indie scent

Great songs from indie bands and labels that don't mind sharing the occasional song online, in four categories:

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Pungent Indie Rock -- Catfight

Catlow -- Number One (2.4mb mp3 from Boompa) VS Metric -- Combat Baby (3.2mb mp3 from Better Propaganda)
A new feature here on Indie Scent that I'll probably forget to repeat, but I thought it might be fun. I love both of these songs, so there's no real loser, but I'll admit to rooting for Catlow as the indie underdog(cat?). I'd like to hear more smart, upbeat girl-fronted rock like this.

I'd be surprised if anyone thought Emily Haines wasn't awesome, and I think Combat Baby is a decent representative of Metric's best rollicking indie rock. It's fun and flawless, with enough attitude to keep it from getting old. In the other corner, we've got a relative newcomer from the other side of Canada with a similar sound. With just a touch of the Breeders, and maybe evoking a bit of Luscious Jackson with a driving bass rhythm, Number One thumps its way into your head and refuses to leave.

I leave it to you, loyal reader(s) to decide: who wins this catfight? Give both a listen and leave a comment.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Smells Mellow

Raised by Swans -- Violet Light (2.3mb mp3 from the band's site)
You'd think the slow pace in the intro of this song would have you nodding off before the vocals arrive, but don't give up too soon. The arrangement of the guitars is almost symphonic, blending acoustics and electrics with layered reverb into a rich, contemplative sound.

Just past the halfway point in the tune they strip it down to near silence, with the singer's high, whispery notes keeping things going, and then building it back up to a soaring chorus. This pattern is repeated to wonderful effect, and then they fade it out quietly for almost a minute, showing great patience that challenges us to stick with them to the end. Beautiful.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Pungent Indie Rock

The Constantines -- On to You (5.3mb mp3 from the Sub Pop)
I'm not entirely sure why I love this song so much. Piano touches and an a capella chorus usually has me hitting skip in a hurry, but it really works in this mid-tempo rocker. Gruff, blue-collar vocals might remind you of an angrier Bruce Springsteen, and insistent drumming, growling bass and some intense, distorted guitar work create a solid backbone for a gorgeous rock 'n roll love song.

Update: One song of their newer album has also caught my fancy with a similar vibe: Soon Enough (4.6mb mp3 from their label's band page).