September 2011

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MusicNew Music Weekly

New Music Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Like an international culinary twist on a favorite dish, this week has just enough international flavor to satisfy your ears. Swedish pop maestro Jens Lekman has a new EP out today, as does Montreal indie rock quartet The Besnard Lakes. Miguel Migs released a new album too, and although he’s from San Francisco, he’s adding some flavor with guest appearances by Jamaican reggae man Capleton and Brazilian singer Bebel Gilberto. There’s some good ol’ American fare as well: Tony Bennett and country singer Gavin DeGraw both have new albums this week.

  • Tori Amos - Night of Hunters
    Singer-songwriter Tori Amos has experimented with different sounds and genres, but classical? It’s a bold move 20 years into her career, but she’s going all the way by releasing the album on classical label Deutsche Grammophon. This one needs to be heard.
  • Superheavy - Superheavy
    When people heard that Mick Jagger, soul chanteuse Joss Stone, The Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart, reggae champion Damian Marley and film-scorer A.R. Rahman were forming a group, listeners had no idea what to expect. But once their first single, "Miracle Worker," hit the airwaves people were immediately fans of the track, which features reggae grooves, sultry crooning and even a fiddle solo. Listen to the album to find out what other unique sounds this crew has been concocting.
  • Patton Oswalt - Finest Hour
    Funny man Patton Oswalt is no newcomer to the comedy album game, but that doesn’t mean fans aren’t excited as ever for Finest Hour, his fourth. He’s only gotten better with age.
  • Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Hysterical
    When Clap Your Hands Say Yeah released their self-titled debut in 2005, they nearly blew apart the Internet. Hear what they’ve been up to since then by tuning into Hysterical, their third studio album, this week.
  • Pearl Jam - Pearl Jam 20: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
    One of the most revered rock bands of the 1990s is Pearl Jam, who were celebrated at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival with the Cameron Crowe documentary, “Pearl Jam 20.” The soundtrack to the film is a collection of some of the band’s finest live performances over the years, and proves why they've enjoyed such longevity.

Be The First To Hear The New Rdio-Exclusive Tori Amos Album


Influential songstress Tori Amos has worn a number of musical hats throughout her 20-year career, and she’s about to wear a brand new one. Amos’ new album, Night of Hunters, marks the first time she’s recorded an entire record acoustically, giving it an air of classicality. It's even being released courtesy of classical label Deutsche Grammophon.

Such an album should require a bit of explanation, so we're streaming an exclusive version complete with Amos' own track-by-track commentary. Starting today, listen to Night of Hunters (Commentary Version), only on Rdio. Want to hear more from Tori? Check out the rest of her catalog.


Stream Matthew Sweet’s Modern Art With Exclusive Commentary on Rdio


American power-pop virtuoso Matthew Sweet will release his thirteenth studio album next week on September 27th, titled Modern Art. In it he brings a renewed focus on shape and form, marked by experimentation and adventurousness.

Modern Art is streaming on Rdio now—a week prior to its release—as well as an Rdio-exclusive “Commentary Version,” which features track-by-track commentary for the entire album. Listen to both versions, add them to your collection, and share them with your friends now.


Polaris Record Club Finale: Preview Austra’s Feel It Break


The Polaris Record Club wraps up today with Toronto act Austra's debut disc. The Toronto trio proved their chops with just one album—Feel It Breakand impressed critics across Canada enough to earn a Short List nod. Feel It Break mixes singer Katie Stelmanis’ powerful alto with haunting, shimmering synths, evoking the goth-y sounds of the ‘80s. Only time will tell if it can sufficiently stir the Polaris Music Prize Grand Jury.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Polaris Record Club, this year Rdio joined with the Polaris Music Prize to power a series of nominated album streams. Today’s stream of Austra will be the last before the Polaris Gala event is held, in Toronto, Ontario, on September 19. Check out the Polaris Music Prize website for more information of all Short List-nominated albums, and on the prize itself. Follow Polaris on Rdio, and may the best album win!

MusicNew Music Weekly

New Music Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Every Fall, there is a day when a huge number of excellent records all see the light of day. This season, it’s today — critics and fans alike will be drooling all over this set of albums that’ll surely be on year-end “Best Of” lists. Many exciting indie rock bands both young and old are part of today’s excitement, including Mates of State, Wooden Shjips, Girls, Mogwai, Wild Flag and Blitzen Trapper, as well as Bush and Me First And The Gimme Gimmes.

Playlist Notes

  • James Blake and Bon Iver - “Fall Creek Boy Choir” 
    Earnest, soft-voiced hype-laden songwriters James Blake and Bon Iver make a lot of sense together, but that doesn’t mean anybody expected a collaboration from the two busy musicians. “Fall Creek Boys Choir” is on James Blake’s upcoming EP and available for your listening pleasure right now. 
  • Das Racist - Relax 
    One year after they tore up the blogosphere with back to back, self-released mixtapes, Brooklyn’s most pop culture-savvy hip-hop trio are dropping their full-length debut, and the iron’s still hot - just check out their new single ”Michael Jackson.” 
  • Lady Antebellum - Own The Night
    It’s not all indie music today. Blockbuster country-pop sensations Lady Antebellum, who swept the Grammys last year with their hit sophomore album, Need You Now, are returning early with a third album. Get whisked away by the trio’s new harmonies. 
  • St. Vincent - Strange Mercy 
    Art-pop mastermind Annie Clark, who records as St. Vincent, has outdone herself this year. In her new album, Strange Mercy, she uses the recording studio as a tool in ways she hasn’t done previously. Don’t be surprised if Strange Mercy ends up topping more than a few critics’ top tens come year’s end. 
  • Neon Indian - Era Extraña
    Neon Indian’s Alan Palomo is both a pioneer and posterboy for “chillwave” music, a sub-genre that melds hazy, mid-tempo synths with dance beats. Today he returns to the spotlight with the follow-up to his excellent breakout disc Psychic Chasms. Fans of nostalgia-soaked beats shouldn’t wait to hear this one.

