Foxygen: New Album, Tour & Video!

Foxygen’s debut, We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic, continues to be a favorite in the Muruch household, so we’re very excited the band will release their sophomore album, …And Star Power, on October 14th. Here’s the video for the first single “How Can You Really”…

Pre-Order @ Amazon

…And Star Power Tracklist:

01. Star Power Airlines
02. How Can You Really
03. Coulda Been My Love
04. Cosmic Vibrations
05. You & I
06. Star Power I: Overture
07. Star Power II: Star Power Nite
08. Star Power III: What Are We Good For
09. Star Power IV: Ooh Ooh
10. I Don’t Have Anything/The Gate
11. Mattress Warehouse
12. 666
13. Flowers
14. Wally’s Farm
15. Cannibal Holocaust
16. Hot Summer
17. Cold Winter/Freedom
18. Can’t Contextualize My Mind
19. Brooklyn Police Station
20. The Game
21. Freedom II
22. Talk
23. Everyone Needs Love
24. Hang

Foxygen Tour Dates:

Tue. Aug. 12 – Las Vegas, NV @ Brooklyn Bowl
Wed. Aug. 13 – Solana Beach, CA @ Belly Up Tavern w/ Gary Wilson
Thu. Aug. 14 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Fonda Theatre w/ Gary Wilson, Dub Thompson
Fri. Aug. 15 – Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory w/ Gary Wilson
Sat. Aug. 16 – Pioneertown, CA @ Woodsist Festival at Pappy & Harriet’s w/ Woods
Wed. Sep. 24 – Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom w/ Dub Thompson
Thu. Sep. 25 – Santa Fe, NM @ Skylight w/ Dub Thompson
Sat. Sep. 27 – Dallas, TX @ INDEX Festival
Sun. Sep. 28 – Houston, TX @ Fitzgerald’s Upstairs w/ Dub Thompson
Mon. Sep. 29 – New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jacks w/ Dub Thompson
Wed. Oct. 1 – Atlanta, GA @ The Loft w/ Dub Thompson
Thu. Oct. 2 – Nashville, TN @ Exit/IN w/ Dub Thompson
Fri. Oct. 3 – Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel w/ Dub Thompson
Sat. Oct. 4 – Charlottesville, VA @ Jefferson Theater w/ Dub Thompson
Sun. Oct. 5 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club w/ Dub Thompson
Wed. Oct. 8 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg w/ Dub Thompson
Thu. Oct. 9 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall
Fri. Oct. 10 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer w/ Dub Thompson
Sat. Oct. 11 – Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club w/ Dub Thompson
Sun. Oct. 12 – Montreal, QC @ Le National w/ Dub Thompson, Heat
Tue. Oct. 14 – Toronto, ON @ The Mod Club w/ Dub Thompson
Wed. Oct. 15 – Pontiac, MI @ Crofoot Ballroom w/ Dub Thompson
Thu. Oct. 16 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall w/ Dub Thompson
Fri. Oct. 17 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall w/ Dub Thompson
Sat. Oct. 18 – Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line Music Café w/ Dub Thompson
Mon. Oct. 20 – Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater w/ Dub Thompson
Tue. Oct. 21 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge w/ Dub Thompson
Wed. Oct. 29 – Brighton, UK @ Komedia
Thu. Oct. 30 – Manchester, UK @ Ruby Lounge
Fri. Oct. 31 – London, UK @ Village Underground
Sat. Nov. 1 – Paris, FR @ Pitchfork Music Festival Paris
Mon. Nov. 3 – Brussels, BE @ Botanique
Tue. Nov. 4 – Amsterdam, NE @ Tolhuistuin
Wed. Nov. 5 – Berlin, DE @ Frannz
Thu. Nov. 6 – Copenhagen, DK @ Pumpehuset
Sun. Nov. 9 – Austin, TX @ Fun Fun Fun Fest

Foxygen Official Site

Muruch’s Top 25 Albums of 2013

It’s that time of year again! Below are my personal favorite albums of 2013. This year the list fell together fairly easily – due both to the excellence of the following albums and the lackluster nature of their competition. Though I’m shocked by my #1 album, which only recently knocked two other favorites from the top spot. The top three are really interchangeable, they are far too brilliant and too different from each other to truly rank. But I’ve been playing my #1 album on almost continuous repeat for the past three months, so it’s undeniably my favorite of the moment.

