Category: Folk

New Tracks! Riveting Argentine Folktronica: Juana Molina

Juana MolinaJuana Molina is no stranger to the public eye. In the late 80s, she started her career as a famous comedic actress in Argentina. A decade later, Molina pursued music full-time. As Ian Cohen stated on Pitchfork, “…over the span of three albums she became the first comedian ever to successfully lose the jokes and become a “serious” musician while keeping her sense of humor.”

It’s been five years since Juana Molina‘s last album but her electronic folk, captivating vocals, and insane guitar and percussion combinations are still as riveting and magnetic as ever. Yes, her songs are sung in Spanish, but even if you don’t speak the language, it doesn’t matter, as the experimental music is magical all on its own.

Have a listen to “Sin Guia No” and “Eras,” two new singles found on Juana Molina‘s forthcoming album “Wed 21,” due out October 29th via Crammed Discs.

Juana Molina – Sin Guia No

Juana Molina – Eras

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Music or Misery? Listen to New: Clare Maguire, Haim, Rudimental, Judson Claiborne & GEMS

Clare Maguire

Clare Maguire

What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?- High Fidelity

Clare Maguire, the young British singer-songwriter with a voice reminiscent of Stevie Nicks has released a new single, “Paper Thin.” It’s a brooding, somber, soulful and beautiful gem laced with keys and Maguire’s delicate, enchanting sound – An excellent track if your misery needs company:

Clare Maguire – Paper Thin

The LA-based sisters that make up Haim have done it again – Released yet another ridiculously catchy pop song you just can’t hate. I’m still debating what the lyrics actually mean. Did she cheat on him? Regardless, the “new” single (the track has been around for a while, but they finally created a fine-tuned studio version) is already blowing up blogosphere, and it’s well-deserving. the The trio have yet to release a full-length album, but each new single creates even more hype than the last. Enjoy:

Haim – The Wire

UK dance quartet Rudimental has been giving electro-pop brothers, Disclosure a healthy dose of competition. The group released their album, Home in the UK earlier this year and it’ll soon be hitting US streets in August via Big Beat Records. According to BrooklynVegan, Rudimental has collaborated with “choice vocalists like Sinead Harnett, and even more interestingly, Angel Haze, they’ve also got a track with Internet Explorer commercial soundtracking dude Alex Clare,” and of course Ella Eyre as heard below in the upbeat and infectious track, “Waiting All Night.” Have a listen …and tell me that you want me:

Rudimental – Waiting All Night ft. Ella Eyre

Judson Claiborne is an indie-rock-pop-folk band hailing from Chicago. They’ve been compared to Beck, Rufus Wainwright, and on last.fm someone tagged their music: “makes good goddamn hibiscus rose hip tea.” So, you know, it’s gotta be good. “Neo-Pagan Lovesong” is a romantic new number that can be found on their recently released LP, We have Not Doors You Need Not Keys.

Judson Claiborne – Neo-Pagan Lovesong

GEMS, the Washington D.C. based couple who’ve been taking the dream-pop spotlight by storm (and filling the hole in your heart you have reserved for ‘old’ Beach House sounds) has released yet another “gem.” “Sinking Stone” is a dreamy and nostalgic track, one in which front woman Lindsay Pitts delicately and somberly coos the chorus, “Could you ever love me again? I need to know…” successfully crushing your heart.

GEMS – Sinking Stone

Friends Don’t Let Friends Have Music Slumps! – Listen to NEW: Mortar and Pestle + Shortcircles + Hospital Ships

Mortar and Pestle

Mortar and Pestle

Music slumps are serious business. Only the freshest, synth-tastic, moving and/or funkiest of sweet sounds can dig you out of the black pit of despair that comes with a lack of enthusiasm for any new music out there. Friends don’t let friends get stuck in music slumps. This is why I’m ever so grateful for friends (or lovers – Oooh la la) who’ve passed along the following gems that’ll cure the the most lonely, stagnant and discouranging of music slumps:

Mortar and Pestle is an “avant pop” trio from Oakland, California who exude funk and bring deliciously sweet synth and dark beats to life on stage. The near-and-dear to my heart musician/audio producer/engineer, Bryan Lovett was mixing Mortar & Pestle at San Francisco Magazine’s 2013 “Best of the Bay” party when he sent me their details and exclaimed, “Think you’d really dig ’em!” And just a few days later to our pleasant surprise, Mortar & Pestle opened for Prince Rama, the electrotastic, weird, wild & whacky sister duo from Brooklyn. Both bands put on ridiculously fun and energetic shows, and I danced harder than I have in a long time – Way to bring it! We snatched up Mortar & Pestle‘s recently released and self-titled debut which can easily and obsessively be repeated. Find Mortar & Pestle on Facebook, Bandcamp, and/or Soundcloud.

