For many people, December is the heart of the holiday season. However, that doesn’t mean that the only music to listen to is about jingling bells and a fat guy in a red suit. There were plenty of bands releasing new albums, singles, music videos or otherwise making news. Have a look at a few noteworthy releases that we came across during the past month.
Future History – Lungs
Recorded in the backwoods of Ontario, CA, Future History’s Lungs is a channeling of the changing of seasons. Following the success of last year’s Loss:/self, the four-member band released this latest album in late November. Eight tracks of alt rock goodness await those who listen. You can also check out the music video for single “Without (You)” here.
Nate “Suave” Cameron – “Let Me Dream”
Suave makes another return visit to our music roundup feature, most recently being featured back in July’s edition. As with previous releases, “Let Me Dream” is a team-up with New Orleans-based producer Prospek. Suave continues his message of making the world a better place, this time by encouraging listeners to ascend above the problems of their individual worlds. The single features the vocal stylings of Suave along with Prospek, Coco Dank, and Chuck (of Private Pile) manning the instrumentation.
Christine Leakey – “My Heart Has Been Broken By One Unfit To Name”
Although December is typically associated with a different set of holidays, Christine Leakey’s latest offering “My Heart Has Been Broken By One Unfit To Name” conjures up a mood more associated with Halloween. This makes sense considering it was released at the end of October. The single is laced with creepy sounds and vocals, though it maintains a bit of a jazz feel. Have a listen below, and you can also check out the music video here.
go nogo – Things Ain’t Right
go nogo is the musical brainchild of Markus “Fred” Scholl and guitarist Eric Scheimer. In December the duo released their EP Things Ain’t Right, but it’s not your typical compilation. The six tracks include the single “Things Ain’t Right” along with five interesting remixes that vary widely in how much they deviate from the original.
Abstraction – Do This Justice
Do This Justice sprang from the creative whirlwind that was this past November’s NaSoAlMo competition. Musicians like Abstraction were challenged with creating an entire album within the span of one calendar month. What emerged from that was a set of nine tracks which include everything from synth punk to spoken word. We’ve included the first track, “Got My Game”, but I’d recommend listening to the whole album since it’s so diverse.
Go Life – “I’m Not Really Here”/”Waves”
Earlier in December staff editor Jennifer reviewed two new singles from UK musician Rhys Viney who is working under the name Go Life. “I’m Not Really Here” and “Waves” both feature prominent synth sound, but whereas the former mixes in some chillwave, the latter includes underlying surf guitar. Check out the full review here.
YUCA - Rebuilding the Fallen Empire
Langley, Canada-based YUCA are no strangers to the indie music scene. In fact, the band has been rocking for a solid five years now. In October the band released their latest album, Rebuilding the Fallen Empire. Their sound reminds me most of Muse, though you can pick out a few other bands like U2 (especially in the vocals) in their influences.
Illitry – “Kingdom Perverted”
Last month we brought you news of Illitry’s latest single, “Kingdom Perverted”. Well, the band’s back again this month. After spending some quality time in an old textile mill, the group has released of a new music video for the song which you can check out below.
STACEY - Stacey
Stacey is the self-titled debut EP from musician STACEY. The five-song set contains motifs of longing, regret, and unrequited love, with STACEY’s vocals leading the way over a piano backdrop. The album released in early December and interestingly enough is available for sale on specially-designed USB cards.
Dugout – On Our Own
We’ve discovered a number of new bands thanks to the folks at Painted Ox Records. In December they brought us news about Dugout, a Pennsylvania-based punk band. The group released their EP On Our Own back in June, but recently created a music video for one of the tracks, “Towamencin”. Check out the video then have a listen to the EP’s intro, “H.B.D.”.
Various Artists - Tinsel Machine
The holiday season is drawing to a close, but if you haven’t had your fill of the music, then Tinsel Machine might just be the album you’re looking for. The album contains 17 tracks from various artists under the Small Bear Records label including Postcode whom we’ve previously covered. The songs aren’t the typical Christmas fare you’d hear over the radio, so it does offer some nice variety if you’re tired of the same old, same old.
