Diane Coffee – My Friend Fish

 

Some of you may recognize Shaun Fleming as the Disney child-star who lent his voice in popular cartoons like Kim Possible.  Since his days working with Disney, Fleming has pursued a much different route of entertainment, mainly being the drummer for the indie band Foxygen.  Under the moniker “Diane Coffee”,  Fleming recently released his debut solo album titled My Friend Fish.  As expected, the album was a fantastic blend of soulful 60’s sounds, not too far off from efforts by Foxygen.  The first track on the album, “Hymn”, opens with a joyful chime on an organ, followed by building drums and guitars accompanied by a soothing choral sample to set the tone for the entire work.  If you loved Foxygen’s last release as much as I did, then I would definitely recommend checking out this album.

Defne – “At Home/Not Home”

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Toronto based musician, Defne Inceoglu, wrote and recorded some music late at night in her bathtub which make up her latest release At Home/Not Home. Using what she describes as a “shitty” USB mic, she recorded 5 tracks of lo-fi, fuzzy, organic, and warm goodness. If you are ever in need of some relaxing music then look no further! You can go ahead and stream it below.

Check out more of her stuff on her bandcamp here.

Four Tet, Boards of Canada, Daft Punk & Hype Behind an Album

Four Tet has had quite the illustrious career. He’s released six albums of his own, four collaborations with Steve Reid (under his birth name of Kieran Hebden), three collaborations with Burial (one included Radiohead’s Thom Yorke), four EPs, five mix CDs, 18 singles, over 50 remixes from artists ranging from Aphex Twin, Bloc Party, Hot Chip, Bonobo, Radiohead and more. Along the way he has become known as one of the most innovative and forward thinking electronic artists. He released his seventh album Beautiful Rewind (pictured above) this week with almost no fanfare. Near the end of July, Four Tet said that Beautiful Rewind would come out “soon.” On September 30th it was announced that Beautiful Rewind would come out the very next day.

Let’s flash back to earlier this year. Daft Punk and Boards of Canada both announced new albums, the first for both groups in eight years. Both groups launched extensive if not completely different media campaigns. Daft Punk had giant billboards and posters featuring their signature helmets as well as a 15 second teaser during SNL, a trailer at Coachella (video is above), and an album premiere in a town of 2,000 in Australia. Boards of Canada took a much more mysterious route, releasing a single record on Record Store Day with a snippet of music and mysterious numbers (video of which is below). More mysterious numbers appeared on BBC Radio 1, NPR, Adult Swim, and more. A link found in the source code of a banner on the Boards of Canada Youtube led to a website where the numbers were the mysterious numbers were used as a password that let you access a video and pre-order link to the album.

 

 

So which method of hype is better? Do you go for the prolonged marketing campaign or quietly drop an album with almost no press? If you prolong a release it’s going to build up hype for an album with tons of people talking about it. The expectations then becomes that album must be phenomenal and one of the best of the year. Anything short of amazing is simply a dud in the eyes of the listeners. Having no press at all does quite the opposite. It sets absolutely no expectations which can make a listener inflate the actual quality of the album. Having no press as well doesn’t guarantee huge success either unless you have a huge fan base.

What do you think? Are either strategies good for releasing an album? How would you release your album?

Vissuda – On the Verge

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Vissuda is a cool new band who’s debut LP “On the Verge” is just a bit over a month old now. I didn’t know what to expect for my first listen, normally I at least have a mildly fleshed out last.fm page for me to judge, so when I had trouble even finding a genre tag on the band you can imagine I was feeling a little skeptical. Well I regret it now because this album is good! The album starts off strong with some solid alt rock jams, but Vissuda isn’t afraid to mix it up with some psychedelic tones, experimental styles, and at some points (which I coincidentally find to be my favorite parts) even borderline ambient tracks as the album goes on, On the Verge is more ambitious then what it’s singles might lend you to believe.

My favorite track is probably a tie between The Turning and Cross the Line, but their probably best listened to in the context of the whole album. The song I included at the bottom is called Twice and is a single off the album that they’ve had up for some months now, check it out!

DENA – “Guest List” (feat. Kool A.D.)

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If you haven’t been formally introduced to trendy rapper Denitza Todorova aka DENA, don’t worry. The Berlin-based, Bulgaria-born MC has been flying deep under the radar for a while now. She dropped a minor hit last year with her hooky song “Cash, Diamond Rings, Swimming Pools“. Now she’s released a new stadium banger called “Guest List” featuring an endorsement and verse from ex-Das Racist MC Kool A.D. The song is simple as shit and catchy as hell, kind of a no bullshit approach to a simple club song with a little kitsch for good taste.