Band of the Week: Girls

Girls have a history with KZUU. Last year, their debut album, Album, was one of the most played albums by our glorious DJs. At the end of the year, the management chose the song “Lust for Life” as their #1 song of the year, despite it never being played over the airwaves. Album was critically acclaimed both for its songwriting and retro style, so expectations have been high for a follow-up. Christopher Owens, the man behind the band, has been previewing new songs like “Lysandre” and “Oh My Love” live over the past year, which have only excited fans even more for their sophomore effort.

While Broken Dreams Club carries the “EP” behind it, don’t be fooled. At 30 minutes long, this feels more like a short album than a long EP, and it progresses quite the same. Album opener “Thee Oh So Protective One” is a horn-driven doo-wop ballad, recalling many of the same themes heard throughout Album. “Heartbreaker” is the most single-worth of all these tracks, with Owen’s vocals shining high above the jangling tambourine and phased guitar. “Broken Dreams Club” and “Substance” make use of a steel guitar to give a country twang to the EP’s midsection. Album closer “Carolina” is one of the best of the year, featuring more steel guitar and Owen’s voice reverbed to Yarn Owl-ish heights. “I’m gonna pick you up baby / Throw you over my shoulder / Take you away / I’m gonna carry you home to Carolina” he pleads in the chorus, before breaking down into an infectious, fuzzed-out guitar outro to close the album.

As far as EPs go, this is one of the more solid ones you’ll hear all year. Fans of their debut can still enjoy this without feeling like the band is going in a completely different direction, and newbies to Girls won’t be scared away. Check out Broken Dreams Club in the preview rack when you get back from break!

Happy Thanksgiving everybody, hope you all have a safe drive home!

– Adam

KZUU Top 30 — 11/15

Dear KZUU:

Sorry for the late post; we’ve all been having internet troubles because of the storm.
What is your favorite animal from the top 30 this week, darlings?

  1. THE HUNDRED IN THE HANDS — The Hundred in the Hands
  2. PEPPER RABBIT – Beauregard
  3. THE CONCRETES – WYWH
  4. BELLE AND SEBASTIAN – Write About Love
  5. DEERHUNTER – Halcyon Digest
  6. ROTARY DOWNS  – Cracked Maps and Blue Reports
  7. WHITE SEA – This Frontier
  8. JUNIP – Fields
  9. ARTICHOKE  – Bees
  10. THE WALKMEN  – Lisbon
  11. CODEINE VELVET CLUB – Codeine Velvet Club
  12. FRONTIER RUCKUS – Deadmalls & Nightfalls
  13. THE SLEEP-INS – Songs About Girls and Outer Space
  14. BREATHE OWL BREATHE – Magic Central
  15. MAGIC KIDS – Memphis
  16. BIRDS AND BATTERIES – Panorama
  17. FITZ AND THE TANTRUMS – Pickin’ Up the Pieces
  18. SALEM – King Night
  19. SNOWGLOBE – Little More Lived In
  20. BIKINI – RIPJDS
  21. FERAL CHILDREN – Brand New Blood
  22. TWIN SHADOW – Forget
  23. LOST IN THE TREES – All Alone in an Empty House
  24. WOMEN – Public Strain
  25. ZACH HILL – Face Tat
  26. BLONDE REDHEAD – Penny Sparkle
  27. SUFJAN STEVENS – The Age of Adz
  28. VITAMIN PARTY – Back on Task
  29. NO AGE – Everything in Between
  30. BUKE AND GASS – Riposte

Mine is Bees, even though they’re an insect. I’m so glad Artichoke broke into the top ten!

xo,

Rachel

Band of the Week: Pepper Rabbit

When I was in junior high school, I went to Hawaii with my sports team for a week. While there, my friend bought a pathetic looking ukulele for $40, which I stole and fiddled with every chance I could get. I remember wandering the streets of Honolulu, trying to use my limited knowledge of stringed instruments and musical theory to pluck away at the thing and produce something resembling a song. Ever since then I’ve been fascinated by the instrument.

Enter Pepper Rabbit, an experimental duo with appropriately awesome names. Artists Xander Singh and Luc Laurent hail from Silver Lake, CA, a town that is quickly becoming a hot spot for new indie music (insert reference to Local Natives here.) Having released two EP’s in 2009 (Shakes and Clicks), the band already established a buzz before the release of their debut, Beauregard, this fall. I instantly became fascinated upon first listen of “Older Brother,” the most single-friendly track on the album. If the simple rhythmic chords of the ukulele and enchanting lyrical slurs don’t entice you, the track is draped with low-fi echoes, chimes, bells and all those things that make your walks to wherever enjoyable.

Beyond “Older Brother” are songs which appropriately call upon trumpets, banjos and even sweet, distant synth-pop, all carried by snare drums and minimalist beats. Beauregard, is a compilation of beautiful instrumentation subdued by hushed voices and an almost psychedelic backdrop. Their sleepy reverberate pop-rock sets an ethereal atmosphere, and is especially welcoming this time of year with autumn in full swing and the first snows fast approaching. “Babette” and “Red Wine” are destined to quickly become favorites, but don’t let the more poppy songs dissuade you; every track has its own character and is appreciable. It is a great album to pop into your computer and let carry you to sleep at night, as you stare blissfully at the ceiling (speaking from experience.)

Check out the adorable sounds and christmas sweaters in their live KEXP studio performance:

-Josh

What’s New @ KZUU – 11/6

Two weeks’ worth of adds today. The preview rack is slowly filling back up. Check out these new albums when you’re in the studio next time.

7: Bleu – “Four”

8: Zach Hill – “Face Tat”

9: Breathe Owl Breathe – “Magic Central”

12: The Extra Lens – “Undercard”

15: Wooden Wand – “Death Seat”

18: Birds and Batteries – “Panorama”

33: One Hundred Flowers – “Mechanical Bride”

34: Sleeping in the Aviary – “Great Vacation”

35: Eli Paperboy Reed – “Come and Get It”

40: Whisper Lights – “Wake Up Dead”

41: Artichoke – “Bees”

42: Stornoway – “Beachcomber’s Windowsill”

45: Steve Polo – “As to What I’ve Found”

52: Sunset – “Loveshines but the Moon is Shining Too”

54: The Concretes – “WYWH”

56: Feral Children – “Brand New Blood”

59: White Sea – “This Frontier EP”

79: Buke and Gass – “Riposte”

90: Jane Lui – “Goodnight Company”

93: Hollerado – “Record in a Bag”

98: Bikini – “Ripjds”

99: Mariage Blanc – s/t

103: Thunder Buffalo – s/t