Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Synth pop from Death in the Afternoon – “Francis & The City”

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

I guess I’m a simple guy. I kind of like reliving the music that mattered to me. In the 80′s it was synth pop like Yaz, Depeche Mode, and Pet Shop Boys. So when I hear something remotely similar it brings me back. Death In The Afternoon have just done that with their song “Francis and the City” just out on a new ep called Singles & B-sides.

Francis and the City

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Video for “John Who”

New record from Skatan – “Seven Trees”

Monday, May 7th, 2012

As a music blogger you can’t take credit for much. You don’t write the songs or play the instruments. You don’t release the music nor do you put on shows. So that rare time when you feel you actually do something is important. I think the several times I’ve written about the music of Skatan I have helped her career. And if that’s true in any sense than I’m happy because the music of Skatan deserves to be heard by a larger audience than just her native Sweden.

The new record by this twenty year old is out May 23rd and is called Seven Trees. The first single “Control” features a little more eclectic instrumentation than in the past and Simone Andersson Wingfors voice is less processed and more immediate resulting in a song that hits all the right chords.

Control

A Swedish chiptunes remix of The Game of Thrones theme song

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

I have three loves in my life: Swedish music, chiptunes, and the HBO show Game of Thrones. Improbably a Swedish artist by the name of KompositKrut has managed to combine all three.

Game of Thrones

P.S. Here’s the technical side of things:

This is a chiptune remix of the opening song to the Game of Thrones BBC series. Its made with onle one SID 8580 in my original Commodore 64c from 1987. So there is no overlays, effects or samplings just recorded from one run on my good old c64

Video of “Game Of Thrones” c64 remix:

Swedish punk from The Retractables (riyl Wire, Gang of Four)

Friday, April 20th, 2012

I prefer my punk to be more Wire and Gang Of Four than Black Flag or The Descendents. I just need a little bit of harmony mixed in with the angsty noise. The Retractables from Gothenburg come pretty close to my ideal mix.

Here’s their song “Mysterious Man” from their debut EP.

Mysterious Man

Björn Kleinhenz – “The Fall Of Discontent”

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Björn Kleinhenz new project is a collaboration of sorts with photographer Simon Rydén called The Fall Of Discontent. The songs are mostly acoustic versions of some old songs and some new.

There are 100 very limited edition cds available at Björn’s website – check em out.

Beard Man

April MAP Post

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Click the play button icon to listen to individual songs, right-click on the song title to download an mp3, or grab a zip file of the whole 35-track compilation through Ge.tt here.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
DiosqueMelancolía Del Futuro
Diosque is a singer-songwriter born in Tucumán. Melancolía Del Futuro is our favorite song from his brand new album, Bote, in which Diosque enjoys playing with samplers and acoustic instruments like guitars and percussion. It was released by QQ Records on vinyl and can also be downloaded for free by visiting his website.

AUSTRIA: Walzerkönig
A Thousand FuegosNo Up No Down
“Don’t you know that everything we build up once will fall apart someday?” Time and religious metaphors are recurring themes on The Treachery Of Things, from which No Up No Down is taken. The album circles around the notion that we can never grasp the true identity of the things around us; they remain passive while we assign attributes to them. A Thousand Fuegos started out as a lo-fi project and these days focuses on beats, loops and spacey synths that create a mystical atmosphere.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
SibaCanoa Furada
Canoa Furada is one of the liveliest songs from Siba’s new album Avante, on which the unusual formation of his band stands out with a fanfare vibe and a cool feeling that combines contemporary music and regional rhythms. Avante is available to download for free at Siba’s website.

CANADA: Quick Before It Melts
Kalle MattsonWater Falls
Kalle Mattson recently racked up over a million views of their Thick As Thieves video, which is impressive for any indie band. The attention generated by the video shouldn’t be dismissed as hype. Kalle Mattson are impressive songwriters and musicians, and have fans across Canada eagerly awaiting their new EP (from which Water Falls comes from) at the start of May.

CHILE: Super 45
Poki TataneEsclavos Rumbo Al Virreinato
Behind the peculiar name of Poki Tatane hides one of the most interesting projects in the Chilean electronic scene. Esclavos Rumbo Al Virreinato is from his first EP, Breve Explicación De Las Partes (available for free at Discos Pegaos), which takes elements from a more organic dubstep, adding a particularly melodic sense to the compositions.

CHINA: Wooozy
XibanDrunk Ghost
Xiban is a contemporary world music band who describe themselves as being “fresh, wild, wandering, funny, and direct”, with the added tag of “folk music phoenix nirvana” thrown in for good measure. The musicians are from China, France and the United States. Combine Shanxi opera with Beijing and Jiangzhou drumming, add some Yellow River chanting, Tibetan long tune, Australian Aboriginal music, Indian organs and elements of modern electronic music and you have an idea of how eclectic their brand of music is.

COLOMBIA: El Parlante Amarillo
Crew PeligrososMedayork
From Medellín, we present you Crew Peligrosos – 16 people tearing up the scene with their urban sounds and mise-en-scène. Medayork contains the best flavors of old school hip hop with the song title paying tribute to two cities key to the development of hip hop culture in Colombia – Medellín and New York.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian
LydmorLamppost Light
This acoustic version of Lamppost Light was (and is) originally a video shot in a theater in Denmark’s second city, Aarhus. But since I really, really like Lydmor aka Jenny Rossander’s take on her otherwise electrofied pop self, I had my people tell her people to give all you people the song as a MAP exclusive. Oh, and if you want to watch the video here it is.

ENGLAND: The Guardian Music Blog
SeyeWhite Noise (Olugbenga Edit)
Seye Adelekan’s urgent floor-stomper gets held gently by the shoulders and told to take a minute thanks to a pitched-up, slowed-down remix by the Nigerian-born scenester’s older brother, Metronomy bassist Olubenga Adelekan. Seye, who’s been a gun for hire for Lana Del Rey, The Noisettes and Ellie Goulding in the past, is just coming into his own through an upcoming debut album of globe-trotting pop that had the Guardian’s Paul Lester hail the Bromley-based star as “like a younger, cooler Paul Simon around the time of his African adventure or Peter Gabriel circa So”. If Seye’s original suggests the woozy slip of a party on the turn, Gbenga’s remix is the regretful aftermath.

FINLAND: Glue
WeepikesWhat About
Weepikes was an alternative rock band in Helsinki that called it a day in 1997 after three intense years. A little wiser, a little older, the band reformed some months ago and recorded new songs with the help of American producer and musician Kramer. Now Weepikes are ready to deliver more of their characteristic blend of punk and progressive rock, or, as a journalist called it back in the day, PRONK.

FRANCE: Yet You’re Fired
PegaseWithout Reasons
Pegase, known for being the singer of the successful band Minitel Rose, started his solo project with the single Without Reasons. Its immediate appeal lies in the fragile emotion it emanates, the simple rhythm backed by airy and cold synths, and a superb, dreamy choir. Signed to the same label as Rhum For Pauline, Pegase will, without a doubt, be just as successful. Watch the wonderful video for Without Reasons here.

GERMANY: Blogpartei
HundredsFighter
The music of Hundreds is breathing, a bit like an asthmatic whose gasps always make a little swish. The Milner siblings tend to garnish their songs carefully, patterns of shivery sounds which texture warm rhythm beats, airy and clasping at the same time. Fighter is taken from their free Under The Icicles EP, which you can download via the lovely label Sinnbus.

GREECE: Mouxlaloulouda
Thanos AnestopoulosXanarthan Ta Sunnefa
After the blossoms of a long journey with Diafana Krina, Thanos Anestopoulos blazes his own musical trail with a beautiful, bleak and intimate solo album. Os To Telos (“To The End”) is brimmed full of personal memories and wrapped in warmth and emotional sincerity. It works best as a concise listen, as each song segues naturally into the next. Xanarthan Ta Sunnefa (“The Clouds Have Returned”) is a finely detailed hymn with a deceptively light touch, led by his soulful, baritone voice and brittle acoustic guitar.

ICELAND: Rjóminn
PrinspólóFostudagsmessa
This is the first new song Prinspóló has released since his debut album Jukk in June 2011. Fostudagsmessa most likely does not make sense to you, since it is in Icelandic, so let Prinspóló himself explain: “The song is about the place you don’t want to be at. For example, a dark and dirty nightclub where everybody is pretending to have fun and everything is great.”

INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
MushafearMeats In
Even though most people in Indonesia only knew Kurt Cobain from television, magazines, CDs and the internet, there are a handful of devoted fans who still yell their angst to the establishment, family and social system. One of the best bands from the community are Mushafear, who are fronted by Mirantie Boreel, an angry young lady while on stage but a humble girl off it.

IRELAND: Nialler9
Wonder Villains33
The sense of exuberance and energy coming from the speakers when a Wonder Villains track is playing is almost too much. This pop punk band from Derry make music that could only come from young minds and (relative) inexperience, but that primal energy makes it so infectious. Revel in their youth. It’s a lot of fun.

ITALY: Polaroid
Drink To MeFuture Days
“Life is an experiment and that’s why it is interesting,” says the first line of Future Days, and it’s something that could fit with the music of Drink To Me as well, especially with their new album, S. Amazing percussions, a lot of spacey synths, echoes of Animal Collective and MGMT – you can never tell what’s going to happen next. “We’re wide awake and we’re working on the future days”, and judging by this song, Drink To Me appear to have a lot fun doing it. And us too!

JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
MFPTheme For The Movement
MFP, the recording name of Osaka’s Masaki Konagai, named his latest album Mindful Beats Vol. 2, but the music within is more than rapper bait. MFP cites the late beat-maker J Dilla as a major inspiration, and album highlight Theme For The Movement carries the same this-does-not-need-rapping-over-it quality so prevalent in the best works of Dilla. It surges with more electricity, though, making it one of the most energetic tracks from an album brimming with them.

MALTA: Stagedive Malta
MegaFunYou’re So Cool!
MegaFun is 16-year-old Daniel Abdilla. When not fronting his band Clandestines, he is churning out bedroom recordings under the MegaFun moniker. He forms part of a Maltese DIY scene which has blossomed over the past couple of years.

MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
CentavrvsEl Caudillo Del Sur
The Mexican Revolution started in 1910 and during the centenary festivities, a group of deviant jazz, funk and electro musicians from Guadalajara formed Centavrvs. Their cunning mixture of old “corridos” (speeches and folk songs) from the Revolution and contemporary aesthetics create a Mexi-tronica sound that departs adventurously from the roads explored by the Nortec Collective over the past decade. Viva la Revolución!

NETHERLANDS: Unfold Amsterdam
Aafke RomeijnStella XVII
Aafke Romeijn is no shrinking violet singer-songwriter. Having fronted the all-female folk-rock band Mister Blue Sky for six years, she recently released a pleasing debut solo album titled Stella Must Die! As a solo artist, she calls to mind Amanda Palmer, not simply because this record is based heavily on piano and accordion, but because the songs are as theatrical and lyrically conceptual as Palmer’s are renowned for. As Aafke says: “It’s a record about pretty girls, secretly making out during school lunch breaks, throwing kitchen knives and, of course, about Stella.”

PERU: SoTB
XilófonmáticoLa Aventura De Los Insectos
An album doesn’t require large studios to impress and excite. Take, for example, the home project of Xilófonmático (a compound of xylophone and automatic). His first work, La Aventura De Los Insectos (Ipod EP), mixes instrumental and sung songs with playful and surreal touches. The EP is a rollercoaster of emotions, with the same ups and downs.

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
Walter BenjaminAirports And Broken Hearts
Walter Benjamin is the artistic name of Luis Nunes. He is a singer and songwriter from a new generation of Portuguese musicians, some of whom he has played with and/or produced (for instance, MAP alumni Noiserv, Minta, Julie & The Carjackers). His new album, The Imaginary Life Of Rosemary And Me, is out this month and we proudly present the first free download from it.

PUERTO RICO: Puerto Rico Indie
SimilarCíclope
Similar began as a studio project between Daniel Vicente and Ariel Hernandez back in 2009. Their debut EP showcased a mean pop sensibility with striking noise textures and was well received. The duo recruited musicians to perform as a live ensemble, but with the departure of Vicente to concentrate on his solo project, Pasajero, Ariel moved to consolidate a more psychedelic and aggressive sounding band. Cíclope is the first track recorded by its most recent line-up, which includes guitarist Gaby Vidal of local metal group Ongo. It will be part of the band’s first full-length, expected later this year.

ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
Mojo BarrelCatch The Devil
Mojo Barrel are a young band from Cluj who successfully merge rock with funk and blues. In their own words, they have the mojo – the magic, the charm, the inspiration, the creative trigger, the talent – and the barrel – the place where it all begins, blends, becomes and finally breaks through.

RUSSIA: Big Echo
VideatapeCoastal Lights
Parad Planet, the debut album of St Petersburg rock trio Videatape, combines amazingly melodic songs both in English and Russian with soft lyrics, a great vibe and beautiful sadness.

SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
JERCADHD
JERC is the alter-ego of self-confessed music obsessive James Campbell. The 22-year-old from Aberdeen started producing hip-hop tracks for local artists when he was a teenager before moving on to DJing in clubs, remixing and setting up his own label, Why Not Records. Most significantly, he is creating his own solo work and the pounding, delirious, sleazy-synthed electro house of ADHD is as intoxicating a debut track as you could ever hope to discover.

SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To…
WinterhalterSquirrel Land
Don’t take the music of Winterhalter too seriously. It’s great if you can name all the references in any given song, but doing so seems counterintuitive to what’s intended by Shaun Soh, the brains behind the project. Performing sporadic shows within Singapore’s shores, Winterhalter is a sort of myth, but recordings of the music are available if you ask nicely, just like we have. So go on, have a listen. A real treat would be the four-track EP, I Am Worthy of God’s Love, released as an entire song on Soundcloud.

SOUTH AFRICA: Musical Mover & Shaker!
SaintfearlessConventional Love Song
With their dynamic, rich sound and equally watchable stage performance, Saintfearless is making waves around the country as well as within the music industry. With a frontman to rival any other and talented musicians to back him up, Saintfearless offer fresh, catchy indie-rock songs.

SOUTH KOREA: Korean Indie
Byul.orgPacific
For as long as they’ve been around, Byul.org have been one of the most interesting entities in Korea’s music scene. Last month the collective had their first proper album Secret Stories Heard From A Girl In An Opium Den released in the US and Europe through Burnt Toast Vinyl, putting a decade’s worth of intriguing work on display. Though Byul.org are not usually afraid to experiment, Pacific (see video) is a retro pop number on the electronic side with an invitation to both dance and dream.

SPAIN: Musikorner
Evripidis And His TragediesTeeth
Evripidis And His Tragedies are a familiar face in Barcelona’s indie music scene. Led by Evripidis Sabatis from Athens, Greece, they deliver carefully handcrafted pop, inspired by 60s innocence. Evripidis opens up his heart in every song, as we can tell by the sincere, melancholic and emotional lyrics that most of us will feel like our own. Teeth may be the darkest but most necessary song they have recorded, and there’s also a video for it.

SWITZERLAND: 78s
Domi ChansornLeaving In A Gentle Way
A tragic incident brought Domi Chansorn to his first drum kit. His dad, also a drummer, died in a car accident. Now, 15 years later, he has won the m4music Demotape Clinic – Switzerland’s most important contest for young musicians – with his first album Bright Times Can Be Dark As Well (free download), which he recorded completely on his own. His singer-songwriter-approach is genuine, playful and brisk.

TURKEY: WEARTBEAT
FarfaraWater Air
Farfara is a dream-pop trio from Istanbul and Berlin. The members say the band invented itself with a psychedelic brew of kraut drums, shoegazing guitars, airy synths, ethereal vocals, lots of Love and a clear commitment to pop. They convey a simple though profound expression. Their second album is released this month – keep an eye on their Bandcamp page and drown yourself in the dreamy waters of Farfara.

UNITED STATES: I Guess I’m Floating
Alabama ShakesOn Your Way
We often try to give you some unearthed gems every month and who knows, maybe you’re unfamiliar with Alabama Shakes? If so, we’re gonna change that ASAP by introducing you to the soulful Southern rockers and their gem On Your Way. This band blew up from obscurity last autumn, signed to ATO Records and will open for Jack White on his solo tour. It’s good to know all the new fame won’t change their sound, though.

