BRAND NEW: jj – “Beautiful Life”

jj - Beautiful Life

jj are a Swedish pop duo, and “Beautiful Life” is the name of their newest track. As the title suggest, it’s quite beautiful. jj are known for their blissful, floating, hazy pop music, and that’s exactly what they deliver here. It manages to sound so unaware and spontaneous, yet still retain that crafted drive and pulse.

The single – titled jj n° 4 – is set for release on May 8 digitally and on 7″ via Sincerely Yours and Secretly Canadian, and will contain another new track called “Burn”.

Have a listen below and get your free download!

BRAND NEW: letthemusicplay – “Waves (RAC Mix)”

letthemusicplay

I don’t know who letthemusicplay are. I think there are very few people who do.

The folks at RAC certainly don’t – or just aren’t telling us – going off the intriguing information they gave us via Facebook.

This one is a little strange because the artist is trying really hard to be anonymous. It’s “rumored” that the members are some of the biggest names in electronic music.

But at the end of the day, does it really matter? If letthemusicplay were awful then I’d be more than happy to criticise their anonymity as a gimmick to attract buzz, but they’re actually pretty good. Chances are, they’ll eventually gain enough attention simply through the quality of their music. You can check out the original cut of “Waves” here, and what I’m fairly sure is their only other track, “Space”, here.

And to top it off, this is an RAC mix we’re talking about! They’ve done so many brilliant mixes over the past few years. They can even make the Old Spice Guy sound like he belongs in a club for crying out loud.

Take a listen below. This catchy dance number is worth your time.

And yeah, that sounds like Dougy from The Temper Trap to me too.

BRAND NEW: Japandroids – “The House That Heaven Built”

Celebration Rock

“The House That Heaven Built” is the new single from Canadian noise-rockers Japandroids, and if you’re already a fan of their youthful, distorted thrashing, you’re in for a treat.

Full of “woahs”, dense guitars, and rolling drums, it’s exactly what you’d expect from them. The fact that a duo can get such a large sound going is pretty impressive, and while this one doesn’t show the band shaking things up, that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable.

It’ll be released digitally and on 7″ on May 15, and will be appearing on their second album – Celebration Rock – which is out June 5.

Check it out, and let’s hope they finally make it over to Australia this year!

BRAND NEW: Be Forest – “I Quit Girls (Japandroids Cover)”

Be Forest

I really like Japandroids. I also really like “I Quit Girls”, which was a great closer to their energetic, explosive debut album Post Nothing. So I jumped at the chance to hear someone cover it.

All I can say is, I’m glad I did. It pays to be awake at 1am to see these gems appear in social media feeds.

Be Forest are a three-piece from Italy. Their debut album – Cold – came out last year. They create this beautifully hazy, washed-out, blur of distortion and bright shoegaze, and it gives the song a completely new feel. The cover is going to be a bonus track for the Japanese release of Cold, but here’s hoping we can get our hands on it elsewhere.

she wears white, six days a week –
she was just one of those girls.

Give it a listen!

BRAND NEW/TOUR: Diafrix – “Running It”

Diafrix

You thought “Simple Man” was good? Daniel Merriweather sure did an excellent job on the guest vocals for that one, but wow – take a listen to this!

Hearing “Running It” for the first time is almost akin to the first time I heard Underworld’s “Scribble” – it’s a pretty special feeling. The production sounds so crisp and balanced, thanks to the work from Styalz Fuego. The composition lands on this beautiful divide between toe-tapping dance and a subtle melancholy. This has so much potential to be a hit for 2012 – and if it isn’t remixed the hell out of by the end of the year, I’ll eat my metaphorical hat. You’d do well to get on it now.

They’ve also announced the “Running to Shine Tour”, alongside Joelistics (also of renowned hip-hop group TZU!), and will be going all around the country in March! Check out the dates below.

Friday 9 March – The Annandale, Sydney (18+)
Tickets from http://www.annandalehotel.com / 02 9550 1078

Saturday 10 March – Great Northern, Newcastle (18+)
Tickets http://www.oztix.com.au

Sunday 11 March – Transit Bar, Canberra (18+)
Tickets from http://www.moshtix.com.au

Saturday 17 March – Corner Hotel, Melbourne (18+)
Tickets from http://www.cornerhotel.com

Saturday 24/25 March – The Hills Are Alive Festival, Victoria (Aa)
Tickets from http://www.thehillsarealive.com.au

Thursday 29 March – Prince Of Wales, Bunbury (18+)
Tickets from http://www.heatseeker.com.au & http://www.oztix.com.au

Friday 30 March – Bar 120, Hillarys, Wa (18+)
Tickets from http://www.heatseeker.com.au & http://www.oztix.com.au

Saturday 31 March – Hyde Park Hotel, Perth (18+)
Tickets from http://www.heatseeker.com.au & http://www.oztix.com.au

Sunday 1 April – Norfolk Basement, Fremantle (18+)
Tickets from http://www.heatseeker.com.au & http://www.oztix.com.au

Thursday 5 April – The Gov, Adelaide (18+)
Tickets from http://www.thegov.com.au & http://www.venuetix.com.au

