BIBIO - "FEELING"
Bibio will release his seventh album, A Mineral Love, on April 1st through Warp Records. Along with the announcement he’s sharing the album’s first official single, “Feeling,” with an accompanying video directed by Bibio himself. Bibio’s Stephen Wilkinson states, “This album celebrates the sacred and precious struggles of human insecurities through many windows of familiar musical forms. It's also a celebration of my love of the craft of record making, drawing influences from many sources across all decades from the late sixties to the present. All these referential forms have a twist; some are more full-on cocktails. The album as a whole is an unashamed expression of my fondness of, and need for, variety. The juxtapositions between tracks are well considered and I'm comfortable with them - this is how I enjoy music. This is not a purist record, it is not trying to authentically recreate a specific time or genre but rather use familiar forms as a common language to communicate new ideas and new messages. I want to sing about struggle and tragedy with warmth, sympathy and respect. I want sadness to have bittersweet hope.”
THE LAST SHADOW PUPPETS - "BAD HABITS"
The Last Shadow Puppets return with their new album Everything You've Come To Expect, out April 1st via Domino. The album finds Alex Turner and Miles Kane reunited with James Ford (production and drums) and Owen Pallett (string arrangements) and joined by Zachary Dawes (Mini Mansions) on bass, recording the follow up to 2008's The Age Of The Understatement at Shangri La Studio in Malibu. Featuring current single “Bad Habits,” Everything You've Come To Expect is a more open and expansive work than its predecessor, wearing its influences less obviously on its sleeve - by turns the album is soaring, snarling and breathlessly seductive.
BEN ABRAHAM - "YOU AND ME"
Australian artist Ben Abraham, whom the Sydney Morning Herald calls “one of the best new male voices,” debuts a new Oh Yeah Wow-directed video for “You And Me,” which is the first track from Abraham’s debut album Sirens, set for release March 4th on Secretly Canadian. Abraham recorded and produced Sirens in Melbourne with the help of friends and longtime collaborators Jono Steer and Leigh Fisher. The album also features collaboration with Sara Bareilles, who Abraham connected online and struck up a friendship with several years ago, as well as additional production from Gotye’s Wally De Backer. Abraham brought his live show, which Tone Deaf calls “disarming” and “truly stunning,” to the U.S. for the first time at last year’s CMJ. Abraham backs up his voice with only guitar and harmonium, in the vein of “Cat Stevens, if Donny Hathaway and Stevens had a baby and he hung out with Sufjan Stevens and Feist,” Abraham says.
FAKE LAUGH - "MIND TRICKS"
On January 29th, Canvasclub and Fierce Panda will proudly present “Mind Tricks / Birdsong Lullaby,” a new AA-side single by East London's Fake Laugh. Never short of breath, and with heart always placed firmly on sleeve, primary songwriter Kamran Khan cooks up irresistible, unmistakably brazen melancholia. Longtime collaborator Theo Verney is on production duties, fusing his bold, rich angle with Fake Laugh’s translucent pop jangle. While “Birdsong Lullaby” harkens the unmistakable forlorn uncertainty so well acquainted with Khan’s pop sensibilities, "Mind Tricks” is a new take on the band. Unfamiliar to the familiar, or inevitably new to those who require an introduction, the track is drenched in such saccharin merry-go-round melody that, if you listen close enough, you might just hear hearts breaking all across the globe. Both choruses are as modest as the band in question - they’ll politely come and go - but with little notice, they’ll be stuck in your head forever more.
TREETOP FLYERS - "31 YEARS"
For Treetop Flyers, the last few years have been a case of needing to fall apart, in order to rebuild, and come back stronger. Two and a half years on from their acclaimed debut album The Mountain Moves, fate showed its macabre sense of humor in dramatically shifting the ground beneath the London five-piece. It was perhaps natural that Palomino was to become an honest, raw, and reflective record. With an out-of-sorts band slowly coming to terms with their own situations, self-reliance and a gang mentality showed itself to be the route ahead. Locking themselves away at their own Soup Studios in London, self-producing along with the help of some friends - and then mixed by Jonathan Wilson (Father John Misty, Conor Oberst, Elvis Costello) - their new outlook was to embrace the unknown, and begin experimenting. Treetop Flyers are a fluid band, affected by, and absorbing everything, for better or worse. New single “31 Years” is a goodbye to a friend who passed away during the recording of their debut.
IDIOT GLEE - "EVERGEEN PSYCHO"
Idiot Glee is back with the music video for the first single from his upcoming self-titled LP, "Evergreen Psycho." The video brings a visually stunning component to an already startlingly psychedelic song. James Friley began writing songs as Idiot Glee in 2009 after hearing Brian Eno describe the blissful and joyous feeling that one experiences when completely lost in the moment of creation. Classically trained on the piano since the age of seven, he naturally gravitated to the keyboard and began performing his style of pop as a solo act. Throughout the following few years, he wrote and released new music in addition to touring throughout the US and Europe, supporting acts like Women and Islands as well as headlining.
