Eureka Birds – Eureka! EP

I’m a big fan of the Baltimore based band, The Eureka Birds. They have this really cool lo-fi, pop sound, and their piano and string arrangements bring to mind some of my favorite aspects of The Beatles’ music (gasp!).  Their lead singer, Justin Levy, is also a real scientist, which adds that much more street cred to their music. Up to date they have released one album, which I featured here, and just recently released a new fantastic EP called, Eureka! EP.

A few of the tracks I’m really digging on the 6 track EP include, “The Mountain is a Volcano,””Sarah (Sits and Cries),””There Was Light,” and “Cactus Man.” So that’s pretty much the entire thing right there. And the band is being nice enough to give it away for free on Bandcamp.

Just like with the arrangements on many Beatles songs, I find these tracks growing on me the more I listen to them. So take a listen— and if you’re not sure how you feel about it right away, definitely do this band justice by listening through a few times. It’s worth it.

Eureka! EP (2010):

Eureka Birds –  The Mountain is a Volcano (mp3)

Eureka Birds – Cactus Man (mp3)

Site | Bandcamp

Derby – Madeline EP (2011)

The Portland band Derby just released a new EP yesterday, called Madeline. I’ve been a fan of the band’s indie pop for years, and am enjoying these new tracks. On this EP the band is experimenting with a new sound that is slightly more raw than their past albums (which are summed up perfectly by Northwest Music Blog, as an “infectious, melodic bundle of sugary pop goodness”). The new sound actually brings to mind the Raconteurs quite a bit, especial on “Madeline” and “Creeping Climbing.” The EP is available for digital download and as a limited edition 7″ vinyl, which you can grab here.

Derby is Nat Johnson (lead vocals, guitar, bass), Dave Gulick (vocals, rhodes, organ, guitar), Isaac Frost (drum/percussions), and Wayne Miller (bass). Nat and Dave started playing together as dorm mates at University of Oregon. Isaac joined the band after graduating from Oregon State University, and soon after that, Wayne joined.

Fun facts about Derby:

Gulick came up with the name Derby, while watching an English Premier Soccer game between Manchester United and Manchester City. The announcer called the game a derby (cross town rivalry).

The band has a tour van named “The Green Submarine.” In Johnson’s words “It’s green, it’s huge, it smells like wet dog, and we love it. It could use some gold dubs, but we’ll deal as long as we can still get the ipods to work through the tape deck.”

Madeline EP (2011):

Derby – Don’t Believe in You (mp3)

Derby – Madeline (mp3)

Posters Fade (2008):

Derby – If Ever There’s A Reason (mp3)


Yellow Ostrich – The Mistress (2010)

photo by sarah mulligan

Yellow Ostrich’s release, The Mistress, is among my favorite albums from 2010.

Alex Schaaf, the main guy behind Yellow Ostrich, is a treat to listen to for several reasons. First, he makes fantastic music — some have even started comparing his unique style to a modern day Neutral Milk Hotel. And second, he is the rare musician who has a true sense of what music is all about. Instead of hiding in the crevasses, attempting to create a masterpiece for years (and promoting it for even more years), Schaaf has been completely transparent with his development as an artist. Since 2009, he has released 3 albums and 4 EPs. Some of these bedroom recordings are better than others, but that raw look in is completely genuine. Artists often times are afraid to risk putting out music that might not gain traction–and are often discouraged when they don’t instantly receive positive reinforcement. It appears that Schaaf isn’t like that at all. He is on a journey with his music and has invited us along for the ride. He can make an EP with the lyrics being only words from Morgan Freeman’s Wikipedia page, and feel good about it. I think that’s pretty awesome.

The Mistress is Schaaf’s stand out album. A few of my favorite tracks include “WHALE,””Hahahaohhoho,” and “Mary.”

Schaff is from Appleton, Wisconsin (Midwest, represent!) and recently moved to New York City. He just announced a US tour supporting Say Hi (dates below), and you should definitely try to see him if possible. As rumor has it,  part of the joy of  seeing him live is watching him multitask with his pedals, kind of like Andrew Bird. He is backed by Michael Tapper on drums, who has played with We Are Scientists and Bishop Allen.

