Tag Archives: fleet foxes

Owl and Bear’s Most Anticipated Albums of 2011

As a music fan, I’m waiting for the release that defines the new decade. You know what I’m talking about; every 10 years or so, a band comes out of nowhere with the perfect storm of style, lyrics, and — oh yeah — music.

The 80s had Guns ‘N Roses, the 90s Nirvana, and the 2000s gave us The Strokes. Granted, none of those bands dominated for a full 10 years, but they spawned countless imitators, some enjoyable and some terrible. That feeling of uncharted territory and danger rolled up into one is what I miss and am still waiting for. Remember when you first heard “Welcome to the Jungle,” “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” or “Last Night”? I’m guessing you were instantly on board, just like I was. Continue reading…

Interview: Shout Out Louds

Photo credit: Christian Coinbergh

Shout Out Louds could have been just another casualty of the sophomore slump. Their second album, 2007’s Our Ill Wills, was met with a tepid reception by fans and critics, who criticized it for being over-produced and lifting too heavily from bands like The Cure.

Those complaints have been silenced with Work, the Swedish band’s triumphant return to form. Shout Out Louds have never sounded this driven or vital, thanks to some captivating, no-nonsense arrangements, adhesive melodies, and Phil Ek’s gleaming production.

San Diegans will get to experience Work standouts “Walls” (MP3), “Fall Hard,” and “Show Me Something New” on May 22nd, when the rejuvenated band joins Freelance Whales and Ok Go for an afternoon show at House of Blues. Tickets for the event can be purchased here.

We sat down with multi-instrumentalist Bebban Stenborg to discuss Shout Out Louds’ revamped approach. Continue reading…

Shout Out Louds Get To ‘Work’ (Video)

Shout Out Louds came storming out of the gate with their 2003 debut, Howl Howl Gaff Gaff, one of the finest records in a year rife with great music. Unfortunately, the Swedish band stumbled a bit with their follow-up, 2007’s overly-polished Our Ill Wills. With its high-production sheen and Cure-esque posturing, the sophomore effort was listenable but frustratingly sterile and derivative. Thankfully, the band seems poised to return to their former glory with the upcoming album Work.

Set for release February 23 on Merge Records, the album forgoes ornate strings and percussion in favor of a more stripped down sound. Work is produced by Phil Ek, who has done right by bands like The Shins, Fleet Foxes, and Band of Horses in the past. The first video from the album, entitled “Walls”, gives further cause to be excited; its driving guitar, inviting vocals, and perfectly placed piano leave no doubt that the band is in fighting form. If you like the song, you can download an MP3 of it here.

The band will be playing a special album-release show on March 1st at the Music Hall of Wlliamsburg in Brooklyn before embarking on a tour for most of 2010.

Review: The Avett Brothers – I and Love and You

I and Love and You

The Avett Brothers are all about feeling. On Emotionalism, their last proper full length, the Avetts certainly didn’t shy away from feeling; they celebrated it. The songs from Emotionalism were mostly led by banjo, upright bass, occasional strings and the just-twangy-enough vocals of one or both brothers. Everything about that setup said these guys were playing bluegrass music, but what came out of the speakers felt different.

That element, that unique style of bluegrass that sounded more like an alt-country-influenced indie band, clearly set the Avetts apart from anything I’d ever heard before. But there was more to them than that. There were also those straightforward and heartfelt lyrics, melodies that felt nostalgic and comforting, and an overall sense that these guys grew up loving American music and wanted to make it their own, to take it somewhere new while keeping everything that was great about it intact. Continue reading