Category Archives: FREE MP3s

MP3 At 3PM: The Gromble

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Santa Clara, Calif., synthpop group the Gromble just issued its self-titled debut album. In celebration, the band now releases “Desole Pt. II,” a new track from the LP, for free download. The music is empowering and echoes back to indie greats like Pavement and Weezer while still retaining originality. It’s a balanced blend of indie rock and synthpop with definite high energy. Download the track below.

“Desole Pt. II” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: Little Cinema

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Little Cinema started as a collaboration between two young men, Shawn Jones from Brooklyn and Tyler Womack from Austin. After years of flying back and forth, and with the eventual move of Womack to NYC, Little Cinema now releases 10-song debut LP Adventure, which gives voice to Womack’s experience of leaving Austin. Album track “When You Think Of Me” is upbeat, with solid energy and a few impressive saxophone solos near the end that will blow you away. Download it below.

“When You Think Of Me” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: SEX BBQ

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There are some odd band names out there, but SEX BBQ comes close to taking the cake. The Atlanta-based group readies for the release of its debut album, Sex Noir City, and has released a single from the LP, “Locus Of Control,” for free download. The music itself is all over the place. It changes from garage rock to Asian sounding, then it gets psychedelic, and eventually choir chanting begins. Download “Locus Of Control” below.

“Locus Of Control” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: Les Bonbons

London-based pop group Les Bonbons, led by Billy and Fred Bonbon, prepare for the release of their new self-titled album, due November 17. They mix undeniably groovy rock ‘n’ roll guitars and jazzy horn imitations with French lyrics, making for interestingly catchy music. “Nouveau Départ” exemplifies the type of energy this band brings to its music. Download the track below.

“Nouveau Départ” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: Eyelids

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Portland’s Eyelids hold more than meets the eye. Not only were they the main instrumentalists on over eight releases for Robert Pollard’s Boston Spaceships, but they have also worked with big indie names such as Stephen Malkmus, the Decemberists and Elliott Smith. With new record 854 on the way, Eyelids premiere a new track called “Forget About Tomorrow.” The song is short and sweet, and in accordance with their previous work, it’s also beautifully and expertly composed. Download it below.

“Forget About Tomorrow” (download):

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Normal History Vol. 291: 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 30-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

In this week’s column, I continue to compare songs on Calico Kills The Cat with songs on our new album, Empathy For The Evil, from start to finish. See notes from Sept. 6, 2014.

7. “I’m A Bit Confused” (Calico Kills The Cat, 1989) Jobs have an unpleasant capacity to plunk the tedium of conventional life right under my nose. If it isn’t the general public sniffing around for bargains on consumer goods, it’s the co-workers who have not dared to dream beyond dental plans and annual vacations. I was in my 20s when I wrote this song. I had already opted out of the work force to spend 15 years making music, travelling, touring, writing and creating art. After that, at 40, I began a succession of dumb part-time jobs through which I have learned how to protect my creativity while vehemently disallowing banality to destroy my happiness.

7. “Naked And Ticklish” (Empathy For The Evil, 2014) The lyrics are directly out of my novel Obliterating History – a guitar-making mystery, domination & submission in a small town garage, in which the female protagonist tells a story about her online dating adventures. While the song is fictional, aspects of it are from my experience online dating, where, like working at various jobs, I felt exposed to people I never would have met otherwise. For the most part I encountered selfish liars seeking self-gratification. In the song, and in the novel, the protagonist attempts relationships with men she has little in common with, but eventually her inability to trust them is, for her, impossible to ignore.

In my early years as a lyricist, I was more apt to express anger, whereas, in recent years, I’ve found my way back into storytelling with humorous overtones that resonate with audiences. As an anarchist currently working in retail—and a former participant in online dating—I am truly grateful that a good chunk of my life has been spent with likeminded people who continue to inspire me with their ability to sidestep what is apparently regarded as normal behavior.

“I’m A Bit Confused” from Calico Kills The Cat (K, 1989; Matador, 1991; Smarten Up!, 2003) (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: Field Guides

Brooklyn quintet Field Guides explores interesting new musical territory with debut LP Boo, Forever, out November 11. “Jon Says,” a track off the forthcoming album, is a strong example of the diversity of this music. It’s hopeful and triumphant while also laid-back and simple. The female vocals give the chill sound a new, fresh feel, and the layered vocal parts toward the end are quite impressive. We are proud to premiere the song today on magnetmagazine.com. Download the track below.

“Jon Says” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: Just Walden

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Singer/songwriter Danny Ferraro quit his job at Goldman Sachs to pursue a career in music, and he’s off to a great start. Now with a full band, Just Walden, he recently released “Summer Day Charade,” a moving and emotional track from his second album, out now. The song was apparently inspired by an “alcohol-tinged, day-time party this summer that quickly turned into a charade of sorts,” which reassures his audience that he’s just another normal person like us. Download the track below.

“Summer Day Charade” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: Raiders Of The Lost Art

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Chicago’s Raiders Of The Lost Art take a different approach to writing music. Material is not brought to the studio; it is made there. No discussions or conversations go into the crafting of its music, and latest album Wabi Sabi, due out October 21, was written in two short 45-minute bursts. However, listening to “We Got Away (This Time),” the first single from the new LP, it’s hard to believe the band can write music this good on whim. Download “We Got Away (This Time)” below.

“We Got Away (This Time)” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: Zak Smith

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Americana singer/songwriter Zak Smith just released new album Signs Of Life. The LP is an acoustic rework of old songs from his six previous releases. Now, he offers the soulful title track from the album for free download. The song has light, airy drums and a memorable tune, full of energy and emotion. Download it below.

“Signs Of Life” (download):

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