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With “Death to Los Campesinos!” being one of their earliest singles, Los Campesinos! has long had an interest in mortality, so the band’s latest single, “What Death Leaves Behind” isn’t coming as a departure from their earlier work.

The band did start with a much more twee  sound initially – even penning a track called “The International Tweexcore Underground” – they’ve been getting more serious over the last few records. Read More

The Morning Benders put out of my favorite records of 2010, Big Echo, but we haven’t gotten a lot of new music from them recently.  Then, this evening, the band sent an e-mail out explaining that they’d be changing their name to POP ETC.

Now, bands can change their names for a ton of reasons – some good, some bad, some neutral.  But I think the right word to describe this name change is admirable.

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One of the more hotly anticipated albums of 2012 has been Bloom, the fourth full-length album from Baltimore-based dream popper’s Beach House, which is due out on May 15th via Sub Pop.  Given the anticipation, it’s not surprising to hear reports that the album has already leaked.

If you’ve already got a copy, I’m jealous.  But for everyone else – the anti-downloading purists, as well as those terrible at finding leaks (like me!) – the band has been kind enough to release their first single off the upcoming album, “Myth.”  You can stream it below, or get a free download from the band in exchange for your e-mail address.  Fan of 2010’s Teen Dream won’t be disappointed, as the band continues to play with slow beats and a hazy sound.

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New Years Resolutions – here comes the hard part.   For the first week, eating more vegetables or going to the gym everyday seems like a fun little experiment.  This year would be different!  You would become a better you!

Well, now we’re about a week in, and your enthusiasm is probably waning.  You found out vegetables don’t taste as great as hamburgers.  And the people at the gym seem to be the exact people you try to avoid in your day-to-day.   But don’t worry, because  Memoryhouse is here to bring back some optimism to your life with a cover of The Zombies’ 1968 classic “This Will Be Our Year.”

You can download the track here or listen to it below.   And if you like what you hear, the band will be releasing a new album, The Slideshow Effect, on Sub Pop in late February.

Memoryhouse – This Will Be Our Year

[via MOKB]

Sometimes, life just works out.  Like when you’re craving new music, and an awesome album drops out of nowhere.  And on a Monday, no less?  Must be fate.

Enter: Mondo Boys.   They’re a collaborative  that creates these amazing mixtapes every so often and puts them out for free download.    And whenever a tape comes out, it seems to enter into heavy rotation on my playlist.

The latest edition is Desert Island, the third in their Weird Summer mixes.   What I adore about these mixes is they combine old favorites – like  Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry – with the latest and greatest indie sounds – like Twin Sister and Unknown Mortal Orchestra.   One member of the collaborative is Justin Gage from Aquarium Drunkard, so you know the sound is going to be simultaneously cutting edge and classic.

Basically, it’s like having the coolest friend ever make you a mixtape.  Perfect for keeping you happy as those final summer days slide on by.

Head over to Aquarium Drunkard now to check out the tracklist and download the mix.

Memoryhouse - The Years

When hearing the dream pop music made by bands like Memoryhouse, there are usually two reactions: “Wow! Amazing!” or “I’m so bored.” Now, I’ll admit, with a lot of bands in this genre, I’m solidly in the bored camp.  If it doesn’t have enough of a beat to keep me interested, I’m moving on the next track.

But even if you’re like me, there’s some music that deserves a second listen.  One such song is Memoryhouse’s new track, “Quiet America.”  It’s a short track, coming in at just over 2 minutes, but the hazy vocals and keys unite to create a gorgeous sound that leaves you wanting more.   This is a track that sounds great on headphones, but one that can express its beauty even through your laptop speakers.

You can grab the mp3 below, or watch their video to add some visuals to your listening.

The Shakes

I’m not sure what music blogs you’ve got on your RSS reader these days, but I’d recommend checking out Aquarium Drunkard.  Rather than trying to find the buzziest of buzzbands to rave about, the site posts a lot of older music – vintage folk, soul, garage rock and more.  It’s a great place to get acquainted with new genres and hear music you’re not old enough to have heard the first time around.

But it’s also a great place to find under-the-radar bands that are making great music right now.   One of those finds is the Athens (Alabama, not Georgia) band The Shakes.  Take a listen to their song “You Ain’t Alone.”

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You may have come across San Diego-based duo TV Girl  last year with their song “If You Want It.”   It was a catchy song that spread across the internet like wildfire.  Unfortunately, they ran into a little bit of controversy because the song samples  Todd Rundgren’s “Hello It’s Me.”  When Warner Music found out about it, they ordered the song to be “wiped from the Internet.”  A sad day for music lovers.

Well, be sad no longer, because TV Girl is back with a new EP, this one titled Benny and the Jetts.  Even better, the entire four-song EP is available for free download on their facebook.

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The Strokes’ (Stroke’s? Strokes’es? Str’ok’es?) debut album, Is This It, is one that feels simultaneously fresh and classic at the same time.  In fact, I was just listening to the record at a BBQ/pool hangout this weekend and marvelling at how great a record it is.

So, it feels like serendipity that Stereogum has informed me that its the 10th anniversity of that album.  And to celebrate that anniversary, they’ve put together a tribute album with a ton of great indie artists.  The best part?  They’ve got it available on their website for a free download.

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Many of us are eagerly awaiting the new album from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Hysterical, which is due out in September.  They’ve just released a new song off the album called “Maniac.”  That song is available for download at their site for the low, low cost of your email address.  The catchy indie/dance/pop that CYHSY is known for is all over this track, making me even more excited for the album release.  You can also catch a glimpse of their artwork above, as well as the track list below.

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