Posts By Matt Hickey


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1. Seekae +Dome

Track: ‘Gnor’

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I probably don’t need to spend too many unlimited digital column inches professing my love for Seekae. These guys are the best band in Australia. Possibly the whole world. +Dome took all of its predecessors strong points and input them into a more mature, cohesive and ambitious album. A truly stunning achievement.

2. Guerre – Darker My Love

Track: ‘Millenium Blues’

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The hardest working bro in Australian music averaging 4.6 gigs per week, Guerre has burst onto the scene in a big way. Last year I was posting the tunes that this faceless dude was dripfeeding to the blogging world, and now he’s put out a truly amazing album (EP?) and has a swelling local profile. Knowing how prolific he is, I’m sure there’ll be more Guerre to look forward to in 2012 – which is great news for everyone who likes any music ever.

3. Ernest Ellis – Kings Canyon

Track: ‘New Blood’

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Ernest Ellis always seemed like an odd fit for Dew Process. I liked his last album, but it didn’t sound like Ernie was being himself. The question, “who is Ernest Ellis” has been resoundingly answered with Kings Canyon and the formation of his tight new band. 10 killer ambitious tunes that have also greatly improved his live show – EE was definitely one of my fav local shows of the year as well.

4. Lawrence English The Peregrine

[The tracks are too massive to add here in any decent quality, so please accept this Soundcloud promo instead and just got and buy the thing]

Lawrence English – The Peregrine (album preview) by experimedia

I love almost everything Lawrence English puts out. A Colour For Autumn is one of my favourite albums of all time, and the The Peregrine finds him mining territory that mixes the loose “song-ness” of that album with the dense textures of his other work. Stunning, haunting, totally engrossing. It’s not for everyone, but that doesn’t take anything away from this work of art.

5t. Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders Hurtsville

Track: ‘Position Vacant’

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I have a photo of Nick Cave in my wallet. In front my licence. I don’t understand Nick Cave fans who don’t like Jack Ladder – but there’s plenty of them. Yes, he sounds pretty damn similar, but seriously… These songs are really special – atmospheric, moving, at times haunting. Despite opening with a comparison to Mr Cave, I’m also for considering this album on its own merits – but even in the shadow of NC it still holds its own. I don’t know anyone else who could make the line “I wanna make like a tree” sound cool. Maybe Britt Daniel, but that’s it.

5t. Royal Headache Royal Headache

Track: ‘Down The Lane’

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I’d heard great things about this album before I’d even heard the album itself, but the weight of expectations didn’t do it any harm. I was late on the Royal Headache bandwagon, but I’m on it in a big way now. A lot of lo-fi rock has come out of this country lately, but none have done it as well as Royal Headache IMO. It never relies on the aesthetic to give it cred, and the way Shogun makes some fairly plain lyrics sound so emotive is the mark of a standout frontman. Possibly the best frontman in Aus?

Honorable Mentions: Oliver Tank, Thrupence (for these amazing mixtapes), Twerps, Nakagin, Cut Copy, Total Control, Oscar + Martin, Lost Animal, Collarbones

Bonus International List

1. Real Estate – Days
2. Tim Hecker – Ravedeath, 1972
3. Bon Iver – Bon Iver
4. Action Bronson – Dr Lecter
5. Smith Westerns – Dye It Blonde

Honorable Mentions: Jurgen Muller, James Blake, Tycho, Blanck Mass, Clams Casino, Lil B, Coppice Halifax, The Antlers, Panda Bear, Lykke Li, Nicholas Jaar, Gauntlet Hair, Rangers



1. Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders – ‘Hurtsville’

Track: ‘Beautiful Sound’

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Tall, brooding, baritone kinda guy comes out and themes his third record about the shitfalls of love. People were just going to take jibes at this, but you have to get past the superficial Nick Cave comparisons (music never came out of a vacuum ya know). Sure, it’s lesser a chirpy follow up to ‘Love Is Gone’, but this was never intended to be a charismatic record. From the first swell of ‘Beautiful Sound’, to the Triffids tinged ‘Cold Feet’, there’s so many reasons why this is a brilliant record.

2. Twerps – ‘Twerps’

Track: ‘Dreamin’

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Couldn’t put Real Estate’s ‘Days’ in here for the purposes of sticking to Aus bands, but the Twerps album is probably the next best thing. Lyrics like “we’ll get drunk, we’ll get stoned, we’ll get high, we’ll get drunk” reek of surburban precociousness on paper, but the Twerps subtle delivery makes this an earnest album at best. Matt Frawley’s vocals tend to lazily saunter off track but that’s all part of the appeal. Droney surf track ‘Dreaming’ and the gorgeous treble hooks in ‘Who Are You’ are my faves. Would make friends with this record if I could.

3. Kins – ‘Dancing Back and Forth In Whipped Cream’

Track: ‘Mockasins’

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A great release from one of my favourite Melbourne bands, who’ve recently relocated to the UK. The album is apparently about a guy who ‘spent $2000 at a brothel and was baffled by his wife’s lack of understanding’. Thom Savage’s fragile refrain is hard to shirk away from and Simon Lam drums like a machine. Enjoyed all the tracks on this, but ‘Lake Troposphere’ is a fave.

