Happy New Year everyone from your friends at Off the Radar! Even though 2009 wasn't so good financially for most, it was a great year for music (just check out our Best Albums/Videos of 2009) and 2010 looks to be even better! Thanks for making 2009 our best year yet! We watched our numbers double and hope to continue that trend by continuing to bring you the best new music out there!
Now go out and have a great/safe New Years celebration! Catch you in 2010! I like the ring of that...
Elusive Swedish band jj, who perhaps should have even been contending for the album-of-the-year list with their amazing, hit filled release jj nº 2, have somehow slipped our radar up till now. Having just signed with label Secretly Canadian, who also recently signed indie greats Yeasayer, jj are set to release their full length follow up jj nº 3 on March 9th, along with their first U.S. tour on the road with the xx!! Unfortunately for us here in Miami, no Florida stops as usual, but if you can shoot up to Atlanta March 23rd, or New York the 30th or 31st, it'd be well worth the trip! The xx is actually sampled, along with Charles Manson, Akon and various others, in a brand new track jj did for Swedish Radio called '5 minuter med jj'. It's quite possibly the raddest thing I have heard in a long time.
MP3: 5 minuter med jj - jj
MP3: Ecstacy - jj
MP3: Things will Never be the Same Again - jj
Miami's own Cuban born singer/multi-instrumentalist Liset Alea which has been making a buzz for quite some time performing at many Miami/NYC hot spots is getting set to release a new album in the coming year for her new project Honeythieves with herself and producers Alexkid from France and Brussels based producer Olivier Matteu.
She sent us over the video for her first single 'Reminder' and they did an excellent job with it! A color explosion and really cool video/track with Liset looking sharp as a tack!
They can't send us album tracks as it hasn't been released yet, but here is a sweet remix by RAC (aka Andre Anjos) for 'Reminder' that has been featured on Entourage and 90210! Nice! They're off to a great start! We'll keep you posted.
MP3: Reminder (RAC Mix) - Honeythieves
Just missed our top video list for 2009. So weird they released this video at this time of the year instead of waiting another week or two for 2010, but here is the new video for Julian Casablancas '11th Dimension'. Once again color is big. It's real retro looking with some Tron looking effects mixed in with some old and new images, plus some acting by Julian. Pretty cool.
Hope you all had a great Christmas! Here is Part 2 of our Favorite Videos of 2009! Hope you like them as much as we do!
Pet Shop Boys came out strong in 09' with their amazing first single off of 10th studio album Yes, called 'Love, Etc'. It was accompanied by this amazing animated video. One of my favorite videos of the year!
Young Swedish artists Sound of Arrows made a splash in 2009 and got me excited about what lies ahead in their future. No video was able to capture the feeling of the dreamwave genre as well as their video for 'Into the Clouds' which literally took you flying through the sky. Beautiful track accompanied by this beautiful/colorful video for it.
Like a scene straight out of a Quentin Tarantino movie The Dead Weather got violent with their video for 'Treat Me Like Your Mother' and I loved it! Definitely one for the books!
Holy Ghost finally put out a new single in 2009! Their first material since 2007's 'Hold On'. 'I Will Come Back' is another classic tune that I played out all year long. For the video they re-made the classic New Order video for Confusion ft cameos by Arthur Baker who reprised his role in the original New Order video and Nancy Whang of The Juan Maclean fame who played the lead female part. A great modern re-interpretation of New York City nightlife and that classic New Order video. Makes me wanna go to NYC and dance, dance, dance!
Julian Plenti aka Paul Banks from Interpol put this great movie-like video for his track 'Games for Days' that reminds me of movies like Memento were you don't quite know what's going on. Co-starring Emily Haines from Metric fame they might have a future ahead of them as actors as well.
Another recurring themes in videos this year besides bold bright colors dealt with science. Like this one for my favorite Passion Pit video for 'To Kingdom Come' which features both. Bright beautiful colors and a scientific theme.
