Tag Archives: the shins

That’s Mister Heavenly to You

Photo credit: Jacqueline Di Milia

As far as made-up genre names go, you can’t do much better than “doom-wop.” That’s how the new supergroup known as Mister Heavenly describes its peculiar sound, and the label is a fitting one. Their music is foreboding yet playful, with growled vocals and slithering guitars tempered by a nostalgic affection for 50s-era pop. Continue reading…

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.