Introducing: WALK THE MOON

Introducing: WALK THE MOON {0}

Cincinnati-based four-piece Walk the Moon create loud, sweat-soaked indie rock anthems with perfectly crafted sing-a-long choruses. The band formed out of a love for creative pop songs, exuberant live performances, and, presumably, Michael Jackson. These dudes are all about having fun, and you really gain a sense of their zest-for-life-attitude on first single — and indie.mix.40 standout — “Anna Sun.”

Back in 2008, Walk the Moon’s debut EP, The Anthem, stirred up attention with prominent critics, and even took them to London, UK; there they played a week of shows at the London City Showcase as the only band from North America to be selected by Sonicbids for the spot. Since then, led by singer/synth/keytar-player Nicholas Petricca, Walk has continued to make noise around the US, named by NYC’s historic Arlene’s Grocery as one of their ‘Best Bands of 2009.’

Last year, they released their debut LP entitled I Want! I Want!, which features future summer 2011 hits like “Anna Sun” and “Lisa Baby.” Have a listen to the latter of the two below, and be in the know before this band inevitably attract the widespread fanbase they deserve. (Word on the street is that they crushed their SXSW performance a few weeks back!)

File next to: The Killers, Young the Giant, Matt & Kim, Foster the People.

WALK THE MOON – LISA BABY

Re-Introducing: HOLY GHOST!

Re-Introducing: HOLY GHOST! {0}

Holy Ghost! is one of the best things happening in music right now.

It’s been over 3 years since my ears first experienced the joyful sound that is “Hold On” — the 2007 Italo disco-influenced anthem that put the Brooklyn duo on the map. Since then, I’ve eagerly anticipated each of their subsequent releases: 2009′s “I Will Come Back,” followed by “Say My Name,” “Static on the Wire,” and “I Know, I Hear” in 2010. Each song is a smartly crafted electro-dance concoction, teeming with 80′s inspired analogue synths and crisp vocals. Needless to say, the quality of these initial 5 tracks only heightened my enthusiasm for the upcoming debut LP.

Well, the wait is finally over! I am absolutely loving the 7 new songs that fill out a 10 track / 50 minute debut LP of epic proportions. It isn’t hyperbole to say that this is one of the best debut albums I’ve heard in a LONG time. Some early standouts include “Wait And See” and “It’s Not Over,” as well as closer “Some Children,” which flawlessly employs yacht rock legend Michael McDonald on backup vocals. (Could Mike McD come to be the Nate Dogg of indie collaborations?)

Although the album will officially drop on April 5th, you can catch a sample of things to come below.

HOLY GHOST! – SOME CHILDREN (FT. MICHAEL McDONALD)

File next to: LCD, Juan MacLean, Garçon Garçon, Miami Horror, Classixx

Also, these guys put on an awesome live performance that is not to be missed. I’ve been lucky enough to see them play twice; the first time opening for LCD Soundsystem (5/26/10 @ Metro, Chicago) and the second opening for Chromeo (8/26/10 @ The Cannery Ballroom, Nashville). Can’t wait to check them out a third time when they open for Cut Copy (4/8/11 @ The Riviera, Chicago). See you there?

Introducing: OREGON BIKE TRAIL

Introducing: OREGON BIKE TRAIL {0}

Meet Zach & Ben Yudin: the talent behind Los Angeles-based lo-fi duo Oregon Bike Trail. Their music is heavily influenced by iconic 60′s pop groups like The Beach Boys and The Zombies — making them a timely discovery given that the current temperature in Chicago is south of 10° F. Not surprisingly, I’m really digging “High School Lover,” a lighthearted Drum ‘n’ Keys (DnK = new genre?) tune that serves as a lovely auditory escape from the chilly Midwestern winter.

File next to: The Explorers Club, Tennis, Ducktails, Animal Collective.

OREGON BIKE TRAIL – HIGH SCHOOL LOVER

Re-Introducing: PENGUIN PRISON

Re-Introducing: PENGUIN PRISON {3}

Penguin Prison is Chris Glover, another talented NYC electro-pop wunderkind who makes intelligent dance music influenced by erudite New York disco types like Talking Heads and LCD Soundsystem. On his track “Golden Train,” I really dig the anti-techno intro, which features analogue bleep textures layered under Chris’ pop star vocals.

PENGUIN PRISON – GOLDEN TRAIN

File next to: James Murphy, Hot Chip, Strange Talk, Holy Ghost!

Also, update your calendars and mark Feb 11 as the date the debut album drops. Soon after, when the record gets picked up by the mass media/communication channels, I predict that we all start throwing out the Prince, JT, and Pharrell comparisons — and with good reason. Let’s do the math on this guy: (1) he has the proverbial voice of an angel, (2) he’s one of the best guitar players you’ll ever see/hear, and (3) he can do an amazing Aaron Neville impression. He’s the total package; a one-man pop machine.

The only question remaining, though, is can he dance? If Chris can indeed pop and lock like MJ, then the world may want to get ready for the second coming of the King of Pop.

Introducing: AVICII

Introducing: AVICII {0}

Avicii happens to be a young Swedish producer with a preternatural power to churn out golden progressive house music. Since bursting onto the scene in 2008, he’s managed to release 7 singles (all very good) with the most recent being a seven-minute gem called “Street Dancer.” Check it.

File next to: Deadmau5, Mylo, Wolfgang Gartner, Daft Punk.

AVICII – STREET DANCER

Introducing: THE UNION LINE

Introducing: THE UNION LINE {0}

The Union Line are a young indie band from the music mecca that is San Juan Capistrano, California. (#sarcasm.) I was initially introduced to the group when they opened for Local Natives in Chicago this past year, and was instantly drawn to their brand of less-beardy Fleet Foxes-esque Americana rock. From what I know, they’ve been busy working on new material for their debut album, which hopefully sounds a lot like the as-yet-untitled demo below.

File next to: Local Natives, The Ruby Suns, Fleet Foxes, Surfer Blood.

THE UNION LINE – UNTITLED (demo)

Introducing: PAINTED PALMS

Introducing: PAINTED PALMS {0}

Loving this track from San Francisco-based experimental pop duo Painted Palms. “All of Us” is the opener from the new Canopy EP, which is available as a free download on their bandcamp page.

File next to: Animal Collective, Dan Deacon, Atlas Sound, (old) MGMT.

PAINTED PALMS – ALL OF US

Introducing: PANDIT

Introducing: PANDIT {0}

Pandit is Lance Smith from Lumberton, TX. With the right equipment in hand, a locker full of songs, and a strong determination, Pandit released their debut, self-titled EP in January 2010. Since that time, the band has stayed busy, having just recently released a 17 track demo record in December 2010. You can download that for free here.

Pandit’s debut LP, “Eternity Spin,” is slated for release on February 22, 2011. Show some love for Texas and keep an ear out for this great new addition to the indie landscape.

File next to: Dirty Projectors, Sleigh Bells, Grizzly Bear.

PANDIT – ARTICHOKE