Sex sells and no were was this more evident this year than on this video for Make the Girl Dance's track 'Baby, Baby, Baby'. Basically just featuring naked models walking down a busy street in France. Umm yeah, great video! Some of the people's reactions or lack of reactions make for part of the fun. This one features text in English so you can read what she's singing about.
This video for Who Made Who's excellent track 'Keep Me in My Plane' is highly imaginative and highly entertaining. Following him through his life's trials and tribulations ultimately to his death. It's a great one!
Continuing with the theme of bright/vibrant colors Grizzly Bear's video for 'Ready, Able' is a virtual explosion of amazing colors and creativity with clay animation. Just freaking amazing! By far, one of the most creative and imaginative videos of the year.
As far as 8 bit technology goes this video by Flair's for their track 'Trucker's Delight' is ace! Highly entertaining and creative! They should totally make a video game out of this. I'd buy it.
Continuing in the tradition of bands like MGMT or Empire of the Sun which this video reminds me a bit of. Boy Crisis put out this excellent video for their amazing track 'Fountain of Youth' with lots of theatrics, makeup and great wardrobe styling! Job well done! A great video!
Love, love, love this Vitalic video for their great track 'Poison Lips' which I still play out on the dancefloor. Beautiful colors and some of the most beautiful asian girls I've ever seen! That first girl is just stunning!
The Golden Filter took forever to make a video for their blog loved dancefloor friendly jam 'Solid Gold' but when they finally did it was a great one. Love the sepia tones and color splashes. Lots to look forward from The Golden Filter in 2010 and beyond!
Finally we leave you with the big Classixx hit of 09' 'I'll Get You' featuring this simple summer video shot by Cobrasnake that perfectly matches the breezy nature of the track. A great summer video. Short, sweet and to the point. Another example of how you don't need a huge budget to make a good video.
Not only was 2009 a great year for music there were also some amazing videos released as well! Here's some of my favorites...
Depeche Mode kicked off the year with one of their darkest tracks ever 'Wrong' and it was accompanied by this amazing scary movie type video for it. Unfortunately their label kept taking down the embedding for it, but I managed to find one on vimeo that's working albeit with some dead air space after the video. Here it is....
On a sidenote DM's tour this year in support of their latest album 'Sounds of the Universe' was amazing!!! Hands down best concert of 2009!
Another great car themed video from earlier this year was this one by La Roux for her track 'In for the Kill'. Love the retro 80's Deloreon and the deep red and blue colors they used.
2009 was a big year for vibrant colors in videos and one of the most colorful videos of the year is by Simian Mobile Disco for their amazing track 'Audacity of Huge'. One of my favorite tracks of 2009 was accompanied by this amazing video. A virtual color explosion! Gotta love it!
Another amazing glitter/color fest video that I loved this year came from Marina and the Diamonds for her great track 'I Am Not a Robot'. An amazing video! Love that hand shake she does at one point. She's too cute.
Friendly Fires released early in 2009 this amazing video for their equally spectacular track 'Skeleton Boy'. Very memorable video! One of my favorites of the year.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs rocked 2009 and this video for their huge hit 'Heads Will Roll' ft an MJ impersonator before his untimely death is spectacular! In contention for one of the best video/track combos of 2009.
Miike Snow had a great year and some great videos! Even though 'Animal' was a bigger hit my favorite video from them is for 'Black and Blue'. Love the mad scientist theme and the robot playing drums around 2 min 30 secs in is too much. Amazing! Reminds me a bit of Bjorks amazing robot video for 'All is Full of Love'.
By far the creepiest and eeeriest videos this year came from Fever Ray. Each one was creepier than the last, but my favorite one is the video for first single 'When I Grow Up' were the girl is dancing over the pool that eventually turns stormy. Awesome!
One of the most inventive and original videos to come out this year was by We Have Band for their track 'We Came Out'. Stop motion amazingness that must have take forever to do, but in the end it was worth it! One of the most creative videos of 09. Job well done!