4. King Gizzard – ‘Willoughby’s Beach’

Track: ‘Lunch Meat’

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Name a song ‘Dustbin Fletcher’ and you’ll probably wind up in this list too. An enthusiastic first LP for the 7 piece who’ve only been jamming since the start of the year. Good things happened when these kids discovered reverb. ‘Willoughby’s Beach’ packs in at a punchy 20 minutes, and with lyrics that don’t span more than a few words for most songs, this revels more in hummability than anything else. Watching these dudes fight over stage space, eat several mics, hump theremins and swing off the roof of the Tote with plenty of reptilian finesse also put them in my gig highlights this year. ‘Lunch Meat’ is my pick. Awesome cover art is also another reason to get this record.

5. Middle East – ‘I Want That You Are Always Happy”

Track: ‘Months’

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On surface listen, this album simmers on the slow burner – but what it lacks for in cohesiveness of ideas, it makes up for as a wonderful collection of separate tracks. There were high expectations for this record, and I’m not sure if those people who were disappointed by this album were looking for more hooks or to be lulled into another emotional malaise like ‘Recordings of The Middle East’ did. Moments of cacophonic jams (‘Mount Morgan End’) against more orchestral flourishes (‘Sydney To Newcastle’) might fight against consistency, but ‘Land of the Bloody Unknown’ and ‘Dan’s Silverleaf’ offer more ground. Narrated by delicate songwriting, the album captures a great sense of warmth and open space present in that distinct ‘Australian’ sound I love. If anything, ‘Months’ is the best song that sums up this record. A fitting send off for The Middle East, this is definitely an album I’ll continue to return to in years to come.

Bonus 6-10 list!

6. Tim Fitz – Beforetime EP
7. Abbe May Design Desire
8. Big ScaryVacation
9. Witch Hats – Pleasure Syndrome
10. Snowman – Absence


Catcall – ‘Satellites’

This is taken from Catcall’s debut album which I understand is arriving very soon. The joy I felt pumping Miami Horror’s ‘Sometimes’ the year before has been replaced by the sparkle of this fantastic dance bump. I’ve seen Catcall play a couple of times and her shows are amongst the most fun, emotionally charged and uplifting experiences I’ve ever had at live gigs.

Harmony – ‘Cacophonous Vibes’

If you don’t feel something deep inside your guts when listening to this track you must be fucking dead. Great idea to join such gorgeous backing vocals with the gravel of Tom Lyngcoln’s dark vocals. Try singing this chorus out loud and not feel peace afterwards.

The Jezabels – ‘Endless Summer’

If you listen to JJJ I’d forgive you for being sick of hearing about The Jezabels but thankfully I have community radio so I’m actually sick of the sweet DIY loop pedal hoopla. This band plays a thundering set live and the ‘Endless Summer’ video actually had a narrative which considering all the pointless fluff flooding our blogs is quite refreshing.

Ernest Ellis & The Panamas – ‘Great Sky’

Ernest Ellis & The Panamas played the Toff earlier this year and it was probably my fav local show of the year. I was lost in their sound, transfixed by the presence Ellis has on stage and took some of my better photos of the year.

International: James Blake – ‘Lindisfarne’

The international bump for the year comes from the remarkable self-titled record by James Blake. The only thing better then this record was seeing him perform it live. An achingly beautiful sound and genius movement of experimental beats and vocal distortion.

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MAP December 2011

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Click the play button icon to listen to individual songs, right-click on the song title to download an mp3, or grab a .zip file of the whole 36-track compilation via MediaFire.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
The Empire Of The MoonTransition
The Empire Of The Moon is the new project of Juan Sábato, a former member of Brian Storming, a band that was featured in the first edition of MAP (and, by the way, the grandson of writer Ernesto Sábato). Transition is the first single from The Empire Of The Moon’s just-released debut EP, Saturday Children, for which he wrote all the music, lyrics and beautiful pop arrangements.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Tim FitzThe Line
Tim Fitz is a 21-year-old producer/instrumentalist/singer from Sydney. He put out his first EP, Infinite Space, in March but his latest release, Beforetime, is definitely a rich picking. Some might hear genre spanning and others will hear indecisiveness, but there’s a great feel to this collection of tracks. The Line is a good example of Fitz’s kaleido-instrumentals. Just as the flouncy percussion gets into the proper swing of things, we get bombarded by drive-high fuzz around the one-minute mark. Fitz’s sound is original, but the way he has put his sounds together is still familiar enough to catch on to.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Nana RizinniNice Figure, Dangerous Heart
It’s almost 2012, but listening to this song from singer/drummer Nana Rizinni can take you back to the 90s with an awesome “sounds like The Breeders feeling”. Nice Figure, Dangerous Heart is from her first album, I Said, which is available to download from her website.

