The Fact That You And I Exist

13 Nov

Put That Tongue Back In Your Mouth

Fidlar

“Cheap Beer” – mp3

Fidlar

2012 has been a strong year for these guys so it’s not really a bold statement to say that next year’s breakout band will be FIDLAR. There’s change in the air as far as the indie landscape goes; mid-level familiar bands are continuing on with the trend of dropping their last remnants of Portland-fueled folk for arena aspiring, borderline balladish, albums directed at reincarnating the whole Fleetwood Mac/ Jackson Browne sound of the 70’s (think Dawes, The Avett Brothers, and Blitzen Trapper), the other shift being the resurgence of  visceral experiences taking precedent over intellectual emotion/lyric carried songs which have carryied the course for the last few  years (more on that later).
I definitely care more about lyrics than I do any other aspect of art but music moves in circles, there’s no use fighting it because it’s a battle which can’t be won and this trains been coming for a long time…. I hold Yuck personally accountable (possibly 1,2,3 as well) for showing Williamsburg that you can still be hip-as-fuck and have some actually distortion bathed adrenalin music to get down on (a novel idea I know but it’s happening).
As far as anti-mainstream music goes FIDLAR are on course to be our equivalent of what Guns-N-Roses represented in the early 90’s. The bands whose sound they are drawing from probably aren’t going to respect them but everyone outside of that circle of condescending judgement couldn’t care how they got to their sound, the only thing that matters is that wherever you are the first time you hear them you wish you already knew the words so you could be fist pumping in very anti-jersey-shore sort of way right along with them.

Oddly, “Cheap Beer”  is as generic and least expressive as Fidlar gets and still they walk away completely gnarly sounding on a whole new level. This is without a doubt my favorite song of there’s, finally dethroning “Wake, Bake, Skate” which looking back was the real soundtrack to my summer. Anyone judging them for their embodied sound needs to evaluate what exactly they expect from a band whose full name is Fuck It Dog Life’s A Risk, seriously there is a place in all of our lives where we should be holding tightly to the bands which are expressing our generational creed, in a way Fidlar very well could end up defining us.

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FIDLARBandcamp Facebook | Tumblr

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Candice Gordon

“Cannibal Love” – mp3

Candice Gordon

Is it almost two weeks since Halloween? Well you can bet your ass I’m still going to include a song fitting for that occassion. This is a fantastic song regardless but had I done my own Halloween Mix instead of bringing in the incredible Gory Details this would have been an important inclusion.

Cannibal Love” is my initial experience with Candice Gordon, if the rest of her songs are half as good go ahead and mark me down as a fan for life. There has been a real shortage of valid creepy videos in recent years, Gordon is doing her part to make sure that changes.


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Candice Gordon Facebook | Website

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Desaparecidos

“Backsell” – mp3

Desaparecidos

“I doubt there are many people more stoked about new material from Desaparecidos than I am, they are one-hundred percent pure punk-rock (anyone saying otherwise has zero-credibility), we need a catalyst of pure convicted art in our lives and as a whole the indie-music community has been increasingly letting us down as recent years have passed, as always Saddle Creek‘s boy-wonder is picking up the slack in a big way!”…. you can read the rest of my original review of “Backsellhere.

DesaparecidosFacebook | Website

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Pussy Wizard

“Olympia” – mp3

Pussy Wizard

Who is currently the most underrated band of the moment? Probably some band we’ve never heard of from Idaho or something, though often during my fifteen-plus times listening through F.J.V. 1 the thought has settled in my mind that Pussy Wizard is worth mention in the conversation.

This guy’s got it all  from the summer-vibe defining “Fazze It Out” to lyric an overall lyric depth that is just as affecting as any Girls song could ever be.

Pussy WizardBandcamp | Tumblr

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Allah-Las

“Don’t You Forget It” – mp3

Allah-Las

The entire self-titled Allah-Las album is embodied perfection. They sound like a group of guys who grew up on The Sonics got high while listening to chill-wave and decided to make something with a surfy lo-fi texture. If their album hasn’t blown your mind you obviously haven’t listened through it yet.

Allah-Las Facebook | Website

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Camp Island

“My My Miscommunication” – mp3

Camp Island

Alright, if you’re getting tired of hearing shit from Daniel Radin you might as well stop checking in on the site! In the words of Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Premium Rush, “Can’t stop…. don’t want to either.”

Camp Island takes Radin’s honest yet introspective lyrics which have carried The Novel Ideas straight into my heart and gives them an alternate reality to call home. The bass/drums duo would be easily compared to Japandroids in their impartment yet still they come across much more DIY in a way that calls for an intimate listening experience of mutual focus, Japandroids make you want to sweat with them, Camp Island makes you sigh one of those deep comforting sighs that leaves room for only truth.

