Best New Music Releases, Week of Oct. 2nd – Why?, Matt and Kim, The Mountain Goats, How to Dress Well, Sun Airway, Beth Orton

why-mumps It took a bit longer this week to put it altogether because we’ve also been working on the Top DIY Releases of the Week playlist to be posted later today, including fantastic new singles from Moon Duo, The Valery Trails, The Ecstatics, Pontoons, My Empire of Sound, and more.

Plus, earlier in the week, we posted our Album of the Week review for The Vaccines‘ sophomore record, Come of Age, that features too excellent singles from the album, including the popular “Teenage Icon,” along with the video as well. This playlist post includes the other top non-DIY releases of the week from Matt and Kim, Why?, The Mountain Goats, How to Dress Well, Sun Airway, Will Sargeant, Beth Orton, Daugther, and Mark Eitzel, among others.

Matt and Kim pretty much stick to their branded sound on “Now” while Why? departs with a sort of fragmented hip-hop narrative mixed with indie pop on the lead single, “Jonathan’s Hope.” Reviews of the band’s newest effort are generally positive across the web, and we think deservedly so. There’s a lot of interesting material for fans of Why? to absorb, and for more casual music lovers who know some Why? songs, it’s very different then anything the band has released before.

“Jonathan’s Hope”Why? from Mumps, etc. on Anticon

One particular lyric, among others, is: “a white dove on the hood of a two-ton truck.” Now that’s stark imagery, which is a consistent theme throughout. Mumps is a proper follow-up to the band’s superb 2009 album, Eskimo Snow, one of IRC’s favorite albums of the year – a year that was overflowing with memorable albums. Although we have Top Ten Songs playlists for 2010 and 2011, we don’t have them archived for 2009, but you can still find plenty of great music from ’09 by browsing through the archive of playlists. Unlike most other music blogs, we do not take down MP3 links – some expire or are taken down by the artist or label after some time, but surprisingly many remain intact.

Also, check out the colorful new video for Why’s track, “Strawberries.” A California cast of eccentric characters in a parade – not too quirky for California at all, but then again the rest of the country thinks Californians are nut cases when in fact they just like to have a fun. One of the online comments we read was from a Why? fan who said something to the effect that he wished he could have been there for the taping of the video while munching on magic mushrooms. We think the video is weird and wild enough that the mushrooms are not necessary, but, the point, whether joking around or serious, is understood once you’ve seen the video.

“Now”Matt and Kim from Lightning on FADER Label

The Mountain Goats’ Drop Another Winning LP, Transcendental Youth

Needless to say, The Mountain Goats have turned out yet another impressive album of John Darnielle’s accomplished songwriting and performance skills. But, Transcendental Youth falls short of the brilliance of albums like 2005’s The Sunset Tree and 2008’s Heretic Pride. Rolling Stone wrote: “An album full of characters struggling against dead-end jobs, drug addiction and depression doesn’t exactly sound inviting, but in the hands of John Darnielle, it’s magic.” The Quietus had a different view, granting the album a 7 out of 10, and adding “Call Transcendental Youth a stumble and wait for the next Mountain Goats release next year.” We’re leaning more towards the Rolling Stone spin that “it’s magic,” but perhaps “magic” is a bit strong. Darnielle’s music is definitely an acquired taste; his fans tend to be more musically sophisticated and geeks proud to be so. No doubt Transcendental Youth is and will be accepted warmly by TMG’s most loyal fans – whether it reaches far beyond that is another matter.

“Cry for Judas”The Mountain Goats from Transcendental Youth on Merge


2010 Listener Voted Break Out Band Sun Airway Drop Sophomore Album

Sun Airway is a Philadelphia band we first featured in 2009, and in 2010, they were voted by IRC listeners as one of the top breakthrough bands of 2010. Now Sun Airway is back with a sophomore album, Soft Fall, and the sweet new single, “Close.” Let’s see if this new single puts them back in the Top Ten Songs (September’s playlists coming up – finishing up analyzing stats to determine Top 10) for 2012. We’ll find out soon.

