2010FM - August Edition Two

We are struggling to keep up with all the new music coming our way again at the moment, so this is another batch of what we really like right now, with more planned to follow soon. For speed, where we think it's appropriate we have shamelessly copied and pasted from the accompanying publicity material.

New York's maestro of shadowy lounge tinged pop Rich Bennett is back with a follow up to his stunning 2008 album Music for Underwater Supermarkets. Influenced by the classic exotica of Martin Denny, the aching folk-pop of Fleet Foxes, and the conceptual sweep of The Zombies’ Odessey and Oracle, Bennett's latest work On Holiday  is brimming with subtly dark, breezy melodies and the buoyant vocals of both Bennett and Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Rebecca Pronsky. From the gorgeous "ride on top a pop cloud" single ‘Misty Valley’ to the delicious minor key melancholy of  ‘Night Part 2’, On Holiday is as intoxicating as it is playful. The album is out now through Australian label Hidden Shoal Recordings.

Featured Track:  Misty Valley
Website: MySpace.

With the release of Ice Cream Bones, an EP, in May of 2009, A Lull was a band that was confident, but was somewhat still searching for its sound. After countless more hours in practice spaces, basements and bedrooms, A Lull kept at it, and after over seventy-five songs and partial song ideas, something began to take shape.

In May of 2010, A Lull released “Weapons For War/Spread It All Around,” a vinyl and digital single from its upcoming full-length record, Confetti.

Using a mixture of conventional and non-traditional recording techniques, A Lull employs anything and everything available to create beats, melodies, textures and layers of sound. The music is experimental in the ways that it takes form, but is accessible and captivating. "Chicago avant-pop sextet A Lull have a full-length scheduled to drop later this year; in the meantime, they've made a 7", "Weapons For War/Spread It All Around", available for free download over at their MySpace. The A-side features pounding, layered percussion and warm vocalizing."  Pitchfork

"A Lull sound like Chicago: The songs on the highly percussive sextet’s free “Weapons For War” b/w “Spread It All Around” 7″ feature dense, eclectic, immediately catchy atmospherics that evoke a number of like-minded post-rock crews from their hometown. And then go elsewhere with it. “Weapons For War”’s from their forthcoming full-length, Confetti. No word on the looping, loping B-Side, “Spread It All Around,” but it’s my favorite of the two, so hopefully it made the cut."

Featured Track: Weapons For War.
Website: MySpace, Official.

Backwords blends modern psychedelics with folk rock, 60s pop and a myriad other sonic surprises, delivering gentle, lazy melodies  that stick to the tongue and cannot be forgotten. Like a hawk nesting atop a New York skyscraper, there is a fury—a swooping darker underside that Backwords explores at the drop of a wooden nickel. It is and is not quite The Beach Boys meeting Daniel Johnston meeting The Band meeting Wilco and all sharing a mellow joint.

Based out of Brooklyn, Backwords is rooted in city grit but keeps a cowboy’s heart. The band is a regular fixture of the New York City scene and has played dozens of gigs over the last three years at venues and spaces such as Mercury Lounge, Cake Shop, Glasslands, Sycamore, and The American Folk Art Museum, as well as many others. Gigs have included headlining performances, in-store appearances, official showcases at 2009's CMJ and 2010's Northside Festivals and opening slots for bands such as These United States, Le Loup, Freelance Whales, Dinosaur Feathers and Darwin Deez.

Quilt, set for release on September 7, 2010, is the band’s third album after 2009’s The Buffalo Still Roam and 2008’s Factory Angles. On Quilt, the trio mixes the classic instrumentation of guitar, bass, drums, and keys with everything from toy flutes and banjos to accordions and clips of field recordings. The heartfelt lead vocals offer a story-teller’s tone of simple, honest warmth while the backing harmonies and good old-fashioned gang vox deeply layer the sound.

Featured Track: And Then Sigh
Website: Official.

Jesse Woods is a 27 year old who was born in rural California and moved to Texas when he was young.  He now resides in Austin, Texas, and will record his first full length album with Bill Baird (Sunset) producing in Fall of 2010.

He was asked personally by C3 to play Austin City Limits Festival after only performing in Austin three times.

