1. J Mascis – 'Is It Done'
Dinosaur Jr.’s J Mascis is set to release his first solo studio album, 'Several Shades of Why’, on March 15th. Almost entirely acoustic, this collection of ten tracks was recorded at Bisquiteen Studios in Amherst, Massachusetts, with help from Kurt Vile, Sophie Trudeau, Kurt Fedora, Kevin Drew (Broken Social Scene), Ben Bridwell (Band Of Horses), Pall Jenkins (Black Heart Procession), Matt Valentine (The Golden Road), and Suzanne Thorpe (Wounded Knees). This free track, which you can grab from Spinner.com, is a beautiful introduction to what we expect will be one mighty fine album.
2. of Montreal – ‘Black Lion Massacre’
It’s as though our favourite modern day glam band has been taken over by some black metal spirit, although frontman Kevin Barnes claims his band’s forthcoming EP is a “freak out” folk record. “It is my hope that you can tolerate listening to this short EP in one sitting,” he says, “and appreciate it like a fine dining experience.” Well, with lyrics like these (“People slaughtered each other out of joy/People murdered their pets, pissed on each other, masturbated in their front yards”), we can understand why. You can find this track on of Montreal’s ‘thecontrollersphere’ EP, due out April 26th.
3. Art Brut – ‘Unprofessional Wrestling’
It’s a great week for Art Brut fans. They’ve released details of their fourth record, 'Brilliant… Tragic!’ (due out on May 23rd through Cooking Vinyl), have announced that single ‘Lost Weekend' will be released May 16th, will be playing a week-long residency at London’s Lexington venue, and have unleashed a free download over at pledgemusic.com. If you decide to donate some spare change with the download, it will go towards prizes for the forthcoming album release, as well as to help benefit the homeless. A good cause and good music, all in one.
4. Brother – ‘Homesick’
Fresh from their Streets support slot in London, Brother and their big egos are releasing a free download of the b-side to their debut single, ‘Darling Buds Of May’, over on Facebook. All you need to do is ‘like’ the band, and ‘Homesick’ is all yours. If you missed their latest London gig, you can catch them on a headline tour across the UK this May.
5. Wolf Gang feat. CocknBullKid and Mz Bratt – ‘Dancing With The Devil’ (The Shoes Remix)
The original version of this tune already caught our attention, but throw in the likes of CocknBullKid, Mz Bratt and The Shoes, and we’ve got ourselves a winner. You can get Wolf Gang’s debut album, ‘Suego Faults’, in June.
6. GOBBLE GOBBLE – ‘Boring Horror’
Their Myspace page is zany, but their music is zanier. The latest release from this Canadian foursome is dripping with so much energy that it sounds like ten songs packed into one, then puréed in a blender. Then infused with so much electricity it’s about to burst.
7. Rival Schools – ’69 Guns’
It’s been a decade since they’ve released anything new, but New York post-hardcore rock guys Rival Schools will finally be churning out their highly-anticipated second album, ‘Pedals’, this week. They’ll also be joining …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead in April for a co-headline UK tour, kicking off at London’s Electric Ballroom.
8. Team Me – ‘Dear Sister’
Expect big things from Oslo’s Team Me. After conquering Norway’s music scene, they’re exploring more of the musical map, having just played a Club NME show in London. The band have also been invited to join British Sea Power for a few upcoming shows, to serve as the support act for The Wombats for part of their UK tour, and have secured a slot at this summer’s Great Escape Festival. These guys will be unveiling a five-track EP, their first official release, on April 18th, with a debut full-length album due out autumn 2011.
9. Alela Diane – ‘To Begin’
California native Alela Diane will be releasing her third studio album (‘Alela Diane & Wild Divine’) on April 4th, and Rough Trade are giving away the album’s first track, ‘To Begin’, for free. Here’s what Miss Alela has to say of the song: “I wrote this song after embarking on an afternoon of hypnosis in my hometown -- the lyrics reference the journey I took during my alter-reality & the things that became clear.”
10. Superhumanoids – ‘Malta’
Another four-piece musical act, these guys from LA have recently returned from tours with Local Natives and Cults, and are about to make a name for themselves. Nylon Magazine is giving away ‘Malta’ for free now – a track taken from the band’s forthcoming EP, ‘Parasite Paradise’. You can also still score a free download of their song ‘Dangerous Strangers’ over at Clash Magazine.