Their entire Demos EP (Free through the Bandcamp link below) is a must have, listen to it however you want but not taking the time to fully digest the poetic nature to them is to really miss out on some of the more intellectual (without being pretentious) and engaging lyrics to be found, which feels all the more important as the number of bands who actually say something of relevance continues to dwindle and fade.

Of all the songs I’ve come across this year (still bummed to find this album so long after it’s release!) my three favorite as far as bass goes are “Geist” from DIIV, “Expire” from Screaming Females, and “My My Miscommunication” which of the three is the much more filthy in their delivery.

Bonus:  Camp Island – “Karate Kastle” – mp3

Camp Island Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter

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King Khan And His Shrines

“Live Fast Die Strong” – mp3

King Khan

Initially I was turned-off by King Khan. For so long the hype was overwhelming but I apparently just wasn’t hearing it the same way as everyone else seemed to.

Getting out of the midwest has really opened me up to this sound in general and of the thrifty-psychadelia coming into focus as of late, King Khan is the most accessible there is. Where as with many modern bands you have to be a fan of the same obscure bands they are to even enjoy their carbon copy take on it this doesn’t seem to be the case with Khan, you could potentially hate the 13th Floor Elevators and still find a connection with songs like “Live Fast Die Strong.”

King Khan And His Shrines – Facebook | Website

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Ryan Bingham

“Heart Of Rhythm” – mp3

Ryan Bingham

There is a lot to be said about Ryan Bingham both good and bad but I’ll leave it at this; ditching his label and band upon finally (barely) reaching a significant point of “success” is ballsy and commendable, the new album Tommorrowland for all its strengths and weaknesses does show someone smart enough not to ride his moderate success into its grave, not to mention when the guy is on he is really on.

I hate to be one who is already talking about the next album while the ink is still drying on this one but in order to find some longevity Bingham has to find a balance between the artist he imagines himself to be and the limitations the artist he really is presents, he should be playing to his country-side and catch himself before he fully falls into the trap of feeling he needs to show himself as an “artist.”

Regardless of personal feelings, country fans are the most loyal there are and this guy’s strong suit plays to their tastes as well as brings something to the table which is entirely lacking in that genre right now. Basically, if he can drop the “cool” and drop the “artist” bullshit we could have the next Haggard or Jennings but instead he’s writing songs like he thinks he’s Ezra Furman and although it is somewhat enjoyable, as in the case of  “Heart Of Rhythm,” ultimately it has a very short shelf-life and it would be a shame to see so much potential going to rot like that. God, the number of my friends who I could say the same thing about is kind of disheartening.

Ryan Bingham – Facebook | Twitter | Website

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Jens Lekman

“I Know What Love Isn’t” – mp3

Jens Lekman

Jens Lekman‘s latest offering is a solid step forward in a long line of positive progress in songwriting strength. Where time often dulls artists some still find a way to keep you wanting more. Lekman is far from being out of his prime both in sound and in look and that is important when experiencing a song such as “I Know What Love Isn’t” because it would feel really contrived otherwise and this song feels anything but.

Jens Lekman – Facebook | Website

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Lauren Elle

“Mountains” – mp3

Lauren Elle

Despite the warm weather here in Texas I’m finally settling into the fall/winter mindset where lyric depth with an acoustic soul are the attachment my attention craves for, it’s the cornerstone to this passion I mediocrely attempt to share. Unfortunately despite all my attempts songs such as “Mountains” always leave me disheartened from how overwhelming a response I’ll get for a band like Fidlar or the Allah-Las but without the over-processed noise tangent there’s an entire majority of our peers who snub an artist like Lauren Elle even though this is a much more difficult song to write and deliver than say “Cheap Beer” or “Live Fast Die Strong.”

Without a doubt it takes far more skill to create a song such as this where you have to give something of yourself for the listener to connect yet when done well it can end up defining our place in a specific point in life on a much more intimate level of importance than a swing-your-mug kind ever could.

Mountains” embodies an emotion I’ve felt often lately from having someone amazing and important to me living at the other end of the country and being honest with myself about this distance potentially never closing off, still this song remains ambiguous enough for someone else to be experiencing something completely different and have it go to define there own moment as well.

