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!
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.
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!
Last week in our festival preview we discussed one of the titans: Coachella. Well this week, we’ve got the lineup for another indisputably mighty name when it comes to the music festival world. Yes, I’m talking of course about Electric Forest, up in beautiful Rothbury, Michigan. The festival is put on each year by one of the oldest (and easily most classic) jam bands in the game: The String Cheese Incident. If you don’t know about these guys- especially if you enjoy jam music- you need to get out to a show; and The Forest is the perfect opportunity, offering a show from the Boulder, Colorado group all three nights of the festival. Not to mention an incredible supporting lineup, including Pretty Lights, Passion Pit, Knife Party, Lotus, Beats Antique, A-Trak, Grimes, Holy Ghost!, EOTO, Kill the Noise, Emancipator, Baauer, NOISIA, Michal Menert, Suckerpunch, Up Until Now, Moon Hooch, Helicopter Showdown, and yes, plenty more (not to mention that wonderful side not of “plus more to be announced”). I know we’re hoping to make this our first trip to the forest, and we certainly hope to see some friendly faces there!
This is definitely diverting from our typical path of posts; but that’s something I actually enjoy doing and have been trying to incorporate more of. It’s always good to have a wide spread of amazing music in your life. So if you don’t know Local Natives by now, I would strongly recommend that you give them a listen. After encountering them at Bonnaroo almost four years ago now, soon after the release of their amazing first record Gorilla Manor, I was completely amazed. A few months ago we saw the release of the first single from the new album, titled “Breakers”, and it showed a more mature and developed sound from the band that remained loyal to their debut. Now the complete Hummingbird album is here, and it’s dreamy guitar and vocals lines have been drifting through my speakers and headphones almost non-stop the passed few days. E-mails with new tunes to give a listen-over almost seem like a chore, as it would stepping my ears away from Local Natives. I can fully recognize that this might not reside with all our followers and listeners, but whether you are familiar with the Los Angeles based group or not, at least give this album a chance. You just might find your ears easily persuaded.