Fleet Foxes

Jessica and Kat, who unlike me are both young and hip, have been talking about Fleet Foxes since there was snow on the ground. I swear I checked the band out in February and there was nothing available to share, but who knows? Maybe that’s just an excuse for being so late on highlighting a CMJ #1 band, a Rolling Stone favorite, etc. etc. So, here goes: Seattle’s Fleet Foxes offer up fuzzy, old-fashioned-sounding pop songs, vaguely reminiscent of the era depicted in the album cover. (SubPop’s got deep pockets, so I bet Bruegel got a decent commission for this one). With just one EP and one LP under their belts, Fleet Foxes have plenty of time to carve out a little musical turf of their own, and a hipster following ready to hang on faithfully (for a year or two, at least).

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Band of Horses

We just got this e-mail from Jared and Stacey Schwartz, and they’re doing this neat thing with a new website, AudioExposure. For every song that visitors add — preferably with a free & legal link — the Schwartz crew is donating a dollar ($1.00) to Critical Exposure, “a DC-based non-profit which teaches students to use the power of documentary
photography to advocate for school reform and social change.” How cool is that?
In looking through the 70+ songs that have already been added, I noticed that Jen from Chicago had posted “The Funeral” by Band of Horses, which leads me to today’s B of H update. When last posted, band of Horses was a recent addition to Sub Pop, with a few demo tracks available for download. Today, I can offer “Is There A Ghost,” the opening track for their latest album, Cease to Begin, as well as “The Great Salt Lake,” and the other links are live and well. The band is touring the US and Europe over the next few months, and that’s about it. Check out AudioExposure and have a nice day!

Is There A Ghost [MP3, 2.7MB, 128kbps]
The Great Salt lake [MP3, 5.4MB, 160kbps]

Original post: 09/01/05
These demo tracks from Horses — or is it Band of Horses? Even after digging around on their website, I’m not sure… — are pleasant and pleasantly genre-defying, hence the Pop/Rock catch-all designation. Try “Funeral” and “Bass Song” for an idea of the cross-section of their ’70s and ’80s influences. Led Zepplin? New Order? Maybe I just need more sleep… Anyway, hopefully the Horses found much audience love on their recent tour with Iron and Wine, and will complete their Sub Pop debut soon.

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Lately there have been all these commercials for the NYC “easy listening” radio station and despite my general aversion to anything “easy” (especially when “listening”), I’ve been fascinated by how calm the woman on the advertisement is. One has to wonder… is it the music? Well I’m not ready to throw in the musical towel yet and so my latest solution to needing a little sonic R&R is going to have to be Dntel. Dntel is definitely not going to make the evening drive line-up next to Celine Dion BUT Dntel is Jimmy Tamborello (also part of The Postal Service and Figurine)–which earns him some cred in my book. His vocals are calmer (and prettier) than Ben Gibbard’s (although BG gets points for style) and the beats are a little lighter and more folky-playful. The end result is that I can’t turn it off. It’s a lovely and complicated melange of bips and tics that also manages to calm and soothe. Interesting. It ain’t easy like I thought I wanted, but it’s just right. As always, some tracks are included here, but the intrepid listener can find the whole album on Dntel’s Myspace page…

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The Thermals

Like that sullen kid in high school who was aggressively straight edge and pissed off because no one else knew what it meant, the one who deliberately got every question wrong on the ACT because it’s harder than getting every question right, like Minor Threat 25 years earlier (jeez, is it already that long?), The Thermals have something to say and they want to make sure you don’t miss it. Offering loud, sloppy, aggressive “post-pop-punk” as they like to call it, this Portland band’s brand of anti-establishment, high-octane anger is gaining so much ground it made The New York Times a few weeks ago. The top two tracks below are from their most recent effort, The Body, The Blood, The Machine, recorded by Fugazi’s Brendan Canty. (See, there is a Minor Threat connection.)

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Loney, Dear

Hailing from Jonkoping, Sweden (pronounced Yun-Shu-Ping, sorta), Loney, Dear seems to be the next installment in the “Swedes take over all music made in 2006/07” saga and despite my confusion at how a big, cold, dark country with the same population as New York City manages to churn out one delicious pop song after another, I’m not mad at all at welcoming another artist to the family. Loney, Dear is full of upbeat, yet melancholic tracks sung in his happy/sad falsetto. Skol! (Cheers, in Svenska.)

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The Elected

I originally wanted to make this a topical post a couple weeks ago when the Dems took the power back. Now the gag is a bit dated. It’s just been that kind of month for me… But good music is good music and The Elected make good music. Their textured folk-pop stops time and encourages introspection. The Californian quartet is fronted by Rilo Kiley guitarist/songwriter and former child actor Blake Sennett. Go vote with your wallet if you like what you hear.

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CSS is short for cansei de ser sexy, which is Portuguese for “tired of being sexy.” Tell me about it! I’d discourage anyone who’s just sick and tired of being sexy from listening to CSS. Their playful, decadent, chocolatey dance beats are sure to get even the most tired or uptight to drop everything, kick off their shoes, and start movin’ and groovin’ and droppin’ clothing all over the room. Where’s my lady when I need her!?!?!

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Chad Van Gaalen

So this Chad fellow, the story goes, has been creating music in his bedroom for years, playing all the instruments, yet never releasing it to the public. Until nineteen of his countless songs were put together on the album Infiniheart, a wonderous collection of ballads, confessions, indie rock, driving drones, and genuine songwriting. That must be some bedroom…

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The Helio Sequence

So we just got schooled by one of our fine readers. Brittany P. wrote in with a “Currently Listening To” list of 45 bands. Everyone from The Books to Slowdive to Galaxie 500 to Boards of Canada. Then at the very end of the list was this little note: “I’m surprised none of these bands are on 3hive.” Everyone should know that we often surprise ourselves with what we haven’t featured on 3hive. It’s those surprises that keep us doing what we do. And I believe a reminder of what we do is in order: we only feature MP3s that are provided by the artists or their labels. We made that decision early on and it’s helped to differentiate us from the crazy amounts of audioblogs out there. There are a ton of bands we’d love to feature, like the ones mentioned above, but they don’t have free and legal MP3s available. That said, Brittany’s list is highly useful as I’m sure she includes more obvious oversights on our part. Like The Helio Sequence. So listen, enjoy their space-gazing sound, and if you live in the western part of the United States, be sure you see them on tour. And keep those suggestions coming!

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Fruit Bats

I’ve been meaning to post the Fruit Bats for a while now because, well, because they’re as reassuring as a warm cup of tea. The acoustic guitar has a lovely lilt to it. The slight, overdubbed vocals don’t demand attention but get it anyway. And the alternately peppy and melancholy rhythms float on and on and on. All in all, you get the sense that the Fruit Bats respect their mothers, and a little motherly love in our indie pop could do us all some good.

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