States are ready to launch their debut album.
At their essence, States are a band united by a profoundly intoxicating sound. The quintet's a team of indie vets, with former members of Copeland and ex-Lydia keyboardist Mindy White holding it down on soaring, searing vocals. The band's forceful guitar rock reminds us of Paramore, which is about the nicest compliment we know how to give -- but States have a sound of their own, fleshed out by electronic touches and '90s alt vibes. (Letters to Cleo 4eva.) "Brighter Lights," the closing track on the band's Room To Run debut album, is a slow-burning acoustic song that lets the band stop flooring the rock pedal.
"Brighter Lights" is one of seven (!) bonus cuts on the re-release (the band put it out themselves last year), an album containing 10 original tracks in full-on electric mode. The song takes a deep breath and lets White get quiet over a moody cobweb of acoustic guitars that we imagine would make Justin Vernon's heart swell. Pleasantly, States is in no rush to hit a huge hook with "Brighter Lights," building nicely to a chorus that reverberates like an echoing whisper. It's very "Misguided Ghosts," though there's nothing off about it -- loud or soft, States are on point. Room to Run lands on June 19 on Tooth & Nail Records. Catch them on tour this summer with The Rocket Summer.
+ Listen to States' "Brighter Lights."
The Eastern Sea just dropped the new indie anthem.
Attention, cardigan owners: we've got your new indie crush right here. Austin, Texas' The Eastern Sea makes urgent, tuneful music you can dive right into, especially if autumnal chilliness and serious feelings are your jam. The group's new single, "Wasn't For Love," opens with a burly bass line and twinkling mallet percussion before stomping into a head-turning indie-rock plea.
Frontman Matthew Hines' quivering voice lands somewhere between Ben Gibbard and Conor Oberst -- like those gentleman, he's a sensitive lyricist, singed with palpable anxiety of trains leaving the station and "the thought that someday soon / maybe you'd fear me, too." The darker vibes are balanced by The Eastern Sea's bright musicianship: the song turns to Sufjan Stevens-esque horn orchestration and glimmers with a breathy, group-vocal chorus. Pretty as it gets, the rhythm section keeps the song thumping and insistent -- expect a well-deserved "Gossip Girl" closing montage in Eastern Sea's future.
The track's the first look at the band's official debut, Plague, which they tracked live to tape (chops!) in Austin's HOTTRACKS!!! studio with producer Matt Smith (Ola Podrida, Golden Bear). The album drops June 26 on WhiteLabBlackLab -- we'll just be hanging out under our air conditioning and planning our fall/winter 2012 wardrobes all summer anyway, so no rush.
+ Listen to The Eastern Sea's "Wasn't For Love."
Hawthorne Heights are back to rock your summer with 'New Winter.'
Sounds like Hawthorne Heights could use some warm weather. "New Winter" finds singer/guitarist J.T. Woodruff "crashing/and flaming out" before the searing song delivers its mission statement: "This new winter/Won't keep me down." That's not to say the track's, um, beach-appropriate. Hawthorne Heights are as heavy as they've ever been on the new track: Woodruff's piercing vocals rise to a shout, while drummer Eron Bucciarelli pounds his poor kit like a punching bag. But the band steps back from the angsty edge to deliver the song's tuneful chorus, which lands at the emo sweet spot between "catchy" and "ear-melting." The band even shows its cuddly side (which exists!) at the track's end, so stick around until after the credits.
Listen to Hawthorne Heights "New Winter" after the jump.
Rock chicks are just like, the coolest, aren't they? We definitely think so, and we're proud to add another female-fronted foursome to our arsenal. L.A.'s Dead Sara -- singer Emily Armstrong, guitarist Siouxsie Medley, drummer Sean Friday, bass player Chris Null -- are hitting us with the premiere of their latest, "Dear Love," and it rocks just about as much as it makes us want to cry. This is why girls run the world.
Listen to Dead Sara's "Dear Love" after the jump.
