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Tour De Vaap

A compilation of music from 417

Tag Archives: Rock

merchandise

Echo & The Bunnymen, an English rock band that fuses alternative music with neo-psychedelia, are popular for many reasons. For starters, their frontman Ian McCulloch crafts brilliant, brooding song after brilliant, brooding song (“Lips Like Sugar,” “Angels and Devils,” etcetera). Additionally, each Echo & The Bunnymen album is awash with heavenly guitar licks, introspective lyrics, and a distinctly 80s sound that today’s hipsters obsess over (is there anything from the 80s that hipsters won’t obsess over?). With these observations in mind, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that many 21st Century bands are trying to imitate the aforementioned group’s style, and chief among these imitators are Tampa, Florida’s up-and-coming superstars: Merchandise.       

Merchandise’s latest single, “Enemy” (released in preparation for After The Dark, their much-anticipated 4AD debut), succeeds in not only milking The Bunnymen’s sound flawlessly, but also surpassing it in many respects. Guitarist Dave Vassalotti’s riffs are infectiously poppy, singer Carson Cox’s voice is reminiscent of a crooning, drug-addled Morrissey, and the song’s chorus oozes from Bose headphones like honey laced with DMT. Hell, this single is so goddamn catchy that even its indecipherable (not to mention inaudible) lyrics fail to detract from the music’s overall quality. In short, I encourage those who enjoy old sounds with fresh twists to check out “Enemy,” because you won’t just be surprised; You’ll be pleasantly surprised.  Check out the video below and look for After The Dark on August 4th.

-Katt M.

Merchandise – Enemy

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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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kevin morby slow train

Ok, it’s been a slow, slow couple of weeks here at TDV.  So what better way to get back into the mix than with a slow single?  Kevin Morby is releasing his solo album Harlem River at the end of November.  “Slow Train” begins with a gradual fade into a laid back guitar and some jazzy drums, creating a fuzzy and foggy environment into which Morby soaks his voice, sounding something like Jim James attempting some 70s soft rock.  Throughout, the song remains pretty repetitive pushing through the haze only to be changed as Cate Le Bon creeps in with her own voice.  It’s the perfect song for sitting inside and watching the rain drip down your window.  Check it out below and look for the full album November 26th.  And don’t give up on TDV yet, we’re still hanging in there and looking for good tunes to send your way.

-M. Kauf

Kevin Morby – Slow Train (Feat. Cate Le Bon)

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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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The Killers are getting ready to release their Direct Hits next month it’s brought with it a new song.  Produced by M83, “Shot at the Night” is a strong addition to the group’s catalogue.  Brandon Flowers urgently calls out amidst an orchestra of synths and booming drum beats.  It’s got all the makings of an 80s romantic flick soundtrack in the best possible way.  Recently, the group released a video to accompany the song which features Flowers gesturing in front of some windows and a girl living out her fantasy.  Watch it below and look for  Direct Hits on November 11th.

-M. Kauf

 

The Killers – Shot at the Night

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SWF

SWF hails from Brooklyn and is releasing his debut album, Let It Be Told on October 8th.  While we’ll have to wait to hear the full album, the single “Let It Be Told” is a promising hint at what’s to come.  The sound falls somewhere between Wolf Parade and MV & EE, SWF playing with a mix of 60s garage rock, folk and an optimistic modern context.  As the song goes into repeat, vamping on the same chorus over and over, it feels like a trance, creating a musical connection that is uplifting and heavy all at once.  SWF’s unique voice chants and slides through trippy keyboards, and rough and tumble guitar and a steady rock beat.  Check out the song below and download it here.

-M. Kauf

SWF – Let It Be Told:

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Dancing in the Dark, the intimate synth anthem by Bruce Springsteen has to be one of my favorite songs of all time.  Not just because of the incredible original, but because of the large of amount of covers, each with their own take on this minimal song.  My new favorite is the slow-burning cover by Woman’s Hour.  The four piece from London have yet to release an album, but their singles so far are powerful pieces of synth pop, something like The XX if they were a less minimalistic and a little more lively.  The group’s take on “Dancing in the Dark” stretches out the song, lingering on each note, allowing the tension to sink into your soul.  Woman’s Hour may not be releasing their debut until October 21st, but in the meantime we at least have this remarkable take on one of rock’s greatest songs.

-M. Kauf

Woman’s Hour – Dancing in the Dark:

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