New Music Smorgasbord: Jean on Jean, Atlas Sound, Volcano Suns, Sage Francis, and more
Download: Jean On Jean - "Tonight"
Download: Holding Mercury - "Downfall of an Empire"
Download: Atlas Sound - "Maybe Logic"
Download: Marcio Local - "Samba Sem Nenhum Problema"
Download: Yonlu - "I Know What It's Like"
Download: Japanese Motors - "Spending Days"
Download: Volcano Suns - "Jak"
Download: Volcano Suns - "White Elephant"
Download: Sage Francis - "Conspiracy to Riot"
Download: Johann Johannson - "The Rocket Builder"
Download: The Problemaddicts & Masta Ace - "Hurting"
Download: The Problemaddicts - "Over The Colour You Like"
Download: Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt - "Fast Forward Regrets"
Here's a collection of new MP3s, as well as my thoughts on them. Here they are:
Jean on Jean - definitely sounds like someone is trying to cheer themselves up by singing a song, but also recognizes the utter futility of doing so. This starts out as an anti-folk version of a girl-group anthem, but then slowly adds a church organ (research organs), xylophone, and other Specter-esque production tricks. There's not much imaginative songwriting, but bells-and-whistles are still nice.
Marcio Local - well, the title certainly negates the need for explaining the style of this song.
Holding Mercury - sounds like Nickelback doing Cheap Trick. Melody is reminiscent of The Verve's "Bittersweet Symphony", but instead of orchestral transcendence, we get a douchey chorus. This is the sound of a band struggling against themselves, and it's painful to listen to. There's something here to suggest that they could still learn something from Rick Nielsen and Co., but that would mean going all the way to Budokan.
Atlas Sound - Another appealing slice of dream-pop from Bradford Cox.
Yonlu - Beautiful, melancholy music that marries Brazilian musical stylings with a George Harrison-esque sense of songcraft.
Japenese Motors - "Spendin Days" is not revelatory to anyone who's heard either garage-pop from the 60s, or New Wave from the early 80s, but an amiable melody and some nice clean guitar tones make for a pleasant listen.
Volcano Suns - Two new old songs from Volcano Suns, who bear a positive resemblance to Guided By Voices and Husker Du.
Sage Francis - A special MP3 released to raise awareness to journalists mistreatment in St. Paul, the Providence-based MC crafts a scathing indictment of authoritarianism. The last minute of sampled audio footage sends chills down the spine.
Johann Johannsson - A part of a planned musical trilogy about technology, Johannsson, uses minimalist motifs to create a haunting piece. For those who admire the Kronos Quartet's work in Darren Aronofsky's films.
The Problemaddicts - Two solid hip-hop tracks from a Rhymesayers-minded group.