CANADA: I(Heart)Music
FeversPassion Is Dead (Long Live Fashion)
Fevers’ debut full-length (which is currently free via Bandcamp) is a wonderful blend of disco-pop and ambient Stars/Young Galaxy-style space-rock. This song, the title track from the album, falls firmly into the former category. It’s five and a half minutes of a glorious, life-affirming, wave-your-arms-in-the-air anthem, and it sets the stage for one of the best albums of the year.

CHILE: Super 45
Tio LuchoIlusión Rebelde
Even though Tio Lucho had an aggressive, non-conformist punk sound when they started, it has developed into a more danceable and, clearly, more passive format. Produced by Chalo González, their new album Innombrable, released through Cazador, has a strong new wave influence. Ilusión Rebelde is its first single.

CHINA: Wooozy
Mini Train HeartJust This Feeling
Formed in 2009, Mini Train Heart is a peculiar band based in Wuhan. The band is noted for their unpredictable drumbeats and manic vocals. Also, you can’t easily tell who their influences are. We recommend you just drown in the lo-fi atmosphere and enjoy their uniquely dry humor in how they see this generation.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian
AnchorlessA Step Too Steep
Comprising members of bands such as Lack, The River Phoenix and The Fashion, indie-rock six-piece Anchorless are currently finishing their debut album, which I assume will be released early-ish next year. Until then dive in, dig and download A Step Too Steep from their six-song eponymous 2010 debut EP, which you can in fact download in full through this link.

ENGLAND: The Guardian Music Blog
Citizens!True Romance (Populette remix)
This is an exclusive remix of the debut single, True Romance, by a London-based five-piece who have just signed to French electronic/indie label Kitsuné. Their debut album, due early next year, has been produced by Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand. The video to the single was directed by LA’s High5Collective, the team behind shorts for The Weeknd and Odd Future. And they believe that “pop is not a dirty word. It’s a holy one”. For Citizens!, pop is something David Bowie did in the 70s – they conflate glam-era Bowie and Bowie in Berlin with some of the tart arrogance of Suede and louche energy of Franz.

Shelton SanWell-Behaved
Noise-rock band Shelton San started rocking the small Estonian indie scene in 2002 and, almost 10 years later, they are stronger than ever, creating massive, raw, hypnotic atmospheres, always polished, but never sterile. In 2006, they received the Estonian Music Award for the best punk/metal artist. Shelton San’s second LP was released on December 12.

Zebra And SnakeBurden
Matti and Tapio, best known as Zebra And Snake, positioned themselves as the next big thing in Finnish electro-pop in 2010 and since then, the duo has been carefully crafting their debut album while playing anywhere from Iceland to Indonesia. Burden, the first single off Healing Music (out in spring 2012), is an epic pop song with a Blood On The Dance Floor beat, analogue electronic hooks and powerful Bowie-esque vocals.

FRANCE: Yet You’re Fired
Marauders formed in the late 80s in Strasbourg, and have been making garage rock ever since, before it was cool and re-popularized by The Black Keys. The quartet, who have released two LPs and appeared in various compilations, play short, edgy songs and are pretty awesome live. Galley-Slave is a sweet, soft-rock ballad that deserves some attention.

GERMANY: Blogpartei
Kraków Loves AdanaSilver Screen
The Black Forest, a myth. Since Kraków Loves Adana come from Freiburg, we can all speculate whether the forest has its influence or not. Hence, the sound of this duo is outstanding. The voice of Deniz Cicek is remarkably dark and complex, the use of the instruments is deliberate, creating deep and slightly ominous songs. Silver Screen is a MAP exclusive from their upcoming second album, which will be released in early 2012.

GREECE: Mouxlaloulouda
2L8Let It Go
A collective led by K the Clown and comprised of talented Greek musicians, 2L8 is a bold and electrifying project that has come to be categorized by their radical stylistic shifts between albums. New Battles, Without Honor And Humanity is packed with feverous instrumental intensity and florid arrangements based on bursting guitars, pounding drums, subtle and luminous climaxes, dramatic strings and brass, hypnotically simple melodies, inner monologues and trembling, frantically passionate vocals, desperate and bleak lyrics about resistance, equity, freedom, love and equality coupled with a sense of hope.

ICELAND: Rjóminn
Low RoarFriends Make Garbage, Good Friends Take It Out
Low Roar is the personal project of Ryan Karazija who, almost two years ago, moved from San Francisco to Reykjavík to follow the love of his life. His self-titled debut chronicles the challenges of starting anew in a foreign land and the struggles to acclimatize, find work and support his family in the Icelandic winter. Friends Make Garbage, Good Friends Take It Out, one of the highlights of the album, is a haunting, emotive and slightly melancholic song with a melody that will undoubtedly keep playing in your head long after the song is over.

INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
Stars And RabbitWorth It
Stars And Rabbit are probably one of this country’s most promising indie acts. The duo mix some soul from Joan Baez, the cuteness of Lisa Mitchell and the playful touch of Björk to produce catchy, beautiful pop songs.

