Listening, Too

I rarely find new music these days. I’ll blame it on time and general lameness. But here’s two new (to me) bands that are worthy of spreading the word on.
Midlake: “Head Home”. My pal Jeff turned me on these guys. Pure 70s smoothness. No one does vocal harmonies like this anymore. Their album, The Trials of Van Occupanther is an absolute gem.

MGMT: “Time to Pretend”. Could this be the Summer 2008 Anthem™? It’d probably need different lyrics. But regardless, this is one catchy tune, with an ABBA-esque quality (again, vocal harmonies) that’s damn infectious.
What are you listening to these days?

48 Comments

  1. Tjobbe says:

    I find myself listening to a LOT of dance music recently, but have always ended up switching to the Beach Boys or even Jack Johnson when I just want to get on with things nice and calmly, dance music makes me type just a little too fast sometimes!
    Just listening to the Midlake song, sounds real good, thanks for sharing ;o)

  2. Jerod says:

    Looks like your second YouTube link heads to the same place as the first…
    I’ve been loving Bon Iver lately. Very chill, completely unique sound.

  3. Oops, thanks, Jerod. Fixed now!

  4. Brad Dielman says:

    Lately I’ve been going back and forth between early 90′s grunge and a combo of Ryan Adams and Neko Case (just started listening to Adams about a year ago).
    Occasionally I get on an 80′s kick and break out some post-punk/college rock from that decade. Depends on my mood.

  5. Marcus says:

    I’ve got quite fond of a couple of relatively new acts (new compared to what I otherwise listen to, like Depeche Mode or Pink Floyd).
    Check out Oh Laura – It Ain’t Enough. I discovered them through a car commercial featuring their song “Release me”, which is good too.
    The second one is Duffy that has got quite a bit of press lately.

  6. JAbbott says:

    I agree on Midlake and MGMT. Midlake is from my hometown, Denton, TX, although I moved out before they came on the scene. I’ve been playing a lot of the latest releases from Tokyo Police Club, Vampire Weekend, and Nine Inch Nails (which is free at theslip.nin.com). In between those, I keep returning to several albums from The National.

  7. cmv says:

    Bon Iver
    Black Kids – I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance…
    Los Campesinos!
    Yeasayer

  8. Luke says:

    I MGMT track is really great, and I think Electric Feel off the same album may be even better. It sports the same epic indie-disco sound that they do so well. If it wasn’t winter down here I’d call it the anthem of the summer.
    Midlake sound interesting, just found their The Trials Of Van Occupanther in my iTunes and realised I haven’t listened to it yet.
    The new Jim Noir album is quite good if you like a bit of classy northern English pop
    If you like MGMT, you’ll probably also like Menomena – not as upbeat but totally original, and Friend and Foe is probably one of the most slept on albums of last year.

  9. Luke says:

    I agree, the MGMT track is really great, and I think Electric Feel off the same album may be even better. It sports the same epic indie-disco sound that they do so well. If it wasn’t winter down here I’d call it the anthem of the summer.
    Midlake sound interesting, just found their The Trials Of Van Occupanther in my iTunes and realised I haven’t listened to it yet.
    The new Jim Noir album is quite good if you like a bit of classy northern English pop
    If you like MGMT, you’ll probably also like Menomena – not as upbeat but totally original, and Friend and Foe is probably one of the most slept on albums of last year.

  10. Andrew says:

    Fleet Foxes do 70′s vocal harmonies like that, and maybe even better. :-)

  11. Phineas says:

    Firewater: The Golden Hour over and over and over…

  12. Paul Grunt says:

    MGMT is awesome! I’ve been listening to them lately too. MGMT videos are intense, like SpeedRacer the movie. I also like Rogue Wave and The Pogues a lot lately, but when I need to get into a design groove and not be distracted with lyrics I always turn to anything from the GlobalUnderground network of artists.

  13. Chris Jones says:

    MGMT is a great band, check out the whole album it’s filled with indie dance anthems!

  14. Andrew says:

    Jesu and Agalloch. I realize neither one of these are probably your style, but you may still enjoy them, especially Agalloch’s “The Mantle” album, gorgeous pieces of layered music cake which even includes an accordion in one of the tracks (“A Desolation Song”).
    Enjoy!

