“Tied Up, Tied Down” was one of the best songs off TEEN’s recent album, The Way And Color, and now it has been paired with a music video, directed by Jordan Michael Blake, which approaches the tropes of teen love with the same surreal, psychedelic twist as the band gives to R&B. It follows a trio of identically dressed teen girls and a trio of boys who pair off and do things that teens do like make out, smoke cigarettes, drink milk (?), beat each other up in boxing matches until they vomit blood (??), and eventually turn into portals to outer space (???). The video tumbles further down the rabbit hole until the summer day shifts to night and things come to a haunting conclusion. Watch it below.
David Courtright, the Atlanta one-man experimental pop band known as Suno Deko, releases his Thrown Color EP tomorrow. Courtright brings a unique and compelling perspective to modern indie rock, one that bears traces of horizon-spanning works by global heavyweights Radiohead and Sigur Rós as well as the intensely personal, layered pocket symphonies of American auteurs such as Deerhunter’s Bradford Cox and Mutual Benefit’s Jordan Lee. Those are some fucking great influences, ones that have inspired lots of imitators over the years. Yet from the moment you hear Courtright’s mannered tenor quivering amidst the guitar-driven atmospherics, it’s clear he’s got something fresh and powerful to communicate. That much was clear from the title track and “Bluets,” and the rest of Thrown Color only affirms it. Listen to the full EP below.
The Brooklyn trio Bear In Heaven specializes in a form of synth-rock that finds room for grandeur and drama in all its bloops and twinkles. Time Is Over One Day Old, their new album, finds them deep in their groove, combining dance-music textures with huge and blown-out festival rock. We’ve posted the early tracks “Time Between” and “Autumn,” and now you can stream the entire expansively pretty, emotionally satisfying LP at NPR.
Time Is Over One Day Old is out 8/5 on Dead Oceans.
Kimbra is gearing up for the release of her second album, and the songs we’ve heard so far have run the gamut from the gloriously weird “90s Music” to the funky “Love In High Places” and slinky “Nobody But You.” The latest is “Miracle,” and the song sees the New Zealander experimenting with yet another new sound, this time going for a soulful disco vibe. With a song like this up her sleeve, it’s no wonder she was once enlisted to tour with Janelle Monáe Down Under. Listen below.
Sometimes it can all be as simple as a guy, a guitar, and an 8-track recorder. UK singer-songwriter Johnny Lloyd, formerly of the band Tribes, wrung some serious beauty out of those ingredients on “Happy Humans,” the title track from his upcoming EP. The song’s content is as simple and beautiful as its form, with a chorus that simply celebrates “happy humans in love.” Have a listen below and consider it a respite from all the violence, hatred, and tragedy in the news lately.
The two sisters in 2:54, the Irish-born and London-based duo, make grandly gloomy windswept rock music, something like the xx if they were more revved-up and shoegazey. They were a Band To Watch in 2011, and they released their self-titled debut in 2012, but they’ve been relatively quiet lately. So here’s their big return. They’ve signed to new label Bella Union, and they’ve got an as-yet-untitled new album coming later this year. First single “Orion” is dark and majestic and synthy, and it sounds more like the Cure than anything they’ve done before. Listen to it below.
Though Phantogram’s new album, Voices, came out this past February, it’s been almost a year since we first heard the highlight “Black Out Days,” and now Future Islands have given it the remix treatment. It’s a good reminder that although Sam Herring remains such an unbelievable frontman, there has always been way more to the Baltimore synth-pop band than just him. That gets emphasized when they are given the chance to play around with a another band’s music, and here they soften Phantogram’s sounds and create something heartfelt and dramatic. Listen to it below.
Last year’s debut from Atlanta’s Places To Hide was a quick, crisp half-hour of sturdy and studied punk. “Nowhere Bound” is the first song from their new EP and you can tell that the band is starting to stretch out and experiment a little bit. It starts off with some soft coos that sound like they could be from a ’60s surf jam before settling into smoky stoner rock, rounded out by mellow boy/girl vocals. Their lack of enunciation is part of their charm — indictments of suburbia are well-trod ground, but Places To Hide sell it because they sound completely over it. Listen and check out some tour dates below.