If the Russian government thought that by freeing Nadya Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina they’d get on the duo’s good side, they were wrong. The two formerly imprisoned members of Pussy Riot have filed a lawsuit against the Russian government in the European Court Of Human Rights, as The Guardian reports. They’re both being represented by the human rights legal group Agora, and they’re claiming that their investigation and imprisonment amounted to torture.
New Hope, PA is a picturesque little town tucked away along the Delaware River Valley, objectively beautiful but devoid of any real culture. It was made into a destination more through marketing ingenuity than any real attraction, self-mythologizing itself until it felt vital. Beyond some well-preserved buildings, a scattering of antique shops, and a few late-night haunts, it’s a sleepy town without much to offer. Singer-songwriter Dan Svizeny (formerly Cough Cool) grew up among the artifice and it rubbed off on him in a bad way because he’s pivoted to make sure he became anything but — his new album Every Weekend is heartbreakingly honest, his most personal collection of songs yet. Recorded “all alone, in an empty house, in a quiet town” after moving to New Jersey following a few years in Philadelphia, Svizeny channels his ennui into chilly but hopeful reverb-drenched tracks. On “New Hope Is a Bad Scene,” which he calls “one of the pop songs” on the album, he directly confronts his hometown. “It’s a bad scene that holds a special place in my heart. Everyone should spend a weekend there,” he says. “This song is about realizing how tired a local scene can actually be.” New Hope is focused on maintaining the status quo, only unique compared to the dreary mix of farmland and suburbia that surrounds it. Thankfully, Svizeny found the beauty in the fog and has created something really special. Listen below.
Earlier this year we heard “Nite After Nite” from LA band Music Go Music, which featured somber and lush atmospherics that gradually picked up speed, growing into a massive disco track. That was off of their upcoming album, Impressions, and now you can hear the band’s newest single, “Inferno,” which starts at full speed and hits with a propulsive disco groove, earning its title. Listen.
Later this year, the Drums will release their new LP, Encyclopedia, from which they’ve already shared the single “Magic Mountain.” While making that record, the band picked up new member Johnny Aries, who is releasing Unbloomed, his debut solo album, next month. The UK singer brings a different vibe to his own work — from its jangly melodies to song titles like “This Grave Is My Bed Tonight,” it’s a nice exercise in Smiths-style melancholic pop. Listen to “This Grave Is My Bed Tonight” below, look for Unbloomed soon, and keep an eye on Encyclopedia, because it’ll be interesting to hear how Aries fits into the mix.
Back in March, a funk band named Vulfpeck came up with a way to game the Spotify payout system by streaming an album full of silence to raise enough money to go on tour. The band ended up making almost $20,000 from the stunt. Folk singer Michelle Shocked is trying to do the same thing, but going about it in a slightly more political way. She recently released a album on CDBaby.com called “Inaudible Women,” containing 11 songs named after big-shots in the music industry. With song titles like “David Drummond (Google, Youtube),” “Robert Walls (Clear Channel),” and “Chris Harrison (Pandora),” she’s calling out people who run the digital streaming world. Shocked is associated with a campaign called CopyLike which, according to their website, is made up of artists who defend their copyright and intellectual property.
LOSE, the forthcoming album from the Staten Island old-school indie rock guitar maulers Cymbals Eat Guitars, is shaping up to be something really special. We’ve posted the early tracks “Jackson” and “Chambers,” and both of them rule. And now the band has shared the wracked, speeding-out-of-control new one “Warning,” and it rules just as hard. Listen to the new song below.
Pavement famously dissed Smashing Pumpkins in “Range Life,” but what if Pavement covered the Pumpkins’ “Cherub Rock”? It might sound a little like the harrumphing, clangorous “One” by Sydney trio Yes I’m Leaving. Comparison aside, this band’s trademark sound is far more abrasively scathing that anything Malkmus or Corgan ever kicked out — think Jesus Lizard, various grunge heroes at their most fiery, or a slimmed-down garage-rock version of Swans. They found a wider audience with last year’s frantic Mission Bulb, which Homeless Vinyl is reissuing this year. The label is also set to launch Yes I’m Leaving’s new Slow Release into the world this September. “One” is the first searing blast from the new record. (No, it is not a cover of Metallica nor U2.) Hear it below.
Earlier today, TV On The Radio announced the fall 2014 release of their fifth album, Seeds. It will be the band’s first LP since 2011′s Nine Types Of Light, a strong collection that somehow never quite got its due. Why, though? Have we taken the band for granted? It certainly seems that way. After spending a few albums as reigning indie darlings and as one of the bands deemed suitable for the title of “the American Radiohead,” Nine Types Of Light seemed to go rather quietly. People liked it, but it didn’t dominate the conversation necessarily. This could perhaps be partially traced to the fact that, after three preceding albums over which the band continued to fake us all out and leap into different dimensions each time, Nine Types Of Light was the first TV On The Radio release made up of a bunch of songs that, conceivably, wouldn’t have been too far out of place on the preceding album. It was also much, much mellower. Maybe it’s not that we took the band themselves for granted — they’re clearly extremely talented artists. But maybe we took the experimentation for granted — perhaps not inconsequently, a similar narrative could be ascribed to Radiohead’s arc in recent years — and people just didn’t know how to react when TV On The Radio didn’t, well, shock them. Or that when they did surprise them, it was because they had decided to write more conventional songs.