Band-tastic: Summer Camp

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Elizabeth Sankey and Jeremy Warmsley
​Initially filled with mystery and intrigue, indie pop/lo-fi duo Summer Camp bust onto the scene in 2010 with their dreamy, bedroom pop -- much to the delight of the blogoshpere. No one quite knew exactly who the duo was or where they hailed from --  Chicago was mentioned as a hometown, as well as possibly Sweden. Those ruminations were all put to rest, however, when Summer Camp was revealed as London duo Jeremy Warmsley, an accomplished singer/songwriter with two albums to his name, and Elizabeth Sankey, a journalist who had worked with NME and Platform. It seems the mystery was due to both Warmsley and Sankey, who admitted they didn't think their project was going to go public.

Thank god they decided to share their music with the masses. Their take on indie pop vacillates between nostalgia-filled and just plain dark and creepy -- in plenty a good way.

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Neon Indian Reveals Era Extraña Details, Including "Polish Girl" Download

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Era Extraña, the highly anticipated sophomore album from Neon Indian
​September 13 may just come to define new music for all of 2011 -- St. Vincent, Blitzen Trapper, Wooden Shjips and Neon Indian all have new albums due out. No one album, however, is as anticipated as the sophomore effort from Neon IndianEra Extraña. Alan Palomo, the man behind Neon Indian, spent this past winter in Helsinki writing and recording what would eventually become Extraña, adding all the more intrigue to an already fascinating musician in Palomo.

In anticipation of the album, Palomo has made the track "Polish Girl" available via iTunes, joining the already available track "Fallout" as early tastes of what's to come for Era Extraña.

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Your New Favorite Band: Fair Ohs

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Fair Ohs - Everything Is Dancing
​Imagine, if you will, that there exists somewhere out there a less shitty, English version of Vampire Weekend -- a band that employs Afropop stylings yet with more of an edge to their sound. East London trio Fairs Ohs are just that. The band does not don loafers and sweaters, nor do they sing about Mexican rice beverages or Cape Cod -- yet, like Ezra Koenig and co., they do have a distinctly tropical punk, Afropop sound. 

Fair Ohs manages to take things a step further in the funkier direction on their debut record Everything Is Dancing. Influences abound from West Africa funk to '60s psychedelic rock, coalescing into 35 minutes of funky, post-punk indie rock.

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Your New Favorite Band: Thundercat

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Stephen Bruner, better known as Thundercat
​Stephen Bruner, it's safe to say, is one interesting dude. When he's not doing session work for Snoop Dogg, Eric Benet and Flying Lotus -- he was featured on FlyLo's latest album, Cosmogramma, on the track "Mmmhmm" -- Bruner plays bass for Suicidal Tendencies. Yeah, that Suicidal Tendencies. 

When Bruner isn't helping out others in the studio and on the road, he records his own bass-driven, jazz fusion music under the name Thundercat. Bruner's debut Thundercat album, The Golden Age of Apocalypse, is due out August 30. It's an overwhelming mixture of his bass funk, experimental jazz, and electronic-minded rhythms. It easily stands as one of the most unique records to be released this year.

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Your New Favorite Band: Blood Orange

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Blood Orange - Coastal Grooves
​Oddly enough, my introduction to up-and-coming indie rock outfit Blood Orange was very similar to my introduction to British singer/songwriter Lightspeed Champion -- the stage name of Devonté Hynes -- back in late 2007. I had initially listened to albums from both bands, not immediately comprehending just what was going on. With Lightspeed Champion, I didn't initially realize that what I was hearing, but their debut album Falling Off The Lavender Bridge was soon to become one my favorite albums of the past three years. With regards to Blood Orange, I honestly did not know what I was listening to was, in fact, a side project of the aforementioned Hynes -- yet another moniker for the immensely talented musician.

I suppose it's a testament to Devonté Hynes -- that he can pull the wool over one of his biggest fans' eyes, effectively tricking me into thinking I had stumbled upon yet another brilliant British indie rock band.

