Rock

Featured Album Fridays / Built By Snow – Mega (2009)

This week on Featured Album Fridays, the 2009 album from Built By Snow – Mega.

Here is the description of Built By Snow from their Last.FM:

Catchy keyboard rock with an explosion of velcro melodies and magnetic pop hooks that hit your brain like an Atari blasting out of a bazooka.

Short and sweet! This album is very poppy and I love that, give it a listen with the stream below. Enjoy!

Featured Album Fridays / Top 10 of 2009

With 2009 wrapping up, I figured now would be a good time to highlight and feature some of my favourite albums that I had featured on Featured Album Fridays. (Man, I use the word “feature” a lot.)

Anyhow, here is a quick and dirty list of my top 10 favourite Featured Album Fridays albums of 2009:

10. John Vanderslice – Romanian Names

Published: March 27, 2009
Favourite Songs: D.I.A.L.O., Too Much Time, Oblivion

John Vanderslice - Romanian Names

9. Great Northern – Remind Me Where The Light Is

Published: April 24, 2009
Favourite Songs: Snakes, Mountain, Numbers

Great Northern - Remind Me Where The Light Is


8. The Rural Alberta Advantage – Hometowns

Published: October 9, 2009
Favourite Songs: The Ballad of the RAA, Frank AB, The Air

The Rural Alberta Advantage - Hometowns

7. Everything All The Time – Everything All The Time

Published: July 3, 2009
Favourite Songs: The Only One You Love Is You, Lazy Days, Take Stock, Slowly Drowning

Everything All The Time - Everything All The Time


6. Grammatics – Grammatics

Published: June 5, 2009
Favourite Songs: Relentless Fours, Polar Swelling, Inkjet Lakes, Rosa Flood

Grammatics - Grammatics

5. Sarah Blasko – As Day Follows Night

Published: December 18, 2009
Favourite Songs: Down on Love, Hold On My Heart, Sleeper Awake, Over & Over, I Never Knew

Sarah Blasko - As Day Follows Night

4. Other Lives – Other Lives

Published: May 22, 2009
Favourite Songs: Speed Tape, Don’t Let Them, End of the Year, How Could This Be?, Epic

Other Lives - Other Lives

3. The Coast – Expatriate

Published: August 7, 2009
Favourite Songs: Nueva York, No Secret Why, Floodlights, Killing of Our Friends, Ceremony Guns, Pay Me The Apostle

00 Expatriate


2. The Most Serene Republic – …And The Ever Expanding Universe

Published: June 19, 2009
Favourite Songs: Bubble Reputation, Heavens to Purgatory, Phi, The Old Forever New Things, Patternicity, Four Humours, No One Likes a Nihilist

The Most Serene Republic - ...And the Ever Expanding Universe

1. As Tall As Lions – You Can’t Take It With You

Published: August 21, 2009
Favourite Songs: Circles, Sixes & Sevens, You Can’t Take It With You, In Case of Rapture, We’s Been Waiting, Is This Tomorrow?, The Narrows, That’s What You Get

You-Cant-Take-It-WIth-You

And that just about wraps it up for Featured Album Fridays for 2009, I hope you’ve enjoyed some of these albums that I’ve featured throughout the year.

If you have any suggestions on how I can improve what I do, or any bands you may have a lead on, definitely shoot me an e-mail or message me on Twitter! I’m always on the lookout for new, up-and-coming bands, especially Canadian ones, so give me a shout.

Cheers!

Featured Album Fridays / Arctic Monkeys – Humbug (2009)

This week on Featured Album Fridays, I am showcasing the much awaited 2009 album from the Arctic Monkeys – Humbug.

Arctic Monkeys - Humbug

Of course, if you don’t know about the Arctic Monkeys, here is their description from Last.FM:

Arctic Monkeys are an indie rock band who formed in High Green, Sheffield, England in 2002. The band consists of Alex Turner (vocals, guitar), Jamie ‘Cookie’ Cook (guitar), Nick O’Malley (bass) and Matt Helders (drums, vocals). Founding bassist Andy Nicholson left in 2006.

Each of the band’s first five singles I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor, When the Sun Goes Down, Leave Before the Lights Come On, Brianstorm and Fluorescent Adolescent hit the UK Top Five, but their sixth single, Teddy Picker, only went Top 20. Their seventh single, Crying Lightning premiered in July of 2009 and will be physically released in August 2009.

The band’s rise to success started in late 2004/early 2005 when demo songs which had been handed out in CD form at gigs found their way onto the internet. These demos rapidly spread among message boards and friends leading to a growing fan base for the band, and were collected on the unofficial Beneath the Boardwalk, which the band recognizes on their website. The band owe much of their success to viral buzz via the Internet, and have eschewed typical ‘commercial’ channels, including refusing to appear on the UK’s (now discontinued) Top Of The Pops music program, which was often seen as a gateway to success.

The band’s debut album, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, holds the record for the largest first week sales of a debut album in the UK (in its first week, it sold more than the rest of the Top 20 albums combined). The album sold over 360,000 copies in its first week, but lost the title in November 2007 to Leona Lewis’s album Spirit.

