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Refused
Freedom
Epitaph
ADDS 6/30/15
DIGITAL ONLY

Refused are f*cking alive. There's no escape. The Iconic Swedish hardcore band are releasing Freedom their first new album in 17 years on June 30 via Epitaph

Listen to the first new song "Elektra" at Pitchfork here

"Refused has returned with a new shape of punk that’s just as wild and eclectic as their last." - Consequence of Sound review (B+)

“A luminous work of bombastic-in-the-best-way brilliance.” – Revolver

"Freedom’ is quite possibly the band's most electrifying and propulsive record to date." - Rolling Stone

“Even 17 years after their last record, few can do it like Refused." – Brooklyn Vegan


In 1998 Refused released their iconic album The Shape of Punk to Come. It was also the year that the band broke up and declared "Refused Are F*cking Dead". Fourteen years later, the band reignited in 2012 for a Coachella performance. The group started contemplating new music within the first four months of the reunion tour, a process greatly aided by the fact that drummer David Sandström, guitarist Kristofer Steen, and bassist Magnus Flagge had already been writing together informally for several years under the auspices of a new, vocal-less band.
 
Frontman Dennis Lyxzén states:
 
“It’s not a reunion anymore. This is one of the most radical things we’ve ever done, both musically and lyrically.”
 
Drummer David Sandström adds:
 
"Nobody wanted us to f*ck with the image of the band who makes a great album and splits up. Nobody wanted us to dilute it. That actually provoked us.”
 
Freedom explodes out of the speakers with opening track “Elektra,” as Lyxzén throat-shredding declaration that “nothing has changed” catapults Refused into the 21st century. Production for Freedom was overseen by Nick Launay (Gang Of Four, Public Image Ltd., Nick Cave, and Arcade Fire). “Elektra” and “366” were produced and co-written by fellow Swede and longtime Refused fan Shellback, who has scored eight No. 1 hits.
 
Refused returned to the US with a performance at the Punk Rock Bowling festival in Las Vegas on May 24, followed by a sold out small club tour this spring. Additionally Refused will tour with Faith No More this summer.

Stream the new album via YouTube or Pandora!


RIYL: Converge, The Bronx, F*cked Up, Faith No More
TRY: #1, 3, 4
DIRTY: #2, 6

Download full album here:
http://www.piratepirate.com/wp/downloads/

More Info Here:
http://officialrefused.com
https://www.facebook.com/RefusedBand
https://twitter.com/refused
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refused



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Rebuilder
Rock & Roll In America
Panic State Records
ADDS 6/30/15
DIGITAL ONLY

Rebuilder need to get on the road with some of skate-punk and pop-punk’s great masters, like the Descendents and NOFX. Their one-two punch of two lead vocalists and straight barre-chord punk is catchy as hell, and deserves to be heard by the masses.” – Do 617

“Loud, fast, pop punk with attitude.” – Daykamp Music

Rebuilder are the best kind of in-between from hardcore punk and early 90’s skate punk. Bigass hooks, singalong choruses, gritty palm-muted guitars...go do a kickflip, break your wrist, and go to a Rebuilder show in your cast. That’s how it should be.” – Allston Pudding

“A killer punk screed needn’t exceed two minutes. Economical and phenomenal.” – Jed Gottlieb, Boston Herald

2014 Rock ‘n’ Roll Rumble participant and Boston Music Award nominee for ‘Punk Artist of the Year’, Rebuilder rips open the preconceived stitches of punk rock to deliver their expansive, mature, and complex sophomore album, “Rock & Roll In America”. Their debut full-length on Panic State Records, “ Rock & Roll In America” reinvents the self-proclaimed gnarly rock band’s sonic footprint, transcending the traditional three chord punk progression and showcasing the evolution of the band’s collaborative writing styles.

Passionate, stirring and with a ‘never say die’ attitude in the same vein as Frank Turner or Against Me, Rebuilder’s live shows are packed with the resilient emotion of DIY music inspired by the honest truth, the instinctual reaction and the second wind that holds you back from the brink of exhaustion. Rebuilder hit the scene in 2013 and has opened for acts such as The Dropkick Murphys, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, The Dead Milkmen and Stiff Little Fingers. ‘Rock & Roll In America’ was recorded, mixed and mastered by Jay Maas of Defeater at Getaway Studios in Haverhill, MA.

Rebuilder is Sal Ellington (vocals, guitar), Craig Stanton (vocals, guitar), Daniel Carswell (bass), Brandon Phillips (drums), Rick Smith (electric keyboard and organ).