Click on the album titles to read the full reviews, purchase the albums, and, in some cases, watch videos and/or download mp3s. And please feel free to comment with your own favorite albums (or songs) of the year.

*Honorable mention to Sara Bareilles’ The Blessed Unrest, which I only heard for the first time this week – long after having compiled and scheduled my Top Albums list. It’s impossible now to choose anyone to cut just to make room for Sara, but it’s a good album nonetheless.

Muruch’s Top 25 Albums of 2013

25. Rusty Belle: Common Courtesy

…their multi-genre, multi-instrumental style runs the gamut from Americana and folk to rock, soul and blues…bluesy, sparse, soul-rock…delicious shades of Nick Cave

Buy @ Amazon


24. Ian McFeron: Time Will Take You

…What a delight this little folk-rock gem is!…produces the same immediate reaction of refreshment and affection as Adams’ Gold – though there’s more of a classic country-folk swagger.

Buy @ Amazon


23. Valerie June: Pushin’ Against a Stone

…unlike anything you’ve ever heard before…acoustic blues masterpiece swiftly carried along by Valerie’s distintive voice… exquisite marriage of a low-fi folk melody and sweet, plucky bluegrass instrumentation…grinding, funky blues-rock sound associated with bands like The Black Keys and Alabama Shakes, but Valerie’s voice and phrasing give it a soulful, gospel-folk spin

Buy @ Amazon


22. Steve Martin & Edie Brickell: Love Has Come For You

…Comedian turned bluegrass musician Steve Martin and singer Edie Brickell have joined forces…what a delight their collaboration turned out to be! Martin’s deft, delicate banjo playing is the perfect complement for Brickell’s gentle, melodious voice.

Buy @ Amazon


21. Black City Lights: Another Life

…a sexy and very moody collection. At times the band’s dark, trippy electro-pop style sounds like a mix of Depeche Mode, Ultravox, Julee Cruise, Lacuna Coil and MS MR.

Buy @ Amazon


20. One Mile An Hour

…brilliant, self-produced, self-titled debut album, which they accurately call a “complex, introverted outsider-folk record”…airy, panoramic, beautiful, unusual folk music…swirling, psychedelic folk guitar riffs, slightly raspy and softly plaintive vocals. A bit of Ray LaMontagne, a little Elliot Smith, even hints of Jeff Buckley and Pink Floyd and something totally Other – a ghostly, intangible mood. This is why I love music, why I love writing about music. This is inspiration

Buy @ Amazon


19. Varous Artists: Variations on Chopin

…puts an ambient and electro-pop spin on Chopin’s classical melodies…magnificent, mindblowingly lovely…not your standard classical album…absolutely fantastic

Buy @ Amazon


18. Ours: Boxer the Ballet 1

…one of those albums I love more intensely with each listen…pure, old school American rock that often reminds me of classic Foreigner, maybe a bit of Scorpions or even Cinderella…big, theatrical voice of lead singer, Jimmy Gnecco, should also appeal to Muse fans

Buy @ Amazon

Ours – Pretty Pain (mp3)*


17. Ruth Moody: These Wilder Things

…The Wailin’ Jennys are spawning some excellent solo albums…Moody’s angelic, lilting soprano tangles with pop-polished bluegrass and folk.

Buy @ Amazon


16. Ivan & Alyosha: All The Times We Had

…comparison to The Lumineers is still fairly accurate. The two bands definitely share a certain multi-instrumental, melodic sensibility, but Ivan & Alyosha’s music is distinctively different enough to stand on its own merit…as lovely, comforting and encouraging as an old friend…somewhere between Ryan Adams and The Low Anthem

Buy @ Amazon


15. Melissa Ferrick: The Truth Is

…absolutely outstanding…instrumentation is gorgeous, lush and elegantly Southern..phenomenal, thought-provoking

Buy @ Amazon


14. Rykarda Parasol: Against the Sun

…gives her signature noirish rock sound a modern polish without compromising its dark, artistic integrity…Rykarda uses her voice as much as any instrument: haunting moans and surprising ooh la la’s…echoing yelps…melodic whistles…and Mamas & Papas harmonies…the kind of richly layered album that immediately mesmerizes and still gets even better with each listen

