Tag Archives: spectrals

I’ve got a lot of reasons to believe that this really is that endearingly ginger northern lad, Louis Jones, who we all know plays the most melodic, beautifully throwback, modern and affecting 50s doo-wop-pop. Spectrals will release their debut album, Bad Penny, will hit us on October 25th with help via Wichita Recordings in the UK & Slumberland in the US. Get A Grip is the second cut that we’ve got to hear off the album, and my god, my appetite for Spectrals music is appallingly large. The song, besides being titled after a phrase that I constantly repeat to myself, showcases his laid-back, reverbed out, soothing as hell vocals, intricate guitar parts and a little bit of swing. Spectrals are fantastic.

mp3: Spectrals – Get A Grip

If anyone was under the misapprehension that Spectrals are meant to be a band who toil in the forgotten recesses of the lo-fi label, how wrong you are. Spectrals are meant to be big, gleaming, clean and bombastic and that’s exactly what ‘Big Baby‘ winds up being. This beautiful jam is coming off their debut LP, Bad Penny, which we will get to hear on October 17th in the UK via Wichita Recordings & on the 25th of October in the US via Slumberland Records. I can’t even stress to you how excited I am for this LP and how big of a fan I am of this cut off the album. Spectrals have such a way with melody, being so beautifully simple and layered complex at the same time, and a knack for jotting down some of the most catchy choruses (“Wah, Wah, Wah“, genius!) and everything that I’ve ever heard from him is just wonderful. If you’re not a fan yet, now is the time.

mp3: Spectrals – Big Baby

This happened. And it was awesome. Spectrals were really great last night, by the way. Stoked for their LP which I think will be coming out soon.

mp3: Spectrals – Keep Your Magic Out Of My House
mp3: Best Coast – Sun Was High (So Was I) (Acoustic)

Just got some excellent news regarding London’s Camden Crawl 2011 festival lineup. The list of bands is now finalized and the amazing OFWGKTA who put on the best show I saw at SXSW, will be coming over from LA (just like me!) to stun London once again with their swag.

In addition to those, they’ve also got Dananananaykroyd, The Agitator, Banjor or Freakout, Eagulls, Flats, Johnny Foreigner, King Charles, Marques Toliver, Mazes, Rainbow Arabia, S.C.U.M, Spectrals, Turbogeist, Veronica Falls, Wild Palms and about a thousand more.

The 2011 Camden Crawl runs from April 30th – May 1st in venues all around London. Early bird tickets are £54.00 and you can pick them up via Camden Crawl and See Tickets.

mp3 | Eagulls – Mystery (The Wipers cover)

The 2011 lineup for the Gaymers Camden Crawl, or as I like to refer to it, London’s mini-SXSW has finally been released. The shindig which will take place at the end of April into the first Weekend of May, sees tons of venues hosting a bunch of bands and this year a bunch of NRBW are playing. Check out our picks for Saturday and Sunday below:

Saturday, April 30th
Cloud Control
Marques Toliver
Rainbow Arabia
The Agitator
Wild Palms

Sunday, May 1st
Banjo or Freakout
Johnny Foreigner
Marques Toliver
Peggy Sue
Veronica Falls

mp3 | Spectrals – Chip A Tooth (Spoil A Smile)
mp3 | Dananananaykroyd – Cleaning Each Other

Fresh off a great show in January, The Gaymers Camden Crawl 2011 Tips series is back. They’ll continue to show you what’s great and new in the world of music at the Bull & Gate in London. This time, February 24th, you’ll get the chance to see Spectrals. If you’re not familiar with the “Spector-goes-surfing” (as DiS calls them) vintage inspired, dreamy pop songs of Spectrals, you will be – not only will they presumably play a bunch in the UK, but they’re hitting US shores for SXSW. Don’t snooze, they rule.

