MIMO - When Music is Your Fix

Indie/Alternative Music

Must Listens: First Aid Kit “The Lion’s Roar”

“Must Listens” is a new feature series I’m launching on my column to highlight songs or albums by indie or alternative acts that aren’t necessarily new releases but are getting lots of buzz. This first installment features “The Lion’s Roar” by First Aid Kit.   If you live in Europe, you’re likely to be familiar with Swedish sister folk act First Aid Kit; if you live in the U.S., you […]

Up-And-Comers: Carousel

Hailing from Brooklyn (by way of Boston’s Berklee College of Music), electro-pop duo Carousel has only been in existence for a year or so, and yet every new single they release seems to churn up all kinds of buzz throughout the blogosphere. Listening to their latest single “Let’s Go Home,” I can understand why. Simple and understated (yet elegant), their sound somehow conveys a great level of emotion while presenting […]

Andrew Bird “Hands Of Glory”: Album Review

Mom + Pop Records (2012)

For Andrew Bird, 2012 might very well be looked upon as the “year of looking back.” With this year’s earlier release Break It Yourself, the eclectic folk singer/songwriter dialed back his overdubbing and post-production mojo to create a simply arranged, tasteful collection of Americana folk rooted in the sounds of yesteryear. Billed as a follow-up to that record, Hands Of Glory (releasing tomorrow), takes this trend even further. Recorded live […]

Bat For Lashes “The Haunted Man”: Album Review

Parlophone (2012)

Shock value can be a double-edged sword; it can certainly draw attention to an artist and a product, but it can also inadvertently overshadow the merit of the product itself. Apparently, The Haunted Man, the third release from Bat For Lashes (aka Natasha Khan) flirts with that line, in that nearly every review I’ve read of the record spends almost as much time talking about the provocative album cover as […]

Up-And-Comers: Susanne Sundfør

I know I already wrote an “Up-And-Comers” feature this week, but after hearing “White Foxes,” the single by indie Norwegian singer/songwriter Susanne Sundfør, I just had to put up another one. While not well known here in the U.S. (yet), Sundfør has amassed a significant following in her home country of Norway. Over the past five years, she’s released multiple studio albums, most have which have wound up charting in […]

A Fine Frenzy “Pines” Is More Than a Record

Virgin Records America (2012)

A Fine Frenzy (known to friends as Allison Sudol) is nothing if not creative. So it should come as little surprise that the concept behind her new project Pines was too large to be expressed only as a 13-track recording. While it is typical for indie singer/songwriters to be cryptic or ambiguous with their lyricism, Pines goes in a completely opposite direction, telling a compelling story in the tradition of […]

Up-And-Comers: Free Energy

Hailing from Philadelphia, PA, rock outfit Free Energy has been making waves and building a strong fan base since they started out in 2008. Their debut album Stuck on Nothing was released in 2010, and garnered them honorable mentions from Rolling Stone, Spin and Pitchfork. They even made an appearance on Late Night with David Letterman, and they also toured as Weezer’s opening act for awhile. Unlike a lot of […]

The MIMO Interview: Mindy Smith

Mindy Smith began making waves in the Americana music scene nearly a decade ago when she performed a haunting cover of “Jolene” for the Dolly Parton tribute album Just Because I’m a Woman. The performance resulted in Parton herself getting involved, appearing in the music video (below) and performing with Smith on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.  Since that initial introduction to the world, the singer-songwriter has released four […]

Matt & Kim “Lightning”: Album Review

FADER (2012)

Can I shoot straight with you? I have to be in a particular sort of mood to enjoy Matt & Kim. Specifically, I have to be in the mood for jump-up-and-down, pump-your-fist, take-another-swig-of-beer party mindlessness. Or just really, really happy. Anything else, and their music sounds to me like indie-rock’s attempt at bubble-gum pop and hip-hop, and it just annoys the heck out of me. Suffice it to say that […]

Beth Orton “Sugaring Season”: Transition Complete

ANTI- (2012)

Since the mid-1990s, Beth Orton has been mainly known for pioneering the hybrid sound known as “folktronica.” During the decade of the aughts, she began leaving the “tronica” part behind, and embracing the “folk” part—especially evident in 2006’s Comfort of Strangers. With Sugaring Season, Orton’s first release in six years (available tomorrow in the U.S.), the transition is complete: this is most definitely not the Beth Orton that we started […]

Dum Dum Girls “End of Daze” EP: Album Review

Subpop (2012)

Good things often come in small packages. Clocking in at just eighteen minutes, the End of Daze EP by Dum Dum Girls conveys more raw emotion and musicality than many records two or three times in length. Over the four years that Dum Dum Girls have been around, this all-girl act headed by singer/songwriter Dee Dee Penny has already established a reputation for creativity and growth, each new project expanding […]

Band Of Horses Find Themselves (Again) with “Mirage Rock”

Columbia (2012)

There’s sort of an unspoken belief in indie rock today that says the more experimental you are as a band, the better. Pushing the fringes is “in.” But in their latest release Mirage Rock, Band Of Horses cuts completely against the grain of that belief. What’s crazy is how well it works. The thing is, Band Of Horses could have gone with the flow instead of turning and swimming upstream, […]

David Byrne & St. Vincent “Love This Giant” –Album Review

4AD (2012)

A collaboration between a 60-year-old vocalist from the 80’s new-wave era and a twenty-something art-pop singer-songwriter doesn’t necessarily look good on paper. But when former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne meets up with St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark) for Love This Giant, it’s apparent that these two are kindred souls from different times. For this record, at least, the pair have happened upon a common ground that works very well. […]

The Raveonettes Process Raw Emotion in “Observator”

The Raveonettes "Observator"

If you’re the kind of person who reads lots of album reviews, let me tell you what you’re likely to hear from the critics about Danish noise-pop duo The Raveonettes’ new record Observator. They will make the inevitable comparisons to Jesus & Mary Chain and suggest that The Raveonettes aren’t original enough. They are likely to pick apart the music and chide the record for not breaking any new musical […]