I’ve been a participant in the Spy Island routine ever since sampling their Little Fires EP on CDBaby ‘way’ back in 2003. I was happy to see the mostly-Portland based group still chugging out releases after finding a link to download their latest effort, At The Vegan Witch Trials, in my inbox. The band has made most(?) of their catalog available for free download (or minimum donation) via their Bandcamp page. SI really bust out the hooks on this – highly recommended if you’re down with melodic boy/girl indie-pop. Um, who isn’t?
The ever-prolific Hussalonia has already begun an assault on 2010 with two new (and rather unusual) releases. Know Your Eastern European Anthems is exactly what it implies – a lesson in Eastern European national anthems, revisited and reworked by Hussalonia himself. I can’t say I’ve ever come across such an endeavor before but I quite enjoy the concept of national anthems being covered/manipulated/deconstructed. Hussalonia’s 30th release(!) finds him setting music to imagined letters sent from animals. If you enjoyed the Robot Singer releases you’ll find yourself smiling through this EP as well. May he continue to be as prolific throughout the year.
Faithful readers will recognize Dark Mean from appearances on monthly mixes or the fact that their debut EP found itself in high regards on my top 50 albums of 2009 list. The Frankencottage EP was wrought with melody and genuine musicianship, especially notable for a band with seemingly no press or web presence whatsoever. They’re back with a follow-up EP that more or less picks up where Frankencottage left off. Music Box is not as immediately impressionable as the debut and it might have something to do with more polished production values and the melodies are a bit subdued. Regardless its well worth your time to grab it – free, of course, on their Bandcamp page. Definitely pick up Frankencottage while you’re there if you haven’t already.