New Music Tuesday 5/20/14 featuring Haley Bonar, Crow Bait, and Pujol

Better a day late than not at all!

Haley BonarLast Reputation

Haley has been on my to see list at SXSW for two years now, but I have never quite made that happen. Her song “Bad Reputation” caught my ear on her EP last year so I’m interested in hearing what she’ll do with a full length album.

Crow Bait – Sliding Through the Halls of Fate

Crow Bait is a band I just found out about but they have been making some noise (the good kind) in the Long Island music scene since 2011. This is their debut LP and I’m already intrigued. There is something about their sound that is kind of familiar to me and I like it.


I first discovered Pujol at SXSW two years ago and really fell in love with them. They have a new album out and admittedly, it’s not what I expected from them but somehow, it still feels like Pujol. You can stream one of their tracks here because I can’t find any music videos newer than 2011.


Also Out Today:

Coldplay – Ghost Stories
Phillip Phillips – Behind The Light
Spoon – No Silverware
The Duhks – Beyond The Blue


~Kristen and Amanda

New Music Tuesday 5/13/14 featuring Jesse Thomas, Levi Weaver, Alright Junior, The Trouble With Templeton

So much good music released this week. I’ve been binging on the following:


Jesse ThomasBurn The Boats

I had the pleasure of attending the CD release party at The Hotel Cafe for Burn The Boats. Although I haven’t sat down with the album yet, the songs in their live form are still swimming in my head.  I really enjoy Jesse’s unique vocal style tackling songs ranging from the heart-breaking “Swallow That Pill” to a hilarious sing-along that strings together some of the more amusing, real life pick-up lines. Put the band behind her and she’s also got a couple up-beat hand clappers.


Levi WeaverYour Ghost Keeps Finding Me 

This album is dramatic and compelling and kept my attention from note one through to the end by introducing me to different facets of Mr. Weaver.  The quiet, contemplative singer-songwriter abounds in simple tracks like “Citadel” or “Paddleboats”, the multi-instrumentalist fond of layering shines in the catchy opener, “Borrowed Clothes” and there is even a hint of punk rocker in what is currently my most played track, “Song in my Branches”.  Add in guest appearances by the likes of Rachael Yamagata and Carina Round who lends vocals in the haunting duet “Pieces” and I’d call this one a winner.

Alright JuniorAmusia 

My beloved Philly rockers, Alright Junior, have a new album being released in piecemeal fashion this week with the full 13 tracks up on Friday. The album title, Amusia, was inspired by a tale in Oliver Sacks’ Musicophilia that describes the life of a person with a neurological condition called amusia, defined by Sacks as a “total inability to perceive music as music.” As a fan of Sacks’ work, I was tickled by the title. I’ve also been banging my head to “Ancestors Laugh in Heaven” since the video was released. New AJ tracks every day are going to make for one rockin’ week!

go here to follow the track releases


The Trouble With TempletonRookie

I thought I knew Aussie artist Thomas Calder, the singer/songwriter behind The Trouble With Templeton, but Rookie introduces an exciting new dimension to the singer’s work. The band has created songs that are textured and varied, eccentric yet still melodic. Currently, my favorites might be the punchy “Like A Kid” and the Radiohead-esque “Six Months In a Cast”.  This album is fun yet still full of heart…give it a listen!


Also out today:

The Black Keys – Turn Blue
Michael Jackson – Xscape
Tori Amos – Unrepentant Geraldines
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart –  Days of Abandon
Various Artists- Beautiful: The Carole King Musical 
Little Dragon– Nabuma Rubberband 
Joseph Arthur – Lou
Mirah – Chasing Light


~ Kristen and Amanda

New Music Tuesday 5/6/14 featuring Thomas Dybdahl, Natalie Merchant, Morning Parade, and Hunter Hayes

Here is what we’re listening to this week…

Thomas DybdahlWhat’s Left is Forever 

This is the one I’ll have on repeat all week. If you’re in Los Angeles, this Norwegian singer-songwriter has a residency this month at The Hotel Cafe.

Natalie Merchant Natalie Merchant 

I listen to this album and I am taken back to the 90s. There is a sense of comfort I feel while listening to Natalie Merchant’s pleading vocal. This is her first solo effort with all new material in over a decade. Definitely worth a listen. You can stream it here 

Morning ParadePure Adulterated Joy

If you kept up with us during SXSW you would know they were one of my favorite new discoveries from this year. Admittedly, I’m not well versed in their discography but I really enjoyed what I heard out there in Austin. I also enjoyed the songs they said were new, which always lessens my pause to pre-order an album from iTunes from a band I’m not super familiar with. They are currently the single of the week on iTunes so if you want to check them out but don’t want to commit just yet, there’s your opportunity.

