Best New Indie Releases, 2010 – Sufjan Stevens, Beach Fossils, Real Estate, Cloud Nothings, Wild Nothing, Wolf People, Gold Panda

This week in best new releases is one of the most diverse, and largest (37 songs), mixtape reviews of the second half of 2010. The reason is simple: there are so many fantastic new singles and albums out this week from indie rockers, chillwave (omg, we said it) artists, buzz bands, unknown bands, new artists of the year, country and folk musicians, dance-oriented artists, exclusive tracks, and big buzz releases from, of course, Sufjan Stevens and Belle and Sebastian. Both of those artists were featured in the recent post,  Five Anticipated Autumn Releases.

We are really digging Sufjan’s popular new single, “Too Much”, a track that has some of the elements of the chamber pop of Illinoise and orchestra, electro experimentation of The BQE, the latter of which Stevens told The Irish Times last week: “[BQE] was really exhausting and all-encompassing. I went beyond my means creatively and lost my way in the process.”  We love Sufjan’s music, but still can’t help but to feel betrayed that his much anticipated “states album” project was just a “joke.”  So, we started something similiar to that last year, called the State of Music playlists. We have been building new mixtapes for the State of Music playlists which we hope to start publishing by the end of the year and well into 2011.

The Age of Adz, so far, sounds terrific, from introspective tracks like “Now That I’m Older” to the wonderfully rich and multi-layered orchestration and chorus singing of “Vesuvius”, and other fantastic songs that you’ll just have to get the LP to discover – because this album, like many of Sufjan’s previous works, is a personal journey and an amazingly involved and complex project that is affirmation that he has found his niche again. Plus, as profiled in Five Anticipated Autumn releases post, we’re still also absorbing the new Belle and Sebastian, but so far, it sounds like the cerebral folk pop and story-telling we enjoy so much, especially after four years since the band’s last release. We’d love to hear what you guys think of Adz or any other releases the Comments section.

“Too Much”Sufjan Stevens from The Age of Adz

Download for free a new MP3, “I Walked,” (from Adz) from Sufjan’s BandCamp page.

Also, LA’s JumpClubb released today this cover/remix of “Futile Devices” that appears on The Age of Adz.

One of our favorite new bands from this year’s South by Southwest, Brooklyn’s Beach Fossils, have released a new seven-inch vinyl single this week titled, “Face It”.  The track continues on the band’s reputation for delivering summertime-like tracks, and reaffirms the band’s rising stake in the  dreamy, sunny, sandy sub-genre of “chillwave/glo-fi” – a movement that has been a mainstay within the indie music domain for the past 18 months or so.

Beach Fossils’ new single is not a break-through for the band, but combined with their self-titled debut LP that dropped earlier this year, it’s enough to keep fans tied over, we think, until the ever-so-stressful sophomore album starts to leak out.  While Beach Fossils is mostly the work of the wonderfully prolific Dustin Payseur, band members accompany him on tour and other live shows. In fact, after this weekend’s performance at the Brooklyn Bowl, Beach Fossils will set off next week for an extensive, month-long tour of Europe.

“Write About Love”Belle & Sebastian from Write About Love

“Face It”Beach Fossils from Face It/Distance 7″ via I Guess I’m Floating

One of the reasons were especially excited by this week’s best new releases is the fact that there are so many bands that will be on many best new bands lists by the end of this year. Two more to add to that list are Cleveland band Cloud Nothings and Milwaukee‘s indie outfit The Goodnight Loving. Cloud Nothing’s memorable lo-fi pop punk style mixed with the so-called chillwave sound has translated into blogger buzz and then a fan following. The band enjoyed praise for their live shows and their fuzzed out riffs and melodic pop hooks. Turning On is basically a collection of already released songs from their singles and tracks off their debut album that came out in June.

Another band that will likely be on a good number of top bands lists over the next few months is The Goodnight Loving with their debut, Goodnight Loving Supper Club. Although the band is not necessarily a new band – they received good reviews as far back as 2008 – they didn’t come on to many folks radar until this year with the promotion surrounding their newly released debut. The track here, “Doesn’t Shake Me” sounds just like a pop-rock radio hit from the 1970s, with Big Star being the band we thought of first when reviewing this track. But it also reminds us of more recent bands, such as Free Energy and The Rassle

“Leave You Forever”Cloud Nothings from 12 inch EP

“Hey Cool Kid”Cloud Nothings from Turning On

“Doesn’t Shake Me”The Goodnight Loving from Goodnight Loving Supper Club

Another break-through band of 2010, New Jersey‘s sunny, surf popsters, Real Estate, drop a new seven-inch single this week to keep fans engaged until their sophomore LP is released. Plus, the debut release from boyfriend/girlfriend outfit, Houses, is out with the lead single, “Reds,” bringing more sunny, warm vibes – so it’s no surprise that their home base of Hawaii served as the nest for the writing and recording of the LP. And, of course, the electro ambient pop of Gold Panda.

