Monday, June 29, 2009

New Music Monday: T-dot's Drake Drizzle

From Canadian television fame straight to hip-hop's rookie of the year, Drake has made quite an impact on the scene in the past year. From internet mixtapes, to tracks with Lil Wayne, and ultimately a spot with Young Money Entertainment, Drake took the fastlane to a career in hip-hop. Ultimately, this caused many to be skeptical of his talents/intentions, myself included.
Well, Aubrey Graham a.k.a. Drake lives up to expectations in his first full-length solo release. A well-paced and clever album, he lets Kanye-influenced production support his rhymes. There are some gems on this album, including a patient "Houstatlantavegas" and good version of Peter, Bjorn, and John's "Let's Call It Off", and the hot single "Best I Ever Had".
Drake will continue to grow as an artist hopefully bringing a more fluid delivery of his verses and lines that dive deeper into his potential as a rapper. Since Jay-Z declared the death of autotune (check the new video for the track here), could this be the obituary; Drake's use of the production tool is tasteful and mature. As he grows as an artist, this will be a solid foundation.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Let's Pretend It's Friday Five

The good ol' Friday Five:

This new track from Grand Archives bodes well for their forthcoming sophomore release Keep In Mind Frankenstein. Last year's The Grand Archives was one of my top albums of 2008; Frankenstein will be available September 8th.

Slightly shambolic jangle pop from Brooklyn-based Phil and the Osophers.

You've likely heard of YACHT already. This is one of my favourite songs of this summer.

Another cut from the fantastic new album Family. Think About Life are from Montreal and deliver some of the best live performances I've ever seen. They won't be a jealously guarded Canadian secret for much longer.

Grizzly Bear's Veckatamest is a shoo-in for inclusion in many a 2009 best album list.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday Find

Here's a small tribute to a legend. Life was hard on him, and the weird years outnumbered the sane ones. But nonetheless, he was a genius and will be missed. Cheers MJ.

Now, for something awesome and completely different, albeit still animated:

Eugene McGuinness, circa 2007. How had I never seen this??

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Feathered Friends

Fans of quirky, catchy indie rock will be pleased to hear that after a 3-year hiatus Montreal's The Lovely Feathers have released their second LP. Recorded with Dan Lagace (Dears, Stars, Death From Above) Fantasy of the Lot contains all the charm and energetic zeal of the band's previous releases, and then some. Alternating between straight-up, insanely hook-laden if slightly eccentric synth pop ('Lowiza', 'Long Walks') and sweet melancholy ('Gifted Donald', 'Fantasy of the Lot') Fantasy is already a strong contender for a place in my top 10 albums at the end of this year.
Canadian iTunes users have been able to purchase the album since June 2nd but our yankee friends will have to wait until August 18th. I'm not sure why. There's a way to circumvent the system, though. Anyone, anywhere with a PayPal account can pick this gem up for $10 Canadian via the band's own website.

The Lovely Feathers playing 'In the Valley' at Toronto's Horseshoe Tavern earlier this month:

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Spencer Krug's True Calling: Sunset Rubdown

The spastic opening riff off Sunset Rubdown's Random Spirit Lover will forever be one of the greatest album intros. That, coupled with the deeply experimental-pop that Spencer Krug conjures in every track has cemented Sunset Rubdown as one of my favourite groups.
Needless to say, anticipation built as the release of Dragonslayer approached. One of his many projects, Krug truly comes to life in Sunset Rubdown. In this collection of tracks, Krug's presence is nothing short of monumental. Easing patiently into the crescendo of this album with tracks like "Silver Moons" and "Apollo and the Buffalo and Anna Anna Anna Ohh!", Sunset Rubdown have crafted a fine balance between the obscure and beautiful. Fine contrast to those are the tracks "Idiot Heart" and "You Go On Ahead (Trumpet Trumpet II) that chug through verses without restraint and launch into anthemic choruses. When the album wraps-up, you'll want it all over again.
Sunset Rubdown's Dragonslayer is triumphant in its candidacy for album of the year. The most satisfying part of this album is Krug's obvious creative freedom and his ability to command each track without diluting any aspect of the record.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Music for Distracted Drivers Everywhere

As seen in Poole Park, Dorset.

First post in a while, I've been globetrotting since mid January. Saw Handsome Furs in Frankfurt, Soulwax's 2 Many DJs in Manchester, dreadful Chicks on Speed set at Fabric in London, and some South Indian men playing traditional song to hippies and yuppies alike on the beaches of the Arabian Sea. Neato.

Here are some songs that have had more play riding the rails in India and Europe. They won't do shit for your parking ability.

Black Lips feat. GZA - The Drop I Hold
Glasser - Glad (Dolorean Remix)
Bag Raiders - Shooting Stars
Phosphorescent - Wolves
Damn Arms - Destination Pt. II
Lower Heaven - Knife
Simian Mobile Disco feat. Chris Keating (Yeasayer) - Audacity of Huge
(Amazingly random lyrics - Bill Murray and Peter Tosh namechecked??)


Monday, June 15, 2009

New Music Monday: We Were Promised Jetpacks

Ever since hearing the gritty track "Quiet Little Voices", many of us at BTA have been anxiously awaiting the release of Glasgow's WWPJ's full length, These Four Walls. Now that it's here, I've been listening to it non-stop. It's brit-rock with an edge, something that's been lacking in the mainstream for a while. Aside from having one of the most creative band names out there, these guys fill a void that many bands couldn't fill. The tracks are empassioned and blunt, without being brash. Melodic rock that was slaughtered by the emergence of "nu-metal" makes a strong return with WWPJ.
The album's holistic goodness only increases this bands appeal. Standout tracks include the aforementioned "Quiet Little Voices" and "Thunder and Lightning". Looking forward to seeing these guys on tour in the future.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Guilty Pleasures

With a distinct lack of time to explore our usual undercurrent of new musical discoveries, here are a few of the best tracks on rotation on UK radio stations at the moment:

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Think About Life

Several BTA contributors have been anticipating Montreal's Think About Life's follow-up to their erratic infectious self-titled release.
May 26th TAL released Family.  With the success of Graham's Miracle Fortress, I was curious as to what Family would sound like.  The result is more aesthetically pleasing; an intriguing mix of dance/soul/hip-hop samples and Martin's satisfyingly less-aggressive vocals (the man can sing!).  Inviting the use of melodies, TAL have matured into crafting songs instead of performance pieces.
Having seen the majority of these tracks performed live, it's evident that there is an element of performance in everything these guys produce.  You will never fully understand TAL until you've experienced them live. 
Still the best live act I ever seen!
Listen to the whole album here

Monday, June 01, 2009

New Music Monday: The Sounds

The Sounds are known for gigantic guitars amplified by synths and danceable beats.  The new album, Crossing the Rubicon was crafted on these foundations, dare I say, taken up a notch.  There's no getting around it, this group is solid and I always look forward to a new release.  whether you've enjoyed The Sounds in the past or just discovering them, you'll love this.