The Mistress (2010):

Yellow Ostrich – WHALE (mp3)

Yellow Ostrich – Mary (mp3)

Fade Cave EP (2010)

Yellow Ostrich  –  Bread (mp3)

site | bandcamp (FREE!)

tour dates after jump:

Continue reading

Top 10 Albums of 2010

Hey everyone,

2010 has been a crazy year for us at IndieMuse. We’ve been working non-stop on another passion project of ours, called MusicFloss, and it’s made it difficult to share as much music on here as we’d like to. The good news is that great music continues to be made all the time, and we want to keep up the tradition of sharing our favorite albums from the year. We’ll be seeing you in January with a slew of new posts! Thanks for sticking with us.

David & The IndieMuse team

10. Broadcast 2000 – S/T feraltone

Broadcast 2000 – Get up and Go (mp3)

Broadcast 2000 – I Hold My Breath (mp3)

9. The National – High Violet 4ad

The National – Bloodbuzz Ohio (mp3)

8. Sufjan Stevens – Age of Adz asthmatic kitty

Sufjan Stevens – Age of Adz (mp3)

7. Electric President – The Violent Blue fake four

Electric President – Safe and Sound (mp3)

Electric President – Circles (mp3)

6. Young Man – Boy frenchkiss

I don’t have a separate EP list, so I wanted to throw this on here. Fantastic EP/debut from Colin Caulfield.

Young Man – Home Alone (mp3)

5. Broken Bells – S/T sony

Broken Bells – The High Road (mp3)

4. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs merge

Arcade Fire – Rococo (mp3)

3. Avi Buffalo – S/T sub pop

Avi Buffalo – One Last (mp3)

2. Beach House – Teen Dream sub pop

Beach House – Used to Be (mp3)

1. Dr. Dog – Shame, Shame anti-

Dr. Dog – Where’d All The Time Go? (mp3)

Dr. Dog – I Only Wear Blue (mp3)

Levi Fuller – Colossal

photo credit: Hayley Young

If you’re a fan of Red House Painters, Modest Mouse, or Neutral Milk Hotel, check out Levi Fuller’s album Colossal. The Seattle-based musician has a unique approach to making music, especially when it comes to lyrics. Many of his songs are from the perspective of various animals (his last album, This Murder Is a Peaceful Gathering, is themed around crows). On Colossal, his song “Mouse on Fire” is from a mouse’s point of view when he runs into an inviting house. I kinda have a little thing for not liking rodents, so I am going to keep this song close at hand to help me get through it. Mice are people too, after all.

Two tracks in particular that have been on heavy rotation for me are “The Mall of America” and the instrumental “Wheels within Wheels.” Listen to those two songs and you’ll likely see why I referenced those other great musicians as influences.

Levi is extremely active in the Seattle community. In addition to this solo project, he has another solo project, Passenger Pigeon, and plays bass in the band Luna Moth (all while maintaining a full-time job). He is also the founder and editor of the Ball of Wax Audio Quarterly, which are compilations that feature local musicians. It’s DIY musicians like Levi who bring culture to music.


(mp3) Levi Fuller – The Mall of America

(mp3) Levi Fuller – Wheels Within Wheels

site | myspace | mf (buy)

SXSW 2010 Music Recommendations

Are you going to SXSW this year? Well, lucky you. Unfortunately, I am not able to attend this year (IndieMuse’s contributor, Nick, is going and will be keeping everyone up to date via IndieMuse and our twitter feed @musicfloss). I wanted to go ahead and include some bands that I highly recommend checking out if you do make it down to Austin. This list is far from complete, but with the overwhelming number of bands performing, we thought it would be a good idea to share some “IndieMuse approved” artists. A lot of these artists are more on the alternative folk side, but if you’re looking for “indie rock” music recs, check out Nick’s post. If we missed anyone, please include them (and a Myspace link) in the comments!

note: some of these artists are playing multiple days so check for venue, dates, and times.


Bowerbirds, Califone, The Veils, Fanfarlo, Frightened Rabbit, Born Ruffians, Joe Purdy, Princeton, Dustin O’Halloran.

(mp3) Bowerbirds – Northern Lights

(mp3) Joe Purdy – Wash Away (Reprise)


Midlake, Centro-matic, Miles Kurosky (Ex-Beulah), Rogue Wave, These United States, Le Loup, Avi Buffalo, Seabear, The Rural Alberta Advantage, Lissie, Cary Brothers Band of Horses, Broken Social Scene, and Amber Rubarth.

(mp3) These United States – Will it Ever

(mp3) Avi Buffalo – Where’s your Dirty Mind?


Dosh, Vandaveer, Twin Sister, Jail Guitar Doors (Documentary showing), Memory Tapes, Tape Deck Mountain, She & Him, Zeus, The Low Anthem, Metric, and Sebastien Schuller.

