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Indie/Alternative Music

The National Trouble Will Find Me

The National “Trouble Will Find Me” –Album Review

4AD (2013)

At this point in their career, it feels like The National is a band swirling in happy irony. There’s an unwritten rule, for example, that “true” progressive indie acts should not achieve mainstream popularity, and those that do are scrutinized for it (which is the reason why some of them feign disdain for the system that enabled their success, essentially biting the hand that feeds them). Then there’s the irony […]


leewardside

Up-and Comers: Josh Pyke

While indie pop/rock singer-songwriter Josh Pyke is perhaps a new name for some here in the US, in his homeland of Australia it’s almost difficult to classify him as an up-and-comer, since he’s been a charting artist there for several years. His first three albums all hit the Top 5 on the ARIA charts, and his songs are regular fare on national radio Triple J over there. It should come […]


ingridmichaelson

Singles You Shouldn’t Miss–May 2013 Edition

I’m going to try out a new feature this month called “Singles You Shouldn’t Miss”—a quick run-down of current tracks by artists you probably know, along with a few you probably haven’t heard of, but should. Some have new albums out, others have albums coming out soon—but in any case, if you’re a fan of indie-styled music, hopefully this feature will put some fresh tunes on your radar. At my […]


Vampire Weekend Modern Vampires of the City

Vampire Weekend “Modern Vampires Of the City” –Album Review

XL Recordings (2013)

Here’s the thing: Before releasing their third studio album Modern Vampires Of the City, Vampire Weekend had already put themselves in a position both advantageous and precarious. By blending indie-rock/pop elements with electronic production and island sounds and rhythms, they’ve managed to carve out a niche sound, complete with a niche audience that loves pretty much everything they do—so they’ve eliminated the competition, because there’s no other band to compare […]


warwithin

Churchill “The War Within” –EP Review

A&M/Octone Records (2013)

Here’s a band I think we’ll be hearing a lot more from in days to come. Indie-folk act Churchill (interviewed here on MIMO a few months ago) has been on my playlist for months now, particularly their catchy single “Change.” Things have gone very well for this up-and-coming act since they signed to A&M Octone last summer, including a chance to appear on Jimmy Kimmel (after Morrissey ditched the show […]


volume3

She & Him “Volume 3” – Album Review

Merge (2013)

When you think about it, She & Him are a near-perfect combination. Take Zooey Deschanel, the geeky/adorable television star of New Girl and the not-so-secret crush of the majority of young guys; pair her up with indie music veteran M. Ward; and get them playing a blend of original and cover songs with a distinct retro-pop feel (complete with very wet echo-chamber reverb). The result is She & Him, an […]


sub verses

Akron/Family “Sub Verses” –Album Review

Dead Oceans (2013)

If there’s one thing consistent in Akron/Family’s musical style—one thread or theme you can derive from them—it’s that psychedelia is timeless and without boundaries. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the band’s seventh release Sub Verses. Whether they are channeling 1960s Beach Boys or modern-day electronica, these psych-rockers are free-flowing in their experimentation with layers and sounds, filling the dream-space with sound and color that requires no hallucinogen to […]


ifyouleave

Daughter “If You Leave” –Album Review

Glassnote (2013)

If ever there was an album to be listened to in a sitting, it’s If You Leave, the debut full-length by UK indie act Daughter. Released in March overseas and just this week in the US, this 10-cut record is perhaps best described as an experience: a study in the beauty of melancholy. Fronted by Elena Tonra (whose vocals echo with reminders of Cat Power and Feist), this 3-piece act […]


lovesnotdead

The MIMO Interview: The Mowgli’s

Since officially forming a little over three years ago, LA-based indie-rockers The Mowgli’s have been spreading good vibes with their contagious combination of rock, folk and surf elements–sort of a blend of the joy of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros with the musical legacy of Laurel Canyon. Their EP Love’s Not Dead, and their recent single “San Francisco” in particular, have generated plenty of buzz in recent months. Recently […]


bankrupt

Phoenix “Bankrupt!” – Album Review

Glassnote (2013)

In a way, the story of French alt-rock-turned-synth-pop outfit Phoenix parallels the mythical creature from where they derive their name. After a decade wallowing in the ashes of relative obscurity, the band rose from said ashes to international stardom with their fourth studio album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix in 2009. But that kind of success is a double-edged sword, because it puts the band in the position of having to produce […]


lomavista

Up-and-Comers: Family Of the Year

Sporting an indie-folk vibe with a distinct West Coast flavor, Family of the Year is one of those DIY bands that has been building a solid following with little more than hard work, lots of touring…and most importantly, some really, really good music. In fact, chances are you’ve already heard them. If you watch any television, you’ve likely seen Advil commercials, and heard the catchy “La-la-la-la-la” chorus in the background. […]


floatingcoffin

Thee Oh Sees “Floating Coffin” – Album Review

Castle Face (2013)

It occurs to me that Thee Oh Sees have a penchant for mixing seemingly unrelated things together in ways that other bands can’t. Take, for example, their musical style: a unique cocktail of surf, psych, garage and indie rock. Not only do they blend these elements together seamlessly, but with seven albums released in the past five years alone, they do it very prolifically, as well. Then there’s the latest […]


mosquito

Yeah Yeah Yeahs “Mosquito” – Album Review

Interscope (2013)

Time for a bit of honesty: I experienced a little bit of mixed emotion, and a lot more in the way of confusion, in listening to Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ latest release Mosquito. But it will take a little bit of a setup to explain why. Does anyone remember the detour U2 took in the early 1990s? They’d reached a real pinnacle with 1987’s The Joshua Tree, an album that played […]


machineriesofjoy

British Sea Power “Machineries Of Joy” – Album Review

Here’s a helpful hint: don’t even try to figure out British Sea Power. Just enjoy the enigma. Carrying on their tradition of creativity and unpredictability, the Brighton-based indie-rockers’ sixth studio album Machineries of Joy provides a listening experience that is nothing if not intriguing. Swinging between manic punk-infused rock and airy ballads—punctuated, of course, by unexpected lyrics like “You were my Pyrex baby / Made entirely of glass / You […]


ghostonghost

Iron & Wine “Ghost On Ghost” – Album Review

Nonesuch Records (2013)

Apparently, there’s only so much creativity to be had with a guitar in a bedroom. For the past several years, singer-songwriter Sam Beam (aka Iron & Wine) has been on a consistent trek away from the whisper-quiet folk that defined The Creek Drank the Cradle, and toward bigger and bigger arrangements, peaking with 2011’s Kiss Each Other Clean. With his fifth full-length studio release Ghost On Ghost, Beam continues this […]


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