More Best & DIY Releases for Week of Oct. 2nd – Moon Duo, The Valery Trails, Pontoons, My Empire of Sound, The Ecstatics


Yesterday we released a lengthly new releases playlist post for the week, featuring new music from The Vaccines, Why?, The Mountain Goats, Matt & Kim, Eraas, and many other artists. And there’s more – much more, including new music from talented bands you may be hearing for the first time. We’ve been receiving a wave of new submissions from DIY artists and bands from around the U.S., Canada and Europe lately. This post features new singles from albums released this week by Moon Duo, The Valery Trails, The Ecstatics, Pontoons, My Empire of Sound, among others.

A Fav 2011 New Artist, Moon Duo, Drop Sweet Sophomore LP

Upon the release of their 2011 album debut, Mazes, Moon Duo quickly became one of our favorite new bands of the year.   Now the Colorado born band are back with a sick new single, “Sleepwalker,” from their sophomore release, Circles. The band spent the past year in Europe touring with the exception of a couple of months of winter isolation in Blue River in the Rocky Mountains, where they wrote and recorded most of the material for Circles. Some of the album was also recorded at Lucky Cat Records in San Francisco this past April and later mixed in Berlin. Much of the inspiration for the album, and the title of the album, were inspired by Ralph Waldo Emerson‘s 1841 essay, “Circles.” If you dig this track, you’ll want to get a copy of the album and also buy a copy of their debut as well – they’re both fantastic and thrilling, deep and mysterious.

“Sleepwalker”Moon Duo from Circles on Sacred Bones Records


New EP from Houston-via-Australia band The Valery Trails

Last year, guitarist and singer Andrew Bower, an expatriate Australian who relocated to Houston, enlisted his brother, Sean Bower to play bass, along with mutual friend and drummer, Dan McNaulty, from his hometown of Brisbane to form The Valery Trails.

Earlier this year, the band released their critically-acclaimed debut album, Ghosts and Gravity, which we included in our new favorite releases playlist for the week of February 7th. This week, they treated fans to a new four-track Feline EP, featuring songs the band has been recording for their upcoming sophomore LP, expected in early 2013. It’s unclear if the songs on the EP will also appear on the next album. Feline is a diversion from Ghosts and Gravity, Andrew Bower, told IRC, but it retains the moody melodic sensibility of their debut, while toying with a more lo-fi aesthetic. The EP also contains a cover of the classic “Raining Pleasure,” by the Australian 80’s alternative legends, The Triffids.

“Too Soon Forgotten”The Valery Trails from Feline EP

Stream or download two more The Valery Trails’ songs from their acclaimed debut LP.

Portland Band The Ecstatics Drop Singles Ahead of Debut LP

The Ecstatics is an indie dance pop musical project that started out as two “dorky guys rocking out air-guitar style to The Wombats and Two Door Door Cinema Club in a Portland, OR basement.” The friends, Eli Hirsch and Quincy Saunders, began in earnest spending “sleepless nights huddled over a Pro Tools session bouncing ideas back and forth.” The duo are working on their debut album from which they sent in two singles that were released this week. The Ecstatics will tour the west coast in December.

“Float”The Ecstatics from TBD

“Indie Boy Toy”The Ecstatics from TBD

Visit The Ecstatics on Facebook


Sweden’s Lively Indie Pop Band The Happy Hippo Family Release New Single

The Happy Hippo Family from Orebro, Sweden, formed in 2008, quickly made a name for themselves in their native homeland for their lively indie pop sound and energetic live shows, having been compared to Swedish acts like Bob Hund and Hoffmaestro. Their popularity overseas, particularly in norther Europe, has also led to shows in Norway, Denmark, Germany and England. But they have yet to really break out in the states. Last week they released a brand new single, “Mustache.” Their top musical influences are Blur, Good Shoes, Mystery Jets, and Madness, which is apparent in their latest single.

“Mustache”The Happy Hippo Family from single – Oct. 4th


Way Back Now Band Pontoons Drop Debut LP 14 Years Late

It happens all the time. Bands that were once riding a wave, often more than a decade ago, split up before recording a debut album, and for whatever reasons, decide many years into the future to get back together to finish or record a debut album they never got to release.  Veterans of the music scene, New York City indie pop rock duo Pontoons, featuring singer/songwriter and guitarist Tom Hunt and drummer Christian Harper, released their debut single, “Juncos and Robins” in 1994, which Billboard called “one of the best indie debuts of the year.”

After releasing a follow-up single, “Landslide” in 1996, the band called it quits. Fourteen years later, in 2010, Hunt and Harper reformed to produce the band’s first full-length album, Slow, officially released this week, and featuring the driving, catchy single, “Antidote,” which has received a fairly good response from the music press and bloggers. Also included here is the bonus single, “Leave The Light On.” The Pontoons’ biggest musical influences are Big Star, REM, The Replacements, The Cure, and Galaxie 500.

“Antidote”Pontoons from Slow

“Leave The Light On” – Pontoons from Slow

Swedish-Danish Band, My Empire of Sound, Release Second Single

Earlier this year, we posted the debut single from the newly formed Swedish-Denmark electronica/indie pop band, My Empire of Sound. The band just sent us the B-side, “Midnight Warriors,” released this week, and which will appear on their debut album, expected to drop early in 2013.

My Empire Of Sound are Swede John Alexander Ericson (Alberta Cross, The Northern Territories, Stjarna), joined up with Sidsel Marie Søholm from Denmark after the two met in a Berlin bar last year.

“Sidsel was one of the performers that night, and her voice blew me away,” Ericson told IRC. “We started chatting and decided on the spot to start a band together. On the first session, we tracked both ‘Early Morning (A New Beginning)’ and ‘For The Lovers You Left Behind.’ Then, I knew we were on to something quite special.” We have to agree. What do you think? Let us know via the Comments box. Remember, we occasionally pick Comments we like to win certain prizes, like iTunes gift cards, free albums, music e-books, and even concert tickets, where sometimes we can get commentators into concerts they want to attend.

“Midnight Warriors” – My Empire of Sound

“For The Lovers You Left Behind” – My Empire of Sound

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