RIYL: Frank Turner, Against Me, Descendents, Bouncing Souls
TRY: #4, 7, 9
DIRTY: #11

Download full album here:
http://www.piratepirate.com/wp/downloads/

More Info Here:
http://rebuilderboston.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/RebuilderBoston
https://twitter.com/RebuilderBoston



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Desaparecidos
Payola
Epitaph
ADDS 6/23/15
DIGITAL ONLY

NPR Music: First Listen

"Conor Oberst returns to his punk roots with politically-charged LP" - Consequence of Sound

"Conor Oberst's Band Desaparecidos Announce New Album Payola, Share "City on the Hill"...Their first album in 13 years features Against Me!'s Laura Jane Grace, Cursive's Tim Kasher, So So Glos" - Pitchfork

"Expectedly anthemic, expectedly passionate, expectedly great." - Vulture

"Anthemic." - Rolling Stone 
 
Formed in 2001 in Omaha, Nebraska, Desaparecidos released one album, Read Music / Speak Spanish in 2002 on Saddle Creek Records. Though the band never "broke up", they did part ways for several years as members Conor Oberst (vocals, guitar), Denver Dalley (guitar), Ian McElroy (keyboards), Landon Hedges (bass / vocals), and Matt Baum (drums) went on to pursue separate ambitions, including Conor Oberst's career with the band Bright Eyes.

Influenced by '70s/'80s punk & hardcore like T.S.O.L. and Cro-Mags; early '80s power-pop the Vapors and Tommy Tutone, Payola was co-produced with Mike Mogis (First Aid Kit, Saintseneca, and 'The Fault in our Stars' Score From the Motion Picture with Nate Walcott); and was recorded in several batches over the past few years. On Payola, the band consciously tackled a wide range of political issues at a much broader scale. It has a greater degree of focus and musicality than the first release. Payola is more raw, louder, and angrier. In addition to the 6 previously released tracks, the album also includes 8 new tracks from the band.

A band that never fully came into fruition is finally getting their due with their sophomore release only 13 short years later. Desaparecidos are scheduled to play show dates this year with a full itinerary here.


RIYL: Japandroids, Superchunk, Against Me, Joyce Manor, Thermals
TRY: #3, 4, 5, 6, 9

Download full album here:
http://www.piratepirate.com/wp/downloads/

More Info Here:
http://epitaph.com/artists/desaparecidos
http://www.desaparecidosband.com
https://www.facebook.com/desaparecidosband
https://twitter.com/desaband



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Dollys
Oh, Please
Mint 400 / Sniffling Indie Kids
ADDS 6/23/15
DIGITAL ONLY

Dollys, based out of New Brunswick, NJ’s legendary indie rock scene, mine Beach Boys harmonies with their own take on the surf-influenced pop rock that the ‘Boys’ specialized in. “Oh, Please”, the band’s new full-length, carries a timeless quality due to it’s live to tape recording. Drummer Natalie Newbold and bassist Erik Romero play with a purposeful simplicity that allows the vocals of Newbold and guitarist Jeff Lane to shine through each track, propelled by a thicket of subtly dense harmonies. Newbold sings with the earnestness of someone like Alvvays vocalist Molly Rankin and Lane’s Jazzmaster (which he built himself) chimes through like Johnny Marr with a Ventures fetish. On opener “Shameful”, Newbold announces their new album with “Who cares if we wait a while/ who cares if it’s not in style.” The sentiment is noted. With an album like “Oh, Please”, being hip or of the moment simply doesn’t matter. The songs speak for themselves.


RIYL: Hop Along, New Pornographers, Girlpool
TRY: #1, 2, 3, 4, 8

Download full album here:
http://www.piratepirate.com/wp/downloads/

More Info Here:
http://www.snifflingindiekids.com
http://dollysband.com
http://dollys.bandcamp.com
https://instagram.com/dollysband
https://www.facebook.com/dollysband



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Songs of Water
Stars and Dust
Freshwater Records
ADDS 6/23/15
DIGITAL ONLY

Stars and Dust demands attention; the album is a journey, transportive and transformative. Its songs breathe and leap, they evoke hope and profess a sense of waking into life — into the beauty, tragedy and mystery of it all.” - Mountain Xpress

American Songwriter has premiered album standout “11 Miles” from the forthcoming Songs of Water release Stars and Dust.

Much like the earthly element from which they draw their name, the music of Songs of Water ebbs and flows, pulsing with life, beauty and energy. Building on a solid foundation of sophisticated, instrumental prowess and poetic lyricism, the band paints sweeping cinematic compositions with deft proficiency and a delicate hand.

