I heaped some praise on Chris Richards earlier in the year after spending some time with his latest release with The Substractions, Sad Sounds Of The Summer. The guys have released a short, 5-song cover EP to accompany their full-length. Artists covered are more or less from the classic power-pop canon that Chris has been tapping into since first making splashes on the power-pop scene. And, yes, it’s posted on their Bandcamp page for free download. Check out the track listing below and stream my favorite of the bunch.
Thirteen (Big Star)
Occasionally its nice to bypass the straightforward side of the ‘indie sound’ and delve into more experimental ventures. New Weird Australia is a website dedicated to ‘eclectic and experimental Australian music’ and every fortnight or so they compile a sampler of artists thinking outside the proverbial box. I’ve given the second volume a few listens and, while I may not enjoy everything (usually the lengthy sound collages and empty-space pieces), there is wide enough variety to pique my interest. You can download all four volumes from the NWA release page or click the images above for direct links. Also, check out a few of my favorite tracks from Vol. 2.
Strangers Family Band aren’t afraid to wear their Doors influence firmly on their sleeve. I can’t say that the Doors have ever done much for me – well, maybe not on the scale most critics say they should. However, this isn’t repulsive in any way. In fact, the songs that are carved out of the Nuggets soundscape are quite good…like the track posted below, which sports a sweet, snakey bassline. You can grab their album para gratis from their Bandcamp page.
The Line Of Best Fit has been compiling mixes featuring Canada’s finest musicians. There are currently 6 volumes plus a recent holiday edition – all available to download. There is no denying the amount of talent making its way down from our neighbor above. In fact, my favorite album this year hails from Canada but we’ll save that for my upcoming year-end list. See links to all the volumes below and don’t hesitate to favorite TLOBF – it’s also an exceptional music news and commentary blog.
The recent interest in artist’s evoking Creative Commons licensing for their music combined with a wealth of invaluable netlabels has yielded an incredible amount of music that’s not only free to download but relevant and sometimes downright essential. The BEKO Digital Single Label has joined the corps of important online music distributors. Every Monday (and sometimes in between) the label releases a 2-song single from the likes of Eternal Summers, Death and Vanilla and the locally-based Cough Cool (from New Hope, PA). There’s nothing fancy or complicated about the Beko website or message – grab singles, enjoy the sounds and spread the word.
Amsterdam Acoustics pretty much is what its name implies – musicians take up acoustic guitars and peddle their wares around a city park in Amsterdam. The results are recorded and put up for our viewing pleasure. The AA team have assembled quite a repertoire including BTID faves Pete and The Pirates, William Fitzsimmons and The XX (see them ‘rock out’ for four people below).