Sunday 8 April – Republic Bar, Hobart (18+)
Tickets from http://www.republicbar.com.au & http://www.moshtix.com.au

Thursday 12 April – Beach Hotel, Byron Bay (18+)
FREE SHOW

Friday 13 April – Alhambra Lounge, Brisbane (18+)
Tickets from http://www.oztix.com.au

Saturday 14 April – Sol Bar, Maroochydore (18+)
Tickets from http://www.oztix.com.au

NEWS/BRAND NEW: Johnny Foreigner – “(small fraud)”

Johnny Foreigner

It’s been a busy few months for Birmingham punx Johnny Foreigner. Between all of the work put into their latest album – Johnny Foreigner Vs Everything – they’ve played launch shows, released singles and an EP, and visited Japan. But that isn’t going to slow them down one bit.

Recently it was announced that their label, Alcopop, will be releasing a double 12″ vinyl of Vs Everything! The album itself will take up 3 sides of it, while the 4th side will bring together all of the b-sides from the singles. Pre-orders will be available from March, and what’s potentially the most exciting thing about all of this is:

“… the first 100 preorders will recieve a totally unique present and an some instructions on what to do with it. This is going to be most grandiose/stupid interactive art thing we’ve ever done, will tell more soon.”

Jump over here to check out the upcoming gigs they’re playing. They’re kind of redoing their launch parties too, and from what I heard, they’d be well worth getting along to.

On top of all of this, they’ve recently thrown a new track up on SoundCloud called “(small fraud)”. It’s from the Vs Everything album sessions, and it’s a spoken-word piece against a busy, whirring, electronic back-drop. Most bands can’t pull this stuff off, but Alexei’s ability to turn a phrase can’t be rivalled by many, and it kind of works for them.

Take a listen below! And if the SoundCloud downloads are all gone, grab it for free here!

BRAND NEW: Rihanna – “We Found Love (Star Slinger Refix)”

Rihanna - We Found Love

Almost surprisingly, I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for this Rihanna tune. It probably has something to do with Calvin Harris being on board, because as far as musicians that can hit a beat go, he’s well and truly up there.

So I jumped at the chance to check out a remix of the track, by none other than Star Slinger – the UK producer who’s been making waves since mid-2010 – and who it’s taken me far too long to notice. This glitchy reinterpretation (not a remix, but a “refix” according to his SoundCloud page) singles out Rihanna’s chorus while putting a much more dominating beat behind it – one of those exciting beats that encourages dancing, but still has that dangerous edge that could throw you.

Check it out and grab a download below!

Also worth checking out is his Childish Gambino remix!

BRAND NEW: Smiles Again – “Isn’t It Ironic ft. I Forget, Sorry!”

In case you missed before, Sydney based hip-hop collective I Forget, Sorry! have big plans for Christmas Eve.

They’re going to be dropping five free mixtapes, one from each artist, and they’re looking to be pretty good.

Read more about the project over here if you’re interested, but in the meantime, check out this exclusive we’ve got for all of you!

Smiles Again (also from Mind Over Matter) has a track featuring every member from the collective, and it closes his mixtape entitled Fuck I’m Lonely. Not only is it hilarious, but it’s got a great beat driving it. Bit of a language warning on this one, but if you love your hip-hop, this is definitely something you’ll wanna jump on. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for those mixtapes tomorrow as well!

Download it here!

BRAND NEW/VIDEO: Los Campesinos! – “By Your Hand”

Los Campesinos - By Your Hand

Last night for those of us based in Australia, Los Campesinos! released the first track from their anticipated new album Hello Sadness. I was going to write about it then, but I was too busy listening to it on repeat with my jaw open in amazement. Until 2am. I’m sure you understand.

The track sees LC! refine their ever-present pop sensibilities, and still retain and that perpetual layer of unhappiness found beneath most of their tracks. Which is a great thing, as far as I’m concerned. I can see this as the album that propels LC! just that bit further into the international spotlight, and it’ll be about time. The world needs to hear this.

Check out the new video below, and duck over to their blog for a free download and tour dates for you lucky American and European fellows.

NEWS/BRAND NEW: Johnny Foreigner – “(Don’t) Show Us Your Fangs”

Johnny Foreigner - (Don't) Show Us Yr Fangs

Our favourite Birmingham punks Johnny Foreigner made some big announcements today!

They now have a rather snazzy looking website over here for you to peruse. On top of that, JoFo announced the details for their new album, Johnny Foreigner vs Everything, due November the 7th on Alcopop. The band also announced a new promotional YouTube channel to put up snippets of songs and footage to sate our appetite until the release.

What else? Oh yeah, only a couple of brand new songs from them! In the form of a double-a-side single, you can listen to (Don’t) Show Us Your Fangs / The Hand That Slaps You Back over at BandCamp. There are a limited number of free downloads for “(Don’t) Show Us Your Fangs”, so get in quickly! But don’t forget to fork over a couple of dollars and buy them, ’cause the band will send you some skateboard stickers. I think I’m going to buy a skateboard just so I can use one of these properly.

There’s also yet-to-be-announced news regarding pre-order packages, and multiple album covers, so listen out for that too.