VENEZUELA: Música y Más
Alfred Gómez JrOn The Ground
Alfred Gómez Jr has changed everything with his new album Simple (name your price on Bandcamp). In his previous album, La Reina Peinándose, we could hear urban and Latin rhythms merged fairly harmoniously. This time he has incorporated elements of jazz and pop-rock that will take his music to a whole new audience.

Melodic punk from Tyred Eyes – New album out now!

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

I’ve been writing about Tyred Eyes since I first heard their stuff earlier this year. While a fan of hardcore I’m more apt to fall for a band that can meld the speed and anger of hardcore with the harmony and soul of rock – these guys can do that. These guys have been busy of late – they just returned from tour with Swedesplease favorites Impo and the Tents and they have just released their debut record The Piercing Stare, The Thousand Lies. It’s available here in all the various formats including vinyl.

Here’s the song “Too Late To Make It Right”.

Too Late To Make It Right

Plus The video for the song “The Last Detour Sign”:

Tyred Eyes – That Last Detour Sign from SKOGLOW PHOTOGRAPHY on Vimeo.

New EP from Gothenburg’s The Shy Lips

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Jangly Swedish pop from Gothenburg – yes, please! The band is called The Shy Lips – I’m guessing this is their first ep.

A little indie pop gem from Staphan O’Bell

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Here’s something new from Stephan O’Bell. At once sounding a bit like The Swell Season with his soaring often high pitched vocals but production that is more fitting for indie folk. I can’t link to a download but here’s a stream of one song off the new ep that I like.

March MAP – A day late and a krona short…

Monday, March 19th, 2012

Click the play button icon to listen to individual songs, right-click on the song title to download an mp3, or grab a zip file of the whole 38-track compilation here.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
YataiansWhat A Man’s Got To Do
Yataians is a Buenos Aires-based band with a rocksteady sound heavily influenced by Jamaican artists from the 60s and 70s, such as The Ethiopians, The Gaylads, The Heptones and The Paragons. It’s also a product of global age, with members from France, Colombia, New Caledonia and, of course, Argentina. This song is from their first album, Ô Tulop, which came out a couple of months ago, courtesy of the independent label Estamos Felices.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Shady LaneDumb Hope
Dumb Hope is the gorgeous lead single of Shady Lane’s forthcoming album, Built Guilt. Once the solo guise under which Sydneysider Jordy Lane put out a diverse range of odds and ends, Shady Lane has grown into a four-piece (officially?) with more hooks, vocals and a nostalgic pop sensibility not unlike fellow New South Welshmen Belles Will Ring.

AUSTRIA: Walzerkönig
GiantreeCommunicate
With past major label experience, the founding members of what is now Giantree found a new home on an indie label, but without denying that what they are doing is pop in capital letters. Their debut album We All Yell comes with synthesizers and catchy hooks. Communicate, a song about fragile beginnings, was a radio hit in Austria.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
DJ CremosoSay It Ain’t So
In the film Be Kind Rewind, Jack Black and Mos Def produce their own lo-fi version of movies, which they call “sweded” versions. What DJ Cremoso makes is like that, “bregalizing” songs – turning international hits into tecnobrega rhythms (a popular style from northern Brazil). There’s almost always the same beat and silly synths are its trademark, as we can hear in this tecnobrega of Weezer’s 90s hit Say It Ain’t So. DJ Cremoso’s identity is unknown – all he has is a profile on 4shared with his remixes.

CANADA: Quick Before It Melts
Bronx CheerleaderCamelot
Bronx Cheerleader have been a regional treasure in and around their hometown of St. Catharines, Ontario, for years now but their new album, Real Punks Don’t Sing About Girls, deserves to be heard by a wider audience. Camelot is a deliciously dirty lo-fi anthem-in-waiting, and one of the stand-out moments on this record, of which there are many.

CHILE: Super 45
Matías Cena & Los FictionsRaíz
Matías Cena used to be a solo artist from the folk scene in Santiago, and he made himself relatively known via an acoustic guitar and MySpace. Gradually, Ryan Adams and Conor Oberst’s influence diverted him to the ensemble format, which has developed into this six-piece that shines in a land not used to country-like rock. Raíz is a taster of Matías Cena & Los Fictions’ second album Arauco Cajún.

CHINA: Wooozy
Modern ChildrenMongolia
Modern Children is a six-piece band based in Hong Kong that formed in 2006. “Colorful” is the best word to describe them. They play music in different styles, from indie-pop to post-rock. Their songs are filled with all kinds of sounds by using a wide range of instruments, from guitars and bass to rainbow bells and erhu. The band released their self-titled debut album in January.

COLOMBIA: El Parlante Amarillo
1280 AlmasAntipatriota
1280 Almas is the biggest cult band from Bogotá. More than 18 years of history, six albums and a life of independence on the underground make them local legends. Now, they present a new song called Antipatriota (“Unpatriotic”), a declaration of national nonconformity.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian
Ring Them BellsWhen I Hear That Whistle Blow
A MAP exclusive, When I Hear That Whistle Blow by Ring Them Bells is only the second great taste of the quartet’s loud combination of 90s noise-rock and 60s psych-pop in circulation. The other, titled Technicolor, is also available for free at the band’s website, and both will most likely be part of Ring Them Bells’ debut album slated for release later this spring.

ENGLAND: The Guardian Music Blog
SubmerseLove You Down
Rob Orme alias Submerse is a 23-year-old DJ and producer from Runcorn, now living in Tokyo, who happens to be making some of the most heartbreakingly beautiful (dance) music anywhere on the planet. Influenced equally by 2000-era UK garage and Japanese pop (J-pop), it combines the skittering rhythms of 2-step with sad female vocals and wan melody to make J-garage. If you thought Rustie was a maximalist, try this ADHD pop. It’s like bubblegum Burial, Orme filling every second of space with infinitesimal bursts, droplets, clicks, spasms and lovelorn cries, dubstep given a sugary coating.

ESTONIA: Popop
Lack Of EoinsSudden Death Mode
Lack Of Eoins came together in late 2005 and recorded their first demos the following year. In 2008, they won a garage band contest in Estonia and recorded their debut album, which was mastered at Abbey Road Studios. They’re back now with the single Sudden Death Mode, which was released along with three remixes as a free download on the first day of 2012.

FINLAND: Glue
Cats On FireA Few Empty Waves
Many argue that Cats On Fire are the best indie-pop band in Finland at the moment. This bold statement may easily be true thanks to well-crafted pop songs with a melancholic and dreamy twist, solid lyrics and distinctive vocals. This month, Cats On Fire release their third album All Blackshirts To Me. It is their best yet. So good, in fact, that the band can afford a terrific outtake like A Few Empty Waves.

FRANCE: Yet You’re Fired
Rhum For PaulineI Can Reach The Top
Rhum For Pauline are an indie-pop band formed in Nantes in 2009 who released their first mini-album, Miami, in 2010, and their first EP, Can Reach The Top, in January. Their upbeat songs are incredibly enjoyable, the kind you like immediately after the first listen, the kind you’ll put on repeat for days. Be sure to check out the very cool video for I Can Reach The Top, directed by The Incredible Kids.

GERMANY: Blogpartei
Juli KapelleTreiber
Juli Kapelle is a collective from lovely Aschaffenburg, built around mastermind Achim “AS” Sauer. They are guitar-driven, reminiscent of a laid-back and bit krauty Dire Straits. All in all, music for a sophisticated afternoon.

GREECE: Mouxlaloulouda
Playground NoiseThis World
Playground Noise’s new single, Swinging Lowdown, is a delicate combination of finely arranged brooding melancholy and redemption. The two indie-pop songs infuse soaring guitars with a tense, literate sense of foreboding, adding strings and brass to strike the perfect balance between moody, underground noise and melody. They are built on restraint, tinged by poignancy and wrapped up in poetic human emotion that sticks with you long after the final note. Their sophomore album is set to be released later this year.

ICELAND: Rjóminn
1860For You, Forever
For You, Forever is the third single from 1860′s self-released debut album Sagan. Drawing inspiration from bands such as Fanfarlo and The Avett Brothers, the song has a modern folkish vibe to it, with small-town sentiments featuring heavily in the lyrics. The song was recently included in the short documentary Íslander by Grasshopper Films.

INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
BromocorahBromocorah
Bromocorah means “repeat offender”. They’re a thrash metal recidivist and I don’t think they’ll be changing their way of life any time soon.

IRELAND: Nialler9
Young WonderTumbling Backwards
Ian Ring and Rachel Koeman recently teamed up as a producer/vocal duo under the name Young Wonder. Their sound is hard to define as any one genre but is recognisable by its big beats, euphoric synth rushes, pitched vocal samples and emotive lead vocals from Koeman. Yet another excellent new Irish band to watch. A debut EP drops on April 14.

ITALY: Polaroid
Man On WireA Thousand Legs
The name of the band is a reference to Philippe Petit, the French acrobat who walked on a rope between the Twin Towers, but their sound is definitely Americana. Man On Wire play that kind of warm and emotional folk-rock that you can find in certain songs by Arcade Fire, Wilco or The National. Their debut album is a rope from the music to your heart. And they are walking on it.

JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
Occult YouPsychic Feelings
Tokyo artist Occult You loves to explore new sounds, each new release from this moniker and his other alias Taquwami (Google it, totally worth it) sounding like a new artistic swerve. Psychic Feelings is one of the newest tracks from the young producer, an irresistibly funky jam recalling the synth-heavy songs created by Ford & Lopatin and the Beverly Hills Cop theme tune. This is not needless nostalgia, though, rather a great song from a promising contemporary artist.

MALTA: Stagedive Malta
The ShhSo Over
The Shh’s music emerges, in secret, from a place in between the city of Paris and the island of Malta. Their debut EP, The Burning Love, evokes surf-rock sounds with warm Summer Of Love-esque vocal melodies.

MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
Descartes a KantConvince Me
Descartes a Kant is about to release their sophomore album Il Visore Lunatique, a lovingly crafted treat of madness from this exquisite riot grrrl band. While their music speaks for itself, Descartes a Kant has brought to the surface a collection of fears and obsessions through very tight and twisted imagery filled with schizoid violent punk episodes, cabaret, electronic glimpses and a disturbing cheerleading attitude embraced in a well-accomplished match between roughness, eroticism and femininity.

NETHERLANDS: Unfold Amsterdam
Kim JanssenTors
Singer-songwriter Kim Janssen has had plenty of international experiences to date. He has recorded and performed around the world with The Black Atlantic (a previous MAP tip), he has followed his parents around Asia as a youngster, and even experienced English boarding school life. It’s the latter that most influences his lush and gentle new album Ancient Crime. He describes it as “a concept album that takes place in an old idyllic school, in a remote village in north-west England during the winter”. Like traditional folk, it’s a mixture of history, myth, memories, old and new verses. Along the way he’s aided by Marla Hansen’s Oriel Quartet and a 100-piece choir, resulting in ambitious, delightful arrangements.

NORWAY: Birds Sometimes Dance
The AvalancheThrow Away The Rest
The Avalanche play noisy pop with both feet firmly planted in a classic shoegaze tradition. Catchy melodies hidden beneath endless layers of distorted guitar, driving drums and fuzz bass paired with the wonderful sound of dying synths throws the listener back and forth between waves of delicious pop and dirty noise. Their debut album will be released this autumn.

PERU: SoTB
I Am GenkoBobblehead Sphynx
I Am Genko is a live electronica act from Lima consisting of one person and some machines. They all get along pretty well. Bobblehead Sphynx, from Awkward Teenage Years EP, is a really fun, exciting song – a succession of catchy beats that take us back to our youth or childhood.

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
A JigsawThe Strangest Friend
A Jigsaw, named after a dEUS song, are from Coimbra and have already won an honorable mention in the 2009 International Songwriting Contest. The Strangest Friend is the first single from their third album, Drunken Sailors & Happy Pirates. They have received enthusiastic reviews in Les Inrockuptibles (France) and Heaven Magazine (Holland) and will gather many more fans after this month’s MAP.

ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
Lights Out!Origin
Lights Out! are a bunch of high school kids from Cluj (the heart of Transylvania). In the past two years, since existing as a band, they have kept growing, managing to make a name for themselves among Romania’s alternative/indie bands. The start of this year found them in the studio, recording their first material – Patience EP – which is about to come out. With the smooth combination of psychedelia, dreamy guitars and indie sounds, topped with Teo’s amazing voice, Lights Out! could be one of the best musical products Romania has to offer.

RUSSIA: Big Echo
Human TetrisSilver Tears
Moscow-based post-bunk band Human Tetris have just finished their debut LP, Happy Way In The Maze Of Rebirth, and a European tour that covered Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland and France. As cold and raw as the Russian winter, Silver Tears cuts right to the bone.

SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
Mike NisbetNot Long
Originally from Oban, Mike Nisbet possesses an enchanting backstory that could give Justin Vernon a run for his money. Living a genuine nomadic existence, acoustic guitar in hand, this wandering troubadour has a Dylan-esque timeless quality to his songwriting, a voice that soothes and shatters hearts, and a gorgeous debut album, Vagrant, that could/should earn this remarkable 23-year-old talent devotees in any continent, any generation, any decade.

SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To…
ShelvesStar Alright
The much-anticipated debut album by Shelves was released this month on both vinyl and digital, resurrecting not just the choicest cuts of Britpop and college rock, but the very essence of the 90s Singapore scene. Yet the record sounds anything but dated, with its clever balance of crisp melodies and generous distortion pointing the way forward for indie rock today. That vision is epitomised in Star Alright, a song that rides above the crackle and feedback to poke fun at the studded-leather ironies of pop stardom.

SOUTH AFRICA: Musical Mover & Shaker!
Sterling EQBach’s Kittens At Play
Sterling Electric Quartet, affectionately known as Sterling EQ, burst on to the scene with their genre-defying musical style and sensational live performance. What started out in 2007 exploded into a musical phenomenon that has continued to take the South African entertainment industry by storm. Bach’s Kittens At Play shows off their eclectic stylings and versatile influences. It takes you on a lovely journey. With a twist. Simply delightful.

SOUTH KOREA: Korean Indie
No ControlTime
Noise-rock band No Control started out making loud punk explosions, but have since learned the importance of harmony. Influenced by Sonic Youth and with some post-rock and shoegaze thrown into the mix, their first studio-recorded release will be out this month, but already we can savor the captivating sound of Time.

SPAIN: Musikorner
KokoshcaLa Fuerza
If there’s a band that can show off the creation of a hymn for those Spaniards who usually party like there’s no tomorrow, that band is Kokoshca. They are a three-piece from Pamplona and they have already released five records (some demos, a live album and EPs). Heirs of the biggest Spanish pop bands of the 60s but with an irreverent, garage spirit, Kokoshca have recently re-released their well-known single, La Fuerza, via Elefant Records, an indie-pop institution in Spain.

SWEDEN: Swedesplease
Fucking Werewolf AssoKeep My Adresse To Yourself, Cause We Need Secrets
Honestly, I think I’m mainly posting this for the shock value. Both the band’s name and their odd amalgam of genres are, to say the least, unusual. Have you ever wondered what 8bit electronica and punk might sound like as a mash-up? Well, wonder no more. Here’s a new song from Fucking Werewolf Asso.

SWITZERLAND: 78s
Castling Queen’s SideRise And Fail
The starting point for six-piece Castling Queen’s Side was an Arcade Fire gig in Zurich in 2005. There they got to know each other and decided to form an indie band. Now, seven years later, they have their debut record Cinema ready with 11 splendid songs full of depth, melancholy and catchy crankiness.

TURKEY: WEARTBEAT
The Away DaysDressing Room
The Away Days carries influences from Northern music sounds and actually presents an unfamiliar style for us in this terrain, which is indie-rock. What distinguishes them from other bands in Turkey may be their desire and aim to make themselves known in Europe. While The Away Days is preparing to release their first EP in a couple of months, we can also see the band perform in various festivals during the summer. Dressing Room has an exceptional unity of quality structure, lyrics and music that can’t be ignored.

UNITED STATES: I Guess I’m Floating
Hundred WatersMe & Anodyne
There’s not really much you can say about Hundred Waters that will do justice to their brand of experimental dream-pop. You’ve really just got to hear it for yourself. Me & Anodyne is from Hundred Waters’ self-titled debut, an early album-of-the-year contender.

