The Wandering Bears
Dec 18th, 2011 by hachaduryan

THE WANDERING BEARS

 

Location: Iowa City, Iowa

Genre: Indie, Indie – Rock

 

 

The Wandering Bears project began in 2009 when singer/guitarist Mannix!, pianist David Earl [Caroline Smith and The Goodnight Sleeps], and bassist Mitch F began collaboration on a collection of musical scraps and pieces. They were joined by singer Samantha Blickhan, singer/guitarist Drew F, and drummer Paul K [The Diplomats of Solid Sound] to complete a project heavily based on collaboration.

Through the course of self-releasing a DIY album, a few East Coast tours and a jaunt through the West, The Wandering Bears have developed a healthy regional enthusiasm towards their recorded music and happiness-infused, musically-intricate live-show.

Recently, The Wandering Bears project, in collaboration with Plastic Horse Records, recently created and released the album “Michael Cougar May..” named for the famed nudist-revolutionist. The ten-track album is full of electro-folk, pop rock and roll songs. The Little Village wrote “Michael Cougar May…captures the positive energy and snarky outlook of Iowa City’s The Wandering Bears, and is a must-have album for lovers of indie-pop and local music.” [Gavin, Tim. Little Village, 21 Sept. 2011. Web. 18 April 2009.] The release was recorded and produced by project member and practicing wizard, David Earl.

While singer Samantha Blickhan currently works away on a Masters of Musicology Degree at Oxford University in England, the Bears have begun work on a covers project, recreating and recording modern R&B/Soul/Rock compositions.

www.thewanderingbears.com

hedonistaguidedtravels@gmail.com

 

The Wandering Bears – Take Care, Kiddo courtesy Hedonista Guided Travels

 

 

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Dad Rocks!
Nov 28th, 2011 by hachaduryan

DAD ROCKS!

 

Location: Denmark (Iceland)

Genre: Indie-Folk-Rock

 

Dad Rocks! – Weapons (featuring Charles Spearin of Broken Social Scene) courtesy of Paper Garden Records

 

Icelandic musician Snævar Njáll Albertsson is the mastermind behind Dad Rocks!, the solo project of the singer who initially rose to prominence with the Danish band Mimas. Dad Rocks!, however, is quite different: the guitar here is mostly acoustic and is accompanied by piano, trumpet, violin, viola, handclaps and much more. As Dad Rocks!, Albertsson is inspired by acts such as Bill Callahan, Owen, Why?, Akron/Family and Do Make Say Think. This has led to a sound that is a unique mix of folk, pop and lo-fi with complex guitar-work and anthem-like arrangements.

Snævar Njáll Albertsson’s primary sources of inspiration, however, are the relations closest to him. Most of all his little daughter who also inspired the name Dad Rocks!, naturally a pun on the ’dad rock’ genre. The use of pathos and irony is something that is explored throughout his work. Lyrically, this is also a central aspect with subjects both big and small. Sometimes delivered almost cynically but with words that are close to naïvism. Underneath this, the irony lurks at every corner, and even the title of the debut EP, “Digital Age”, explores this dynamic.

Whilst the EP was recorded in a lo-fi setting on an analogue tape recorder, Albertsson had another vision for the forthcoming debut full-length, Mount Modern, and went for a different aesthetic that allowed the instruments to stand out clearer to bring out every single melody carried out on the many instruments played on the album. For this task he enlisted Icelandic super producer Addi 800 (Blur, Björk) to mix the album and Tom Mcfall (REM, Stars, Regina Spektor, Bloc Party) to do the mastering.

 

Dad Rocks! – Nothing Keeps Up courtesy of Paper Garden Records

 

 

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dad-Rocks/323716390096
Twitter – Twitter.com/dadrocks1

Paper Garden Records – http://papergardenrecords.com/bands/records/dad-rocks/

 

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Sharon Van Etten
Nov 25th, 2011 by hachaduryan

SHARON VAN ETTEN

 

Location: Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Indie; Singer-Songwriter

 

Sharon Van Etten – Serpents courtesy of Pretty Much Amazing

Sharon Van Etten came to Brooklyn via Jersey via Tennessee via Jersey. Along the way, she sang in choirs, rejected her school’s music program, worked at an all-ages venue, trained as a sommelier, and got a full time job at a record label. She also had some bad experiences in relationships.

