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Listen: Hauschka – “Elizabeth Bay”

By Ray Finlayson; December 20, 2013 at 7:00 PM 

Abandoned City
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Listen: Kalle Mattson – “An American Dream” / “Darkness”

By Ray Finlayson; December 20, 2013 at 6:41 PM 

Some The moon
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Listen: Diane Cluck – “Sara”

By Ray Finlayson; December 20, 2013 at 6:17 PM 

Diane Cluck
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Listen: HeadShy – “Coma”

By Joshua Pickard; December 15, 2013 at 10:10 PM 

Headshy

There’s a theory which breaks down the perfect compositional aspects of perfume into three parts — the head chord, the heart cord, and the base chord — with each portion of the formula representing a different aspect of the fragrance as it interacts with our sense of smell and is then given an appropriate response.  And now it seems that Austin rockers HeadShy have found a way to apply this complicated formula to their music.  Released separately, their three recent EP’s, The Head Chord, The Heart Chord, and (you guessed it) The Base Chord all tell an inter-related story of musical foundations and aural sensations.  The band has collected all three EP’s onto one disc called La Belle Epoque (out January 14th via Medicina Records) and is now letting their fans hear this trilogy as it was originally intended.

For our latest glimpse into La Belle Epoque, HeadShy offer us “Coma” (taken from The Heart Chord section), a track that bristles with a pop restlessness and conjures feelings of expanding rock landscapes and pure rhythmic theatricality.  Singer Lisa Lipkin’s soaring vocals mesh with the often psych-influenced instrumentation and thickly poured melodies to form a roiling mix of pop instincts and indie rock tendencies.  The song develops into an elaborate and often grandiose exercise in how to put together a song for maximum effect.  Each piece builds on its musical antecedent in a way that never diminishes each individual piece but allows the song to gain strength from its composite parts.  Stream “Coma” below.

Listen: PT Walkley – “Sirens”

By Joshua Pickard; December 15, 2013 at 9:23 PM 

PT Walkley

Composer and multi-instrumentalist PT Walkley stands at an odd musical crossroads, one in which he finds himself immersed in the commercial side of the entertainment industry while still clinging to the personal and often deeply communal singer-songwriter aesthetic that he explores on his latest album, Shoulders (out February 18th via Bathing Suit Music).  Between working on the soundtracks to various films and TV shows, Walkley explores an extroverted pop landscape where his indie rock tendencies can freely roam and mesh with a more classic R&B sound.  He even voices several characters on Nickelodeon’s Team Umizooni series — as well as writing all of that show’s score — and has even created original music for Sesame Street.

On his latest single, “Sirens,” Walkley blends a brass-y rhythm section with surging guitar lines and melodies that just keep going on and on.  There’s a jazzy momentum that ‘s built from the friction between Walkley’s vibrant vocals and the wonderfully kinetic instrumentation — no note is wasted and each subsequent clash helps to maintain the surge of pop adrenaline.  Working with Emmy, Grammy, and Tony-winning producer Bill Sherman, Shoulders finds Walkley shedding any measure of introverted inclinations, allowing the music to grab the listener by the collar and drag them along in its bright musical wake.  Stream “Sirens” below.

Listen: Preston Lovinggood – “Shipwrecked”

By Joshua Pickard; December 15, 2013 at 8:33 PM 

Preston Lovinggood

Birmingham, AL native Preston Lovinggood is gearing up for the release of his sophomore album, Shadow Songs, on February 25th via Communicating Vessels.  The wide-eyed counterpart to his 2013 album, Sun Songs, this upcoming album finds Lovinggood pairing up with producer Darrell Thorpe (Beck, Thom Yorke) and creating a musical landscape where chiming guitars and progressive rhythms weave their way inside Lovinggood’s expressive vocals.  On his latest single, “Shipwrecked,” he takes a persistent, thudding beat and threads it with ringing guitars and a beautifully subtle melody that slowly unfolds as the song progresses.  There are moments though when the guitars drop their shimmering facade and send out tendrils of distortion that draw you in even further and which feel far more intricate than you are expecting.  The song never gets in any hurry to reach its goal but burns through its churning rock rhythm with a bare simplicity that’s as casual as it is impressive.  Stream “Shipwrecked” below.

Track Premiere: Scott Barkan – “Leaving Here”

By Joshua Pickard; December 11, 2013 at 10:41 AM 

Scott Barkan - Flightless Bird

New York City native Scott Barkan creates music to hold back the shadows of his hometown. Simply by the nature of the city’s expanse, music can have a tendency to fall into the cracks of its streets and alleyways and boroughs. But Barkan’s music, while at times understated and subtle, can build into powerful expressions of folk-rock and Americana aesthetics. Growing up in a Long Island suburb, he became obsessed with music at an early age and formed his first band, Barky, as way to explore his avant-rock/jazz tendencies.

He eventually began doing session work for artists from NYC to Los Angeles but soon realized that he wanted to shift his focus from technical fretwork to something more along the lines of the singers and songwriters with whom he’d been playing — though he would retain that technical prowess in his solo work. And so with that thought, he began recording his own records and diving headlong into his varied and extensive influences. Barkan is now gearing up for the release of his latest record, Flightless Bird, due out January 14th.

For our latest glimpse into the record, Barkan has shared the epic folk rocker, “Leaving Here,” and with its intricately picked guitar notes and deep, rumbling rhythms, the song digs deep into the heart of his musical roots, exploring aspects of folk, Americana, and southern rock. And even though Barkan draws from a variety of inspirations, the song never feels worn or simply the sum of its admittedly fascinating parts. There is a warmth and comfortable cohesiveness that ties the song together, allowing the notes to bend and condense at a moment’s notice. Barkan pulls together bits and pieces of a handful of genres into one definitive musical statement which proudly wears its influences on its sleeve.

Beats Per Minutes is pleased to premiere the second single, “Leaving Here,” from Scott Barkan’s upcoming album, Flightless Bird.

Listen: Pure Bathing Culture – “Wildest Moments” (Jessie Ware Cover)

By Ray Finlayson; December 11, 2013 at 7:51 AM 

Pure Bathing Culture
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Listen: Fonda – “Sequence Dream” / “Another New Year’s Eve”

By Ray Finlayson; December 11, 2013 at 7:32 AM 

Sequence Dream
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Listen: KRONO – “Redlight” (feat. VanJess)

By Ray Finlayson; December 11, 2013 at 7:08 AM 

Redlight
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