“Close”Sun Airway from Soft Fall on Dead Oceans

How to Dress Well, the moniker of experimental pop producer and R&B artist, Tom Krell, has a new album out, Total Loss. The LP’s lead single, “Ocean Floor For Everything,” has been out for five months, and during that time has amassed over 115,000 plays on Soundcloud. The song is a tranquil, relaxing composition with calming synth notes, a delayed, elongated beat, and sensual, harmonic lead vocals – altogether creating a dreamy landscape where you can imagine yourself watching a glorious, firey sunset in total peaceful quiet. If Krell’s goal was to paint a beautiful picture with minimal musical input, he was successful.

It is only fitting to include the lead Balmorhea single from the album, Stranger, back-to-back with “Ocean Floor For Everything” because they flow together perfectly. Balmorhea takes the listener on a sonic journey that of peace and tranquility, and it seems to us the song also has an optimism to it as it picks up a bit in the last two minutes. Musician Mark Eitzel changes the mood with a fairly ‘bummed out’ love song – such is love; that wonderful and painful thing we can’t live without. There is nothing more painful than a lost love. Just by coincidence, Mark Eitzel‘s new album is titled Don’t Be A Stranger – which also implies a yearning for love, and an interesting contrast to Balmorhea’s Stranger.

“Ocean Floor For Everything”How To Dress Well from Total Loss on Acéphale

“Pyrakantha”Balmorhea from Stranger on Western Vinyl

“I Love You But You’re Dead”Mark Eitzel from Don’t Be a Stranger on Merge

ERAAS pumps up the drum machines bass on “Fang,” creating a shifty, throbbing and deep beat, sprinkled with tambourines, infusions of ghostly pop spurts and echoey, soft, melodic vocals that altogether give the song a sense of psychedelia with a haunting overtone. “Fang” is the lead single from the interestingly-name band’s self-titled debut album.

“Fang”ERAAS from ERAAS on Felte


Echo and The Bunnymen’s Will Sergeant Drops Instrumental Solo Album

As the founding member of the popular Liverpool post punk band, Echo and the Bunnymen (1978-present), guitarist Will Sergeant sent IRC a couple of songs from his new solo album, Things Inside. The songs, “Into The Seventies” and “Dragonflies” are a departure from what fans are used to in regards to his work with the Bunnymen. Sergeant explores the world of experimental, ambient instrumental music on his latest effort, featuring calming, presumably Far Eastern-influenced guitar work exhibiting a skill that only someone who is a master guitarist can achieve. While it’s not necessarily indie rock, we still dig it, and great for when you just want to hear music without words, like while reading or what have you. On the subject of indie rock, Sergeant, and his long-time bandmate, Ian McCulloch, have as much to do with the birth of indie back in the early 1980’s as any other band can claim.

“Into the Seventies”Will Sergeant from Things Inside

“Dragonflies”Will Sergeant from Things Inside

Orphan track meant to post last week, via ThisWheelIsinSpin “Sirens”Satellite Stories

Quick Picks: Tilly and the Wall, Beth Orton, Immigrant Union, Maserati, Team Genius, Flying Lotus

As promised, there was a lot to cover this week, so in order to get back to finishing the upcoming Top DIY Releases of the week, here are quick picks of other MP3singles released this week by Tilly and the Wall, Team Genius, Flying Lotus, Beth Orton, Immigrant Union, Maserati, and Ken Stringfellow, and other tracks to pick and chose from, spanning the musical landscape from country to electronic. The Top DIY Releases of the Week playlist for this past week includes terrific singles from Moon Duo, The Valery Trails, Pontoons, My Empire of Sound, The Ecstatics and others that we think many listeners are going to like, especially since many are not really posted anywhere else online and easily accessible.

