Odesza- “Say My Name” (feat. Zyra)

This latest track from Seattle production duo Odesza is a bit of a departure from the work they’ve typically been known for. While this new song, “Say My Name,” does feature the chopped vocals and vibrant, sunny, melodic house/electronica style that has become their signature style; it takes a far more lyrical approach, adding a more traditional verse/chorus format sung by vocalist Zyra. It’s catchy and uplifting; a perfect end of the summer song that will surely earn them a wider fan base. Their new album, “In Return” drops on September 9. You can pre-order it here.

In the meantime stream “Say My Name” below.

Hostage Calm- “A Thousand Miles Away From Here”

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This latest song from Hostage Calm’s upcoming album, “Die On Stage” (out 9/16 on Run For over Records), has me even more excited to hear the album in full and to see them on tour with Citizen and You Blew It! in October. They’ve clearly pushed their power pop/rock approach even further, and the spirited, anthemic, but still sort of gritty sound on this new track, “A Thousand Miles Away From Here,” recalls older post-hardcore stylings, rock anthems from earlier eras, and maybe even a hint of Britpop.

Stream the new song via Noisey, and pre-order the album via Run For Cover.

Seahaven- “Andreas” (Acoustic Video)

Seahaven, whose latest album, Reverie Lagoon…, is one of my favorites of 2014, have just given us a more intimate, stripped down way of experiencing one of the more musically energetic, bouncy tracks on that generally moody, reflective, somber album. This acoustic version of “Andreas” lends a deeper sense of vulnerability and rawness to the song’s dark lyrical content, allowing lines such as “Come to me, come to me/I’ll be your friend/Leave sitting alone at home/ With your open wrists that bleed all over,” to resonate on an even deeper level.

Dawn Golden- “Still Life” video

Dawn Golden, a solo side project of Houses’ Dexter Tortoriello, released one of the best, most overlooked albums of this year. You can get a taste for his uniquely hazy, distorted, and darkly blissed out brand of indie rock/electronica by watching the recently released video for the album’s title track, “Still Life.”

If you like Houses or other artists whose work is in a similar vein, such as Active Child, How To Dress Well, or James Blake, “Still Life” is definitely worth your attention.

Major League- “Pillow Talk”

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I’m a huge fan of producer Will Yip (The Wonder Years, Light Years, Balance and Composure), so I became really excited when I heard that he would be working with Major League on their new album There’s Nothing Wrong With Me.  “Pillow Talk,” the album’s first single, showcases the band in an entirely different light compared to their 2012 debut LP “Hard Feelings.”  With guitarist Brian Joyce now taking charge of vocals, the band’s sound is refreshing and better than ever.  If this song is any indication, they’ve transformed from a fun, promising, but still pretty standard pop punk group into a more mature, introspective band whose thoughtful, nuanced, and passionate style will continue to evolve in ways that could breathe new life into a genre that needs it.  

If you love some of the other bands who have worked with Will Yip, most notably Light Years, who recently toured with Major League, then There’s Nothing Wrong With Me should definitely be on your radar.  It comes out November 4 on No Sleep Records. You can pre-order it here and stream “Pillow Talk” via Absolute Punk.

Alt-J- “Every Other Freckle”

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This latest track from Alt-J’s upcoming album is the most interesting and captivating of the bunch.  While the first track, “Hunger Of The Pine” was a moody, rather minimalistic slow-burner, and the second track sounded like it would fit right in on any of the Black Keys’ most recent albums, this new single, “Every Other Freckle,” recalls the playful, freeform, but still darkly mysterious and otherworldly energy of some of the standout tracks from their debut album, such as “Breezeblocks” and “Something Good.”  

I’m excited to hear the album as a whole.  It sounds like it’s shaping up to be quite an unpredictably delightful experience.  Alt-J’s new album, “This Is All Yours,” is set to be released on September 22. You can pre-order it here and stream “Every Other Freckle” below.

Light Years- “Temporary”

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Light Years just released the title track from their upcoming EP, “Temporary” (out 9/9 on Animal Style Records), and it showcases the band doing what they do best: pouring their hearts and their impressive craftsmanship into tightly constructed, thoughtfully written, and extremely catchy pop punk songs.  While other bands in the genre may get more attention and bigger fan bases, Light Years show a level of maturity and depth in their musicianship that makes them stand out in a scene that’s saturated with forgettable, younger pop punk bands.

I can’t help but hear hints of “Take Off Your Pants and Jacket”-era Blink 182 when I listen to “Temporary,” and that’s a high compliment coming from a longtime fan of that band and album.  Stream the new song via Absolute Punk, and pre-order the EP here.