Hunter Hayes– Storyline

I’ve been a longtime fan of Hunter Hayes since I first heard his single “Storm Warning” on the radio. I fell even more head over heels with “Wanted” and have been waiting for a follow up to his debut album. He shies away from the typical country cliches like pickup trucks, beer drinking, partying, and the like so if you’re not really into country (or want to dip your toe in), you should give him a try. He’s a talented musician and songwriter which always strikes my fancy. I’m excited to hear what’s next from him.

Also of interest:

  • The Lovebirds – Breakup Shmakeup
  • Liam Finn – Nihilist
  • Sarah McLaughlin- Shine On
  • Hamilton Leithauser – Black Hours
  • Kina Grannis – Elements
  • Lily Allen – Sheezus
  • Lykke Li – I Never Learn
  • MONEY- The Shadow Of Heaven
  • tUnE-yArDs – Nikki Nack 


~ Kristen and Amanda

New Music Tuesday 4/29/14 featuring New Empire, The Milk Carton Kids, Strange Talk

Looking for some new tunes? Here are a few suggestions….

New EmpireIn A Breath

In the onslaught of new albums, singles, videos that have come through my inbox in the last week, this album by Aussie pop/rock band, New Empire, stood out like a breath of fresh air. It’s easy and enjoyable and will be a fast favorite for those who enjoy the likes of The Fray, The Script, and Augustana. The soothing vocals, piano melodies, and uplifting tones are drawing me in and I’m falling more in love with each listen.  I’ll be on the lookout for New Empire when they journey to North America later this year.


The Milk Carton KidsLive From Lincoln Theatre DVD

I know I’ve already mentioned this one, but it’s that good. The joy of this folk duo lies in their live performance which is captured quite well on this DVD. I’ve already watched it several times and the only problem is that it leaves me wanting more. The Milk Carton Kids being their largely sold out North American tour today, so if you don’t have tickets and still need your fix, the DVD’s a somewhat suitable substitute.

Strange TalkCast Away 

Jury has been out on this synth/pop band from Australia, but I’m finding their debut album very danceable, which is decidedly a good thing. I especially like the song, “Young Hearts”.


Other releases I’m hoping to check out:

  • Ray Lamontagne – Supernova
  • Damon Albarn – Everyday Robots
  • Brody Dalle – Diploid Love
  • Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Phosphorescent Harvest 
  • Howlin’ Rain – Live Rain 
  • Old 97’s – Most Messed Up
  • Pixies – Indie Cindy
  • Rodriogo y Gabriela – 9 Dead Alive 
  • Johnnyswim – Diamonds 
  • Wye Oak – Shriek 
  • Neil Young – A Letter Home 
  • Saliva – Rise Up 


~ Kristen

New Music Tuesday 4/22/14 featuring Semi Precious Weapons, Neon Trees, Augustana

This week is chock full of awesome new releases including tons of LMN favorites!

Semi Precious Weapons– Aviation

This is probably one of the most anticipated album releases for me and other SPW fans because it’s taken so long (read: four years!) for them to finally get new music out! Thankfully the album is out and we can finally blast songs like “Drink,” “Free Booze,” and “Cherries On Ice” on repeat in our vehicles. This album is a mix of brand new tunes and songs we’ve heard them play for a few years (as noted above) but it’s all 100% Semi Precious Weapons. I also have to say, the production work on this album only enhances everything we’ve come to love about the band, it’s sexy, sensual, anthemic and rock and roll. I foresee this album being on repeat for a good long while.


Neon Trees– Pop Psychology

This is another big and exciting release because it’s been two years since Picture Show and it’s also a peek inside of frontman Tyler Glenn’s head. He’s always provided lyrics I’ve loved and related to with the poppy dance backbone and a kick-ass drummer that’s just so hard to deny. Admittedly, I’m really curious about the album as a whole since Glenn has openly stated it’s a very personal album and it reflects his time spent seeing a therapist and learning to become happy with himself. It also has commentary on love in the digital age with songs like “Love in the 21st Century” and “Sleeping With a Friend” which, let’s face it, we all struggle with. I haven’t had the opportunity to listen the whole way through and even with the upped pop factor, I’m still really excited to see what’s inside this new album.


AugustanaLife Imitating Life 

Two songs into the stream for this album, I was online, shopping for the best deal (hint: check out Amazon where you also get their last amazing album on sale). Dan’s voice, whether it be gravely or soaring, laid atop a pleading piano is impossible to resist.  Augustana has always been a band that easily elicits emotion and the primary sentiment in Life Imitating Life seems to be happiness! The tunes reflect a growth and maturity, a reflection upon life after a little bit of life has been lived. After first listen, my favorite track is “Alive”, a song I first heard performed live a while ago and instantly feel in love with. This is one of those albums, I feel, whose songs will only improve upon further listening.