(mp3) Sebastien Schuller РBalan̤oire

(mp3) Vandaveer – However Many Takes it Takes


Forest City Lovers, Electric President, Pretty Lights, and Hey Marseilles.

(mp3) Electric President – Safe and Sound

(mp3) Hey Marseilles – To Travels and Trunks

Autolux – Future Perfect (2004)

Six years have elapsed since Autolux’s last album’s release (which apparently went under the radar as it “never had much support behind it“), but Future Perfect still feels exciting. This lasting interest likely has a lot to do with the fact that this Californian trio takes influence from decades past and decades that haven’t even elapsed yet—their sound is simultaneously before and after.

It’d be just as accurate to compare the band to My Bloody Valentine as it would to conjure up elaborate conspiracy theories that they’re actually a gang of robros from the distant future. Autolux have enough feedback-wrapped shoegaze to keep the nostalgikids happy, but the slick futurism of their whirling electronic flourishes helps keep them relevant.

Future Perfect is cool. Really cool. Honestly, this level of cool should not even be attainable. It’s hard to listen to the album without feeling like you’re standing outside the door of some secret party that you would never be invited to. The kind of party that takes place in a loft or an abandoned warehouse, complete with atmospheric lighting and highly-stylized attendees. But you can put your ear to the door and feel temporarily cool by proxy, telling yourself that your party invitation just got lost in the mail…

Future Perfect (2004)

(mp3) Autolux – Blanket

(mp3) Autolux – Here Comes Everybody

Site | iTunes | MySpace

Electric President – The Violent Blue (2010)

Over the years, I’ve written quite a bit about Ben Cooper’s projects Electric President (w/Alex Kane), Radical Face, and Patients. He’s one of the most genuine musicians making music today, representing a DIY culture where, you know, artists actually connect with their fans.

Last year his Patients project consisted of him personally producing 100 CDs and decorating it and its package with spray paint and markers. To receive one of the CDs, you had to trade something, anything, with Cooper, as long as it wasn’t money. Now he is talking about touring the U.S., playing house shows, barns, anywhere that isn’t a typical club. And he wants to start another project where people submit stories and he writes songs based on them. He seems to get in over his head at times with all these projects, but this is one musician who really understands what music is all about.

The Violent Blue is Electric Presidents new album releasing February 23, 2010 on Fake Four records.  I’ve had a chance to listen to the album and am really digging it–especially the first half. “Safe and Sound” is likely going to be one of favorite tracks of the year.

Pre-order hasn’t started yet, but I will update here when you can purchase. There are going to be some extra goodies that come with Pre-orders personalized by Cooper himself. Don’t miss out! (UPDATE: As of 2/1 you can pre-order. Only $20 for  a package including vinyl, cd, t-shirt, and stickers. Limited to 300 orders.)

The Violent Blue (2010):

(mp3) Electric President – Safe and Sound

(mp3) Electric President – Circles

Radical Face (Cooper’s main solo project):

Radical Face- Welcome Home, Son

site | iTunes | Myspace

Eureka Birds – S/T

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of seeing one of Baltimore’s best unsigned bands, Eureka Birds, play at Iota. They played at one of the Federal Reserves gatherings (a collective started by dc folks like These United States and Vandaveer), and performed a really impressive set.

Eureka Birds released a self-titled debut album last year that blends together folk, rock, pop, and even a bit of punk. It creates for  a unique sound and the creative composition leaves the instruments telling an eerie story of their own. It may take a little time for the album to grow on you, but each listen is that much more rewarding.

Front man, Justin Levy,  plays keyboard and is backed by five bandmates: Dave Rogoza (guitar), Dami Soh (cello), Jason Hoffheins (drums), Mike Passariello (bass), and Nathan Royer (euphonium, trumpet). The band is nice enough to give away their album for free in mp3 form, but if you like their music, you should really consider buying the CD. Levy, who is also scientist!, told me that he really wants to rent a van and go on tour, but the band needs some financial support. They barely had enough to put out their debut and had to turn to alternative means, as you can see in this below photo of  Eureka Birds’ own Justin Levy. Shame Shame.

Eureka Birds – S/T (2008):

Eureka Birds – Oh! My Dear

Eureka Birds – Goodbye Space And Time

Eureka Birds – Dinosaurs

Site | CDBaby | MF (a new project i’m working on where artists earn all the money from sales)