Stars and Dust is a profound display of symmetry and a testimony to the reward of artistic precision, having taken nearly three years to complete. It boasts an expansive sonic palette ranging from the traditional guitar/drums/bass format to a full classical wind and string section and an array of surprising instruments.

Luke Skaggs (son of bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs), Stephen Roach (cousin to the flat-picking guitar great Tony Rice) and their compatriots wielded their sonic brushes to create a monumental work with a refined, concise statement. Stars and Dust stands as a cohesive whole, resulting in a moving collection of lyrical and cinematic songs.


RIYL: Father John Misty, Beirut, Andrew Bird, Broken Social Scene
TRY: #1, 3, 6

Download full album here:
http://www.piratepirate.com/wp/downloads/

More Info Here:
http://www.songsofwater.com
https://www.facebook.com/songsofwater
https://twitter.com/songsofwater



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Mates of State
You're Going To Make It
Barsuk
ADDS 6/16/15
DIGITAL ONLY

Pitchfork: EP Preview

"Mates of State still love each other more than you'll ever love anything" - NOISEY album premiere

"Casting the heady swoon of courtship as a game of intense focus, "Staring Contest" practically bursts with the giddy excitement of new love." - NPR song premiere

"Staring Contest is about young love, the kind that surfaces in an instant and is probably extinguished three weeks later once it’s no longer worthy gossip material and everyone involved is over it." - Stereogum track premiere

Mates of State’s new self-produced EP, You’re Going To Make It, is nothing but choice cuts: five anthemic and emotionally-rich songs that will quickly take up residence in your mental jukebox; five anthemic songs that wriggle into your every waking hour like the earworms they are.

This new batch of tunes is Mates of State in its purest form. The razor sharp harmonies, shimmering new wave synth melodies, an internal warmth that can only come from a couple that has been musically and romantically involved for nearly two decades, and lyrics that speak to both personal and universal concerns.

On “Beautiful Kids,” the band speaks to how, even though we are connected to one another 24/7 thanks to modern technology, a sense of loneliness still pervades. Or as Hammel puts it: “We all just want to be seen, but we won’t look up from our screens so that we can be seen.” “Gonna Get It” and “I Want To Run” build off the same inspiring notion of the EP’s title, encouraging both themselves and their fans to keep striving no matter what the odds. And fist-pumping opener “Staring Contest” speaks to that delicious ache of schoolyard crushes and youthful love.

With yet another in a long history of brilliant music videos, the band will premiere a video for “Staring Contest” shortly after the release of You're Going To Make It.

In addition to a triumphant fifteen years as a band, Jason and Kori will star in their first ever full-length movie, titled Rumperbutts, which premiered on May 22.

On tour now! Contact us with any requests!


RIYL: Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, New Pornographers, Metric, Matt and Kim, Rilo Kiley
TRY: #1, 2, 4

Download full album here:
http://www.piratepirate.com/wp/downloads/

More Info Here:
http://www.matesofstate.com
https://www.facebook.com/matesofstate
https://twitter.com/matesofstate
http://www.barsuk.com/w3.cgi?vwy=artists/matesofstate
https://instagram.com/matesofstate/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mates_of_State



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Sink Tapes
In The Rug
Mint 400 / Sniffling Indie Kids
ADDS 6/16/15
DIGITAL ONLY

"I’m convinced that Sink Tapes couldn't write a bad or non-catchy song if they tried" - aputumpu.us

"Like an extended audio drug trip, their sound is alternately blissful, sleepy and mildly disorienting. Their commitment to this potent aesthetic finds them effectively eschewing traditional pop song-craft in favor of mood." - Pop Break

"It's not just the sheer number of songs. It's also the fact that Sink Tapes seem to realize that you can say everything you need to say in somewhere between 90 seconds and 3 minutes." - Cool Dad Music

New Brunswick, NJ's Sink Tapes have been compared to everyone from The Velvet Underground and REM to The Replacements and My Bloody Valentine; no comparison does them justice. They're a rock band who writes whichever way they feel like, avoiding any specific sub-genre to tie them down. They are possibly the most prolific band of the moment, with 2 LP's and 2 EP's in the past year alone, they're showing no signs of slowing down. Sink Tapes brings us 18 new tracks of unreleased music recorded from 2012-2015, and as you will hear in this collection of Demo's and B-Sides there is no dip in quality. "In The Rug" gives fans something to tide them over until their next full length is released this fall, and for critics it shows that this band is more than a one trick pony. These demos seem to explore the softer side of this usually loud group with songs that will make you wonder, "How didn't this stuff make it to an album?" Sink Tapes follows up their LP Creases and the Single Plastic Lover with this all brand new collection of songs that will make fans of Sink Tapes love them even more. 


