Search results for 'xx/xy'

Best New Bands of 2013 HUMMINGBIRD AWARD #10: Mutual Benefit

17 Dec
Quite possibly the best record of the year. Mutual Benefit is why I love giving Hummingbird Awards

Quite possibly the best record of the year. Mutual Benefit is why I love giving Hummingbird Awards

Best New Bands of 2013 HUMMINGBIRD AWARD #10: Mutual Benefit

Jordan Lee’s story reminds me a lot of the Justin Vernon move to a cabin in the Wisconsin woods to record For Emma, Forever Ago. Jordan Lee’s Mutual Benefit is a band collective formed on one emotion, traveling sadness. Darkness is the only emotion that seemed to be rattling in Jordan’s head over his 7 track Love’s Crushing Diamond. Tracks like “That Light That’s Blinding” with the plucking piano keys, choral voices and sad strumming violin remind me so much of For Emma, that I am waiting for Justin’s falsetto to shower over me. The XX/XY duet, bring out Jordan’s unique tone, and the experimental rolling band mates make this album quite possibly one of the best of 2013. Mutual Benefit could be this year’s Bon Iver, only if he bookends this record with an upbeat Broken Social Scene backwoods cultish ensemble record.

Founded: 2009
Hometown: Austin, Boston & St. Louis
Members: The lead Jordan Lee
Violin / Jake Falby
Bass / George Folickman
Electric Guitar / Marc Merza
Singing / Virginia de la Pozas + Cory Siegler + Julie Byrne
Drums / Cameron Potter
Hand Drums + Percussion / Dillon Zahner
Sound Hunting / Ali Carter
Cacophony / Chico Jones + Austin Kalman
Inspirational Electronics / Stefan Grabowski
Sonic Soulmates™: Sufjan Stevens, Bon Iver and possibly the experimental side of Broken Social Scene
Trackables™: Listen to the whole record, but PLEASE LISTEN TO
“Let’s Play/Statue of a Man”

Follow Mutual Benefit:
Mutual Benefit Band Camp

Hummingbird Awards – ALL YOUR BEST NEW BANDS FROM 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013:

Hummingbird Awards 2013 RECAP
#13 MS MR
#12 Swim Deep
#11 Holy Milk
#10 Mutual Benefit

Hummingbird Awards 2012
Hummingbird Awards 2011
Hummingbird Awards 2010

UNCORKED™ – Band of the Day (1.12.12) I Break Horses

11 Jan

Is this becoming the year of selfish band names? I Break Horses bring home cooked Swedish dream pop.

Uncorked™ I Break Horses

When we listen to music, we often joke here about how it made you feel. It most cases, we don’t feel anything. In some cases we tap our toes and in the rare case we get that chill up our spine and the hair on our head tingles. I’m not a scientist, so I can’t explain why that happens, but I can say that’s a good thing. I remember the first time I heard all of my favorite bands. I Break Horses isn’t your typical dream gaze XX/XY duo. Fredrik Balck, is the instrumental guy, and Maria Lindén who handles the vocals met in 2008 under unusual circumstances: both self-professed hypochondriacs, visited the same online medical sites, discovered they shared friends as well as a passion the same music. Their tracks aren’t layered in heavy shoe gaze wall of sound, rather, they take the Washed Out route and keep the instrumentals simple. Maybe two-three layered tracks with Maria’s beautiful voice adorning the sound. They use their fear of dying as inspiration for their lyrics, focusing on the fragility of life. I will say that the first time I heard Hearts that chill ran up my spine and NO I wasn’t worried that I had some rare spinal virus…Thank you again to AZ Turk for adding them to his Top Gems of 2011

Hometown: Stockholm, Sweden
Members: Fredrik Balck, Maria Lindén
Sonic Soulmates™: Washed Out, Jesus and Mary Chain, Echo Lake


I Break Horses Official

Band of the Day (11.15.11) Bowerbirds

15 Nov

Great new band flying low but soon to be known

When it comes to XX/XY duos, the year has been dry as the Thanksgiving turkey from your negligent alcoholic mother. I’m sad about it. We were crazed in 2010, something like 30 of them. The Bowerbirds are a 2006ish Raliegh, NC creation. Many members, many iterations and three quality records. Love the new one that released back in March. Just now, Dead Oceans is servicing the new single to college radio and Sirius/XMU. Hear it below. They’re folky, but The Clearing, the new record, tackles the upbeat ebb and flow of a duo. I like ’em a lot and I think you’ll see them in early December on our Hummingbird lists.

