Finding New Music

Finding new music to listen to isn’t always easy.  As I’ve mentioned before, commercial stations tend to have a set rotation so we hear the same core songs over the course of a few months, with maybe a new track popping up every now and again.  But it’s rare for that new addition to the playlist to immediately get a lot of play right away.

In a way, the same can be said for listening to college radio.  While those stations often don’t have the set rotation setup, they can also be a bit too leftfield, playing nothing but obscurities and outsider music.  It’s fun to listen to if you like that sort of thing, but that sort of stuff doesn’t really resonate with me.

I tend to go somewhere in between; I’ll listen to college radio for part of the day (my home station lately has been Boston College’s WZBC, though I’ll slip over to my other favorite, Santa Clara University’s KSCU, later on), but then I might switch over to Boston’s RadioBDC or one of the SiriusXM stations.  Somewhere during all that listening, I’ll catch a new song that will catch my attention.

I’ll also stop by some of the websites that are streaming new albums.  NPR features an interesting selection, as do a few others.  I’ll also check out albums that I can stream through Amazon Prime (one of the main reasons I signed up for it, actually); I actually use that site extensively on New Release Fridays to check out the new stuff and decide if I want to explore the bands further or not.

Interestingly, I’ve found some favorites via social media as well.  Sometimes a random band will follow me, and I’ll always give them a quick listen and follow back if I’m interested. This is always fun, because these bands and musicians tend to be more low key yet absolutely fantastic. I’ve picked up a number of albums from bands this way.

Here’s a few of my favorite finds over the past year:

FiFi Rong (followed me on Twitter)

Of Verona (followed me on Twitter)

The DROiDS (followed me on Twitter)

Pia Fraus (suggested by AllMusic.com)

Cosima (suggested by Stereogum and The Line of Best Fit)

 

Cymbals (suggested by AllMusic.com)

Gang of Youths (heard on WZBC)

Recent Purchases, May Edition

More tasty tunage from what’s turning out to be a really good year for music!

LCD Soundsystem, “Call the Police”/”American Dream” single, released 5 May. I’m not the biggest LCD fan…they’d have been a band I’d have taped off the radio but probably wouldn’t have actively looked for, back in the day. I do like this b-side, which has a very early-80s-synth feel to it.

The Afghan Whigs, In Spades, released 5 May. They’re a bit of an odd band that uses tension well in their music, which is one of the reasons I like them.

The Primitives, New Thrills EP, released 5 May. First of many blasts from the past this month! Always loved this band’s bubblegummy alt-pop.

Blondie, Pollinator, released 5 May. Second blast! A welcome return, sounding quite like their late-70s/early-80s dance-punk.

Slowdive, Slowdive, released 5 May. Third blast! And HOT DAMN is this a gorgeous album. I expect all you shoegaze fans have to already have this in your collection.

Day Wave, The Days We Had, released 5 May. As you can tell, the beginning of May had one hell of a great list of releases. Perky, twitchy, echoey alt-rock similar to Two Door Cinema Club and the like.

The Darling Buds, Evergreen EP, released 12 May. Fourth blast! One of my favorite ealry-Britpop bands from 1989, returning with a new EP that sounds as just as fresh as their previous catalog.

Overlake, Fall, released 12 May. One of those bands I’d never heard of but given a great review on one of the music blogs, I checked it out and deemed it quite excellent. It’s been part of my Lidwells playlist lately.

White Sea, Tropical Odds, released 12 May. Morgan Kibby, under her band name, popped up not only on recent M83 tracks but duetted with Big Data. Her second release is beautiful, moody and fascinating.

The Charlatans UK, Different Days, 26 May. It’s been how many years since Some Friendly…? And they’re still going strong. A mellower affair than previous albums, but still strong and fantastic.

The Beatles, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Deluxe Edition, released 26 May. Well, DUH. Of course I’m playing the hell out of this lately!!

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Stay tuned for the June releases, which should contain the following:

Saint Etienne, Home Counties
Ani DiFranco, Binary
Panda Riot, Infinity Maps
Alison Moyet, Other
Cheap Trick, We’re All Alright!
Fleet Foxes, Crack-Up
Ride, Weather Diaries (!!!!)
Prince & the Revolution, Purple Rain Deluxe Edition
Radiohead, OK Computer: OKNOTOK 1997 2017

…and more that I haven’t been aware of! 😀

Let’s hear some music

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I’m worried that I’ve run out of things to listen to.

Well, that’s not entirely true.  It’s more that I’ve been listening to too much of the same thing lately, added to the fact that I haven’t been too entirely excited by the recent releases this month.  Sure, there are a few big names, but I’m not at the OMG I MUST DOWNLOAD THIS NOW UPON PAIN OF DEATH like I normally would with some albums.

Meh, it’s been an off-month, is all.

I mean, Sirius XM just started a new official Beatles channel and their playlist is quite brilliant (not just the canon discography, but solo works, covers by other groups, and songs that inspired the band).  They even sneaked in the 2017 stereo remix of “A Day in the Life” from the new Sgt Pepper deluxe release that’s coming out on Friday (yes, I ordered it as soon news about it dropped, and yes, I’ve been twitching all week to get it into my grubby paws).  From what I’m hearing, the new remix of the album is quite lovely indeed.

