As you’d expect this holiday week, the list of new releases is very short. However, there are a handful of albums you’ll want to check out, and each embraces the spirit of independence, just as we on the KEXP blog are celebrating our nation’s independence by profiling some of the great independent record labels. Among them are projects by founders of some very well known bands who have struck out on their own. With his experimental trio Beak>, Portishead’s Geoff Barrow is free to improvise and jam with his cohorts Billy Fuller and Matt Williams, and their second release, simply entitled >> (“Beak 2″, most likely), comes out today on Barrow’s own label, Invada. Cracker co-founder Johnny Hickman, also runs his own label imprint, Campstove Records, and is also releasing his long-awaited sophomore album, called Tilting.
Chicago band Gold Motel return with their second album, which our Music Director, Don Yates, calls “more wistful and bittersweet than the sunny sounds that burst from their 2012 debut full-length, Summer House, though the hooks are just as potent and the band sounds more confident than ever.” The self-titled album is released on their own imprint, Good as Gold, in partnership with Thirty Tigers. Long running U.K. band Dub Pistols are back with their fifth album full of ska, dub, hip-hop, electronic music and punk… and lots of guest artists!
You’ll find other new releases from independent artists in record stores today, including the self-released debut by Athens, GA dreampoppers Easter Island, and a lush new EP from Savannah, GA art-rock band Sunglasses, release by another one of our favorite independent labels, Lefse.
Give a listen to the excellent songs collected here and support your musical freedom by picking them up at your favorite independent record store!
Beak> – Yatton
from >> on Invada Records
Dub Pistols – Alive (feat. Red Star Lion)
from Worshipping The Dollar on Sunday Best Recordings
Easter Island – Frightened (MP3)
from Frightened (self-released)
Gold Motel -Always One Step Ahead (MP3)
from Gold Motel on Good As Gold/Thirty Tigers
Johnny Hickman – Measure of a Man (MP3)
from Tilting on Campstove Records
Sunglasses – Swim (MP3)
from Namesake/Swim EP on Lefse