Christopher Paul Stelling, "Mourning Train to Memphis"
I listen to a lot of bluegrass music (what can I say, I'm from Kentucky), and one of my favorite comments to make is, "That's some mighty fine pickin'!" (You have to say this in a Southern accent and slap your knee with gusto.) Christopher Paul Stelling is a folk troubadour, not a bluegrass musician, but boy is he a mighty fine picker. I swear his fingers are moving at warp speed; I have yet to see him live, but I'm sure I'd spend the whole time staring at his hands. The rich, woeful "Mourning Train to Memphis" from his gorgeous debut album, Songs of Praise and Scorn (out this week), features the incredible violinist Cheyenne Marie Mize (she's from Kentucky too!). If his swift guitar is the train, chugging down the tracks to take him to Memphis, her violin is the cold wind blowing, reminding him of what he's leaving behind. ELLEN CARPENTERDecibels, "The Lesser"
The five guys in Decibels met at a rave in the woods of Northampton, England, which would naturally lead some to believe that they, too, make music for laser light shows. But no. While "The Lesser"—which they'll release as a single in April—promises dance-ready beats that would surely benefit from a little smoke machine haze, their music is much more accurately categorized as glitchy electro-rock, thanks to the smooth falsetto vocals, buzzy guitars, and a melodic keyboard line. Warp Records just picked another Decibels song for their upcoming Bleep compilation; we're positive this is just the first of many great opportunities for these talented newcomers. ECGold Fields, "Moves"
Picture this: you're about to jump into the ocean and it's a tossup between wading slowly underwater or plunging right in. Think of the new single from Gold Fields as the musical equivalent to running full-speed and dunking your head under the icy cold waves. In other words, it's a total rush. From the very first rumbling beats through the throbbing chorus all the way to the end, the latest from this Australian five-piece doesn't let up one bit. "Moves" is a heavy, pulsing, sweaty dance number with a creepy techno twist. Considering how fun the track is just in our headphones, we can't wait
to see the party that happens when these guys play at SXSW. LIZA DARWIN
Stripped-down folk gets gloomy with Daughter, the North London band comprised of singer Elena Tonra and her boyfriend Igor Haefeli on guitar. They might be young- both are in their early twenties- but the lyrics in their newest single reveal years of raw life experience. ("And if you're still bleeding, you're the lucky ones/'cause most of our feelings, they're dead and gone."). With her pillowy soft vocals, Tonra reminds us of a broody mix between Cat Power, Feist, and Lucy Rose, and clearly we're not the only ones obsessed. The song has been drifting about online for a few months now, but a recent appearance on U.K.'s Skins
has upped the audience and now it's a bonafide hit. You can buy the Wild Youth
EP next month on Glassnote, but check out the live version of the track right now-
it will blow you away. LDChiddy Bang, "Mind Your Manners"
A few weeks ago a box of cereal landed on my desk, courtesy of Chidera "Chiddy" Anamege and Noah "Xaphoon Jones" Beresin. I was pumped to have some free Cheerios, but I was even more excited because it meant the Chiddy Bang guys were about to release their debut album. Since college, the friends have spent years dropping free mixtapes and so-catchy-it-hurts tracks online (if you've never heard "The Opposite of Adults,"
drop everything you're doing and download it now). Clearly this is a formula that works, and they're sticking to it with Breakfast
, their first full-length. Our favorite song "Mind Your Manners" samples Icona Pop's chirpy track and is just plain fun. Get a taste of Breakfast