Category Archives: FREE MP3s

MP3 At 3PM: Audrey Spillman

AudreySpillman

Nashville artist Audrey Spillman will release Thornbird on September 16, and “Hot As Hell” is a good indicator that it’s perfect for the slowly cooling final days of summer. “Hot As Hell” is a tense song that teases explosion at any moment but holds back, a sparse but not small song with a heavy heart. Check it out below.

“Hot As Hell” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: Getaway Dogs

GetawayDogs

We’re getting closer to the release of Getaway Dogs’ new LP Lost In The Ebb, and we don’t want you to forget. Following up MAGNET’s introduction to Lost In The Ebb in the form of “Indonesia,” we’re giving you a peek at “Excuses/Opinions” ahead of the album’s August 19 release. Get into the band’s smooth, soothing form of indie pop with a stream or download below.

“Excuses/Opinions” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: Oh Well, Goodbye

OhWellGoodbye

Liverpool’s Oh Well, Goodbye will release the new Swoon on September 16, and you can hear one-fourth of that EP right now. Check below for “Clandestine,” a middle-of-the-night, indie-rock tune that truly wraps around your brain in the final, instrumental outro. Listen or download below.

“Clandestine” (download):

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Normal History Vol. 383: The Art Of David Lester

Every Saturday, we’ll be posting a new illustration by David Lester. The Mecca Normal guitarist is visually documenting people, places and events from his band’s 32-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

“Attraction Is Ephemeral” gets more laughs than any other Mecca Normal song. We wrote it a few days before we went into the studio to record the album it was on. Dave had the music ready to go, and I picked up a poem I was working on. I hadn’t thought of the poem as song lyrics, because it was long and involved. We recorded it in our rehearsal space as we wrote it—something we’ve done since we began playing together in 1984—and it was perfect! When we write like that, we have to try and replicate arrangements in subsequent versions. On this occasion,, our strategy was to stop working on it for fear of taking it too far away from its initial greatness. I listened to it over and over, and then, by the time we were recording it in the studio, it was only our third or fourth time through it.

Because of the graphic nature of a couple of the scenes, I was pretty nervous about performing it live, but it turned out better than I expected because the audience at most shows laughed in all those spots—albeit, a nervous sort of empathetic laughter. Sometimes I actually had to stop and wait for them to finish laughing before continuing to sing. That people laughed at most shows made the ones where they didn’t easier to do. Those people stood there quite grumpily with their arms folded, not laughing. No, not at all. And yes, I guess there are some circumcisions where it is inappropriate to sing about a man having trouble putting on a condom.

“Attraction Is Ephemeral” from the album The Observer (Kill Rock Stars, 2006) (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: Cowtown

cowtown

Cowtown can really make the most of 90 seconds. Its new song, “Tweak,” does just that, a quick, catchy jammer that gets you moving and jumping so quickly that it’s surprising. It comes from the band’s latest album, Paranormal Romance, which is out August 16. Stream or download “Tweak” below.

“Tweak” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: The Twin Atlas

TheTwinAtlas

The Twin Atlas has just issued its first album in five years, Big Spring. In case you missed the record’s release, we’ve got a little reminder in the form of “Let Go,” a small dose of the Twin Atlas’s breezy pop. Check it out below.

“Let Go” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: J Hacha De Zola

JHachaDeZola

J Hacha De Zola is back already for a second LP this year. This one’s called Picaro Obscuro, and it comes out August 12. The songwriter has made a new song, “Bubble Gum,” available, and you can stream or download it below. If you’re new to him and like what you hear, make sure to check out Escape From Fat Cat City, which is available now.

“Bubble Gum” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: Kid Runner

KidRunner

Kid Runner will release the Give Me Something To Love EP on August 12, but you need not wait to get a taste of the band’s luscious synth-pop. The title track is available for streaming and download below. Spend the rest of the summer dancing.

“Give Me Something To Love” (download):

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Normal History Vol. 382: The Art Of David Lester

Every Saturday, we’ll be posting a new illustration by David Lester. The Mecca Normal guitarist is visually documenting people, places and events from his band’s 32-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

In 2015, music critic Jessica Hopper included her review of Mecca Normal’s album The Observer (Kill Rock Stars, 2006) in her book The First Collection Of Criticism By A Living Female Rock Critic. Originally written for the Chicago Reader, Hopper began the two-page spread by saying the album was “so mercilessly honest and personal it’s hard to believe it can exist in the pop-music marketplace.”

Hopper calls “I’m Not Into Being The Woman You’re With While You’re Looking For The Woman You Want” self-explanatory, adding that it is “a glowing example of the interplay between vocals and Lester’s guitar, which is equally distinctive and powerful.” Other than that, she doesn’t spend much time on the sound of the music. Which, when forming Mecca Normal in the early 1980s, was part of an overarching strategy to limit what could be said about the music because it’s typically one electric guitar. It has always been important to David and I to read what critics say about the various types of injustice that Mecca Normal elaborates on, and I knew I’d be hitting a nerve with an album about a middle-aged feminist’s online dating experiences. And indeed, it was cringe worthy to the no doubt, young, male critics at Pitchfork who added it to their list of Top 25 Worst Album Covers of 2006. It’s actually a really good cover, but they wouldn’t be equipped to know any such thing.

The line in Hopper’s piece that has stuck with me is near the end, after she references the book Are Men Necessary? In the 10 years since the album came out, I have, from time to time, wondered about her assertion that I was suggesting that “independent women wind up alone.” I don’t believe I was, although there is a built-in, unavoidable truth to the statement.

If I had met a man with whom life was more fun, that would have been fine, but now, 10 years after I wrote those songs, being alone feels pretty much like winning the lottery.

“I’m Not Into Being The Woman You’re With While You’re Looking For The Woman You Want” from the album The Observer (Kill Rock Stars, 2006) (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: People And Stars

PeopleAndStars

People And Stars is a new project from the members of former L.A. group Fonda, and their music certainly rings with the spirit of new beginnings. “You’re Not Alone” is a charming, glistening little indie-pop tune with a bright, vibrant attitude. Check it out below, and be sure to check out their debut EP if you like what you hear.

“You’re Not Alone” (download):

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