In this edition: Indie labels rule the day today as Dad Rocks! has a great sophomore effort on Mount Modern, and we get to know the Sunderbans. As always, we have your weekly considerations and a mountain of new videos.
Dad Rocks! – Mount Modern
Dad Rocks! seems like a natural shoe-in for our house musician here at The Dadada. Last year’s Digital Age was one of the best EPs (and debuts) of 2010, and now Snævar Njáll Albertsson has returned with the full-length, Mount Modern. There’s no drop off in this sophomore release.
As with Digital Age, Mount Modern is full of intricate guitar work complemented by horns, pianos, doubled over vocals, and female backing vocals. Several tracks stand out on this album. Weapons, the first single, contrasts mournful horns with playful lyrics. Funemployment is this album’s Nothing Keeps Up with its post-modern imagery and blithe composition. Battle Hymn of the Fox Father appears to draw inspiration from the Crash Test Dummies. Take Care is sneaky good, as it opens ploddingly and then flourishes with strings, horns, and layers of vocals. The closer, Pants, continues Albertsson’s obsession with fatherhood and its sometimes ironic, often unusual trappings.
Too often, artists fizzle or lose the edge honed in their first release. So much effort goes into preparing those first songs. This is not the case for Dad Rocks! All of the good will and promise held in Digital Age explode in this fully realized effort. Mount Modern is one of those albums you have to hear before the year is out.
Rating: 90/100 [a must buy for 2011]
Battle Hymn of the Fox Father [stream]
The stirring post-rock sound of London-based Sunderbans recently caught our ears while reviewing new releases from their label mates, Grass House. They are freely offering the single, Death Stalks the Forest. You can also get the track, Road Kill. We stream Tall Trees and Severance from the Wolf Heart EP, below. Also check out We Only Can Because We Care, which was released as a 7″ single last year. While they have several tracks available through Itunes, the Sunderbans have yet to release a full-length album. Check out more from Sunderbans on their SoundCloud page.
Tall Trees from the Wolf Heart EP [stream]
Severance from the Wolf Heart EP [stream]
We Only Can Because We Care [stream] *highly recommended*
–Electronic trance-dance artist/DJ extrordinaire, D/R/U/G/S, has released Mila, a rollicking mish-mash of beats and ambient synth tones that slowly devolves into chaos.
D/R/U/G/S – Mila [with free download]
–New Zealand’s The Eversons have a new free single available. Check it out:
Dad Rocks! – Nothing Keeps Up
Ear Pwr – National Parks
First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar
Grass House – A Cradle, A Short Breath
Little Tybee – Hearing Blue (At Doppler Studios)
Spector – Grey Shirt & Tie
Tall Ships – Plate Tectonics