• The 1900s Tread 'City Water'

    The 1900s are a seven-piece pop group from Chicago. A intimately connected mash of friends from high school, former co-workers and ex-lovers (and new lovers) so personal they would be Fleetwood Mac if Stevie Nicks was into deep dish pizza, their particular blend of violin-tinged folk scored them a recent slot at this summer's Lollapalooza and the full machinations of an ongoing hype machine. On "City Water," these tensions are explored in a full blown folk out that combines simple strumming, harmonic sing-alongs and too-perceptive lyrics about lost loves in windy cities. "You came right away / But you never stayed," repeats the make-you-think chorus with just enough strings to see the well-worn creases in the familiar arrangement of acoustics and light brushing of drums.

  • Ferraby Lionheart Explores 'Vermont'

    In terms of airy, joyous folk rock that plucks softly at your heartstrings, you can't go wrong with Ferraby Lionheart. A Los Angeles native via Nashville (but don't hold that against him), Lionheart dons the melodic troubadour straw hat and Jon Brion-esque vocals, aching with quiet divulgence. "Vermont Avenue" strays down open patchworks of cooing violins, intimately picked acoustic guitar and just enough piano to let tears stream down your cheeks. "If we get the money / we might buy their sorrow," Lionheart whispers in a breathy tenor that ignites wisps of faint bells. Its music that translates well to staring up at puffy clouds, far away stars or city skylights -- as long as you can catch your breath. Catch the Brass Ring drops Sept.

  • Heavy Trash Kisses Up

    For those lamenting the lack of hearty, corn-fed rockabilly rhythm and blues that leave a slick of oil in your quivering palms, you're in luck. Matt Verta-Ray (of Speedball Baby) and Jon Spencer (of the Blues Explosion) have reunited again as Heavy Trash, dishing out a sound that marries an early Elvis with the shimmering sleaze of a man that knows what he wants. On "Kissy Baby," these intentions have never been more direct -- or insatiably listenable. Rollicking electric riffs sets hips a swivel as Spencer gurgles his oohs and ahhs in between Verta-Ray's punky drumming. As Spencer's playfully croons, "I'm gonna love that baby / I'm gonna kiss that baby / I'm gonna get that baby," the intensity builds to drop-your-Heineken levels of old school rock'n'roll mojo. Going Way Out With Heavy Trash will smooch you Sept.

  • The Rentals Dig Romance

    It doesn't get any cuter than ex-Weezer bassist Matt Sharp. Set against a silver curtain, his trademark horn-rimmed glasses and crew cut askew, Sharp leads his five-member crew (and "Friends of P.") best known as The Rentals towards a supersonic examination of the "Last Romantic Day," one of the few heartbreakers featured on the band's latest release, The Last Little Life EP.

  • Matt Nathanson Makes 'Waves'

    In an age of irony, sometimes a little sincerity goes a long way. This is what San Franciscan singer/songwriter Matt Nathanson is angling for, as he delivers an emotive, wrenching performance on his token 12-string guitar on "Detroit Waves." While the electric version is included on his sixth studio effort, Vanguard debut Some Mad Hope, Nathanson treats SPIN.com to a special acoustic cut.

  • Johnathan Rice Heads for the 'Desert'

    It's not a bad time to be Jonathan Rice. Your rootsy 2005 debut Trouble is Real gained accolades and opener-slots from bands as diverse as R.E.M. and Wilco, while your newest long-player Further North was co-produced by Jason Lader (Rilo Kiley, Maroon 5, Avril Lavigne) and Farmer Dave Scher (Beachwood Sparks, All Night Radio). To top it all off, you're dating one of the biggest indie rock bombshells this side of Karen O -- that would be siren-haired songstress Jenny Lewis. In fact, most L.A.-living twenty-somethings (by way of a post 9/11 New York) would feel pretty sated.

  • Stereo Total Goes "Plastic"

    A combination of Mates of State and kicking mid '80s new wave, European duo Stereo Total deliver what we love about girl-boy bands -- and with French and German accents! On "Plastic," France's Françoise Cactus (drums/vocals) and Germany's Brezel Göring (guitar/synth) expose their Euro-centric pop sensibilities in a three-minute punk fest dedicated to the endurable duplicity of all things "Plastic." Bubblegum guitars and cartoon noise effects blast off against slight jingles of drums and Cactus' tres francais renditions of the clever lyrics. ("She had a plastic overdose in a cheap plastic hotel... I wanna be plastic too/Less like me and more like you".) Minimal and yet so campy, "Plastic" should come with it's own B-52's beehive and Jane Birkin-approved candor, "Plastic" puts punk in its place, creating a catchy riff on supposed American idealism.

  • Travis Morrison, We 'Like You'

    Having the hots for someone can make any musician lose his cool. Which is exactly how Washington, D.C.'s Travis Morrison sounds, sputtering phrases to spastic beats, light keyboard and anxious guitars on "I'm Not Supposed to Like You (But)," the two-minute charmer featured on his second studio LP, All Y'All. The ex-Dismemberment Plan leader, now joined with his band Hellfighters, takes on the subject of new romance with a short but sweet coda of "I'm not supposed to like you but I do," delivered in Morrison's clear as a bell baritone, eventually recoiling into a wild saxophone solo that sounds exactly like your heart thumping when you see your lover walk through the door. A mesh of the Rapture's multivalent booty bouncing and the idealism of the Zombies "This Will Be Our Year" -- cue the sweaty palms and awkward dinner conversation for this tune. Nothing's greater than love.

  • 'Finding' The Coral

    There's been many invasions in the world of rock'n'roll, but none more powerful than the British. Like the Micks, Rods and Gallagher Brothers before them, U.K. outfit The Coral (by way of suburban Liverpool) unleashes flawless roots-filled rock, heavy on the hooks that stick inside your gut. "Who's Gonna Find Me," featured on their fourth studio effort Roots and Echoes, is a eclectic blend of pervasive psychedelic guitar, classic Troggs-style drumming and multi-member harmonies that makes one wanna slip on a mini dress and bite into a hot sausage. "Who's gonna find me / Tell me where I can go / Who's gonna find me/Searching, alone," growls frontman James Skelly in classic deep throttling fashion, leaving sizzling patches of guitar wails in his wake. The Animals couldn't have said it better themselves -- and they didn't even have a GPS system.

  • You Say Party! We Say Die! Charm the 'Midnight Snake'

    The summer isn't even close to being over, but Christmas has come early. Rejoice in the dance punk merriment of Canadian five-piece You Say Party! We Say Die! as SPIN.com brings you the exclusive U.K. bonus track "Midnight Snake." Not included on the domestic version of Lose All Time, which drops stateside this week via the Paper Bag imprint, "Midnight Snake" is certainly a charmer. Excitable bass lines and new wave keyboards frolic through a Converse-shuffling beat as lead singer Becky Ninkovic repeats that "You were my tried / You were my tried and true," with a world-weary cynicism that steps on Debbie Harry's toes. A sound that's part Pretty Girls Make Graves and what Ally Sheedy described growing old would be like in detention hall, "Midnight Snake" makes one a little teary that due to the band's turmoil with U.S. border officials, YSP! WSD!

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