Nothing to really say but… what a wonderful album. The stream is below, hope you enjoy!

Featured Album Fridays / The Coast – Expatriate (2009)

This week on Featured Album Fridays, I am showcasing the 2009 album from Canadian indie band The Coast – Expatriate.

00 Expatriate

Here is the description of The Coast from their Last.FM:

The Coast release their much-anticipated debut full-length, Expatriate, on Aporia this April in Canada and AUGUST 19 (JonLim: Hehe, whoops) in the United States. Recorded in winter 2007 in Toronto with producer Chris Stringer (We’re Marching On, Ohbijou), the album is a departure from the layered epics of their first EP, harnessing the off-the-floor energy of their live show and letting their signature hooky guitar melodies stand on their own.

The band was touted as one of the acts to watch in 2008 by Canada’s national music monthly Exclaim and Toronto’s Eye Weekly, thanks to the buzz that continued to grow as the band toured extensively across North America last year, playing alongside such acts as Tokyo Police Club, The Dears, Sam Roberts, The French Kicks, and a coveted CMJ showcase with Foals, A Place to Bury Strangers, and Le Loup.

“There was far more integration between writing and arranging this time around,” Spurr adds. “We stopped being so precious about the songwriting and let everyone bring their own strengths to each song.”

“When you’ve been in a band with friends you’ve been with since you were a kid, it can become a difficult thing, separating your creative relationship from your relationship as friends,” Melchoirre says. “I think that the writing and recording of this record required us all to be far more honest with each other about what we expected from one another musically and how we wanted to sound.

This is a great album and I haven’t stopped listening to it all day, and you should definitely support them because they are a Canadian band! From Toronto too! So the stream is below, enjoy. :)

Featured Album Fridays / Stellastarr* – Civilized (2009)

This week on Featured Album Fridays, the third full-length release from New York indie-rock band Stellastarr* – Civilized.

Stellastarr* - Civilized

Here is the description of Stellastarr* from their Last.FM:

Stellastarr* are an American indie rock band based in New York City. The band is composed of: Shawn Christensen (vocals, rhythm guitar), Amanda Tannen (bass, vocals), Arthur Kremer (percussion, keyboards) and Michael Jurin (lead guitar, vocals).

The group formed in March 2000 from the ashes of a previous musical effort – Ghistor – formed by Shawn, Amanda, and Arthur while studying art and design at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. A few years later, after a chance meeting with Michael, who had recently relocated to Brooklyn from his hometown Philadelphia, the former classmates reunited, this time with Shawn on vocals.

Stellastarr* played their first gig at the Luna Lounge on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in July 2000 and began releasing a limited series of independent/homemade CDEPs shortly after. To date, they have toured with Jane’s Addiction, The Raveonettes, Placebo, The Killers and The Subways, among others.

Stellastarr*’s second album, entitled Harmonies for the Haunted, was released in America on September 13, 2005.

It’s a solid album and I really recommend it for a listen through. Enjoy!

Featured Album Fridays / Everything All The Time – Everything All The Time (2009)

This week on Featured Album Fridays, I’m showcasing the 2009 self-titled album from Everything All The Time – Everything All The Time.

Everything All The Time - Everything All The Time

The band is quite new and still hasn’t made it huge, but they have a great electro rock sound that I enjoy! Not to mention the smooth female vocals that are peppered throughout, which are my favourite! There is no description because of the fact that they aren’t so big yet, but here’s to hoping that changes. Enjoy!

Featured Album Fridays / The Fiery Furnaces – I’m Going Away (2009)

This week on Featured Album Fridays, I’m showcasing the 2009 album from The Fiery Furnaces – I’m Going Away.

The Fiery Furnaces - I'm Going Away

Here is the description of The Fiery Furnaces from their Last.FM:

The Fiery Furnaces are an inventive and often challengingly experimental rock group from Brooklyn, New York. Originally from Oak Park, Illinois — a suburb of Chicago — they consist of the brother and sister team of Matthew Friedberger and Eleanor Friedberger, and are currently joined by Jason Loewenstein (Sebadoh), BOB D’AMICO and Michael Goodman when playing live on tour.

The Fiery Furnaces signed with the Rough Trade Records music label in 2002, and recorded their debut album in the same year.

Gallowsbird’s Bark, released in the autumn of 2003, garnered critical praise for its clever wordplay and original songwriting.

Anybody who thought they had the band pinned at that point was quickly proven wrong with the 2004 release Blueberry Boat, a rock-operatic album whose track lengths were often six minutes long or longer.
While some critics adored the album for its vast complexity, others found it all a little too overwhelming.

After releasing EP in 2005 (considered a full-length album because of its 41 minute play time, but is “officially” an EP) the band then released two further albums – Rehearsing My Choir (2005), a radio-dramaesque concept album about the Friedbergers’ Greek grandmother; and Bitter Tea (2006), which is a comparably more conventional album built on still-bent song structures, but with more pop-oriented stylings.

In October 2007 the band released their fifth full-length album, Widow City.