Unfortunately for this Grand Rapids native there is another Lauren Elle from Toronto who makes completely garbage tween-pop and if it hadn’t been for this song coming up on shuffle I never would have even given it a chance, I hope that mistake doesn’t happen often because this girl’s voice is beautiful and her songs angelical yet haunting, she’s important that’s what I’m trying to say.
This pretentiously untalented Lauren Elle (save your emails and comments this IS NOT a good song! …. I added the “pretentiously” part as a result of this) is whom I initially had the awesome one mixed up with:

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This is the one I’m talking about and for the record I think I’m falling fast…. SHE COVERS PAUL BARIBEAU!!!! I’m not even big on covers but anyone who appreciates Baribeau is on a fast track to sweeping me off my feet!

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Lauren Elle – Bandcamp| Facebook | Website

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Shovels And Rope

“Birmingham” – mp3

Shovels And Rope

The fok-bluegrass revival has seen its own share of ups and downs these last couple of years, where at one point it felt like The Head And The Heart were going to kick the door open to a new stage of energetic awareness it’s beginning to sound more like a death-rattle than a rebirth. There are a few bands moving forward with it who have enough strength to keep the candle lit though, Shovels & Rope being a decent example.

One thing to find solace from looking back at the meandering path recorded music has taken though is in that for whatever the reason this is the one flame to again and again find ways to rekindle at the very moment it seems about to be forgotten, in that there is hope I guess but the way we continue to allow bands to copy and copy and essentially kill a sound, Shovels & Rope potentially being a decent example of this as well, makes me wonder if we may be coming to the end in general. Can we really be drying the well completely? When Pitchfork completes its transition into the next Rolling Stone what are we left with and where do we find ourselves heading? It’s a valid thought worth considering.

Shovels And Rope – Facebook | Website

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Magic Man

“Like Sailors” – mp3

Magic Man

That’s enough of the negative. Since the promised summer release for the new Magic Man album has yet to come into fruition here is “Like Sailors” which should go to show why I’m anticipating the new batch of songs with a fierceness.

To no surprise Daniel Radin is involved with this band as well, though Alex Caplow is the one deserving of attention on this one. My fingers are crossed that Magic Man won’t follow the same format as Gulls did earlier this year, splitting up merely a month after Down The Hatch (free on Bandcamp) was released putting a real damper on how much attention should have gone their way for an album that in March had me already counting it in to be included on the HCK! Best Albums of 2012 list. Let’s just get the album to our ears and then we can worry about the rest.

Magic Man – Facebook | Website

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CHVRCHES

“The Mother We Share” – mp3

chvrches

No matter the season or your mood there is always space for some good wholesome Electro-Pop. CHVRCHES are just another example of how if a synth is involved and the sound is more addicting than human flesh when on bath-salts look to Scotland. Don’t let the instrumentation fool you though, this shit is deep.

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CHVRCHES – Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Soundcloud

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The Standard

“A Different Skin” – mp3

The Standard

So two months ago my life-partner and trusty companion The Hornet finally made the long awaited journey to the other side. As I was cleaning it out for the first and last time I pulled Swimmer out from under the passenger seat. Since there was never more than an am/fm radio with a completely useless tape deck in the dash I’m still confused as to where this copy of the final album in The Standard‘s discography came from (I’m pretty sure the last album I paid for from them was August). Wherever the little miracle came from it has sufficed well to get me listening once again to what in 2004 was a key figure in my musical awakening.

The Standard – Last.fm

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Those Lavender Whales

“Growth In Question” – mp3

Those Lavender Whales

Bishop Allen are one of my favorite of favorites and The Lavender Whales remind me in a big way of what they would sound like with a little more folk and less Brooklyn.  TLW’s lyrics sound as if they are my own thoughts articulately expressed, kind of what we all hope for from the art we choose to appreciate.

I can’t decide between “Growth In Question” and “Lions Vs Laziness” as for which song would do them more justice to share so of course I’m going to put each up in hopes that there is room in your heart for both.

Bonus: Those Lavender Whales – “Lions Vs Laziness” – mp3

Those Lavender Whales – Facebook

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Divine Fits

“Flaggin A Ride” – mp3

Divine Fits

Let’s end this weeks mix with some purely swag rock. I would be surprised if you haven’t already caught wind of the Divine Fits but just in case; they are the indie version of a super-group; comprised of Dan Boeckner (Wolf Parade), Sam Brown (New Bomb Turks) and Britt Daniel (who has played in some bands and stuff) similar to Middle Brother but with bigger egos and bigger talent or Monsters Of Folk with epically lesser egos.

I’m not sure how committed each member is to this project but if they are willing to put in a few solid tours there is no doubt the limitations are few when it comes to this bands potential.

Divine Fits – Facebook | Twitter | Website

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All songs are for promotional use only. If you or a band you represent would like content to be removed email HCK! at Heycoolkid@yahoo.com.

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