The great Billy Bragg is set to return with his first studio album in nearly five years, since Mr Love & Justice. The new record entitled Tooth & Nail will be out through Cooking Vinyl on March 18th 2013.
To coincide with this news there’s a treat, ‘Handyman Blues’. Serving as a taste of what’s yet to come with album, it is a slightly downbeat, somber lament about an inability to perform the simplest of DIY or ‘handyman’ duties, and his love for the written word. It is a rather lovely song, if somewhat slightly tongue-in-cheek.
You can listen to ‘Handyman Blues’ below or head over to Billy’s website and get the track for the cool price of an email address.
Nowonder is the pen name of LA-based electronic artist Danny Choi.
Choi is not afraid to dabble in a bit of experimentation, something Color The Concrete is testament to.
It is a genre hopping broad blend of styles, from the Gallic fervor and Justice-esque hooks of ‘Manic’ to the juddering electro-pop that is ‘White Light’ this is an EP that doesn’t wait around in one place for long.
You can give ‘Manic’ and ‘Bright Spell’ a spin below and download the EP for free via bandcamp.
Nowonder – Manic
Nowonder – Bright Spell
Guards self-titled EP was one of the best EPs released last year. This fabulous introduction to Richie James Follin’s breezy, lo-fi garage pop comes highly recommended.
Guards have returned with a free three-track covers EP of reverb-laden versions of Metallica’s ‘Motorbreath’, Vampire Weekend’s ‘Taxi Cab’ and M.I.A’s ‘Born Free’. The M.I.A. cover is the stand out track, simply because of the three it’s most similar to the best bits of last year’s EP.
Pop over to bandcamp and pick it up for FREE.
Guards – Born Free (M.I.A. Cover) via Sendera
Guards – Taxi Cab (Vampire Weekend Cover) via Nialler9
The Dirty Lungs are a pysch-rock 4-piece hailing from Birmingham, Alabama.
Their rather brash, explosive garage-psych rock has already taken them to the heady heights of sharing the bill with Harlem, Bonnie Prince Billy, Monotonix, Ladyhawk, and Tapes n Tapes.
The Dirty Lungs stock is certainly rising, a claim which Deregulate Your Heart is testament too. Seriously exciting vibe to this EP with plenty of scuzzy riffs and rhythms, this is so much more than a nostalgic trip down memory lane.
They are also preparing to release a 7″ in March so keep those eyes peeled.
Download Deregulate Your Heart for FREE via bandcamp below.
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There’s been freebies galore this week. Dublin based punk quartet The Vagabonds have done their bit by making their fantastic debut EP Another Victory for Hysteria available for FREE.
These guys have come in for quite a bit of well deserved praise on the blog in the past – they’re definitely one of the top breakthrough bands in Ireland at the moment.
The EP was put together with the help of Stephen Street (The Smiths, Blur, Babyshambles). It’s a fantastic blend of bash-em-out punk and stirring renditions of personal heartache, strife and politics.
Think of the bastard child of The Pogues, Stiff Little Fingers, The Clash and Whipping Boy – there you have it.
Give it a spin and grab it for FREE via bandcamp below.
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On Christmas Day, Klaxons released the Landmarks of Lunacy EP for free. These are from the ill-fated 2008 sessions with Simian Mobile Disco’s James Ford rejected by their label for being ‘too experimental’.
As the band put it:
There are periods of time that we have spent together as a band that the only suitable word that comes close to describing them is “Magical” . The three nocturnal weeks spent at Black Box studio in 2008 under the loving guidance of James Ford was undeniably the point where the magic was peaking…Sometimes the only way to let a story release it’s full power and potential is to offer it up to the universe.
The EP is a grower, a down tempo affair but an interesting listen nonetheless. ‘Marble Fields’ is deserving of individual accolade, experimental yet also very absorbing and engaging – no mean feat.
After the decidedly lackluster Surfing The Void one can’t help but wonder what would have happened if the record company hadn’t stuck their oar in?
Landmarks of Lunacy is available to download for FREE in large zipped WAV files here or listenable below.