Spectrals w/ Paris Suit Yourself, Patch William, Frontiers
@ The Bull & Gate | 389 Kentish Town Road, London
February 24th, 2011 // £6 in advance :: £7 on the door

mp3 | Spectrals – Keep Your Magic Out Of My House

There’s not much that I don’t love about SXSW. I revel in the pre-festival stressing, the insanity, the planning, the $2.50 Lonestars, the Frost Bank Building, street dogs at 1am, falling down dead of exhaustion after a long day, and so on and so forth. It’s the best week of my year and 2011 is going to be better than the previous three. Is It March Yet? is our preview of some of the bands we’ll be catching at this year’s festival for sure. We recommend you do so as well.

01 Spectrals :: Okay, I’ve waxed poetic about how much I adore Spectrals quite a lot on this blog, so I’m going to take the opportunity to talk about how well his songs work live. Although it started off as a bedroom project, Spectrals is a full-live band (well, has been for a while) and they slay.  Not in a headbanging kind of jump around way (trust, I love that too) but in kind of a mellow, perfect pop song played really well kind of way. Maybe Spectrals won’t get the party jumping immediately, but they’ll show you a great way to turn your 50s/60s pop influences into something modern and great.

mp3 | [download id="102" format="2"]

02 King Tuff :: Again, another band that I literally refuse to stop talking about. King Tuff’s Was Dead was absolutely hands down the most underrated album of 2009, that’s a fact. I love the dirty glam garage rock dance party caterwaul that King Tuff brings every time. It’s also well documented that my biggest music regret of SXSW ’09 was not seeing this band. So do not make the same mistake I did, and check him out immediately.

mp3 | [download id="92" format="2"]

03 The Growlers :: There is no other live band that has ever lived up to the Growlers live. Every single time they are on point – they bring the dance party, Brook’s dance moves are always amusing, the stage decor/costumes are always ridiculous (and sometimes hideous) and their songs are just incredible. Lately, I’ve noticed that the Growlers have been making little adjustments to the tempo and arrangements of certain songs and that experimentation is just proof that if you write a good song (ie: Bob Dylan, hello), you can tweak it and have it still be ridiculously amazing. They’re the best. If you miss them, you’re a fool.

mp3 | [download id="251" format="2"]

04 tUnE-yArDs :: Back in February of 2010, I went to see tUnE-yArDs never hearing a single song or knowing anything about her. I left with her songs permeating my thoughts, grinning wildly like a maniac, walking in all the wrong directions. Her live show is stunning, modest, moving, powerful, amazing. I cannot recommend seeing her enough — it’s all so homegrown and evocative. Do not miss seeing this talented Merrill Garbus before/during/after the release of her surely incredible 2nd album.

mp3 | [download id="100" format="2"]

05 Dead Ghosts :: I’m extremely excited that Vancouver’s Dead Ghosts are venturing down South (where everyone is rude — Weeds joke, anyone?) for some shows. Ever since the middle of 2010 I’ve been enchanted by their self-titled debut album and their 12″ live record. Everything they touch seems to be a mix of my favorite kind of garage rock, 60s/50s influence, catchy as fuck choruses and even though this will be my first time seeing them too: I’m just going to assume they slay asses live. I will keep you updated, but a SXSW without any Dead Ghosts seems kind of like a fool’s errand.

mp3 | [download id="207" format="2"]

I can’t believe it’s time again for me to say who I think is going to blow up next year. I’d like to clarify that nobody has asked for my input on this, but I feel that these bands are going to either blow up or achieve mild success that to me is the equivalent of superstardom. There’s been a lot of great new bands to come up this year and I couldn’t feature all of them so in lieu of having a list of like 20, I’m listing my top 10 bands that you’ll likely see on the pages of this blog, and maybe some other places and here’s a few that I got obsessed with too late or forgot about: School Knights, Ghost Outfit, Brown Brogues, Bleeding Knees Club, Straight Arrows, Cum Stain, The Franks, Friends, Wicked Fag, Tijuana Panthers, Sauna Youth, Moonhearts, Family Trees and Son of Rams. There’s too many to list, but check these out:

10 Audacity | Fullerton, CA | Myspace

Youthful punk rippers that go balls out every time, the fuzz doesn’t seem to mask the undercurrent of straight up great songs, best to see live and jump around to, nowhere to go but up.

