Tag Archives: alternative

CHIEF – MODERN RITUALS (Indie/Alternative/Rock – US)

Though its members were all born and raised in Santa Monica, Chief was actually born on the East Coast. It was in New York, while studying at NYU, that Evan Koga and brothers Danny and Michael Fujikawa started their musical collaboration. They took their songs to the stages of many clubs around town and found their sound, a thoughtfully melodic indie rock sound, sometimes reminiscent of acts such as Local Natives, The Shins or Half Cousin.

With the addition of a fourth member, Mike Moonves, the quartet, now based in LA, signed to Domino Records last year. They  released their debut 7” on Domino back in November. The blues-tinted title track is built around solid guitars and a massive chorus.

Chief – Mighty Proud     

Just after releasing “Mighty Proud”, they started recording songs for their album with the help of New York based producer Emery Dobyns in the studio. Their goal was clear: to create a rock record free of gimmicks and fences, a fresh look at classic sounds fitting of its title. Based on strong melodies and vocal harmonies, their songs look into their common experience of traveling from coast to coast. It’s a travelers record that captures the soundscapes of both West and East coast, with one central element: the ocean!

Chief – Night & Day     

Domino Records has been giving away for free the first single, “Night & Day”. The album will be released on August 17. In the meantime, you can find out more about Chief on MySpace and buy their music on Chief

IS TROPICAL – WHAT? (Indie/Rock/Electro – UK)

Get ready for Is Tropical! This London-based 3-piece is slowly but surely making a name for itself and 2010 is proving to be a pretty good year for them.

They have been releasing demos that have gotten them a fair amount of MySpace love and blog coverage. So much so that they recently embarked on a tour sharing bill with Good Shoes and The Big Pink and they were invited by hip French label Kitsuné to perform in Paris tonight!

Is Tropical – What? (demo)     

Their newest song, “What?”, was recently released on MySpace as a demo (hence the poor quality, sorry!). It seems the trio is exploring new directions with this track while still remaining true to their sound. Is Tropical’s music stands somewhere between The Strokes, Ratatat and Friendly Fires, a mix of genres that has been described by some as a “beautifully coherent chaos.” Listen to one of their previous tracks, “The Greeks”, just below…

Is Tropical - The Greeks     

Is Tropical’s credentials also include remixes for a wide range of bands, such as Crystal Fighters, Little Dragon, NewIslands and Two Door Cinema Club… Smooth beats, slick guitars and shiny synths are part of the recipe. Keep these remixes coming guys!

Two Door Cinema Club - Come Back Home (Is Tropical Remix)     

NewIslands - Out Of Time (Is Tropical Remix)     

Is Tropical are currently on the road, bringing their awesome sound to lots of venues around Europe, and they’ll be hitting some major festivals over the summer. Be sure to check out their page on MySpace for more info and tour dates. You can also buy their single “When O’ When” on Is Tropical

TUNNG – AND THEN WE SAW LAND (Folk/Experimental – UK)

Just about three years ago, Tunng released Good Arrows, an album that was quite a revelation. With their folktronica, that reminds me at times of Sufjan Stevens and his orchestral music, other times Half Cousin or Beirut, they conquered the hearts of many a music lover.

Now the London-based experimental folk band is back with a brand new album. The first single taken off their new album is called “Hustle” and it’s a fresh and delightful tune. At this time of year, with the sun shining outside and the cold days of winter long gone and fogotten, this song is probably the most suitable soundtrack for a nice evening out on a terrace.

Tunng – Hustle     
Tunng – Hustle (Mezzir Remix)     

On …And Then We Saw Land, their fourth album to date, the band strikes a fine balance between experimentation and accessibility. Not afraid to pit acoustic guitars against synthesised beats, the Londoners have put together a collection of songs that bring together past and present through the combined use of guitars, piano, banjo, synthesisers, programmed beats and soft vocals.

Just below, you can listen to the unforgettable “Bullets”, taken off Good Arrows. Enjoy!

Tunng – Bullets     

To find out more about Tunng, go to their profile on MySpace. You can buy their new album and all their music on Tunng

SCHOOL OF SEVEN BELLS – IAMUNDERNODISGUISE (Alternative/Psychedelica – US)

Brooklyn-based electro pychodelica trio School of Seven Bells (aka SVIIB) have annouced the release of their sophomore effort Disconnect From Desire, due out on July 13.

Benjamin Curtis (guitar) and twin sisters Alejandra Deheza (vocals, bass) and Claudia Deheza (vocals, keyboards) are still mesmerizing the listener with their dreamy sound and abstract lyrics.

School of Seven Bells - Face To Face On High Places (Jesu Remix)     
School of Seven Bells - Iamundernodisguise (Alternate Version)     

Find out more on School of Seven Bells’ MySpace and buy the new album on School

FUJIYA & MIYAGI – PAPER AIRPLANES (Electronica/Alt – UK)

Brighton-based band Fujiya & Miyagi was formed in 2000. Strange name for an English band? As explained by David Best (lead vocalist but also guitarist and keyboardist), the name comes from the movie ‘The Karate Kid’ and a brand of record players: “Miyagi was taken from the film ‘The Karate Kid’ and Fujiya was the name of a record player. It just looked really nice written down. And it was the only name we came up with”.

Fujiya & Miyagi are self-described as being heavily influenced by 70’s krautrock bands such as Can and Neu! as well as early-90’s electronic music artists like Aphex Twin or  Tom Tom Club, all filtered for modern times.

Fujiya & Miyagi - Paper Airplanes     

With their eclectic sound and interesting use of lyrics as just another element of rhythm in their songs, Fujiya & Miyagi have won over the hearts of a legion of supporters, among whom may be counted DFA, Tiga, Chicken Lips, Damo Suzuki and BBC 6 Music’s Tom Robinson.

Fujiya & Miyagi - Collarbone     

They have also done some noteworthy remixes for bands such as Mercury Rev, Bomb The Bass or Half Cousin. Check out more music by Fujiya & Miyaki on MySpace and download their music on Fujiya & Miyagi