Every month, Utne Reader presents free, downloadable music gleaned from current and upcoming releases on independent labels. This sampler is no longer available. Check back February 1 for a new sampler.
“Dangerous Diamonds” comes from False Floors, the final installment of Rogue Valley’s four-part seasonal album series. You can download all four albums here at a pay-what-you-can price point.
“Dangerous Diamonds” by Rogue Valley
Kang is an American multi-instrumentalist who has played alongside some of indie rock’s giants (think Beck, Laura Veirs, and Sunn O)))), but has also carved out a niche of his own with rustic compositions for viola and ehru. The Narrow Garden is due out Jan 31 on Ipecac.
“Pure Nothing” by Eyvind Kang
Motion City Soundtrack
Some collaborations are doomed from the start (ahem, Metallica and Lou Reed). Others seem When long-time Minnesota favorites Motion City Sound track and Trampled by Turtles teamed up for a cover song release, it seemed a perfect fit. This track has MCS covering TBT’s barn-burning folk-rock song “Wait So Long.”
“Wait So Long” by Motion City Soundtrack
Loud and complicated music is nothing unless it is also immersive. The swirly psychedelia of upstart trio Young Magic manages all three. Like a musical menagerie, the band’s debut album Melt (Carpark, Feb 14) draws on Afrobeat, grime, and Led Zeppelin-era rock to put on one heck of a show.
“Night in the Ocean” by Young Magic
This Toronto-based trio of traveling troubadours play banjo-and-harmonica-peppered blues-country. Days into Years (Paper Bag, Feb 7) is a brisk walk down a sunlit country road.
“Northern Air” by Elliott Brood
Sharon Van Etten
On the heels of one album and staring down the release of a second, Sharon Van Etten has added a raw recklessness to her folk balladry. Her forthcoming album, Tramp (Jagjaguwar), is due out Feb 7.
“Serpents” by Sharon Van Etten
Lush coronas of ambient piano billow over down-tempo computerized beats on Muon, the new album by Geskia! The album is being released by Dynamophone–truly a music lover’s record label–in March.
“Lampland” by Geskia!