Here are a few more albums out today we’re looking forward to hearing:

  • Patrick Park – Love Like Swords
  • The Apache Relay – The Apache Relay
  • Eels – The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett 
  • The Whigs – Modern Creation
  • To Kill a King – Cannibals with Cutlery
  • Sharon Corr – Same Sun
  • Finch – What it Is To Burn X


~ Amanda and Kristen

New Music Tuesday 4/15/14 featuring NEEDTOBREATHE, Dan Wilson, The Both

Well, this was written several days ago in the midst of an apocalyptic computer…issue,  If I can get this up now before things decide to freeze again, we will have a major success on our hands. Yay!

NEEDTOBREATHERivers in the Wasteland

NEEDTOBREATHE is a band on my list of the top shows that I have ever seen. I am very much looking forward to hearing what these southern boys have cooked up since The Reckoning (one of my favorite albums of 2011). While I hear this new record on a whole is less “rockin’” than previous releases, I trust I will enjoy whatever musical journey this group decides to take me on. I am especially looking forward to seeing them at The Wiltern on May 6th. They are also doing a live in-store in Long Beach at Fingerprints tomorrow (4/16) if you are so lucky as to be able to make that one.

Dan WilsonLove Without Fear

I have long said Dan Wilson is my favorite songwriter… since his album, Free Life, was released 7 years ago. Since then, he has proven his songwriting skills with Grammys and notable co-writes with mega-stars. This album, however, is the one I’ve been waiting for. I’ve been listening to the stream all day. The songs may sound simple at first listen, but it’s harder than you might think to write a song that comes off as simple yet eloquent.

Steam it here:


The BothThe Both

I haven’t hear this album yet, but it’s Aimee Mann and Ted Leo and I just know it’s going to be brilliant! Amiee Mann’s voice just transports…


Here are some other albums out today that I’m looking forward to digging into. Maybe you will too!

  • Emerson Hart – Beauty in Disrepair 
  • David Ramierez – RAW EP
  • Ingrid Michaelson – Lights Out
  • Shawn McDonald – Brave
  • Kwesi K – Lovely EP
  • Plauge Vendor – Free To Eat
  • Three Oh Sees – Drop 
  • The Birds of Satan – The Birds of Satan
  • Jessica Lea Mayfield – Make My Head Sing

~ Kristen

  • Justin Nozuka – Ulysees 

New Music Tuesday 4/1/14 featuring Caught a Ghost, Nickel Creek, Hurrah! A Bolt of Light, Manchester Orchestra

I have been woefully behind on all the new music coming in, but this week, there are a few that got me excited so I wanted to share.

Caught a Ghost – Human Nature

This album is an absolute gem! From song one it will get you up and have you groovin’. The single, “Sleeping at Night” is a good representation of the album’s feel, but I can’t get over the lead off track, “No Sugar in My Coffee”. As a whole, the album has a unique blend of more modern styles with a very classic blues-y, even motown-esque vibe. Definitely one for the collection. If you’re in LA the band is celebrating the album’s release Friday at Bootleg Bar.

Nickel CreekA Dotted Line 

When I first heard this band was re-uniting for a new album, I screeched like a little fan girl. I adored this band’s previous three albums and was heart-broken when this folksy bluegrass trio seemed to go their separate ways seven years ago. But now, new Nickel Creek is here! Listening to A Dotted Line, I am thrilled, but time will tell if it will have the staying power in my playlists as previous efforts. Regardless, I am very much looking forward to Nickel Creek’s show at The Wiltern May 21st.

Hurrah! A Bolt of LightHurrah! A Bolt of Light

This new offering from this indie rock/pop band from NYC reached our inbox and my ears at just the right time. I was searching for something new to listen to and there it was. A couple songs in and I was still invested. Each song is refreshing and fun but has its own unique flavor. If you’re also in the market for something new for your ears, here you go!

Manchester OrchestraCope

I stumbled across a stream of this one the other day…let’s just say that I was up way too late that particular evening. I couldn’t stop listening! Spin calls it “unrelenting” and I think that’s the best possible description.


Other albums I’m hoping to get around to checking out:

  • Band of Skulls – Himalayan
  • Kaiser Chiefs – Education, Education, Education & War
  • Fartbarf- Dirty Power
  • Cloud Nothings  – Here and Nowhere
  • Chevelle – La Gargola
  • Various Artists- Looking Into You: A Tribute to Jackson Browne
  • Saintseneca – Dark Arc

~ Kristen