Monthly Archives: January 2010

Colorful and creative: AU

Rambunctious drums, howling vocals, fluttery keyboards and guitars.

AU is the Portland project from singer/songwriter Luke Wyland and drummer Dana Valatka, and their latest EP is Versions.

At points I was reminded of Bon Iver’s howling, thrashy moments from For Emma; at others I thought of Grizzly Bear’s sound from Yellow House. The percussion leans toward sounding slightly psychotic, which works really well for their spastic take on music. 

I’ve embedded the two songs I thought best represented AU‘s sound on the right side of this page, so check those out or head here:

Happy listening!


Preview Midlake’s Newest: Just as rich, slightly darker

Thanks to the good folks over at NPR, everyone can stream the Denton, TX band Midlake‘s new album, Courage of Others, a week before its official release on February 2.

Their first album since Trials of Van Occupanther, Midlake shows progress toward a darker sound. I read in an interview that they had listened to classic British folk while preparing to write this album, and the influence lightly resounds through the album.

Stream the entire album here:

You won’t be disappointed. Let me know what you think.

Two Must-Hear Releases (and their weird friend): Four Tet, Beach House and Oh No Ono

It’s Tuesday. That wonderful day of the week, when, fraught with fervor, I wake up to sample the finest weekly releases.

As you can judge from this post’s title, this week is, as we say in Oklahoma, a “goodun.”

First, Four Tet released There is Love in You.

The first in almost five years, Kieran Hebden‘s fifth release as Four Tet is rather subdued, but focused and filled with pulsing energy nonetheless.

Stream the entire album from the first Lala player embedded over on the right, or head to the myspace and test out the sound

Remember when I said you could hear the new Beach House album last week? Well if you missed that opportunity to hear Teen Dream, TAKE THIS ONE.

Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally‘s sophomore release and Sub Pop debut is a dreamy masterpiece. It was even recorded in a converted church called Dreamland (how cool is that?).

Don’t take my word for it; stream the album from the second handy Lala player on the right, or head to their myspace and give it a go.

Finally, Oh No Ono‘s sophomore release Eggs is probably going to be the goofiest album I recommend all year.

As a warning, this music is not easy to digest. Rhythmic themes change at the drop of a hat, and the vocals are nothing short of zany.

The Danish band’s first release, Yes, was a super-funk/experimental 80’s/psychadelic trip. Eggs steps away from the percussive focus and moves into a deeper pop setting with a plenitude of bizarre sound effects. At points I was even reminded of a new-age, offbeat Moody Blues.

That being said, if you’re feeling brave enough, stream the album from the respective Lala player on the right or check out their myspace

As always, give me some feedback. Did you like any of the albums? Drop a line and tell me why or why not. Happy listening!

Friday’s Honorable Mention- Surfer Blood

What do you get when you cross old school Weezer‘s guitar-driven nerd rock with Vampire Weekend’s African/beachy rhythms, and then throw in vocals recalling Noah Lennox (otherwise known as Panda Bear of Animal Collective)?

You get today’s pick: Surfer Blood‘s Astro Coast

Though it’s not one of my personal favorites, this album has been receiving a lot of attention. I can’t find enough originality to make it top choice, but it’s an enjoyable listen nonetheless.

You can listen to it in the embedded Lala player on the right side of this page, or you can head to their Myspace and check a few tunes:

Make sure to let me know what you think of the album. Drop a comment or find the blog on Facebook, etc.

Must Hear Preview- Beach House

Beach House crafts a signature style that can only be described as “dreamy.” The music sounds like a cross between sounds from the ’60s and ’80s synth-pop, immediately emitting a relaxing effect on listeners.

Victoria Legrand‘s voice carries long, smooth melodies washily over Alex Scally‘s pulsing accompaniment to create one of my favorite albums released in 2010 so far.

You can now hear Beach House‘s new album, Teen Dream, in its entirety a week before the album is officially released over here:

Trust me, you won’t regret it.

Give me some feedback on the suggestion by leaving a comment here, or by finding the blog on facebook (username: and leaving a wall post there. You can even subscribe to this blog and receieve an e-mail every time a post is made- just use the link provided on the right side of this page.

A Few Tunes You May Want to Sample

First order of business: a new Gorillaz song

Shortly after it was announced yesterday that Gorillaz will be headling Coachella this year, a new track showed up online featuring Bobby Womack and Mos Def.

Personally, I wasn’t too impressed with the song, but you can decide for yourself after following this link: and clicking on the link to the new single.

Next on the plate: The xx are remixed

Matthew Dear remixed the xx track VCR, which is available for your eager listening over at Just follow the links to the mp3!

Happy hump day, and make sure to drop a comment with your thoughts on the tracks!

Coachella 2010

Quite a lineup this year: