This is a name I have actually been seeing on a surprisingly good amount of festival lineups this Summer: Empire of the Sun. I guess it makes good sense though considering they have officially announced the release of their full-length new album, Ice on the Dune, for June 18th this Summer. If you aren’t too familiar with the Australian electronic rock act, they got some talk going with their debut album Walking on a Dream in 2008, most notably their songs “Walking on a Dream” - which many of you would probably recognize as the sample from Wiz Khalifa‘s “The Thrill” – and “We Are the People”. I will have to also personally recommend “Half Mast”, my personal favorite from the first album. Empire of the Sun is also known for their great outfits, which they can be seen wearing in almost all their music videos as well as at each performance. As I said, this Summer they will be taking the stage alongside Passion Pitquite a few times, which I think is appropriate, giving I have always sort of seen Empire of the Sun as a Passion Pit and MGMTfusion. Check it out for yourself though.
Time for a change of pace, which is always a good thing, especially when it’s some good, mellowed-out vibes; and especially, especially when it comes from a local artist. I would be talking, of course, about the new Between Here and There EP from local band SHMNS. Now, someone’s going to need to do me a favor and tell me how you pronounce that, but nonetheless, these guys have put together a really awesome sound. It’s almost got a surf rock feel to it, but with some much more upbeat and groovy rhythms that give the album and almost math-rock feel. I would honestly say a comparison to Minus the Bear is not too huge a stretch. But I really want to let this EP speak for itself, and the only way to do that is for you to give it a listen. And be sure to head on over to their BandCamp to pick the album up if you enjoy it as much as we do.
It’s a throwback… but it’s not a throwback. Say what? That’s right, beloved New Jersey band Jimmy Eat World has put themselves back on the map; or ours at least. Consider this a little piece of nostalgia, but with a nice update to it. There’s certainly nothing spectacularly different hear from the Jimmy Eat World classics we all grew up on and love, but that’s far from any reason to discount this track. If anything, this gets me really psyched for a new full LP release from these guys — that would be Damage, out June 11th! Now I know this might not be everyone’s band of choice, but I have to believe I’ve got some fellow J.E.W. fans out there reading us, and I hope this one finds you. Enjoy!
If you’re feeling a more chilled out vibe on this lovely Saturday, I think I’ve got just the thing for you right here. With a name like Rotational Velocidenstiy you’ve almost got to be intrigued. But what’s even more intriguing is indeed the sound of this album. It focuses around the idea of complex hip-hop beats, and trip-hop is definitely the more appropriate label to be used here. Spacey vibes and wavering synths pay homage to such artists at Flying Lotusand Blockhead. We’ll definitely be keeping our eyes on this one for more tunes to come, but for now, this album- 9 tracks full- will do the trick just fine. And did I mention you can snag it FREE!?
There’s a side of Funkadelphia music love that we don’t show off too often here on the site, and that is our love for some great non-electronic based music, whether it be some form of rock, pop or about anything else. If the tunes are good, we’re tuning our ears in. So Cold War Kids have been a band that have been our radars for a while. Their early career, which included Robbers & Cowards and Loyalty to Loyalty, was impressive to say the least. The album’s had a dark undertone with a harsh rock vibe that took grip of your soul. But their last album, Mine Is Yours, veered off in a strange direction that left many of the band’s fans, and ourselves, a bit confused. The album was good, but very untrue to the California bands roots in their first two albums. Now, just a few days ago, Cold War Kids have unveiled their latest album, Dear Miss Lonelyhearts, to the world. It certainly shows off a lot of progression, once again, from their first two albums, but it strays from the poppy vocals and instrumental lines that seemed to plague Mine Is Yours. With seemingly more of an electronic influence on this album, the band certainly still flexes an appreciation for their early work and lets their songs delve into the same deep rhythms that held grasp on on those albums. In summary, we could not be more pleased with this new album. Cold War Kids seemed to have fallen back into stride.
