March 3, 2010

Fresh Tracks: Broken Social Scene, Local Natives, Gil Scott Heron and More

(Broken Social Scene)

Broken Social Scene are back at it after a 5 year hiatus (although there were a number of band side projects) and they sound as good as ever. "World Sick", BSS's first single off their forthcoming album Forgiveness Rock Record (forgiveness for their lengthy hiatus perhaps?), is EPIC like you would expect from the band that can range from 6-19 members. At times it seems like almost all 19 of them are playing various guitar parts building to the songs many crescendos - these guys absolutely own the modern guitar epic (almost forgot how good these guys can be). It doesn't stop with its musical brilliance either; lyrically, lead singer and lead member of BSS, Kevin Drew, strikes a chord with its chorus "I get world sick every time I take a stand". Seems to perfectly encapsulate the current feeling of constant disappointment from the world's (and our country's in particular) politicians. Get the get track for free at BSS's website:

Morning Benders are a throwback of the best kind. Coming out of the exploding music scene in San Fran, they have crafted a 60's pop gem with "Excuses". This one sounds like a lost track in Phil Spector's or Brian Wilson's catalog. The song has me longing for summer. It is just a breezy top down driving tune with airy almost floating guitar rhythms, and a gorgeous melody accented with lush harmonies. Take a listen to the single off their new album, Big Echo:

Morning Benders - "Excuses"

Local Natives are one of the most exciting bands in the LA music scene right now. Recently being graced with a P4K Best New Music label shouldn't hurt either. These guys are very much deserving. Their debut album, Gorilla Manor, is one of the most intriguing of the new year. They sound like Grizzly Bear if it was produced by David Sitek. Really these guys resolve my only issue with Grizzly Bear - their weak rhythm section. They don't quite have Grizzly Bear's vocal chops but they have some great harmonies and I LOVE their drumming. Listen to the great first two tracks off their album, "Wide Eyes" and "Airplanes".

Local Natives - "Wide Eyes"
Local Natives - "Airplanes"

Gil Scott Heron is an icon of the 1970's. An African-American poet, musician and author; his musical style played a huge role in the development of hip-hop both with the political and social commentary of his lyrics as well as his rapping style of delivery. Then for a long time he disappeared, was in and out of jail on drug related charges and had only one album to come out in the last 25 years. Then he recently dropped I'm New Here and damn he's still got it. "New York Is Killing Me" is sure to be a classic. It is a stripped down blues tune with minimal hand claps and Gil's signature raspy baritone lamenting of his personal downfall in that great city. But it wouldn't be a Heron classic without its social commentary on the changing landscape of NYC. Enjoy:

Gil Scott Heron - "New York Is Killing Me"

And lastly, Yes Giantess' "The Ruins" may sound EXACTLY like a Passion Pit track (and they also happen to be from Boston, Mass too) BUT it still sounds so good. Check it out:

Yes Giantess - "The Ruins"


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