Racing Glaciers – New Country

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One of the things that makes the really great indie rock bands standout from the pack is the ability to deftly tow the edge of smooth beauty and raw emotion. Think of bands like Foals or Frightened Rabbit. Their songs are beautiful and slick, but you always feel like it’s real people playing those instruments and singing those words.

The same goes for Racing Glaciers.

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Sleepy Kitty – Don’t You Start

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One of my favorite moments of last summer was getting to catch Sleepy Kitty at a small local venue  in DC called The Dunes. I was already a bit starstruck when I first sat down to talk with them, as the drummer for Sleepy Kitty, Evan Sult, had been the drummer fir Harvey Danger, one of my favorite bands. Trust me, there’s so much more to them than just “Flagpole Sitta.”

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Interview: Sunboy

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The Denver duo of Sunboy has only spent a few weeks in the public eye, but they’re already making strong waves with their poppy psychedelic rock. ATG’s own Bryce Rudow was lucky enough to sit down with them for their first ever interview and tried to figure out just who these mysterious up-and-comers are.

STREAM: Sunboy – “Highway Screamin’”

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Introducing: Sleepy Kitty

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“You’re a goner.”

Those are the words Evan Sult, the drummer and one half of Sleepy Kitty said to me as he walked on stage before their semi-recent set at The Dunes, in one of those seminal moments in life that are immediately stored for safe-keeping. I felt like I had been knighted.

Evan was the drummer for one of my favorite bands of all time –the forever-to-be-underrated Harvey Danger– and after a career that has come a long way since Where Have All The Merrymakers Gone was released in 1997, he carries a confidence and self-assurance that comes with having seen it all and then some. But his love of the music seems on par with that of a 17-year-old rocking out for the first time. Honestly, to see someone that was a break or two from “making it” 15 years ago still find pure joy out of playing a well-received set for a handful of people in a tiny venue was equally heartwarming and inspiring. Looking at 40, he’s reached the level of Jedi Master, and his approval meant the world to me.

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Introducing: Mellen

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Folk music is an interesting thing. It’s fairly simple, it’s been fairly stagnant in terms of its stylistic evolution, and it’s fairly difficult to label exactly what distinguishes amazing folk music from your average folk tune. I take the approach, like Justice Stewart’s famous description about obscenity: when it comes to good folk, I know it when I see it. With Mellen’s 3-song debut EP, Last The Year, I hear it.

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PREMIERE: The Raised By Wolves – Stung (Song For Him)

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Before I even begin, can we just admit that The Raised By Wolves is a great band name? They deserve a mini-applause for branding alone. But the songwriting duo — made up of of Ben Eskin and Dusty Durston — is more than just a clever name.

The two hail from Bethesda, MD where they grew up together and began writing songs in 2004. After what I can only assume was a Superbad-esque heartbreaking moment where they decided to attend different schools, the two committed to a long-distance music project that only recently began to take final shape in terms of a recording, their debut album Sadie Hawkins, which will be released July 23rd. We here at ATG are lucky enough to be premiering their first single from the album, “Stung (Song For Him)”.

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Trailer Premiere: Drop Electric – Waking Up To The Fire

We are positively thrilled to be premiering the teaser trailer for Drop Electric’s new album, Waking Up To The Fire. The DC-based band caught my attention a while back with their track, “Empire Trashed“, which I nostalgically threw on while putting this post together, and holy hell I forgot just how powerful this song is. I once compared it to the wonderful breakdown in “First Breath After Coma” by Explosions in the Sky, but in hindsight, it’s got a lot more going on that just a dramatic rolling snare and flourishing instrumentation. The Sigur Ros-y vocals that sweep across the song wrench it into something that sounds more like post-punk chaos. But I digress…

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Interview: Spirit Animal

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This Saturday, the Black Cat is hosting an unofficial welcome home party. Steve Cooper and the rest of Spirit Animal have deep ties to the district, and the excitement over having these funky, bluesy boys come back to show us a good time is positively palpable. I was lucky enough to chat with Steve about their show, their sound and their future recently, and by the time we were done talking, I immediately sent a mass email to all of my friends alerting them that we had to attend this show–dancing shoes required.

While Steve is quick to admit that he calls both DC and New York City home, bassist Paul Michel was once an employee of Black Cat–as well as Saint Ex, Bar Pilar, and Tabard Inn– so it’s easy to recognize how much it means for them to headline the main stage and why Steve considers it a “sweet personal milestone.”

STREAM: Spirit Animal – “Lead!”

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Wet – U Da Best / Bad Idea

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Whenever I’m given the opportunity to control the music in a social situation that doesn’t involve a dance floor, I find myself sharing Wet with whoever is lucky enough to be in earshot, habitually converting others into fans of the Brooklyn trio.

Last month when I wrote about them, I said it felt as if Wet was “cheating” when it came to their debut single, “U Da Best.” Every bit of the song, whether it be the electronic-but-folksy vocals, the delicately restrained instrumentation or the xx-esque rhythms that float in throughout the track, fits so seamlessly into the lament of a song that it feels too good to be true.

With B-side “Bad Idea,” which sheds light on their more Rilo Kiley-ish tendencies, they’ve established themselves as a group worth checking out. If you’re in NYC, you’re lucky, because they’re playing at Pianos tonight courtesy of The Wild Honey Pie, and they’re sharing the stage with personal favorites Joywave, How Sad, Mikhael Paskalev and Little Children. There’s not a better way to spend $10 on a Tuesday, so check out the details here.

STREAM: Wet – “U Da Best” / “Bad Idea”

12 Years of DFA

Red Bull Music Academy put together an incredibly impressive video called “Too Old To Be New, Too New To Be Classic,” a short look at the history and personality of DFA Records. It’s a lovely collection or oral histories, cheeky one-liners (like James Murphy asserting that peanut butter is the greatest American flavor) and “I’m so glad they captured that” photos and videos.

Marc Maron earnestly narrates the whole thing, which is exceptionally edited to highlight both the impressiveness of the record label and the essential charisma of everyone involved. If you’re in the DFA fanbase, which they describe as “European vinyl nerds” and “a lot of really dorky white people,” then you’ll love taking 12 minutes out of your day to watch this.

STREAM: The Rapture – “House Of Jealous Lovers”