“Out of Tune”Real Estate from Out of Tune/Reservoir 7″ double single

“Reds”Houses from All Night

“Same Dream China”Gold Panda from Lucky Shiner

The lead track from Wolf People‘s new album, Steeple, is an audio time machine back to the late 1960s/early 1970s. “Tiny People” might as well have been released 40 years ago with its psychedelic folk rock jam reminiscent of Traffic and The Yardbirds, and complete with Jethro Tull-like flute infusions and solos, bluesy guitar riffs and heavy percussions.

“Tiny People”Wolf People from Steeple

A quiet new release this week that we probably wouldn’t have known about if the band didn’t contact us,  is the debut album from Soft Landing, the new project from Beirut members Paul Collins and Perrin Cloutier. They teamed up with producer Griffin Rodriguez (Beirut, Need New Body, Icy Demons) for their self-titled debut, out now digitally and on vinyl. Stay tuned to us on Twitter for CD/MP3 album giveaways and ticket contests for Soft Landing and many others.

“Baptism” Soft Landing from Soft Landing

The band Suuns brings the electro dance pop on the track, “Arena”, which sports a long instrumental intro until the lead vocals and blazing reverb guitar licks take hold. Following Suuns, is the band Starf*cker, who the FCC doesn’t allow us to print their entire name – even though everyone knows what it says!

Anyways, Starf*cker keep the dance beats going, and crank up the synthesizers, on their new dream-pop single, “Julius” – a song that is just bursting with glistening keys. Gears shift just a bit on the next track, “I Have Seen Everything,” from Climber‘s new LP, The Mystic. While it’s more pop-oriented, the track keeps in step with the dance-influenced trio of Suuns-Starf*cker-Climber, not to mention it’s intriguing lyrics: I’ve seen you naked/ all of your hidden flaws exposed…You’re not embarassed/is that your problem?

“Arena”Suuns from Zeros WC

“Julius” Starf*cker from Julius 7″

“I Have Seen Everything” Climber from The Mystic

We’re getting low on ink, but you’ll definitely want to check out the following bands’ new singles from bands to watch and bands on radar,  including the fantastically catchy music of Fox in the Henhouse, Great Lakes, Sunset, So So Glos, Fox in the Henhouse, Fresh and Onlys, Envy, Ten Million Lights, The Brute Chorus, and others.

“Fears”Fox in the Henhouse from Fox in the Henhouse

“Late Night Dawning”Sunset from Loveshines but The Moon Is Shining Too

“Five”Young Man from Boy EP

“Lindy Hop”So So Glos from Low Back Chain Shift

“Four Days Straight”Scattered Trees from Four Straight Days 7″

“Kill Your Idols” Ten Million Lights from Ten Million Lights

“Heaven” The Brute Chorus from How The Caged Bird Sings

“Waterfall”The Fresh and Onlys from Play It Strange

“A Breath Clad in Happiness”Envy from Recitation

Now, our readers might see why we’re a bit late putting out this week’s Best New Releases mixtape review. If you just finished listening to the songs above, there’s still more. The best way, at least for us, to listen to the huge mixtape/playlists we published on IRC, is to click on the first song and let the Yahoo Media Player stream through all the songs automatically so you can do other things, instead of clicking from one song to the next.  As promised, there’s more:

Updated 10/14: There was such a strong reaction to IRC’s exclusive new track from the band Take Care that we decided to post another track in addition to “Halfway House.” We think that if you liked that song, you’re probably going to enjoy the Take Care track, “Trips.” Let us know and see more – and download the Demo 2010 EP at Take Care’s website.

“Trips”Take Care from Demo 2010 – IRC Exclusive

“Halfway House” Take Care from Demo 2010 – IRC Exclusive

We’re not so sure about the title track from Violent Kin‘s new release, Velvet Hideout, so if any of you would like to write up a mini-review in the Comments section, please do, for the world to see.  In fact, comment about any song – it’s a great way to share your thoughts with thousands of other people.  Some folks may also enjoy the under-the-radar band, Carissa’s Wierd,and songwriter-singer Brandie Emma.

“Velvet Hideout” Violent Kin from Velvet Hideout

“Fluorescent Lights”- Carissa’s Wierd from Ugly But Honest (vinyl reissue)

“Let Go”Brandie Emma from Photographic Memory

A musical substitute for Prozac comes in the form of the blissful, floating ambiance of the single, “Over There”. As with Cloud Nothings, today’s release from Banjo or Freakout contain previously released songs; so “new” in this case finds itself in a bit of a snafu. But seriously folks, is this song not somehow heavenly? To keep a good vibe going, let the stream go for Manzanita y su Conjunto‘s “Agua”, from a compilation of psychedelic music from Peru, plus Simian Mobile Disco and Cheyenne Marie Mize.

“Over There” Banjo or Freakout from Way Slow Series; Volume One: Banjo or Freakout

“Agua” Manzanita y su Conjunto from Roots of Chicha 2: Psychedelic Cumbias From Peru

“Nerve Salad”Simian Mobile Disco from Is Fixed

“The Spirit Was Gone” (download) – Antony and the Johnsons from Swanlights

“Best” Cheyenne Marie Mize from Before Lately

The final tracks in this release are all ones we like or ones that we think a lot of our regular readers/listeners would like. In a way to keep all of these tracks more organized, we’re trying to group them as much as possible, like the way the more ‘dance’ tracks above were grouped. The same thing was done for the country and folk rock singles, from bands like The Moondoggies, The Black, The Black Heart Procession, Whitey Morgan and The 78s, and others are grouped together below. Plus, we have a number of exclusives that we’ll be interested to see the reaction to.

