Quirky British indie rockers alt-J made a big mark a couple years back with their full-length debut An Awesome Wave, earning praise for their minimalist sound and netting a Mercury Prize. Following the departure of founding member Gwil Sainsbury, the group is set to release its sophomore effort This Is All Yours tomorrow. Lead single “Left Hand Free” is among the weirdest and catchiest tracks I’ve heard this year.
Bear In Heaven's “Autumn” reminds me of both the prowling electronica of Silversun Pickups and the mesmerizing vocals of Jose Gonzalez. Glancing at their Wikipedia page, I'm surprised to learn the Brooklyn quartet have been around for over a decade. That's given them plenty of time to build a following; their 2010 effort Beast Rest Forth Mouth earned Pitchfork’s “Best New Music” award. Their new album Time Is Over One Day Old dropped earlier this month on Dead Oceans.
Funny how a band name sticks in your mind months and years after a fleeting encounter. I discovered The Lower 48 a couple years back - probably over at Indie Rock Cafe - and got the urge to revisit them today. Thanks to the magic of YouTube search history, I was led right back to “Traveling Tune,” a lovely song right out of Sufjan Stevens’s playbook.