Hometown: Raliegh, NC
Members: Phil Moore + Beth Tacular + Yan Westerlund + Mark Paulson + Leah Gibson
Sonic Soulmates™: Arcade Fire, The Dodos, Megafaun, Devendra Banhart
“Tuck The Darkness In”


Band of the Day (7.25.11) Brown Recluse

26 Jul

A brown recluse is horrid, Brown Recluse is pleasantly summerific.

Band of the Day (7.25.11) Brown Recluse

Back is back and I won’t apologize. Busy and the music has dried up…really the music coming out really is weak. It’s not an excuse, it’s just the truth. A ton of sophomore albums from our favorites have hit the streets…list coming soon. Today’s band, Brown Recluse, was on our radar last year with an EP that turned our heads. Now with Evening Tapestry hitting the eplaces, including Spotify, we’re finding much love for them again. They’re a little XX/XY with that Belle and Sebastian edge. Is that an edge? A brown recluse is probably the most disgusting spider on the planet. It’s poisonous bite eats away at your skin and creates quarter-sized craters in your skin, especially grotesque when conducting a google search for the band…the band not so disgusting. They pleasant summer breezy sound will get you through the long hot or oddly globally warmed American landscape. Give em your love. I’m gonna start adding Spotify links too.

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
Members: Tim Meskers | Mark Saddlemire | Herbie Shellenberger | Daniel Steinberg
Sonic Soulmates: The Beach Boys, Belle and Sebastian, The Zombies
“Impressions of a City Morning” – Summer love


Another Digital Album

Band of the Day (6.24.11) Statue of Liberty

24 Jun

I feel like it's already July 4th celebrating XX/XY sparklers with Statue of Liberty

Band of the Day (6.24.11) Statue of Liberty

I’m a sucker for the XX/XY duo, especially when they have that wailing folky guitar. I write and I write and I write about these girl boy bands and it never ceases to amaze me that I just can’t get enough of them. Statue of Liberty hail from Des Moines, IA. They started as a solo project and then they joined forces to create a quick EP with an album on it’s way. Their two tracks are below. I liken them to this new and watered down version of TV On The Radio with a sprinkle of Paste Magazines finest bands. They do a lot of jockeying for vocal leads, but Bobby seems to always win. They’re male led and they sound great. Enjoy them.

Don’t forget on July 1st…look for “The Best of 2011…So Far” and the secret link to our “Giving you the Bird Vol. 1 Playslist” to celebrate our ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY.

Hometown: Des Moines, IA
Members: Bobby Bradford, Miss Marywood Kate
Sonic Soulmates: This new softer version of TV on the Radio, interesting XX/XY duos Tweedy and Feist, Plant and Krauss, John Heart Jackie, The Civil Wars
“Back To You (Demo)”

“Days Gone By (Demo)”


Band of the Day (6.1.11) The Antlers

1 Jun

Long Overdue, Brooklyn Hipsters Bring A New Record and More Love

Band of the Day (6.1.11) The Antlers

Long overdue is how I describe our band for today. Their 2007 “In The Attic of the Universe” and 2009’s “Hospice’ were quality rock/electronic records. They have an inventive sound, recording extended tracks in their bathtubs, with the dueling XX/XY vocals. Their sound has evolved into a mature electronic sound. I’m proud to post The Antlers and they deserved the nod so long ago, but we weren’t here so long ago, so don’t blame us. The best way to describe their sound, one part moody brit electronics of South, one party Elizabeth Fraser, and a drop of Grandaddys lo-fi electronic sound.

Buy the new album now Burst Apart and get “Hospice” on MP3 for free…
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Peter Silberman
Michael Lerner
Darby Cicci
Sonic Soulmates: South, Cocteau Twins, Grandaddy, Air
“Rolled Together” – A mellow Airish track that will pull you way up to the clouds

“No Widows” – Cocteau Twins meet South

Official Site

Band of the Day (4.11.11) Early Winters

11 Apr

Great new global artist of 2011 Early Winters

Band of the Day (4.11.11) Early Winters

Maybe it’s the anticipation for our NewBandBaby or it’s our Spring mood, but we’re in the mood for some fun loving soulful folk sounds. The Civil Wars were our last post, soft, acoustic XX/XY duetables. Today we have Early WInters, with Carina Round sounding a whole heck of a lot like Norah Jones, Stevie Nicks or even a little Dolly Parton with a strong backing band. The members of Early Winters are not college bandmates, or from the same town, they’re British born singer-songwriter Carina Round, Canadian artist Justin Rutledge, L.A. Producer Dan Burns and Pedestrian bassist Zac Rae. They decided to form this group, they had to figure out a way to get everyone in the room at the same time…Skype was the answer.