Great indie band, this is the first time I’m posting with this kind of sound (That I can recall!) so I’m excited to share it. As usual, the stream is below, so enjoy!

Featured Album Fridays / The Most Serene Republic – …And the Ever Expanding Universe (2009)

This week on Featured Album Fridays, a great Canadian band from Milton, Ontario with a fantastic offering. The album is The Most Serene Republic’s 2009 album – …And the Ever Expanding Universe.

The Most Serene Republic - ...And the Ever Expanding Universe

Here is the description of The Most Serene Republic from their Last.FM:

The Most Serene Republic is a Canadian indie rock band formed in Milton, Ontario, by band members Adrian Jewett, Ryan Lenssen, and Nick Greaves, who had all left school to pursue more artistic ventures. The band takes its name from the sobriquet of formerly independent Venice under the Doges, which was regarded as “The Most Serene Republic of Venice.”

The Most Serene Republic released its debut album, Underwater Cinematographer, in 2005 on the Arts & Crafts label. They are the first band on the A&C label that isn’t related in one way or another to Broken Social Scene (though Ryan and Adrian perform sometimes in their live shows). They later released a tour EP in spring/summer of 2006, titled Phages, capturing more of the sweep of their live performances.

Originally formed in mid-2003 as a duo (Lenssen and Jewett) known as Thee Oneironauts (O-nye-rawn-nauts). The pair would quickly record and self-release an EP entitled Night of the Lawnchairs on Lenssen’s GROK Studios imprint. The Oneironauts grew to trio status with the addition of Greaves on keyboard and guitar.

Their live shows are known for being extremely entertaining, and intense with dancing, and cramming so many sounds to overload the senses.

Awesome album, the stream is below, check it out! Enjoy.

Featured Album Fridays / Starlight Mints – Change Remains (2009)

This week on Featured Album Fridays, a little beat of an off-beat album, but a great album nonetheless, Starlight Mints and their 2009 album – Change Remains.

Starlight Mints - Change Remains

Here is the description of Starlight Mints from their Last.FM:

Starlight Mints are a group of beautiful pop mutants: four oddballs whose love for archetypal pop music and AM radio has provided a rock-solid foundation for a whole bunch of inspired weirdness. Allan Vest (vocals/guitar), Marian Love Nunez (keyboards), Javier Gonzales (bass), and Andy Nunez (drums) began jamming together in the ’90s, giving birth to their own funky brand of heavily instrumental, surrealistically worded pop sound. Maybe you could call it bubblegum psych. It all adds up to something very grand: one marvelous piece of orchestrated, catchy surrealism after another, in the form of 2006’s drowaton. The band has released two previous albums, the dream that stuff was made of (2000), and built on squares (2003), combining classic string arrangements, cheeky boyish vocals, and a feel good vibe to bring a glossy, fresh sound to indie rock.

The Starlight Mints is an indie pop band from Norman, Oklahoma. This quirky quintet is nationally renowned on the indie scene for their creative juxtaposition of classical and pop elements in their music. The band was formed in the ’90s and has varied in size between 5-7 members.
The current quartet consists of:
- Allan Vest (vocals, guitar)
- Andy Nunez (drums)
- Marian Love Nunez (keyboard)
- Javier Gonzales (bass).

Two previous members contributed to their sound on violin and cello. After releasing The Dream That Stuff Was Made Of in 2000 through the label See Thru Broadcasting, and Built on Squares in 2003 through Pias America. Similar bands include the Flaming Lips (who hail from the same area of Oklahoma), the Mayflies USA, the French Kicks and The Unicorns.

Pop mutants indeed! Hope you enjoy the album as much as I do, the stream is below!

Featured Album Fridays / Grammatics – Grammatics (2009)

This week on Featured Album Fridays, I am highlighting the self-titled album from a UK band called Grammatics – Grammatics.

Grammatics - Grammatics

Of course, here is the description of the Grammatis from their Last.FM:

Leeds-based Grammatics formed in April 2006 with best friends Owen Brinley and Dominic Ord deciding to form a band after the demise of Owen’s previous band Colour of Fire. The line-up was pieced together with the addition of Rebecca Dumican and Rory O’Hara and Michael Repeat. They spent the next few months writing and rewriting songs. Perfectionists to the last, the band waited until that October to begin playing live. This paid off and their live performances quickly gained them a reputation as a band to look out for on the Leeds scene. The inclusion of their track “The Shipping Forecast” as the opening track of Leeds label Dance To The Radio’s “Something I Learned Today” compilation saw them start to gain attention nationwide.

Meanwhile tensions within the band, who openly admit to their fondness for arguments, were making progress difficult and in May 2007 Michael left the band to work on other things.

Recently the band have continued to build on their already formidable reputation. A Japanese EP released in 2007 has now sold out, as with their debut 7” release on Dance To The Radio.

Current line-up is:

Owen Brinley – Vocals, Guitar, Sampler, Keys
Emilia Ergin – Vocals, Cello
Dominic Ord – Drums
Rory O’Hara – Bass

Great album, the stream is below, enjoy!