I first heard Old Best Friend a couple of days ago when I saw Mike Comite open up for Company of Thieves and Von Grey at Highline Ballroom. Comite is originally from Boston, and is now living in Brooklyn just writing and performing music. Old Best Friend performed an amazing and memorable set, to the point that he was the artist I was most excited to meet after the show. His music was so interesting to me because even at an acoustic show, I couldn’t figure out exactly what rock sub-genre it fits in. Comite opens his Keep In Touch EP with the words “I could’ve swore I killed a man last night…”; the song (“Things That Happen”) soon builds into an catchy organ-heavy rock track. “Fire” starts off very folksy, but then the electric guitar breaks in and ends the song with a punk-rock feel. “Most Of Me” is a beautiful lyrical ballad, and the 4th track honestly feels like indie-rock meets 1970′s classic rock. The last song “Lines I Lift” is catchy as all hell and might be my favorite track, but its too hard on 5 track EP with no weak songs. I highly urge everyone to check out this EP and if you like it, buy it to help support good music. Also help support Old Best Friend by liking their Facebook page.
Technically, Kevin Devine is not an indie band so much as a singer-songwriter. You’re all gonna have to forgive me though, seeing as the segment is called “Indie Bands You Should Know.” I first heard of Kevin Devine as a member of Bad Books, an indie supergroup that he is a member of along with Andy Hull of Manchester Orchestra. So one day, I decided to search his name on YouTube and see what popped up. I listened to the song “Cotton Crush” (where Jesse Lacey sings backing vocals) and was astounded at how brilliantly Kevin was able to combine acoustic songwriting with the noise of punk-rock. I listened to more of his music and discovered that I had actually stumbled across one of my favorite artists in a long time. Check out some of his best songs below.
First off, I’d like to apologize, because I haven’t posted in forever, and I’m promising now to get back into the swing of things. That being said, I’m going to do you all a favor today. I’m going to introduce you to one of the most promising indie bands I’ve ever heard: The Lonely Forest.
My best friend sent me this album about a month ago. Having just gotten into old Modest Mouse (whom I’d love to do a massive write up on one of the days), I’d immersed myself in their catalog from the 90s and I shelved Arrows, the debut album by The Lonely Forest. Well after listening to “Bankrupt On Selling” for the umpteenth time, I decided maybe a change was in order. So I opened my iTunes and fired up Arrows, which has now become one of my all-time favorite albums in only a few listens.
The Lonely Forest has almost perfected the indie rock shtick. They have versatility. They mix haunting acoustic numbers with faster-paced, upbeat rock songs. Their lyrics are musings on life and love, and their album flows as a unit, transcending each individual song on it to become something greater. I haven’t been this hard-pressed to pick a favorite song off an album since hearing Brand New’s Deja Entendu.
I did manage to narrow it down to a few favorites, and they’re posted below. But I strongly encourage anybody who finds this post to purchase the whole album on iTunes. Trust me, these guys are worth your time.
Hailing from Brooklyn, TV On The Radio is an electronic-influenced, experimental indie-rock band that released their first studio album, Desperate Youths, Bloodthirsty Babes, in 2004. In addition to good album reviews, the album’s single “Staring At The Sun” gained them a lot of press. The follow-up, Return To Cookie Mountain, contains my personal favorite TVOTR song, “Wolf Like Me.” In 2008 and 2011, the band put out Dear Science and Nine Types Of Light respectively. Both albums garnered lots of acclaim, with Dear Science winning Rolling Stone’s coveted Album of the Year prize. The amazing thing about this band is that none of their albums sound quite the same. The dreamy, art-rock soundscapes of their first album give way to heavier music on their later projects. By their fourth album, TVOTR was putting out heavier, rock-sounding grooves complete with wild falsetto and saxophone. Support them on iTunes and check out some of my favorites below.
TV On The Radio- Second Song
TV On The Radio- Staring At The Sun
TV On The Radio- DLZ
And my personal favorite:
TV On The Radio- Wolf Like Me
Truth be told, I’m a punk rocker at heart. I’m also a devoted indie listener. So when I discovered the song “Young Hearts Spark Fire” by Japandroids on Pitchfork a year or so back, I knew I was in love. In April, Rolling Stone recommended readers to listen to their new single “The House That Heaven Built,” which blew my mind. And their sophomore album Celebration Rock is my pick so far for my Album of the Year.
Japandroids is a two man indie noise-punk band from Vancouver, Canada, consisting of Brian King (vocals/guitar) and David Prowse (drums). They released their first album Post-Nothing in 2009, and their second album Celebration Rock this May. Both their albums received almost universal acclaim. Their music consists largely of distorted guitars and frantic drumming, with lyrics celebrating youth (You can keep tomorrow/Cause after tonight we’re not gonna need it) and fist-pumping choruses with lots of “Oh’s”.
I’m going to refrain from posting downloads because I want people to buy their music; trust me, they’re worth it. Buy their recently released album Celebration Rock on iTunes here.