  15. Guy says:

    I’ve been into Bishop Allen, Lyrics Born, The Gourds, The Heavy, and for some reason anything with a Latin flavor lately (e.g. Beck’s Burro or El Carretero by Buena Vista Social Club).

  16. Tim Wright says:

    I actually get a bunch of my new music from the WAAF web site. Been missin’ it ever since I moved from Mass. That, and the playlist from fm99.com are both pretty good

  17. Marc Amos says:

    I just iTune’d (yes, that’s a verb) Time to Pretend yesterday. It rocks my socks or sandals!

  18. Rick Curran says:

    Sigur Rós have a new album coming out soon, I’ve been listening to some of that via their website – http://www.sigurros.com/main/streaming.asp.
    I like what I’ve heard so far anyway.

  19. One of my newfound gems is Thao Nguyen. She’s a mix of fun, laid-back indie folk-pop and eclectic rock.
    I’ve been dipping my toes into the new Sigur Ros album, too, but I’m still not sure how I feel about it.

  20. Hey Dan,
    Two groups that I have been enjoying lately are Voxtrot and the Shout Out Louds. Both are what I would consider indie pop. Voxtrot, who are from Texas, has been compared to the Smiths and Belle and Sebastian. Shout Out Louds are from Sweden and have a sound reminiscent of the Cure, but further listening distinguishes them as their own sound.
    Check them out!

  21. Hamish M says:

    I’ve been a big fan of Muse for a while, some really fantastic rock there. Also, Rogue Wave was mentioned before; they’re currently touring with Death Cab for Cutie, both great bands. (Death Cab’s newest single I Will Possess your Heart has an awesome progression)
    Anyway, hope you find something new that you like Dan, and thanks for sharing your own discoveries.

  22. I’ll third Paul & Hemish on Rogue Wave. Sub Pop’s roster lately is mind boggling.
    New Death Cab is different, but fantastic. The track “Cath” is standout.
    And I’ll never stop listening to Teenage Fanclub.

  23. I listen to a lot of different music, from classical to rock, but lately I’ve gotten a lot of work done with the local NPR classical music – a great mix of old and new composers.
    In my car I just burned a mixtape of sorts (MP3 CD), with 80s and 90s hits on it – that will keep me going for a while.

  24. Jake L says:

    A younger opinion: I couldn’t be more pumped for Cute Is What We Aim For‘s new album on the 24th. They’re a more energetic brand of pop-punk, and if you listen to your local hit radio station you might just hear something of theirs.
    My more mature side is enjoying the new Death Cab album. If you’re looking for some good indie, check out Nada Surf. I saw them with Rogue Wave a while back (whom you’ve said you like) so if you haven’t heard of them, they’re definitely worth checking out.

  25. My personal favorite off that MGMT album is Kids. It’s also worth getting their EP – different versions of Kids and Pretend on there, which is like seeing a different version of a website or a beta release.
    I’ve also been enjoying Vampire Weekend, although the album gets best toward the end IMHO.
    I would also recommend Sunset Rubdown!

  26. Actually, if one is a fan of MGMT and other such music, it’s worth trying to locate “The Buried Life” by “Medicine.” This is a band that never quite made it, very much in the genre of My Bloody Valentine, but more upbeat.
    It’s really hard to find that album, but it’s a delight. It’s priceless. Sorry to comment twice… I just had to say.

  27. John Weston says:

    When I’m coding, I love listening to Boards of Canada (sample) or Radiohead (In Rainbows is excellent: sample).
    For upbeat-summer-dancy tunes that will get in your head and rattle you around, try the Hey Hey My My Yo Yo album by Junior Senior (sample) — great stuff!

  28. Steve Killen says:

    I do, just about, prefer Time to Pretend over Electric Feel, both are great though, may have to invest in the album, I think. Luckily I can’t hear the ABBA comparison, otherwise I would hate it.
    I am liking the Black Keys latest album, as well as Justice’s. And Hazard’s Machete is a storming bit of Drum and Bass.

  29. Bat For Lashes, Portishead, Goldfrapp all worth a listen

  30. Jared says:

    Man, I love these posts, except they always drain my wallet by the day’s end.
    I’ve been listening to a bit of Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Bowerbirds, Drive By Truckers, Justice, Murder by Death, and New Pornographers to name a few.

  31. Excellent stuff, folks!
    I concur re: Vampire Weekend, Nada Surf, Rogue Wave and Shout Out Louds. All great. And clearly I have some more music to seek out now.
    Keep it coming :)

  32. Anson Schall says:

    I second the recommendation of the latest Black Keys album, Attack & Release.

