Arbor Lights are an instrumental four-piece from Birmingham. After meeting up in a bar Alex Clarke (guitar), Greg Aston (bass), James Clarke (drums) and Matt Elton (guitar) decided to put a band together in July of 2010. Since then they have gigged around their home town (and occasionally further afield) with the likes of The Cape of Good Hope, killer yogi and God Damn, released a single called ‘On A Sea’ in May 2011 and recorded their self titled EP with Michael Clarke at Hockley Street Studios which was released March 2012.
Das Sexy Clap are a splendid garage rock duo comprised of Chris Wemyss (of And What Will Be Left of Them/Girls on Film/Evilwitch and Joe Patroni fame) and life long friend and musical partner Katy Birch. She takes over the responsibilities of his usual drumming position while Chris moves to the fore, straps on a guitar and belts out guitar lines and vocals with equal force. In their own words: 'Das Sexy Clap like shouting, drums played too loud, and dirty, dirty guitars. We hope you like our noise as much as we enjoy making it.'
They're both lovely people and have very generously put their (hopefully first) album on BandCamp for free download. I also appreciate that I got a bit behind with his blog for a while there, but to make up for it here's one 1 free track, but 11 and they're all great! Get this album now before those big softies change their minds and change the price from £0.00 to £10.
Ah George Pringle, seemed people either loved or hated her music, there was very little in the way of middle ground. Orginally from Malvern, then Oxford (whilst at Uni) and finally now in London. She released her album 'Salon de Refuses' back in 2009, toured Europe with Air and began work on her second album. She posted up a status saying that she was looking for a label to back her and thought the cost of making her second album would be £10k, I didn't have that much but really liked her music, and offered her £5,000. She wasn't interested, but it seems no-one else was either as she didn't get any other offers and has stopped making music and nowadays just maintains a tumblr called Pink Lunch. To get a copy of Golfo dei Poeti, just click download below, it's all very straighforward. I also recommend a track she did with Errors called 'Cutlery Drawer'.
Skambomambo is led by Maltese frontman Don Mario boosted by the SkamboMob based in Szczecin, Poland. Skambomambo fuses its own original brand of Ska with other genres like rock, pop, punk ad funk. But enough of that, they're favourites of SLAP magazine and that's all you need to know. Not only did they put them on the front cover of April's issue but they even booked them to play at their third SLAP Night at the Worcester Arts Workshop last weekend. This is without a doubt their most popular song and they've put it up in .wav form, so get on it, run it through an mp3 converter and regularly add it to your playlists over the summer.
Mike Hadreas, also known as Perfume Genius is a singer/songwriter from Seattle, Washington, US. Perfume Genius began when he moved from New York to his mother’s home in Everett, WA. In these relatively isolated conditions, Hadreas felt a compulsion to make music and began composing fragile yet brutally honest songs on the piano. By 2008 he had set up a MySpace page and began offering his music there, along with similarly spare and evocative homemade music videos.
From the BBC: Even if this follow-up to 2010’s debut Learning makes Bon Iver resemble Mastodon in comparison, the album title reinforces an emotional show of strength, and sometimes even an injection of musical welly. Though Learning’s stripped vocal/piano blueprint is Hadreas’ default setting, a fizzing guitar coda elevates AWOL Marine, Take Me Home adds echoing drums and pedal steel swoons in a doo-wop fashion, his own flights of falsetto included, and Hood is an even stronger take on that style. Normal Song also taps a 1950s dramarama, with the string synth mirroring the similarly retro-haunted region of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks.
But altogether Put Your Back N 2 It exists in a bleakly beautiful twilight zone of Hadreas’ own making. Indicative of this is No Tear, with his tremulous vocal (a touch Sufjan Stevens) on the chorus echoed by a creepy (as in Twin Peaks creepy) slowed-down vocal counterpart. But then Hadreas’ way of dragging you in to his sadness and confusion (and mirroring your own in the process) is a most bizarrely comforting feeling once you’re alone with him. And as Dark Parts puts it, in one of many memorable images or statements, “He’ll never break you, baby”.
I was thinking about what I could write for Grimes and looking at her wikipedia page for some inspiration and her bio made me actually laugh out loud; so here it is.
Claire Boucher was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia. She graduated from Lord Byng Secondary School and moved to Montreal, Quebec to attend Montreal's McGill University. It was during her studies that she began to record and perform under the name Grimes. However, as Grimes became a more serious endeavor for her, she began to miss a large number of classes at McGill, and only showed up for classes when she had to take exams; resulting in the university taking punitive actions against her and she was expelled.
In 2009, Boucher and her then-boyfriend from Tennessee constructed a 20-foot houseboat, named the "Velvet Glove Cast in Iron," with the intention to sail it down the Mississippi River from Minneapolis to New Orleans. The cargo included chickens, a typewriter, 20 pounds of potatoes and a gifted copy of Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Boucher and her companion adopted the names "Varuschka" and "Zelda Xox" for the trip. Due to engine trouble and subsequent harassment from the Minnesota police, the journey was cut short and the houseboat and chickens were impounded.
Bigger Than Seattle are an alt.rock band from Stourbridge whose name I've heard in conversation several times, but still haven't gotten around to seeing. They've got a free 7 track demo album/ep up for free download on their SoundCloud page, but I've just put up 'Jellybean' here as it's the stand out track for me. Clearly influenced by Jeff Buckley but respectfully done, with a nice clean guitar motif underpinning the whole piece. The whole set has been uploaded as .wav files so expect some relatively big files but just run them through an mp3 convertor and edit the iD3 tags in WinAmp and you're all good.
Ooh, free music from Smashing Pumpkins. (They appear to have dropped the 'The' part.) What do you want me to say about them, that they're from Chicago, Illinois? That they formed in 1988? You know all this, at least you should do. Look, nevermind any of that, just whack your email address in that there box below and watch this while your free music is downloading.
Making your music folder better, one song at a time.
_Pretty much everyday I seem to find some amazing exclusive tracks that
some awesome artists are giving away for free as a special one off
promotion. Today, it occured to me that instead of just downloading
them, maybe reposting them on facebook if they're special enough/someone I know and
then moving on, I should start a little music blog on here. Even if it
doesn't last forever, it's still a free song for you each day that it
does! I'd say the character of this blog is mostly electropop and singer/songwriter but I've got plans for mathcore, post-rock and glitch-hop. A lot of these tracks have a download limit of 100 so get in there on the quick. I'd also point out that a lot of the songs will need renaming once you've downloaded them so I'd do them one at a time.