers and FZB favorites City and The Sea are back with another great track, Trouble. The band of Nick Cino, Jon Daly, Dave Marini and Joe Piccolo serve up another of their radio ready, rock n roll gems. Featuring compelling guitar sounds, tight vocals and crisp production, the band continues to deliver what we have come to expect, great music. Watch the video and then stream and download Trouble at the link below.
Thursday, October 23, 2014
FZB favorites Mad Ones are back with a stunning new track, Walking The Ceiling. The Toronto duo of Andrew DeVillers and Phil Wilson have created a track with a dense, heavy, post-punk and industrial vibe. the synths and guitars are allowed their noise, while edgy vocals lure one into the back alley. Watch the video below and the stream and download Walking The Ceiling for free at the link below.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Chicago's Impossible Colors Records have released the second of their monthly split cassingle series. This month features the nice post-punk track, French Girl, by Strawberry Jacuzzi, with plenty of Kathleen Hanna vibes b/w the tight Weezer reminiscent track, Brain In Two, by Post Child. The production on both is excellent and both bands rock enough to get one through a mundane workday. If you haven't subscribed to the cassingle series, get with it. Stream and buy this month's Impossible Colors Club release at the link below.