It's hard not to love pop music that you can get lost in. Far too often the artists get as far as a killer hook and declare “good enough.” More and more pop music just kind of coasts without bothering to flesh songs out with arrangements worthy of their hooks. So you have to respect a band like Meridian who pack their tracks with layers upon layers of texture and detail.…Continue
Added by Sound Check on May 6, 2013 at 8:30am — No Comments
VV Brown is back with a dark and punchy electro track. Check out 'Bullet', her collab with band/production team All About She. Single due out April 28th. New VV Brown album coming in September on her own label YOY Records. …
Oakland's Afro-indie-pop quartet Bells Atlas released their debut EP this week and it's a beautiful beautiful thing. The band combines minimal beats with lush textures and the multi-layered vocals of lead singer Sandra Lawson-Ndu. The three songs and two remixes on the EP show a young band in complete control of their sound. With influences ranging from chillwave to samba to indie rock to Afrobeat, the Bells Atlas EP sounds like almost nothing else on the planet. It's rare that…Continue
Added by Sound Check on April 10, 2013 at 11:30am — No Comments
So I was starting to write about 'We Are The Lucky Ones', the debut album from Electro-funk/neo-soul/Afro-pop/glitch/RnB singer Tecla and my opening line was going to be about how the only genre she doesn't touch on is French Cabaret, and then I got to the stunning ballad “Moi” and that went pretty much out the window. This is a preposterously ambitious debut from a preposterously talented woman. Her sound melds the electronic and organic into a captivating cyborg. Synths burble…Continue
Added by Sound Check on March 22, 2013 at 12:45pm — No Comments
Jck Dvy made her name as the lead singer of synth-pop duo J*DaVeY. She's released her first solo record, a gritty lo-fi double EP fittingly titled L0-F!. The EP combines her innate pop sensibility with noisy overdriven guitars for something fresh. Stream the record below, and click here to check out the accompanying gorgeous full color eBook, which includes…Continue
Added by Sound Check on March 15, 2013 at 8:30am — No Comments
While Brooklyn wasn't paying attention, Oakland seems to have snuck up and stolen our crown as the center of adventurous independent music. Between The Seshen and the new Bells Atlas (not to mention longtime favorites like The Coup and Blood Sugar X), saying “we're from Oakland” is turning into shorthand for “you haven't heard shit like this…Continue
Added by Sound Check on March 8, 2013 at 11:06am — No Comments
UK Powerpop/Rock band Komla have already established themselves as a badass live act. The 3 piece plays the kind of stripped down hook-laden guitar rock that never goes out of style. But they do it with a surprising amount of depth and soul. They've just dropped their debut EP, produced by Muse producer Paul Reeve, and it kills.…
Added by Sound Check on March 6, 2013 at 9:00am — No Comments
The Seshen were one of my favorite new discoveries of 2012. The Bay Area septet(!) possess a rare talent for combining giant pop hooks with some seriously abstract and boundary pushing undertones. There's something magic when a band can make the experimental make total sense. They're currently working on their new EP and we just got a taste with…Continue
On the heels of presenting an award at last night's Grammys, Prince released a new video, but you have to pay to watch it on his website prince2013.com ($1.77).
What do you guys think? Is this a business model that can work? Or are those times over? Let us know in the…
Indie psychedelic band The Tontons are back after their stellar Golden EP with a new single. (The Tontons are of course not to be confused with the Tauntauns from ice planet Hoth). The A-side of the Bones 7” is a spacey, but dance-rock infected jam. Fittingly titled “Bones 1” it's a song about living in the here and now and celebrating youth and freedom. “One of these days, we'll have some kids, picket fences, mortgages … but today's not that day / and I'm not…Continue
As a fan of the bands on the edges of the DIY world (I don't need to hear another band that sounds like Bad Religion, when I already have a perfectly good Bad Religion...) I spend a lot of time thinking about bands with pop aspirations who have embraced DIY ethos. Does the fact that an artist probably couldn't rattle off their top 10 favorite Dischord bands diminish them in our artificial hierarchy? “Oh, that's not punk rock, that's pop!” We say with a dismissive air about bands…Continue
Added by Sound Check on January 30, 2013 at 5:00am — No Comments
Jangly indiepop can be a dangerous proposition. There's a fine balance between personal weirdness (we used to call it quirk, but Zoe Deschanel ruined that word forever. Thanks a lot.) and traditional pop songwriting. The wrong balance can leave you sounding twee, phony, or just hopelessly unapproachable to anyone other than jangle purists. But there's little better than when someone nails that balance. Madame So's new EP “Sell-by Date” hits all the right notes. (Even the ones…Continue
New music from Santigold, from the soundtrack of HBO's show 'Girls'. Stream it below, the record will be (officially) available for purchase on January 8.…
Added by Sound Check on December 11, 2012 at 10:00am — No Comments
Equal parts driving/danceable and spacey/chill, Wishes and Thieves' latest Forest Fire EP is a perfect peace of dreamy indie pop. The band is anchored by a rhythm section that seems determined to steal Bloc Party's crown of superhuman tightness (because obviously art is a competition, right? Oh. Right.) Dreamy synths wash over the songs painting everything with the surreal colors of expired film. Lead singer Jolanda Porter presides over the band, simultaneously cool and…Continue
Skye Edwards is one of the queens of trip-hop. The Morcheeba frontwoman's new solo album 'Back To Now' is out now. Did you check it out? It was produced in part by Stephen Fitzmaurice (Metronomy, Professor Green). It's available on iTunes. Let us know what you think. + Check out the new remix of 'Nowhere' by Dave Davis below.
Also, in case you missed the info here a few weeks ago, Morcheeba is currently working on an album for 2013!…
As the old model for the music industry continues to die an undignified death, all eyes are on crowdsourcing as the “new model.” While successes like Amanda Palmer's million-dollar-kickstarter will never be the norm (and really shouldn't be if were going to be honest about sustainability here...), Corey Glover's latest solo record 'The Pledge is a perfect example of why we should be optimistic about a future of crowdsource funded records.
Added by Sound Check on November 28, 2012 at 10:43am — No Comments
For her latest record Spectrum, German artist/activist Noah Sow (aka Noiseaux) has ditched the guitar-based alt rock of her debut and gone full on electroclash. It's a surprising left turn from an artist who makes a point of making surprising left turns whenever possible. Calling the new sound Elektro Loop Afro Chanson, Noiseaux makes it clear that she's as punk as ever with explosive tracks like “I Have a Loaded Voice” and “Nodemocracy.”…Continue
Inky Jack killed it this summer at the Afropunk Festival and at the 2012 Battle of the Bands with their sound like melted Depeche Mode. They're back with their latest single “Red For Days.”
The track trades the final frontier of “Space Oddity”…Continue
Always good to hear from UK trip-hop power trio Morcheeba and lead singer Skye Edwards. So you're in for a double treat: 1) The band has announced that they're cooking up a new record for 2013. They say: "we’re collaborating with some great international artists and it’s set to be one of our most innovative records to date." Sounds like a plan.
2) In the meanwhile, Skye Edwards is set to release her solo album 'Back To Now' on Monday October 29th! Woo! Check the first single…
Added by Sound Check on October 26, 2012 at 7:02am — No Comments