Royal City

1999- 2004

Asthmatic Kitty

Jul 21, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

The first song on this compilation is the promising "Here Comes Success." This is no coincidence. Despite their promise and talent, Royal City didn't make it. They skirted the spotlight, never quite connecting with a wide audience for whatever reason. Arcade Fire opened for them. Constantines shared their label. Sufjan Stevens was a fan (as evidenced by his putting out this record). And yet, Royal City didn't find their place. More

Lights

Rites

Drag City

Jul 20, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

Brooklyn's Lights certainly concocts a strange sonic stew on its second album. It starts off with the swirling psychedelia of "Heavy Drops," which segues into the jumpy guitar groove of "Can You Hear Me," a track that includes a lazy sax solo that sounds like it was sampled from Billy Joel's The Stranger. More

Jul 17, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

The debut full-length from Discovery, the long-gestating hipster R&B project from Rostam Batmanglij (Vampire Weekend) and Wes Miles (Ra Ra Riot), is a little boring. Listeners need look no further than the cover art, an agreeable, organized grid of Ellsworth Kelly-esque pastel blocks that promise non-threatening, vaguely ironic fun. More

Hockey

Mind Chaos

Capitol

Jul 17, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

Sometimes you've got to loosen your tie and try to remember that not everything is such a rigid business. Hockey's debut album, Mind Chaos, is here to help you out. The tracks freely move through a shortlist of genres: "Too Fake" boasts a dance punk influence, "Song Away" references a New Wave pop sound à la The Cars, and "Four Holy Photos" pops out with its country sauntering and close harmony. More

Jul 16, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

The Sounds are very much a guilty pleasure. The Swedish five-piece make unapologetically '80s-sounding pop music with a generous helping of synth-y New Wave cool. They are fronted by a stunning blond and tour virtually nonstop in support of their albums. Yet, as indie rock goes, The Sounds are decidedly unhip. More

Jul 15, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

Timber Timbre's Taylor Kirk has joined the ranks of so many songwriters by working with a changing cast of musicians under a collaborative name. His self-titled album debuted earlier this year on Out of this Spark but, after signing to fellow Canadian-based Arts & Crafts, the album is set to be reissued in Canada and internationally released over the summer.  More

Jul 14, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

1995's wonderfully weird Bunny Gets Paid is a great rambling mess of post-punk, blues, and lo-fi haze. It also happens to be the first step toward the incredible music that Tim Rutili, Ben Massarella, Tim Hurley, and Brian Deck would go on to make as Califone, and hints at the style that Deck would come to refine as a producer for Tortoise, The Sea and Cake, and Modest Mouse. More

Jul 13, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

Was anyone really crying out for a Stay Hungry reissue? Regardless, here it is, and even if it's not particularly groundbreaking, it still holds up well as a reminder that the band weren't the cartoonish buffoons they're often viewed as having been. More

Jul 10, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

To say expectations were low for Mos Def’s fourth album is being far too generous. But by the shameful standards Mos Def set for himself, any album with some semblance of effort was bound to be heralded as a return to form, and The Ecstatic puts forth that modicum of effort.  More