Change We Can Believe In: Passion Pit Release Debut

Boston-based electropop outfit Passion Pit unveils its proper debut, the Chunk of Change EP, this week via Frenchkiss Records. The brainchild of Michael Angelakis, Passion Pit draws from a variety of influences, from the classic pop of Randy Newman to the synth work of Giorgio Moroder. The EP, originally put together as a Valentine’s Day gift for Angelakis’ girlfriend, has been re-mastered and amended to include two bonus tracks, “Better Things” and the dancefloor-pounding blog-fave, “Sleepyhead.” The short-player is currently streaming in its entirety on AOL Spinner .

With a wildly successful Pianos residency in the rearview, Angelakis and his five piece live band will embark on a short run of dates with French pop tart Yelle late next month. But before the stint, the Pit is keeping busy, playing alongside Sunset Rubdown at Mercury Lounge in New York City this Wednesday, throwing a celebratory CD Release Show at Great Scott in Allston, and then taking the stage at Bowery Ballroom in NYC with The French Kicks, before joining labelmates The Dodos at Pop Montreal in Quebec. All dates below the fold.

MP3 : Passion Pit – Sleepyhead


Bending Heavenward: The Return Of Sam Champion

Sam Champion
Heavenly Bender / North Street Records / BUY

Brooklyn garage pop darlings offer their second slab of delightfuly scuffed-up and slopped-on indie rock on Heavenly Bender . From the to-die-for riff that opens “Be Mine Everyone,” to the slow going wonder of “You Can’t Stop,” the band’s sophomore full-length far exceeds the promise of their debut, Slow Rewind , and extends the hot streak started on with last year’s RCRDLBL EP. Aziz Ansari says it’s “already becoming really cool to hate this album.” Vice Mag thank the heavens for bands like this. And Rolling Stone raves: “switching effortlessly between a raucous, roadhouse boogie and slower, moodier numbers, the group plows through 12 cuts in just under 40 minutes.” Seconded.

Video : Sam Champion – Like A Secret

Metal, Metal, And More Metal

So the new Metallica is out, and it’s surprisingly good, right? Longer songs, the return of whiplash tempos, and thankfully, the ouster of that horrible snare sound from St. Anger . Of course, it’s easy to get caught up in all the hype over Death Magnetic (sux! return to form! geezers! yadda yadda… ) , and forget that some prime heavy is out now. Check out a round up here . A quick run down of the high squeals: All Shall Perish is out this week, Sonic Syndicate’s new song pretty much slays , and Hammerfall are the funniest power metal putzes we’ve ever met . And while it didn’t make it into the newsletter, we highly suggest wasting a few dozen hours playing the game on the Syndicate’s new e-card .

Tanya Tagaq Draws Second Blood On Sophomore Release

The door is over there. If, on your way in, you didn’t drop off your preconceived notions about what pop music is supposed to sound like , ya probably oughta motor on to the next post. Because the music of Tanya Tagaq takes some time to unpack, and does the casual listener zero favors in the process. But the latest release from Bjork’s favorite Canadian Inuit throat singer (I know, right?) is, at its core, a gorgeous pop album, filled with alternately soaring, confounding, and disquieting arrays of acrobatic vocals and exotic instrumentation. And, of course, the guests don’t hurt either — both Mike Patton and Buck 65 add to the mix here. If Auk / Blood , the follow up to her Juno Award nominated 2006 debut, Sinaa , doesn’t elicit some deep gut-level reactions, we suggest checking to make sure you still have one.

MP3 : Tanya Tagaq – Ikuma

The Clientele Release New EP, Get Rave Reviews

London dream-pop quartet The Clientele released their third and final EP for Spanish label Acuarela Discos last month, and it’s already being hailed as the best one yet.  While their last two EPs were more focused on taking sonic ideas and following them to their logical conclusions, latest release That Night, A Forest Grew exhibits more of The Clientele’s signature sound of sparkly melodic pop.

Pitchfork gave That Night, A Forest Grew an 8.0 rating, and calls the EP “another charming and fully satisfying release from one of the world’s more unsung and quietly wonderful bands.”  We agree.  Listen to track “Share The Night” below, which Stereogum says is “…sealed with “lots of love,” a sexy booty-call funk strum pattern that seems out-of-place at first. [But once] Alasdair Maclean starts singing about “sycamore leaves, the sycamore trees”? You know you’re home.”

Oh yeah.

MP3: The Clientele – Share The Night