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Tour De Vaap

A compilation of music from 417

Tag Archives: Indie

champs-table

I have to tell you a story.  I know I’ve shared this story many times and I’ll probably share it again, but it was such a surreal experience that it has to be told (again).  About a year ago, I went to a Lord Huron concert.  Arriving twenty minutes late and fearing that I missed the main act (as the tickets stated he went on first) I slumped into the crowd as this band Champs began to set up on stage.  My initial disappointment melted away as soon as they began to play.  Gentle blue light surrounded shown onto the small band as they crooned in a beautiful mix of ancient folk harmonies and indie rock.  Every song stunned me and I was literally breathless as they performed “Too Bright To Shine” and I was almost sad when they left so that the band I came to see could get on stage.  Now a year has passed and the songs I heard on that wonderful night are finally finally available as the incredible Down Like Gold LP.  “Pretty Much (Since Last November)” sounds like an old folk ballad turned modern love song.  “My Spirit is Broken” is a hard hitting jam which demonstrates how diverse and dramatic this band can get.  Although a bit lo-fi, From the breathtaking beginning to the heart-wrenching closer, “White Satellite,” the album approaches rock from an angle you’ve never heard, something both young and old, refreshing yet familiar.  On the heels of the new album, Champs have released a new music video for “St. Peter’s” the one single out at the time of the concert, which satiated my thirst for more over this past year.  The jangling folk-rock tune features a snowy background and a man on the run, perhaps from himself.  There’s a little twist in the video, but I’ll leave it to you to find out what it is.  Check out the video below and give the album a listen, it’s more then worth it.

M. Kauf

Champs – St. Peter’s

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teen-608x405

Hold on to your hats kids, this one’s a long and wild ride.  From the beginning, Teeny Lieberson enters in desperation and exasperation, immediately placing you in the midst of chaos and drama.  As drums enter, the song begins to swell with bursting harmonies and intricate melodies leading to what could only be an impeccable climx.  The song fades with brass, funky drums and an echoing guitar, vanishing as intensely as it begin.  TEEN combine R&B with 90s pop with jazz, electronic and everything in between.  Check out the song below and look for their album The Way and Color out April 22.

-M. Kauf

TEEN – Not For Long:

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Sylvan Esso

Sylvan Esso, the unlikely duo of Amelia Meath of Mountain Man and producer Nick Sanborn of Megafaun are back with a refreshing new single.  Last year, they released some truly catchy and unique electronic music in the form of “Play It Right” and “Hey Mami.”  Their new song, “Coffee” is much more mellow and downtempo, but it doesn’t stop it from being a great song in its own right.  Rather than gradually building towards a loud and powerful climax, this song focuses much more on Meath’s voice, surrounded by rattling drums, a low and dark synth, and a sprinkling of xylophone and accordion tones.  Rather than a fun, feel-good song, the new single feels more intimate; a sad love song.  Now we’ve really gotten a taste of how much the group’s sound can differ and just in time for the announcement of a full length LP due this May.  In the meantime, we’ll have to satisfy ourselves with “Coffee” below.

-M. Kauf

Sylvan Esso – Coffee:

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Young-Sick-Magnolia

Young & Sick is at once a 90s boy band, a chilled out electronic artist and a soulful R&B singer.  Flowing through sounds and genres like a breeze through the clouds, this L.A. artist makes music that is nostalgic and comforting yet utterly refreshing.  Harmonies lead you from dark corners into starry skies and quiet bedrooms and back again.  It’s music made for getting lost in, over and over.  Check out the two singles below and prey for an album soon.

-M. Kauf

Young & Sick – Magnolia:

Young & Sick – Willow:

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Gem Club in roses

I first heard Gem Club on Halloween, shortly after the group released their haunting single “Polly.”  Several months later and the group is on the cusp of releasing their sophomore album, In Roses.  As the release date approaches, this Massachusetts band has graced us with another beautiful single from the album called, “Braid.”  It’s hard not to get lost in the music, slowly and delicately stretching over five minutes.  Whispered harmonies over atmospheric synths and pianos guide the song, with sparse drums like the beating of a heart coming in every now and again.  It’s just about as bittersweet as a love song can get.  Listen below and be sure to get the full album out January 28th.

***Update:  You can now stream this entire album at NPR.  Enjoy

-M. Kauf

Gem Club – Braid

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Every time I hear a new psychedelic band I think, “That’s it!  This band has perfectly captured the psychedelic sounds of the ’60s!”  But then a new band comes along with a different sound and I realize just how diverse is the genre of psychedelic music.  From like Tame Impala and Pond, to the more straight-edged Foxygen to Coke Weed, and in comes Quilt.  Straying from the heavy electric guitars and wild synths, Quilt’s single, “Arctic Shark” takes a page from the jangly sounds of The Byrds and early Jefferson Airplane.  With a little bit of country and some non-sensical feel-good lyrics, Quilt flow through their song at a happy and very trippy pace.  Below, you can watch the video which mostly features the band on blankets with fruit and vegetables.  Quilt’s newest album, Held In Splendor, will be out in January.  In the meantime, check them out on tour (tour dates after the break).

-M. Kauf

 

Quilt – Arctic Shark:

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Spencer Krug

Moonface may not be a household name, nor Spencer Krug, but this canadian musician has performed with many, many bands, including Wolf Parade.  In addition this a long-list of collaborations, Krug’s own project Moonface has released a couple of albums and are preparing to release an acoustic album focusing on Krug and a piano.  A few days ago, he released a Paper Bag session featuring one of these songs, “Love The House You’re In.”  It serves to showcase Krugs talent for lyricism in a way a full band cannot.  As incredible as it is to hear Krug perform with other musicians, it’s even more impressive to hear his intimate lyrics laid bare against a quiet background of piano.  In “Love The House You’re In” Krug takes a stance towards individuality and being happy in your own skin tinted with a quiet sadness at the inability to change and the loneliness it can sometimes carry with it.  Check out the session video below and look for the full album, Julia With Blue Jeans On, out October 29th.

-M. Kauf

Moonface – Love The House You’re In (Paper Bag Session)

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