Vampire Weekend have been the subject of so much hype and critical attention- both positive and negative- that it’s hard to believe that their new album “Modern Vampires of the City” is only their 3rd effort.
While they will always be the poster boys for a culture of Wes Anderson films and prep-school kids discovering afro-pop for the first time, they have managed to do it consistently, and authentically.
Indie-alternative rock music is fast-becoming popular on the music scene–even under hipster protest. The historically elusive genre, or rather bucket of genres, just can’t help itself. We blame/thank all the fabulous music festivals, like Coachella, for shedding some light on some undeniably talented indie rock artists. We would be remiss not to thank skinny jeans, facial scruff and bohemian fashion as well.
To keep you in-the-know and musically educated, let’s take a look at some hot alt-indie artists to watch this year
The Lone Bellow
The Lone Bellow hails from Brooklyn, but they have the heart and soul of a country-made band. They’re a unique trio with an indie-folk sound and a peaceful, earthy essence. They sound as if they’ve been playing together for years, and have a beautiful melodic symmetry. Brought together by academia, bonded through tragedy and solidified through their love of music–we just can’t get enough of this band.
Check out their newly minted self-titled album ‘The Lone Bellow’ for some hauntingly delicious tunes. A few noteworthy songs include “Green Eyes and a Heart of Gold,” “Teach me to” and “You Never Need Nobody.”
The Neighbourhood is now under the Columbia Records label. They’re an indie-alt-pop group from Newbury Park, California. Their moody sounds, mechanical drum beats, and retro-swagger have perked our ears and melted our hearts. And it doesn’t hurt that lead singer Jesse Rutherford has a marshmallow-y soft textured voice and the brooding handsomeness of a modern-day James Dean.
We’ve already added their Hallmark-card titled EPs and album to our music repository: ‘I’m Sorry’, ‘Thank you’ and ‘I Love You’. Check out their newest single from ‘I Love You’ “Sweater Weather.”
Alt-J hails from the UK–but have already won critical acclaim internationally. Their sound is eclectic and wholeheartedly unique–a blend of indie-rock, alt-rock, psychedelic, folk and experimental.
When listening to their music, you’re taken on what we can only describe as an unforgettable musical space odyssey. We imagine their soundtrack was playing when Alice fell down the Rabbit Hole into an alternate reality–but we digress.
Check out their most recent album ‘Awesome Wave’ which pulls together seemingly contentious musical categories (indie-rock, trip-hop, electri, synth pop, folk, hip-hop) and pieces them together masterfully. We can’t stop listening to “Breezeblocks” and “Mathilda.”
Gold Fields is a breath of fresh air for the indie-pop category. Hailing from Ballarat, Victoria, Australia, the group is comprised of five talented members with a singular vision–to entertain the crap out of you. Their music is well-layered with percussion, tribal drums, synth pop beats and textured vocals–and their stage-presence is infectious.
Their newest album ‘Black Sun’ reflects poise and maturity for the young crooners with deeply moving tracks like “Dark Again” that eloquently delves into the world of post-breakup turmoil. Although unique in sound, the band is reminiscent of bands like Friendly Fires and Temper Trap.
Also hailing from Australia, Atlas Genius is another hot indie-rock band to watch this year. Recently signed to Warner Bros. Records, the band has already received critical acclaim abroad and beyond. Their 2011 hit “Trojans” propelled them into the spotlight–deservedly.
Their music is the mellow blend of indie-rock and indie-pop that your summer playlist has been waiting for. Although rather new to the music scene, the band already has four singles that are positively infectious–we can’t wait for the full album. Check out their newest single “Back Seat”–on repeat if you’d like.
Want more? Make sure to check out Slacker’s New Alternative First where all the brand new music goes as soon as we get it – from emerging artists, seasoned veterans, new releases, and cutting edge music.
We have a few new additions to our weekly spotlights here at Slacker that we are extremely excited about. Our Artist of the Week station has been such a big hit that we decided to also spotlight an album as well as a few songs we have on heavy rotation each week.
Best part? ALL Slacker users have on-demand access to our Album of the Week and Song stuck in my Head for the entire week. Hit play- hear the song. Listen to the entire album from beginning to end. Press repeat as much as you want – for the entire week!