Prince Rama also debuted their musical masterpiece of a film (that was created thanks to Kickstarter) featuring songs from their album, Top Ten Hits of the End of the World – It’ll leave you thinking, “Am I on drugs right now, or are they?” Both bands are a must-see live, especially if you’re in the pits of musical apathy.

Mortar and Pestle – U.V.

Mortar and Pestle – Pristine Dream

Shortcircles is the electro-pop project of Oakland, California-based (way to represent East Bay) producer, Matt Tammariello. Lovely friends and music aficionados at Professional Fans recently held one of their up-and-coming new music showcases here in San Francisco featuring Shortcircles and I was instantly hooked. Luckily for us, Shortcircles released his sophomore album, Between Waves (via Plug Research Records) for our listening pleasure. Enjoy:

Shortcircles – All I Can Be for You

Hospital Ships is a Lawrence, Kansas-based indie-folk-pop group and “bedroom project” of Jordan Geiger. I heard Hospital Ship‘s hauntingly addictive jam, “Remaining Light” on friend, music writer and radio host, Anthony Carew’s weekly two hour Melbourne, Australia-based radio program, International Pop Underground – An amazing source of ecclectic music discovery. Their latest LP, Destruction in Yr Soul was released June 18th via Graveface Records. Have a listen for some all-Americana jams – perfect timing for USA’s Independence Day:

Hospital Ships – Remaining Light

Hospital Ships – If It Speaks

Introducing Copenhagen Project: Indians

IndiansIndians is the moniker of Copenhagen-hailing, Søren Løkke Juul. Having just played his/their first show almost a year ago, the band has already impressively performed a whirlwind tour with Bear in Heaven, Lower Dens, Beirut, the CMJ music marathon in Brooklyn, and more. In continuance of their success, Indians has just signed with 4AD, will release their debut album, Somewhere Else, out January 28/29th, and will embark on a full-blown 38 show North American tour with Other Lives.

As a right of passage with the 4AD family, Indians has created an interesting and beautiful “4AD Session” set on Osea Island, a small island in the estuary of the Blackwater in Essex. The session filmed in an entire day, starts with “I Am Haunted,” continues with one of my faves, “Magic Kids,” and ends with “New.” According to 4AD, “With the intention to capture the sense of air and atmosphere in the music, each track was recorded in a different location, moving the band and cameras in order to introduce a new element that reflected the change in song…While still flecked with the surreal ambience of Søren’s air-tight compositions, the full-band performance adds a foreboding sense of wonder that provides a fitting introduction into Indians’ very own natural world.”

Watch Indians‘ 4AD Session, have a listen to “Magic Kids,” and download “I Am Haunted,” as well as Indians’ very first guitar song, “Cakelakers.”

Indians – Magic Kids

Indians – 4AD Session:

Jams as Smooth as Buttah feat. Youan + ON AN ON + Tomas Barfod + S O H N

YouanI’ve been posting like a mad woman as of late, but there have been so many amazing music discoveries, new bands and smooth jams, that it simply can’t be contained. PLUS, I’ll be out of town next week, so I’m stockpiling you with goodies to hold you over until then. The theme of this week is ‘smooth as buttah’ featuring 4 soulful bands/producers with even smoother jams that have soothed, grooved and gladly intruded their way into my ears and brain waves.

Youan is an up-and-coming 22 year-old UK producer behind seriously exquisite dream-pop house music. Know Your Name is a beauty of a jam filled with warm, romantic vocals and synthy hues. Blast this jam through your ear buds at work, on an early-morning commute, or wind down to it at night; It cancels out clutter that constantly filters through our minds at all times. Youan recently created and debuted a downloadable 8-track mixtape, Let’s Slow Things Down to Sixty Seconds an Hour (featuring Know Your Name) on his Tumblr… or, you can stream it on Soundcloud.

Youan – Know Your Name

ON AN ON is a triangle of Chicago-based band members who were left down and out when members of their former band, Scattered Trees, flew the coop. Because the show must go on ‘an on,’ and the band still had studio time scheduled, the trio banded together, changed names, recorded with Dave Newfeld (Broken Social Scene, Los Campesinos!) and the indie rock band was born. Good things do come from getting dumped. Their debut album, Give In is due in January and Ghosts is their beautiful and powerful debut jam. Can’t wait to hear more.

ON AN ON – Ghosts


Tomas Barfod is a Danish producer, more well-known for his drumming career with WhoMadeWho. Going solo, Barfod released an LP, Salton Seathis spring and the electro-pop jam, November Skies (featuring Swedish vocalist, Nina Kinert), is arguably  the most addicting of the lot:

Tomas Barford – November Skies feat. Nina Kinert

S O H N is a Vienna-via-London, (yet another) up-and-coming producer who will be debuting his album and jam, The Wheel, in November. The Wheel is a trippy beat with smooth, soulful vocals that leaves you eager for more:

S O H N – T H E  WH E E L