Shane BarnhillMonday,6 May 2013

The Snap:

In the past few weeks, new releases from Thee Oh Sees, Charli XCX and Thao & The Get Down Stay Down have garnered increased levels of attention and acclaim from critics. Thao & The Get Down Stay Down released We The Common back in February, but the band has been in the spotlight lately after sitting in with SiriusXMU for a live session. Meanwhile, in April, Thee Oh Sees and Charli XCM released their respective albums, Floating Coffin and True Romance. The three albums could not be more different, but each has fantastic songs that should find their way into your listening rotation. Check out samples from each release below.

The Download:

1. We The Common, by Thao & The Get Down Stay Down.

Led by vocalist Thao Nguyen, Thao & The Get Down Stay Down hails from San Francisco. We The Common, the band’s fifth album, has a folk-like quality that is enhanced by Nguyen’s incorporation of banjo. We The Common‘s title track is clearly the standout, although “We Don’t Call” and “Holy Roller” are also highly recommended.

2. True Romance, by Charli XCX.

Although she’s only age 21, Charli XCM is already a force in the music industry (and on Twitter). She started releasing singles back in 2008, but had never before put together a full album. True Romance is thus her full-length debut, and it’s an impressive one, as Pitchfork named it “Best New Album” after a glowing write-up. The album’s highlight is “You (Ha ha ha),” which features a well-integrated sample of Gold Panda’s “You.”

Given the strength of this debut, as well as the success of her collaboration with Icona Pop (whose song “I Love It” was co-written by Charli XCX, and is currently #9 on Billboard’s Hot 100), there is reason to think that we’ll be seeing a lot more great work from Charli XCX in the future.

3. Floating Coffin, by Thee Oh Sees.

I’ve saved the best for last, so if you’re still reading, then you’re in for a real treat. As a group, Thee Oh Sees have a long history that dates back to 1997, having “changed its name several times, being known as Orinoka Crash Suite, OCS, Orange County Sound, and The Ohsees,” according to Wikipedia. John Dwyer is considered the band’s frontman, and is credited starting Thee Oh Sees and evolving the group’s sound; however, the best part of Floating Coffin is singer Brigid Dawson (who also plays keyboard and tambourine). Dawson has a calmness to her voice that contrasts sharply with the heavy guitar work and fast baselines that weave through each song on Floating Coffin. But Dawson breaks up her trance-like vocals by punctuating several songs on the album with shouts of “Whoo!” during transitions into guitar solos and/or chorus lines. Her enthusiasm is refreshing.

The song that you’re most likely to hear on the radio from Floating Coffin is “Toe Cutter – Thumb Buster,” and its rather macabre video is embedded below. But don’t miss songs like like “No Spell” and “Minotaur.” They are definitely worth checking out.

Each of the albums above are available via standard outlets such as Amazon and iTunes. But the top tracks from each one are also part of The Snap Download’s Spotify playlist, so don’t forget to subscribe to that now.

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Hat Tips:

Wikipedia, Pitchfork, Spin, Billboard, Image Credit: Flickr

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