Weekend SoundCloud Picks: 2/28/16

Every week, I listen to the new tracks posted on my SoundCloud stream and choose 4-8 of my favorites to share with you each Sunday.

I’m back with another set of my favorite songs discovered on Soundcloud. Interestingly, this week’s picks are a throwback to my high school days, with a couple of louder, angstier songs, a long-awaited return of a band I first discovered online when I was in high school, and a great remix of an early 00’s alt-rock hit.

White Lung “Hungry”

White Lung are back with the first single from their sophomore album Paradise, out May 6th on Domino Records. As powerful as their last album but shows off a more melodic and catchy side of their music.

Incubus “Stellar” (Alvan Project Remix)

French producer Alvan Project gives new life to Incubus’ second single from their 1999 album Make Yourself. Combining a dance beat with guitars from the original song, plus a flute and a strange vocal sample.

Prince Rama “Bahia”

Prince Rama were a band whose music I was never able to get into, but this first single from their forthcoming album Xtreme Now is very intriguing. A fun and catchy song that is still very weird.

Aloha “Signal Drift”

Aloha are band who I collected quite a few tracks from during my online musical discoveries from late high school into college. They’re returning with their first album since 2010, called Little Windows Cut Right Through, released on their longtime label Polyvinyl Records.

A Mouth Full of Matches “Possible Dreams”

British band A Mouth Full of Matches caught my attention with their latest track. They play a style of melodic hard rock, more along the lines of what I listened to in high school compared to what I listen to today, but give them a listen. They take this style of music in new and exciting directions and if you like this song, they have much more to offer on their SoundCloud page.

Fou De Toi “Don’t Know What to Do”

Fou De Toi are a Swedish band whose latest single is a really catchy pop-rock track, recommended if you like Phoenix or Two Door Cinema Club.

Below, you can listen to all tracks featured this week. Let me know which songs you liked and I will feature them on this week’s edition of Squawkin’ Good Radio!

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Shearwater – Jet Plane and Oxbow (album review)

Label: Sub Pop

Release Date: January 22, 2016

Austin, TX band Shearwater have been making music for over 15 years. Lead members Jonathan Meiburg and Will Sheff are members of the more well-known Okkervil River. Shearwater differs from Okkervil River by having Meiburg and Sheff swap roles, with Meiburg taking lead vocal duties, offering a more reflective sound compared to the edgier roots rock of Okkervil River. But with their latest release Jet Plane and Oxbow, Shearwater have created one of the defining albums of their career that is likely to find them reaching a new audience without alienating their old fans.

On first listen, the sound of this album is breathtaking. Production from Brian Weitzell (known for his soundtrack work on Friday Night Lights, Hannibal and The Bling Ring) gives these songs new life. Jet Plane and Oxbow is an old school rock record in an age where musicians aren’t as focused on albums and are more likely to release EPs and one-off singles. They try on a variety of musical styles, from the electronic-tinged lead single “Quiet Americans” to the shimmering folk-rock stomp of “Pale Kings” to the energetic “Radio Silence” which recalls R.E.M.’s best singles.

The sound of the album is pleasing enough, but the album’s true strength is in the songwriting. The lyrics on Jet Plane and Oxbow are inspired by disillusionment with the American political system in recent years. “Quiet Americans” is the most obvious example of this, but this theme resounds through the entire album. This is not just a collection of pretty songs, it makes a statement as well.

Jet Plane and Oxbow is the kind of album that is perfect for introducing new listeners to this band. It’s Shearwater’s most accessible album to date, without sacrificing the quality of their songwriting. Jet Plane and Oxbow is the first great album of 2016 and definitely a contender for year end lists.

Rating: 9/10

Key tracks: “Quiet Americans”, “Pale Kings”, “A Long Time Away”, “Backchannels”, “Only Child”, “Radio Silence”

I will be writing a review of one album on Squawkin’ Good Tunes each week. Next up: Sunflower Bean’s “Human Ceremony” and Wild Nothing’s “Life of Pause”.

Weekend SoundCloud Picks: 2/21/16

After being sick last week, I’m back with a new set of my favorite new tracks I heard on SoundCloud this week. Got a good variety of stuff this week from some familiar faces as well as some new bands I’m excited to hear more from. Take a listen and let me know which songs you like best and I will play them on Wednesday’s show!

Gypsy & The Cat “Inside Your Mind”

Australian duo Gypsy & The Cat are back with their latest single “Inside Your Mind”, a great sounding track reminding me a little of the band Waterstrider who I discovered the last year, and has also been compared to MGMT’s “Electric Feel”.

The Derevolutions “Purple, Gold & White”

Boston band The Derevolutions (who you may have heard on Flight of the Squawkatiel in 2014) have been releasing new songs over the past few months. Their latest track, “Purple, Gold & White” is one of their weirder, sound collage type songs but is very catchy.

DMA’s “In the Moment”

I’ve been hearing a lot of great new bands out of Australia lately, and Sydney band DMA’s are another one to check out. Their latest song “In the Moment” is a throwback to the peak of 90’s Britpop, with a catchy guitar riff. From their debut album Hills End out February 26.

The American Vogue “I Don’t Care About the Lights”

Debut single from Nashville band The American Vogue. Definitely want to hear more from them!

Radical Face “Rivers in the Dust”

Radical Face (aka singer-songwriter Ben Cooper) is back with the final album in his Family Tree trilogy called The Family Tree: The Leaves. I really like the drums that turn up halfway through the song.