Fan Death's video for their track 'Reunited' was one of the best movie like videos to come out this year. It takes you on a whole little journey were you get to meet a lot of not so good celebrity impersonations of Prince, Axl Rose and others. Love it!
Just to show you don't have to have complicated/expensive videos to make a memorable one Beni hit a home run with his video for 'Maximus' featuring a bunch of kids dancing to his song in a store and out in the streets. You can never go wrong with kids in a video, especially if they dance this good.
I waited a long time for Zoot Woman to return as I am a big fan of their first two records and they did not disappoint with their new one! 'Things are what they used to be' is an amazing electro-pop record! One of my favorite albums of the year. Sure it's not gonna appear in too many American 'Best Of' lists as their not as known in the States, but that's their loss! I'll keep them as my gem. Stuart Price is a genious! He can write catchy pop songs like it's no ones business. Now please don't take that long for a new one...
MP3: Saturation - Zoot Woman
Simian Mobile Disco's 'Temporary Pleasure' is a much more electro-pop song based record from them than many people would have anticipated. They got tons of big name vocalists to contribute on this one including Gruff Rhys, Beth Ditto, Alexis from Hot Chip and Jamie Lydell, but the stand out track on this album is Audacity of Huge feat. Chris Keating of Yeasayer. Probably one of my favorite tracks/videos of 2009! So sweet, it gives you cavities.
MP3: Audacity of Huge - Simian Mobile Disco
As the name implies Sally Shapiro is one of my guilty pleasures of 2009. The production on this record is amazing! So crisp and clean. The beats, melodies and her voice are gorgeous! Although I didn't play this out as much out on the dancefloor as I would've liked it got plenty of plays at my apartment.
MP3: Moonlight Dance - Sally Shapiro
With this years album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, Phoenix finally live up to the potential they showed in their spectacular debut 'United'. Even though their second and third album weren't bad they didn't have the impact that this one did. 'Lisztomania' and '1901' provide an amazing one two punch that was hard to beat this year. They were everywhere, including Cadillac commercials. They were remixed by everyone and their mothers and most importantly they were big dancefloor winners. They are still crowd favorites, 6 months on and people still go nuts whenever I play either of those two tracks. Lisztomania is my personal favorite.
MP3: Lisztomania - Phoenix
Peter, Bjorn and John had a tough job ahead of them. How the hell were they gonna follow up their debut album Writers Block and their massive hit 'Young Folks'?!?! Easy don't let that affect you and make another amazing record. With Living Things they got a little darker and a little more electronic and it's awesome! 'It Don't Move Me' is one of my favorite tracks of 09 that obliterated the dancefloor all year long. No sophmore slump to be found here. With this album they proved they are no one hit wonder. We can expect to hear many more albums from these amazing Swedes. Thank goodness for that.
MP3: It Don't Move Me - Peter, Bjorn and John
Pet Shop Boys have been in the game for a long, long time so I wasn't expecting them to still have it after all these years, could they? With Yes they put out one of their most solid albums in years! Instantly classic Pet Shop Boys. 'Love, Etc' with that amazing video is probably one of the best songs they've ever written. When I first heard that track I was blown away! It can easily fit into any future best of retrospectives they may have. Not bad for a band 25 yrs into their career. As a sidenote I saw them perform at the Fillmore this year for the first time and they were amazing! Great theatrics and Neil Tennant's still got the voice. Living legends.
MP3: Love, Etc. - Pet Shop Boys
Another band that came on with a bang in 09' was Passion Pit. Their debut album Manners blew up the blog-o-sphere eventually even making it to the dancefloor with tracks like 'The Reeling' (another contender for top singles of the year) and 'Little Secrets'. Amazing heartfelt indie pop that gave the genre a bit of a kick in the butt. They definitely got our attention.
MP3: The Reeling - Passion Pit
We all love Erlend Oye! That voice of his is one of a kind, so smooth and beautiful. With album number two for Whitest Boy Alive they kept the instrumentation simple but the beats dancefloor friendly, particularly with tracks like 'Courage' which I still play out. I can never get enough of him. No sophmore slump here either.
