Put This In Your Ears #1: A Stream Round Up

New and notable free album streams from around the ‘net.

The new record Within and Without from Ernest Green a.k.a. Washed Out is streaming right now over at NPR. This is definitely one of the most anticipated records of the year. I loved his EP Life Of Leisure, but feel like Within and Without is coming too-little-too-late. The first track is Washed Out at his finest — and sure to be a summer pool-party hit — but the rest just feels by the numbers to me. What do you think?

Spinner.ca’s Listening Party has a bevy of streams right now, including the new Handsome Furs record Sound Kapital. I skipped their last one, Face Control, but the new one leans more towards synth and dance than Plague Park did. I’ve been surprised at how much I dig Sound Kapital though, it can be energetic and catchy like synth-pop, but with the dark edge of new-wave. Some of it even sounds club ready, which is odd but enjoyable.

Speaking of electronic music, DFA Records band YACHT bring the dance-rock on their new album Shangri-La and one of downtempo’s seminal artists Thievery Corporation continues to chill out on Culture of Fear. I haven’t heard either, but I can’t deny having some guilty interest in that Thievery Corporation record. I’ll be the first to admit I spun The Mirror Conspiracy quite a bit back in college. Have they expanded their sound, or are they still wearing out those classic trip-hop tropes?

One that I have been particularly excited for is Shabazz PalacesBlack Up. Ishmael “Butterfly” Butler was a member of Digable Planets (their two records were utter masterpieces in my opinion), and released two EPs as Shabazz Palaces already last year. I absolutely loved the EPs, so I’m dying to hear Black Up — his first LP for Sub Pop — when I get home tonight.

Other highlights on Spinner.ca include Tokyo Police Club keyboardist Graham Wright‘s album Shirts VS Skins, and Baltimore-based trio Small Sur who worked with Wye Oak — who have one of my contenders for album of the year with Civilianon their new album Tomes. If they blend folk with indie rock even half as well as Wye Oak, it is sure to be something special.

I also just caught wind of a band called Amatorski, who have a record out this year called TBC. It was released in May, but is up on their Bandcamp now. It blends atmospheric post-rock and ambient/noise interludes with a downtempo vibe (especially notable in the female vocals). It even has a touch of free-jazz in one song. It’s very cool stuff and deserving of a listen.

Last but not least, Exclaim.ca has Wiley‘s album 100% Publishing streaming until July 4th. Here’s what they had to say about it:

100% Publishing sees the artist born Richard Cowie return to Big Dada after four years of work outside the label. In that time, he managed to release three studio albums. That tireless work ethic comes through on this release in spades.

With the exception of one brief guest vocalist, the entire album was written, performed and produced by the grime MC himself.

And that’s it for now, if you have more not included in our stream round-up, feel free to share and/or discuss them in the comments below!

Dan Gorman
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Filed under Mp3, news, other, releases, reviews

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