Steal This Song: Little Tybee, “Nero”

There are few slopes that are as slippery as music that could fairly be described as precious. A wrong move in any direction, and that ‘c’ becomes a ‘tent’, if you know what we mean. It was therefore with great trepidation that we clicked Play on the song from Little Tybee, a group of Georgians whose press release was quick to mention Fleet Foxes. And don’t get us wrong, we like Fleet Foxes…but do we need a dozen of them?

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As it turns out, “Nero,” the first song from the band’s upcoming album Humorous to Bees, is probably being done a disservice by being compared to anyone, but you know how press releases work – they need to mention a couple of successful bands to give the reader a reference point (and truthfully, that’s exactly how we like it). If anything, the song reminds us of a less amped version of the Noisettes’ song “Wild Young Hearts,” perhaps refitted for play in a jazz club. Trade out drum sticks for brushes, throw in some fiddle, and groove, man. Good stuff. The record drops in April. Hopefully this will tide you over until then.

Click here to download Little Tybee’s “Nero”

  

Steal This Song: U.S. Royalty, “Monte Carlo”

Holy west coast pop, Batman. Now this is a sound that we wouldn’t mind seeing catch on and infiltrate the mainstream…again.

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We’re on our first spin through Mirrors, the debut album U.S. Royalty, a band who is about as far removed as one can get from the west coast while still being in the States (they’re from Washington DC), and it has a vibe to it that is instantly familiar without sounding derivative. Big, soaring vocals with some nicely stacked harmonies, along with the occasional foray into feedback, these guys are definitely a band to watch. Fans of Fleetwood Mac are going to jump all over “Monte Carlo.” It’s like “Dreams” as a driving song. Get it now, so you can say you were there first.

Click here to download U.S. Royalty – Monte Carlo

  

Steal This Remix: OK Go, “White Knuckles”

It’s been kind of quiet here in ESD Land, and that’s intentional – everyone has stuff to do during the holidays, and we’re only happy to wind things down so we can get our shopping done. But here’s a little pre-Christmas treat for you all, courtesy of the people behind what my daughter calls the doggie video, OK Go.

Like most remixes these days, the majority of the original song didn’t survive, but there are a few lines from the song and a keyboard riff here and there. And hey, it’s free. Can’t beat free. Happy holidays, everyone. See you in 2011.

OK Go – White Knuckles (Sam Sparro remix)

  

Steal This Song: Candi and the Strangers, “Nico Regrets”

It’s great to see the ‘___ and the ___’ trend come back to music names. The world used to be full of them – the band behind the late ’70s one-hit wonder “Driver’s Seat”? That would be Sniff ‘n the Tears – but it fell out of favor in the mid-’80s and has rarely showed its head since. But between Fitz & the Tantrums and Austin dream poppers Candi and the Strangers, we may be witnessing the next new/old band name trend. Which is fine with us, if it means no more of those goddamn triple word score band names that were clogging marquees for a while there.

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A quick spin of 10th of Always, the band’s sophomore effort set for release in early February, makes us wonder how we missed their first album. This is gorgeous, shimmering pop, like Blondie covering the Cocteau Twins. And if you like this song, wait until you hear “The Weather Is Here, Wish You Were Beautiful.” Hypnotic bliss, this. Consider us entranced.

Click here to download Candi and the Strangers – Nico Regrets

  

Steal This Song: Destroyer, “Chinatown”

For the last five years, there has never been any question that when it came to the songwriting powers that be behind the New Pornographers, I am a Carl Newman guy. It’s not that I disliked Dan Bejar’s stuff – “Jackie, Dressed in Cobras” is still my fave – but his songs never scaled the dizzy heights of pure pop tunes like “Sing Me Spanish Techno,” “The Bleeding Heart Show,” “Stacked Crooked” and “These Are the Fables.”

You’ll notice that I only listed songs from the New Pornographers’ 2005 album Twin Cinema. That’s because I’ve been largely underwhelmed by the band’s work since then. And it appears that Bejar is ready to take advantage of my wavering loyalties.

Armed with yet another album under his day job Destroyer (his tenth in 15 years), the band’s new album Kaputt, set for release in January, might surprise some people. Bejar forsakes his usual disjointed pop for something more casual, like he’s been listening to a lot of ’80s-era Bryan Ferry (which he cops to in the press release), and perhaps even Al Stewart. It seems an odd match on paper, but his voice is actually well suited for the genre, and the tunes he came up with are gorgeous. We’ve been given permission to share the album’s opening track, “Chinatown,” and it’s a must for anyone who digs the Blue Nile, China Crisis, and their ilk. Dig in.

Destroyer – Chinatown

  

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