"Falling Slowly" (Anti-) Irish band The Frames are domestically releasing their 2006 CD The Cost on Feb. 20. There's nothing either exciting or offense about the band's melancholy adult sound. Easy listening in all senses of the phrase.
"+81" (Kill Rock Stars) Deerhoof has received some pretty decent reviews for Friend Opportunity, which was released last week. Try this sample track, just one of several bizarre, unpredictable pop dissections that can be found on the album.
"Heretics" (Pitchfork) Andrew Bird's Armchair Apocrypha, out March 20, is certainly of the albums I'm most looking forward to hearing in the coming months. His understated yet full pop orchestration impressed me on 2005's Andrew Bird's Mysterious Production of Eggs and this track from the new album proves Bird is still one of the most creative singer/songwriters in the game.
"Not a Problem (Live)" (Vice) It's somewhat humorous that the first Vice release from newly-signed Black Lips would be a live record. While the Atlanta garage band is infamous for its debaucherous concert spectacles, the band isn't really known for its great live show musicianship. Making the appeal of this CD equivalent to listening to a neighbor's wild party you weren't invited to through an apartment wall.
"A Good Start" "Lost Time" (Saddle Creek) These two tracks from Omaha native Maria Taylor's upcoming Lynn Teeter Flower are much more self-assured than most of the material from her solo debut 11:11. Evidence that there's more to the Azure Ray member than being just another beautiful voice with an acoustic guitar.
"In Transit" (New Line) The Strokes' Albert Hammond, Jr. is the first member of The Strokes to embark on a solo effort. His debut CD Yours to Keep will hit stores on March 6, featuring "In Transit", a nice, harmless mid-tempo indie pop song with a familiar bouncy beat.
"You Broke My Heart" (Matador) There's something incredibly brilliant and powerful about the rising intensity of this somber pop song. It's like "White Rabbit" for the love-lost. And there's no doubt at least part of has to do with Becky Stark's pure, mystery-shrouded vocals.
"Tourist Trap" (Saddle Creek) In March, indie rock's poster boy for the morose, Conor Oberst, offers his first collection of new material in two years on the Four Winds EP. "Tourist Trap" is sad and simple song, which, after a few listens, seems to lack the emotional power and integrity of albums like Lifted and I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning. Still, I have my fingers crossed for another great Bright Eyes release come springtime.
"Sons of Cain" (Touch and Go) Living with the Living, the new studio album for Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, goes public in March. In the meantime, you can check out this hyperactive, jangly guitar pop track, which features the kind of raw, knee-bounce-inciting, rock-n-roll riffs that made so many fall in love with Hearts of Oak.
"No Love in Your Heart" (Secretly Canadian) Indie prog rock band The Earlies follow-up their acclaimed debut We were The Earlies with The Enemy Chorus, which releases on Tuesday. "No More Love in Your Heart" artfully melds electronica and psychedlica -- it's roots rock you can dance to. You can also stream the entire album on the Secretly Canadian website.
"Comfy in Nautica" (Paw Tracks) The second solo effort from Animal Collective's Noah Lennox is titled Personal Pitch and includes this track, which sounds like what you'd get if you had Brian Wilson conduct an Irish marching band.
"Welcome, Ghost" (Temporary Residence) As score providers for initial episodes of NBC's Friday Night Lights, Explosions in the Sky may be the most exposed instrumental post-rock band in history. New gorgeous and dynamnic atmospheric epics from the band can be heard on their upcoming CD All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone, out Feb. 22.
"Our Haunt" (Misra) Brooklyn's Palomar is known for their deep-dimpled harmonies and power-pop hooks, but their straightforward, dispassionate style (perhaps an attempt to not sound too cute) doesn't yield much more than indifference.
"Jellyfish Ram" (Secretly Canadian) Impossible Shapes' Chris Barnes follows up his psychedelic debut solo CD Born a Black Diamond with the soon-to-be-released A Double Gift of Tongues. The delicately constructed organic sounds of Normanoak can be sampled on this murky deep sea dive.
"No Way Out" (Matador) With an EP coming at the end of the month and a full-length releasing in April, Melbourne trio Love of Diagrams are positioned to break into the U.S. market. Unfortunately for these Aussies, we may already have enough post-punk-inspired artists who sound just like them.
"LLL" (Barsuk) In its strongest moments, the blues-tinged music of singer/songwriter Jesse Sykes is hauntingly beautiful. This selection will appear on her new album Like, Love, Lust & the Open Halls of the Soul, out in Feb.
"I am John" (Sub Pop) This elation-inducing track for Swedishman Emil Svanängen's one-man act Loney, Dear is a perfect helping of creekside twee pop. It appears on his upcoming CD Loney, Noir, due in stores Feb. 6.
"Heart of Hearts" (Pitchfork) Get hypotized by the reverberating outer space beats on this new track from !!!'s upcoming album Myth Takes. It's sure proof that Brooklyn's most prized indie electronic band can still concoct unorthodox ways to shake it on the dancefloor.
"My Sword Hand's Anger" (Arts & Crafts) This track from Toronto band Apostle of Hustle's new album The National Anthem of Nowhere is marked by bizarre, subtle moments of rhythm shifts and human panting. Disappointingly, the rest of the song is ordinary and nearly forgettable. Lesson learned: never skimp on the panting.
The old Listening Room was kind of silly. We at The LARRY Page have concluded the kids will like this better.
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