Hometown: Los Angeles / Toronto / England
Carina Round
Justin Rutledge
Dan Burns
Zac Rae
Simon Smith – Bass
Scott Seiver – Drums
Sonic Soulmates: Norah Jones, Cardigans, Fleetwood Mac, Dolly Parton
“Spanish Burn”

“Tough Love”

Grab the new album

Official Site

Band of the Day (4.6.11) The Civil Wars

6 Apr

The Civil Wars are a duo in harmony. No War Here.

Band of the Day (4.6.11) The Civil Wars

Sometimes fate does get involved when it comes to hearing you favorite new band. This morning it was Facebook and one of my trusted music mavens to introduce me to The Civil Wars. They’re a combination of The Swell Season and some of our favorite XX/XY duos. WIth a classic folk slant that would make our Southern roots happy, hence the band name. The two started as strong solo artists, but it was a chance meeting, fate, that brought the two together. Though, I wouldn’t say that attending a song-writing camp is fate. “We actually met at what’s considered a songwriting camp,” Williams laughs. They were actually assigned roommates, that’s the fate part. They have a strong melodic harmony, but they shine better when they sing to one another. It’s very Starsesque, but add in a little Swell Season emotional sexual tension.

Hometown: Santa Cruz, Calif./Florence, Ala.
Members: Joy Williams and John Paul White
Sonic Soulmates: The Swell Season, Buddy & Julie Miller, Ray LaMontagne. Stars
“Barton Hollow” – Title track, a little

“Poison and Wine”

“Poison & Wine”


Band of the Day 3.8.11 Wye Oak

8 Mar

Baltimore Duo Crushes it with Civilian - Wye Oak

Band of the Day 3.8.11 Wye Oak

Ahhhhh I’ve been waiting to present this band for some time. The AZ Turk sent me Wye Oak’s most recent release Civilian I was giddy. We’ve loved them since 2008 and 2010, was their moment. But, today we call Wye Oak day, because Civilian is a brilliant piece of artwork. It’s layered electronic folk sounds, wailing electronic guitars and a catalog. Really, if this XX/XY duo didn’t take their lead from Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot we’d be shocked. The band is part Rogue Wave, part Stars and whole lot of Wilco’s experimental fuzzy rock. Hell, it could be Crazy Horse playing back-up for Stack and Wasner. Wasner has that gruffy Aimee Mann sound and it works with all that noise. I love this record, I love this band and I thank God every day that I have two ears that work….
Buy the new album on vinyl here

Hometown: Baltimore, MD, USA
Members: Andy Stack (drums, keyboards, backup vocals) and Jenn Wasner (vocals, guitars)
Sonic Soulmates: Rogue Wave, Wilco, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Aimee Mann
“Civilian” – Title track and it’s quite good. Already racing up our Hummingbird list. It’s part Wilco, part Rogue Wave and a little Neil Young & Crazy Horse

“Plains” – Bring it down a notch and enjoy the beautiful Wasner

“Holy Holy” – Wilcoesque

“Doubt” – Secret love tracks are my favorite. The album has such great progression and it just closes so beautifully with this track.

Follow Wye Oak:
Official Site

Band of the Day 3.2.11 Mind Spiders

2 Mar

Fort Worth Boys do it right - Mind Spiders

Band of the Day 3.2.11 Mind Spiders

Collective XX/XY melodies coupled with heavy guitar conjure up Edward Sharpe and Magnetic Zeros, but it’s primarily that resurgence of Garage punk that keeps us interested. We told you it’s the year of rock and we’re not letting up. Arizona won’t stop so why should I! It’s that folky garage rock sound that will help Mind Spiders rise to the top. These boys from Fort Worth, Texas are SXSW faves and they easily draw the comparisons of the late Jay Reatard and they’re on Dirtnap Records. These Garage rockers are so good and they’re new record is good, good, good. Hear three of our faves below:

Buy the self-titled album from Mind Spiders – Mind Spiders on vinyl now
Hometown: Fort Worth, TX
Members: Mark Ryan, Mike Throneberry, Stephen Svacina, Gregory Rutherford, Daniel Fried
Sonic Soulmates: Jay Reatard, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Dead Ghosts
Must Hear Tracks:
“Don’t Let Her Go” –

“No Romance”

“Going Away Tonite” – By far the track that will take them to the top!