Klaxons – The Pale Blue Dot
Klaxons – Silver Forest
Klaxons – Ivy Leaves
Klaxons – Wildeflowers
Klaxons – Marble Fields
Who doesn’t love a good mash-up record?
Over Christmas the little known DJ Wick-It the Instigator (aka Andrew Owsley) introduced us to The Brothers of Chico Dusty. The project pits together tracks from the Black Keys’ Brothers album and Big Boi’s Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty.
The end results are really quite impressive, feels remarkably organic with nothing sounding out of place. Let this be DJ Wick-It’s formal introduction.
You can grab it for FREE from SoundCloud. Here’s two fine reasons to below!
Wick-It The Instigator – You Ain’t The Next DJ
Wick-It The Instigator – Black Bug
There’s been quite a few record label samplers floating about as 2010 draws to an end. Not to be out done seminal Scottish indie label Chemikal Underground has done the very same and dropped a free MP3 sampler from their roster.
The excellent 16-track compilation includes tracks from Mogwai, The Phantom Band, Panico, Radar Bros and lots more from Chemikal Undergrounds catalogue. It get’s a definite thumbs up! There’s a lot of great stuff on here that would have gone unnoticed.
It’s available to download for FREE from here. Here’s a couple of excellent reasons why you should!
Radar Bros. – Breathing Again
The Phantom Band – Left Hand Wave
Sister Vanilla – What Goes Around
Panico – Bright Lights
As promised, Damon Albarn released the new Gorillaz album The Fall on Christmas day. The album was recorded using an iPad while on tour in North America over 32 days. Essentially it’s a diary to the said tour – hence the track titles ‘Detroit’, ‘Phoner To Arizona’ and ‘Bobby In Phoenix’.
It’s a pretty chilled and relaxing listen. Mick Jones, Paul Simonon, Bobby Womack and others pitch in but it’s Albarn’s vocals, instrumentation and a serious dose of synths which takes centre stage.
It’s available to stream or to download via the fan club.
Here’s the video for ‘Phoner to Arizona’ and ‘Detroit’.
Gorillaz – Detroit via wewanttobeyoung
Domino Records have decided to sign off 2010 with a little festive cheer in the shape of a free MP3 sampler of their releases in 2010.
The excellent 14-track compilation includes tracks from Villagers, Steve Mason, Clinic, The Fall, These New Puritans and lots more from Domino’s cataloge this year.
It’s available stream or download for free from www.dominorecordco.com. Here’s three very good reasons why you should!
Tracklisting after the jump.
The Fall – Bury Pts. 1 + 3 via Musicmule
Steve Mason – All Come Down via Niallb
These New Puritans – Orion via LukeLewis
So, where to begin? Michael Stafford aka Maverick Sabre is a young London-born and Irish-raised musician who I discovered in Nialler9‘s list of the ‘Best Irish Music Downloads‘ in Day & Night Magazine.
This guy is astonishingly good. He recently released his debut record Travelling Man Mixtape for free via bandcamp. It’s a brilliant blend of Grime, Reggae, Electro, Dub Step and Hip Hop, although it isn’t genre specific it’s very fresh and substantive. Lyrically it’s deep and insightful, delivered with a raspy confidence as he tackles everything from heartache to the socio-political issues of everyday modern life.
Expect to hear much more from this guy in 2011.
Maverick Sabre – Run to the Roof via Nialler9
Maverick Sabre – Slow Down via Hoodcelebritys
Gavin Elsted has been receiving some well deserved plaudits for his We Are Losers side-project of late but he’s also been busy with some solo electronic/remix work under the moniker of AdultRock.
The mercurial Mr. Elsted has released a rather exceptional EP which flew completely under the radar of most. It’s undeniably chilled, laid-back electro, brimming with superfluous ambient beats and chilled-out grooves.
You should probably check out the Barry Gruff May Mix he did in ,yes, May. Anyway, there’s a free 4-track EP available from Bandcamp.
AdultRock – Hermione
AdultRock – Adventures Pt 2