Best New Music Releases – Jeff The Brotherhood, Shout Outs4, The Very Best, Frank Ocean, The Drowning Men, Mum, The Blank Tapes

hypnotic-nights-jeff-brotherhoodThe Album of the Week goes to Jeff The Brotherhood‘s Hypnotic Nights, the band’s seventh studio album. This is the band’s second album (the first was last fall’s We Are The Champions) with Warner Brothers, who they signed with in 2011 , while retaining their long-relationship with Infinity Cat Recordings. The deal with Warner has been pitched by their PR people as a way to give the band a wider distribution while JTB is assured “substantial creative control.” What exactly that means is unknown, but “substantial” is less than “total” or “full.” Some die-hard fans have accused the band of selling out by signing with a major label. Whether it’s a good move for the band over the long term remains to be seen. For example, the new album has received good reviews from a variety of popular mainstream music outlets and blogs, but not raving reviews.

The All Music Guide remarked: “if [Hypnotic Nights] isn’t able to kick off your summer, nothing will” while Rolling Stone wrote: “it’s got a good-natured sense of slacker irony.” The album was produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, and it’s possible to hear Auerbach’s influence for anyone who is a Black Keys’ fan. Hypnotic Nights has a number of memorable tracks, including the unmistakable summer kicker, “Sixpack,” the first lead single release from the album. It would have been an even better track if the band had extended it a little longer to include a mid-song, all-out jam. And this is probably one element wherein the Warner influence prevailed because they’re aiming for a wider audience now, where songs tend to be produced to be more “radio-friendly.”

“Sixpack”Jeff The Brotherhood from Hypnotic Nights on Infinity Cat Recordings/Warner

Soundcloud: “Mystic Portal II”Jeff The Brotherhood from Hypnotic Knights on Infinity Cat Recordings/Warner

Note: Look for more tracks from the past week’s new releases in Vol. II, coming up in just about an hour from now.


New Singles and Albums from The Drowning Men, Shout Outs4, The Very Best, Frank Ocean and More

This mini-block playlist-within-a-playlist kicks off with the new single from The Drowning Men, “Lost In A Lullaby,” a catchy, flourishing summer-soundtrack type of song that reminds us of Arcade Fire, but which is also unique enough that it’s not some half-assed rip-off of AF’s signature sound – driving, almost frenzied rhythms, larger-than-life choruses, and the inclusion of woods and strings along with the cornerstone elements of pop rock – guitar, drums and bass. Chances are if you dig this track, you’ll want to get your hands on the band’s new album, All The Unknown.

“Lost In A Lullaby”The Drowning Men from All The Unknown on Borstal Beat Records

Shout Out Out Out Out dropped a new album this week featuring the single, (really, four ‘Outs’? Maybe just ‘Shout Outs?’), Never The Same Way Twice,” which is a decent song. But the band name is awkward and annoying for people to speak or type it – and completely unnecessary. The name doesn’t resinate, especially when you consider there is a fairly popular indie band by the name of the Shout Out Louds. Sometimes it seems as if bands don’t understand how important it is to pick a good band name, and why it’s not a good thing to pick a name that is difficult to say or write, and to Google. Then there is the whole thing about “is it three Outs, or four or five?” It’s not hard to see why “keep it simple stupid” is a good motto to go with; if you look at many successful bands, their names are rather simple.

“Never the Same Way Twice”Shout Out Out Out Out from Spanish Moss and Total Loss on Normals Welcome Records

Frank Ocean's new album, Channel Orange, is No. 2 on Amazon - MP3 album only $2.99 by clicking the album cover

Alright, now that that (SOOOO’s name) is Out in the open, the next single, “Pyramids,” from Frank Ocean, who is not necessarily an ‘indie’ artist, is deserving of mention because his newest album, Orange, is an impressive collection of songs, featuring more of his top-notch R&B mixed with a range of other genres. By now, most everyone has heard that Ocean recently revealed that he had a happy, loving gay relationship with another man while he was in his late teens. One thing is for sure – that takes a lot of guts on a number of levels. We think it also makes him and his music more authentic and from the heart. For a limited time, get the MP3 version of Channel Ocean for only $2.99 via this Amazon link.

“Pyramids”Frank Ocean from Channel Orange on Island Def Jam

“Yoshua Alikuti”The Very Best from MTMTMK on Moshi Moshi

“Take My Bones Away” – Baroness from Yellow & Green, on Relapse Records


The Dust Engineers, The Black Swans, Mum, and The Blank Tapes

The Dust Engineers unearth some find alternative country rock on “Snot Nosed Dweeb” (titled reminds us of a Sonic Youth track), the lead single from their new EP, Bail via No Horse Town Records. Plus, listen to new singles from fresh drops by experimental Icelandic band Mum and L.A. garage rockers The Blank Tapes; and to close out part one of releases for the week of July 17th (wow, summer, you are flying fast), two Soundcloud singles from Monterrey, Mexico band Kinky; and, Columbus, Ohio folk band, The Black Swans. The song is also a candidate for the next edition of the State of Music playlist series (picking up, in a way, where Sufjan left off).

“Snot Nosed Dweeb”The Dust Engineers from Bail EP on No Horse Town

“0,000Orð”Múm from Early Birds on Morr Music

“I’m Back”The Blank Tapes from I’m Back 7″ on on 20-Sided Records

“Negro Dia (feat. Mala Rodriguez)”Kinky from Sueño De La Maquina on Nacional Records

“Portsmouth, Ohio” – The Black Swans from Occasion For Song on Misra Records

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