IRELAND: Nialler9
Come On Live LongElephants And Time
Formed last year, Come On Live Long have picked up a steady pace in no time as evident on the release of their latest EP entitled Mender. They make far-reaching alternative songs with considerable melodies, synths and a strong singular sound. Production by Nouveaunoise electronic maestro Conor Gaffney helps too. Ones to watch.

ITALY: Polaroid
Distanti sing in Italian, but even if you don’t speak our old and praiseworthy language, I’m sure you’ll understand – in fact, you will totally feel the way Distanti tear up their post-punk sound. Visceral. Urgent. Clever. They just released a new EP, Mamba Nero, which you can get at To Lose La Track. And try to catch Distanti live, they’re amazing.

JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
Love And HatesParty Trash
Love And Hates is a collaboration between Yuppa and Moe, two of the best indie artists in Japan today, from HNC and Miila And The Geeks respectively. Love And Hates finds them teaming up to make rap music with indie-pop touches, or kindergarten hip-hop as they dubbed it. Party Trash, with its cutesy chopped-and-screwed intro and solid structure, is not a lame dorm-room joke but rather a fun, appreciative stab at the genre. UGK they are not, but they still feel like a blast.

MALTA: Stagedive Malta
nosnow/noalpsFar Into The Night (Without You)
nosnow/noalps began its journey over mountainous terrain in early 2007 with their poppy indie-rock seasoned with punk, reggae and ska. Soon after, the quartet hit the live circuit with an energy and force comparable to an avalanche at a Swiss ski resort. The band’s first EP, Just Rock, came out in 2008 and they released their debut album, Romantikpolitik, this August.

MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
3Ball MTYRitmo Alterado
The city of Monterrey, in northern Mexico, is struggling in a war against drug-mafias: despite the violent context, a new musical genre is rising thanks to 3Ball MTY. Led by veteran electro-cumbia DJ Toy Selectah and a crew of skillful producers in their early 20s, the collective have created a new sound by merging polka, reggaeton and acid-tribal-techno. But the most peculiar thing about this trend is the style of dancing – like dodging bullets – while wearing ultra-long pointy boots. Curious? Just google ‘Pointy Mexican Boots’.

NETHERLANDS: Unfold Amsterdam
An alternative to the schmaltz of typical Christmas sounds, enjoy a dose of Spoelstra. He’s a collaborator with Dutch experimental label Narrominded, which specialises in all sorts of fantastic non-profitable sounds, from full-on noise rock to electronic warbles. And Spoelstra is a perfect fit, as he’s proven capable of both. His latest album Pallets was released earlier in the year. Packaged as a cassette and a book about everything you can imagine about pallets, it showcases a full rack of effects and a wonky mind. Part chip tune, part drunken country improv, part toy noise, this uneasiness is how Santa feels come Boxing Day.

NEW ZEALAND: Einstein Music Journal
The EversonsI’m A Conservative
Fronted by Mark Turner (ex-Little Pictures) and with Chris Young (Insurgents, No Aloha), Tim Shann and Blair Everson, The Eversons have a crisp, clear garage-rock vibe that strongly recalls Art Brut and American college rock with its undeniable catchiness and the immediate satisfaction this brings. With classic guitar riffs and day-in-the-life-style lyrics, their debut five-song EP is instantly likeable. This is one of those bands that doesn’t muck around, delivering a top-class release very early in their career, which makes us excited about future things to come from them.

NORWAY: Birds Sometimes Dance
SunturnsHallelujah (Christmas Is Here!)
Sunturns can perhaps be labeled an indie supergroup – or not just an indie super group, but a Christmas indie supergroup. It’s something as rare as a full-time Christmas band and is comprised of some of the best musicians from the Oslo indie scene, with members from bands such as mylittlepony, Monzano and The Little Hands of Asphalt. They sing about both the nice and the more melancholic sides of Christmas. Their debut album, cleverly titled Christmas, is out now.

Gris VoltaYou Go Behind The Truth
Formed at the beginning of 2008, Gris Volta have too many influences to place the band into one genre – you can find anything from indie-rock to jazz themes and experimental music in their songs. Their debut record Monochrome is without doubt one of the best Peruvian albums released this year.

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
Julie & The CarjackersMr Williams
One year ago, Julie & The Carjackers released their debut EP. Now the first album by João Correia (vocals, guitar, percussion) and Bruno Pernadas (guitar), with the help of some friends (none of them called Julie), is available. Parasol has been warmly welcomed by Portuguese press and blogs as a surprising and refreshing debut in the local indie scene.

ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
AbsurdcusPuppy Slippers
Absurdcus is the solo project of Transylvanian bass player/multi-instrumentalist Laszlo Demeter. His music has been a continuous work in progress since 2003, when he first started recording bits and pieces under this pseudonym. His music stylistically ranges from alternative rock and funk to electronica and even metal. You can download his debut album here.

RUSSIA: Big Echo
ArktorPier ft. Didjelirium
Just like the original story by Philip K. Dick, Arktor’s album Retreat Syndrome recreates the atmosphere of madness and insanity, combining truth and despair with the skills of his mate, jazz pianist Ilz. Pier is recorded with a special guest, Shanghai rapper Didjelirium.

