Thursday, September 17, 2009

Three for Thursday: Dappled Cities, Pictureplane, The Drums

Considering the oodles of great bands deserving your attention, I'm going to try and increase the number of acts that get featured here on my site. I only have so much time to write, so I figured I would introduce a new feature on Thursdays that showcases three bands/artists I think you should hear:

Dappled Cities -

Dappled Cities are an Australian indie group that have just recently released their third album, playfully titled Zounds. So they aren't exactly brand new, like many of the artists I might feature in this kind of spot, but they've flown under the radar enough that - chances are - you haven't heard about them yet. If you have, you'll know why I'm eager to get the word out; Dappled Cities have an infectious indie rock style that combines big vocals, sweeping strings, and rockin' guitar riffs with a big nod to 80s pop and an electronic twist. Their new record is an excellent showcase of what they do best - most especially on the "The Price," which features soaring string arrangements and a danceable drum/guitar combination, and "Answer is Zero," a more ballad-esque tune filled with detailed synth and beautiful harmony. I've got links below if you feel like (legally) hunting down both of the aforementioned tunes, but you should at least check out the band on MySpace.

The Price (MP3 via Spinner)

Answer is Zero
(MP3 via Stereogum - you have to sign up for "The Gumdrop" to get this one, but it's a very non-invasive email list)

Pictureplane -

Pictureplane is the recording and performing moniker of one Travis Egedy, an electronic musician and singer who has recently received some nods around the 'net for his sophomore effort, Dark Rift. Egedy's style is a sort of hazy electro-rock that's fits somewhere between bedroom pop and club-ready dance music, with a blend of synthetic instrumentation, samples, and his own frequently blurred voice creating a sound that's difficult to describe and quite unique to him. The new record is a beguiling set of 13 tracks stretched over 55 minutes and covering all kinds of territory, and it's mostly spectacular. Personal favorites include the sexy, thumping "Gang Signs," the spychedelia-meets-techno of "5th Sun" and the more noise-rock-esque "Cyclical Cyclical (Atlantis)," but I imagine I'll have new tracks to rave about tomorrow - it's just that kind of album. Make sure you take the time to give Pictureplane a listen, Travis Egedy is going places and you'll do well to follow him.

Goth Star (MP3 via Pitchfork)

Trance Doll (MP3 via Pitchfork)

MySpace (it's a mess)

The Drums -

There seems to be a pattern this year involving bands releasing summer-worthy music a bit late in the season, and none typifies this better than Summertime!, the debut EP from The Drums. Their appropriately titled new album, released earlier this week, brings together shimmery indie pop and an obsession with the classic, fun-in-the-sun surf culture for a catchy, sunny, and energetic 21 minutes. The group's youthful spirit is familiar and their subject matter is kept fairly light and simple (girls, sun, surf...that's about it), but their ode to everything summertime is fresh and fun. Opener "Saddest Summer" is anything but mopey, with hyperactive guitar and drum lines keeping singer Jonathan Pierce's lyrics from sounding even mildly troubled, while "Let's Go Surfing" rocks a simple, frantic bass riff and background whistles for the perfect accompaniment to the activity in question. Consider extending your sunny season this year with Summertime!

Let's Go Surfing (MP3 via RCRD LBL)