The Eastern Sea is pretty close to cliché indie rock. The Austin septet will undoubtedly elicit comparisons to a series of bands from contemporaries like White Rabbits to forerunners like Death Cab For Cutie. Although the sound is conventional, it doesn’t make it wrong. “A Lie,” off Plague (WhiteLabBlackLab), is accessible, melodic and fun. Nobody ever said handclaps were part of a bunk formula. Download “A Lie” below.
Nina Diaz started singing for Girl In A Coma when she was 13 and has remained wild ever since. “One-Eyed Fool,” off Exits & All The Rest (Blackheart), is a great example of the band’s untamed rock ‘n’ roll, and Diaz’s voice is powerful and sultry. Download the track below.
Men Without Hats are veterans. If you missed the ’80s, chances are you haven’t missed the ’80s-themed dance parties that followed, and Men Without Hats are a staple. Two words: “Safety Dance.” Although new-wave dance music can sound anachronistic, the band’s new single, “Head Above Water,” off Love In The Age Of War (Cobraside), manages to feel fresh while holding onto that signature ’80s vibe. (Think synth, and lots of it.) Download “Head Above Water” below.
Jimmy Tamborello, known as Dntel to most, has been making music for more than a decade. In 2001, he had the indie world buzzing when he released Life Is Full Of Possibilities, making him one of the most notable figures in the turn-of-the-century glitch scene. Commercial success hit Tamborello as one half of the Postal Service, the other half being Ben Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie. The sole Postal Service album, Give Up, is Sub Pop’s second best-selling record to date, and the “Such Great Heights” single was used on TV shows and covered by Iron & Wine, whose version in turn made it onto the Garden State soundtrack. Tamborello has worked with artists from Conor Oberst to Grizzly Bear, and he still engineers electronic music and hosts an internet radio show. On Dntel’s latest album, Aimlessness (Pampa), Tamborello dialed back the guest vocals, focused on instrumentals and made an ethereal, spaced-out electro album. MAGNET recently spoke to him about music trends like dubstep, his latest album, touring and what inspires him to keep at it. Tamborello will also be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week.