Bouncy balls, veggies, humans, a cat, choreographed dancing, and musical instruments, so many different instruments. The new video from Juniper Douglas has it all! It’s been a while since I’ve posted about Juniper Douglas, the local indie band/art-creation collective, but after taking some time to find themselves, they’re back with a new single. In their typical style, “Promiseland Bakery” stretches and winds through itself bringing psych rock and indie rock to a middle point. Watch the endearing new music video for “Promiseland Bakery” below and find out if they find the rock.
Don’t have a sweet heart this year? Don’t want a sweet heart this year? In either situation, seeing those who have sweethearts being overly affectionate in public on Valentine’s Day is super annoying; after walking across campus this morning, I seriously considered starting a campaign to make hand-holding illegal on Valentine’s Day next year.
That said, the internet and streaming sites seem to be spilling over with anti-Valentine playlists (223 public playlists on spotify searchable under the name “anti valentines”). So where do you start?! How about with a brand new tune fittingly titled “Valentine” from Chicago band August Hotel.
“Valentine” brings that signature jangly twinkle of 2010-2013 indie pop heroes full force – I’m talking about literally anything by TDCC and Passion Pit, and both Foster The People’s and Walk The Moon’s first albums; the original indie kids know. That first “woo!” in the beginning is like being transported into a “fun-time-with-friends” montage in a coming of age movie.
While the lyrics are admittedly kind of heartbreak-ish, something in the optimistic sonic elements of the song and the snide delivery of the lyrics, makes this a really fun “hey remember that time you hurt me? Well I’m fine and honestly you missed out.” “Valentine” is the first single off their second EP to be released this summer, so if you like it there is more on it’s way!
The ease and dance-ability of “Valentine” made me feel like I was 15 again, and hopefully it’ll spark some dancing in you too because once you go in all the way, there’s honestly no escaping your teenage indie-pop days.
This year, as I’ve already shared my best-of lists with The Current, my dad is bringing us his top ten albums of 2017 – enjoy!
“What makes a great record? For me a great song or album should evoke some emotion, get a mosh pit going in my head, or just a good zone out. With those parameters in mind, I hope that this list will hit some of you like they did me. If you haven’t heard of some these bands I really encourage you to step out of your music panic rooms and give them a spin.
10. Junius – Eternal Rituals for the Accretion
I stumbled upon these guys after Maia and I saw Caspian live this past year. They have that post rock feel, but with vocals. The song writing is brilliant, and has pounding percussion and heavy low end riffs throughout the record. Stand out track: “March of the Samsara”
9. Pallbearer – Heartless
Hailing from Arkansas, these gents have a sludgy groove and spacey sound to them. This record has been in a constant rotation on Spotify. Stand out track: “I saw the End”
8. Marilyn Manson – Heaven Upside Down
Love Him or hate him, he’s had a good run and showing no sign of slowing down. Although this record feels like left overs from his previous album, The Pale Emperor (2015). Still a great album, give it a go. Stand out track: “Blood Honey”
7. Nine Inch Nails – Not the Actual Events / Add Violence
I am combining these two EPs to make one full length album. This record feels like Trent Reznor might be beginning a return to the the agro-industrial titan he was early on in his career. I have, will, and always dig anything Trent does. Fan boy? Yep! Don’t care! Stand out tracks: “The Idea of You,” “Less Than”
6. Code Orange – Forever
Ok, so when this album dropped, the entire metal world went, and still are going ape shit over this album. I gave it a couple of plays and was like, “I don’t get it, I don’t hear the magic.” As the year went on, I gave it another spin and was like “Ok, I think I hear it,” but still wasn’t all in. Then, when I heard they’re nominated for a flipping Grammy, I thought, “I have to be missing something, let’s give it another go.” And like a switch went on in me, I get it.
This album comes out the gate wind-milling sledgehammers. It is some of the heaviest music I have ever heard. They have taken sounds and stylings from hardcore, metal-core, and industrial, brilliantly mashed it together, and have come up with an amazing sound. This may take a couple of spins to get but it’s worth it. Stand out tracks: “Forever,” “Bleeding the blur,” “Adeline-shade” (Alt J cover)
5. Prophets of Rage – Prophets of Rage
Having grown up with all three of the bands that make up this super group (Public Enemy, Rage Against the Machine, and Cypress Hill), together they fight improprieties of the current presidential administration, and social and environmental injustice. Tom Morello, the outspoken mouth piece for the band has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Harvard, he knows his shit. If you want to get your protest on, or just need a good release from our current state of political affairs, this is the record for you. Stand out track: “Unfuck the World”
4. Kamikaze Girls – Seafoam
I don’t know a whole lot about this Brit duo having just recently came across them, but I do know that this record is a gem. They have fused punk, shoe gaze, and some early nineties alternative, and came up with an absolutely amazing album. This is one of those records that from the opening chord, it’s a good one and has been on heavy Spotify rotation. This is a must hear. Stand out tracks: “One Young Man,” “I Don’t Want to Be Sad Forever”
3. Hundredth – Rare
Here’s a band that has had a career as a hardcore band and has been successful. At some point they had become uninspired by the music they were making, so they changed it up. They created a very different, dark, and moody album. They felt so confident in their new music, that on the 2017 Vans Warped Tour they only played tracks from this album. A bold move, giving them some very mixed reviews from older fans. This is a must listen if you’re a fan of The Ravonettes, Lush, Low, or My Bloody Valentine. Stand out tracks: “Vertigo”
2. Chelsea Wolf – Hiss Spun
The album title is the only thing I don’t like. This is a very dark record with A plus musicianship and production. She has taken her sound and song writing to the next level, and holy hell has she nailed it. If you’re into the darker, melodic, industrial, goth sound – this is a great record start to finish. Stand out track: “16 Psych”
- 3TEETH – Shutdown.exe
Maia and I were fortunate enough to see these guys live last summer. I wrote a review of the show, but I don’t feel like I did it justice. I will make up for that now. This record is everything the industrial revolution of the late 80s – early 90s was. These guys have nailed the sound, the right amount of guitars, drums, programming, and keys, and have honed in on the massive sound that is industrial music. 3TEETH are on the leading edge of a new revolution in industrial music. The chugging guitars, pounding percussion, and lyrics are very reminiscent of early NIN, Ministry, KMFDM, and Skinny Puppy. I can’t say enough good stuff about this record and band. If given the chance to see them live, do it! Stand out track: “Pit of Fire”
So there it is the top 10 of 2017 – what a flipping year!
