Musée Mécanique have announced the release of their long-awaited second album: From Shores of Sleep will come out on Tender Loving Empire on August 26, and it's an album-length composition with ideas and themes that flow into each other. Here's the advance track, "The Lighthouse and the Hourglass," an immaculately orchestrated mini-epic with clockwork arpeggios and a steady build-up that's full of both restraint and commotion. Musée Mécanique are currently undergoing a Kickstarter campaign for the record's physical release; they've made their initial goal but are still raising funds for the album.
Cars & Trains, the recording alter ego of Tom Filepp, has a new EP that just came out last week. The three songs of Moon and the Earth are brightly lit, gently uplifting slices of folktronica, for lack of a better term. The EP accompanies the vinyl release of Cars & Trains' first record, Rusty String. Check out the full EP and order the vinyl reissue on Bandcamp; in the meantime listen to the EP's lovely opening track "The Colors and Shapes."
Portland-based duo Shadows on Stars have shortened their name to the harder-to-Google SOS, but their futuristic soul still comes from singer Randa Leigh and producer Brian Vincent. Their second album, titled SOS, comes out September 16. In the meantime, here's "Youth in Decline," which murmurs and burbles before the 808 beat kicks in over a minute in. Offering a gaseous, light-as-air take on modern electronic R&B, SOS find the common ground in between the XX and the Weeknd.
Warble Records' Daniel Rafn also works in a left-turn R&B vein, "a skewed modern R&B that is experimental but with choice aspects gleaned from Top 40," according to him. Those angles are apparent in his new, heartfelt single "Congress," which comes out today. The tune builds off its careful, soft-glow introduction into a gleaming, contoured pop song with Rafn's voice anchoring it in humanity. Download the song for free on Rafn's site.
Zinnie for Short is based around the duo of Noah Kite and Corey Distler, and their first full-length album, Light by Light, came out earlier this year, although the band is playing a record release show for it at Valentine's this Sunday, July 6. Here's "Words You Said I Never Heard" is a dramatic, emotional folk-pop song that swirls and eddies in ripples of sadness and hope. You can listen to more of the album and read about its creation on the band's Bandcamp page; for Sunday's record release show, Zinnie for Short will be joined by Adam Brock.
Portland producer E*Rock got his hands on a track by Conveyor, a rock band out of Brooklyn whose upcoming double album Prime is a completely re-envisioned score to George Lucas' THX 1138. What E*Rock has done with the track "Theme XIII" is pulled out the robotic tones from the krautrock-y original, clearing the metaphorical room of the band's thick, furry sound and letting it bounce off the remaining hard surfaces.