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Sunday, September 20th, 2020  

David Byrne and Dirty Projectors

“Ambulance Man” MP3

May 05, 2009

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Is 2009 the year of the Dirty Projector? All signs point to yes if memory serves us right. First there was "Knotty Pine," that brilliant collaboration with David Byrne on the Dark Was the Night compilation, next came the sparkling pop single "Stillness Was the Move," and in preparation for Bitte Orca's non-leak June 9th release here's another David Byrne/Dirty Projectors track that didn't make the cut for Dark Was the Night. "Ambulance Man" is one of those atypical avant-pop Projectors ballads and Byrne steals the show a little. It all unfurls into a slightly less captivating a capella outro. Not a bad companion piece, but you can clearly hear why "Knotty Pine" was picked over this one.

I Was A King

“Step Aside” (Live at John Dee, Oslo, Norway) Video

May 05, 2009

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I Was A King's eponymous sophomore album may have employed the help of indie heavyweights like Emil Nikolaisen (Serena Maneesh), Sufjan Stevens, Daniel Smith (Danielson), Gary Olson (Ladybug Transistor), and Nick Terry (Primal Scream, The Libertines), but the Norwegian band's resultant tracks avoid the self-importance of an ad hoc supergroup. With their backup band, Norwegian co-songwriters Frode Strømstad and Anne Lise Frokedal have conflated the psychedelic haze of the '60s with the shoegaze of the early '90s so much that you remember they were always linked scenes in the first place. I Was A King will hit the U.S. towards the end of the month. Check out their full tour dates on their MySpace page. Here's a taste of what the band does best as they blast through a two-minutes-and-change live rendition of I Was A King's “Step Aside” in Oslo. Look out for a band feature on this website soon.

Liechtenstein

“Roses in the Park” MP3

May 05, 2009

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Just when you thought the indie-rock universe was the ultimate boy's club along comes all-female groups like Brooklyn's Vivian Girls and Slumberland Record's latest signee: Sweden's Liechtenstein. Named after the landlocked alpine microstate in Germany, the trio first gained attention with several singles in their home country, followed by the one-two punch of 2007's Stalking Skills and 2008's Apathy. Their new mini-LP, Survival Strategies in A Modern World, drops June 2nd, but you can listen to the girls' bubble-gum-wrapped-in-feedback single "Roses in the Park" here. They sound like they've found a perfect American label, since their C86-era affinities fit well alongside The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. You can hear/see more of Liechtenstein's serrated three-part harmonies on Elin Conradson's music video for "Security By Design," the B-side on the Apathy 7-inch single (Fraction Discs).

Hjaltalín

“Traffic Music” MP3

May 02, 2009

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This promising new orchestral rock septet from Reykjavík, Iceland was called to Under the Radar's attention by one of our readers. All we can say is "THANK YOU!" Hjaltalín make a joyful sound in the vein of Sufjan Stevens or Frances but are grounded by more everyday lyrics. The winsome track swirls between a fluttering bassoon and its full-band counterpart. When singer/guitarist Högni Lisberg sings about a protagonist who keeps checking "his messages on Myspace" you realize how ridiculous that such a phrase is already dated. "Traffic Music" is a winner despite such negligible things. The digital single is out on May 4 in the U.K. and the band also commishioned a music video from the Icelandic animator Hermann Karlsson.

The Dears

“Halfmast” (B-side) MP3

May 02, 2009

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"Halfmast" is a new B-side by The Dears that was recorded during the same sessions for their last album, Missiles. The Dears recently wrote about the song in an email blast to their mailing list: "For whatever reason the clock ran out and we just couldn't fit this onto Missiles. It has this ridiculous long section at the end that features 4(!) simultaneous guitar solos, one of them on a wah-wah pedal. The solos were played by George Donoso III, Robert E. Benvie, Patrick Krief and Murray Lightburn, recorded in the same session, one after the other. The track was inspired by many things, but notably, the prospect of a black man running for president." Despite just having their tour bus stolen, The Dears are currently on tour.

The Field

“The More That I Do” MP3

May 02, 2009

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On the first single for The Field's forthcoming Yesterday and Today, Axel Willner hits it out of the park. After his breakout From Here We Go Sublime he's favored more live instrumentation and it shows here. A resplendent melody sample (supplied by the always beautiful Cocteau Twins' song "Lorelei" ) serves as the backbone for the wicked krautrock vibe. Synths pinwheel from the background to the foreground of the mix. This could hardly be considered minimal or ambient. For those that stay until the song's coda, Willner plops a tropical surprise into the mix. It's well worth the wait. The Kompakt Kid's transition to Anti- sounds great. Yesterday and Today drops May 19.

Tori Amos

“Maybe California” MP3 & Video

Apr 30, 2009

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Mother's Day is quickly approaching and Tori Amos (a mom who ascribes to a Jungian concept of parenthood) is getting ready. To celebrate the occasion, the piano songstress is giving away a free download of “Maybe California.” Abnormally Attracted to Sin comes out May 19, via Universal Republic. All you got to do is give up an e-mail address for the music video and mp3. Here's the download page ("A Gift from Tori Amos") with a video message that's got a late afternoon PBS vibe to match the song's overcast tempo.

Antony and the Johnsons

“Another World” (Live on Craig Ferguson) Video

Apr 30, 2009

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When talk show host/comedian Craig Ferguson introduced the group he quipped that he he was “quite scared” of the cover of Antony and the Johnsons’ latest album, The Crying Light. The small ensemble's rendition of lead single "Another World' was no joke though. A glacial string trio is barely there; a stark contrast to the strange aural twists Antony took with Matthew Herbert at this year's Coachella. Ferguson may be scared of the butoh dancer Kazuo Ohno but we'll welcome these sounds anytime. There was a feature on Antony and the Johnsons in Under the Radar's Winter 2009 issue.