June 2016 Music Picks

Fitz and the Tantrums “Hand Clap”

Always delighted to see a new tune from Fitz and the Tantrums!  Hard to believe it’s been six years already since this six-piece neo-soul indie band from Los Angeles debuted with the breakout hit “Moneygrabber”.  Their latest tune “Hand Clap” has been growing on me steadily since its release in March.  New self-titled album comes out June 10th and will coincide with a three-month North American tour.


Cage The Elephant “Trouble”

“Tell Me I’m Pretty” is the fourth full-length release from the Kentucky alt-rock band Cage The Elephant, and the follow-up to their 2014 Grammy-nominated album “Melophobia”.  The new album, which dropped in late 2015, was produced by The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach.  His influence/signature sound was prominent on the first single “Mess Around”, which hit #1 on the Alternative charts.  The second single “Trouble” with its ‘sparkly twang’ is a return to the band’s smoother, signature retro-vibe sound.



Blink 182 “Bored To Death”   

Not at all surprised to find this song sitting at the top of the Alternative Charts so soon after its release.  Although Blink 182 isn’t my usual fare of choice (though I do like the band), the song “Bored To Death” sounds like an instant classic, one you’ve heard – and are destined to continue hearing – for decades.  This latest track easily stands as one of their best, a significant accomplishment for a band that’s been around for well over 20 years now.  



Kurt Vile “Pretty Pimpin”

Philadelphian guitarist/songwriter Kurt Vile’s 6th studio album “b’lieve I’m goin down” was released late last year and was heralded in some quarters as one of the best albums of 2015.   The single “Pretty Pimpin” is finally getting some love on the alternative charts.  With a country-folk flavoured fingerpicked guitar melody (is that a banjo I hear?) the song is a compelling and highly relatable story of existential confusion. “I woke up one morning and didn’t recognize the man in the mirror…”



Kongos “Take It From Me”

“Take It From Me” is the first single from the eagerly anticipated sophomore album from Arizona-based (but South African born) sibling quartet The Kongos.  The song may sound familiar to the band’s longtime fans – it’s been a popular staple of their live show for some time now.  Re-worked in the studio for the new album “Egomaniac” – due out on June 10th — the song features the driving beat and groove that that characterizes the Kongos sound.



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