Buy @ Amazon


13. Molly Drake

…Nick Drake’s mother. Molly was a very talented poet, composer, singer and pianist whose music obviously had a strong influence on her son’s work. Sadly, Molly’s exquisite music was mostly a family secret during her life and is only now being released to the public…the entire album features Molly Drake’s unusually pretty soprano and piano in a lilting, old-fashioned parlour style of music. Her lyrics, however, delve into the same kind of elegant, poetic, somewhat melancholy introspection that her son would eventually explore

Buy @ Amazon


12. Brooke Waggoner: Originator

…an extraordinary collection…a beautiful, brilliant and absolutely enchanting album…thunderous piano crashes layered over bombastic horns and choral voices

Buy @ Amazon


11. Bing Satellites

I’m bending the rules here a bit, as Bing Satellites has released too many albums this year to narrow down to one and the ambient nature of his music makes it difficult to differentiate one track from another. I especially like his latest release, King Midas in Reverse, and Twilight Sessions: Volume 11. We at the Muruch household have a giant Bing Satellites mp3 playlist that is on almost daily rotation. Bing’s music is the perfect soundtrack for reading and relaxation.

Bing Satellites Official Site


10. Allison Crowe: Heavy Graces

…what a lush piece of work…a touch of Celtic folk in the instrumentation, haunting backing vocals and a slow building, seething tension until Allison unleashes her wail…I predict we’ll be seeing Allison Crowe not once but twice on our best of the year list.

Buy @ Amazon


9. Lucy Schwartz: Timekeeper

…a multi-instrumental, multi-genre sound that encompasses the atmospheric, high energy electro-pop of Butterfly Boucher, the folk revival instrumentation of Mumford & Sons and a dash of Hannah Fury‘s Gothic, antiquarian sensibility

Buy @ Amazon


8. Janelle Monáe: The Electric Lady

…as interesting, diverse and addictive as we’ve come to expect from Janelle and finds her collaborating with Prince, Erykah Badu, Solange, Miguel and Esperanza Spalding…artistic attention to detail combined with a gorgeous voice, a flare both for the dramatic as well as the funky and a science fiction churning imagination continue to put Janelle Monáe into a category all her own: Cyber-Soul

Buy @ Amazon


7. Elton John: The Diving Board

…finds Elton John making a welcome return to his musical roots with a basic piano-bass-drums set-up and features some of his finest piano playing in the past four decades…it’s a sadly rare album these days with lyrics that actually mean something…The Diving Board already sounds like a classic and is a worthy release for the man behind “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” “Levon” and “Tiny Dancer.”

Buy @ Amazon


6. MS MR: Secondhand Rapture

…dramatic, bombastic, sexy, moody and utterly fantastic…falls somewhere between Florence + the Machine‘s delicious over the top theatrics and Great Northern‘s haunting melodies with a little extra rhythmic oomph…like Kate Rusby fronting a ’90s trip-hop band like Faithless or Morcheeba…basically MS MR are everything I could want in a band…absolutely addictive and will surely be on my best of the year list

Buy @ Amazon


5. Hem: Departure & Farewell

…will be battling Foxygen for my Top Album of 2013…Hem have all but perfected their “Metropolitan Country” sound and singer Sally Ellyson’s voice is truly timeless…a dazzling transcontinental journey — by air and by sea

Buy @ Amazon


4. Trent Dabbs: The Way We Look At Horses

…a masterful and exquisite song cycle that brilliantly bridges the gap between Elliot Smith’s pensive folk-pop and Ryan Adams’ rustic alt-country…I’m so happy and relieved to have fallen in love with this album. I can’t remember the last time I listened to an entire album repeatedly without skipping at least one track…moody, melodic and magnificent. It’s certainly one of the best albums of the year and one whose songs stay with you long after it ends.

Buy @ Amazon


3. Foxygen: We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic

…If Foxygen’s We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic isn’t my #1 of 2013, we have a spectacular year of music ahead of us…the rare album that truly deserves to be called Beatlesque…elements of vintage psychedelic rock, modern indie- and garage rock, a bit o’ The Animals, a splash of Elvis, a smidgen of blues and various other experimental feats that defy category. It’s unusual, innovative and totally fantastic…a sublime slice of pop perfection.