mp3 | [download id="249" format="2"]

09 Shimmering Stars | Vancouver, BC | Myspace

Very new, but very good. More of the tender, half-sweet half-hidden-dark side 50s/60s pop with more than a tinge of the Everly Brothers, but serious lyric potential here. Basically, rules.

mp3 | [download id="172" format="2"]

08 The Vaccines | London, UK | Myspace

Teetering on the edge of being swept up into the British Hype Machine notwithstanding, these are great pop songs filtered through a very watery veil of 60s surf, but end up with something big, echoing and catchy as fuck.

mp3 | [download id="200" format="2"]

07 Spectrals | Wakefield, UK | Myspace

Northern England’s favorite ginger man doing stunning 50s doowop mixed with perfect, swooning 60s pop. Making it new with serious songwriting chops.

mp3 | [download id="102" format="2"]

06 Sex Beet | London/Leicester, UK | Myspace

UK’s best answer to anything that is happening in the US garage scene; makers of grimy, fuzzy, incredibly infectious noisy garage rippers. Bonus points for excellence in keyboard, being as great live as on record, weed smoking jams.

mp3 | [download id="175" format="2"]

05 Heavy Hawaii | San Diego, CA | Myspace

Beach born, Spector raised ridiculously catchy, tender, floating sentimental jams that err on the side of excellence rather than annoyingness. Bonus points for weed smoking jams.

mp3 | [download id="136" format="2"]

04 Sweaters | Los Angeles, CA | Myspace

Los Angeles’ heir to the crown of boisterous, timeless, wickedly humorous, anthemic pop songs of positivity, joy and awesomeness. Only band who puts a smile on my face in person and on record. Bonus points for being published authors.

mp3 | [download id="250" format="2"]

03 The Babies | New York, NY | Myspace

Exercise in mastering simplicity in song writing, then adding fuzz, a little bit of shambles and the best male/female shared vocals. This blurb doing them absolutely no justice as they’re incredible.Minus points for not knowing how great they are, as they’re still not a full-time band.

mp3 | [download id="195" format="2"]

02 King Charles | London, UK | Myspace

Forward thinking, experimental pop guitar shredder with more talent than songs going to a major label. Could be great.

mp3 | [download id="7" format="2"]

01 The Growlers | Costa Mesa, CA | Myspace

The kings of surf, garage, psychedelic swamp stomps with undeniable PhDs in ridiculously infectious melodies; dark, insanely intelligent lyrics and making you dance (even if you don’t wanna). Also, wearers of ridiculous clothing.

mp3 | [download id="251" format="2"]

I love doing year end roundup coverage and I’m still waiting to put up the bands to watch list, so I thought we’d highlight some of the great bands we discovered over the past year. Some of them made our 2011 bands to watch list, some of them didn’t, some of them aren’t even NEW but rest assured they all rule. As per the usual, you can download a great mp3 from each of the bands at the links.

The Strangers Family Band

Les Rallizes Denudes
Best Coast
Happy Birthday

Caitlin Rose
Eternal Summers
Wild Palms
White Fence
Cloud Nothings
Hey Sholay
The Invisible Hand

Fair Ohs
Monster Rally
Family Trees
Silver Machine
Hot Spa
Fergus & Geronimo
The Jim Jones Revue
Jeffertitti’s Nile
Mind Spiders
Shimmering Stars
Young Sinclairs
Son of Rams
The N.E.C
Velvet Davenport
Dominant Legs
The Splinters
The Vaccines
The Babies
Las Robertas
Heavy Hawaii
Francois & The Atlas Mountains
Myelin Sheaths
Pete Drake
Mess Folk
Black Mekon
Man The Hunter
Navajo Bixby
Demon’s Claws
French Kissing
Whatever Brains
The Castillians
Bass Drum of Death
Dead Ghosts
Sonny & The Sandwitches
Crusaders of Love
Bleeding Knees Club
Straight Arrows
Hello My Name Is Red
Sauna Youth
School Knights
Tree Hopping
The Meanest Boys
Ghost Outfit

And due to high demand you can download a track from each artist put into a zip folder right here.