Band of the Day (2.9.11) John Heart Jackie

9 Feb

Portland deliver's the XX/XY duo of John Heart Jackie

Band of the Day (2.9.11) John Heart Jackie

I was in the for some moody female vocals today. Nothing depressing, just something sweet and moody. I received an email from John Heart Jackie with their new album and it fit my pleasantly perfect day. They’re an XX/XY trio from Portland. It’s folk driven music that brings light through your ears. Pleasant song structure and lyrics that are nice…couple that with Jennie Wayne’s Jenny Lewis vocals and a Peter Murray’s best attempt at Beck’s Seachange vocals. Kinda love Jennie Wayne’s voice when it’s solo….I listened to the record and was begging for a little more Jennie. Love Peter’s vocals on the track below, but it’s angelic airy layers of Jennie’s interludes that make it sound so much better. Really love these guys and I know you will too.

Hometown: Portland, OR
Members: Jennie Wayne and Peter Murray
Sonic Soulmates: Beck, Jenny Lewis
Awards: NPR Song of the Day
Must Hear Tracks:

“What Came Before” – This is the money track. Peter’s Seachange moment…

“You’ve Been on My Mind” – Jennie wow’s me here…Love this track and it make me want to surprise her with a doorstep appearance and a couple of daisies.

Follow John Heart Jackie:
JHJ Blog
Official JHJ site

Band of the Day (1.31.11) Chalk and Numbers

31 Jan

Authentic pure quality sound of 60's bubblegum love pop - Chalk and Numbers

Band of the Day (1.31.11) Chalk and Numbers

Well you all are familiar with Tennis from our 2010 Hummingbird awards? Right? I used “Y’all because I am catching a connecting flight in Dallas right now. Well, the 60s pop XX/XY duo was a hot thingy in 2010. Many bands attempted it, many failed. Tennis succeeded because it captured the finest of The Walkmen, griity, somber rock guitar with what amounts to a perfect set of female vocals. Chalk and Numbers is even more of the 60’s bubblegum pop. Yeah 2010 was the year of it, but 2011 is the year others perfect it. Hell there were many many MP3 players before the iPod. It just took Apple to make the best one, with the content store…Chalk and Numbers are authentic and if you added some pop and crackle, you’d swear it was a 45 from 1963. I’m not equating Chalk and Numbers to Apple, but I am comparing them to Tennis. I think they’ve nailed the sound and the tamborines just close the deal for me. I’m sold. Hell it’s fun music, so enjoy it and let Chalk and Numbers know you love em too. Got the band tip from these “new to the scene” chaps from @_DeadJournalist on Twitter…Muchas Gracias. Find him here

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Members: Sable Yong and Andrew Pierce
Sonic Soulmates: Spectoresque, The Shangri-Las, Tennis, Jenny and Johnny, Fitz and the Tantrums
Must hear tracks:
“Here With Eachother” – It’s The Byrds with a little Tennis and whole lot of 60’s bubblegum love all over it.

“I Really Want to Work This Out” – Just so good.

Grab their new EP at BandCamp for free or a small price!

Follow Chalk and Numbers:

Band of the Day (1.14.11) Gypsy Death and You

14 Jan

Gypsy Death and You XX/XY duo from Philly bring big nose for two folks.

Band of the Day (1.14.11) Gypsy Death and You

Wow I was having a tough time picking the Band of the Day today. So many bands in 2011 and so little space, but I’m drawn to the female singers…AGAIN. Ha, well Gypsy Death and You is the XX/XY indie shoegazers from Philly. Oh Philly, when was the last time we saw a band from the City of Brotherly Love…Free Energy? Dead Milkmen? Well Gypsy Death and You are brilliantly good. I mentioned earlier this week that this is shaping up to be the year of the female lead, Gypsy Death and You take Puro Instinct from yesterday and add My Bloody Valentine’s wall of wailing layered guitars. Not sure if you guys are familiar with My Vitriol from 2003ish, well Gypsy Death and You have that guitar sound nailed. The vocals are pure and while taking you up to the shoegaze cloud, Emily Cahill comes crashing down with Alex Wilson’s screeching Skinny Puppy guitars for the landing heard by the masses. They rock and Emily’s vocals are so alluring, I just can’t get enough. The Arizona Turk is doing his work.

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
Members: Emily Cahill, Alex Wilson
Sonic Soulmates: Skinny Puppy, My Vitriol, My Bloody Valentine, Yuck
Must Hear Tracks:
“Crocus” – A little Pumpkins guitar in there…love the clean guitar and her vocals…great retro 80’s track

“Something I Can’t Have” – Wall of guitars and Emily’s female vocals