DCTV - "BOURGEOIS POP"
DTCV (DETECTIVE) was born late at night at a party in the Hollywood Hills mansion of a film producer, where novelist, screenwriter and guitarist James Greer (Guided By Voices guitarist) met Lola G., French dilettante in the L.A. stoner/garage scene. Uninterested in mingling with celebrities, Lola and James started a conversation about Super-Fuzz pedals and decided to form a band, named DETECTIVE after a Godard film and later shortened to DTCV to avoid confusion with homicide news on the Internet. With both Lola and James as songwriters and multi-instrumentalists, DTCV quickly had enough songs to record several albums. In 2015, while listening to Clifton Chenier’s French Zydeco and the Nouvelle-Vague-inspired Brian Jonestown Massacre album Musique de film imaginé, Lola felt an urge to write songs in her native tongue and a new album, Confusion Moderne was recorded with psych guru Joel Jerome. The result is a mix of classic French pop, garage, 60s yé-yé, and DTCV’s own signature post-punk inflections that the band likes to call “Françoise Hardy fronting Buzzcocks.” Entirely written in French (with the exception of Greer’s coruscating screed against the domestication of rock “We Aren’t the Champions”), Confusion Moderne comes out in France via the La Souterraine in February and will be released in America on April 8th by Xemu and Lolipop Records. Check out their single “Bourgeois Pop.”
COASTGAARD - "LANDMINES"
There is something timeless about the music of Coastgaard that, while playing to a listener’s sense of nostalgia, still feels fresh, current and innovative. On their upcoming sophomore release, Devil On The Balcony, out February 26th on eOne Music, the band has meticulously arranged dynamic chord progressions over immediately engaging rhythmic motifs, reminiscent of 50s and 60s rock and roll, to form the foundation of what will undoubtedly be a breakthrough record. Check on the newest single "Landmines" that just premiered last week. Coastgaard consists of Matt Miller, Sean Glassman, Paolo Codega, and Brian D’Alessandro. Devil On The Balcony doesn’t so much come from the narrative of vacationing on a white sandy beach, as it lives in the moments of imprisonment that occur when you can’t find time to have the escape you’re in desperate need of. As Miller puts it, this record is “rooted in a cold and high energy place”, and therein lies one of the major differences between Devil On The Balcony and its predecessor. With Devil On The Balcony due out in February, Coastgaard is poised to send a warm wave of nostalgia through the hearts of a much wider audience this time around.
STARWALKER - "EVERYBODY'S GOT THEIR OWN WAY"
French electro-pop trailblazer Jean-Benoit Dunckel and acclaimed Icelandic composer and musical visionary Barði Jóhannsson have been teasing out music as Starwalker since 2014, and they debut their self-titled LP April 1st on Prototyp Recording & Bang ehf via Sena ehf with the album's first single "Everybody's Got Their Own Way." Juxtaposing a soothing melody with a sun-kissed beat and bright keys, the song instantly captivates, igniting an unshakable chant. With its sci-fi soundscape and robotic swagger, it could soundtrack the ultimate interplanetary disco bash. While Dunckel and Johannsson are well known for prior endeavors, Starwalker is by no means just a side project - it is the coming-together of two musical innovators, creating the music they were destined to make. The album intermingles cinematic expanse, intergalactic instrumentation, entrancing electronics, and sticky hooks, yielding a poetic pop pastiche of the highest order. The result is an accomplished debut, ten tracks reflecting a singular vision from two musical icons.
RADIATION CITY - "MILKY WHITE"
Portland quintet Radiation City has premiered their new single “Milky White” from their new album, Synesthetica. Speaking about the new single, Stereogum said "Synesthetica winds in and out of several beats and grooves, and each of them is spectacular in their respective moments." The new album is set to come out via Polyvinyl Records (home to the likes of Japandroids, Of Montreal, White Reaper, Wampire and more) on February 12th. Based on the condition known as synesthesia (for Ellison, wo experiences it, that means seeing specific colors when she hears different musical sounds), whereby a person links one sensual experience with another, Synesthetica is a place where multi-sensory experience is commonplace; where feelings and definitions blend and melt, and surreality becomes reality.
WHITNEY - "NO WOMAN"
Secretly Canadian and Lead Riders have teamed up to present vital new music from exciting newcomers Whitney, who are offering a first glimpse of what’s to come in 2016 with “No Woman.” In spite of its own lost soul wistfulness, there's something immediately comforting and simple at the core of "No Woman.” It's as soothing to your musical memory as the first two bars of The Chordette's "Mr. Sandman." It's as unfettering and wind-through-your-hair as America's "Pacific Coast Highway." Drummer and vocalist Julien Ehrlich's (Unknown Mortal Orchestra) naked, soft-edged falsetto charmingly guides us through this breakup bender amid subdued strings and velveteen horn section bursts. With writing partnership of Ehrlich and guitarist Max Kakacek (Smith Westerns), Whitney has given us an anthem for moseying on and forgiving yourself of your many fumbles.
DAY WAVE - "GONE"
Oakland-based Day Wave will release his highly anticipated second EP Hard To Read on March 4th via Grand Jury. The EP will be available digitally, and as a combined physical release packaged with last year's critically acclaimed Headcase EP. Hard To Read was performed, produced, mixed and mastered by Day Wave’s Jackson Phillips directly to tape, and the result is a gorgeous 5-track EP bursting with California sunshine. Packed with ethereal, lo-fi vocals, captivating hooks, and celestial guitars awash with subtle synths, Day Wave builds an entrancing sonic milieu that makes him one of the most exciting up-and-comers today. With just a handful of singles released, Day Wave quickly became one of the most buzzed about artists of 2015. Now, with the forthcoming release of his new EP, Day Wave is poised for an even bigger 2016.