updated: faded paper figures || “avida dollars”

we’ve made our fandom for the la electropop trio faded paper figures abundantly clear, so when new, unreleased track “avida dollars” dropped with little-to-no-press, you can imagine there was more than a little squealing when we finally found out. “dollars” amps up the already danceable tendencies of their sophomore effort new medium into an almost french electro-style jam that’s nonetheless punctuated by fpf’s trademark hyper-literacy. additionally, the figures’ knack for crafting shout-along choruses is becoming more and more stark. if their whole third album is as good as this four-minute snippet, the wait is going to be long and arduous indeed. listen after the jump.
Read the rest of this entry »


yohuna :: revery


yohuna is the reverb-soaked solo project of wisconsinite johanne swanson. over the course of four songs, swanson conducts an orchestra of beats and sweeping synth washes that sound like they’ve been recorded in a church at the bottom of the ocean. over all of this are the haunting echoes of swanson’s voice, that duck and curtail betwixt the compositions like a dove fleeing sunlight. that may be a lot of alliteration to swallow in one paragraph, but there’s really no other way to describe revery, her debut ep. it’s a work of astonishing beauty. stream below, with a free download of standout “mateo.”

revery is out now on bandcamp.


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.”
Read the rest of this entry »


the sneaky mister :: weird


blog favorite anti-folk seamstress the sneaky mister has had us captivated since she begun her “song of the day” excursions. the adorable and often maddeningly depressing and melancholic tunes that come from the bedroom of pretty balanced/the alphabet frontwoman judith shimer are touching and magnificent, even more so when they’re properly produced. such is the case on her new release weird, part one of an ep series with the sequel coming in spring. the eight songs featured on weird are selections from the “song of the day” sessions, given a lush, but still stripped-down studio treatment. stream the entire thing below.

weird (part 1) is out now via bandcamp.


iceage || “new brigade”


danish punkers iceage may be young, but their impeccable hooks and spirited riffs are undeniable. their debut full-length, new brigade, fuses post-punk and new wave influences with the classic punk-rock aesthetic, forming a 24-minute powerhouse that blisters through each track but forms an indelible impression. melt your face with two free downloads of album highlights “new brigade” and “collapse,” below.

iceage – “new brigade” (mp3)
[audio:http://alteredzones.com/dl/audio/1183/iceage-new-brigade.mp3%5D

iceage – “collapse” (mp3)
[audio:http://alteredzones.com/dl/audio/1220/iceage-collapse.mp3%5D

new brigade is out now on escho, tambourhinoceros, and dais.


the pains of being pure at heart :: belong

it’s finally here! well, kind of. the pains of being pure at heart have released their sophomore album for free streaming on their website, so you can listen to it as many times as you want! but you have to be on your computer. boooooo! at the very least, this might convince you few holdouts that the pains aren’t a one-trick pony. belong is a delicate and engaging work on par with their self-titled in terms of fully-realized genius. intact are their trademark twee vocals and furiously 80s riffs, this time with some more well-rounded production that smooths out the rough without completely losing the edge. but don’t take my word for it: head on over to their site to hear the entire album, as many times as you want. for a taste, below you can stream the fantastic lead single “heart in your heartbreak.” if you’re like me, christmas just came a little early today.

belong is out 3/29 on slumberland.


memoryhouse signs to sub pop


last year, the incredibly talented dream pop duo memoryhouse caught our attention with their magnificent ep the years and a slew of singles and demos. their debut record is one of our most anticipated of the year, and today, they announced even more exciting news: their signage to renowned seattle label sub pop. after the jump, hear one of their bandcamp singles “lately” and watch the video for “to the lighthouse,” our 11th best track of 2010.

Read the rest of this entry »