Buy @ Amazon


2. Allison Crowe: Newfoundland Vinyl

…plays like a lovely, vintage collection of traditional Irish and Canadian folk ballads, lively sea chanteys and drinking songs, parlour songs and country tunes with surprising retro, girl-pop harmonies woven throughout…full of dazzling melody and such a unique charm…Allison’s voice is so strong and spectacular, I’m afraid Foxygen has fierce competition here for my favorite album of the year.

Buy @ Amazon


1. Lorde: Pure Heroine

…more than lives up to all the hype…one of those rare song cycles that flows seamlessly from beginning to end and keeps the same level of energy throughout…Lorde’s signature blend of heavy, sporadic beats and witty, sardonic lyrics, which are often written from an outsider’s point of view in a poetic style.

Buy @ Amazon

*all mp3s, streams & videos uploaded by & posted w/ permission of artists, labels and/or their PR reps

Muruch’s Top 50 Songs of 2013

Following are the fifty favorite songs of the year that I submitted to Contrast Podcast‘s forthcoming Festive 50. I have to add an honorable mention to “Cassiopeia” by Sara Bareilles. I adore the song but only heard The Blessed Unrest album this week – long after having scheduled my Top Songs and Top Albums lists and it’s impossible to cut anyone from either list to make room for Sara.

Muruch’s Top 50 Songs of 2013:

50 Ylvis: The Fox
49 Rykarda Parasol: Take Only What You Can Carry
48 Tyler Lyle: Medusa
47 Little Red Lung: 50 Fingers
46 Lizabett Russo: Tonight
45 Broken Tempo: You
44 Boardwalk: I’m To Blame
43 Banditos: No Good
42 Ivan & Alyosha: The Fold
41 Black City Lights: Give It Up
40 Icona Pop: I Love It
39 One Republic: Counting Stars
38 Katy Perry: Roar
37 Joshua Burnside: Black Dog Sin
36 Dayna Kurtz: Reconsider Me
35 Valerie June: You Can’t Be Told
34 Foxygen: San Francisco
33 Valerie June: Shotgun
32 Imagine Dragons: Demons
31 Trent Dabbs: A Thousand Nights
30 Janelle Monae (feat. Miguel): Primetime
29 Molly Drake: I Remember
28 Allison Crowe: Skipper Billy’s Wake
27 Janelle Monae (feat. Prince): Giving Em What They Love
26 Hem: Walking Past the Graveyard, Not Breathing
25 Melissa Ferrick: Overboard
24 MS MR: Bones
23 Trent Dabbs: Mountain Song
22 Lucy Schwartz: Time Will Tell
21 One Mile an Hour: Sunken Ships
20 Foxygen: Shuggie
19 Lorde: Team
18 Allison Crowe: The Men Who Die for a Living
17 Lorde: White Teeth Teens
16 Trent Dabbs: The Last of Its Kind
15 Hem: Departure and Farewell
14 MS MR: Hurricane
13 Lorde: Tennis Court
12 Allison Crowe: The Black Velvet Band
11 Hem: Gently Down the Stream

10 Lorde: Glory and Gore


9 Janelle Monae (feat. Erykah Badu): Q.U.E.E.N.


8 MS MR: Dark Doo Wop


7 Imagine Dragons: Radioactive


6 Foxygen: We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic


5 Vienna Teng: The Hymn of Acxiom


4 Lorde: Royals


3 Trent Dabbs: The Way We Look at Horses


2 Alice Boman: Waiting


1 Allison Crowe: Words

Buy Music @ Amazon

Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado: Solo Album Announcement, New Single

Jonathan Rado of Foxygen recently announced his debut solo album, Law & Order, will be released in September by Woodsist Records. I certainly hope this doesn’t mean an end to his work with Foxygen, whose album is one of our favorites of the year. But if his new single, “Faces,” is any indication, I think Rado’s solo album will definitely be worth listening to…

Foxygen: Free Album Download!

In addition to premiering their new No Destruction video, Foxygen has also made their 2006 album, Jurrassic Exxplosion, available as a free, legal download. Their most recent release, We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic, is our favorite album of the year so far.

Foxygen – Jurrassic Exxplosion (album download page)*

*uploaded & made publicly available by Foxygen

Muruch’s Foxygen Album Review

Buy @ Amazon

Foxygen Official Site