Best New Releases from Enation, Future Islands, Casiokids, Peter Gabriel, Color Radio, High Places, John Wesley Harding, Sun Hotel


Another week, another set of new albums. But firstly, this week saw the official release of a new live album from a musical genius that some people consider one of the forerunners of indie rock – the prolific Peter Gabriel. This week, Gabriel released New Blood, an album recorded live in London with an orchestra, no guitars and no drums – playing alternative versions of many of his best-known songs, and of course Gabriel on piano. 

“Red Rain” (Instrumental) – Peter Gabriel from New Blood

This week’s Best New Releases offers a diversity of music styles, artists and subjects.There is a good number of truly ‘indie’ and DIY bands – such as Color Radio, Casiokids, High Places, Future Islands – and more well-known artists, like Andrew Bird, Ben Lee and John Wesley Harding.


But first, we want to introduce you to a band that you may have not heard of before, but it would not be for a lack of press and accolades. Enation is an anthemic indie rock band from Washington state fronted by Jonathan Jackson. Their music has appeared on film and television soundtracks, including One Tree Hill and Stephen King‘s Riding the Bullet. Enation broke into the Top 10 on iTunes‘ Rock Charts. CDBaby picked the band as a Notable Artist and The New Music Seminar nominated Enation to the prestigious “Top 100 Artists on the Verge” for 2011In fact, CDBaby praised the band enthusiastically, stating that “Enation is fast becoming recognized as one of the best epic rock bands around.” Judge for yourself. Here are two tracks the band set to us to share with you from their new album out this week,

“Prodigal”Enation from My Ancient Rebellion

“The Rushing Wind”Enation from My Ancient Rebellion

Enation have previously opened for artists like Angels & Airwaves, Kate Voegele, Everly, Dustin Ruth, and House of Heroes, and list among their influences Coldplay, U2, Bob Dylan, Radiohead, Snow Patrol, and Switchfoot.

Another band that sent us tracks directly is the newly formed eclectic Baltimore band, Drunk Monk. Infusing a combination of rock, “surf doom” (their words), psychedelic and jazz, Drunk Monk describe themselves like so: “Guitar, bass, drums. Very few words. We like to record live. We don’t know how to surf…overwhelmingly positive response at every show.”

“Woefully Intentional”Drunk Monk from Drunk Monk

“Dorothy vs. The Shadow People”Drunk Monk from Drunk Monk


We’ve also included nearly two dozen MP3s of new singles from new releases by bands and artists like High Places, Sun Hotel, T.W. Walsh, Yukon Blonde, Extra Arms, Casey Shea, Rocket from the Tombs, Crooked Fingers, Savaging Spires, The Morning Clouds, Rachael Yamagata, Gill Landry, Library Voices, and Hess Is More.

“Balance”Future Islands from On the Water

“Golden Years”Casiokids from Aabenbaringen Over Aaskammen

“Quiet House”Color Radio from Architects

“Year Off”High Places from Original Colors

“Fire”Yukon Blonde from Fire/Water EP

“Creation Keeps the Devil Away”Hess is More from Creation Keeps the Devil Away


“Sing Your Own Song” John Wesley Harding from The Sound of His Own Voice

“Typhoon”Crooked Fingers from Breaks in the Armor

“Annie”Gill Landry from Piety & Desire

“Traveller’s Digest”Library Voices from Summer of Lust

“The Wrong Things”The Morning Clouds from Wasted Youth Blues EP

“Little Eyes”Radio Moscow from The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz

“Bending the Rules of Time”Savaging Spires from Savaging Spires

“Starlight”Rachael Yamagata from Chesapeake

“Alchemy”Sun Hotel from Gifts (self-released)

“Make It Rhyme”T.W. Walsh from Songs of Pain and Leisure

“Race to Sleep” Extra Arms from In Parallel

“Best Disguise Is No Disguise” Extra Arms from In Parallel

“Jennifer”Casey Shea from In Your Head

“Sundowner (featuring Jason Collett)”Danielle Duval from Of the Valley

“I Sell Soul” Rocket from the Tombs from Barfly

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  2. I’ve been going through your best new releases for a while, and I wanted to thank everyone that works on it (it seems like it’d be an awful lot of work for just one person at least). I was wondering though, how you decide what music makes the list? Are you sent a bunch of music by bands and then you pick from that? Or do you get it from somewhere else? Is there a panel of sorts to decide what makes it or is it just one person’s decision?Either way, thanks for the music! I love it.


    1. Hey Ben: It’s actually a combo of all of those things, but mostly, we collect all the songs, put them into a draft playlist and a few people listen to the songs over and over again, and then keep shortening the list until we come up with what we think is the best list of singles from all the new releases. There is definitely more emphasis put on the singles, rather than the albums, as listening to each and every album is simply impossible – but we do listen to as many as we can, esp. of the bands that are featured higher up in the mix of songs for each Best New Releases mix. For the weekly Top Ten Songs page, it’s you, and tens of thousands of IRC listeners and visitors, who decide what the top ten songs are (based on number of times songs are played AND downloaded). Hope that makes sense 🙂

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  4. My name is Tia and I will be following your blog for the next two weeks. My teacher assigned me to find a blog to read posts and leave comments daily. Your blog sparked my interest and I look forward to reading your new posts and discovering new music.

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