What We’re Listening To: March #2

SC Band Hermit’s Victory

“Night Owl” Hermit’s Victory

To some this song might sound familiar…it came out on our 2014 sampler when we helped introduce the music of Tyler Bertges to the world. Now we’re hearing the glorious final version from Hermit’s Victory, the moniker Bertges took on for the project set to release April 7th on Hearts & Plugs. –D String

“Don’t Wanna Fight” Alabama Shakes

It was this time three years ago when Alabama Shakes started to pop up on people’s radars, including ours. I got to see them at SXSW for a crowd that piled in to see the band that everyone had been buzzing about. I called it an “unexpected kick to the soul” then, and looking back on it that makes even more sense. Now they’re back with “Don’t Wanna Fight” with a slightly updated sound that still carries that deep South sound. –D String

“Give Thanks” Pet Symmetry (Featuring Into It Over It)

This track kicks in heavy and distorted with squealing feedback from the Chicago trio featuring Evan Weiss (Into It Over It) on bass and guitar. The trio also features members from Dowsing, Kittyhawk, Mountains for Clouds, building a group with sing-a-long hooks and a poppy upbeat heavy sound. –D String


“The Getaway” Leisure Cruise

Leisure Cruise is Broken Social Scene’s Dave Hodge and Leah Siegel. Their debut track heard here is synth heavy and grooves bright and catchy with a straight forward pop structure and memorable hook. –D String

“No Room in Frame” Death Cab for Cutie

“No Room in Frame” is the first track on Death Cab for Cutie’s upcoming album and the second single released. The first single was kind of disappointing, but this one gives me more hope that the album will be good. –D String

“Nothing without Love” Nate Ruess

fun. really revived the careers of both Jack Antanoff and Nate Ruess, turning them more into pop stars than the indie rock legends of the early 2000’s who they were. That whole scene with bands like The Format and Steel Train really didn’t age well, and many of the bands that got popular at the time weren’t able to do nearly as much as these two guys were. Ruess’ new single carries on in the fun. vein showing off his pipes and close to the heart lyrics.  –D String

“Lifted Up (1985)” Passion Pit 

From their upcoming album Kindred Passion Pit stay true to their electro pop style on their new single. This track would fit right in with their last album, and that’s alright by me. A teaspoon of sugary pop makes the summer go down. – D String


“Moaning Lisa Smile” Wolf Alice

Among the masses of emails with blah music came “Moaning Lisa Smile” from Wolf Alice with a song that started off a little slow and then came the guitars and drums pounding in. Reminded me off the bat of the powerful The Joy Formidable who also play aggressive and loud rock n roll. – D String

“Sagres” The Tallest Man on Earth

In spite of his Swedish background, Kristian Matsson has a deceptively southern-latin twang that intertwines with indie folk blues into a harmony that is enough to break your heart. “King of Spain,” will make you wish for simpler times when you were young and full of wonder and “The Dreamer” is relatable to anyone whose felt defeated. Essentially, the Tallest Man has a way to touch a part of your soul and while this new single is in the same vein, it doesn’t reach that point quite yet. Hopefully, the full album will live up to his reputation especially with the sudden burst of attention he’s received within the past year. –Jess Spence.


“Emeralds” Letts

Christian Letts debut album Hold Fast was released last week, after the anticipatory singles late last year of “Charles de Gaulle” and “Matches.” While his music flew under my radar until just a few days ago, it made complete sense to learn the album was produced in collaboration with Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons. Not only that, but the fact that Letts is the lead guitarist for Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. As expected, the style is in the same vein of indie folk rock but with less of the California sun from Alex Ebert’s Zeros and more of Letts’ cloudy, melancholy London skies. He’ll be at the SXSW showcase presented by New Community Management, accompanied by James Vincent McMorrow, Alberta Cross, Wild Ones and of course, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. (I’ll be sure to let you know what I think of his live performance after.) –Jess Spence

“The Ground Walks, with Time in a Box” Modest Mouse

Remember how I mentioned “Coyotes” last week? I changed my mind, this is my new favorite single released thus far from Strangers to Ourselves. Although, I’m not finding it to be amusing as to how many singles they’re planning to leak before the actual album – which has been pushed back from March 3rd to the 17th. Who knows, maybe by that date we’ll have been given all the material. I wouldn’t complain. Jess Spence

“Beetle” Run River North

An indie-folk band out of San Fernando Valley, California, Run River North got its break in 2012 when the members made a music video for their song, “Fight To Keep,” out of their Honda cars. Upon seeing the video, Honda surprised the band and booked them on Jimmy Kimmel Live. And as you can probably guess, the band has grown exponentially since then. The six-piece released its album in early-2014, but has somehow managed to keep its place on my playlist. Whether it’s the cleverly placed string arrangements or hooks, “Beetle” highlights the band’s strong points. Alex Hwang’s vocal lines in the song range from a quite whisper to yells. The percussion is out of this world. Kudos to John Chong for that. And Sally Kang’s call and response vocals with Hwang give the song some breathing room. Words of advice – don’t be so soon to judge this band as a run-of-the-mill, hipster band from California. With a variety of instruments and strong songwriting, I’m expecting this band to blow up anytime now. –Andrew Moore

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