Mazzy Star – 'Common Burn' And 'Lay Myself Down'

In case you haven’t heard…Mazzy Star is back – it’s only been fifteen years! Remember ‘Fade Into You’? The Californian dream pop outfit has a new single ‘Common Burn’, out today. At this point it’s a digital release only via singer Hope Sandoval’s own label Rhymes Of An Hour. A limited edition 7 inch of the single and B-side ‘Lay Myself Down’ will be released in November, according to www.mazzystar.nu. Mazzy Star will also be touring early 2012 before releasing a new album. All good news right!?

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Mazzy Star’s new work is typically sedate and intimate. Both ‘Common Burn’ and ‘Lay Myself Down’ are stripped back and mostly acoustic with a few country flares around the edges. Hope Sandoval is sounding as great as ever. The group returns during a resurgence of like minded contemporary acts with a similar feel. Most notably, Widowspeak’s brilliant debut released this August.

Visit Mazzy Star online @ www.mazzystar.nu for more information.

Glass Vaults – 'Gold Star'

I was blown away by Glass Vaults debut EP when it made its way online last June. They sounded like seasoned pros from the very beginning. Glass Vaults may appeal to Sigur Ros fans but are far more ambient and in my opinion, reach emotional peaks without overstating themselves. Tomorrow indie label JUKBOXR will release Glass Vaults new EP ‘Into Clear’ featuring the beautiful tune ‘Gold Star’.

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Glass Vaults are based in Wellington, New Zealand. Despite their expansive sound they are a duo (Richard Larsen and Rowan Pierce). The pair manage to back this up on stage, using a combination of live drums and samples, guitar, synths and plenty of creative looping. Kiwi’s can catch Glass Vaults live at the ‘Into Clear’ launch (The Matterhorn, Wellington on November 5).

Pickup Glass Vaults ‘Into Clear’ @ JUKBOXR / download their debut ‘Glass’ EP @ Bandcamp / Connect @ Facebook.

Lower Heaven – 'Lose It All At Once'

‘Lose It All At Once’ is the closing track of Lower Heaven‘s 2008 record ‘Ashes’. The LA four piece produce a dark, tripped out sound and are always drenched in lovely reverb. The guitars on ‘Lose It All At Once’ are brilliant matched against Marcos Chloka’s Echo And The Bunnymen-esque vocals.

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Lower Heaven released ‘Today Is All We Have’ earlier this year, pick up both releases via iTunes or visit Lower Heaven online here.

Who Invented Double Tap – 'How To Live Forever'

Who Invented Double Tap is a minimalist electronic producer from Warsaw, Poland. What an amazing talent! Her tunes have an ethereal, verbed out quality that completely submerges you. Who Invented Double Tap released the new song ‘How To Live Forever’ arranged around some light vocals.

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Download Who Invented Double Tap’s ‘How To Live Forever’ free here or visit @ Tumblr.

Radioseven – 'Sunset'

Apparently Radio Seven is a Swedish internet radio station… but Radioseven is a Canadian electronic / ambient producer with a new single called ‘Sunset’. This instrumental will wash over you if you let it. Its retro 80s sounds are well polished and the danceable kick drum doesn’t blow your head off either. Radioseven I tip my hat!

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Download Radioseven’s ‘Sunset’ free here / Connect @ Facebook @ Tumblr.

White Wishes – ‘Come And Say Hello’

Russian indie rockers White Wishes released their first physical single ‘Come And Say Hello’ through Shelflife Records last month. This song has more of a 90s Brit rock feel than anything I would stereotypically think of as Russian. Here I go showing my ignorance again! White Wishes are all jangly and loose on their debut; its simple, fuzzy and available now.

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Download White Wishes ‘Come And Say Hello’ free via Bandcamp or grab the 7-inch through Shelflife records.

M83 – 'Wait'

When M83‘s ‘Midnight City‘ was first released, a heap of unofficial videos showed up online. It’s happening more and more as up and coming filmmakers look to gain exposure. Some are well crafted and others are just an exercise in old youtube footage mashed into windows media maker. Which brings us to the latest unofficial M83 video for ‘Wait’.

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Franck Deron uploaded it this week using vintage footage of monkeys… on their way to the moon. In this instance, it works rather well. Albeit in a completely inhumane way – poor monkeys! Of course it helps that ‘Wait’ is an incredible song to begin with, fresh from M83‘s new album ‘Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming‘.

Visit M83 online here or download ‘Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming’ via iTunes.

Young Prisms – ‘Weekends And Treehouses (Acoustic)’

Portland-based indie label Gnar Tapes have released a new collection of demos by Young Prisms. The San Francisco shoegaze band are revealed in a stripped back way, much rawer and the results are incredibly dreamy. The opener ‘Weekends And Treehouses’ is a good example, this acoustic version rivals the 2009 original (which is available for download from Mexican Summer).

