In July 2011, Esquire writer Andy Langer argued that
Little Dragon's sound bears great resemblance to Prince's.But
even with those similarities, Little Dragon is far too capable and
confident to ape another artist without showing its own personality. They are careful both when they go fiery
and when they chill out, and with an extra dash of the right je nais se quoi, their sound has legit potential to be big on the right radio stations.
Electronic music generally feels more machine-like than the product of
conventional guitars-and-drums setups, but that doesn't mean every
electronic artist is inclined to create work that's cold or inhuman. Dan
Snaith exemplifies this idea in Caribou.
Based on sound alone, The Donkeys come off
as pretty mature. The San Diego band plays a tender, starlit kind of
Rock with a folky side that isn’t too sleepy, an AltCountry side that
isn’t too twangy, a Blues side that isn’t too reverb-heavy and a Psych
Rock side that isn’t too psychedelic.
Talking about race is
always a dodgy premise, but Carolina Chocolate Drops and their music
practically encourage such discussions. “It's
a very strong statement to say that you're a black string band
musician,” said Drops' Dom Flemons in an interview with Fairfield Weekly. “That helps people open up the article or what-not
and then they get to find out a whole part of the Folk music history
that they might not have known before.”
Flora and fauna have
long been Jonathan Meiburg's most beloved fixations. The leader of the
Austin-based Shearwater has populated his work with natural imagery of
all kinds — especially birds. The band name (which comes from a species
of seabird) and the 2004 and 2008 albums Winged Life and Rook are also tributes. February's Animal Joy continues the course on the imagery front, but the music cracks surprising new ground.
Title Fight was started by Ben and Ned Russin back when
they were 12 or 13, and the brothers began collaborating and even
touring with Shane Moran and Jamie Rhoden soon thereafter. Despite its early start, the group's discography
consisted of seven-inches, EPs and other odds and ends until May 2011
when well-connected Punk label SideOneDummy Records released Title
Fight’s debut record, Shed.
For this band who
self-identifies as “Coincidence Pop” (the frontman once explained his
music as “really just a combination of fuck-ups that coincidentally
sounds pleasant”), things are coming together.
Hanni El Khatib’s world is a dangerous
place. The San Francisco-raised Los Angeles resident prefers to fill his
musical terrain with outlaw characters and disastrous circumstances. At least three of Khatib’s releases, including last September’s full-length debut Will the Guns Come Out,
have covers adorned with the mangled remnants of car wrecks.
Oliver Ackermann has a Cincinnati story he
enjoys sharing: Back when his band, A Place To Bury Strangers, played
the Contemporary Arts Center during the 2010 MidPoint Music Festival,
Ackermann’s Shoegaze/Noise Rock band wreaked chaos on the Sixth Street
space’s electrical system.
Hold onto your seats, Cloud Nothings fans, as we're about
to exclusively break a new and crucial piece of info about the
Cleveland band's second record. While discussing the development of Attack on Memory, Nothings leader Dylan Baldi reveals a curious detail: “Steve Albini bought us kazoos that we used on the second song.” Take a second to visualize a misanthropic musician/producer best known (as an artist) for writing a record called Songs About Fucking exchanging American currency for kazoos.