VENEZUELA: Música y Más
BuenaparteCon Lucy In The Sky
Buenaparte formed in mid-2010 and released their debut album, La Caída De Lucy, in 2011. Third single Con Lucy In The Sky is a love song with lyrics inviting us to get lost with the person we desire.

8Bit Meets Punk – Fucking Werewolf Assoc

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Honestly I think I’m mainly posting this for the shock value. Both the band’s name and their odd amalgram of genres are, to say the least, unusual. Have you been wondering what 8bit electronica and punk might sound like as a mash up. Well wonder no more. Here’s a new song from Fucking Werewolf Assoc.

Keep My Address To Yourself

New songs from Göteborg based lofi pop(star) Ossian Ekenger

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Ossian Ekenger emailed me with new songs the other day. I get a lot of email concerning Swedish bands and promptly delete most of it. But I feel like I have been following Ossian Ekenger’s music for years (I guess I have here, here, here). I’ve been doing this for good reason because (along with friends like Chuck Morgan) he’s been releasing some of the best (and often strangest) lofi pop coming out of the country.

Here’s two new songs from Ossian. Keep up with his music here.

Summertime ii

Be easy, october

February MAP – The best Music From Around The World

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Click the play button icon to listen to individual songs, right-click on the song title to download an mp3, or grab a zip file of the whole 36-track compilation here.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
CosmoCazador
Cosmo is an indie-pop band which features members or former members of other groups that are well-known to the Buenos Aires independent music scene (Pablo de Caro from Mataplantas, Ayar Sava from Interama, Pablo Font from Les Mentettes and Andrés Ravioli from Mompox and Brian Storming, among others). A couple of months ago they released their self-titled first album, with songs that combine vintage synthesized sounds and beats with acoustic instruments and fine arrangements. You can download the whole album for free.

AUSTRIA: Walzerkönig
SqualloscopeDomino
Anna Kohlweis has released three albums as Paper Bird, however these days she prefers her new alias Squalloscope. Goodbyes in bus terminals, long train rides, sitting on planes and bottles of wine have influenced her upcoming album Soft Invasions. Domino is a singer-songwriter take on R’n’B combined with postmodern lyrics: “I’m a copy of a copy of a copy of a woman, you’re the copy of a copy of a copy of a guy.”

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Graveola e o Lixo PolifônicoInsensatez: A Mulher Que Fez
Graveola e o Lixo Polifônico is a creative band that experiments with MPB (mainstream Brazilian pop music) and makes organic mashups, appropriating themes of bands from various genres to create new works. Their new record is available for download from their website.

CANADA: I(Heart)Music
Amity BeachJake’s Version Of Paradise
Seeing as Amity Beach a) only have a three-song EP to their name and b) look like they’re probably still in high school, I might be jumping the gun on praising them. Still, listening to this track (along with the other two), it’s hard not to be excited. They’ve got a great ear for catchy pop and I’d be surprised – not to mention a little disappointed – if this doesn’t lead to some great things.

CHILE: Super 45
Survey TeamValdivia De Viña
A couple of years ago, Survey Team was just a frail bedroom duo with singer Carla Bolgeri adding colorful and sweet melodies to folk-guitar patterns created by her bandmate, Francisco Marín. They’ve certainly changed. Today, they are a powerful quintet with sounds that shock and hit with electric sensuality. Valdivia De Viña is a summer première, soon to be included in their debut album Suriname, which validates Survey Team as a pop delicacy from the current Chilean pop wave and a highly versatile band by successfully flirting with reggae.

CHINA: Wooozy
Mr. GracelessMr. Li
Mr. Graceless is a Beijing-based indie-rock trio. They try to keep a low profile, moving forward step by step. They are tepid and unassuming, and have a clear-cut stand on what to love and what to hate. The love, pain, fantasy and fervor of youth are the best tags for their music. They prefer beautiful melodies and independent attitude. Mr. Graceless is touring around China with their debut release The Tree Ever Green.

COLOMBIA: El Parlante Amarillo
Julián Mayorga¿Cómo Llorar Al Revés o Regresar Al Asfalto o…?
¿Cómo Llorar Al Revés o Regresar Al Asfalto o Espantar Mi Propio Cuerpo Inerte o Desaparecer y Volver a Aparecer? – this is the complete title of this piece by singer-songwriter Julián Mayorga, born in Ibagué. It’s an interesting, poetic union between pop and folk that hides, in what he calls La Pequeña Orquesta Sintética (synths and computers), the deep and very personal landscapes that his soft voice creates.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian
Spleen UnitedBright Cities Keep Me Awake
“We are still wild animals,” Spleen United proclaim on Bright Cities Keep Me Awake, from their long-awaited and impressive third full-length, School Of Euphoria. It’s a sentiment carrying truth and one somewhat defining for principal songwriter and frontman Bjarke Niemann’s lyrical appendage to the dark, synthesized rock reminiscing 90s electro, house and (euro)dance. It makes School Of Euphoria a rather despondent, while immensely awesome, listen.

ENGLAND: The Guardian Music Blog
Wild CombinationGreat Expectations
Wild Combination’s sound itches and twists in an effort to etch itself across indie’s sonic history. It shouldn’t worry so much. The Essex trio responsible know how to channel the best of recent backbeat melancholia (Foals, The Postal Service) and that’s more than enough. This demo version of Great Expectations – mixed specially for MAP – clips along, the addition of a swarth of dreamy synths tying it just to the right side of funky.

FINLAND: Glue
Black TwigLake Song
Noise, pop, fuzz, sound experiments. Black Twig is one of the hottest bands in the Finnish indie scene at the moment with their just-released debut album, Paper Trees. In their own words, Black Twig’s sound has echoes of modern fuzzed-out pop experiments as well as of 60s garage-rock gems, sometimes developing a sensibility for hypnotic, repetitive drones.

FRANCE: Yet You’re Fired
Cracbooms@soleil
Cracbooms are more than a band. They are a group of friends who sing about how sweet and simple life is when surrounded by your loved ones, when there are pretty girls around and the sun shines above your head. Their lyrics are filled with humor and casualness, and are written with an unsettling easiness. As for their sound, it’s a mix between the guitars of Two Door Cinema Club and pop à la Young Michelin. I think they’ve found the perfect combination.

GERMANY: Blogpartei
Wooden PeakPills Start Work
The two guys behind Wooden Peak are getting famous for their gigs where they occupy a whole stage while just sitting on their stools, carefully watching each other. Although their set-up with guitar and drums seems quite like a garage band, their singing and acoustic play triggers very different emotions – calm and dizziness, homeliness and wanderlust. Pills Start Work is a great MAP exclusive which slightly resembles early Whitest Boy Alive. The album Lumen has just been released on the lovely label Analogsoul.

GREECE: Mouxlaloulouda
BokomolechTalk About Fires
Nine years is a long time to wait, but new album Mass Vulture finds Bokomolech embracing and sifting through the finer moments of their past over the course of 10 outstanding songs. The record is once again exceptionally crafted and gorgeously composed, richly textured and potently rhythmic, instilled with instrumental mastery and consistent music ideas, powerfully expressive vocals, remarkable melodic turns, lovely harmonic noises, sleek and slippery riffs. They have created a sparse and thrilling work of strikingly expansive ambition with the arresting delicacy of the quieter, dreamier tunes capable of ripping up your emotions.

ICELAND: Rjóminn
VigriAnimals
Animals is from Vigri’s debut album Pink Boats. The band decided to travel around many of the small churches in Iceland’s countryside to record the song, but the end result is from what they recorded in the Flatey island church.

INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
Spring/SummerTonight
Spring/Summer come from Bandung and are the freshest breed of (what we Indonesians call) Britpop revivalism. With a twist of The Smiths, Joy Division and Blueboy and a bit of attitude, they make tasty, raw music. They probably won’t be the next big thing, but their music provides enjoyable reminiscing of teenage years spent looking for second-hand Smiths CDs at the local thrift store.

IRELAND: Nialler9
RedahanRu In Daejeon
If I could, I would pick the entire Loud Mouth collective as Ireland’s MAP representatives this month. They are a coterie of producers, rappers, musicians and DJs who have released three volumes of freely downloadable new music taking in electronica, rap and post-dubstep. Redahan is one producer at the heart of the collective and his evocative and expansive Ru In Daejeon is indicative of the collective’s scope and vision.