The Cave Singers “Christmas Night”

Seattle band The Cave Singers (featuring former members of Pretty Girls Make Graves) are back with their latest album Banshee that just came out this Friday. Despite the title, this is not a Christmas song, but a catchy garage-pop track good for any time of the year.

Lust For Youth “Sudden Ambitions”

Danish synth-pop band Lust For Youth are back with a new album Compassion, out March 18 on Sacred Bones Records. Here is the latest single from it.

Kidsmoke “Cut Yourself Loose”

Sunny guitar-pop from Welsh band Kidsmoke, who list Wild Nothing and Real Estate as influences.

Listen to all 8 songs below.

Squawkin’ Good Radio Debuts Tonight!

Tonight is the debut of Squawkin’ Good Radio on WRUV! Tune in from 8-10 pm on 90.1 FM in Burlington, VT or listen online at wruv.org.

This show takes over from Flight of the Squawkatiel. You’ll still hear the same types of music you heard on that show, but Squawkin’ Good Radio will follow a less rigid format. Instead of one hour of new music followed by one themed hour of music from my collection, I will be playing a mix of my favorite new songs throughout the entire show with some older songs mixed in. This show will also be more flexible for listener requests (within reason). You’ll be hearing selections from my favorite new albums as well as new unsigned, independent artists discovered on Soundcloud or elsewhere.

Tonight you’ll be hearing new tracks from DIIV, Sunflower Bean, Animal Collective, Pillar Point, Daughter, High Highs, and Rob Crow’s Gloomy Place, plus a bunch of other surprises.

If you miss tonight’s show, you can stream it for up to a week after its air date at http://wruv.org/schedule/wednesday

Squawkin’ Good Mix

Sorry you haven’t heard from me in a while – I’ve been sick for most of this week and while I’m finally starting to get better, being sick meant I had to postpone the debut of Squawkin’ Good Radio, and I didn’t discover a whole lot of new music this week for you.

However, I have put together a Spotify playlist called the Squawkin’ Good Mix – this is a mix of my favorite new songs plus a bunch of my favorites from last year. I will be rotating songs in and out of this playlist weekly so make sure you follow this playlist on Spotify for the latest updates. The hottest tracks are up first in the list, but I recommend you listen on shuffle for the full effect.

Squawkin’ Good Radio will make its debut this coming Wednesday, February 17. If there’s any song from this playlist you want to hear on this week’s show, comment below!

Weekend Soundcloud Picks: 2/7/16

Every Friday, I listen to the new tracks posted to my Soundcloud stream. I’ll pick out 4-8 of my favorites and share them with you so you have some new tunes to enjoy over the weekend. Take a listen and let me know which ones you like best and I will play them on Wednesday’s show!

Great Pagans “Call of the Void”

One of my clear favorites this week. Dreamy and psychedelic, you’ll definitely be hearing this on Squawkin’ Good Radio. Single will be released March 11th on the label Anti-Ghost Moon Ray.

The Attics “Not Like”

Cool vibe on this one from Aussie rockers The Attics.

WRAY “Hypatia”

Shoegaze band WRAY is back – you may have heard them on Flight of the Squawkatiel in 2014. “Hypatia” is the first single off their sophomore album of the same name, released in January on Communicating Vessels.

Bent Shapes “New Starts in Old Dominion”

The latest from Slumberland Records is Boston band Bent Shapes. Great jangly indie rock taken from their forthcoming album Wolves of Want, out in March.

Low Cut High Tops “Let’s Runaway”

Simple, but catchy.

The Range “Florida”

A good example of the kind of electronic music I’ll be spinning on Squawkin’ Good Radio. Taken from the album Potential, out March 25th on Domino.

Yahtzel & Bengal “Bent”

Good electronic groove. Currently a free download as well!

Fuck Art, Let’s Dance! “The Conqueror”

This is an older song from 2011 but it popped up in my Soundcloud stream and I quite enjoyed it. Don’t be fooled by the ridiculous band name, this a great song that mixes a Minus The Bear/Dismemberment Plan sound with synth/dance rock.

Listen to the full playlist below, and be sure to follow Squawkin’ Good Tunes on Soundcloud for more of my favorite discoveries!

Upcoming Releases – February 2016

We’re already through the first month in 2016! Now it’s February and it’s been a very warm winter here in Burlington. It’s really strange to have all the snow melting on the first day of February, but I don’t mind. Anyway, this month is full of great new releases that I will be playing on Squawkin’ Good Radio in the next couple months and writing more about on this page. We have new albums this month from Captured Tracks favorites DIIV and Wild Nothing, old favorites like Dr. Dog and Animal Collective, and newer artists I’m excited about like Sunflower Bean and Pinkshinyultrablast. This is what’s coming your way in February:

February 5

DIIV – Is The Is Are (Captured Tracks)

Dr. Dog – The Psychedelic Swamp (Anti-)

Sunflower Bean – Human Ceremony (Fat Possum)

 

February 12

School of Seven Bells – SVIIB (Vagrant)

 

February 19

Animal Collective – Painting With… (Domino)

Ra Ra Riot – Need Your Light (Barsuk)

TEEN – Love Yes (Carpark)

Wild Nothing – Life of Pause (Captured Tracks)

 

February 26

Pinkshinyultrablast – Grandfeathered (Club AC30)

Run River North – Drinking From a Salt Pond (Nettwerk)

Yuck – Stranger Things (Mamé)

 

Here’s a Spotify playlist of songs from all new releases featured this month: