OnlineRock Blog

23 December 2011

Free Music Friday - December 23, 2011

Happy ho-ho-holidays, music lovers. Looks like you've been good this year because the Free Music Friday Santa has dropped by with some special presents for you, five in fact, of some seriously awesome indie bands. Cold War Kids have prepared a holiday special, along with a really well done cover from The Twilight Sad. Real Estate is one of those top bands of 2011 and they've got a free sampler for you here, plus a favorite of ours, Miracles of Modern Science, who rock out on the violin. And finally, a band to obsess over, Caveman. All five of these unique, interesting bands have been Santa approved for all, and you don't even have to leave out any cookies.

Whatever holidays you celebrate, here's a bountiful gift from Online Rock to you!

-Nancy Woo

(free download from artist website) 

Special Single

Long Beach natives Cold War Kids are gifting this holiday song to all their listeners. Combining just enough twinkly traditional Christmas synth with the now renowned sound of the Cold War Kids, featuring nostalgic and slightly controversial lyrics, that unique crooning voice and the indie-pop instrumentation of singing keyboards and slight drums, it's a great modern take on an old theme. How nice of them to give it out for free, no email even required.

-Nancy Woo

2. The Twilight Sad - "Never Tear Us Apart (INX cover)"
 (free download with email)

 Special Single

This week, Scotland-based shoegaze band The Twilight Sad are celebrating the holidays with a free music download! Their Free Christmas Single is actually a cover of an 80s classic, INXS's "Never Tear Us Apart." While the original is very 80s, complete with swelling synths, and strings, and a saxophone solo (gotta love that decade!), The Twilight Sad's version is a lot more toned-down, and they've added the requisite amount of drone and fuzz. Also, The Twilight Sad's singer, James Graham, has a thick Scottish accent that really comes out on certain parts of the song. It's an odd choice of song to cover for a Christmas single since "Never Tear Us Apart" is hardly a seasonal favorite, but you'll be able to listen to this one all year round.

(Note: It's not actually necessary to enter any friends' email addresses if you don't want to send the card to anyone and you just want to download it yourself)

-Elaine Mao

3. Real Estate - "Green Aisles" 
(free download from Soundcloud)

LP: Days

From Real Estate's Days, a highly acclaimed album this year, comes the irresistible jangle-pop of "Green Aisles." Propelled by a sluggish rhythm and laid-back vocals, this is a song that really takes its time - in a good way. The multiple lilting, intertwining guitar lines are truly beautiful and put the listener in a reflective mood.  It's airy like a wisp of a cloud floating by, but with enough melody to leave a serious mark. Learn more about Real Estate here! 

-Tomi Mendel

4. Miracles of Modern Science - "Eating Me Alive"
(free download from Soundcloud)

LP: Dog Year

I'm a sucker for string instruments of the violin or cello variety, so naturally I had to include Miracles of Modern Science in this week's compilation. This band manages to create a catchy rock/pop sound with an array of instruments usually reserved for symphonies and orchestras. "Eating Me Alive" is fast paced, fun, and somewhat humorous love song that will have you asking "did I just really rock out to a violin?" Their debut album, Dog Year, is out now.

-Ana Diaz

5. Caveman - "Thankful"
(free download with email)

LP: CoCo Beware

To close out the set, I'd like to share a song from a recent favorite, Caveman. I must have listened to their new album, CoCo Beware at least a dozen times already, and I'm still craving more. (Not to mention, previous albums take a stylistic turn in a drastically different direction, showing their penchant for experimentation.) This band has been getting a lot of buzz lately, and since my recent obsession started a few weeks ago, it's easy to see why. They've got the wistful indie pop recipe of swirling melodies, aching synth, down-tuned instrumentation and slightly reverbing vocals that dream up to the heavens and drop back down with sincerity, plus lyrics that wrap the song in thought - and it's a recipe they've perfected. Throwing in a pinch of layered harmonies here, tambourines there and what really sets them apart - double drums with just the right amount of tribal flair - the end result is a winning combination of elements that just impresses. Definitely a band to watch.

-Nancy Woo



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