Best New Releases – David Newton & Thee Mighty Angels, The Smashing Pumpkins, Gorillaz, My Empire of Sound, Sans Serif


We initially thought that last week’s Best New Releases was thin on new albums. But now we’re going to have to eat our words. This week is thin on new releases, really thin. This is probably the shortest BNR posting this year, and for those of you who check out the BNR posts each week, you’re sure to notice.

In a way it’s good for us that this is a slow week for releases because we’re working on a new edition of Fresh Tracks, but more importantly, on volumes IV and V of Best Songs of 2011 mixtape series – which so far has been crazy popular.

As for new releases, our top pick of the week goes to the self-released EP, Paint The Town, from the band David Newton & Thee Mighty Angels. The quartet consists of The Mighty Lemon Drops‘ band member David Newton, plus musicians Daniel Harshman and Joel Wall of Kissing Tigers, and Brian Reyes of The Little Ones. The southern California band musical project has been building a quiet following in the LA-Long Beach area for a couple of years now. We haven’t heard the EP yet, but plan to soon. Based on the title track, it wouldn’t be a big surprise if the EP ended up on our Best Debut EPs of 2011 list.

“Paint the Town”David Newton & Thee Mighty Angels from Paint The Town EP


Additionally, there are a number of reissues and compilations out this week, including reissues of Smashing Pumpkins‘ first two albums – Gish and Siamese Dream, featuring bonus material that includes rare and previously unreleased recordings, plus each re-issue contains a DVD featuring never-before-released live shows recorded at the Metro in Chicago.

“Cherub Rock”Smashing Pumpkins from Siamese Dream

Additionally, Gorillaz‘ singles collection (stream it on Spinner) was released this week featuring a decade of the band’s top tracks. Check out the trailer promo for the singles collection above.

“Feel Good Inc.”Gorillaz from The Singles Collection: 2001-2011
They Might Be Giants released a new video this week featuring the fresh electronic version of their most well-known hit single, “Istanbul (Constantinoble).” The video is trippy and reminds us a bit of Animal Collective‘s “My Girls,” but, in the end, we prefer the original version of the song a hundred times more. Still, the video is a must-see for die-hard fans of the band’s 30-year career.


My Empire of Sound is musician John Alexander Ericson's latest projects

The next batch of songs from albums released this week are likely to only be found on IRC, including relatively unknown and DIY artists like My Empire of Sound, Jaybee, Moe’s Implosion, Desmond Grundy, San Serif, and Cuban Cigar Crisis.

From Sweden and Denmark, the electronica pop band My Empire Of Sound released their self-titled debut album earlier this week. The band is John Alexander Ericson´s (The Northern Territories, Stjarna, Alberta Cross) latest music project, with Sidsel Marie on vocals. The album was released by the indie label, Warsaw Recordings. My Empire of Sound’s most influential artists include Portishead, Fever Ray, PJ Harvey, and The Knife.

“Early Morning (A New Beginning)”The Empire Of Sound from The Empire Of Sound

Jaybeemusic, the musical moniker of Brighton, UK musician James Bennett writes and produces quirky, original songs, covering themes such as angels, vampires, cowboys and pussy cats in what he refers to as a “vaguely pop idiom, all brewed in a studio-formerly-known-as-garage, from equal parts technology and inspiration.”

“Found on Putney Bridge”Jaybee from Found on Putney Bridge

“Jump You Bastard”Jaybee from Found on Putney Bridge


Moe’s Implosion, a five-piece rock band from Portugal, released their debut album this week, Light Pollution. The band got a lot of love in 2009 and on in Spain and Portugal thanks to their acclaimed debut. The band toured extensively throughout the region, including slots at the Avante Music Festival and Musa Festival, and opened for artists like Asian Dub Foundation, The Get Up Kids, and Linda Martini.

“FM”Moe’s Implosion from Light Pollution

“Doctor”Moe’s Implosion from Light Pollution

It’s been a while since there’s been a band from the northeastern city of Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada, that has appeared on our pages, but the folk pop of Sans Serif has earned the band some accolades, mostly on Canadian blogs, plus gigs opening for artists like Rich Aucoin and Cousins. On Saturday, they released their new album, I’m Not in Love (I’m in Dartmouth). We think the band has promise, if you like folk pop, but we’d suggest they work with a really good producer and engineer who can hone the band’s sound. The tracks the band sent us are worth the listen, but whether or not they end up in your MP3 player is a different matter.

“Smoke Detectors”Sans Serif from I’m Not in Love (I’m in Dartmouth)

“Let’s All Redistribute Wealth”Sans Serif from I’m Not in Love (I’m in Dartmouth)

The San Francisco DIY band Cuban Cigar Crisis also released a new album this week, titled Sourpuss. We don’t know much about the band at all, but we thought the two tracks they sent in are worth including in this post. We do know that they once opened for Xiu Xiu. It’s tough for bands to get attention in a city like San Francisco, but these are not amateurs.

“Love Between The Sheets”Cuban Cigar Crisis from Sourpuss
“Wuthering Heights”Cuban Cigar Crisis from Sourpuss

Canadian DIY indie singer/songwriter Desmond Grundy sent in a couple of songs from his new album. Songs like “Took A Bus” make it easy to see why he considers among his top influences Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Brian Eno and one of rock’s most iconic brother bands – Ray and Dave Davies of The Kinks. Grundy has performing shows in Toronto and the outlying areas of the city for more than a decade, and describes it as such: “My show is a combination of gritty, toe-tapping favorites and melodic, fearless originals delivered with spirit and taste.”

“Took A Bus”Desmond Grundy from Tiles from the Amber Room

“Black Fly”Desmond Grundy from Tiles from the Amber Room

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  1. Great list again. If ever I need to find some new music, this is the place where I always come. Noticed a new list posted, I’ll have to check it out.
    Really digging the Desmond Grundy and Cuban Cigar Crisis.

    1. Thanks Steve Oh and Admin for your support and kind words on my music. There’s lots more song links on my website at


      I agree, this is one of the best lists on the web for great new music. I use to run a web radio station called and I know its a lot of work to come up with a good solid play list week over week. Keep it up, please.

  2. The paragraph and photo caption state “My Empire of Sound” yet the track listing is “The Empire of Sound”… Which is it?

      1. My Empire of Sound–what a great song. Looking forward to their release. Thank you for posting the song.

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