Music Picks - Janurary 2011

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by , 01-10-2011 at 10:40 AM (1498 Views)
I'm sitting here at 7 AM and I was trying to think of something to do. Then I had this great idea. Why not make a blog where I pick a few songs that I consider to be my favorite for that month? It'd be a cool way to share both my passion for music and to help introduce people to new music. Win win on all sides, yes?

As an added aside, the music I'm going to pick doesn't necessarily come from the month in question, meaning that the music on this month's list doesn't have to be January. However with that said, I'll try not to pick something more than a year old. Also, the picks are not just limited to single songs, though usually unless I'm really wowed by something, I'll stick to singles.

Anyway, on to to my picks for January 2011.

Pick of The Month

The Republic of Wolves - "The Cartographer"
Featured Track - "Widow's Walk"

This isn't a single song. Or two songs. This is seven song EP by one an act that is gaining popularity with each passing day. Their rise is pretty much solely attributed to a friend releasing their earl demo's as fake demo's for Brand New's album "Daisy." It was finally discovered that these demos were not in fact from Brand New but from The Republic of Wolves. Everything else is history.

Since that time, TRoW have released a debut EP, "His Old Branches", and a full LP "Varuna" on November 30th of last year. To top all of that they released this EP, "The Cartographer" on January 1st 2011. I'd say that's pretty damn prolific of an output. Not to mention it's all self-released.

Musically, think of a mix of Brand New, Local Natives, and maybe a dash of Foals to describe their sound. It's a solid mix of screaming and singing though I do think the clean singing vocals and harmonies are much more prevalent than the former. Very layered and textured guitar work, solid drumming, and as I already mentioned, perfect vocal harmonies.

Lyrically, I would have to say TRoW are one of the better bands out there right now. There seems to be a very prevalent theme of the sea in all of their work, but most especially with their LP and this release. Not to mention the glaringly obvious album artwork that points to a nautical theme.

In a move that is very reminiscent of Radiohead's release of "In Rainbows", currently "The Cartographer" is available at TRoW's Bandcamp page for a "name your own price" fee. The bare minimum is .50, but you can choose to pay any amount you'd like. Your other option is to pick it up on iTunes for $6.93, but by purchasing from Bandcamp I'm fairly certain TRoW get all of the proceeds.

A seven song EP that will leave you begging for more for .50? How could you possibly go wrong? Oh. One more thing. You can stream then entire EP on the Bandcamp page before you buy it.

The Republic Of Wolves
The Republic Of Wolves on Myspace Music - Free Streaming MP3s, Pictures & Music Downloads

Everything Else

Weekend - "Coma Summer"

Beautiful post-punk music out of San Fransisco. Weekend released their debut album "Sports" in November of 2010, and this, "Coma Summer", is the leading single from the album. The title fits as it has this sort of droning effect throughout, not to mention the wall of buzzing guitar sounds and the drowned out, reverb heavy vocals, but it's oddly hypnotizing. It almost borderlines on noise rock and yet it retains this great sense of melody throughout. Definitely worth checking out.

PS I Love You - "Facelove"

Canada proves again that it has the best indie rock/pop in the world. I really cannot think of a band indie band from Canada. PS I Love You is no exception. This song in particular came out in late 2009, however, the debut LP it appears on didn't hit until last year, hence my inclusion of it. The song has a woefully catchy guitar hook and it's a wonder that this music is made by just two guys. Paul Saulnier's vocals may be slightly offsetting at first to some listeners, but I find him to sound a bit like Dan Boeckner from Wolf Parade (which is always a good thing). Layer some sweet guitar harmonies on top of it and you've got yourself a great indie pop single.

As an added bonus, the music video is a nod to Joy Division's video for "Love Will Tear Us Apart."

SPORTS - To Catch A Thief

A beautifully crafted song. SPORTS really flew under the radar for me. I had to hunt down their Bandcamp page to even find out who they were. According to there are at least five different bands with the name SPORTS. None of the bands on were this group though. So go figure.

It's a bit hard to define this track into a genre. For simplicity's sake in my iTunes library I put it under indie pop, but truthfully there are a lot of influences here. Synthpop and Futurepop definitely stick out in my mind. Thinking about it now as I listen to this track, the song reminds me a bit of Depeche Mode's "Precious."

I wish I could tell you more about this band, but truthfully I cannot. I don't even know who the members or member is. What I can do though, is give you their music. Legally of course. SPORTS have been generous enough to offer this song as a free single on their bandcamp page. I highly recommend getting it, along with the other tracks available for download there.


So there you have it. My music picks for Janurary 2011. Feel free to leave anything below.
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  1. NiCKYNiTRO's Avatar
    Cool posts dude. Enjoying the reads!
  2. Joker's Avatar
    Thanks a lot, glad you're enjoying them.