Category Archives: Music Reviews

Marching Band – And I’ve Never Seen Anything Like That EP

Marching Band - And I've Never Seen Anything Like ThatDon’t let their name fool you. Marching Band is actually just Erik Sunbring and Jacob Lind. But what’s even more deceiving than their name is their sound. Sunbring and Lind have a lot going on at once on their latest EP, And I’ve Never Seen Anything Like That.

The duo weaves piano, multiple guitars, drums, bass and harmonies into rich, warm layers and sprinkle in bits of glockenspiel, slide guitar, horns, female backing vocals or whatever else they can find. They spent two years recording the EP and make the painstakingly pieced-together songs sound effortless.

“Die in My Arms” rings of fellow Swedes Shout Out Louds, and “Artistic Man, Shaved Hand” sounds like a more rousing version of American Football, but there’s always something uniquely Marching Band.

Two years is a long time to spend working on one thing, but ultimately, it was worth it. Lind and Sunbring created something brilliant. And I’ve Never Seen Anything Like That is an almost dead-on title. There’s nothing out there like Marching Band.

And I’ve Never Seen Anything Like That is out today on Urband & Lazar Recordings.


David Bowie – “Where Are We Now?”

David Bowie - The Next DayIt’s been a long time since David Bowie‘s last album, so the news of a new release is a big deal.

“Where Are We Now?,” the first single from his upcoming album The Next Day, is the first we’ve heard from Bowie since 2003. In those 10 years, I’ve been spending more and more time with his classics like The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, “Heroes,” and Hunky Doryand judging by the cover art for The Next Day, Bowie might have spent some time looking back as well.

One thing I’ve come to love about him is that the Bowie on “Heroes” is way different than the Bowie on Ziggy, and neither of those are the man we hear on “Where Are We Now?.” In the video, he looks and sounds even older than his 66 years. It’s beautiful, though, and I can’t wait to hear more of this Bowie.

Check out the video for “Where Are We Now?” below. The Next Day is out March 11 via Columbia.

The Men – “Electric”

The Men - New MoonKeeping up with their unstoppable pace, The Men are putting out a new album this year. The band traveled to Big Indian, N.Y. to record New Moon — which will be released March 5 on Sacred Bones.

The album’s first single, “Electric,” is garage-punk perfection. Though they’ve toned down the distortion of their earliest releases, the new song still packs a blown-out Stooges punch.

Last year’s Open Your Heart was one of our top records, and it’d be no surprise to find New Moon on our 2013 list.

Stream “Electric” below.

Ra Ra Riot – “Dance With Me”

Ra Ra Riot - Beta LoveRa Ra Riot‘s third album, Beta Love, sounds like it’s going to be a big departure from their earlier records The Orchard and The Rhumb Line. The album’s first two singles, “Beta Love” and “When I Dream,” kept their signature strings but piled on drum machines and synths.

“Dance With Me” totally ditches the chamber pop for a snaking bassline, thick synths and dance music. It could be the catchiest song they’ve ever written, and I can’t be the only one anxiously waiting to find out what other surprises Beta Love has.

Beta Love is out January 22 on Barsuk.

Ty Segall’s Fuzz – “This Time I Got a Reason” & “Fuzz’s Fourth Dream”

Fuzz - This Time I Got a ReasonAs if putting out three great albums in one year wasn’t enough, Ty Segall has formed another new band. The ambitious performer is joined by Ty Segall Band guitarist Charlie Moothart in the appropriately titled Fuzz.

The group’s debut 7″, “This Time I Got a Reason” b/w “Fuzz’s Fourth Dream” on Trouble in Mind Records, is already sold out, but you can stream both cuts below.

Top 20 of 2012

Punch Brothers - Who's Feeling Young Now?

1. Punch Brothers – Who’s Feeling Young Now?
2. Japandroids – Celebration Rock 
3. Tropical Punk – Ends of the World 
4. John K. Samson – Provincial 
5. Flume – Flume
6. Frank Ocean – channel ORANGE 
7. Tame Impala – Lonerism 
8. Fiona Apple – The Idler Wheel…
9. Balmorhea – Stranger
10. The Mountain Goats – Transcendental Youth
11. Titus Andronicus – Local Business
12. Leonard Cohen – Old Ideas
13. The Men – Open Your Heart
14. The Avett Brothers – The Carpenter
15. Bob Dylan – Tempest
16. First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar
17. Miguel – Kaleidoscope Dream
18. Flying Lotus – Until the Quiet Comes
19. St. Lucia – St. Lucia EP
20. Yeasayer – Fragrant World

Honorable Mentions: People Get Ready, Grizzly Bear, Lucero, Black Moth Super Rainbow, The Tallest Man on Earth

Top 20 of 2012: 1. Punch Brothers – Who’s Feeling Young Now?

1. Punch Brothers – Who’s Feeling Young Now?

Punch Brothers - Who's Feeling Young Now?This year’s top record might be a surprise, unless you’ve actually heard Who’s Feeling Young Now?. Punch Brothers‘ third (technically fourth if you count Chris Thile‘s How to Grow a Woman from the Ground, which also featured the band) album mostly left what the critics called “progressive bluegrass” in favor of something pretty close to indie folk.

After mixing genres like bluegrass and classical on their first albums, Who’s Feeling Young Now? focuses more on songwriting. Thile and the rest of the band still pluck and bow at virtuoso levels, but this time it’s more about how the instruments work together — often in the background — instead of the heavily layered bluegrass.

There’s also a great deal of instrumental manipulation. The violin on “Hundred Dollars” is about as far from the fiddle as you can get, and I’m still baffled how they managed to so perfectly cover Radiohead‘s “Kid A” with mandolin, acoustic guitar, violin, double bass and banjo.

And what better way to celebrate our album of the year than by seeing them live on New Year’s Eve? Tonight, Punch Brothers finish off their three-night run at Bowery Ballroom in New York, and I couldn’t be more excited.