Monday, September 21, 2009

Three for...Monday: Special Patrol, One Eskimo, Monogold

No reason to keep my new "Three for..." feature to Thursdays just for alliteration's sake, so here are three more bands I highly recommend:

Special Patrol -

I don't know much about Australian indie rock group Special Patrol (second Aussie group in a row for this feature, by the way), but while I can't give you much background, the music fortunately speaks for itself. The band recently released a new album last month entitled The Stranger's Dozen, a set of ten tracks of hook-filled, alt-rock music that's consistently compelling and fun. The boys generally keep things on the lighter, mellower end of the spectrum - but there's a lot of subtle variation here to make the 35 minutes interesting throughout. "In Between You and Me" opens things with an acoustic guitar and hand claps under singer Myles Mayo's earnest yet restrained delivery, while "Right On" features a choir of children and elegant strings to an equally impressive end. Other highlights include the groovier "New Year's Eve" and the countrified "My Reason," though as The Stranger's Dozen contains no actual weak moments - the entire album is highly recommended.

Download "Right On" and "New Year's Eve" HERE.


One EskimO -

One EskimO is a British band led by singer/songwriter Kristian Leontiou who has made a good first impression across the pond and who will be releasing his self-titled debut album tomorrow here in the States (9/22). The band's style is a kind of spacey folk sound that revolves around acoustic guitars, keys, trumpet, and simple percussion which usually leaves plenty of room for Leontiou's smooth, emotive tenor voice. Much of the new record is light and charming, like the atmospheric ballad "Astronauts," the delicately funky "Simple Day," and the carefree "All Balloons." However, while the group seems to specialize in heart-on-sleeve lyrics and somewhat sappy love songs - there's a darker side to One EskimO as well. "Given Up" is decidedly more gloomy and dramatic, and "UFO" explores heavier territory as well. These moments add some depth and texture to the album, resulting in another strong debut this year that's certainly worth exploring.


Monogold -

Brooklyn trio Monogold caught my attention recently with their new EP, We Animals, an engrossing 25 minutes of psychedelically-tinged indie pop. The band mix the haunting reverbed vocals of Grizzly Bear with a noisier, messier rock approach featuring guitars, bass, synths, and both organic and programmed percussion. They cover quite a bit of territory on We Animals, from upbeat rockers "Dead Sea Minerals" and "Foxglove" to the eerie, disconnected moments like "Pines" and closer "Yellow Blue June," making the most of their simple sonic palette and making me interested to see what the band accomplishes in the future. Definitely an 'under the radar' sort of band you would do well to get to know soon.

MySpace (listen to the entire new EP!)