Real Estate Announces New Album

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People don’t always think very much of New Jersey, especially when its standout celebrities right now are the cast of Jersey Shore. Real Estate proved that not all that comes out of the Garden State is terrible with their first self-titled album released in 2009. Can they keep it up? We’ll find out on on Tuesday October 18th, 2011 when they release the follow-up, Days, which was recorded in Upstate New York through the late winter/spring of 2011 with Kevin McMahon.

For now, we know the album is made up of nine new recordings and a revisit of last year’s standalone single “Out of Tune.” You can listen to the first single off the record, “It’s Real,” HERE. It’s due out on September 27th in the US and October 10th in the UK. In the meantime, the band is touring around the US and Canada for the rest of July so check below to see if they’re headed near you!

Tom Vek – Leisure Seizure

So yes, Tom Vek has been MIA for five years, bla bla bla… We can skip the story of his long, mysterious absence from the airwaves to get to what’s important: he’s back and still kicking butt.

His newest album, Leisure Seizure, which is already available digitally but will only get a physical release on September 13th, kept the essence of what made his first album special but polished it, making his sound more coherent. We’re far from the lo-fi vibe of We Have Sound, but that doesn’t mean Vek’s taken away what was gritty and interesting about his music; the better quality of the production actually makes all the subtleties of his arrangements shine through more distinctly.

We Have Sound played a lot with dissonance and Leisure Seizure is no different. From the electronic loops he integrates in his songs to flat tone of voice when he sings, he manages to find the right balance to make all his seemingly cacophonous elements fit together in a pleasing manner. “World of Doubt,” with its pounding drum, clashing guitar riffs and almost spoken lyrics is a perfect example of that skill.

“We Do Nothing” is like a condensed mix of all the good things from his first LP. There’s a little bit of “C-C (You Set The Fire In Me)” in it, some “Nothing But Green Lights” mixed in as well, which is a nice indicator that Vek’s taken all the years since We Have Sound listening back to the songs to synthesize the best things from his first album and build on them.

What he’s gotten really good at is creating a really hypnotizing ambient mood in his songs, no matter how slow or upbeat they are. You hear it as much in the single “A Chore” or the electronic “Close Mic’ed,” which both succeed in how repetition is used to move the song forward rather than become boring and redundant; it’s quite a feat.

All in all, Leisure Seizure is bigger and bolder than We Have Sound was. It’s more mature but it’s also more danceable. Tom Vek is definitely forgiven for having made everyone wait so long for this sophomore release.

Army Navy Release New Album, “The Last Place”

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The California-based indie pop band Army Navy have now released their second album, The Last Place, through their own label, The Fever Zone Records! You can stream it in full at Aol Music. So you know what to expect, SPIN Magazine gave it an 8 out of 10, calling it “a feel-bad record you can actually feel good about.”  Not entirely sure what that means, but judging from the first excerpt the band has made available for download, “The Long Goodbye,” it seems that Army Navy could easily seduce you with their sweet pop tunes. The band is also set to tour throughout the second half of the year so keep your ears out for more news!

Listen to “The Long Goodbye” below:

VHS or Beta Announce New Album And Single

VHS or Beta will release their fourth album, Diamonds And Death, on September 27th via Krian Music Group/Chromosome Records… That’s a long time from now. It’s already been four years since the band’s last album, Bring On The Comets, was released; no doubt you’re getting impatient. While you wait for that day, you can already get warmed up by listening to “I Found A Reason,” the first excerpt from the album that just premiered on AOL Spinner. The track is bound to light any dance floor this summer and sets the bar pretty high for the rest of the album. Listen to it HERE.

 

Cass McCombs Announces Summer Tour, Premieres New Video

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If you were worried Cass McCombs was only going to do those few dates in May to support his album Wit’s End  (Domino Records), rejoice! He just announced a series of dates around the country (and Canada) where he’ll be joined by Lower Dens so you now have the entire month of July to see him play live. Check out where and when at the end of the post but not before you watch the video for the song “County Line,” off of Wit’s End, which Cass directed himself. The slow motion images of the American South blend really well with the mellow sound of the track.

Here are his upcoming tour dates:

Mon. July 18 — Cambridge, MA @ TT the Bears (with Lower Dens)

Tue. July 19 — Northampton, MA @ Iron Horse (with Lower Dens)

Thu. July 21 — Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg (with Lower Dens)

Fri. July 22 — Montreal, QC @ Il Motore (with Lower Dens)

Sat. July 23 — Toronto, ON @ Rivoli (with Lower Dens)

Mon. July 25 — Chicago, IL @ Schuba’s (with Lower Dens)

Wed. July 27 — Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St. Entry (with Lower Dens)

Fri. July 29 — Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge

The Kooks Debut New Single, “The Saboteur”

If there are still people in this world who believe that the Internet and social networks aren’t completely changing how we access and consume music, this little story should change their mind.

British four-piece The Kooks will only be releasing their new album Junk Of The Heart on September 12th via Astralwerks but the first single off the album, “The Saboteur,” was made available for all to listen to and download at the beginning of the week on www.junkoftheheart.com, but not without Kooks fan doing a little bit of work. In order to unlock the track, all those who wanted to hear had to send out a tweet containing the hashtag #junkoftheheart in order to reveal .01 seconds of the song. You’d think the reveal would have dragged on, but within a few hours, the whole track was out!

“The Saboteur” reflects a growth in the band’s sound. It’s all undeniably British but the songs goes through a series of different moods, from harder-hitting rhythms and guitars to soft piano-based bridges with swift bass lines. The Kooks are taking some risks so it’ll be interesting to hear the rest of the album once it drops!