“Love Riot”Tilly and the Wall from Heavy Mood on Team Love

“Everything’s Alright”Team Genius from Loud Songs EP on Paper Garden Records

“Putty Boy Strut” Flying Lotus from Until The Quiet Comes on Warp Records

“Magpie”Beth Orton from Sugaring Season on Anti-

“Doesn’t It Remind You of Something (feat. Charity Rose Thielen)”Ken Stringfellow from Danzig In The Moonlight on Spark & Shine

“My Heart’s A Joke”Immigrant Union from Immigrant Union

“The Eliminator”Maserati from Maserati VII on Temporary Residence

Amazon Quick Clicks to Purchase This Week’s MP3s, CDs and Vinyls

Tori AmosGold Dust | CD Deluxe CD/DVD MP3

Angel SnowAngel Snow | CD MP3

Angels HeartTattoos and Cigarettes | MP3

AxeWoundVultures | CD MP3

BalmorheaStranger | CD Vinyl MP3

BeaconFor Now [EP] | Vinyl MP3

Big CatsFor My Mother | MP3

BrainstormHeat Waves | MP3

Dance for the DyingPuzzles for the Traveler [EP] | MP3

Iris DeMentSing the Delta | CD Vinyl MP3

Mark EitzelDon’t Be a Stranger | CD Vinyl MP3

EraasEraas | CD Vinyl MP3

Faith EvansR&B Divas | CD MP3

Flying LotusUntil the Quiet Comes | CD Vinyl

The Giving Tree BandVacilador | MP3

Guerilla SpeakerzHolla [EP] | MP3

HammockDeparture Songs | CD MP3

John Wort HannamBrambles and Thorns | CD MP3

HeartFanatic | CD Vinyl MP3

The Hood InternetFeat | CD MP3

Charlie Hunter & Scott AmendolaNot Getting Behind Is the New Getting Ahead | CD Vinyl MP3

Jets OverheadBoredom and Joy | MP3

Jeanne JollyAngels | CD MP3

Diana KrallGlad Rag Doll | CD Deluxe CD Vinyl MP3 Deluxe MP3

The Last NamesWilderness | MP3

Lightning BoltOblivion Hunter | Vinyl MP3

The Lone Wolf ProjectOld Words, New Chapters | MP3

MarillionSounds That Can’t Be Made | CD MP3

MaseratiMaserati VII | CD Vinyl MP3

Matt and KimLightning | CD Vinyl MP3

Maus HausLight Noise | CD MP3

MaybeshewillI Was Here For a Moment, Then I Was Gone | CD Vinyl MP3

Tift MerrittTraveling Alone | CD Vinyl MP3

MiguelKaleidoscope Dream | CD Vinyl MP3

The Modern AirlineThe Modern Airline | CD MP3

Moon DuoCircles | CD Vinyl MP3

Van MorrisonBorn to Sing: No Plan B | CD MP3

The Mountain GoatsTranscendental Youth | CD Vinyl MP3

MuseThe 2nd Law | CD Deluxe CD/DVD Vinyl MP3 Deluxe MP3

Lindi OrtegaCigarettes and Truck Stops | CD MP3

Beth OrtonSugaring Season | CDVinylMP3Deluxe MP3

Andrew OsengaLeonard the Lonely Astronaut | CD MP3

Papa RoachThe Connection | CD Deluxe CD Vinyl MP3

Charlie PeacockNo Man’s Land | CD Vinyl MP3

Tristan PrettymanCedar + Gold | CD MP3

Rah RahThe Poet’s Dead | CD MP3

Rupa & The April FishesBuild | CDMP3

Jake ShimabukuroGrand Ukulele | CD MP3

b>Skyzoo – A Dream Deferred | CD MP3

Sun AirwaySoft Fall | CD Vinyl MP3

Taken By TreesOther Worlds | CD Vinyl MP3

Three Days GraceTransit of Venus | CD MP3

Tilly and the WallHeavy Mood | CD Vinyl MP3

The TinsLife’s a Gas | CD MP3

The Tragically HipNow For Plan A | CD MP3

Frank TurnerLast Minutes & Lost Evenings | CD/DVD MP3

Two FingersStunt Rhythms | CD Vinyl MP3

UltraístaUltraísta | CD Vinyl MP3

The VaccinesCome of Age | CD Vinyl MP3

The ValisMinds Through Space and Time | MP3

Bry WebbProvider | CD Vinyl MP3

Why?Mumps, Etc. | CD Vinyl MP3

Andre WilliamsLife | CD Vinyl MP3

Z-RoAngel Dust | CD MP3

Zion IShadowboxing | CD MP3

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