Café DiscoTerra Nova
I’ll never forget the first time I heard Terra Nova by Glasgow-based newcomers Café Disco. It was on a shaky YouTube clip filmed in June 2011 during one of the band’s earliest gigs. “Contains the peachiest guitar riff I’ve heard in ages” is how I described the song on my blog back then – and that verdict hasn’t changed with this studio recording, which was funded by The Pop Cop for the sole purpose of giving it away through the Music Alliance Pact, together with this rather fun promo video.

SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To…
SonicbratBed Of Forty Winks
Sonicbrat is the enduring moniker of sound artist Darren Ng, whose work is characterised by an intricate tapestry of field recordings and found sounds, strung together by subtly processed acoustic instrumentation with a classical bent. Gentle, stirring and complex, Ng’s music is the sort that invites itself into and comfortably inhabits one’s imagination. His latest release, Hana, is his musing on the life of a flowering plant and is available as a free download on the Totokoko label.

SOUTH AFRICA: Musical Mover & Shaker!
The FrownThe National (Yesterday’s Pupil remix)
The Frown makes a curious mixture of folk and electronica. With their song The National, Yesterday’s Pupil’s remix adds a special touch to it, with a heady mix of soaring strings and orchestration, low tempo colliding beats, dark and menacing basslines and the fragile yet commanding vocals of Eve Rakow. Ethereal and enigmatic, it’s one of the year’s most exciting songs.

Kim Mok InScene
Kim Mok In started out as the guitarist of playful lo-fi folk quartet Cabinet Singalongs over a decade ago. This month he released his first solo album, Song Of Musician’s-self, with an updated sound and better production that still shouldn’t leave any old fan disappointed. Scene is a song about the Korean music scene which finds Kim Mok In’s voice and guitar accompanied by a sturdy piano.

SPAIN: Musikorner
Doble PletinaCruzo Los Dedos
Doble Pletina, a five-piece from Barcelona, were born from the ashes of Abrevadero (a one-of-a-kind cover band that would play songs of almost any genre). Thanks to their simple yet carefully crafted melodies and everyday life-inspired emotional lyrics – as in their latest single Cruzo Los Dedos – they have broken into the city’s local independent scene. They are, basically, what we would expect from a good indie-pop band.

SWEDEN: Swedesplease
Let’s Say We DidGalaxies
If your idea of Swedish music is something exotic like Lykki Li, First Aid Kit, Little Dragon and/or Jens Lekman, the music of Let’s Say We Did might surprise you. On the whole, the new record hews closer to Big Star meets Wilco dad-rock than the drum and bass electronica music coming out of Sweden of late. Sebastian Fors is one of the main men behind the band. He has been contributing to the Swedish music scene for a few years in multiple projects. Let’s Say We Did’s new self-titled album, though, is some of the best stuff I’ve heard from him.

Alejandro JiménezDie Fragestellung In Frage Stellen
Alejandro Jiménez is actually more poetry slam than singer-songwriting. He also had the honour of playing in the most famous theater in Switzerland for cabaret artists. On his second record, Nabelschau, he recorded 11 songs which have one thing in common: they’re raw and personal.

Toz Ve TozKara Mamba
Founded in November 2007, Toz Ve Toz make experimental songs that combine elements of jazz, surf, punk and Turkish classical music. The trio use guitar, synthesizer, drums, harmonica and bağlama – a Turkish instrument with three double strings. They have released two albums – the first featured music for a theatre play called Sahici İnsanlar Plastik Ölümler (“Real People Plastic Deaths”) in 2009; the second is a home recording called Ev/Home. Their third album will be released from their own record label soon.

UNITED STATES: I Guess I’m Floating
Philadelphia’s Gracie is an intriguing project to say the least. There is bedroom pop and garage rock, but the vibes coming from Gracie match more of a bomb shelter banger sound. Haunting, effervescent, glitchy, mesmerizing echoes, and driving beats that propel your ears forward straight through tangles of sonic cobwebs. Can’t wait to snag this unique release via Small Plates soon.

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MAP November 2011

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Click the play button icon to listen to individual songs, right-click on the song title to download an mp3, or grab a .zip file of the whole 35-track compilation via MediaFire.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
FútbolEl Asedio De River
El Eternauta is an amazing science fiction comic created by Argentine comic strip writer Héctor Germán Oesterheld with artwork by Francisco Solano López. It was first published from 1957 to 1959. Los Ellos is a tribute compilation to this work and its author, one of 30,000 people who disappeared during the dictatorship that ruled the country between 1976 and 1983. The album contains 18 original tracks written by independent bands from La Plata and Buenos Aires. El Asedio De River is one of them, an instrumental track from alternative rock trio Fútbol.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
FeathersCat Burgler
Cat Burgler is a sweet new jam from Brisbane’s Feathers, taken from their forthcoming 12″ Hunter’s Moon, out through Bon Voyage. The song showcases this all-female four-piece’s ability to intertwine whimsy and hooks into irresistible tunes suited for both Saturday nights and Sunday mornings.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
KassinCalça De Ginástica
Kassin is a producer who has worked with some of the most creative artists in Brazilian contemporary music. He has also played in some bands and projects and this year he released his first solo album, from which Calça De Ginástica is taken. The electronic pop is combined with funny lyrics in which a man tells of his desires with a girl he knows (such as having sex with her in a paraplegic’s bathroom while wearing his gym clothes).