RIYL: Cloud Nothings, Sebadoh, Yuck, The Replacements, Lilys
TRY: #2, 3, 5

Download full album here:
http://www.piratepirate.com/wp/downloads/

More Info Here:
http://mint400records.com
http://sinktapes.com
https://twitter.com/sinktapes
https://www.facebook.com/SinkTapes
https://sinktapes.bandcamp.com



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Christopher Paul Stelling
Labor Against Waste
Anti-
ADDS 6/16/15
DIGITAL ONLY

“It’s really hard to be a singer and a guitarist and make a mark - this guy does it though. He’s a great finger picker, a strong songwriter, listen to his words - you’ll love what you hear.” - Bob Boilen - NPR’s All Songs Considered

"The record delights at the threshold of polished folk-pop and rustic old folk; and he seems bound to make converts on both sides of that divide. - Rolling Stone

"It’s one thing to give in to the hypnosis induced by Stelling’s fluttering finger-picking on the studio track, but to catch him live is to see Stelling at his prime, all hoarse inflections, pensive delivery, and a pristine, total package of a one-man musical outfit that recalls the intensity of The Tallest Man on Earth and labelmate Glen Hansard. - Hilary Hughes - Village Voice

There is a fearless quality to the music of new ANTI- signing Christopher Paul Stelling. A voice that sounds both old and young, an effortless yet intricate finger-picking guitar style, and lyrics that are dramatic and intensely confessional. It’s a sound that channels the restless spirit of a young man who left home to travel the country, writing haunting and impassioned songs formed by endless nights alone on stage with a guitar, playing to packed houses, other times to nearly empty rooms. Stelling estimates that he’s played over four hundred shows in just the past three years. It places him within a longstanding tradition that serves to build both character and vision.

Labor Against Waste features Stelling’s astonishing guitar work, a melodic finger-picking style influenced in large part by blues legends such as Skip James and Mississippi John, masters like John Fahey, and banjo greats Dock Boggs and Roscoe Holcomb. On top of this soars Stelling’s voice, a resonant baritone that calls to mind classic trou- badours from Tim Hardin to Steve Earle. Accompanied by an ensemble of stomps, claps, french horn, flugelhorn, kettle drums, string quartet, and a chorus comprised of members from the Low Anthem, in whose studio Stelling recorded the album, Labor Against Waste is the opening statement in what should be a long and storied career.


RIYL: The Tallest Man on Earth, Sean Rowe, Justin Townes Earle, William Elliott Whitmore, William Tyler, Langhorne Slim
DIRTY: #6
TRY: #1, 2, 3, 8

Download full album here:
http://www.piratepirate.com/wp/downloads/

More Info Here:
http://www.christopherpaulstelling.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Christopher-Paul-Stelling/238129001427
https://twitter.com/c_p_stelling
http://www.anti.com/artists/christopher-paul-stelling/


 

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ASH
Kablammo!
earMUSIC
ADDS 6/9/15
DIGITAL ONLY

Blazing out of the blocks with two and half minutes of pure power pop, Ash made their traditional ‘Ash Wednesday’ return with ‘Cocoon’, the first single from their forthcoming studio album ‘Kablammo!’. ‘Kablammo!’ is going to be released on June 9th, 2015 on earMUSIC.

“It’s Ash at their frenetic best” says drummer Rick McMurray. “A wall of guitars and a shot of adrenaline with a sweet melodic chaser.” A clear statement of intent, ‘Cocoon’ picked up immediate radio support from BBC 6 Music and XFM and served as a bold introduction to their forthcoming album.

It’s been eight years since ‘Twilight Of The Innocents’, the album Ash vowed would be their last. The ensuing years saw the band embark on the ambitious A-Z singles series and its accompanying A-Z tour taking them from Aldershot to Zennor. The decision to put the album format to one side allowed Ash to explore a different dynamic to their sound across 26 tracks released over a year.

A-Z was a great exercise in creativity and we stand by our choice to do it but we still love the album format. Stepping away from it for eight years has given us a new found love for the format and it's been really exciting to get back to thinking about music in that way again”.

On ‘Kablammo!’, they set out to capture the live essence of Ash, the closest sonic predecessor being 2004's 'Meltdown', they say, with the songwriting of the 'Free All Angels' singles. “We've stripped away the electronic overtones of the A-Z series and made a streamlined blazing guitar record.”

“On every song you can hear what makes this band tick, our beating (atomic) heart. It's a visceral expression of what has driven us since 1992. Passion, melody and Ash.”

