Monthly Archives: June 2011

Plastic Animals, “A Dark Spring” EP

“I wish that I could just forget.”

Although I haven’t been a fan long enough to mourn the loss of the band’s “three minute punk messes” (my favorite genre, easily, mess included), Edinburgh’s Plastic Animals have impressed me with their melancholic, fuzzed-out ambience to the point that I don’t care which genre came before or which one comes after.  The new five track EP,   from which “It Fell Apart” is available for download below, is to be released on July 1st – with shows in both Edinburgh and Glasgow to follow. Keep your eyes peeled on the group’s Bandcamp page for updates.

Plastic Animals –  It Fell Apart

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Len Bias

“I thought that I could correct it all.”

It’s not exactly Boston’s usual fare, and we could call it a million things, but lets call it a mix of surf-pop, garage, and lo-fi punk. Len Bias, named after a late 80s never-quite-turned-pro college basketball player, is a gritty four (sometimes five, sometimes six) piece with a mere 7 minutes of song catalogue to their name. They get their kicks playing small shows with other bands in their small Massachusetts DIY post-punk circle.  They’re probably due take off any second now.  The aforementioned three-track demo is available as a free download via the always wonderful Bandcamp.

Len Bias – 86 via Harvard

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Stars and Sons

“You plant it and you plead for it to grow.”

This record isn’t exactly new – at least not in the age of Internet immediacy and our woeful ‘life at warp speed’ mentality. Nor is Stars and Sons, as many seem these days to be, a band of barely one calendar year.  The Brighton, UK five piece has been recording and playing together since 2009, with the fruits of their labour being the debut LP Good Morning Mother. With a beaming trifecta (the Guardian, Huw Stephens, and This Is Fake DIY) of approval from important UK media outlets, both indie and mainstream, S&S is easily one of Brighton’s finest indie pop bands.  Record number 2 appears to be in the works.  Fingers crossed.  I should probably have you listening to “Future Proof” or “Out of View”, but I’ve opted for my favourite instead.

Stars and Sons – Fights Already Fought

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Grand & Noble

“What’s there left to do?”

As a Midwesterner living abroad, I’ve come to appreciate even more my little slice of Americana here in Minneapolis while I visit.  Midwesterners are people to know – bright, good-natured, and savvier than you might think.  Chicago, being the region’s capitol, if you’ll allow that slight of geography, is especially wonderful.  Overflowing with all kinds of talent. Grand & Noble is one such windy city example – a sharply dressed indie-folk duo with a new name-your-price LP. Click through to Bandcamp and download the ten tracks, with special attention to “This Light” (available below) and “Delicate Boy”.

Grand & Noble – This Light

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Stylusboy, “Whole Picture” EP

The brand new Whole Picture EP from Coventry singer-songwriter Stylusboy is available as a name-your-price download.  Click through on the Bandcamp player above to grab a copy of the 6 new tracks.  Be sure to forage around for some other goodies as well – such as last year’s Blue Whale Session and 2009’s Fingerprint EP.  In addition, catch Steve’s Whole Picture video blogs in which he kindly gets all VH1 Storytellers for us.

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Pharaohs, “Photosynthesis”

“Together we lack electricity.”

As a follow up to their 2009 EP We’ve Tried Nothing and We’re All Out of Ideas, which was severely overlooked when it first came out, Kent’s finest math-rock band Pharaohs are back with another mini-album. Although Photosynthesis, title track included for preview below, is an unfortunately brief 8 tracks, it doesn’t skimp on the fight-pop brilliance. You can find the new EP on the band’s official site, along with some information on a few shows this summer in the Tunbridge Wells area.

Pharahos – Photosynthesis

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Greg Holden, “I Don’t Believe You”

 “The drinks cost the same and they do the same thing.”

Consider me a new fan, and by no effort of my own.  A close friend of mine shared with me the wonderful music of a young British expat trying his hand in NYC.  On a recent trip home, Greg Holden played North London’s Old Queens Head, and I was lucky enough to be brought along. While I’ve only recently begun to dig into Holden’s small catalogue of tracks, I’ve heard enough to know I will be listening to years to come.  The new LP, I Don’t Believe You, was released early last week.  Each track is as enjoyable as the one that follows.  Pick up a copy online.  Posted below is a song that caught my attention when I saw him play live.

Greg Holden – Bar On A

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