He was asked personally by Neon Indian to cover a song of his choice off their Psychic Chasms album.

Featured Track: Mind Drips
Website: MySpace.


Hailing from the always fertile Athens, GA scene, Twin Tigers are ready to unleash their dynamic sound unto the universe. Along with other elements of the past five decades of rock music, Twin Tigers blend noise textures with pop structure and shoegaze overtones shaping a sound that’s all new.

Formed by co-workers at the Michael Stipe-owned Grit restaurant, guitarist/vocalist Matthew Rain and bassist Aimee Morris began Twin Tigers as their previous bands dissolved. In February 2008,Curious Faces / Violet Future EP was released to great reviews. The band quickly started building a solid fan base throughout the southeast and played shows with Deerhunter, Dead Confederate, Jay Reatard, Black Lips, Dungen, Woods, Snowden and A Place to Bury Strangers.

After a slew of revolving guitarists and drummers the band debuted its current lineup with guitarist Forrest Hall, opening for Les Savy Fav at the Earl in Atlanta only a few weeks before their first trip to SXSW 2009. Upon returning from SXSW, the band began recording an album with Joel Hatstat in Athens, GA.

Following the wrap up of their full length, the band was chosen for a nation wide tour with Minus the Bear and the Antlers in the fall of 2009, toured with the Hold Steady in the spring of 2010 and is hitting the road all summer with Interpol. Twin Tigers’ debut album Gray Waves is out now via Brooklyn based Old Flame Records.

Featured Track: Passive Idol.
Website: MySpace.

Minneapolis’ Air Conditioning School is the latest project from So TM records, the home of Total Babe and UltraChorus.  Air Conditioning School  is a solo project of Chris Heidman (Sukpatch), whose releases on Sub Pop,  Grand Royal and Moshi Moshi garnered much critical praise.  He now brings you his full length debut titled General Mountain Time out August 3rd.

Air Conditioning School gives us the first view of Heidman’s song writing without the compromise of collaboration.  The result is full of serenely relaxed melodies, acoustic guitars and keyboards, mixed with hints of Heidman’s past as an indie-electro pioneer,  showing his influences from everything to early Sebadoh to stereolab to VU.  The song-writing is simple,  sincere storytelling that falls somewhere between Yo La Tengo,  Beck’s “Sea Change”,  Silver Jews,  and old Palace Brothers.  General Mountain Time is a production masterpiece, one not seen in Heidmans previous repitoire.

Featured Track: Up On.
Website: MySpace.

As college roommates, Quarterbar and Eric Steuer started making lo-fi rap songs on a barely-working 4-track, then recruited friends to create the Santa Barbara hip-hop ... (more) crew mic.edu. The duo formed Meanest Man Contest after a move upstate to Oakland, where they spent their free time digging through filthy stacks of flea market records looking for samples and inspiration. From this effort came a series of short tracks that would form MMC's collage-like first single, "Contaminated Dance Step."

Meanest Man Contest's music has evolved around a constantly expanding set of influences. MMC's first LP, "Merit," pushed their sound into thoughtful, atmospheric places with jazz samples and live guitar. More recently, the duo has stretched the boundaries of its roots with releases like the off-kilter pop EP "Some People," the electro-tinged single "Throwing Away Broken Electronics," and the hip-hop LP "Split."

Featured Track: Superhumanoids remix of "Takitani Edit"
Website: MySpace.

Hailing from the suburbs of Chicago, Dexter Poindexter, is just one person Tommy Komorowski. You would be forgiven for thinking this 21 year old is a long time established act.

We feature one of three songs from his latest single 'Silver Springs'.

The  single comes as the band readies a full-length on Nebraska's Series Two Records. Silver Springs  evokes the breezy playfulness of summer and a carefree, yet emotional, essence of youth. Fans of Hefner, Jeremy Jay, American Football, The Smittens, One Happy Island, Jens Lekman and WeePOP! Records should enjoy this new single.

"I was floored when I realized that this ‘outfit’ was, in fact, one person. Dexter Poindexter’s first release … seems like something a music veteran might have released; Perfect tight sound with melodies you feel like you heard before (in a very good way)." - Norman Records

Featured Track: Two Cracked Heels and a Ghost.
Website: MySpace.