Album of the Week and Song Stuck in my Head kick off today along with a new Artist of the Week – who is definitely an icon in the making. Take a look:
The time to listen to these on demand has passed, but make sure to check out the artist’s stations below.
Nobody can ever accuse will.i.am of being unmotivated. In addition to his many guest appearances (11 in the last 2 years), his numerous production credits (21 over the last 2 years), and his work with Black Eyed Peas, he somehow found time to put together one of the most star-studded albums in recent memory, which was released this week,” and to celebrate- will.i.am is Slacker’s Artist Of The Week.
“#willpower” features appearances from Justin Bieber, Chris Brown, Miley Cyrus, Nicole Scherzinger, Skylar Grey, and he even found room for his fellow Black Eyed Pea—apl.de.ap.
His track “Scream and Shout” with Britney Spears is already an international hit, and on this station you’ll hear that song and more new tracks from “#willpower”, his biggest hits, collaborations, and songs from his biggest influences and contemporaries.
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We are officially a week away from Coachella and the air is electric with excited anticipation and spastic preparations. This two-weekend festival (April 12-14 and April 19-21) is nestled in the heart of Palm Desert, California. And yes, temperatures typically net from sweaty to Ian Somerhalder smoldering. (Nothing a little deodorant, hand-sanitizer and breathable fabric can’t champion!)
Despite the unforgiving heat, this is one for the books. Coachella brings together a multitude of characters from strung-out celebrities to aristocratic hippies to desert vagabonds. There’s much to be heard and seen; like newly minted bands and the entire Urban Outfitters clothing line.
Insider tips for a good festival experience:
Shuttle it. The shuttle lines run across the scant desert streets and only cost $50-$80 for the weekend. Driving drunk is a rookie mistake. The shuttle wait times are minimal, and even if you decide to cuddle a cactus past pick-up time, you can always taxi back or enjoy the campground twilight festivities.
Carpoolchella. In an effort to promote sustainability and such, GoldenVoice has a Carpoolchella giveaway with prizes like VIP tickets to Coachella for life. So, amass a group of festival goers, paint your Nissan with DayGlow pride, and be sure to write “CARPOOLCHELLA” for all to see.
10for1. This program lets thirsty but impoverished festival goers turn 10 empty water bottles into a free bottle of H20. Awesome.
The Do LaB. This attraction is a festival in and of itself. The Do LaB is an immersive music and art experience with a collection of underground artists streaming sick beats all day long. Water misters and hoses will cool you off while you rock your face off. This year’s lineup includes fan favorites like Gaslamp Killer, Lucent Dossier Experience, Goldrush and Kastle.
Plan it out.Coachella is a massive festival. Brush up on all the artists performing with the Coachella 2013 station and create a plan for who you want to see (but keep it flexible!). Pre-pick your meeting times and use landmarks like the Ferris Wheel for your meetup location. There’s nothing worse than missing an entire concert because you were searching for your friends the entire time. Also, reception is spotty, so timestamp your texts.
Who to see:
Coachella wouldn’t be Coachella without some monumental headline-age. This year mainstage monopolizers include Blur, The Stone Roses, Phoenix and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Prepare your thirsty ears for some epic tunes and major surprises thanks to these well-respected artists. (It’s even been rumored that Daft Punk will make a long overdue appearance during Phoenix’s set). As these bands need no introduction, let’s delve into some of the lesser known performers.
Whether you’re a seasoned vet or a newbie whose proverbial musical balls have yet to drop, you should leave room on your agenda to see some bands you’ve never heard of. Aside from experiencing fourth degree sunburns, Coachella is about celebrating music–new and not-so.
C2C – Not so new but relatively unknown, this french turntable group is legit. The style is a mix of funk, disco and electro. The group are 4-time winners of the Disco Mix Club World Team DJ Championship. If you like Glitch Mob and Pretty Lights, you might fall in love with these frenchmen.
Jamie XX – Jamie Smith, aka Jamie XX, is an English music producer , remix artist and also ⅓ of the band The XX. His melodic tracks will leave you completely spellbound. His handiwork includes remixes for artists like Glasser, Florence + the Machine and Nosaj Thing. If you like the XX and Jamie Woon, be sure to check out Jamie XX.
