austra || “lose it”

toronto threesome austra specializes in a very danceable form of gothy disco-pop, helmed by the operatic voice of frontwoman katie stelmanis. the band’s past is typically vague, but in this case the music can speak for itself. haunting, beautiful, and above all, catchy, the band’s lead single “lose it” is a swirling blend of everything you could ever want from electropop: thudding beats, floating synths, and vocals to die for. seriously. this girl has some friggin’ pipes. listen and download below.

feel it break is out may 17 on domino.

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akron/family || “silly bears”

it’s taken me a while, but by the time psych-folkers akron/family rolled around their fifth album, i had to pay attention. i’m glad i did. akron/family II: the cosmic birth and journey of shinju TNT is an honest-to-god masterpiece that hits hard in all the right places. while the guys are still best at anthemic experimental rock jams, the album’s got no shortage of quieter moments too, and it’s these that add the final missing element to akron/family’s addicting grooves. album opener “silly bears” has a video below, and it’s a freak-folk stomper that makes you want to roll E, smoke W, or whatever else you do to have fun. drugged-up but not creeped-out, fun-loving but not forceful, “silly bears” is, well, silly – but extremely well-crafted, the harbinger of an album that’s neck-and-neck with starfucker‘s reptilians with best of 2011: so far.

akron/family II: the cosmic birth and journey of shinju TNT is out now on dead oceans.


holy ghost! || “wait & see”


holy ghost! are a nyc-based duo signed to the venerable dfa label (of lcd soundsystem, juan maclean, and hot chip fame, among others). while holy ghost! has been producing singles and remixes for years, they’ve yet to release their debut. now slated for 2011, their self-titled is getting lots of anticipation in the new-disco scene. from lead single “wait & see,” it’s well-deserved; the under-4-minute ditty has enough power to stick with you for days. simple and catchy, with plain lyrics and a tears-for-fears-meets-joy-division vibe, there’s enough new wave here for you to sink your teeth into. electropop at its very finest. enjoy a free download below.

holy ghost! is out april 2 on dfa.


updated: YACHT || “dystopia (the earth is on fire)”

portland duo YACHT have been relatively quiet since 2009’s see mystery lights, but now the dance-rockers are back with “dystopia (the earth is on fire),” a disco-leaning jam with fierce synths and a chanted chorus that’ll get stuck in your head for days. it’s not clear whether the single is on an as-yet unreleased album or just a one-off, but i’m seriously hoping for the latter it’s an album! it’s called shangri-la, out soon. check out the release video below, part of dfa’s white out sessions, in which someone plays a new track from one of the label’s artists on a turntable in their office.

updated for an mp3: you can download the track for free from YACHT’s soundcloud! joyous day!


tv on the radio || “will do”

tv on the radio has never really appealed to me, although i can see how their aesthetic is objectively really good. despite constant listening to 2008’s dear science, the record never really gelled with me. that all changed with their new single, “will do,” a neo-futuristic blues rock slow-jam that grooves in all the right places. i have no idea how old fans will react to this track, seeing as how it’s pretty different from their previous output, but i absolutely love it. video below.

nine types of light is out 4/12 on interscope.


faded paper figures ~ behind the scenes

perennial favorites faded paper figures are back in the studio, as evidenced by this behind the scenes video posted via the band’s facebook page earlier today. for those of you unfamiliar, the fantastic L.A./New Haven trio specialize in a blissful blend of melancholy, glitchy indie-electropop that’s more addicting than cancer sticks. their debut dynamo was our favorite album of 2008, and follow-up new medium landed #7 on our favorites of 2010 (the title track was released prematurely, and wrangled a #10 position on our best tracks of 2009). if i’m not fueling the hype wagon enough for you, then i must be doing something wrong. either way you can see for yourself: after the jump, check out their behind the scenes featurette and video for singles “metropolis” and “new medium.”
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technical difficulties

my computer seems to have decided that now would be a good time to stop working properly. light gray vertical lines coat my screen, which also flashes horizontal blue and yellow bars every so often. i think it’s because of the bicycle crash i got into a couple weeks ago, although why the symptoms didn’t occur until now is beyond me. i’m writing this incredibly zoomed in, and i’ll try to keep updating as (ir)regularly as i usually do, but if there’s an (extra) long delay between posts, it’s because i dropped my ‘puter off at the apple store to let a professional take care of it. i will try to get this fixed as soon as i can.