What We’re Listening To: February 2015 #1

 “Coyotes” Modest Mouse

Modest has developed one hell of a following since getting together in ’93, and it has been nearly eight years since their fifth album We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank. Within the past few months though, they’ve released three solid singles in anticipation of a new album and announced a lengthy list of tour dates to follow. “Coyotes” is one of my favorites, and if you haven’t had the chance to listen yet then I highly recommend you do. They’ll be coming to Charleston on March 12th, and it’s safe to expect the show to sell out – get your tickets while you can. – Jess Spence

“Leave the Door Wide Open” Black English

The Wild Honey Pie featured this group on their Buzzsessions last week, and I’ve had their album No on replay ever since. Their debut was released late last year and they’ve been making appearances from France to Mexico ever since. Their sound and road-dog style is reminiscent of The National, and the fact that they call Echo Park, L.A. their home is imminent in their indie aesthetic. – Jess Spence

“Budapest” George Ezra

In the flood of British singer/songwriters from Sam Smith to Ben Howard, we’ve stumbled upon George Ezra. Unlike the associated genre, however, he falls between pop and soul. His voice is just as resonating as the rest, but the quirky riffs and melodies make his first full length album Wanted on a Voyage stand out. The debut was released last month, and I’m hoping to only see his presence expand this year. – Jess Spence

“Wolves” Kanye West (Featuring Sia and Vic Mensa)

If this new single is any indication of what we can expect from the new Kanye album, I cannot wait. His material consistently amazes and surprises me. Yeezus was aggressive and addictive, Dark Twisted Fantasy was gorgeous. “Wolves” is reminiscent of that synth-harmony that crafted Dark Twisted Fantasy, and the verses from Sia and Vic are amazing. (Vic Mensa is especially someone to watch this year too.) -Jess Spence

“Don’t Stand a Chance”The Gromble

Alright, the band’s self-titled EP came out in October last year but it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I stumbled upon it. This track specifically has resonated, so much so that I probably listened to it at least once a day since. It’s an anthem, beginning on an acoustically soft note, gradually escalating until it erupts into a resonating finale. Imagine a sun setting, night creeping in and suddenly, fireworks. – Jess Spence

“Scott Get the Van, I’m Moving” Cayetana

In 2014 Cayetana rose out of the crowded Philly punk rock scene with their single “Hot Dad Calendar” and some help from Tiny Engines record label whose influence as tastemakers of indie punk rock has steadily become more and more established. In their new beautifully shot video directed by Adam Peditto, the band smashes up an abandoned building in slow motion. –David Stringer

“Peaches” The Districts

I’ll keep mentioning the “noise” out there in the indie rock world, because it’s becoming increasingly hard for bands to rise above it and set themselves apart. This is how it should be though. There’s a huge difference between good and great, and good shouldn’t water down the rest. Last year at SXSW I saw The Districts live and instantly knew they were special. It’s becoming less and less of a secret how great they are. This single from their new album is even more proof that frontman Rob Grote can write with the best of them, and that he’ll be doing it for years to come. –David Stringer

“Center” Quarterbacks

The longest song on Quarterbacks new album is only 1:39, so even though it’s 19 tracks the album flies by. The third track “Center” stands above the rest as the album speeds frantically by. QB is reminiscent of Radiator Hospital who also mixes quirky folk and clever lyrics with a underlayer of punk influence. – David Stringer


“Pedestrian at Best” Courtney Barnett

Since the rerelease of her album The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas Australia’s Courtney Barnett has blown up in the alt music world. “Pedestrian at Best” gave her fans what they wanted with the follow up–clever words on words on words. Barnett is an incredible wordsmith and that’s the bait on the hook that makes you bite. Well, that and her voice and that damn accent.- David Stringer

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