  33. Kenny says:

    Thanks for all the great reccomendations up above. I, too, am lazy about looking for new music. I am tending to pick up older and older artists and music, and I always forget to check out the new stuff.

  34. James says:

    I’ve started working on a new website for The Broken Family Band so have been mainly listening to them….but also taking in a lot of Radiohead, Massive Attack, Sigur Ros and Tom Waits due to catching them all live in the coming weeks.

  35. Simon Crosbie says:

    Right now?
    Seastories. Minnie Driver’s new album. Surprisingly good.
    That was preceded by loading some Rush albums I haven’t listened to in the best part of 15 or 20 years. Hold Your Fire, Power Windows, Presto & Moving Pictures. A rock nostalgia trip.
    I’ll be off to WOMAD
    in a few weeks, so I’ll no doubt pick up loads more stuff, but if you want recommendations – Ayub Ogada’s album En Mana Kuoyo is stunning, ( check out Obiero )as is practically anything by Angelique Kidjo and I’ll always recommend MusstMusst by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Massive Attack…
    So not much new, until I’ve checked out everything above. ( I had a load of work to do as well.)
    S

  36. Nils Kraus says:

    Agreed, MGMT are great (same thing with Vampire Weekend), also I came across this song recently:
    The Republic Tigers – Buildings and Moutains
    And I feel in love with RAC Remixes, really all of them especially:
    Be Good (RAC Mix) – Tokyo Police Club
    Brand fraking new, for free and all:
    Stereogum Presents… RAC Vol. 1
    You know were to get the links… ;-)

  37. Alex says:

    My favourite albums of the year thus far are:
    Lay Down in the Light by Bonnie Prince Billy
    Alopecia by WHY?
    Come Into My House by No Kids (awesome little Vancouver band, used to be called p:ano, http://www.myspace.com/nokidsband)
    Made in the Dark by Hot Chip
    I Can Hear Your Heart by Aidan John Moffat (ex-frontman of Arab Strap)
    Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea by the Silver Jews
    I’ve heard good things about Fleet Foxes and Beach House although haven’t listened to either yet…
    Totally concur with John Weston on Boards of Canada. I’m always listening to BoC while designing and coding. Music Has The Right To Children is probably the best electronic album of the last 15 years.

  38. Dan Brady says:

    If you’re looking for some good vocal harmonies, check out Grizzly Bear. I’d recommend starting with their most popular song Knife. Although, lately I’ve been been listening to alternative (and free on their website) versions of Shift and Reprise. It’s perfect for those late-night-coding-while-others-are-sleeping moments!

  39. MGMT’s song is actually quite old, in the UK.
    They have a new song here now often played on MTV Two.
    I am currently into Vampire Weekend and Foals.

  40. I band that I really like is Mute Math. Unique, with an excellent rhythm section.
    Watch their backwards music video of Typical and a live version of Break The Same (a little long, but worth watching every second.)
    You won’t be disappointed.

  41. Per says:

    Some more tips:
    Imogen Heap
    Sebastien Tellier
    Postal Service
    All recommended.

  42. Paul Annett says:

    I heard of Midlake when they were the first band on Richard Rutter’s The Best Songs I Bought In 2006… Ever! compilation. Nice choice!

  43. batty13 says:

    these days, a lot of ambient podcasts created by a guy in the netherlands. His podcasts are splendid. I almost feel like he may even be broadcasting em from dantooine. You can find him online at spacemusic.nl
    ;D

  44. gossard says:

    MGMT is awesome! I’ve been listening to them lately too. MGMT videos are intense, like SpeedRacer the movie. I also like Rogue Wave and The Pogues a lot lately, but when I need to get into a design groove and not be distracted with lyrics I always turn to anything from the GlobalUnderground network of artists.

  45. MM says:

    I also like Rogue Wave and The Pogues a lot lately, but when I need to get into a design groove and not be distracted with lyrics I always turn to anything from the GlobalUnderground network of artists.

  46. Jono says:

    Here’s is an ironically catchy tune, your very own theme song.
    Song: Mighty Mighty Dan
    Artist: moOt
    TheirSpace: http://www.myspace.com/mootboots

  47. Vectorpedia says:

    MGMT “Rocks”……………….I love them