Spiritualized, a neo-psychedelic outfit with Jason Pierce (a.k.a. J. Spaceman) at its center, formed out of the ashes of Pierce's previous group, Spaceman 3. The newer band's seven albums of panoramic space-rock are deeply influenced by soul, gospel and all things Velvet Underground.
Warning: This post, about a song by Balthrop, Alabama (a 10-piece Brooklyn band, not a extremely musical township), includes numerous instances of coordinated jazz hands and chorus line kicks. The band's new song "You've Gotta Be Gay," is filled with theatrical sounds from all different places and times: stomps, grunts and rattles from a 1930s chain gang, a tinny player-piano from an old-timey saloon and an accordion out of every stereotypical Parisian boulevard scene.
Husband and wife, singing and playing together. Each deft instrumentalists, they’ve spent years playing in others’ bands before coming together as a unit. They’re bound by music and an uncommon depth of companionship, they’re good enough to make Steve Earle swoon, and all of that sounds quite nice.
The Polyphonic Spree is exactly what its name suggests: a chorus of voices with little restraint. The group is led by Tim DeLaughter and, though the line-up changes constantly, it typically involves some 20-odd individuals who provide talents from singing to piccolo. The Polyphonic Spree came about after DeLaughter's previous band, Tripping Daisy, broke up following member Wes Berggren's death in 1999.
French singer, multi-instrumentalist and film composer Yann Tiersen isn't massively well-known, but he did craft the score for the beloved 2001 film Amelie, about which virtually everything is held in massively high regard. Since then, Tiersen has built a name for himself as a solo artist who gently stretches the boundaries of pop music.
Jessica Dobson plays guitar in the newest incarnation of The Shins, James Mercer's well-known outlet for supremely precious, sweetly self-effacing indie-pop. With her band Deep Sea Diver and its first album History Speaks, Dobson assembles a complex, precisely arranged and lyrically pensive suite of songs about heartbreak and yearning. The result is no less fun or toe-tappable than the product of her more famous day job, but it also achieves tremendous density and depth in its own right.
Maybe YACHT wouldn't be that sad if the complete and total annihilation of the human race happened tomorrow. The video for their song "Beam Me Up," off their recent album Shangri-La, finds the band playing around with the upsides of doomsday in a laser tag arena. Think of a future where cyber-soldiers fight each other in the smouldering metallic ruins of society, except with children shooting fake lasers.
How does a former punk rocker raised on an Oklahoma cattle ranch end up sounding like a classic rockabilly singer? JD McPherson found his groove in the style of 1950s rhythm and blues, rock and rockabilly. To help create that vintage sound on his debut album, Signs and Signifers, he used vintage mics, old amplifiers and a Berlant reel-to-reel recorder from the '60s — all analog. McPherson's love for this classic sound all goes back to a record store in McAlester, Okla.
Zeus' music sounds as if it's being beamed straight out of the '70s, but a shared interest in making music that recalls The Band isn't what brought the Canadian group together. Most of Zeus' members were brought into Jason Collett's backing band, and from there decided to play together outside of their work with Collett.