MP3: Courage - Whitest Boy Alive
Neon Indian was an artist that kinda slipped my radar for a bit, but glad I finally tuned in. Psychic Chasms is an amazing debut record which along with artists like Washed Out and a few others kinda started a whole new genre called dreamwave. Amazing fuzzy, lo-fi nostalgic sounding pop music. 'Deadbeat Summer' is my fave track, but they're all really good!
MP3: Deadbeat Summer - Neon Indian
What can I say about Interpol lead singer Paul Banks. His voice is so unique and beautful I can never get enough of him. With his debut solo album as alias Julian Plenti he delivers more magic. Julian Plenti is Skyscraper delivers mostly slower tracks but with his trademark delivery that aren't too different from what you might hear on an Interpol record, and that's fine by me. A great late night record that got many listens at my place.
MP3: Skyscraper - Julian Plenti
Miike Snow is another artist that came out strong in 09 with their self titled debut. They were kinda a sleeper band that crept up on us. Before you knew it everyone was singing Animal drunk on the dancefloor at 2AM and dancing to the multitude of remixes for it. One of the hands down best singles of 2009! But delve further the whole album is amazing...
MP3: Animal - Miike Snow
Karin Dreijer Andersson of The Knife fame came out strong in 09' with her own self titled solo album as Fever Ray. It's twisted, dark and haunting with her unmistakable voice and delivery. Everything we would expect from Karin and we wouldn't want it any other way. Unexpectedly it got a lot of mainstream attention which is kinda weird for such a dark album. The videos were as creepy as it got in 09' each one darker and spookier than the last.
MP3: Triangle Walks - Fever Ray
MP3: Revenge (ft Wayne Coyne/Flaming Lips - Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse
Animal Collective are huge now! Amazing I got to see this band when they were up and comers and they played at I/O here in Miami a couple times. Super nice guys, but they were way more experimental back then. Now with the release of Merriweather Post Pavillion they've put out their most accesible record yet and it will show as it will top many Best of Lists for 09'. My Girls is the stand out track and personal fave.
MP3: My Girls - Animal Collective
First heard of the Crocodiles from my friend Lindsey then I kept hearing people talking about them till I finally got curious and checked out Summer of Hate. Glad I did! A great shoegazey rock record ala bands like Jesus and Mary Chain, Raveonettes and Echo and the Bunnymen which I think is were they got their album title from. My favorite tracks are back to back 2 and 3 'I Wanna Kill' and 'Soft Skull (In My Room)' which both sound like instant classics!
MP3: I Wanna Kill - Crocodiles
The Horrors possibly put out my favorite rock album of 2009! Primary Colours is an amazing sophmore record. I still have yet to hear their first album of which apparently this is a big departure from, but here they bring back the spirit of bands like Joy Division. Excellent moody, bass heavy rock n roll in a year dominated by the more electronic stuff.
MP3: Who Can Say - The Horrors
Frankmusik is pure electro-pop fun. A excellent week-end album as it gets me in the mood to go out and dance! Jumpy beats, swirling synths, excellent melodies and great production. What more could you want? 'Gotta Boyfriend' and 'Better off as Two' are my two faves.
MP3: Gotta Boyfriend - Frankmusik
Washed Out's Life of Leisure is actually an EP but it was so good I snuck it on here as well. Like Neon Indian and a few other artists he's kinda helped jumpstart the current dreamwavey, fuzzy lo-fi craze that I've been digging lately. Can't wait to see were he takes us in the next few years. 'Feel it All Around' is lo-fi licious!
MP3: Feel it All Around - Washed Out
Yacht's See Mystery Lights was a solid indie album from DFA records of all places. It features an eclectic blend of electronics, percussions and all sorts of experimental noises plus shared male/female vocals which I always tend to like. 'The Afterlife' with it's catchy chorus and 'I'm in Love with a Ripper' are my two faves.
