1. Sloan - Select Singles 1992-2011 (The entire collection is available for free here.)
This week, I've got some Can-Con for you, but rest assured, this is the good kind of Can-Con.
To celebrate their 20th anniversary as a band, Sloan have released a collection of their singles (running from 1992 to 2011) for free. Sloan are an unabashed pop band, but the refreshing thing is that -- no doubt due to all four bandmembers sharing relatively equally in songwriting duties -- they can't quite decide what sort of pop band they are. In this collection we've got noise pop, indie pop, jangle pop and power pop. As catchy and eclectic as this collection is, I'd be surprised if there weren't at least a few songs that you immediately fall in love with (for me it's "Everything You've Done Wrong" and its horn-line/handclap brand of catchiness or the Beatles-esque "The Rest of My Life").
-Recommended by OLR Music Expert Andrew McNair
2. Husband - "Ordinary" (click to stream or right click to save as)
Aussie recording artist Michael Paolino (pow-leen-o) packs a punch with this gritty, bittersweet anthem rock song full of dark melodies and upward turns, pulled forward by his delightfully growling croon,which is backed by supporting vocals. After getting hitched young, Husband is only the perfectly appropriate moniker for this darkly melodic indie rocker, who is also a part of the bands Carl Fox and Luna Parade. Learn more about Husband's first body of solo work from his website. Ooh, brooding husband, and good looking to boot.
3. Sleeping in the Aviary - "Talking Out of Turn" (click to stream or right click to save as)
Fast-paced, frenetic and driven by a rapid bass line behind crashing drums and a fuzzy guitar, this song is almost too much to handle. Don't let the East Coast band's namesake fool you - there's nothing sleepy about this song. See if you can keep up with the chases and the turns from this Wisconsin-based indie rock band that Online Rock has favored before, and be sure to pick up their album released just this week, You and Me, Ghost. You can do that from their website, and I would check it out nonetheless since it's interestingly wacky looking.
4. HTRK - "Synthetik" (free download from Soundcloud)
Dark, dreamy, drippingly eerie, this song is an electronic elegy that is sure to get under your skin. Jonnie Standish's detached, androgynous vocals singing cryptically of mystery, voices, perfection, plastic echo the song's title resoundingly and make it worth a listen. Like dropping stones in a pool, the song ripples with fascination. The band's album Work (work, work) is said to be a romantic, stark soundscape of desire and submission (mm, sounds intriguing) and is available to order here.
5. Cosmo Jarvis - "She Doesn't Mind" (click to stream or right click to save as)
Taking a totally different turn now is the easy to kick back to, story-like song with a catchy chorus by English singer-songwriter Cosmo Jarvis. With an underlying funk-driven beat and medium-paced reggae-like sound, the song tells a witty little story about the the singer's perfect girl. Almost Jack Johnson-esque but with a little more funkiness, it's a nice tune for a barbecue or beach day. Jarvis's debut album Is The World Strange Or Am I Strange? will drop October 11, 2011 from 25th Frame Productions/The End Records, so watch for it from his website (where, hint hint, another song is available for download with e-mail).
6. Young Man - "Nothing" (free download from RCRD LBL)
(Extra OLR points for depth-defying album cover.)
To end the set seasonally, this song is like the first dreamlike step into fall, combining handpicked guitar, calming vocals and atmospheric keyboards and percussion from singer-songwriter Colin Caulfield. The song is off his home-recorded album Ideas of Distance from Frenchkiss Records, hitting the market September 27, 2011. Young Man first started as a YouTube sensation with covers of Deerhunter, Bon Iver and Beach House, but has now become a formidable solo act in his own regard. Follow his progress, buy the album or check tour dates from his website.
Nancy Woo (Editor)