Janelle Monáe – If you’re lucky enough you might just fall under the seductive entrapment of Miss Janelle Monáe. An American R&B and soul sensation, Monáe gained critical acclaim at the 53rd Grammy Awards for her The ArchAndroid (Suite II and III) album. She also lent her vocal acuity to Fun.’s smash hit “We are Young.” If you like Erykah Badu or Prince, be sure to check her out.
The Neighbourhood – We can’t wait to see the Neighbourhood grace the dusty desert stage at this year’s Coachella. Part indie, part urban, part pop, this native Californian band shows a lot of promise. Lead singer Jesse Rutherford’s voice is as smooth as velvet. Check out their single “Sweater Weather,” we dare you to not listen to it on repeat.
Aesop Rock – An underground hip hop legend, Ian Matthias Bavitz aka Aesop Rock, is a lyrical beast on the mic. Do yourself a solid and further your musical education with the thoughtful articulation of Aesop Rock. Never one to be predictable, he even paired up with folk goddess Kimya Dawson for the charming and evocative single “Delicate Cycle.”
Portugal. The Man – This Alaskan-grown band has been around for a fortnight, but hasn’t really hit the mainstream as hard as they should. Best described as psychedelic-rock, this innovative band definitely deserves a listening to. Check out their hauntingly delicious single “All Your Light” from their most recent album In the Mountain In the Cloud. If you like MGMT or Minus the Bear you’ll probably dig this ensemble.
Make Slacker’s new Coachella 2013 station your soundtrack over the next week to get in the Coachella frame of mind. Featuring all the headliners and artists performing at the festival all in one place- consider it homework.
A decade ago, a one song collaboration between Jimmy Tamborello–AKA DNTEL–and Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard turned into a full album, which tuned into one of the most beloved indie records of the 2000s. Now, on the 10 year anniversary of the album’s release, The Postal Service is reissuing “Give Up” this week, complete with two new songs and 13 additional remixes and B-sides.
Their 10th anniversary tour kicks off this week and sees them playing Coachella and wrapping up at Lollapalooza. On this weeks Artist of the Week station you’ll hear all of their music–new and old–collaborations, and tracks from their influences and contemporaries.
Welcome back to Slacker’s Artist Of The Week. The Strokes are back in the game with their 5th album- called “Comedown Machine”, and while this record will still appeal to long-time Strokes fans, they are a long way from This Is It- and the band seems fully comfortable with that.
Led by the single All The Time, this album finds the band experimenting with synths, falsettos, and even songs that could only be categorized as easy listening.
The Strokes, consisting of Julian Casablancas (lead vocals), Nick Valensi (guitar, backing vocals), Albert Hammond, Jr. (guitar, backing vocals), Nikolai Fraiture (bass guitar) and Fabrizio Moretti (drums, percussion) are one of the many indie-rock bands to hail from the US at the dawn of the 21st century that helped solidify the garage rock revival movement. Their debut album, Is This It, was ranked number 199 on Rolling Stones 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
On this weeks Artist of the Week station you’ll hear The Strokes- old and new- along with tracks from their side projects, collaborations, influences, and contemporaries. The Strokes are Slacker’s Artist Of The Week.
It’s a bit ironic for the trio to have won the Best New Artist award at this year’s Grammys, as they joked throughout the ceremony, they are not actually “young” any more. In fact, the band is the product of 12 years of work as artists. Nate was in a band from Phoenix called the Format for many years, Jack was in a pop-emo band from New Jersey called Steel Train, and Andrew was in a band from Michigan called Anathallo.
It’s also notable that “Some Nights” is actually their second album, preceded by 2009’s “Aim and Ignite”. After going through the music business ringer, with several label deals and prior band breakups behind them, the members moved to New York City and went back to the drawing board. The result of their creation and collaborating is fun. (fun with a period) – the band that took home 3 Grammys this year, including song of the year in addition to their best new artist nod.
On the origins of fun., Nate told Interview magazine “I had always kept note that those were the two people that if anything ever happened… maybe I could see the writing on the wall, or something like that. As soon as that became a possibility, I just called them up right away. I asked if there was something we can do. Next thing I knew, I found myself in New Jersey a week later.”
Their music has been given the Glee treatment (twice) and their mixture of theatric baroque pop and hip-hop influence has won over fans of musical theater and pop music alike.
We are debuting a new Artist of the Week station here at Slacker. On the station this week, youll hear the band fun., their previous projects like The Format and Steel Train, artists they were influenced by, and hits from their contemporaries.