Some nice new indie

Here's three very recent albums that are very worth your time and money. On the one day I went up to Austin for SXSW, the first two "free" shows my wife and I tried to go to ended up being pass or invite-only, and I hadn't heard Apostle of Hustle, only of them, and didn't know what to expect, but seemed like a safe first bet from the great things I had read online. I couldn't have been more happily surprised. What I ended up walking into was one of the albums of the year played live. Apostle of Hustle is led by guitarist/songwriter/singer Andrew Whiteman, best known as lead guitarist of Toronto super-group Broken Social Scene, but in his own setting he shines even brighter, great songs, many of them tinged with Spanish that Whiteman has picked up staying in Cuba. There's lots of odd percussion and instrumental flourishes on "National Anthem of Nowhere", and even when the music strays into Spanish territory it is never water and oil but rather oil and fire - Whiteman and the rest of his bandmates are clearly talented players, and the layers of delay and intricate picking and organ and unique percussive additions help unify and make their sound unique and contemporary. I videoed the SXSW set, and if it turns out alright my next post will be the audio capture from that. These two songs should give you an idea of the variety found on this album, I could not recommend it more highly, this one will end up on many best-of lists at the end of the year for sure. Listen to "Rafaga" to the end.

Also see B(oot)log for a couple of radio sessions, I particularly like the very first version of "Animal Fat", it's quite nice. When you're thouroughly convinced of their greatness, head over to Insound and put your money where your ears are.

The Sea And Cake are well-known to the middle-aged alternative buffs among us. Hailing from the venerable Chicago post-rock scene that spawned Tortoise and which some may say has passed it's prime, they continue to put out timeless music with their own breezy sound despite whatever trends may be prevailing. Some say the Sea And Cake are boring - they are certainly more mellow in their later years, but boring would be to ignore the intricacies they bring. Sea and Cake drummer John McEntire (also of Tortoise) is also a producer of grand repute. He's got the beats and the tinkering to make anything sound nice. According to the Sea and Cake's website, the new album "Everybody" "finds the band continuing to perfect their singular brand of dreamlike, hot-buttered pop music that sounds delicately handcrafted, yet effortless all the same."

Ladybug Transistor hail from New York and like The Sea and Cake have been around for a while. They've undergone some changes, including the unfortunate passing of drummer San Fadyl on April 25. Their newest album is "Can't Wait Another Day" and does have Fadyl playing, along with a lot of guests, though Fadyl's Essex Green bandmate Sasha Bell is gone. The indie greats playing include Alicia Vanden Heuvel from the Aislers Set (check their mp3s in "media"), Jens Lekman, and Heather McIntosh, whose credits include of Montreal albums and the Circulatory System. The Optical Atlas has more info and music.

And while we're doing brand-new indie with a nice, soft, laid-back feel, I'll throw this one in, too, from a band with the odd moniker of Vampire Weekend (myspace). I found it over at Stereogum, who's calling them "A Band To Watch". I absolutely love it, even after a month of repeated plays, and agree that you should watch out for them, this is the best brand new thing I've heard and they sound to me like they have talent to stick around. There's another track at Stereogum, too.

Their site says they'll have an EP and 7" this month, that's how new they are. You'll probably have an easier time finding one of the three above albums, which you are encouraged to actually go out and buy.


Sarah said...

check out pics from The Sea and Cake show:

Fenway Recordings said...

Apostle of Hustle is playing in Boston on June 17 with Memphis at the Great Scott!

funeralpudding said...

I can't wait to see AoH again -so good. They just did a jaunt through Europe, only as a trio, I'd like to hear how that sounds, although I love the interplay between guitars and the extra percussion