The title itself – ‘Kablammo!’ - sums up the excitement Ash felt “to be in a room together making new music. You can hear that on every song.” And this renewed enthusiasm for playing together is writ large over the album’s 12 tracks, the ‘in your face’ quality” which has made Ash one of the UK’s best-loved bands.

Free’ and ‘Moondust’ provide two of the album’s most anthemic moments.

“In the pool of half remembered dreams,” Tim Wheeler laments on ‘Free’. “How long have I been submerged in sleep?”, his soaring falsetto echoing above an impatient chug of guitars, a cry to cutting loose replete with an achingly emotive guitar solo.

Moondust’ captivates hearts with sweet pattering keys and the mournful grace of a string section, building to a mighty crescendo, Wheeler’s star-gazing broken heart lifted to the skies, “When you come home, will you stay for good?”

It’s not all sky-high calls and midnight falls, ‘Shutdown’ takes us back to the trio’s roots. Its scrappy, teenage punk spirit sprinting hand in hand with a sweet ‘90s nostalgia and a three-line chorus destined to raise your pint into the air. Elsewhere, ‘Dispatch’ rides a college rock wave. Wah-oos and guitar dips that explode into a head-crashing power-chord shred, all the while bumping up to hooks so big we’re singing along before we know all the words.

“We've finally bridged the gap between our live show and the recording” the band say. “Kablammo!’ is the proof.”


RIYL: Blur, Weezer, Futureheads, Sloan
TRY: #1, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10

Download full album here:
http://www.piratepirate.com/wp/downloads/

More Info Here:
http://www.ash-official.com
https://www.facebook.com/ash
https://twitter.com/ashofficial
https://www.youtube.com/ashofficial
https://instagram.com/ash_1977/



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Zach Vinson
How We Spend Our Days
Self-Released
ADDS 6/9/15
DIGITAL ONLY

After a four-year hiatus, indie piano artist Zach Vinson is back behind the ivories with his new EP, How We Spend Our Days. With a quirky pop/rock sound that moves between influences from Ben Folds, Ben Kweller, Nada Surf and a hint of Weezer, Vinson’s earlier releases caught the ear of numerous tastemaking blogs and newspapers, and How We Spend Our Days is sure to build on that success.

“On his new album, How We Spend Our Days, the singer-songwriter skips from ornate figures to chipper piano pounding, occasionally switching to early Weezer-esque power chording on guitar, and sounding good-natured, dead-level and pop-smart all the while.” - Nashville Scene

“...a catchy, concise, indie-pop-tinged piano rocker on par with Ben Folds’ best.” - Performer Magazine

“[A] piano playing virtuoso...Vinson moves from instrument to instrument, showcasing prowess on everything from the piano to Wurlitzer to acoustic and electric guitars. ‘Home’ opens on the ivories, but swells to incorporate a full- sounding array of pulsating drums, thump-along bass, rockin' guitars and reedy vocals.” - Exclaim!

“The pianist generally showcases influences from the likes of Ben Folds and Ben Kweller, but this track is a little different. Backed by his touring band, Vinson plugs in his electric guitar and channels Weezer for a straight-up pop- rock song.” – PureVolume


RIYL: Ben Folds, Ben Kweller, Nada Surf, Jukebox The Ghost
TRY: #1, 2, 4

Download full album here:
http://www.piratepirate.com/wp/downloads/

More Info Here:
http://www.zachvinson.com
https://twitter.com/zachvinson
https://www.facebook.com/zachvinsonmusic
https://instagram.com/zachvinsonmusic



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stephaniesid
Excavator
Mint 400 Records
ADDS 6/9/15
DIGITAL ONLY

"...a mesmerizing mix of songs that can be hushed and calm one moment, and then suddenly dark and explosive the next." - Robin Hilton | NPR All Songs Considered
 
"The band's non-pandering brand of pop ...is intricately, artfully textural and full of surprises." - CityBeat, Cincinnati
 
"The songs move from intimate to anthemic... effortlessly poetic letters...acute insights ... shimmering synth hooks and smoothly shifting melodic textures... difficult to classify but easy to love." - Wayne Robins | Billboard Magazine

The ĭd (pronounced like “kid”) is the real person, under the armor. It’s the inner wild being, the emotional mercury, the soft tissue, the genuine human. stephaniesĭd is a pop-noir band working to excavate it.
 
