IRC Band to Watch, Rhode Island trio, Fang Island, who are also veterans of the Top Ten Songs (being updated now) playlist mixes, and our Band to Watch series, first got our attention in 2010 with their terrific self-titled, debut album. They’ve shot back with a terrific new album, Major, an orgy of uptempo, guitar-riffing pop rock, featuring one song after the next of memorable anthems, as the two singles, “Sisterly” and “Seek It Out” included below clearly demonstrate.
The only thing that is a true disappointment is the crappy album cover art for Major, which is viewable via the album purchase link below. Really guys, this was the best you could come up with? But, the tracks on the album itself make up for the ugly gray cover. Following Fang Island are singles from The Gaslight Anthem, Eternal Summers, Passion Pit and many others.
– Eternal Summers from Correct Behavior on Kanine Records
Passion Pit, Micachu and the Shapes, Young Moon
Passion Pit’s second album Gossamer dropped this week. Now a big budget band with the backing of Columbia Records, the band’s fans may have worried that Passion Pit would lose their touch with all that corporate influence – we’ve all seen how that influence has put a damper on the work of other bands, such as the latest album by Best Coast. Since the release of their popular debut, Manners, Passion Pit has made their name synonymous with electro-pop innovation.
Gossamer is a fine follow-up to Manners, complete with glistening synths, frequent tempo changes, absorbing melodies, tamer vocals, and intricate lyrics. The AV Club wrote: “Despite the emphasis on struggle, Gossamer couldn’t sound more assured” and The New York Times said: “For all the artificial splendor, there’s clearly a very human, very troubled voice at the center of these songs.” But some reviews were less enthusiastic; the BBC observed: “An impressive and varied second album, but one underpinned by noticeable troubles.” Also, listen to new singles from Micachu and The Shapes, Lawrence Arabia and Young Moon. Interesting the track, “Winds Light” from emerging artist Young Moon seems a little like a slowed down, melancholy version of Arcade Fire’s “Cold Wind” – just a little.
Never on Rough Trade– Micachu and the Shapes from
“Look Homeward, Heathen” – Grassfight from Icon EP2 (self-released)
Releases from Purity Ring, and New-to-Us Artists, Family Band, Foxygen, Grassfight and Others
The next three tracks seem to fit together in almost a Halloweenish kind of way. Purity Ring, by now a well-established band of the indie pop genre, return with a new album on 4AD, Shrines. The lead single, “Obedar” is glistening with rhythmic synth key loops, but most effective thanks to the melancholic lead vocals of classically trained pianist and vocalist Megan James accompanied by drifting choruses. Family Band take the mysterious and haunting elements to another level with “Night Song” from their new album, Moonbeams, plus Dots Will Echo picks up the tempo, while still thematically fitting with its predecessors.
Shrines on 4AD– Purity Ring from
Moonbeams on No Quarter– Family Band from
Drunk is the New Sober/Stupid is the New Dumb on Asthmatic Kitty– Dots Will Echo from
Singles from Shawn Lee, Foxygen, Heavenly Beat
Synthesizers in Space on ESL Music– Shawn Lee from
“Messiah” – Heavenly Beat from Talent on Captured Tracks
– Three Mile Pilot from Maps EP on Temporary Residence