If It’s Not Cold Outside, Visit the Ice Palace in Your Mind: Wintry Mix 2.22.2012

We haven’t had more than seven days that’ve dropped below freezing, but it is still technically winter. I keep hoping we’ll get one snowstorm before it’s over. Maybe. Here for you, there’s two bands from Finland, four from Australia, Dreams and Dreems, Cats and Cates, guitars and synths. One Dinowalrus. I think this will be the last Wintry Mix of 2012. But look for Spring Fever in April.

DOWNLOAD WINTRY MIX 2.22.2012

Tracklist:
1. Eux Autres – Right Again
2. Gap Dream – 58th St. Fingers
3. The Megaphonic Thrift – Tune Your Mind
4. Disappears – Pre Language
5. Black Twig – Death Scene
6. Woollen Kits – Out of Whack
7. Veronica Falls – Thorn in My Side
8. Internet Forever – Centre of Your Universe
9. NZCA/LINES – Okinawa Channels
10. Metronomy – The Bay (Clock Opera Remix)
11. Dinowalrus – Burners
12. Weird Dreams – Holding Nails
13. The Chap – What Did We Do?
14. Bad Dreems – Chills
15. Cardinal – I Am a Roman Gypsy
16. Field Trip – Sleeve of the Skin
17. Young Prisms – Gone
18. The Tough Shits – Cats and Dogs
19. Cats on Fire – A Few Empty Waves
20. Cate Le Bon – Ploughing Out Pts 1 + 2

No shuffling! Click through for liner notes.
1. Eux Autres – Right Again
Pronounced “Ooz Oh Tras” if you’re wondering. They’re not French, they’re Californian and makers of superior indiepop. This is from their new EP, Sun is Sunk, which is out February 28.

2. Gap Dream – 58th St. Fingers
Gabe Fulvimar makes records by himself in his Cleveland home, informed by ’60s pop, punk, etc etc. This is upper eschelon home-recording stuff. A fan of Burger Records, he submitted a tape of his songs and the label released it. On cassette. Somebody put this on vinyl, it’s too good to just be a tape.

3. The Megaphonic Thrift – Tune Your Mind
These noisy Norwegians have a new album (self-titled this time) on Club AC30 and while I haven’t heard the whole thing, I dig this first single that is part Sonic Youth and part sweetness and light.

4. Disappears – Pre Language
Title track from Chicago krautpunks, the first with Steve Shelley on drums. The songs were toured before they recorded the album, and Shelley’s effect on the band is pronounced. Where their first two were pedal-to-the-metal, Disappears lift off the gas a little, making for a much more varied record. Not only is it their best yet, it’s one of 2012’s best so far.

5. Black Twig – Death Scene
This Finish band make the kind of guitar rock that should appeal to fans of Swervedriver: muscular but melodic, loud but not totally reliant on fuzz pedals. Whisper to a scream type stuff.

6. Woollen Kits – Out of Whack
Saw these Australians last week at Death By Audio and this is so my sort of thing, VU-meets-Verlaines barebones rock. “Out of Whack” is super-catchy.

7. Veronica Falls – Thorn in My Side
Veronica Falls are at the top of their game right now and probably playing a city near you any time now. I really wanted to put their new song “My Heart Beats” on this mix, but it’s only a stream, so here’s their cover of the Eurythmics single which was on a limited-edition 12″ of six covers. They’re selling a CD version on tour.

8. Internet Forever – Centre of Your Universe
I’m not sure I like their name but, musically they’re ace: very very British style indiepop, ambitious and creative. And in it’s own way, epic.

9. NZCA/LINES – Okinawa Channels
Michael Lovett was in Your Twenties who have apparently broken up. (They finished an album, I think, that we’ll hopefully get to hear.) His own music is twinkly electronic music which should appeal to fans of Hot Chip or…

10. Metronomy – The Bay (Clock Opera Remix)
…Metronomy, who commissioned a lot of remixes for songs from last year’s The English Riviera some of which made it to b-sides of the singles. But there were a lot more — for singles and album tracks — and those are being compiled on a digital-only remix collection due out next month. I like this one in particular, that takes all the parts of “The Bay” and basically constructs a new song out of them.

11. Dinowalrus – Burners
I can’t say that I was a fan of Dinowalrus’ original incarnation, which emphasized psychedelic freakout noise over things like melody and hooks. But main Dino Pete Feigenbaum reinvented the band, this time looking to late ’80s Manchester and early ’90s shoegaze as an inspiration, with a little Recurring-era Spacemen 3. Dinowalrus’ new album, Best Behavior, is still psychedelic but it’s a much better trip.

12. Weird Dreams – Holding Nails
Londoners making hard-to-resist janglepop. This single came out last fall but is also on Weird Dreams’s debut LP which is out the first week of April. If you aren’t instantly taken, you will be by the “What else do we have?” bridge.

13. The Chap – What Did We Do?
The Chap’s 2010 album Well Done Europe was one of that year’s most overlooked and hopefully they’ll get a little more attention for their new one, We Are Nobody, that came out this week. It’s guitar pop with a strong technological bent to it. Janglitch?

14. Bad Dreems – Chills
There’s a lot of Australians on this mix (four I think) and Bad Dreems are from Adelaide. They’re pals with Twerps and Woollen Kits (who you just heard eight songs ago) and there’s a similarity among them all, drawing from a similar sonic well. It’s a well that’s big enough for all of them. I don’t believe Bad Dreems have a single out yet (still time to change the spelling then!), but “Chills” is pretty damn 7″-worthy.

15. Cardinal – I Am a Roman Gypsy
Richard Davies and Eric Mathews made the definitive baroque orch pop album of the ’90s with Cardinal’s eponymous debut. (I’m not sure there’s a lot of competition.) Fifteen years later, the two surprised us with a new album. It’s not quite as ornate as the first, but it’s maybe a better album overall? There’s trumpet on this one, very Cardinal-y.

16. Field Trip- Sleeve of the Skin 
There are a lot of bands called Field Trip, including one from the ’90s whose single I bought because the Jazz Butcher guested on it. (There is also a weddding band with this name. And more!) This Field Trip is from Melbourne, making this three straight Australian tracks in a row. You can find this track on the Cream EP which is a free download from their Bandcamp.

17. Young Prisms – Gone
Shoegaze outfit from San Francisco about to release their second album, which this is from. This one is more Velocity Girl than My Bloody Valentine, though you get a lot of the latter on In Between which is out March 27. It’s a big step up from their first album which had the sound down pat, but maybe lacked a little in the songs department.

18. The Tough Shits – Cats and Dogs
I don’t know what you might expect a band called The Tough Shits to sound like, but I bet it’s not ’60s-style guitar pop. But it is! If you liked Box Elders and Nobunny… maybe you’re already heard this.

19. Cats on Fire – A Few Empty Waves
Finland’s finest mopey indiepop band. And they’re back with a new album in April. I loved 2009’s Our Temperance Movement and can’t wait to hear the new one, called All Blackshirts to Me. Here’s the first taste, a somewhat languid track that builds up steam as it goes.

20. Cate Le Bon – Ploughing Out Pts 1 + 2
The same could be said for this Cate Le Bon song, which closes her fantastic new album, Cyrk. Starts of quiet and beautiful, but doesn’t stay that way. Album of the year so far? Certainly live show of the year.

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