Matt and Kim- Sidewalks- If you enjoyed their last album, you’ll appreciate Matt and Kim’s newest work, filled with the same upbeat pop sound complete with their signature keyboard riffs. It opens up with “Block After Block,” a cute track typical of their repertoire and continues with memorable tracks such as “Cameras” and “Wires.”
Brian Eno- Small Craft on a Milk Sea- Entirely instrumental, this album was said to be inspired by movie soundtracks, which is very evident as soon as you turn on the first track. The sound is atmospheric and ethereal and definitely worth playing. Every track turns an everyday situation into a dramatic scene. If you don’t want to play this on your show, at least play it at home. “Small Craft on a Milk Sea” and “Flint March” represent the spectrum this album goes through and are both well-done.
Swedish House Mafia- Until One-This album starts out strong and ends strong, but you’ll have to pick and choose from the middle tracks. Mixing original beats with samples from other artists, these three guys know how to make club music. I’m no expert in house music, but the first track, “Miami 2 Ibiza” was one I could appreciate as well as “One” and “Valodja.” Look out for some well-known artists such as Benny Benassi, David Guetta, Justice, and Daft Punk
Chiddy Bang- The Preview- Grabbing fans from different crowds, Chiddy Bang is a rap duo using well-known indie (is that an oxymoron? oh well) tracks as their background music while incorporating well-placed rap lyrics. Their most popular track “Opposite of Adults” takes MGMT’s “Kids” and transforms it into a track about growing up rather than a family of trees. Look for beats by Sufjan Stevens, Passion Pit, and Darwin Deez.
Elvis Costello- National Ransom- This guy has been around a long time, and as a result, he knows how to write a song. The melodies are for those who enjoy more of a folk sound, but it’s the lyrics that stand out to me in this album. Every song has a story to tell (this guy’s been around a while, so he’s probably got plenty of stories). Check out “Stations of the Cross” and “Dr. Watson, I Presume”
The Billy Nayer Show- BNS Presents: The Billy Nayer Show- If you’ve ever listened to this band before, you’ll understand the difficulty that comes with describing their sound. Imagine a children’s television show, a creepy carnival, and a cowboy mixed together in some sort of musical blender. And somehow, this bizarre sound works, and works well. I’ve had “Henry Joe” stuck in my head for the past two days because it’s haunting melody is hard to get out. It’s not for everyone, but I really enjoyed it. Check out “Wrong Highway” and “Who Do You Sue?”
Mariage Blanc- Mariage Blanc- Decently-produced indie, this album starts out well with “Whatever You Say I Am” and keeps the listener’s attention with catchy pop melodies such as “Poor Portraits.” RIYL The New Pornographers, The Shins
Wolf and Cub- Science and Sorcery- The synths and electronic section of this album are somewhat over-the-top (laser guns on the first track?), but it’s obvious that these guys are having a good time, and it’s hard not to enjoy what they’re doing. If you like experimental rock, indie, or late 80s-early 90s alternative punk, I’d give this album a spin. Try “Seven Sevens”, “What Are They Running,”or “Restless Sons”
The Philistines Jr.- If a Band Plays in the Woods…?- We get a lot of indie around here, but this album stands out from your typical independent artist. The instrumental portion of each track is well-produced and thought out. “B” is a good indicator of their musical ability while “My Brother Tom, The Green Beret” and “Tarquin’s Half-Assed Mission Statement” prove that they have the complete package. Try it, you just might like it.
Bad Books- Bad Books- A collaborative effort between Kevin Devine and Andy Hull of Manchester Orchestra, this album starts off slowly with hipster nonsense but gradually advances into decent indie rock/pop. If you like Elliot Smith, sipping tea, and men who are in touch with their feelings, go ahead and listen from the beginning of the album, but if you’re not into the sensitive whiny man thing, go ahead and skip to “Holding Down the Laughter.”