MP3: I'm in Love with a Ripper - Yacht
Julian Casablancas like contemporary Paul Banks/Julien Plenti also made the jump this year from band The Strokes to his own solo record. On his debut 'Phrazes for the Young' it feels like Julian let loose a little and had some fun with it. He dabbled a bit more with electronics, but it's not a whole lot different than what you'd find on a Strokes record. You can tell he's the mastermind behind the Strokes sound we all love. '11th Dimension' was one of my favorite singles of the year! It just doesn't get much catchier than 11th and you can't take away that he's one of the voices of our generation.
MP3: 11th Dimension - Julian Casablancas
MP3: In For the Kill - La Roux
Another great artist which is not releasing her debut album till Feb 2010 but made a big splash with her EP The Crown Jewels in 2009 is Marina and the Diamonds. Absolutely loved all the tracks and amazing videos she released this year and I am really excited about her so I wanted to include her EP on this list as well. 'I Am Not a Robot' and 'Obsession' are sooo good! We have a lot to look forward to from this amazing artist in the years to come.
MP3: I Am Not a Robot - Marina and the Diamonds
Denver, Colorado based quartet Woodsman, who recently released their Colleges LP via Mexican Summer, provide the kind of striking neo-psychedelic free-form guitar rock that makes you feel like sitting in a dimly lit bar with a stiff drink smoking through a pack of cigarettes, and I don't even smoke! Their sound, which is mostly instrumental with a few hazy vocals thrown in, makes me thankful that there are still some bands that keep the focus on outstanding instrumentation. The band recently released this great new video for 'Sunglass' that perfectly embodies the feel of the track.
MP3: Sunglass - Woodsman
MP3: Bow and Arrow - Woodsman
MP3: Dikembe Mutombo - Woodsman
Hey ya'll almost time for our Best of Lists for 2009! Are you excited? I know I am. Always fun to see people's picks. It was a great year for music, particularly albums I think. They made a bit of a comeback this year. Working on mine as we speak! Should be up soon!
In the meantime here's a couple cool videos I've come across recently including one for DJ Hell featuring the amazing Bryan Ferry from Roxy Music fame called 'U Can Dance' with tons of remixes on the way for 2010. Plus the new Hot Chip video for 'One Life Stand' off their forthcoming new album also titled One Life Stand which will be released Feb 1st! They did an exclusive release for the video on Myspace the other day, probably the only thing Myspace has going for it these days, music/band pages, etc. Here are both of those for you to enjoy. Have a great week-end!
P.S. If you're in South Florida be sure to check out Surfer Blood Performing Tonight at The Vagabond for their legendary Friday Night Indie/Electro Parties. Surfer Blood's been getting a lot of blog love lately including Pitchfork so tonight's your chance to catch them live, plus get your dance on with a sweet young thing. See you there...
Edison is an experimental electronic artist from California. Last week his reps sent me a copy of his new album 'All the Information at Hand' and it is mighty good! Great experimental instrumental electronic music with tons of sick samples and great beats! It kinda reminds me of artists like DJ Shadow, Unkle and stuff like that.
In additon to the album they sent me this sick live video clip of him performing album opener 'Tonka Truck' on this electronic boombox full of buttons that is pretty amazing and getting him tons of buzz! The guys got skills!
His album is out on Itunes December 22nd, but if you're in a rush to get it they have some advanced copies available here.
Here's the video I was talking about plus a couple of my favorite tracks to get you aquainted with his music.
MP3: The Ritual of Heat Rising Through the Attic - Edison
MP3: How We Got Here and Now - Edison
In the endless search for great music, every once in awhile you come across a band that is excitingly original. This is how I feel about Chicago quartet Yawn. Listening to them I was immediately captivated. They've brilliantly combined just the right proportions of experimental, Animal Collective-esque, clicks and beeps, worldly sounding tribal rhythms, dance beats, catchy hooks and poppy vocals to create the most delicious indie-pop cocktail, guaranteed to improve any mood.
Their 5 song EP, out now and available in its entirety for free download on their website, is amazingly solid, diverse and fluid. I have provided a few gems off it here. Particularly loving the upbeat and super catchy track 'Kind of Guy'. I kinda get the feeling we are gonna be hearing a lot more great stuff from these guys in the future.