Still…I need a change.

NETIZENS!  Suggest some tunage for me!  Anything, any genre, any age.  My palate is wide and I want to check out stuff I haven’t heard before.

What are you listening to?  What albums are you freaking out about?  What’s your latest obsession that you want me to get in on?  Tell me in the comments! 😀

 

Recent Purchases, April Edition

April is always an odd month musically — it’s the start of Q2 but a lot of the biggest releases won’t be coming out until the end of May or mid-June.  Still, a lot of great stuff that came out this past month that’s getting a lot of play on my player (when I’m not listening to 90s stuff for my writing)!

K Flay, Every Where Is Some Where (released 7 April)

Future Islands, The Far Field (released 7 April)

The New Pornographers, Whiteout Conditions (released 7 April)

Incubus, 8 (released 21 April)

Charly Bliss, Guppy (released 21 April)

Maximo Park, Risk to Exist (released 21 April)

Sylvan Esso, What Now (released 28 April)

…and of course, the long-awaited and welcome return of…

Gorillaz, Humanz (released 28 April)

Coming up for May:

–Slowdive, Slowdive (!!)
–Day Wave, The Days We Had
–Linkin Park, One More Light
–New Order, NOMC15
The Beatles, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band remix/reissue

…and I’m sure there will be a lot more on that list by the end of the month! 🙂

Recent Music Purchases, March Edition

D’OH!  Forgot to do one of these last month, so here you go.  I’ll have April’s up in a few weeks.

This year is continuing to surprise and delight me with some absolutely solid albums.  A lot of new albums by old favorites, and numerous releases by bands I hadn’t heard of previously.  I’m looking forward to more of this!

Minus the Bear, Voids (released 3 March).  I’ve been hitting this one hard lately…they kind of remind me of Shearwater, with the odd melodies that somehow fit together perfectly.  LOVE this album.

Bush, Black and White Rainbows (released 10 March).  Glad to see them having a second life with a consistent run of excellent new albums.

The Creation, Action Painting (released 17 March).  A fascinating garage band from the UK, this one packages their single 60s album (We Are Paintermen) and the singles from the same era.  They were influential to a hell of a lot of UK musicians, from Jimmy Page to Paul Weller.  [And yes, the UK record label was named after them.]

Spoon, Hot Thoughts (released 17 March).  Probably my favorite Spoon album since Kill the Moonlight back in ’02.  It’s weird, heavy, and there’s a hell of a lot of funk going on as well.

Lloyd Cole, In New York (Collected Recordings 1988-1996) (released 17 March).  A lovely counterpoint to the box set he released for his Commotions work, this contains his first five albums plus an album of demos.  An exellent and underrated songwriter.

Depeche Mode, Spirit (released 17 March).  A return to the darker and more electronic DM.  I’d say this is on par with Ultra, with its heavier, angrier sound.

The Jesus and Mary Chain, Damage and Joy (released 24 March).  Wait, this is 2017, not 1987, right?  Seriously, though…it’s a welcome return.  It sounds a lot like their mid-era sound, very similar to Honey’s Dead, but that’s definitely a good thing.

Jamiroquai, Automaton (released 31 March).  Jay Kay still has the funk, and he doesn’t skimp on it here.  I often find myself listening to this in the afternoon as a lift-me-up.

Wire, Silver/Lead (released 31 March).  What can I say?  I will buy anything and everything by this band.  They’ve never let me down once.

Recent Music Purchases, February Edition

I’m quite enjoying how 2017 is panning out musically so far.  There’s some really solid tunage being released, and even more to come in the next few months.  Looking forward to it!  In the meantime, here’s some more stuff that’s been getting lots of play on my PC lately, hope you enjoy!

Spoon, “Hot Thoughts” single, released 20 January (album coming 17 March).

Arcade Fire, “I Give You Power” single (feat. Mavis Staples), released 20 January

The New Pornographers, “High Ticket Attractions” single, released 27 January (album coming 7 April)

Japandroids, “Near to the Wild Heart of Life” from the album of the same name, released 27 January

Big Wreck, “One Good Piece of Me” from Grace Street, released 3 February

Porcelain Raft, “Big Sur” from Microclimate, released 3 February (I am hella obsessed over this album at the moment…)

Dutch Uncles, “Big Balloon” from the album of the same name, released 17 February

The Verve Pipe, “Cup of Tea” from Villains – Live and Acoustic, released 17 February (really, go get this or the original, it’s a phenomenal record)

New Sounds: Cosima

I love finding a new musician to latch onto.  Sometimes it’ll be a track that I’ve heard on the radio station I’m listening to.  Other times it’ll be a featured artist at a music blog.  And yes, sometimes it’ll even be a band that randomly started following me on Twitter.

It was an article from September in the music blog The Line of Best Fit that introduced me to Cosima, a singer from the UK whose songs are haunting but lovely in that Cocteau Twins-meets-Massive Attack sort of way.  I keep coming back to them, wanting to hear them again.

She’s just getting started — she’s only got a few singles and an EP out right now — but I highly recommend picking it all up, because it’s all phenomenal stuff.  Her new track “To Build a House” is her best yet.

Go and check out her music.  Highly recommended.