Velvet Ants - Solt Olio
Velvet Ants might be one of the longest-tenured bands we’ve featured in our music roundup series, but the band’s seen some big transformations recently. At one point lead man Ian Margolycz was the only one working on their latest project. Eventually producer Jordon Zadorozny signed up along with musicians Erik Sakmar, Dave Dunham, and Robert Vazquez. What they created together is Solt Olio, an alt. rock/nu wave album with a dozen entertaining tracks.
Steffan Rundquist - Steffan Rundquist
Steffan Rundquist is making his Indie Mine debut with the acoustic album bearing his name. The Swedish-born musician has put together a set of six tracks featuring elements of ska and reggae. Each song is a part of Rundquist’s personal story and showcase his new age lifestyle and spiritualism.
Femmepop – “Timescapes”
“Timescapes” is a collaboration between UK artist Margaret O’Sullivan (aka Femmepop) and Timecop1983. It also marks the third time this year she’s released a new single. While Femmepop handled the vocals and lyrics, Timecop1983 handled the music. What they’ve produced together is a single loaded with an 80s pop feel. We’ve got a full review in the works so check back soon.
Lojah - Pub Songs on Palafox
Pub Songs on Palafox is the low-fi EP from Jay Moody aka Lojah. While the four songs heavily embody Lojah’s Irish heritage, there are also Caribbean and world music influences to be heard. The EP is currently available as a free download for the holiday season, and we’ve included it in its entirety below.
Various Artists - Pluviôse
Pluviôse marks the 2nd album included in this month’s music roundup that consists of the works of a variety of musicians. In this case, the nine tracks all come from bands under the Seashell Records label. The musicians come from all around the world, and their sounds consist of a mix of dream pop, folk, and shoegaze. We’ve included the first track below, but I recommend listening to the whole album since it’s not just one artist.
Leptus - From My Kirkbride Cubicle
Mid-December saw the release of Leptus’ latest album, From My Kirkbride Cubicle. The Massachusetts-based act has combined elements of punk and alt rock to create 13 tracks with a low-key, ambient feel. The band is a bit of a mystery to me, but this appears to be its first album in in more than half a decade.
Malka – “Mirame”/”Mientras se Respira”
Malka is a bit of an interesting story. We’ve covered a lot of bands that fall under the shoegaze and/or dream pop genres, but Malka is the first that sings entirely in Spanish. The group is based in New York City, and they recently debuted two new singles: “Mirame” and “Mientras se Respira”.
The Almighty Rhombus – “House Burns Down”
The Almighty Rhombus returns to our music roundup for the fourth time in 2013. Last month saw the release of their album Lucid Living, and the band has since created a music video for “House Burns Down” featuring a pretty entertaining barroom brawl.
LOVETAX - LOVETAX
Back in September, Jennifer reviewed Try Solitude, the solo album from musician Jeff Tomassen. Jeff is back again but under a side project by the name of LOVETAX. The album of the same name was released on December 1st and includes five tracks with a mix of chillwave, dream pop, and other styles. The opening track “Our Neurosis” has been included for your groovy, ambient listening pleasure.
Unconditional Arms – “No Nerves”
Last month we included Unconditional Arms for the release of the album Kinship. Musician Jeffrey Wright is back already with a new single, “No Nerves”. Whereas Kinship was written to celebrate the birth of his son, this new instrumental rock track was put out for two of his friends that were recently engaged.
Green Mountain Road Band - Lend A Hand
I debated whether to include Lend A Hand in this month’s music roundup. While the Green Mountain Road Band hasn’t officially released the six-track EP yet, they have posted half of the songs off of it with the others just days away from joining them. Despite hailing from the great, white north (aka Canada), the band puts a nice blend of southern rock and blues into their work. Have a listen.
Well, that’s the end of 2013. As you start 2014, make a resolution to open yourself up to experiencing more new music. Checking out our monthly music roundup is a good place to start. Make sure you come back for January’s edition. We’re planning some exciting changes to the format, and we’ll hopefully be able to pull that together by the end of the month. Thanks for visiting, and if you feel so inclined, leave a comment about what music YOU enjoyed.
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