CANADA: I(Heart)Music
First Rate PeopleSomeone Else Can Make A Work Of Art
Someone Else Can Make A Work Of Art is a dance song, but only in the way that, say, All My Friends is a dance song. It’s got incredibly catchy beats and a wonderful vocal performance, but it’s held together by a genuine emotional core. It, and the album it comes from, are currently free for download from Bandcamp, so there’s really no reason not to go get it right now.

CHILE: Super 45
Fernando MilagrosCarnaval (feat. Christina Rosenvinge)
San Sebastián, the third album from singer-songwriter Fernando Milagros, is, in simple terms, a masterpiece. Although in his early days as a musician Milagros pointed towards a more contemplative kind of folk (a big reference here would be Nick Drake or the calmer moments of Devendra Banhart), in his newest album he explores South American music, creating denser pieces, darker yet more powerful. Carnaval, the first single from the album, features guest Spanish musician Christina Rosenvinge.

CHINA: Wooozy
Tong DangDon’t Let Me Cry
Tong Dang formed in 2001 in Chengdu. Their name is derived from the Chinese word meaning “Young Gang”. They started off as a melodic nu-metal band and gradually added elements of pop-punk and emo. Tong Dang are known for their explosive performances which features catchy hooks and melodies. Don’t Let Me Cry is taken from their album Far Away, released in 2007.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian
Echo MeDarkest Hour
It’s alternative pop-rock with a folksy touch. It’s Echo Me aka Jesper Madsen. It’s an eponymous debut album. And it’s great.

ENGLAND: The Guardian Music Blog
WooWoosFizzy Lettuce
WooWoos are Nicky, Tasie and Jess, three London girls shaping up to be the new Sugababes – only the Sugababes when they were good, when Keisha, Mutya and Siobhan were in the group, not the three ciphers they’ve got in now. They’re funny, they’re sassy, and their debut single, Fizzy Lettuce, is 90s trip-hop revisited with a solid chorus that suggests there in a substantial musical base below the fizz and pop. We still don’t know what is a Woo Woo, or indeed what is fizzy lettuce, but at least they’re getting us thinking, these sugar-babes with subversive intent.

Ewert And The Two DragonsJolene
Ewert And The Two Dragons, consisting of Evert Sundja, Erki Pärnoja, Ivo Etti and Kristjan Kallas, sky-rocketed into the Estonian music scene in autumn 2009 with their debut album The Hills Behind The Hills. 2010 was a busy year for the Dragons: they performed in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, including noted festivals such as Tallinn Music Week and Positivus. Their smooth sounds and melodies have been praised both at home and abroad. Their second album, Good Man Down, came out in April and has enjoyed tremendous success.

The SaturnettesGirl Named Sue
The Saturnettes, from Tampere, blend in a refreshing way the 70s glam rock sounds of David Bowie and T. Rex with a touch of new wave and synth-pop. Girl Named Sue is the very catchy first single off their debut album.

FRANCE: Yet You’re Fired
1995La Source
Ask someone from France if they like French rap and they will most likely answer ‘no’, but ask if they likes old-school rap and the answer is most likely to be ‘yes’. And that’s what this month’s band is all about: old-school rap, with modern lyrics. 1995 (or “un-double-neuf-cinq”/”un-neuf-neuf-cinq”) is a young rap collective (five MCs, one DJ) hailing from Paris who released an extraordinary, well-received EP, La Source, last June. The EP is a work of art for people disappointed and bored by gangsta-like music, and is almost a miracle for the purists as well, thanks to the return to basics, the flow and the instrumentals. You can buy La Source on Amazon or iTunes.

GERMANY: Blogpartei
Jolly GoodsIf I Were A Woman
When you listen to Jolly Goods’ second album Walrus, released recently on Staatsakt, you should be prepared for some serious disarray. Their songs, especially their lyrics, bear testament to a deep doubt in the world as it appears to these two sisters; they capture emotions like anger, trepidation and a little bit of hope in an extraordinary way.

GREECE: Mouxlaloulouda
Sugar Factory440
Sugar Factory have unleashed their luminous, lilting, lovely debut single, the double A-side 440 / Explosions. It’s an insular instrumental experience, casting intrigue in the minute details, an immersive and inevitably cinematic gem rich in fuzzy memories, nostalgia, melody and atmosphere, with woozy accordion that accentuates the underlying emotions, guitars and samples with an otherworldly quality that lingers with you. Listen to 440, a perfect mood piece as the night begins to draw in.

INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
Polka WarsHorse Hooves
Horse Hooves is an echoey, spacey song made by a collective of young boys influenced by the current fuzzed and mopey music scene. You’ll love their simple interpretation of what we call humble music.

IRELAND: Nialler9
We Cut CornersGo Easy
Go Easy is a fine example of what to expect from Today I Realised I Could Go Backwards, the debut album from Dublin duo We Cut Corners. Restricting themselves to drums, guitar and voice doesn’t hamper John Duignan and Conall O’Breachain in the construction of their direct songs. Rather, they find new ways to create unique songs from a limited palette. They might Go Easy but they will go far.

ITALY: Polaroid
Horrible PresentCloudy Talks
Nicola Donà used to sing in the band Calorifero, now he lives in London and writes music under the moniker Horrible Present. His new songs are more lo-fi, bedroom pop-oriented, ranging from synth-driven experimental tunes to romantic acoustic guitar ballads, but always with a big shining love for melodies. And the love is returned. Expect a debut album in early 2012.

JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
Avec AvecKuzuha No Sunday
Avec Avec is one of the most promising young artists to emerge in a burgeoning electronic scene based in the Kansai region. Kuzuha No Sunday stands as one of the best tracks from this fledgling movement, a stuttering beat-driven song reminiscent of Bibio or Cornelius that sounds like a perfect sunny Sunday. The sweetest part comes via that glitchy vocal sample, one of the most joyous sounds to come out of Japan this year.

MALTA: Stagedive Malta
Cable 35Cow Head
Formed in 2006, Cable 35 have become known for their highly energetic performances and are arguably Malta’s tightest band. The three-piece is made up of singer and guitarist Jeffrey Zerafa, bassist Kriz Zahra and drummer Chris Mallia. Following a couple of EPs, the band released their aptly-titled debut album Louder three months ago and are currently touring Europe to promote it. Louder brings back Bleach-era Nirvana to your ears.

MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
Antoine ReverbYou As A Fish
The tradition states that Guadalajara is the quintessential land for Machos and Mariachi in Mexico. But Antoine Reverb (actually a quintet, not a person) doesn’t belong to their time and place. On their splendid second album Everything Is A Foreign Language To Me, the band sets their inner clocks backwards on a swirly Victorian time-travel in a quest to reach the land of the Pet Sounds, rabbit-holing on a twee-gaze mood (reminiscent of Broadcast in the 90s), finally sliding on a spiral that leads to confusing atmospheres that resemble the soundtrack for the Czech vampire film Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders. Antoine Reverb are not only strangers in their own land, but in their own dreams.

NETHERLANDS: Unfold Amsterdam
Moon & SunHunt (Gavin Russom remix)
Although based in Amsterdam, Moon & Sun is very much an international concept. At its core is artist/musician Monica Tormell, who’s originally from Sweden but who wrote and recorded her debut album, The Wild Things, in Curaçao, the Swedish woods and also back in Amsterdam. That original collection emerged last November, offering bouts of atmospheric and tribal folk. One year on, a number of its tracks have been reworked by a host of international collaborators. This remix by DFA artist and LCD Soundsystem collaborator Gavin Russom draws on the heavily percussive elements to create electronic patterns reminiscent of Swedish peers The Knife and jj.

NEW ZEALAND: Einstein Music Journal
Fabulous/ArabiaThe Ballad Of State Highway 1
James Milne (Lawrence Arabia) and Mike Fabulous (The Black Seeds) unveiled their collaboration last month and surprised many fans by presenting an album of nu jazz songs – combining elements of funk, soul and jazz, while quite obviously retaining Lawrence Arabia’s indie-pop influence. Their debut album is a mixed bag, each song exploring a different path. The most obvious reference is British downtempo DJ Mr Scruff, courtesy of Fabulous’ wonderfully unusual instrumental experimentation. Their debut album Unlimited Buffet can be downloaded from Bandcamp.

NORWAY: Birds Sometimes Dance
Bendik is a lush, ambient electro-pop band signed to the great Trondheim-based label Riot Factory alongside the likes of Scarlet Chives, Dråpe, Angelica’s Elegy and Pelbo. It started as Silje Halstensen’s solo project but has now grown into a trio. They have played at some of the biggest festivals throughout Norway, such as Øyafestivalen, Pstereo and Slottsfjell, and their debut album will be released next year.

Division MaydayLugar Seguro
Division Mayday formed in 2008 and their sound ranges from post-punk to electro-pop. A mix of electronic guitars, intimate lyrics, an intense rhythmic base and electronic sequences are the raw materials of their musical proposal.

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
Rose BlanketFeel My Way Around
Nothing Ahead Nothing Behind is the third album from Miguel Dias’ project Rose Blanket, recorded between 2008 and 2011. For this double album, he collaborated with several Portuguese musicians and two American vocalists, Jennifer Charles (Elysian Fields) and Dana Schechter (Bee And Flower). Feel My Way Around features Jennifer Charles.

ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
East Roots S.O.S.
East Roots is not a conventional dub/reggae band. As the cardinal points, each member comes with a new direction: drum ‘n’ bass, reggae, ska, dancehall and even trip-hop, you will find it all in their music.

RUSSIA: Big Echo
ValotihkuuTwo Shadows
Valotihkuu’s Flutter EP is made up of 15 tracks which collect memories and emotions of a full year, filled up with nostalgia, old vibes, cassette tapes, weird samples and a unique feel that might remind you of Madlib and Monster Rally.

King Creosote & Jon HopkinsBats In The Attic (Unravelled)
Rarely has the word “timeless” been more appropriate for a record. It took seven years for King Creosote and Jon Hopkins to make their first collaborative album, the Mercury Prize-nominated Diamond Mine, and it handsomely captures delicate snapshots of unhurried, everyday life in rural Fife – literally, with the sound of coffee shop chatter, running streams and chirping seagulls. Here’s an exclusive free MAP download of their reworking of album track Bats In The Attic, taken from their Honest Words EP.

SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To…
MagusRiders On Psychedelics
Magus is a new collaboration between Mark Dolmont and Leslie Low, the latter best known for his work with Humpback Oak and The Observatory. Their debut effort is fittingly the first release by Ujikaji Records, a new independent label and distro focusing on experimental music in the region. The album, titled Sun Worshipper, presents a dark and spiritual brew of kraut-inspired psychedelia which makes for an addictively harrowing pilgrimage through the deepest of valleys.

SOUTH AFRICA: Musical Mover & Shaker!
Laurie LevineSix Winters
Six Winters is the lovely first single and title track of the third album by acclaimed Johannesburg singer-songwriter Laurie Levine. Piano and acoustic-driven, twinkling and atmospheric with an electric tinge, it all makes Laurie’s heady blend of folk coupled with her captivating vocals one that has earned her critical acclaim and a growing audience.

CoedwigLet Her Go
Street folk artist Neofolk has gotten himself a band member and formed the unit Coedwig. Let Her Go is one of the indie rock numbers on the recently self-released first EP, which also contains a couple of acoustic tracks – a sound that is very popular in Korea at the moment.

SPAIN: Musikorner
LasersSolar System
Lasers are a cosmic pop three-piece from Barcelona. Influenced by acts such as Animal Collective, Fuck Buttons, locals Delorean and label mates The Suicide Of Western Culture (featured in September’s MAP), Lasers have learnt to create extraterrestrial atmospheres using “samples, tireless cyclic sounds, breeze melodies” in their music, which can be both obscure and optimistic at a time or, as they call it, “noise and poetry”. Lasers will release their first album Juno through Irregular in December, from which Solar System is taken.

SWEDEN: Swedesplease
Halina LarssonPuget Sounds
Halina Larsson is an expat from Sweden who has lived in LA and now resides in Brooklyn. She has a diverse sound and a variety of influences including Janis Joplin, Nina Simone, Erykah Badu, Feist and Elliott Smith. Halina is a trained jazz vocalist who, on her latest Fires & French Horns EP, falls somewhere between indie folk songstress and new soul chanteuse. It’s an odd combination but on certain songs and in certain styles she can pull it off.

laFayetteHeavy Rain (feat. Lena Fennel)
Since their launch in 2009, Basel boys Jascha Dormann and Simon Hauswirth have found their place in the Swiss electronica scene. Musically, laFayette boldly go into the deep end of a pool filled with electronica, hip hop and techno music. Their debut EP Sputnik was released in September.

UNITED STATES: I Guess I’m Floating
SaskatchewanSkinny Dipping
Orlando, Florida’s Saskatchewan are masters of slow-built dream pop, lush vocal harmonies and melodies that are damn near impossible to ignore. Skinny Dipping is their latest single, available for free on Bandcamp. Look out for an album sometime in early 2012.

VENEZUELA: Música y Más
Carlos AngolaHasta Mañana
I first saw Carlos Angola at a festival called VirgenFest which was being held in a public square. The atmosphere was magical, it felt like Woodstock. On stage there was this boy with glasses, an acoustic guitar and a great voice. Carlos Angola used to be part of a ska band called Skabiosis, but now he is displaying his talents as a solo artist with his album Rompecabezas which guarantees total relaxation no matter when you listen to it.

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Telefonica – ‘Heartbeatings For Those With Heartbeats’ (Heartmamings – Jonathan Boulet Version)

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Telefonica – ‘Heartbeatings For Those With Heartbeats’ (Heartmamings – Jonathan Boulet Version) (mp3)

Listen to

A pretty stunning remix of Telefonica’s latest single by Jonathan Boulet. As far as I know, the original isn’t actually available yet so the only basis for comparison is the other remixes – and by the sounds of it, Boulet is the one whose taken the tune to its most extreme. Grab the whole remix EP here.

Telefonica have been drip-feeding these remix collections over the past few months in the lead up to their album release later this month. You can also preoder that on their Bandcamp page. Not a bad strategy for drumming up some hype, but hopefully it hasn’t set the bar too high for the album proper.

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