Modest Mouse – No One’s First, and You’re Next | CD CDMP3
Download “Satellite Skin” (mp3)
The 8 songs on this EP are oddments from Modest Mouse’s previous two albums, Good News for People Who Like Bad News and We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank. While these songs might have seemed out of place on those long-players, they jounce together into a solid but diverse EP. From the banjo driven tracks to guitar abstraction to Modest Mouse’s pop style, it includes a few of 2009’s best songs from short-players.
Evening Magazine – The Ride Across Lake Constance | MP3
Download “Apple Eye” (mp3)
Download “Eddie” (mp3)
Each of the five chamber pop songs on this debut EP are infectiously delicious. The overlaid instruments – horns, keyboards, guitars, drums – make the music sound large, but the penetrating production gives it an inherent intimacy.
Andy Wagner – Those Who Forgive | FREE download of entire album from Rock Proper
Download “Sending My Love” (mp3)
Those Who Forgive is an alt country album recorded at the late Jay Bennett’s Pieholden Suite Sound studio and is rooted in acoustic guitar, piano, and harmonica. So, yes, it has a sound similar to the better days of Wilco. But these dulcet songs, which are available for free download from Rock Proper, are more reminiscent of Jay Farrar, Ryan Adams, or Bob Dylan.
Common Market – The Winter’s End | MP3
Download “Escaping Arkham” (mp3)
This digital-only EP, their follow-up to Tobacco Road, is refreshing and palpable. Sabzi, the DJ half of this duo, stayed away from loops. He creates procurable compositions tracts of synthesized sounds. Overtop of those musical accompaniments, RA Scion streams personal and civil raps.
Blitzen Trapper – Black River Killer | CD Vinyl MP3
Download “Black River Killer” (mp3)
By far, the title track to this EP, which was originally on Furr, is the best song of this group. The additional six short songs, which were only previously available on a CDR at Blitzen Trapper’s shows, maintain the band’s unique folk rock sonorousness with Eric Earley’s vocals at the forefront.
First Aid Kit – Drunken TreesCD MP3
Download “You’re Not Coming Home Tonight” (mp3)
Johanna and Klara Söderberg are sisters from Enskede, Sweden. They sing sylvan-styled folk songs under the name First Aid Kit. Their acoustic music is earnest and engaging, but their vocals carry this debut album.
Golden Bear – Everest | CD MP3
Download “Future Blues” (mp3)
Download “Night Lights” (mp3)
This batch of indie power pop is warm yet frenetic. There is an energetic presentation of electric guitars and synths. Like the fur sleeve enveloping the handmade CDR version of this EP, the songs are fuzzy and distinct.
Death Cab for Cutie – The Open Door | CD Vinyl MP3
Download “My Mirror Speaks” (mp3)
This little collection of four outtakes and one demo was actually nominated for a Grammy for Best Alternative Album, which probably says more about the Grammies than the album. But these 5 songs are upbeat. The EP consistently flows through the Ben Gibbard’s guitar-driven songs.
Photons – Glory! | CD MP3
Download “Where Were You Last Night” (mp3)
This San Francisco octet includes bassoon, clarinet, and glockenspiel in its layers of chamber pop. The four orchestrated rock songs are lusciously resplendent. The ambrosial qualities of this album are scrumptious ear candy.
The Octopus Project – Golden Beds | CD MP3
Download “Wet Gold” (mp3)
This diversely expansive album may be an EP of audio tracks, but has a lot squeezed into its small package. The 5 songs are mostly reworkings of previous songs or outtakes. Some songs are driven by guitar, others by keyboards or Theremin. The palette of instruments and sounds tastefully assail from all locations. And as an added bonus, the enhanced CD also includes 7 videos.