• Colin Stetson / Photo by Carlo Guillermo Proto

    Colin Stetson Talks 'New History Warfare' Album Featuring Justin Vernon

    Colin Stetson's maximalist, lung-wrenching meditations on bass saxophone often incorporate imagery of powerful animals. And at recent live shows, he has taken to sharing a story about a real life creature: "There's this whale that lives in the Atlantic," Stetson says. "Its song is off by a few hertz, which renders it unintelligible by all other whales, but it sings this song, continually for over a decade now, and no one will answer." And as Stetson put the finishing touches on the third and final volume of his New History Warfare trilogy, due this spring on Constellation, "that sort of isolation" loomed large.

  • Niki & the Dove

    Niki & the Dove Frolic in the Forest, Chat About Their Tour

    In the gorgeous new video for their 2011 single, "The Fox," dramatic Swedish synth-pop duo Niki & the Dove perform the haunting song live in the forests near Issaquah, Washington — a setting distinctly, but beautifully, at odds with the music's futuristic feel. Singer Malin Dahlström is festooned in red thread whiskers accented by a splash of glitter, and keyboardist Gustaf Karlöf accents the unexpected, syncopated notes in the song, playing down the metronomic pulse of the studio version. Starting on August 31, the group's earthy-synthetic feel will be put to good use on a 24-date American tour starting at the Echo in Los Angeles. Dahlström and Karlöf took time out from rehearsing their live show to speak with us about the upcoming jaunt.

  • Lee Perry

    Lee 'Scratch' Perry Hates Snakes, Pain, Evil

    Lee "Scratch" Perry has a simple message: love people, love nature, destroy evil. His delivery, though, is not so simple. The reggae legend speaks in a fervent stream of tongue-twisting, half-toasting allusions to his vast body of work and personal mythology. Perry has long been characterized as an eccentric, and his oddball wardrobe and intense, unpredictable personality have encouraged this image. But his ostensible madness is perhaps what afforded him the liberty to indulge in endless experimentation in the studio. Perry's Black Ark Studio in Kingston was ground zero for some of the most important, progressive music to come out of Jamaica. On top of his own work with his studio band, The Upsetters, he wrote and produced tracks for Junior Murvin, the Congos, Bob Marley & the Wailers, and he helped invented dub.

  • The Growlers

    Psycho Beach Party: Hear the Growlers' 'One Million Lovers'

    When their long-awaited, Dan Auerbach-produced project was indefinitely shelved, the Growlers struck out on their own to cut something more true to form: a garage rock LP with a name that sounds like the punch line to a dive bar dick joke. Enter Hung at Heart, due this November. Highlight "One Million Lovers" is a first taste of what the band concocted at their Costa Mesa warehouse/commune-cum-studio. Their retro vibe isn't fetishized nostalgia — it's dumpster-diving freegan collage: pitchy organ and plunky, country-western bass are punctuated by faux-dub echoes that hang like tapestries in a chill-bro den while vocalist Brooks Nielsen's crooked flow plops down atop the hodgepodge as though he were delivering a side-eyed mantra. "You know you're livin'," he slurs, "When it all becomes a blur."

  • Melody's Echo Chamber / Photo by Diane Sagnier

    Inside Tame Impala and Melody's Echo Chamber's Unlikely Partnership

    Melody's Echo Chamber surfaced in late June via a lone, mysterious single. The dreamy fuzz gem "Crystallized" came seemingly out of nowhere, adding a psychedelic gleam to Summer 2012. But, of course, the magic had a maker: Paris-based singer songwriter Melody Prochet, whose sweet, airy voice retains its angelic purity even when swathed in echo. Full of trippy analog synths and lolling rhythms, Prochet's music also benefits from detailed, speaker-popping production by Tame Impala frontman Kevin Parker. Prochet was floating through Paris' scarce indie rock scene when she met Parker at a Tame Impala show. "I really wanted to know what he used for his crazy space-guitar tone," Prochet told SPIN. "Basically the first thing I asked Kevin was, like, 'I need to know all your secrets,' but he didn't tell me. It's really secret.

  • Alec Ounsworth

    Clap Your Hands Say Yeah's Ounsworth on Splintered Band's Future

    It’s been almost a decade since endearingly yelpy indie outfit Clap Your Hands Say Yeah won the hearts of the blogosphere without the help of any record label. And while last year’s shiny, upbeat Hysterical broke a four-year band-silence, all was not well in CYHSY-land. Days before a scheduled appearance at July's CBGB Festival in New York City, two members of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah posted resignation letters on the group’s website. Keyboardist-guitarist Robbie Guertin went first, explaining he wanted to focus on his Radical Dads project and also to “grow some vegetables.” Bassist Tyler Sargent signed off next, claiming, cheekily, that he’s "in the process of forming a presidential exploratory committee for 2016." For his part, CYHSY frontman Alec Ounsworth assured SPIN that the band will continue and that everything is simpatico with the departing members.

  • Debo Band

    Debo Band's Danny Mekonnen on His Music's Ethiopian Roots

    In an amusing twist, one of the hottest Ethiopian bands going lives in Boston. Led by saxophonist-mastermind Danny Mekonnen, the 11-member Debo Band plays lush, orchestral interpretations of Ethiopian music. But they're not just ticking off a musical tourism checklist, Mekonnen is quick to point out that his band's sound is "more than just reverence, it's something fueled with passion." Their authenticity doesn't come simply from meticulous study and tribute to the greats of 20th century Ethiopian pop music — Mahmoud Ahmed, Alemayehu Ehsete, Mulatu Astatke. It's rooted in the spirit of modernism and re-imagining that allowed those musicians to forge a new, unique sound from Ethiopian folk styles and Western jazz and soul music.

  • D-Pro!

    You Have 24 Hours to Watch Last Night's Dirty Projectors Show

    Brooklyn art-rock auteurs Dirty Projectors teamed up with NYC live music moguls Bowery Presents for a brief, 24-hour YouTube broadcast of last night's set at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. Dave Longstreth and crew try their hardest to craft complicated, heady rock and watching them perform live affords the same kind of satisfaction as seeing a gymnast flawlessly run through unthinkable stunts — so if you're not gonna catch 'em on this tour, this replay is a great opportunity. Performing against a triptych of cuneiform projections (inspired by the band's square vinyl "tablet" single "Gun Has No Trigger"), the group performed all but one song from their latest (and recently SPIN Essential'd release, Swing Lo Magellan. Live, the Magellan songs retain all of the crisp detail of the studio recordings; a feat considering the album's exposed, disarmingly clean production.

  • A still from

    Watch Twin Shadow's Bloody 'Five Seconds' Clip

    George Lewis Jr. ruffles his trademark coiffure and spills some blood in Twin Shadow’s new, Keith Musil-directed video for "Five Seconds," a motorcycle odyssey that turns into a crowbar-aided gang brawl. Indeed, dapper leather and studded denim get ripped up as the band locks horns with a posse of masked, woodland hooligans in a grisly, slow-motion takedown. The scene came from a novel written by Lewis and his friend Eric Green entitled Night of the Silver Sun. The former's forthcoming sophomore full-length under the Twin Shadow moniker, Confess, is due July 10 on 4AD.

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