Sunday, February 26, 2017

New music from both sides of the Atlantic

Once again this week we're adding new music from indie bands and major-label acts alike. And honestly we think the indies are the more interesting ones! So let's get to them first:

Edgar Road is an alternative-rock band from Elgin, in northeastern Scotland. They cite Elbow, Coldplay and U2 among their influences, and the five-piece group does bring an anthemic and uplifting sound to "Kollide," a track from their newly released second album, Looking Glass. The band's name apparently refers to the location of the high school that some of the band members attended (and since we named our radio station after a street, we're naturally partial to a band named after a road). Hat tip to Deuce Music for alerting us to this emerging band.


We're likewise happy to discover Wyland, a quartet from the town of Kearny in New Jersey's Meadowlands region (hold the "swamps of Jersey" jokes, please). We caught up with them via Noisetrade.com, which has a preview of their upcoming EP Snake Hill. We're featuring the rousing "Lights Go Dark" in our New Music bin. (Photo by Brian L. Tice Jr.)

We head out to Los Angeles for The Wild Reeds, featuring the vocal talents of  Sharon Silva, Kinsey Lee and Mackenzie Howe, in powerful solos and delicate harmonies alike. When they appeared on NPR's Tiny Desk Concert series in 2015, producer Bob Boilen wrote, "Great singers aren't easy to come by, so finding three in one band is something special." We've added "Only Songs" to our New Music rotation. It's the first single from the album The World We Built, due in April.

OK now on to the bigger-name acts...

The Chainsmokers aren't so much a band as a pair of American DJs, but they've teamed up with Coldplay (or at least with Chris Martin under that name) on a song called "Something Just Like This." It's four minutes of pure pop fun, nothing more and nothing less.

Rounding out this week's New Music five-pack is "Young & Wild," the latest single to spin out from Canadian band The Strumbella's 2016 album, Hope.



We hope you enjoy our big mix of new & classic rock & pop & folk & more -- and that you'll let us know what you think. Comment on this page, on Facebook or Twitter, or send us an email. We want to hear from you!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

We go West for this week's new music

We didn't plan it this way, but when we picked five songs to highlight in our New Music bin this week, it turned out the artists all happen to come from either western Canada or California.

Start with Cold War Kids. They hail from the Los Angeles area, which they name-check in the title of their sixth album, L.A. Divine. It's due in April on Capitol Records (so I guess we can't call them "indie" anymore). We've got the first single, "Love Is Mystical," and it's an upbeat affirmation of the power of love. Vocalist Nathan Willett says it's about "looking for inspiration and meaning, surrendering to feeling - love calling out your name, and that journey we must go on to find it."

Speaking of which, Little Hurricane's Tone Catalano seems to have gone on a spiritual journey that resulted in him and his musical partner, C.C. Spina, becoming life partners. They married in 2016 while working in their San Diego studio on their third album, Same Sun, Same Moon, expected this spring. You can read about Catalano's "vision quest" at PasteMagazine.com.
The first single is "OTL," as in One True Love.

Now, we've got nothing against love songs, but we hope the rest of both albums have more of the edgy sounds of those two bands' previous works.

A California listener pointed us to Bakersfield-based indie outfit Lonely Avenue, which released its debut self-title album last summer. They may hail from the northern part of the state, but some of their music is reminiscent of the country-influenced Southern California sound of the 70s - and that's a good thing, in our opinion. Our pick for the New Releases bin is the pedal-steel infused "Real Art."

Continuing up the West Coast to Vancouver, B.C., we find Japandroids, who've just released their third album, "Near To The Wild Heart Of Life." The title track is a rousing barroom shouter about breaking out of your rut and taking risks.

Our listeners know that we don't like to get stuck in any musical rut, which is why our big mix ranges from the noisy post-punk of bands like Japandroids to...