MP3: Kind of Guy - Yawn
MP3: Toys - Yawn
MP3: Midnite - Yawn
What is there not to love about Brazos? First I heard Day Glo and instantly needed to hear more. So then that led to this video of a live performance that is so humble and intriguing, I can imagine sitting in the crowd with heart shaped pupils. My love affair doesn't end there, it leads to their myspace's sounds like section which reads "A couple of hundreds years ago i was born and i roamed around, i saw various countries achieve independence, ans i walked the earth happily. then about 100 years ago i tripped over on a river and fell face first into a bed of mountains and the mountains were like an old familiar bosom and i fell asleep till a few years ago then i woke up and everything was different so i decided to write some songs about what i could remember." So maybe it's not C.S. Lewis, but it's nice to see instead of some dry sarcasm in those boxes. Wait, I didn't even mention they're from Austin, Texas! Ok, I'll stop and let you share the love.
MP3: Day Glo - Brazos
MP3: Tell - Brazos
I've been a fan of Washed Out's sound ever since I first posted about him here back in late August. I actually got to see him perform live a few weeks ago here in Miami at the Terri and Donna Gallery during Art Basel. Have to admit, the guy really needs to work on his stage presence. Though I was a little disappointed with the energy of the show, I also realize that he is a young artist with a lot of time and room to improve his live show.
That being said, let it be known that in no way does it take away from my love of his music. And with the recent release of this brilliant and highly entertaining brand new video for his track 'Belong', I am extremely excited to see where he takes us in 2010 and beyond.
MP3: Belong - Washed Out
MP3: I Say Fever - Ramona Fever
In keeping with the indie pop feel that I have going today I was very glad to receive news on Morr Music's The Go Find. I was totally in love with their 2004 Debut Record 'Miami' which I did a Classic Album Spotlight on here.
Seems they are gonna be releasing their third album titled 'Everybody Knows It's Gonna Happen Only Not Tonight' on February 14th, 2010. They sent me the album for review and it continues their tradition of heartfelt indie-pop, although the new album features less electronics and more acoustic elements than Miami, it's still a solid affair.
Loving the track 'One Hundred Percent' featuring a duet with female/male vocal banter about commitment in a relationship and how much they need from each other. The self titled opening track is also a classic sounding Go Find track and their first single which has been cleared for us to post. Here is that for you.
P.S. While I was on the Morr Site I noticed that Lali Puna is putting the finishing touches on their new album recorded at Abbey Road and to be released April 2010! Woo! Can't wait for that, it's been way overdue!
MP3: Everybody Knows It's Gonna Happen Only Not Tonight - The Go Find
Letting Up Despite Great Faults is an LA based band. Their reps sent us their entire self titled album the other day and I am loving it! A great mid-tempo shoegaze/electronic hybrid record that will appeal to fans of bands like Radio Dept., Yo La Tengo, M83, My Bloody Valentine, etc. They meld traditional instrumentation and electronic elements with beautiful airy vocals into a seamless work of art. Some tracks are more electro-poppy and others more shoegazey, but all excellent. A great late night record!
So far my favorites are album opener 'In Steps' (my fav), 'Folding Under Stories Told', the shoe-gazey 'The Colors Aren't You or Me', 'So Fast: You', 'Photograph Shakes' and album closer 'Release', but there's not a bad one here. No filler to be found. I also like that the songs are all 3-4 min's long. Really what's the point of much more than that for good pop songs.
Here they are the first three tracks from the album cleared for our readers to sample/download. The album is out now on Itunes/Amazon. If you like these odds are you'll like the whole thing and should pick this up pronto. It's climbing on the CMJ college charts as we speak.
MP3: In Steps - Letting Up Despite Great Faults
MP3: Folding Under Stories Told - Letting Up Despite Great Faults
MP3: The Colors Aren't You or Me - Letting Up Despite Great Faults