Upcoming Tour Dates-
11-04 Austin, TX — Fun Fun Fun Fest
11-05 Dallas, TX — Trees
11-07 Scottsdale, AZ — Martini Ranch
11-08 Los Angeles, CA — The Fonda
11-12 San Francisco, CA — Fillmore
11-13 Portland, OR — Wonder Ballroom
11-15 Seattle, WA — Neumos
11-17 Salt Lake City, UT — Urban Lounge
11-18 Denver, CO — Bluebird Theatre
11-20 St. Louis, MO — Firebird
11-21 Nashville, TN — Exit / In
11-23 Birmingham, AL — Bottletree
11-24 Memphis, TN — Hi-Tone
11-25 New Orleans, LA — One Eyed Jacks
11-27 Orlando, FL — The Social
11-28 Tampa, FL — Crowbar
11-29 Gainesville, FL — High Dive
12-01 Atlanta, GA — The Earl
12-02 Asheville, NC — Grey Eagle
12-04 New York, NY — Webster Hall
12-07 Washington, DC — Black Cat
12-08 Philadelphia, PA — Union Transfer
12-09 Boston, MA — Paradise
12-10 Montreal, QC — Cabaret Mile End
12-11 Toronto, ON — Phoenix
12-13 Chicago, IL — Metro
12-14 Minneapolis, MN — Triple Rock
12-15 Minneapolis, MN — Triple Rock
12-17 Winnipeg, MB — Pyramid
12-18 Saskatoon, SK — Louis’ Pub
12-19 Edmonton, AB — Starlite
12-20 Calgary, AB — Republik
12-22 Vancouver, BC — Rickshaw Theatre
I hear a lot of different Indie bands with catchy songs on the radio, and every time I hear one I like to give their whole album a listen. It is very rare that one of those bands has a listenable album all the way through; GroupLove is an extreme exception. Not only is their album listenable AND really enjoyable throughout, their debut EP is as well. You may have heard their wildly popular song “Colours” on Madden or FIFA ’12, or (my favorite) “Tongue Tied” on the Apple commercial or Alt Nation. If you liked these songs I highly recommend buying their album Never Trust A Happy Song. Never Trust A Happy Song is completely consistent, which is surprising to see for any upcoming band; GroupLove has their sound perfected and it works beautifully.
Hit “Read More” to read more about the band, listen to some of my favorite songs off the album, and buy the album.
A couple of days ago, on the 12th, I went to see a Jack’s Mannequin show in Huntington. One of the opening bands was the Chicago-based Company Of Thieves. I had never heard of them before that night, so I had no expectations (except that I was hoping that they would live up to their really cool name). They absolutely blew me away. I love discovering new bands and music, so by the end of their first song I had to have been the most excited kid in the audience. Their catchy rock songs leading into guitar solos brought nostalgic memories of seeing classic rock shows with my dad when I was younger. Genevieve Scwartz (the lead singer) has an amazing voice (on top of that shes beautiful), and Marc Walloch (lead guitarist) is such a boss (as you can see pictured in the hat above). In fact, the whole band is super talented and very together musically (excuse me for forgetting to mention Chris Faller, Marcin Sulewski, and Eitan Burnstein). After the show, I even got to meet Genevieve and get a signed CD. Their most popular song released on their last album was “Oscar Wilde” which you may have heard before on rock radio. Their newest album released is Running From A Gamble, which came out in May of 2011. This was the first album I’ve actually purchased in forever, and I seriously recommend you do the same to support good music, so I’m not gonna post any download links here. Buy Running From A Gamble Here.
FROM THE NEW ALBUM:
“Death of Communication”-
My favorite: “Won’t Go Quietly”
The Airborne Toxic Event is an incredibly talented indie rock band from Los Angeles, California, consisting of Anna Bulbrook (viola, keyboard), Daren Taylor (drums), Noah Harmon (bass), Steven Chen (guitar), and Mike Jollett (main vocals, guitar). The Airborne Toxic Event began in 2006 when Mike Jollett began writing songs following one intensely traumatic week in his life: his relationship with his girlfriend ended, his mother was diagnosed with cancer, and Jollett himself was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. Their sound is very similar to the Cure, but a little more hard rock. The Airborne Toxic Event has released 2 albums to date: a self-titled album in 2008, and All At Once in April of 2011. You may have heard their rather popular song “Sometime Around Midnight” off of their 2008 release (listen to it below).
Watch their most recent video Numb:
Listen & Download:
Sometime Around Midnight (their most popular song) 
Innocence (my personal favorite by them) 
Manchester Orchestra is an AMAZING rock band that doesn’t get anything close to the recognition they deserve. Manchester Orchestra was formed in Atlanta in 2005, consisting of Andy Hull (lead vocals, guitar), Robert Mcdowell (lead guitar), Chris Freeman (keyboard), Jonathan Corley (bass guitar), and Tim Very (drummer). They’ve released 3 albums; I’m Like A Virgin Losing A Child in 2006, Means Everything To Nothing in 2009, and Simple Math in May of 2011. Simple Math is an outstanding album. Manchester Orchestra’s consistency is what separates them from the average indie band. Their sound isn’t the soft boring indie kind; it’s real rock music. If you’re a fan of classic rock, 90s grunge or bands like the Foo Fighters, you’ll definitely love Manchester Orchestra.
Watch the video for “Virgin” (my favorite track off Simple Math):
Manchester Orchestra- I’ve Got Friends (their most popular song):
Manchester Orchestra- April Fool
Manchester Orchestra- Pride
Crystal Castles fits in more closely with the other music posted on this site. Crystal Castles are an electronic indie band from Canada. They consist of Alice Glass (singer and lyricist) and Ethan Kath (producer). I recommend that everybody gives Crystal Castles a listen, especially if you’re a fan of electronic music.
Listen to Empathy:
Purchase Crystal Castles music on iTunes here