The Decemberists – Always The Bridesmaid | Insound Vinyl | from the band Vinyl and more | at indie record stores
This album was released digitally as a complete EP. The band also delivered it on vinyl as three 12”s. In classic Decemberists style, these music ranges from the chamber folk of “Valerie Plame” to the stripped down acoustic splendor of “Raincoat Song,” while the melodies gallivant from sing-songy to indelible.
Herman Dune – 1-2-3 / Apple Tree | Amazon CD or MP3 | Insound CD
Download “Song for Golda” (mp3)
This EP includes 3 tracks from the French duo’s 2006 album, Giant, and two unreleased songs. All five songs are upbeat, anti-folk songs with alluring arrangements. The title track is a kitschily catchy love song. “Song for Golda,” one of the two new songs, is an endearing digression about the singer’s dog. The other new one, “Song of Samuel” is a heartwarming love story filled with realism and obstacles within less than 6 minutes.
Todd Snider – Peace Queer | Amazon CD, Vinyl, or MP3 | Insound CD
This album expressly narrates Snider’s principles as an International Peace Queer in 8 tracks. The first song, “Mission Accomplished (Because You Gotta Have Faith)” rhetorically asks and answers, “Fighting for peace? That’s like screaming for quiet.” He covers dreams and realities with the wit and viewpoint that make his songs intriguing and refreshing. As he states at the end of “Ponce of the Flaming Peace Queer,” “I did not do this to change your mind about anything. I did this to ease my own mind about everything.”
Miracles Of Modern Science – Miracles Of Modern Science
FREE download from Amazing Wow
Download “MR2” (mp3)
This is the debut release for Miracles of Modern Science and is available as a free download from the Amazing Wow label. The band consists of an upright bass, 2 cellos, violin, mandolin, and drums. This is a true chamber pop band that has the capability of duplicating their studio ensemble sound in a live setting. The 20 minutes of this debut EP are beguiling and nonpareil.
The Mountain Goats – Satanic Messiah
Download (and donate/pay what you want) at http://satanicmessiah.com
This EP contains 4 tracks that John Darnielle recorded with Scott Solter. The main instrument is an acoustic piano, but Darnielle’s rhythmic acoustic guitar playing has its place. The subjects on these songs are waiting – waiting for a savior, waiting for a rock concert, waiting. As is always the case with The Mountain Goats, the lyrics are intelligent and the music is captivating.
The Mighty Underdogs – The Prelude | Amazon CD or MP3 | Insound CD or MP3
Download “Gunfight” (mp3)
As a prelude to the full length album, Dropping Science Fiction, Gift of Gab, Lateef the Truth Speaker, and Headnodic lay down some of the tightest and diverse beats. The hip hop shows influences of soul, dance, and jazz. The raps are creative and intelligent. This EP is infectious.
Wussy – Rigor Mortis | Amazon CD | Shake It Records CD
Download “Rigor Mortis” (mp3)
This Cincinnati indie band put together a stellar collection for a short playing album. The title track is the single from 2007’s Left for Dead. They’ve added three unreleased songs and three songs recorded live at WOXY.com. As with their previous releases, this EP makes layers of sound undulate into an appealing creation.
The Childballads – Cheekbone Hollows (Pop. 1/2 Life) | Amazon CD or MP3 | Insound CD or MP3
Download “Cheekbone Hollows” (mp3)
Download “Laughter From The Rafters” (mp3)
Stewart Lupton once was the front man of Fire*Eater. When that band broke up ten years ago, three of its members formed The Walkmen. Lupton, however, was not heard of musically until this enamoring EP. With acoustic guitar, organ, glissando-style vocals, and roomy drums, it has a rocking alt country feel with full sound – like ‘70s style Stones.
…And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead – Festival Thyme | Amazon Vinyl or MP3 | Insound CD
These 4 songs clock in at 20 minutes – and one of the tracks was edited from the forthcoming full length album. Like, Trail of Dead’s previous albums, this EP has big, bombastic indie rock. With digital and vinyl releases (which alternate 1 different track on each), this EP is a good teaser of what’s to come in February.
Avett Brothers – The Second Gleam | Amazon CD Vinyl MP3 | Insound CD or Vinyl
Download “Murder in the City” (mp3)
The acoustic and minimal arrangements on this album are deceptively simple. While a banjo supports the first track, most of these songs consist of simple acoustic guitar and the brothers’ harmonies. With the stripped back production, this is an endearing and moving collection of tunes.
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