OK, more than some.

Epic, Van Etten’s second album, lays a romantic melancholy lining over the gravel and dirt of heartbreak, without one honest thought or feeling spared. She sings of betrayal, obsession, egotism and all the other emotions we hate in others and recognize in ourselves. Yet, Van Etten’s grounded and clenched vocals convey the sense of hope – the notion that beauty can come out of the worst of circumstances. Epic is indeed that beauty.

The album was recorded at Miner Street Studios in Philadelphia with Brian McTear. Where Van Etten’s first record, Because I Was In Love, explored her thoughts on love through minimalism and sparseness, Epic embellishes her music to grandiose luminosity. Guitar and singing are joined by drums, piano, lap steel, and a trio of backing vocalists: Meg Baird (Espers), Cat Martino and Jessica Larrabee (She Keeps Bees). The result is a fully realized album that astounds as it elucidates, disturbs as it soothes. The final track, “Love More,” has already been covered live in a collaborative effort between Sharon fans Bon Iver and The National.

A few things need to be made clear about SVE’s music. She’s not the type of “female singer/songwriter” who champions women-centric perspectives and denies personal accountability. Nor is she a strident provocateur. Rather, Van Etten is a performer who fully embraces her femininity while confidently expressing it through intelligent and mature perspectives on relationships. Those turned off by the provincialism of other performers will be pleased that you can identify with Van Etten’s incisive and universal observations about love and loss.

Since her last album, Sharon Van Etten has sung on The Antlers’ Hospice and performed with them at Radio City Music Hall, sung improv on the Mike Reed Trio’s upcoming album, recorded backup vocals for Swedish popstar Anna Ternheim, appeared on the compilation with the recent issue of Esopus, collaborated with Megafaun (check YouTube!), will be on a soundtrack for the film The Builder along with Bon Iver and Phosphorescent, and has a seven-inch coming out this summer on Polyvinyl. After years of playing repeatedly around the New York scene, Van Etten is preparing for a series of tours that will take her through Europe and the United States. A full band will be realizing Epic live.

Sharon Van Etten – Love More courtesy of WILD TONIC

 

You can learn more about Sharon Van Etten here:

http://sharonvanetten.com/

http://www.myspace.com/sharonvanetten

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Mike and Cody
Nov 19th, 2011 by hachaduryan

MIKE AND CODY

 

Genre: Grime/Pop

Location: Boston, MA

 

Mike and Cody Let's Go

 

 

We had the honor to speak directly to Cody Hochheiser and here is what he shared for www.thelazycocoon.com:

 

We are a quite new band -it is just me, Cody Hochheiser, and Mike Okusami. We met when we were in high school in a Washington D.C. jazz band – I played drums and he played bass.

He went off to Berklee College of Music and I went to Tufts University (where I am a senior now) and we started messing around on pop tunes — then this past summer we started getting serious and put together this EP. We did all of the recording, production, and mixing in Mike’s apartment in Boston, just the two of us. He is playing most of the instruments – bass, guitar, synths — I’ll play synth sometimes and we both sing (he is lead vocals on ‘headphones on’ and ‘devilish’, I am on the other five songs on the EP)

The EP has been out for about 3 weeks and we’ve gotten a really good response – it’s number 1 most popular on Bandcamp from D.C. bands (out of 12,000) and #31 out of 136,000 in the pop category.

 

Well, quite an impressive little start, that is for sure. The songs are great and they have been recorded and produced with some serious talent. Great job you guys, we’ll keep an eye out for you!

 

 

 

 

 

Here are a couple of really neat music videos, proudly performed by Mike & Cody!