In its latest pop-noir offering, Excavatorstephaniesĭd offers its most focused effort at unearthing the depths and idiosyncracies of the emotions contained within a human.   Stephanie Morgan (songwriter/vocals/guitar/synth), having been described by the Bonnaroo Beacon as "equal parts smoky coquette and Bjork like panache”, widens her vocal palette in operatic, soul, and rhythmic directions.  Her lyrics explore different intersections of the struggle to connect fully with others.  Chuck Lichtenberger (songwriter/keyboard), recording most of his parts on a white baby grand piano, draws heavily from his roots--jazz, gospel and classical--at times improvising within the song structure.  Tim Haney (drums) takes a melody-focused approach, following the songs through both large swells and subtle intricacies.  Guest performances include contributions by symphonic players Georgia Sinko (cello) and Sarah Hurd (violin); Justin Ray (trumpet, flugelhorn - Michael Buble), Jacob Rodriguez (saxophones, clarinet - Michael Buble), Caleb McMahon (trombone), Michael Libramento (guitar - Natalie Prass, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals), Vic Stafford (percussion - Toubab Krewe, Donna the Buffalo), Craig Sandberg (upright bass), and Jonathan Pearlman (guitar)   
 
stephaniesĭd adds to their 10-year body of work with Excavator, due out on the New Jersey based Mint 400 Records on June 9th. In May 2015 the band gave listeners their first taste of the album with the debut single  “Did You Say”. The band will embark on a multi-city Eastern US promotional tour over the summer to promote the album. Contact us if you'd like to go to a show or set anything up!
 
stephaniesĭd was born in 2003.  Its members have lived lengths of time in Des Moines, West Texas, San Antonio, Colorado Springs, Bangor, ME, Greensboro, NC, and Atlanta.  The band operates as a core trio and is often joined by experienced players, who make up the extended family of the band.  The band's music has been placed internationally in film (Switzerland's "The Red Helmet"), TV (Showtime's "Nurse Jackie"), commercials (Italy's Cesare Paciotti), and a video game (Sony Supermassive).  The band has been voted “Best Rock Band” 6 years in a row in Mountain Xpress Reader’s Poll in their home stomping grounds of Asheville, North Carolina.


RIYL: Portishead, Fiona Apple, Tori Amos, Florence & The Machine
TRY: #3, 4, 5
DIRTY: #2 has an EAS tone in the album version. Please grab the edited version from the downloads page.

Download full album here:
http://www.piratepirate.com/wp/downloads/

More Info Here:
http://sid.stephaniesid.com
https://www.facebook.com/stephaniesid
https://twitter.com/stephaniesid
http://mint400records.com
https://www.youtube.com/user/stephaniesid
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephaniesǐd



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SOAK
Before We Forgot How To Dream
Rough Trade
ADDS 6/2/15
DIGITAL ONLY

SOAK is 18-year-old Bridie Monds-Watson, and Before We Forgot How To Dream is her debut for Rough Trade. Named One To Watch for 2015 via the likes of iTunes, Spotify and the BBC Sound Poll, the album is a highly anticipated coming-of-age record in more ways than one.

Produced alongside Tommy Mclauglin from Villagers following a stint on CHVRCHES’ singles label, SOAK’s debut album is in part a vivid soundtrack to the rollercoaster of adolescence. There are those songs of lost innocence, with the Beach-House-influenced “B a nobody” depicting her brother’s crisis at the end of University and “Shuvels” (complete with the startling opening lyric, “I’ve got a ghost / And she’s haunting me”) also capturing this uncertainty of what comes next in life.

Ultimately, though, Before We Forgot How To Dream tackles those bigger struggles which become no clearer with age, and the compassion that arrives as a result: or as an aptly-tiled instrumental interlude puts it, ‘if everyone is someone – noone is everyone.” “Sea Creatures”, then, is a beautiful encouragement to a friend going through a hard time, whilst the tender but timeless “Blud” acts as a striking snapshot of a relationship in distress. It was actually written before SOAK’s parents separated – they also managed her whilst in full-time work for two years - after Bridie lay on the floor in an attempt to listen in on an argument. “Ultimately it’s saying that we’re a family who should stick together, even if we’re not.”

On its surface, Before We Forgot How To Dream may initially appear nostalgic – romantic, even - towards a more innocent time. But despite the tumultuous tone, which actually lingers beneath the record, there is still a persistently uplifting element to SOAK’s music. “People grow up and nobody believes in Magic anymore, or you’re told to lower your expectations and that certain behaviour isn’t appropriate. This album is definitely about that time when you believed a bit more in things.” You’d venture that belief will take SOAK further yet in her career, though ultimately her debut album seems to explore those joys and fears we take with us through life, from adolescence into adulthood – but simply get a little better at hiding.