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Young Prisms released their latest full length earlier this year, titled ‘Friends For Now’ featuring the stand out ‘Breathless‘. If you like what you’ve heard so far, I recommend picking the Young Prisms album up.

Young Prisms – ‘Demos, Etc’ tracklist…
1.Weekends and Treehouses (acoustic)
2.Sugar (acoustic)
3.Eleni (rear house recording)
4.Feel Fine (demo)
5.Sleepy High (demo)
6.Get Lost (grave babies recording)
7.Weekends and Treehouses (demo)

Download Young Prisms ‘Demos, Ect’ @ Bandcamp / Connect with Young Prisms @ Facebook @ Tumblr or via Gnar Tapes!

Peter Kernel – 'I'd Die Rich At Your Funeral'

Noise pop trio Peter Kernel have released their new album ‘White Death Black Heart’ via African Tape featuring the single ‘Panico! This Is Love’ and the impressive album cut ‘I’d Die Rich At Your Funeral’. A very spiteful song title! The music is no different, it gets progressively more off track and abrasvie.

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The Swiss/Canadian band have also released the new ‘Panico! This Is Love’ video. Check out Peter Kernel‘s cheeky side below but note it’s NSFW… contains nudity and scenes set to full raunch!

Pickup Peter Kernel’s ‘White Death Black Heart’ here or @ African Tape @ On The Camper Records / visit Peter Kernel @ Tumblr.

Tom Waits – 'Get Lost' and 'Hell Broke Luce'

I know Tom Waits isn’t for everyone. Even amongst peers he’s the perpetual black sheep. I also know that he doesn’t fit well within the regular tunes of choice at SBWR. But screw all that, he also happens to be one of the greatest living songwriters. So here goes…

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Tom Waits is character unto himself. He doesn’t smoke or drink anymore. He never left Missouri on a rail road track. And he damn sure didn’t hang out with a one legged carnival midget! But that ruins all the fun of his poetry. I’m happy to buy into his myth. In my mind he was born in the back of taxi cab and has the menu of his first job at Napoleone Pizza House tattooed on his guts. That part is true actually, the job that is.

‘Bad As Me’ marks the first official album release in seven years. However, I dispute this because the Orphans collection released in 2006 was much bigger than an album. Three discs of bliss! For these last few releases its been all dirt and grit in the production process. For ‘Mule Variations’ Tom Waits recorded in an actual barn and insisted on the doors being open to let the world in, Roosters and all. On ‘Real Gone’ he recorded by the Mississippi and it ended up sounding dirty as mud but ‘Bad As Me’ has a little extra shine.

‘Get Lost’ extends Tom Wait’s unique blend of rockabilly junkyard blues, not dissimilar from the opener of ‘Orphans: Bastards’ (‘Lie To Me’). ‘Get Lost’ has a tangible energy to it, I can see the barn dust flying every time I hear it. It’s this visceral quality and the untouchable charm of his lyrics that keep Tom Waits so far ahead of the pack. That’s if there is a pack. And of course his not so secret weapon, co-writer and wife Kathleen Brennan.

Few veteran artists mature so well musically as they get older, most age and lose a little edge. Exceptions to the rule could be Dylan’s ‘Modern Times’ or Johnny Cash’s American Recordings series. But Waits really does get better with each record. There’s more and more attitude and sorrow with each release. ‘Hell Broke Luce’ sees Tom Waits dropping a passionate F-bomb followed by an almighty chorus. This military style delivery pushes a theme from the ‘Real Gone’ album (‘Don’t Go Into The Barn’) but also has angular guitars and off-timed rhythms that harken back to the ‘Bone Machine’ era. For someone that is so openly opposed to war, he nails the drill sergeant role.

My only criticism of the ‘Bad As Me’ album is that the tracklist is a little jarring. You get whipped into a frenzy by one track and then thrust straight into a ballad, if I had my way it would be split into two sides. That’s it, otherwise I would post every single track, but that just wouldn’t be cricket! Fans should go out and grab this one, it’s a right of passage! Sermon over.

Tom Waits – ‘Bad As Me’ tracklist…
1. Chicago
2. Raised Right Men
3. Talking At The Same Time
4. Get Lost
5. Face To The Highway
6. Pay Me
7. Back In The Crowd
8. Bad As Me
9. Kiss Me
10. Satisfied
11. Last Leaf
12. Hell Broke Luce
13. New Year’s Eve

Download ‘Bad As Me’ via iTunes or get the deluxe package or vinyl here. Visit Tom Waits @ tomwaits.com or through Anti Records.