Polaris Record Club: Preview Ron Sexsmith’s Long Player Late Bloomer


Today’s Polaris Record Club entry comes courtesy of Toronto-based singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith, the most most prolific of this year’s Polaris Music Prize Short List. Sexsmith’s twelfth album, Long Player Late Bloomer, is another offering of his classic, melody-focused folk and rock, but marks just the first time he’s garnered a Short List nomination. Could this be the year that a veteran Canadian act nabs the prize from fresh-faced youngsters?

If you’re unfamiliar with the Polaris Record Club, this year Rdio has joined with the Polaris Music Prize to power a series of nominated album streams. Twice a week, leading up to the Polaris Gala event on September 19, Rdio will enable free full-album streaming of Short List-nominated albums on the Polaris Music Prize website for a 24-hour period. Rdio subscribers can listen to Ron Sexsmith anytime, as well as the other Short List-nominated albums. Follow Polaris on Rdio to listen to their latest discoveries and exclusive playlists.


Polaris Music Club Album Preview: Timber Timbre


The Polaris Record Club continues with Timber Timbre’s excellent fourth LP, Creep On Creepin’ On. The bluesy folk trio’s previous three LPs—two self-released albums and a self-titled debut (later released by current label Arts & Crafts)—were precursors to Creepin’s delectably haunting folk gems, many of which were recorded in a church. The album's sparse sound is punctuated by Taylor Kirks' affected baritone, and continues in the rich vein of musical form they tapped into when Timber Timbre was short-listed for the 2009 Polaris Music Prize. Could 2011 be an even better year for the band?


If you’re unfamiliar with the Polaris Record Club, this year Rdio has joined with the Polaris Music Prize to power a series of nominated album streams. Twice a week, leading up to the Polaris Gala event on September 19, Rdio will enable free full-album streaming of Short List-nominated albums on the Polaris Music Prize website for a 24-hour period. Rdio subscribers can listen to Timber Timbre anytime, as well as the other Short List-nominated albums. Follow Polaris on Rdio to listen to their latest discoveries and exclusive playlists.


An Rdio Exclusive Pre-Release: Check Out Toro Y Moi’s “Freaking Out” Now

Ever since his debut LP Causers of This made waves with critics in 2010, Chaz Bundick (aka Toro Y Moi) has kept up a steady stream of buzz. This year he's branched out from his original chillwave sound in favor of groovier, almost proggier fare on his sophomore record, Underneath the Pine. In the past two years he’s toured extensively, and while on breaks has been releasing 7-inches and remixes.

Closing out 2011 on a high note, the South Carolina native is dropping his “Freaking Out” EP, and it’s exclusively available on Rdio. It was recorded on a tour break, and blends Toro Y Moi's already-experimental sounds with touches of disco, swing beat and funk. Listen to “Freaking Out” below, a week before its official release. Add it to your music collection and share it with your friends—did somebody just say “dance party?”


An Rdio Exclusive Pre-Release: Grouplove's Debut Album

Grouplove - Never Trust A Happy Song

After turning heads earlier this year with their debut self-titled EP, Los Angeles quintet Grouplove are finally gearing up to release their debut album, Never Trust a Happy Song. The self-produced album promises to further the indie rock sound they revealed on their EP, which garnered them opening spots on tours with The Joy Formidable and Florence + the Machine earlier this year. It should also showcase more of their quirky-but-accessible sound, which has been compared to both Modest Mouse and Arcade Fire.

We’re pleased to present Never Trust a Happy Song a week early, for your listening pleasure. SPIN called the album’s first single, “Colours,” “one of the most infectious songs you're bound to hear,” but you can decide for yourself by listening below. Don’t forget to add it to your collection, and share it with your friends.


An Rdio Exclusive Pre-Release: Ladytron’s Gravity the Seducer


UK electronic quartet Ladytron have been crafting their brand of haunting, silky disco for over a decade now, a milestone they celebrated by releasing Best of 00-10. They're stepping into the next decade with a bang, and we’re happy to reveal that they’ve started it here at Rdio. Their next album Gravity the Seducer is available for streaming right now, a week before its release next Tuesday. And if lead single ”White Elephant” is any indication, fans are in for another excellent collection of seductive beats and soft, sweet vocals. Listen now, share it with your friends, and check out our five questions with the band below.

Five Questions with Ladytron

  1. Who do you think is an important musician that most people have never heard of before?
    Ladytron: There are lots. Sandy Denny, Lio, Jeff Wayne to name but a few.
  2. If you had access to any record in the world, what would you listen to right now?
    Ladytron: Guns of Navarone by the Skatalites.
  3. Which album or artist do you most associate with your childhood?
    Ladytron: Jean Michel Jarre, or the Carpenters.
  4. We hope people are ______________ when they listen to our music.
    Ladytron: Plugging into big speakers.
  5. We were thinking about ______________ when we wrote music for the new album.
    Ladytron: Plate tectonics.