 

 

 

 

You can find out more about Mike and Cody here:

 

http://mikeandcody.bandcamp.com/

http://www.myspace.com/mikeandcodyband

www.facebook.com/mikeandcody

Mike and Cody were also interviewed by The Tufts Daily, you can read the article at:

http://www.tuftsdaily.com/weekender-interview-cody-hochheiser-1.2664621

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Telekinesis
Nov 17th, 2011 by hachaduryan

TELEKINESIS

 

Genre: INDIE-POP/INDIE-ROCK

Location: Seattle, WA

 

 

Telekinesis – Please Ask for Help courtesy ofMergeRecords

 

Telekinesis is Michael Benjamin Lerner, an er based out of Seattle, Washington,United States who is currently signed to Merge Records.

Lerner signed to Merge Records in early 2009, and shortly afterward released the eponymously named debut album Telekinesis! on April 7, 2009. Recorded in September of 2008, the album was produced, mixed, and engineered with the help of Chris Walla (guitarist for Death Cab for Cutie), recording one song per day on analog tape.

While on tour, Lerner is joined by Chris Staples (electric gtr), David Broecker (electric / acoustic / bass gtr), and Jonie Broecker (bass gtr / keyboards) to make up the touring band.

Official website: http://www.telekinesismusic.com

Here is what Merge Records say about Telekinesis:

The dread of the sophomore album is a common affliction among new artists, and in early 2009, Michael Benjamin Lerner was no exception. Excitement about the success of Telekinesis! left Michael feeling edgy and restless when it came time to write new songs. The long-distance relationship that inspired his debut album’s songs of wanderlust had ended, a mystery ailment had rendered him physically off-balance and (thankfully, only temporarily) deaf in one ear, his touring van had been severely damaged in an accident, and he had just returned from a much-needed “escape” to Berlin in the dead of winter where he had banished himself to a room in the warehouse district to write songs from 9 to 5 each day. Always attempting to capture a specific moment or feeling with his songwriting, Michael spent no more than a day on each song. However, he was still a couple of songs short of an album that he could be happy with.

Michael describes his method of songwriting as “heart on my sleeve,” so trying to write more “super-pop” songs just wasn’t working while his life was such a mess. He took a few months off, let his balance return, fixed his van, and went on tour, returning energized and ready to head back into the studio.

Continuing their partnership from Telekinesis!, Michael and producer Chris Walla again recorded to analog tape. They tossed out all the rules-as they are wont to do when they get together-and, as Michael says, “went a little crazy,” spontaneously dancing and recording drum parts backwards. Walla shared his love of Mark Robinson’s Flin Flon project (specifically, the 1998 Teenbeat album A-OK), and Michael became enthralled with the fuzzed-out bass sounds. For the first time, he used his new bass guitar to write songs, and Michael’s characteristic Telekinesis pop hooks combined with his darker lyrics, giving the music a decidedly rocking direction.

“50 Ways,” which Michael describes as “the most complicated song I’ve ever written,” uses a reference to Paul Simon’s tongue-in-cheek breakup song “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” to express the anger and frustration of leaving someone but still seeing them everywhere you go. “Please Ask for Help” was inspired by listening to The Cure’s Disintegration on repeat. Michael used what he calls “that dirty bass line” to evoke the “weird lust” he imagines swirling around in a seedy bar on a Saturday night.

The result of all of this is 12 Desperate Straight Lines, twelve new songs of heartache, anger, and even a little hopefulness. With lyrics like “I cannot love you” and “I never loved you,” it’s not hard to guess that this is a breakup album, but Michael’s indomitable optimism shines through in the infectiousness of the music and in the final words of the final track, “Gotta Get It Right Now”: “And it’s alright, if it means nothing / Cuz it meant something, anyway.”

The new Telekinesis band features Jason Narducy (Robert Pollard band, Bob Mould band) on bass and Cody Votolato (Jaguar Love, The Blood Brothers) on guitar.

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Tags: music, new music, songs, free songs, free music, download music, indie, independent, electronic, indietronic, pop, electro pop, electro-pop, indie pop, indie-pop, undiscovered, obscure, rock, alternative, dreampop, dream pop, psychedelic, lo-fi, echo rock, echo pop;

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