RIYL: Cat Power, Daughter, Laura Marling, Karen O
TRY: #2, 3, 5

Download full album here:
http://www.piratepirate.com/wp/downloads/

More Info Here:
http://www.soakmusic.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/Soak0fficial
https://twitter.com/soakofficial



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Alexa Melo
Alexa Melo
Self-Released
ADDS 6/2/15
DIGITAL ONLY

“At their most direct, Melo’s songs recall some of the strongest voices of the 1990s (and, currently, artists like Meg Myers), but her palette extends beyond mere angsty-anthems.” – Buzzbands.LA

“...she’s got a dark pop vibe, but more dusty guitars than trendy cold electronica.” – The Deli Magazine

“...a cross between P.J. Harvey and Annie Lennox in terms of sound, although more sultry.” – The Revue

Garnering early support on tastemaker hometown stations including KROQ & KCSN Los Angeles!

Massachusetts-born Alexa Melo is only 20, but the singer-guitarist sounds like she’s been through the wars. And she has, in a manner. Signed to a major label as a precocious teen, Melo was passed from producer to producer to producer before finding a sonic ally in Christian James Hand (who produced The Mowgli’s). Now “emancipated” from her label deal, Melo will release her self-titled debut June 2, and it’s a far cry from the straight-up pop her handlers envisioned when they signed her. At their most direct, Melo’s songs recall some of the strongest voices of the 1990s (and, currently, artists like Meg Myers), but her palette extends beyond mere angsty-anthems. Much of the album, which began with Melo’s own ProTools recordings, reflects her stated influences of Radiohead, Bjork, Portishead, Jack White and Pink Floyd, and her guitar-playing abilities, as well as her vocal stylings, live up to her sonic ambitions. A highlight is the song “Bleach,” which has its roots (so to speak) in one music executive’s infatuation with wanting Melo to change her hair color. “The brainwashing and manipulating that occurs in the media and entertainment business and how easily your true colors can fade if it successfully breaks down your spirit,” she says. “It’s about mustering up the courage to not conform and pave your own way.”


RIYL: Meg Myers, P.J. Harvey, Annie Lennox
DIRTY: #3, 7
TRY: #1, 2, 4

Download full album here:
http://www.piratepirate.com/wp/downloads/

More Info Here:
http://www.alexamelo.com
https://www.facebook.com/alexamelo
https://twitter.com/alexamelo
https://instagram.com/alexa_melo/



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AM & Shawn Lee
Outlines
AM Sounds
ADDS 6/2/15
DIGITAL ONLY

The transatlantic duo AM & Shawn Lee continue their journey forward via the past on their new album Outlines, digging heavily into obscure soul, sound library and soundtracks for inspiration and re-imagine them through a pop lens. AM & Shawn Lee focus heavily on synthesizers, but still keep the core organic, with live drums and bass and of course placing a heavy importance on groove. Sonically Outlines tips it's hat to other synthesized soul productions such as The System or The Blackbyrds .

The first single "Persuasion" sets up the album perfectly with a revolving, atmospheric synth pattern suddenly interrupted by a deep funk groove peppered with staccato vocal stylings. "Cold Tears", a heartbreaking tale of a friend's false imprisonment, flows over galloping funk and sinister synths. "Again and Again", perhaps the epitome of sparse groove, is a perfect mid-tempo cruiser and a clear nod to AM's past tour mates AIR, while "Nightshine" delivers demented aerobic pop...picture Olivia Newton John's "Physical" set to a John Carpenter film.

The album title Outlines plays on a double meaning. On the one hand the record sounds like a "trace", giving no more than necessary to the production...the essentials. Lyrically, there is an undercurrent of an all too familiar modern struggle...the failure to communicate. We're only giving each other shorthand… “the outlines.”

AM & Shawn Lee's musical and artistic chemistry is very obvious especially since they have never recorded in the same room together. The duo trade tracks between London and Los Angeles until they feel the songs are complete. The process is ego-less, and both AM and Shawn Lee play nearly every instrument on the record.

Outlines is by far AM & Shawn Lee's favorite recording to date. Minimalist, future soul re-worked for today, but never forgetting what came before. Above all the music just soars. …Like hang gliding into a summer sunset.

AM & Shawn Lee released their debut album, Celestial Electric, to worldwide praise at Q, Word, Uncut, Mojo, Magik, Roliing Stone France, Radio Nova, Under The Radar, Nylon and more.

Stay tuned for USA/European tour dates for AM & Shawn Lee, coming soon!