2010 has been a pretty fun year for music. Every year, I discover more music, better music, and sometimes it cracks me up to see how my music taste grows and differs as the years go by, but I think 2010 has been a great year for new bands and kickass albums. I’ve compiled my list of 10 albums that I really loved, 5 EPs that just got to me, and then 30 songs that I’ve called Top Songs, but they’re just 30 songs that I liked a hell of a lot and came to me as I thought about it and scanned carelessly through iTunes. It’s interesting to note that half of my favorite albums are from California bands.

Top 10 Albums of 2010

10 Ty Segall | Melted | Goner

mp3 :: [download id="211" format="2"]

09 Woven Bones | In & Out & Back Again | Hozac

mp3 :: [download id="88" format="2"]

08 Dead Ghosts | S/T | Florida’s Dying

mp3 :: [download id="207" format="2"]

07 Heavy Hawaii | HH | Artfag Records

mp3 :: [download id="136" format="2"]

06 The Strange Boys | Be Brave | In The Red

mp3 :: [download id="212" format="2"]

05 Fool’s Gold | Fool’s Gold | IAMSOUND Records

mp3 :: [download id="213" format="2"]

04 Avi Buffalo | Avi Buffalo | Subpop

mp3 :: [download id="14" format="2"]

03 The Soft Pack | The Soft Pack | Mexican Summer

mp3 :: [download id="130" format="2"]

02 Harlem | Hippies | Matador

mp3 :: [download id="214" format="2"]

01 Happy Birthday | Happy Birthday | Subpop

mp3 :: [download id="40" format="2"]


Top 5 EPs of 2010

05 Monster Rally | Monster Rally EP | Self Released

mp3 :: [download id="27" format="2"]

04 Unouomedude | Marsh EP | Self Released

mp3 :: [download id="118" format="2"]

03 Caitlin Rose | Dead Flowers EP | Names Records

mp3 :: [download id="101" format="2"]

02 Sex Beet | EP | TBA

mp3 :: [download id="175" format="2"]

(note: this is totally not the artwork, as this isn’t released yet, but the EP is too good to not be included on this list.)

01 The Growlers | Hot Tropics EP | Everloving

mp3 :: [download id="149" format="2"]


Top 30 Songs of 2010:

01 The Babies | Meet Me In The City | Listen

02 Happy Birthday | Perverted Girl | Listen

03 Sex Beet | Stay

04 Friends | Make It Better

05 The Meanest Boys | Strangest Things

06 Tennis | South Carolina | Listen

07 Spectrals | Leave Me Be | Listen

08 Family Trees | Dream Talkin’ | Listen

09 Cee Lo Green | Fuck You | Listen

10 Sonny & The Sunsets | Too Young To Burn | Listen

11 Beach Fossils| Sometimes | Listen

12 Woven Bones | Wanna Tell Ya | Listen

13 Ty Segall | Bullet Proof Nothing

14 Surfer Blood | Take It Easy | Listen

15 School Knights | Lunch Money

16 Happy Birthday | Subliminal Message | Listen

17 The Growlers | Sea Lion Goth Blues | Listen

18 Unouomedude | Buildings | Listen

19 The Strange Boys | Laugh At Sex (Not At Her) | Listen

20 Mind Spiders | World’s Destroyed

21 Fair Ohs | Hey Lizzy | Listen

22 Fergus & Geronimo | Girls With English Accents

23 French Kissing | You Just Don’t Know What Love Is For

24 Sweaters | Fruit On The Vine

25 Demon’s Claws | Fucked on K | Listen

26 Swampmeat | Brand New Cadillac

27 Gaoler’s Daughter | Meet You On The Other Side of the World

28 Shimmering Stars | I’m Gonna Try | Listen

29 My Pet Saddle | Il Fait Beau | Listen

30 Cults | Go Outside | Listen