Steal This Song: The Moor, “Warm Winter”

It’s nice to see that ’60s lounge cool has yet to go out of style. Heck, if anything, it’s making a big of a comeback in the indie community. Jon Fratelli put his “Chelsea Dagger” day job on hiatus in order to make a boy/girl ’60s pop record with his wife’s best friend (they’re called Codeine Velvet Club, and they’re super cool), and let us not forget the ultimate hipster, slightly retro boy/girl duo the Bird and the Bee, whom the blogosphere keeps trumpeting, even though their tribute album to Daryl Hall and John Oates left us cold. More than cold, really. Frozen.

Enter the Moor, boldly going where, well, no one has made money in decades. This is to our immense gain, of course, not to mention some up and coming filmmaker who wants to use a Nancy Sinatra song without paying for a Nancy Sinatra song. “Warm Winter,” the leadoff track to their self-titled album, actually brings to mind a couple of bands from across the pond, with an extra jump over a fjord – Club 8 and the Acid House Kings. Those bands, like the Moor, are boy/girl duos, and all three are suckers for the mellow ’60s vibe, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Click here to download The Moor – Warm Winter

  

Steal This Song: The Wandas, “Forever and Ever”

Oh man, is this easy on the ears. Just when we’re tempted to concede that new bands just don’t know how to construct a song the way they had been built for, oh, 35 or 40 years, along come the Wandas, an east coast quartet (Boston, if you can believe it) with a serious West Coast fixation. And we don’t say ‘if you can believe that’ in a derogatory manner; in fact, we lived in Boston for a couple of years, so we speak from experience when we say that the bands that made a name for themselves there, well, don’t sound like this. The only person who comes close is Aimee Mann, and she’s been gone for so long that she hardly counts as a Bostonian anymore.

The Wandas recorded their self-titled album in Montreal, and that makes perfect sense, since their sensibilities are similar to the bands who call Montreal home. In fact, several locals (Stars, the Stills, the Dears) play on the album, and while the Wandas don’t sound exactly like any of those bands, they’re in the same ballpark. Surrender to the mellow vibe. Everything will work out, we swear.

Click here to download The Wandas – Forever and Ever

  

Steal This Song: Matt Lowell, “Swan Lake”

Best bass line since “Once in a Lifetime”?

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Big words, to be sure, but hot damn, listen to the title track from Matt Lowell’s Swan Lake EP. It’s four notes, the same four notes, carried across several different chords, but in an interesting twist, the song is largely bass-free, with those four notes hitting at an unlikely spot. Musically, it travels this strange land between Joseph Arthur and Guided by Voices, but doesn’t really sound like either. Give it a listen, and see if you’re as enthralled as we are.

Click here to download Matt Lowell – Swan Lake

  

Steal This Song: Five O’Clock Heroes, “City of Lights”

We’d just like to clear up something, if you don’t mind. Despite the fact that this column is called “Steal This Song,” rest assured that everything we post comes with the band’s permission. The title of the column is a reference to an Abbie Hoffman book from 1971, something that we’re guessing was lost on the nasty commenter who thought we were stealing from some poor little indie band. No one is actually stealing anything, all right? Now let’s move on.

A surefire way to get us to delete a press release is to use the word ‘gypsy.’ (Double negative score if the word ‘psych’ is used in conjunction with ‘gypsy.’) On the other hand, a surefire way to get us to beg for more is to compare your band to Elvis Costello, the Jam and the Police, and it’s a triple word score if you compare one band to all three.

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It’s clear from the onset that the Five O’Clock Heroes are fans of the Jam, as their name comes from one of their song titles, but is the Jam an apt comparison? To be honest, not really. This is not to say that the band’s album Different Times isn’t good – just that it doesn’t really sound like the Jam. There is a strong Anglo-pop vibe to it, to be sure, and it’s reminiscent of the time in which the Jam were active (and most popular), but a better comparison might be a UK power pop artist like Bram Tchaikovsky or the Members. Now, that is a trend we wouldn’t mind seeing catch on.

Click here to download Five O’Clock Heroes – City of Lights

Click to buy Different Times from Amazon

  

Steal This Song: Atomic Tom, “Don’t You Want Me”

It’s been admittedly quiet on the ESD front, and we’re sorry about that. Other projects got in the way, shame on us. But hopefully this cover of an ’80s smash will make things right.

Yep, it’s that “Don’t You Want Me,” from the forthcoming comedy “Take Me Home Tonight,” starring Topher Grace, Anna Faris and Dan Fogler. If Grace seems a little old to be playing a 20-something kid in the late ’80s, well, you’re right. (He turns 33 this year.) But keep in mind that this movie was shot four years ago, but has been repeatedly delayed because the studio didn’t know how to promote a comedy involving coke use. Funny, that wasn’t a problem in the ’80s. Hell, look at “Bachelor Party.”

As for the cover, it’s actually pretty faithful. It’s a rock version of the song, but they didn’t tear it apart at the seams, either. And man, oh man, is the video great. The band plays the tune while Grace, Faris, Fogler, the lovely Teresa Palmer and Demitri Martin act out iconic scenes from ’80s movies. Bonus points to Faris for the “Norma Rae” reference.

Click here to download Atomic Tom – Don’t You Want Me

  

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