Heads Up and Be Well,
JJ (a.k.a. Maia’s Dad)
In closing, I would like to send my condolences to the family, friends, and fans of the late Chad Hanks, from Minneapolis’s own American Head Charge – “To Be Me”
Self-proclaimed “jangle pop” group Alvvays spent the summer traveling the world with an updated lineup of dreamy, nostalgic tunes. The North American leg of the Antisocialites Tour kicked off in early October and will wrap up in their home city of Toronto with five sold-out nights in a row. If that doesn’t say enough about who they are, the new Alvvays record, Antisocialites, has received glowing reviews across the board.
Antisocialites delivers a dose of 60s-inspired, indie pop that could act as the soundtrack for a vintage movie (Ed: see the video for “Dreams Tonight” below!) or afternoon joy ride. Critics call it honest, romantic, and thoughtful, departing from the chiming melodies on their first self-titled record, but earning equally high praises.
Singer-songwriter Molly Rankin grew up around 90s-era, Celtic folk music, but lists bands like The Magnetic Fields, Teenage Fanclub, and The Smiths as her primary influences. She and keyboardist, Kerri MacLellan, formed Alvvays in 2011 and took up roots in Toronto’s quirky scene. The band toured with major indie acts like Peter Bjorn and John and The Decemberists early in their career.
After a few years of exposure in the mainstream alternative world, they signed with Polyvinyl Records, joining a power roster along with American Football, Of Montreal, and White Reaper. Though they are often compared to Best Coast and The Cranberries, Alvvays has established their own uniquely rosy, ethereal sound that combines surf rock with noise pop.
Have a listen to Alvvays’ brilliant, kaleidoscopic new album, Antisocialites, and catch them in the First Ave Mainroom on Nov. 2nd for a show that will surely leave you starry-eyed. (Ed: ALSO check back here afterwards for coverage of the live show!)
Words by Hannah Hubbell
This album is unconventional to say the least, but it has all the best qualities of experimental electronic music and bedroom-folk, with a good dose of some heavy distortion. Eighteen short songs spanning a mere 34 minutes may seem like it would be an easy listen, but Q-Pup’s new album Peaceful Night demands the listener’s attention and their emotion.
As I was giving this album a first listen, I noticed five different versions of the same song, scattered throughout, “Peaceful Night.” The whole No. 1-5 variety deal is evocative of Arcade Fire – but when I say different, I mean very different. If it weren’t for the lyrics, you wouldn’t know they were all versions of the same song.
Slower, more intentional songs like “Holiday, Holiday” had me seeing sad, indie movie montages of friends hanging out and loving each other and just being friends. But then “Quiet” jumps in immediately after, disrupting those head-scenes, but not necessarily in a bad way, just in a way that lets you know it’s time to move on.
The album is available tomorrow on Subaquatic Records and is absolutely worth taking the time to listen to intentionally. Whether you need to focus in, or tune out for a little while, let Peaceful Night be the soundtrack.
My dad previewed the upcoming album from Philly-based ” proto metal/hard rock influenced band” Hound. Born Under 76 is due for release October 20th. Here’s what he had to say:
“Their sound is straightforward rock and roll – nothing flashy. It can get a bit grimy at times and that’s a good thing. I don’t like to equate band’s sound and styling to one and another, but for the sake of giving you a good idea of what to expect, I will. On first listen to Hound’s upcoming full length, Born Under 76, I can hear some Clutch, Monster Magnet and Melvin’s all balled up into one. If you are into rock with a little of that bluesy grunge and punk tendencies, then I think you will enjoy this.
As I went through the album I could envision them in a dingy, smoke-filled, hole-in-the-wall club, with a rowdy crowd. The stand out tracks for me are “Aqualamb” and “Demon Eyes.” I think they best represent and encompass the overall sound and feel of the entire album. I really enjoyed the album and if you are interested, the new album, Born Under 76, will be available Oct 20. Hound is also in town tonight at the Minneapolis Eagles Club – if you have the evening off, check them out!”
Evenings is the perfect soundtrack for a Friday night, whether it be 2 hours or 12.
[words provided by Subaquatic Records]