Thursday, July 16, 2009

Kurt Vile - "Overnite Religion"

2009 has been yet another impressive year for the lo-fi indie scene. Artists such as Ganglians, Woods, Bill Callahan, and Wavves (to name a few) have released outstanding records this year. Unfortunately, even within the indie blogging universe, many of these bands remain under-appreciated. Nonetheless, the lo-fi sound has been in constant rotation at Du Indie Music with yet another name now included.

Lo-fi songwriter Kurt Vile-and lead guitarist for indie band The War on Drugs-has moved into the Du Indie Music radar with a new song from his upcoming 3rd album, and first with Matador Records, Childish Prodigy. Vile's first two albums Constant Hitmaker and God Is Saying This To You?, released in March of 2008 and March of 2009 respectively, were well-received by indie critics.

Here is how one blogger describes his music:

Past works have been mostly characterized by psych-pop filtered through hushed bedroom-folk atmospherics, but the man isn’t afraid to occasionally flex his ability to write stone cold anthems.

Yet Kurt Vile's music has remained relatively unknown. With his recent signing to top-notch indie label Matador (The Caves Singers, Pavement, Shearwater), and an expected debut release in the Fall, one would likely think that his music will garner more attention and interest. For the sake of great music, let's hope so!

Here are two Kurt Vile songs. The first track is "Overnite Religion", just released and from his upcoming album Childish Prodigy. The second is from his 2008 album Constant Hitmaker and is titled "Freeway".

Kurt Vile - Overnite Religion

Kurt Vile - Freeway

Monday, July 13, 2009

Ganglians - Monster Head Room

About two weeks ago, I posted about Ganglians and my growing intrigue after hearing one of their songs, "Valiant Brave" from their debut LP, Monster Head Room. I have now had the opportunity to listen to the entire album several times (8 and counting). As you can see on my sidebar "Du's Top 25 of 2009", Ganglians' Monster Head Room has risen to the top. This album is full of some fantastic harmonies and this is the foremost reason for its climb up my list. I am a really big sucker for the Beach Boys-like harmonies that have been popularized by some indie artists (Animal Collective, Grizzly Bear, Panda Bear, etc.). In fact, for this reason, Panda Bear's 2007 album, Person Pitch, was my number one album of that year. Yet Ganglians' album is in a different vein than these quite popular indie bands. Monster Head Room combines these rich harmonies with a lo-fi pyschedelia approach resulting in a a unique albeit gorgeous album. An album that reveals itself to you with continued listens, Ganglians' Monster Head Room is an album that should not be ignored. I don't see it moving off its perch at #1 on my 2009 list.

Here are two more of my favorite songs from Monster Head Room.

Ganglians - Lost Words

Ganglians - Cryin' Smoke

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

New Blitzen Trapper Video - "Black River Killer"

Portland band Blitzen Trapper's new video for song "Black River Killer" is an impressive one to say the least. Full of nifty cinematic tricks, the video augments quite well the storytelling nature of this song.

Meanwhile, Blitzen Trapper continue to work on their follow-up to 2008's Furr.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Bibio - "Ambivalence Avenue"

When I have the fortune of chancing upon very innovative artists such as Bibio, I am thankful for the indie music blogging world in which we live.

Bibio is the recording moniker for England music producer, Stephen Wilkinson. Bibio's fifth album, Ambivalence Avenue, was released on June 22nd. So very idiosyncratic and diverse, Bibio's sound defies classification. The best way to describe it from what I have heard is a style that slants towards a fusion of electronic and folk music. Although you can find Bibio listed under the genre folktronica in Wikipedia, I'm not a huge fan of classifying, er, pigeon-holing artists. Regardless of what you call it, the music being generated by Bibio is impressive. One of Bibio's central influences is experimental electronica band, Boards of Canada. If you are familiar with Boards of Canada, you will certainly hear similarities in the sounds Bibio incorporates. But further than just this resemblance, Bibio has developed a distinct style by combining field recordings, found sounds, electronically tailored guitar melodies, and monotonous synthesizer sounds. He also does sing and it fits wonderfully with the nature of this album.

Bibio's love for sound and noise led him to the study of Sonic Arts at the University of London and ultimately to an unparalleled way of shaping music. Do not miss Ambivalence Avenue!

The first song on the album is title track, "Ambivalence Avenue". Upon first listen I was immediately engaged, and the momentum carries through the rest of this exceptional album.

Bibio - Ambivalence Avenue

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Sufjan Stevens - "Star-Spangled Banner"

Happy 4th of July To All!!!

Sufjan Stevens - Star-Spangled Banner

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Ganglians - "Valiant Brave"

In the mood for some lo-fi psychedelia? Ganglians are a new band from Sacramento that are making some waves in the blogging world. After reading their review on Pitchfork and discovering they were on the same label (Woodist) as one of my favorite 2009 bands, Woods, I was very much intrigued. Yet a week went by and I still hadn't heard any songs by Ganglians. So when I discovered that that Gorilla vs. Bear was going to play a Ganglians' song on their weekly blog radio slot on SiriXMU, I made sure to check it out. The song, "Valiant Brave, takes you on an exhilarating and epic ride. The song is filled with some tremendous transitions and is easily one of the best songs I have heard this year. As you probably guessed, I am now very eager to check out the rest of their album, Monster Head Room.

In the meantime, check out the "Valiant Brave" and let me know what you think.

Ganglians - Valiant Brave