Atlanta psych rock outfit the Natural Extension Concept (N.E.C.)  has never crafted music that conforms to the standards of punk, prog or the avant-garde. Rather, under the direction of vocalist/guitarist and founding member Cyrus Shahmir, the group’s musical explorations flourish in the hidden dimensions of sound that exist in the undefined spaces that separate all three. Shahmir created the N.E.C. in 2000 as a means of pure musical expression by way of expanding consciousness. Over the course of a handful of CDs, cassette tapes, singles, EPs and their most recent album, simply titled Is, the N.E.C. has further honed its free-associations and sonic palette with each successive release.

With an ever-shifting lineup that currently includes bassist James Oh and drummer Justin Newton improvisation plays a strong role in filling the gaps between skeletal song structures, masses of rhythm and perfectly crafted tones, secret harmonies and distortions that shimmer with glacial majesty.

Featured Track: Those Guilty Pleasures.
Website: MySpace.

Tin Pan connotes a world from the past – the most dominant and enlightened strains of American music of the early part of the 20th century – jazz, blues and American popular song. But it would be a mistake to say that Tin Pan is fixed in that past. Rather, it is music created to be enjoyed profoundly and joyously in the present. The band has created a rabid following by playing music that resonates powerfully because its intention is pure – to make people dance, smile and conjure with the spirit of music itself. On their new album, Hound’s Tooth, the band has perfected their sonic vision – effortless, wondrous and festive, feeling much like, as the band describes themselves, Ray Charles and Tom Waits at a Bourbon Street Parade.

Comprised of Jesse Selengut on trumpet, lead vocals and compositions, Clifton Hyde on guitar and hollerin’, Stefan Zeniuk on reeds and boy soprano vocals, and Peter “Baby Hands” Maness on bass and some singin’, Tin Pan evokes everything from Fats Waller and Louis Armstrong to Irving Berlin and Hoagy Carmichael. Founded in 2006 by Selengut, a long time New York based musician, and the curator of the Williamsburg Jazz Festival, the band sprung from what he calls, “a need for this kind of music.” He elaborates, “As soon as I started playing this music, it just felt so easy and natural. It’s simplicity demands that you be totally committed to it – there’s no hiding behind theory or pose.”

Featured Track: Clarion.
Website: Official.

Based in Augsburg, south Germany, Markus Mehr’s musical journey began with the guitar. He grew up listening to bands like Black Sabbath and AC/DC, before turning his ears to darker sounds and the ethereal, experimental pop of David Sylvian. After recording and touring with several bands, he struck out on his own with home studio project Aroma.

Now working under his own name, Mehr wrote and recorded his debut album Lava at his home studio using guitars and synths, plus any noise-making accoutrements at hand – electric shavers, ventilators, electric tooth brushes and field recordings –all processed and distorted to create a gorgeous wall of sound, akin to the classic ’70s Kosmische music of Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream, but also the contemporary masters of textured luminosity, Fennesz and Tim Hecker.

Mehr’s live plans for the European summer of 2010 include performances in churches, galleries and large disused gas tanks, as well as collaborations with visual artist Stefanie Sixt.

Featured Track: Hubble.
Website: Official. MySpace.

While art is certainly a form of self-expression, artistic communities tend to gravitate towards styles that fit within the popular pallet. Yet it is those fearless in their dissension that make the deepest mark. It is with that familiarity of the unknown that Tjutjuna have settled in a sound that is both rich in texture, and aural dynamics as well as a respect for the listener’s patience. Delicate in both their attack and release, Tjutjuna’s debut and self-titled album offers listeners moments of discreet levity before striking with fangs. Unwilling to merely satisfy the sonic trajectory which would label their sound as “psych rock”, Tjutjuna proves that in the recesses of a landlocked music scene, four childhood friends can craft something that forces us, as listeners, to demand more from our own tastes and imaginations.

Tjutjuna is due out September 28th via Fire Talk.

Featured Track: Bottle Kids.

Website: MySpace.

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