This is by no means new music, but it’s still awesome music, and less known than it should be. I myself just discovered Metaform, a California producer and musician who creates his own beats and lays his own vocals on top. His most recent album was called Electric Mist, and it moves away from more traditional hip-hop beats into some other more experimental sounds within the electronic music world. It results in some seriously knocking tunes, some of which have been repeating on my computer for a straight day now. The most mesmerizing thing about this album is its span across the plane of electronic music, covering glitch-hop, dub, drum & bass, even some trap, and also still taking it down to groovy synthpop tunes that resonate an essence of such acts as Cherub. If you enjoy chilled out rhythms, then don’t let this one slip through your fingers!
Sometimes I have these difficult, intense internal struggles with myself over whether I enjoy heavy bass or jammy rhythms more; so it’s not hard to understand why a band like Lotus essentially can’t do wrong. They kick out the jams but have plenty of that electronic influence, especially in more recent years. Their new album, Build, is certainly a testament to this, breaking out hard with “Break Build Burn” slamming down some heavy guitar lines, but also providing plenty of whirling synth grooves as well. From there the album only gets better; and while it’s no stretch to say that this album has a stronger electronic focus than Lotus’ previous works, it also exists in a time when the world seems to be obsessed with electronic music. You can’t blame a band like Lotus for getting involved, especially when their music remains so true to it’s nature, roots and style. I could even say this album reminds me a bit of some of STS9‘s work; but at the same time, Lotus still brings their sound cascading through the bleeps and bloops that echo throughout Build.
Whoop, change of pace. I’m here today to talk about a band that has been making a lot of noise in the indie world the passed few years. I was lucky enough to catch them at Bonnarooa few years ago, and this year they will be headlining Coachella. I am, of course, talking about French pop/rock band, Phoenix. These guys have been climbing the charts one album at a time, and with their newest one slated for an April 22nd release, the band has just released the first track from Bankrupt! At first listen, it sounds, well, like Phoenix. The band has definitely kept true to themselves, and while I hope the album brings a bit more variety to light, this new track is definitely a nice sneak peek of what’s to come.
This will most likely be met with strange looks from some of our fans, but hey, give us a minute to explain. First off, may I say that if you grew up in or around my time, Blink-182 is undeniably a part of your childhood (and if you try to deny it, then I will call you a liar sir!). When the band got together for a reunion tour a few years ago, it was the greatest moment in the hearts of many Blink fans; and I must admit I caught them on that tour, which was an experience I remain pleased with. But when the pop punk originators announced a new album, it was definitely a questionable moment in the hearts of many of these same fans– including my own. Unfortunately, the worst we feared was the result, and Neighborhoods became the album we all wanted to deny even happened. So it is with great, great enthusiasm that I present to you this little 5-track gem that sort of slipped through the cracks for a lot of us: the Dogs Eating Dogs EP. That’s right, there’s ANOTHER new release from the famed three-piece band, and it’s damn good enough to maybe even make you forget that last album even happened. The album gets back to a lot more of the band’s roots sounds; it demonstrates influence of maturity and definitely a time lapse in these guys’ careers, but at the same time it’s just like hearing three 20 year-olds jamming on their guitars in their parents garage all over again.
I’m going to talk to you today about one of the most coveted festivals out there in my mind. It could be partially just because it takes place in beautiful upstate Washington, all the way on the other side of the county; but it almost might have to do in part with the absolutely jaw-dropping lineups the festival puts together each year. This year The Postal Service, The xx, Sigur Ros and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis sit amongst the highest names on the lineup, followed by a stunning list of supporting artists including Primus, Arctic Monkeys, Cake, Azealia Banks, Bloc Party, Andrew Bird, Built to Spill, Shad, Japandroids, Baauer, Youth Lagoon, Baths, Radical Face, ODESZA, Holy Ghost!, Shout Out Louds, Matthew Dear, Surfer Blood, Lusine and plenty more. You can catch all these artists from May 24th-27th (that’s Memorial Day Weekend!). And thiis year promises to be as amazing as any other in the magnificent Gorge home to the Sasquatch Music Festival. We hope to make it there; and even if we can’t, maybe some of our followers will make the amazing journey!