...the lyrical folk-rock of musicians like Scott Cook. This is another case of music that's not really new, but new to us. "Pass It Along" is a great song released a couple of years ago by this singer-songwriter from Edmonton, Alberta, who's been called the "prairie balladeer." We were led to this song when we came upon a video of a cover by Shawna Caspi, a Toronto singer-songwriter that you hear frequently in our mix.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Digging deeper into recent releases

We've added a big batch of new music to our Marvelous Mix this week, including additional tracks from albums that we've introduced in recent months.

For example, since summer we've been playing a few tracks from Canadian singer-songwriter Lauren Mann's latest album, Dearestly. Now we've dipped into it again and pulled out "Show Me The Way," a track that contrasts Mann's lilting voice with hard-driving keyboard, guitar and percussion, demanding your attention.

Satellites and Saints is the debut release from Goggy, a solo project by Margrit Eichler, who also fronts the San Francisco-based trio True Margrit. And it's truly solo - self-recorded and self-produced in Eichler's home studio. We've been playing a track called "Original Voice" for a couple of months, and now we're adding the title track to our playlist.

Our readers and listeners know we've been high on emerging Los Angeles band Night Talks ever since their first single dropped back in July. The full debut LP In Dreams was released Friday, and we're happy to report that there are no letdowns - it's one solid track after another. You'll be hearing them all sprinkled through our mix.

On the opposite coast of the USA, a band called Run To Sandy has been building a following in the Philadelphia area for several years. This week marks the release of its latest EP, Save The Pieces. Our pick for the New Music bin is "Mid Summer Crisis" - never mind that it's the middle of winter here in the North! In fact, it's a fine time for a song that expresses a longing for summertime, and we can imagine this tune blasting from a bar on the Jersey Shore.

Back to Canada for Vancouver's The New Pornographers, who just gave us a first a taste of their next album, Whiteout Conditions, due in April. "High Ticket Attractions" is an energetic piece of power pop, with A.C. Newman and Kathryn Calder providing the call-and-response vocals.

And we're picking up the single "Wash Up" from Won't Let You Down, the debut solo release by Lake Street Dive bassist Bridget Kearney. It's a cheerful-sounding pop tune about a regretted relationship. We hear hints of Fleetwood Mac among other influences.

There's so much good new music coming out every day that we can't possibly keep up. But if you know an artist or band that we should check out, please clue us in! Comment on this page, find us on Facebook or Twitter or email us. Thanks! 

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Trios & others from around the globe join our mix

London Grammar is expected to release its second album soon, the follow-up to its 2013 debut If You Wait. The new single "Big Picture" makes the most of Hanna Reid's soaring vocals and has critics using words like expansive and cinematic. Guitarist Dan Rothman and drummer/synth player Dot Major round out this trio who hail from, you guessed it, London.

Another trio, Middle Kids, has been making big waves in Australia for a while, and now its debut, self-titled EP is gaining attention around the world. Lead singer Hannah Joy, who previously recorded solo, is joined in Middle Kids by guitarist Tim Fitz and drummer Harry Day. Check out "Edge Of Town," now in our New Music bin.

We're also adding a track from the mysterious Sjowgren. Is that the name of the singer, or the band? Is it a band, or a solo project? Its website gives no clues. A 2015 article at Music Dash described it as a trio: singer Maija plus Don and Sam, from California's Bay Area. But a post last year at Listen To The Loop referred to Sjowgren as a singer/songwriter. We're gonna say trio. They've released just a handful of tracks so far. We're adding "Seventeen" to our New Music bin, even though it came out last August, because hey, it's new to us!

OK enough with the trios. There's a new single from the offbeat New Orleans band Stoop Kids. We've been playing some of their tunes since last fall and now we're featuring their latest, "Tahoe."

A very different but also unconventional artist is Canadian singer-songwriter Jane Siberry, who has been creating musical explorations since the 1980s. The single "Walk On Water," from her latest collection, Angels Bend Closer, is a new recording of a song originally released in 2009.

Remember, new music is just part of our Marvelous Mix. We play our favorites from the 1960s, 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s - big hits and less well-known tracks, by major-label and indie bands and singer-songwriters in various genres. And it's all streaming free. Enjoy!