ITALY: Polaroid
Heike Has The GigglesBreakfast
On their sophomore album, Crowd Surfing, the young Heike Has The Giggles pin down even more precisely the range of their influences – from the lighter Nineties pop-punk full of fun to the stronger Noughties punk funk à la Gossip. And damn, they are very good at mixing these. Breakfast is the new album’s first single.

JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
Cloudy BuseyUp To You (If You Love Me)
Cloudy Busey takes many cues from house music on Up To You (If You Love Me), yet this long-burning song never feels exuberant. Rather, the Osaka-based Busey inverts the sounds of a club into something apt for a shadowy alleyway. The beat pounds on relentlessly, but the spacey synths and singing evoke the loneliness of long, solitary walks home early in the morning set against neon lights. If nights out tend to bring you down, here is the jam for you.

MALTA: Stagedive Malta
DanjeliMidnight Carpet Ride
Besides being a maverick club DJ and an accomplished musician in his own right, Danjeli is also a member of the renegade Maltese folk band Brikkuni. This year he released another solo album, KontroNatura, available for free download from Complex Sound Sagacity.

MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
UvilovDe Tantos Universos Paralelos
“Playing dreampop since 2005,” is the slogan of this pioneering band. De Tantos Universos Paralelos is the gigantic overture to their new album El Desprendimiento, which promises to be an overload of feedback and chaos restrained under a structure. Uvilov might be intending to picture a party where the mankind of tomorrow is invited only if its conscience allows it to.

NETHERLANDS: Unfold Amsterdam
Wooden ConstructionsFull Brother
There’s been a buzz brewing for Amsterdam’s Wooden Constructions for a year or two already, their edgy live performances stealing the limelight from a host of international indie wannabes along the way. Well, it’s all set to reach boiling point when they finally unleash their debut album People Now People in spring. A barrage of taut dance grooves, minimalistic riffage and unsettling narratives, they provide a contemporary glimpse of post-punk at its maniacal best. Check out first single Full Brother for a taster of their danceable gloom, making the bold promise that the intensity of their live shows will carry over onto tape.

NEW ZEALAND: Einstein Music Journal
Grass CannonsWendy’s
If hissing noise and warm melodies are your buzz then Auckland four-piece Grass Cannons should be on your radar. They’ve just released their debut EP Vet Dream, containing five darting guitar songs that each take a different path but ultimately lead to the same satisfactory conclusion. While a noisy mess rides heavy throughout their music and kidnaps a bit of their style, within each song there are several minutes of genius song structure that highlights their ability to write amazing pop-influenced punk music. Deerhunter, The Clean and Grooms come to mind when describing their sound, but Grass Cannons seem good enough to leave those influences out of the equation.

NORWAY: Birds Sometimes Dance
Storm The BastilleCircle Robotics
You never know quite what to expect when listening to a song by Storm The Bastille. Their schizophrenic and mildly cacophonic music is unpredictable, strange and full of surprising twists. The only constant is the great energy the band possess. It’s fast, energetic, melodic and a bit dark with a sense of impending doom that creeps up close.

PERU: SoTB
Los ZappingCine Mudo
Los Zapping began toying with music when they were still in school, but their garage-rock soon won a place in Lima nights and an authentic touch of freshness was about to be born. Their first EP, released in 2007, was considered the best of that year. Teoría De La Televisión y La Radio was released in 2011, an album that reaffirms the strength and talent of this band.

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
Sun GlittersThey Don’t Want To Let You Know (Sumsun Remix)
Victor Ferreira aka Sun Glitters, born to Portuguese parents in Luxembourg, has been praised by The Guardian, FADER and Pitchfork. For this reason, his newest release, High EP, which came out on January 30, was highly anticipated. On it, Victor continues his voyage through a dreamy electronic world. This track is a remix of one of the songs on the EP.

ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
Methadone SkiesVs. Evil
Methadone Skies are a bunch of young guys from Timisoara playing the music they themselves like to listen to – psychedelic, progressive, stoner, post-rock, ambient or just noise – most of the time jamming in the studio with excellent results. Keep your ears opened for them as they’re about to release their new album, Enter The Void.

RUSSIA: Big Echo
BrodskyDeath Note
Brodsky plays beautifully-orchestrated romantic folk with flowery melodies, youthful vocals and sad eyes that might remind you of Beirut or Jens Lekman. Nowadays, it’s truly a blessing to find such an artist in Russia.

SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
Craig_FSGrass Stain (feat. Rachel Tesfaye)
Grass Stain is a musical head-turner – an 8.5-minute electro/house fusion with an outstanding soulful female guest vocal that takes you on a trip of a lifetime labelled bliss-euphoria-bliss. Craig_FS has been been making and uploading songs to Soundcloud for the past year, and the potential is certainly there for him to follow in the mainstream footsteps of compatriot Calvin Harris.

SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To…
Obedient Wives ClubFragments
The first release by 60s indie-pop distributors Happy Teardrop Music is the debut self-titled EP by Obedient Wives Club, and what a hit it’s been with all physical copies selling out within a month. The band, cheekily named after a controversial Muslim organisation of the same name, plays a delightful blend of girly noise-pop – or what they helpfully term “Spectorgaze”. Fragments indulges its Jesus And Mary Chain obsession with generous doses of saccharine melodies and interstellar fuzz.

SOUTH KOREA: Korean Indie
MDSInsomnia
DJ duo MDS released their first album in July last year, full of remixes of songs from some of the best artists in Seoul’s indie scene. In January, they released a digital single with a couple of songs of their own, showing that they’re also capable of crafting great pieces of music themselves. Insomnia is a smooth electronica track that lends itself very well as a soundtrack to a walk just about anywhere.

SPAIN: Musikorner
Novedades CarminhaPesetas
Novedades Carminha are a garage-rock three-piece from Santiago de Compostela, and they’re starting to be the talk of the town. Their songs are energy-packed and irreverent, making fun of everyday topics but vindicating them at the same time. Their lyrics hold true punk spirit. Pesetas, taken from their first album Jódete y Baila, released in early 2011, is a true jewel of dirty Spanish rock.

SWEDEN: Swedesplease
KidsMy Sincerest Apologies
Electronic pop duo Kids are shockingly good. Sure there a few cheesy moments in the single My Sincerest Apologies but it gives the song a bit of fun and doesn’t take itself too seriously.

SWITZERLAND: 78s
John CarolineRobine
John Caroline is a young six-piece from Baden who make playful, jittery and dreamy indie rock. Their debut EP is released as a free download on February 18.

TURKEY: WEARTBEAT
The Ringo JetsCollar
The Ringo Jets, consisting of two guitarists and a drummer, is a rock ‘n’ roll band inspired by 60s garage music and blues rock. They made a big splash in Istanbul indie circles with their Limited Lunchpack EP, which you can download for free from Bandcamp. After signing with Aisha Records, they’re planning to release their debut album by the end of the year.

UNITED STATES: I Guess I’m Floating
That GhostMorning Now
Californian lo-fi bedroom artist That Ghost has been making music since before he could drive a car. His sound has grown and changed as much as he has from tween state to young adulthood. OK, he was never a tween but a pure artist whose latest EP Rosalind is a gem. Check out the slow-burning Morning Now, like, right now.

VENEZUELA: Música y Más
McklopediaGuardián
Mcklopedia is a young man who, back in 2001, identified with a genre and took it as his philosophy and way of life. He explicitly shows the reality of the world’s great cities, the everyday stories that come to a close in households every night. Superlirical, his debut album, seeks to represent a new concept in urban music, combining soul, reggae, funk and hip hop.

New indie pop from Sweden – The Belljars (riyl The Cardigans, The Cranberries)

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Are you sitting in your bedroom and wondering about whatever happened to bands like The Cranberries or The Cardigans? If so wonder no longer because the Belljars will provide you that jolt of indie pop you’ve been waiting for. Although this ep’s production is a little lofi the band seems talented with a full band sound with drums, bass and guitar, a lovely duet on “You Will Know”, violin on both songs, and lead vocals in English and Swedish by a mystery woman.

Very few bands nowadays don’t have a paper trail. Rarely do you find a band without a twitter feed, a facebook page, a website, a blog, and a soundcloud page. The Bellrays don’t seem to have any of these. That will have to change in the coming weeks with music this gorgeous and this insanely catchy.

