“Excuses” The Morning Benders
After teasing the online community for months with live recordings and album promises, the Morning Benders have released Big Echo. “Excuses,” the latest single that’s been made available for free download on the band’s website, is a warm, belly-full spring anthem that swings brightly back and forth, with voices lightly strung together over stick-heavy percussion and plinking pianos. The singsong is your classic spring indie-anthem, and they like it that way. With no apologies for being happy, The Morning Benders have given you a soundtrack to celebrate the disappearance of snow.
I don’t care that I’m more than 10 years late on this album. It is sopping wet, two of the finest MC’s oozing talent again and again, track after track. “Definition” is the cream that’s risen to the top, a snare-happy banger that features Mos and Kweli parceling out wisdom too fast for you to gather in one listen, staccato syllables ringing like gunshots over the beat.
– Graham Corrigan
Almost Everything I Wish I’d Said The Last Time I Saw YouWakey!Wakey!
The title may be a mouthful but it’s incredibly reflective of Wakey!Wakey!’s debut album. Written about front man Mike Grubbs’ last relationship, each song moves swiftly into the next charting a tale of love found and lost. Grubbs, who has recently been featured on The CW’s One Tree Hill, is a talented songwriter and so far, Almost Everything I Wish I’d Said The Last Time I Saw You is one 2010’s best albums.
I Am Just a RapperChildish Gambino
If you’ve seen an episode of NBC’s Community then you’re probably familiar with comedian Donald Glover. But, what you may not know is that Glover also raps under the alias Childish Gambino. Available free to download at his website, I Am Just a Rapper and I Am Just a Rapper Part 2 showcase just how versatile Glover really is. He uses instrumentation from today’s biggest indie bands (Vampire Weekend, Grizzly Bear and Animal Collective) to serve as his beats and the results are priceless.
“Billionaire”Travis McCoy feat Bruno Mars
Travis McCoy of Gym Class Heroes is going it alone on his new album, from which this is the first single — but the sound isn’t all that different. What makes this track particularly striking is the hook provided by Bruno Mars. Like he did for B.O.B.’s “Nothin’ On You,” Mars adds a crisp vocal that you can’t help but sing along to.
“OMG”Usher feat Will.I.Am
After two failed singles, Usher recently released “OMG” to help promote his new album Raymond v. Raymond. Produced by Will.I.Am the track has an infectious beat that will have you up and dancing on the beach come next week.
— Wesley Ambrecht