RIYL: Metronomy, Hot Chip, Chromeo, Cut Copy
TRY: #1, 2, 6, 7

Download full album here:
http://www.piratepirate.com/wp/downloads/

More Info Here:
http://www.amsounds.com
https://www.facebook.com/am
https://www.facebook.com/amandshawnlee
https://amsounds.bandcamp.com



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Trails and Ways
Pathology
Barsuk
ADDS 5/26/15
DIGITAL ONLY

The sound of Oakland, CA’s Trails and Ways is a fascinating mix of the melancholy of bossa nova, the fearlessness of basement indie rock, driving grooves from the end of disco, and the slick shine of radio pop. Their songs never shy away from personal and political heavy-lifting, but this is some of the most compelling pop music we’ve heard in some time. Call it what you will; hearing it is like stumbling into the warmth of an intimate dance party among smart and thoughtful friends.

The band’s four members (Hannah and Keith on guitar, Ian on drums, and Emma on bass) cast off from the co-op houses at UC Berkeley in the depths of the great recession. They headed to live as far afield as Ceará in Brazil and Galicia in Spain before reuniting in Oakland to start the DIY bedroom recording project that became Trails and Ways. When the friends first sent out their early track “Nunca” to a few blogs the zeitgeist must have been blowing through Oakland, and they were staggered by a sudden rush of attention: 70,000 plays in a single day — something rarely seen from an unsigned artist.

This surge of popularity galvanized the band, and wary of becoming another flash-in-the-pan blog sensation they set out with determination to refine their art and take advantage of the unexpected groundswell of support. They quickly got to work crafting a powerful live show, quit their day jobs, ran two national tours, and played festival stages at Outside Lands, Capitol Hill Block Party, and Firefly.

Pathology, their debut LP, was recorded at home in Oakland in 2014, amid the unrelenting crawl of the California drought and the surge of tech-company capital in the Bay Area. The album is a work of multiple hands, multiple hearts, and multiple voices — vibrant, emotional, political, and personal.


RIYL: Best Coast, Chvrches, Phantogram, Purity Ring, Stars, CSS
TRY: #1, 2, 3, 6, 10

Download full album here:
http://www.piratepirate.com/wp/downloads/

More Info Here:
http://hiketrailsandways.tumblr.com
https://www.facebook.com/TRAILSANDWAYS
https://twitter.com/TRAILSANDWAYS
https://instagram.com/trailsandways



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The Milk Carton Kids
Monterey
Anti-
ADDS 5/19/15
DIGITAL ONLY

"The Milk Carton Kids' Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan craft soft, timeless ballads in close harmony — and, as such, recall the reverently beautiful likes of Simon & Garfunkel." - NPR First Listen

The two years since the release of The Ash & Clay have been heady ones for The Milk Carton Kids, with accolades ranging from their featured performance in the Coen Brothers documentary Another Day, Another Time, to winning Group of the Year at the 2014 Americana Music Awards, to a Grammy nomination, to performing at the prestigious Newport Folk Festival.

While many of their laurels reference specific genres, the duo quickly transcend those tags, with inflections of jazz, classical, even the dark lyricism of modern “alternative,” all broadening their appeal, so that the audience at a typical Milk Carton Kids concert can range from 18 to 80. Like the pioneers Johnny Cash and Emmylou Harris – both of whom the band paid tribute to this last year – the Milk Carton Kids take American music at its word, without confines or borders.

Now with their third album Monterey, The Milk Carton Kids have evolved their signature sound into its purest essence. Writing on the road, sitting around after shows in green rooms and hallways, these duo found themselves finishing and editing each other’s songs, resulting in a batch of songs where, for the first time in the band’s career, friends and family cannot tell who wrote what. And for all the attention the duo receives for combining into one voice, on Monterey we finally hear the singers as distinct; the acclaimed harmonies move farther apart so that the quirks and kinks of two individual identities emerge, the harmonies all the while remaining lush and soaring, their beauty all the more apparent for the showing of their scars.

Monterey is an album forged literally and metaphorically “on the road”, an album that seems to ask how we can resolve the contradiction between the lightness of our footprint as we pass through, and the weight of those memories gath- ering behind us in the rearview mirror. Monterey poses this question with grace, beauty and a sly humor.


RIYL: Fleet Foxes, Head and the Heart, Lone Bellow, Punch Brothers, Low Anthem
TRY: #3, 5, 6, 9

Download full album here:
http://www.piratepirate.com/wp/downloads/

More Info Here:
http://www.themilkcartonkids.com
https://www.facebook.com/TheMilkCartonKids
https://twitter.com/milkcartonkids
http://www.anti.com/artists/the-milk-carton-kids/