If I were to make up my own musical spectrum and put Phantom Power’s music on it, I would place it somewhere in between Real Estate and Blackbird Blackbird. Phantom Power has all of the chill, reverb-heavy guitar of Real Estate and Ducktails with subtle electronic elements thrown in here and there. Eric Littman, the man behind Phantom Power, put out 7 EP’s in 2010 alone, and with You Are Who You Meet I think he has struck gold. Littman has found a nice balance between the bedroom synth-pop sound that is becoming more and more cliché every day and the classic guitar, bass, drums, and vocal rock setup that I think is conversely gaining more traction for indie critics every day. You can stream the EP below via bancamp and then download it below that. Suggested tracks are “Causation Free” and “As Is//Some Kind of Cascade”.
I’ve never been the biggest Jimmy Fallon fan, but I must admit his show “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” gets the best musical acts by far. To start out, he already has an accomplished band in The Roots to back him up, but he also gets great artists to go along with The Roots. The Dirty Projectors had a pretty nice performance on his show, and Big Boi’s performance of “Shutterbug” backed up by The Roots was incredible. Now its Odd Future’s turn. On Febuary 16th, Tyler, The Creator, and Hodgy Beats will be performing on Fallon accompanied by ?uestlove. They haven’t announced what song they will be playing but I’m guessing it will be a heavily censored rendition of “Sandwitches”. For Odd Future, shits about to get real.
I love surprises. I especially love when surprises include a new Fleet Foxes track and release date for their newest album. This follow-up has been a long time coming as 2008′s Fleet Foxes LP has remained one of my favorite albums and launched the Seattle Quintet into unanimous praise and hype. They have a lot to live up to with their sophomore album and since it has been a long time since their initial release I expect only the best from the band. The first leak from the album is in the form of an anthemic Simon and Garfunkel inspired title-track Helplessness Blues. It’s a lush, harmonized and pure acoustic jam that will surely satisfy all those fans who have been eager to hear more from the band. The entire 12-track album will be dropping May 3rd on Sub Pop and while that means I still have way too long to wait I am happy that we will finally be getting some much needed Foxes in 2011. Stream and download Helplessness Blues below.
No Age’s standout track Fever Dreaming is an incredibly cinematic and anthemic track and it deserves an equally intense and grand video. Director Patrick Daughters had the perfect idea in mind when he created the video in which the band is stuck in a room where the camera edges are like walls that are closing in on the band. As the camera zooms in and out stuff in the room is shredded and destroyed and eventually the band is left with barely any room left. It’s a great concept unlike many things I have seen before and the video quality is pretty amazing. Definitely something I will be remembering as the year goes on.
Heres the newest track off of We’re New Here, Jamie XX and Gil Scott-Heron’s collaborative remix project of Scott-Heron’s recent album I’m New Here. This one is more low-key than “New York Is Killing Me” and I really like it. Jamie XX creates a lush but calm background for some soulful singing from Scott-Heron that shows that he’s still got the pipes after all these years. You can Pre-order We’re New HereHEREand stream it AT POST-DUBSTEP.
If you haven’t seen the review, I am a big fan of Ducktails and his latest release Arcade Dynamics. One of the most praised and memorable tracks from that album is the great jam Killin’ the Vibe which features Noah Lennox from Animal Collective. The track is easily one of my favorites of the year so far and now Matt wants to self-release a 12″ for the track all funded by pledges from fans. The 12″ would feature the track Killin’ the Vibe as well as a live version of the song and two unreleased tracks and will have a handwritten note from Matt. Depending on the pledge Matt is also offering cassettes, photos and even a live performance for $500. The project is running through Kickstarter and all the money transactions are through Amazon so the whole process is legit and safe. Go support Matt at the Kickstart page where you can watch a video about the project and view the different pledges. Me and Terence have already pledged and it is definitely something worth checking out.
For a long time the bedroom-pop music scene has been obsessed with the nostalgic and hazy sounds of the 80s with an incredible number of bands flying under the chill-wave banner. While a lot of that music wasfantastic, there is definitely a noticeable shift away from these warm sounds and towards a darker and colder electronic sound. Last year James Blake was definitely a leader in that movement and while I eagerly anticipate his full-length to be released later this year there is plenty good music that is also treading similar territory. ArnHao is one of these projects and their latest track Love Fades shows a great amount of talent and skill. Love Fades builds off of a minimalist background and is carried by the chilling voice of the singer Arturo Holmes II. It is a slow-burning track that will definitely appeal to fans of the xx or James Blake. As a bonus if you email firstname.lastname@example.org they will send you a download of the track on its Valentines Day release. Stream the track below via Denmark Records Bandcamp.