You Will Know

Poeten

2 new songs from Heart Sick Groans

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Here’s a couple new songs from The Heart Sick Groans. I like the band’s slightly retro sound as well as their consistently upbeat demeanor.

A Bossanova With This Casanova

If The Canary Stops Singing

New EP From Swedish Electro Pop Duo Kids

Friday, January 27th, 2012

I haven’t heard of this electronic pop band Kids yet. Have you? It’s shockingly good. Well produced, hd video, appealing artists etc etc. Sure there a few cheesy moments in the single “My Sincerest Apologies” but it gives the song a bit of fun and doesn’t take itself too seriously.

My Sincerest Apologies

Kids – My Sincerest Apologies from David HJ. Lindberg on Vimeo.

The Bland Band (anything but!) from Uppsala

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

The guys from The Bland Band emailed me their new song/video today. It seems from the band’s name and their description of themselves (“A modest little band) that they have a self confidence problem. I hope this post puts that to rest. First off they aren’t that little. The band is at least seven members and they are not modest in the assortment of instruments they play – including trumpet, mandolin, guitar, slide trombone, standup bass and drums.

The new song (the band’s first) is catchy and poppy – in fact it reminds me a little of the music of The Second Band from Sweden.

Pålsboda Jam

Electro pop from Victor Sandström – “Departures”

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

I got an email from a Swedish artist named Victor Sandström with news of a new song. I wrote about his last project Sandstream about three years ago (here – song called “Teenage Love” is still available). At the time I was impressed with this young (16!) man’s take on electronic based pop. While the new song is said to be in more of a pop/rock style I still find the undercurrents of electronic beats and whirls to be mesmerizing. Maybe this type of stuff is easy to do nowadays but if so I think I would be hearing more music like this. Music that transcends genre, connects lyrically, and is musically exciting yet acsessible.

Victor is unsigned contact him at viktorsandstrom@gmail.com.

Anyway here’s the song “Departure”.

Departure

Punk rock from Tyred Eyes (on tour now with Impo & The Tents)

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Here’s an update to a band I wrote about back in 2009. At the time they were a punk three piece called Tyred Eyes but they seem to have grown to a quartet by adding a female presence. Their sound has matured a bit as well. They are currently in the midst of a European tour and are planning to release their debut record this year. Here’s the song “Party Like It’s 1939!”

Party Like It’s 1939!

January’s Edition of MAP Up For The Taking

Monday, January 16th, 2012

Click the play button icon to listen to individual songs, right-click on the song title to download an mp3, or grab a .zip file of the whole 36-track compilation here.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Nubes En Mi CasaAceleremos
Nubes En Mi Casa is an indie-pop band led by singer Josefina Mac Loughlin. Aceleremos is a preview from their upcoming second studio album, Me Suelto y Vuelvo. The song sounds like an instant hit and we’re sure it will become one of our favorite tracks of 2012, so we can’t wait to hear the rest of it.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
SuresThe Sun
The Sun is a short burst of sunshine from Sydney duo Sures. It sounds like a Beach Boys outtake, which might sound boring given the number of bands out there paying homage to Wilson and Co. Fortunately, The Sun is just two minutes of harmonising over a dull melody – it’s a catchy tune that will have those of us in the southern hemisphere pressing repeat throughout summer.

AUSTRIA: Walzerkönig
DiverIllusions
Quiet is the new loud. Diver, a folky trio from various places in Austria and Germany and now based in Vienna, play beautifully melancholic songs with three acoustic guitars and lyrics that go “everyday reality is an illusion of possibilities”. Illusions is the opener of their first full-length album Kites, which will be out later this month. In the meantime you can listen to their self-titled debut EP on Bandcamp.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Bixiga 70Balboa Da Silva
Bixiga 70 is what happens when you combine African beats, jazz and Brazilian swing in a city as hectic as São Paulo, where they’re from. Their first CD was released last year and is available to download at the band’s website.

CANADA: I(Heart)Music
HonheehonheeWe Only Go
There’s more than a hint of early Arcade Fire to We Only Go but, as someone who misses early Arcade Fire, I don’t see why that’s a strike against Honheehonhee. Besides, this song (not to mention the rest of their debut, Shouts) is exuberant, unhinged fun, and the world can always use more music like that.

CHILE: Super 45
Los EmbajadoresPeso
From all the tips made in the Chilean music scene for this year, Los Embajadores is one of the most interesting. Romantic goth-pop songs reminiscent of Cocteau Twins as well as the darkest hours of Miguel Bosé. Faisanes is the name of their soon-to-come new album, and Peso (“Weight”) is its first single.

CHINA: Wooozy
ElenorePsycho Man
Beijing-based Elenore formed in late 2009 and have developed a sound influenced by bands such as Oasis, Kasabian and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. The single Psycho Man fuses 60s swing drum loops, fuzzy guitar riffs and a Middle Eastern instrumental chorus which became a hit on China’s popular site Douban. In February, Elenore will release their first EP both on CD and the band’s own digital distribution site.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian
Nelson CanApple Pie
Danish girl-trio Nelson Can release their eponymous debut EP this month as part of a triple EP release with The Freudian Slip and Echo Me. Punk aesthetics spoon with pop flair and hipster cool on their first single Apple Pie, which reaffirms that apples are indeed a good thing. Like the girls on Facebook and check out the video for Apple Pie on YouTube.

ENGLAND: The Guardian Music Blog
MoneyWho’s Going To Love You Now
A four-piece based in Manchester, Money are part of that city’s tradition of earnest young men, “the weight on their shoulder”, as Ian Curtis once sang. They quote Austrian poet Rilke, while their Facebook features a “eulogy for the death of everything”. A recent Guardian New Band of the Day article contended that they “have a similar air of mystery and cerebral intensity to Wu Lyf, with a vocalist who can do enigmatically gruff as well as fervid and angelic”, positing them as the Mancunian Manic Street Preachers, with a shared sense of the sacred and intense.

ESTONIA: Popop
Zebra IslandFalling Through
Mysterious Zebra Island rocketed into blogs and social networks at the very end of 2011 and everyone in Estonia seems to love them, although no-one knows much about the band. Zebra Island is led by Rasmus Lill from Kosmofon (featured in the March 2011 edition of MAP) and beautiful vocals are provided by Helina Risti. Falling Through, their first and only song so far, is a lovely, pulsating electro-pop masterpiece that keeps you wanting for much more Zebra Island.

FINLAND: Glue
GreymouthThe Boy
Singer and songwriter Elisa Husu founded Greymouth in the summer of 2011 to recreate her folky songs with a full band. The Boy is the first taster of this project and highlights Elisa’s beautiful voice on top of epic acoustic sounds with a marked Fleet Foxes influence.

FRANCE: Yet You’re Fired
Concrete KnivesBrand New Start
A perfect title for the first song of the year, Brand New Start is a highly enjoyable pop song, so good it’s featured in a commercial, and so fresh with its choir and upbeat sound, I would name it song of the year. Very good proof that the French indie scene is better than ever.

GERMANY: Blogpartei
ApparatAsh/Black Veil
This month we’ve got one of the most discussed German artists of last year. Apparat’s 2011 album The Devil’s Walk took the concept of Sascha Ring, the man behind the moniker, further. The soundscapes created feels like a cairn, carefully layered and poised, yet built to last; but Ring has decided to use his falsetto, which has caused controversy with reviewers. Decide for yourself if this concept works well on Ash/Black Veil. I think it does!

GREECE: Mouxlaloulouda
Hristos LainasH Thlipsi To Brady
Hristos Lainas’ first solo album, I Agapi Tha Lampsi (“Love Will Shine”) is stuffed to the brim with alluring pop melodies, drenched in skittering 12-bit samplers, filtered vocals, warm and luscious analog synths and infused with a pleasant aura of drowsiness. Lainas assembles an array of sounds and textures, adds sporadic splashes of static atmosphere and in the process creates a magnificent listening environment of rose-tinted optimism and disenchantment. H Thlipsi To Brady (“Sadness In The Night”) submerges a sense of intense feeling within its 80s fantasy electronic ether and instantly takes hold of your ears.

ICELAND: Rjóminn
ToggiLet Them Bleed
This catchy little song, taken from the Iceland king of pop’s second album Wonderful Secrets, should be the anthem for any self-respecting Occupy movement. Feeling a need to protest? Then let Toggi’s tune occupy your mind and fire you up.

INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
BelkastrelkaPujian Ekspatriat
Belkastrelka are an eccentric electronic duo who sample sounds from various sources – windows, the library, television, nature and everything else. Combined with the tiny but wild vocals of Asa Rahmana, they create feral dance music.

IRELAND: Nialler9
Collie Collins & MontoHow Does?!?
A collaboration indicative of Ireland’s growing insurgency against genre borders, Keep Her Lit is an EP which was released last year from Dublin rapper Collie Collins. Teaming up with producer Monto for four tracks of electronic-infused rap, the result is something wholly Irish yet globally progressive. It’s a free download too.

ITALY: Polaroid
EsperanzaAliante Giallo
Three skilled musicians and DJs put together a project devoted to an idea of music with no barriers. The sound ranges from chillwave to house, from trip-hop to psychedelia, and becomes a wide landscape. Featuring a collaboration with Banjo Or Freakout and released on the prestigious German label Gomma, this album works magic when the bpms slow down and the electronics becomes warmer and warmer.

JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
Praha DepartPortrait Man
Praha Depart demand attention, the Tokyo band mixing constantly morphing guitar with drum smashes to create mesmerizing tracks that reveal new sonic details with each new listen. All of those elements appear on Portrait Man, but the highlight of the song is lead singer Mai and her jittery voice. Over the course of Portrait Man, her vocals bring to mind Lydia Lunch before zigging towards a style reminiscent of Sue Tompkins of Life Without Buildings.

MALTA: Stagedive Malta
Dolls For IdolsRun
Dolls For Idols are an electronic band underpinned by indie and pop sensibilities. Their music embraces 80s-inspired synthesised sounds and the 90s rave generation, all served up with an attitude that is very much rooted in the here and now.

MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
Los MundosNi Un Segundo Más Sin Música
Los Mundos is a long-distance collaboration that perfectly speaks about musical memory and desertic solitude. The title of this lush pop-shoegaze song means “Not a second more without music”. Indeed, it’s the urgent need of a music lover: to spend all their time in a record store (how nostalgic), living their days wearing headphones with an obsession for everything that spins – very accurate for a band whose name in Spanish translates as “The Worlds”.

NETHERLANDS: Unfold Amsterdam
Hospital BombersTraditional Maori Fight Song #9
This self-proclaimed stadium-folk outfit have been in hiding for too long, sitting on a wealth of new material that they’ve struggled to shape into that ‘difficult second album’. Thankfully, this month they’ll finally release the sequel to 2008′s Footnotes – the grandly titled At Budokan. Their lovingly lo-fi folk-pop is always rougher and rawer in the live setting, but this new collection again shows them up to be masters of careful songcraft, albeit unashamedly quirky songcraft that’s emblazoned with handclaps and violins.

NORWAY: Birds Sometimes Dance
Billie VanOn My Knees
Billie Van’s music makes me reminisce back to the 50s and the 60s, when country music was good and Nancy Sinatra was the one; when rock ‘n’ roll meant four chords and terrific songs; when guitar solos were mandatory and slapback echo came from the amps. Her music is all of this – great pop songs, tearful country ballads and hip-shaking rock ‘n’ roll, but it’s also new and done in a refreshing way.

PERU: SoTB
Chico UnicornioTriángulo
Once again, it is the independent scene that gives us another interesting musical proposal. Chico Unicornio is a one-man project that combines acoustic folk sounds with a nice Andean instrument called a charango. The music that this young man makes is new to our local sound, giving it a freshness and novelty.

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
We TrustTime (Better Not Stop)
We Trust is André Tentugal’s one-man band. In 2011, Time (Better Not Stop) was one of the most-played tracks by a new independent artist on Portuguese radio. We are proud to have it here, exclusively, for download for MAP readers. You can also find it on We Trust’s debut album, These New Countries, which was released in November.

ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
CoughyPrecambrian
Coughy are an experimental duo residing in Bucharest, featuring former and current band members of The Amsterdams. Therefore it is regarded as a creative playground where everything is accepted as a form of expression without the self-censorship required when playing in a regular and quite popular indie-rock band.

RUSSIA: Big Echo
M A Y Г L E YFarfour
M A Y Г L E Y are getting ready to strike Russia’s cruel winter with an ancient God’s spell, drowned in a wall of sound. Religion, symbolism, adrenaline, isolated genres and the naked language of post-Stalin 60s influence this psychedelic shoegaze project, who have made a great record.

SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
Make SparksYour Heart’s On Fire
Scotland’s rock scene is firmly in the spotlight thanks to the wildly successful exploits of Biffy Clyro and young pretenders Twin Atlantic. For those looking for the next band to follow in their footsteps, two contenders stand out: Make Sparks and LightGuides (featured in the July 2010 edition of MAP). Catchy choruses are fitted as standard on Make Sparks, who are making all the right noises with their relentless touring and recording ethic, slick promo videos and a vivacious pop sensibility.

SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To…
Riot !n MagentaCTRL
Do androids dream of electric sheep? One thinks of such things when the contrast between the organic and inorganic meld together into a primordial blur of passion. Riot !n Magenta gently slip into the stream of your thoughts with Hayashida Ken’s dark, pulsing rhythms and Eugenia Yip’s wispful and forlorn vocal delivery. There’s tension in every stem as the words haze through: “I try to take it slow, you go faster…You need control…”. Definitely hoping to hear more from this special duo.

SOUTH AFRICA: Musical Mover & Shaker!
Jeremy LoopsThe Gypsy Opera
Jeremy Loops is not a traditional band. He creates music on the spot with his gamut of loop pedals and impromptu collaborations. With The Gypsy Opera, he brings together his delicate mix of folk, hip-hop, bluegrass funk and blues all by using his guitar, ukelele, harmonica and beatboxing skills. It is something rather magical to behold.

SOUTH KOREA: Korean Indie
Galaxy ExpressAs Time Passes, Always Been Good
Galaxy Express is one of the best rock bands in Korea and have been for quite some time. During their Wild 30 project in 2010, a 30-day quest during which they recorded a piece of music for their Wild Days album every day, they showed that they put on the best of performances, even just going to karaoke. In late 2011, Galaxy Express released split EP Naughty Boy with Korean punk pioneers Crying Nut, which contained a re-recording of the somewhat atypical but gorgeous and engaging As Time Passes, Always Been Good from those wild days. Look out for more from Galaxy Express in 2012 as they’re heading for a US tour in March and playing SXSW for the second time.

SPAIN: Musikorner
DoloresVolcán
Dolores are four, they’re from Madrid and they are certainly one of the best hopes for noise-rock made in Spain. Post-punk and shoegaze are two of the genres Dolores mix for achieving their sound (which is also spiced up with a touch of good ol’ pop and loads of energy). A good bit of that power can be heard on Volcán (“Volcano”), whose stunning rhythm will invite you to dance the hell out of yourself. And you won’t be able to refuse.

SWITZERLAND: 78s
BlanketHailey Fought The Law
Want to watch a video starring the runner-up of the figure roller-skating world championships dressed as a rabbit? Here you go. Given that Blanket’s accompanying song is a fragile and psychedelic piece of awesomeness, we obviously have a win-win situation.

TURKEY: WEARTBEAT
HaossaaHolgar Godoni
Last year, Ozan Aktuna, Enis Özbek and Tolga Güldallı, three-pieced avant garde noise band Haossaa, became legends in the indie scene of Istanbul, mostly for their extraordinary live performances. And when their debut LP came out last September, their reputation finally got crowned.

UNITED STATES: I Guess I’m Floating
Fantasy IslandAvenue
One of 2012′s more promising American groups is Fantasy Island, a Los Angeles duo responsible for a pair of intriguing, soulful jams since their formation in late 2011. They’ve got a new single out on UK label Stroll On Records and a debut album on the horizon. With a song like Avenue (and the equally fantastic Breaking A Heart) it’s hard to keep wild expectations in check… guess we’ll just have to wait and see what the rest of the year cooks up.

VENEZUELA: Música y Más
OkillsNube
Okills is a band that started in mid-2010 and fuses alternative indie-rock with other genres, resulting in some fun music. In September 2011, they released their Iniciando Transmisión EP for free via the web in a pack that includes six songs, illustrations and photos of the band.