“It’s A Shame” The Moondoggies

“Love Don’t Need A Reason”The Black from Sun in the Day, Moon at Night

“Blank Page” The Black Heart Procession from Bloody Bunny/Black Rabbit

I Ain’t Drunk”Whitey Morgan and The 78′s from Whitey Morgan and The 78′s

“Summer Fruits”Great Lakes from Ways of Escape

More New Releases This Week (compiled by Pitchfork):


A Band of Bees: Every Step’s a Yes [Fiction]
Antony and the Johnsons: Swanlights [Rough Trade] [European release]
Benoit Pioulard: Lasted [Kranky]
Dexys Midnight Runners: Searching for the Young Soul Rebels [EMI]
Esben and the Witch: “Marching Song” 12” [Matador] [UK Release]
Josephine Foster & the Victor Herrero Band: Anda Jaleo [Fire Records]
Paul Smith: Margins [Billingham]


Antony and the Johnsons: Swanlights [Secretly Canadian] [U.S. release]
Badly Drawn Boy: It’s What I’m Thinking: Photographing Snowflakes [The End]
Banjo or Freakout: Way Slow [Lefse]
Beach Fossils: “Face It”/”Distance” 7″ [Captured Tracks]
The Beets: Stay Home [Captured Tracks]
Big Search: Lay of the Land [St. Ives]
The Black: Sun in the Day Moon at Night [Moon Records]
The Black Heart Procession: Blood Bunny/Black Rabbit EP [Temporary Residence Ltd.]
Blank Dogs: Land and Fixed [Captured Tracks]
Blue Water White Death: Blue Water White Death [Graveface]
Breathe Owl Breathe: Magic Central [Hometapes]
British Sea Power: Zeus EP [Rough Trade] [Vinyl Release]
Callers: Life of Love [Western Vinyl]
Cloud Nothings: “Leave You Forever” 7” [Carpark]
Cloud Nothings: Turning On [Carpark]
The Dead C: Patience [Ba Da Bing]
Die Antwoord: $0$ [Cherrytree/Interscope]
Doug Paisley: Constant Companion [No Quarter]
Envy: Recitation [Temporary Residence Ltd.]
Esben and the Witch: “Marching Song” 12” [Matador]
Florence and the Machine: “Dog Days Are Over (Yeasayer Remix)” [Island]
The Foreign Exchange: Authenticity [Foreign Exchange Music]
Franz Nicolay: Luck & Courage [Team Science/Sabot Productions]
The Fresh & Onlys: Play It Strange [In the Red]
Gangrene [The Alchemist and Oh No]: Gutter Water [Decon]
Gold Panda: Lucky Shiner [Ghostly International/NoTown Recordings]
Hauschka: Foreign Landscapes [130701]
Heavy Times: “No Plans” b/w “Ice Age” 7” [HoZac]
Holy Sons: Survivalist Tales! [Partisan]
Houses: All Night [Lefse]
Idle Times: Idle Times [HoZac]
Jane Birkin: Di Doo Dah [Light in the Attic] [reissue]
Kedl Winter: Apple Core [Steeple]
Kelly Stoltz: To Dreamers [Sub Pop]
Lil Wayne: I Am Not a Human Being [Young Money] [physical release]
Maserati: “Pyramid of the Moon” 12” [Temporary Residence]
Peter Gordon: The Love of Life Orchestra [DFA]
Purling Hiss: Public Service Announcement [Woodsist]
Real Estate: “Out of Tune” b/w “Reservoir” 7” [True Panther]
Silje Nes: Opticks [FatCat]
Simian Mobile Disco: Is Fixed [Defend Music]
Starf*cker: Julius [Polyvinyl]
Styrofoam: Disco Synthesizers & Daily Tranquilizers [Nettwerk]
Sufjan Stevens: The Age of Adz [Asthmatic Kitty]
Suuns: Zeroes QC [Secretly Canadian]
Various Artists: Jackass 3D OST [Epitaph/ Kings Road Merch]
Various Artists: From the Land of Ice and Snow: The Songs of Led Zeppelin [Jealous Butcher Records]
White Moth: White Moth [Angel Oven Records]
Wolf People: Steeple [Jagjaguwar]
Zola Jesus: Valusia EP [Sacred Bones]

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  1. Loved loved LOVED Take Care’s Halfway House! It had me hooked right from the beginning. Keep writing about them!!

  2. suuns track is legit…hollla!!

    by the way…
    IRC you need to check out TWIN SHADOW…
    by the far the best album out right now…

  3. Take Care is fantastic, those two songs are great. I would also recommend their song Flow Rush from their new demo. In fact, the entire demo is amazing, these guys are really good and they are just going to keep getting better. Nishant, check out their website, there is a lot of info about the band there and you can find more of their music there.

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