Listen to The Used's latest Vulnerable single, "Kiss It Goodbye."
As The Used prepare to release their fifth studio album Vulnerable, fans have only had previously released "I Come Alive" and "Now That You're Dead" to bump on repeat over and over. But today we're bringing you the premiere of their latest, "Kiss It Goodbye," and the Utah rock band is coming at us hard.
Listen to The Used's "Kiss It Goodbye" after the jump.
Listen to The Company We Keep's 'The Company She Keeps.'
We're in good company with this one. The Company We Keep is a new project from Motion City Soundtrack's Justin Pierre and MCS tour manager Brian Southall, built around the powerhouse vocals of rookie singer Amy Brennan and Branden Morgan's explosive drumming. The quartet is fresher than gourmet sushi: They just played their first-ever show last Thursday. But on their "The Company She Keeps" single, the group sounds like they've been jamming in basement studios for years, with a dark, energetic sound that lands somewhere between Metric's glossy indie-pop, Riot!-era Paramore and Motion City Soundtrack's own full-throttle pop-punk.
Listen to The Company We Keep's "The Company She Keeps" after the jump.
BEARCAT's Renee Yohe is super famous, and you probably don't even know it. The Florida native helped form the nonprofit organization To Write Love On Her Arms, dedicated to helping young adults with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. Renee has also published a collection of journals in the book "Purpose For The Pain," chronicling her struggles with addiction, which is being turned into a movie, "Renee," starring Chad Michael Murray and Kat Dennings. (The film is set for release in 2012.) On top of it all, Renee is also a musician, forming the band BEARCAT, who's landed a spot on tour this spring with Never Shout Never. Did you catch all that? Good.
Listen to BEARCAT's "Silence Is Silver" after the jump.
When we heard All Time Low's Alex Gaskarth was jumping on the We Are The In Crowd track "Kiss Me Again," we had a major swoon session. Given that the two bands are good friends, the pairing is fitting (and pretty adorable), and we can also cross it off of our list of "Collabos We'd Like To See Before We Die." Thanks, guys!
Listen to We Are The In Crowd's "Kiss Me Again" featuring All Time Low's Alex Gaskarth after the jump.
SoCal rockers Eve 6 basically scored my entire high school career. It's like, scientific fact that if you came of age in the '90s you still know every single word to "Inside Out." And if your graduation video montage was set to anything other than "Here's To The Night," then what kind of American teen were you? (And do I even need to mention "Open Road Song," the best part of the modern cinematic classic "Can't Hardly Wait"?) Bottom line: Eve 6 ruled.
Now Eve 6 is back in an attempt to rule again. After disbanding in 2004 and reforming in 2007 with a new lineup, 2011 marked the return of all three original Eve 6 members -- lead vocalist Max Collins, guitarist Jon Siebels, drummer Tony Fagenson -- and "Victoria" is the first single from the band's upcoming album Speak In Code. "Victoria" highlights the best parts of the Eve 6 we know, loved and made out to, while the modern yet '80s-anthem feel makes the track current. Collins sings, "No, I don't believe you went to bed at 10:15/Victoria, you're tearin' me up/You said you'd call, I waited up/I don't know why I even try/I need another tequila."
Listen to Eve 6's "Victoria" after the jump.
It's impossible not to be at least a little bit smitten with electro-pop outfit Miike Snow. Not only is the group composed of famed production team Bloodshy & Avant and silky-toned vocalist Andrew Wyatt, but they're also from Sweden (birthplace of all amazing pop music). They turn out the kind of effortlessly infectious, vaguely psychedelic pop that gets stuck in our heads in the best way possible. Their latest single, "Paddling Out," from their sophomore album, Happy To You, demonstrates the sophisticated trajectory of the group's sound, and we've got the premiere of a remix from Grammy-nominated producer Wolfgang Gartner, in case for some bizarre reason you needed proof.
Listen to Miike Snow's "Paddling Out (Wolfgang Gartner Remix)" after the jump.