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Indie Supergroups Amor de Dias and Jonny Deliver Distinctively Delicious Debut Discs

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Merge Records
Jonny features Teenage Fanclub's Norman Blake, left, and Euros Childs, formerly of Gorky's Zygotic Mynci. Childs: "Why don't we record some music together, Norman?" Blake: Why, that's a fine idea, my friend!"
You know indie rock has reached full maturity when longtime genre protagonists are forming "supergroups." Well, that and Arcade Fire winning a Grammy, Pitchfork holding its own music festival, Pavement reuniting, Pomplamoose performing in car commercials, etc.

Guess what comes after maturity, kids? The inevitable decline... so best to enjoy your favorite musical style while it lasts!

Here's a couple of distinctive debut discs from indie supergroups to help you do just that.

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Job for a Cowboy's Jonny Davy Talks New EP, Gloom, Touring and the Timeframe for a New Full-Length

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Glendale death metal band Job for a Cowboy released their new EP, Gloom, today, but don't bother looking for it at Zia or Best Buy. The four-song EP is available for download through most online digital outlets, but a mere 2,500 physical copies are being sold exclusively via mail order at indiemerchstore.com.

Clocking in at just more than 15 minutes, the EP continues down the path of brutality JFAC forged with their 2009 full-length, Ruination. Up on the Sun recently e-mailed some questions to JFAC vocalist Jonny Davy. Check out Davy's thoughts on the new EP, the band's recent tour with Between the Buried and Me, their summer tour plans, and the time frame for a new album after the break.

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The Sowing of The Bad Seeds, Part Three: Third Set of Nick Cave and Band's Catalog Reissues

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Steve Gullick / NickCaveandtheBadSeeds.com
Nick Cave, third from left, and The Bad Seeds
If there were ever an artist who has passed the half-century mark in age and is making new works every bit as engaging, if not more so, than what was created in their so-called "prime," it has to be Nick Cave.

Well, we can throw Bob Dylan and his last few releases in there, too... but damned, if this Cave mofo ain't on a roll! And a multi-faceted one at that. Since turning the big 5-0 in 2007, he's churned out his second novel, screenplays, soundtracks and a fantastic sophomore album with side-project Grinderman, not to mention his ongoing efforts with longtime band The Bad Seeds, for which he is most noted. Check out our coverage of all of the above, here, here and here.

Like Dylan, the strength of Cave's back catalog makes this feat that much more impressive. For proof, we now have the third set of reissues of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' 14-disc studio album catalog, taking us from album eight through 11. On these four discs, Cave matures into a songwriter that can not only approach the stature of his inspirations -- Cash, Cohen, Dylan -- but justifiably place himself on a pedestal alongside them.


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Your New Favorite Band: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.
​If you though Hooray For Earth was a silly name for a band, then buckle up, buttercup. This week's Your New Favorite Band is none other than Detroit duo Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. It was easy for the band to gain some early notoriety for their NASCAR-minded name -- one that Little E himself approves. I remember recommending the band to a friend who was attending this past October's CMJ's Music Marathon just because their name was so intriguing. At that point, I had heard Dale Jr.'s Horse Power EP, then the band's sole discography. That particular EP had the band's signature song, "Nothing But Our Love," as well as a pretty intriguing cover of the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds classic "God Only Knows."

For those keeping track, I am choosing to write about a band named after the son of a late NASCAR legend that has recorded a downtempo, electronic cover of a Beach Boys classic. Dale Jr., as goofy and kitschy as they may seem, are as solid a new band that you will hear this year.

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New The Horrors: "Still Life"

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British rockers The Horrors
​Much was made about British post-punkers The Horrors' 2007 debut Strange House. The album featured such songs as "Gloves" and "Sheena is a Parasite," both drenched in influences from such influential punk bands as Joy Division and the Ramones. 2009 saw the band's sophomore album, Primary Colours, take a more mellow approach. Gone were the skin tight black jeans, leather jackets, spiky haircuts, and 1:30 long songs. The reward for the band's change of pace? A Mercury Prize nomination.

Skying, the third album from The Horrors, is set to be released this July. In preparation for this, the band just released the album's lead single, "Still Life," which can be heard after the jump.


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