Listen to What You’re Missin’: Portugal. The Man, Raveonettes, Bat For Lashes, and Akron/Family

09/03/2009

“Listen to What You’re Missin'” is a series of posts consisting of three tracks each week, giving you an updated look at new music. This week I explore some of the artists I discovered at San Francisco’s Outside Lands, and well, the Raveonettes.


Portugal. The Man: “People Say”

Described as the best band you probably still don’t know, Portugal. The Man is a band you should, and soon will know. After receiving high praise from Spin and NME, the band has created quite a buzz for their new album, The Satanic Satanists, from their performance during this years Lollapolooza. Their sound is difficult to describe, and I hate to generalize, but it reminds me of The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine. Lead singer John Gourley is not only a talented musician, but also an artist (he and his friend Austin designed the album cover).


Akron/Family: “Crickets”

To describe one song of Akron/Family would totally limit the scope of their sound. On “Crickets,” you can hear sounds of lo-fi distortion on the vocals, coupled with a banjo, electric guitars, and well the list goes on. Originally a six piece band, the group is now comprised of three members, each multi-instrumentalists whose versatility enables the band to change it’s arrangement based on songs. On the band’s Myspace page, they describe their sound as “Villiage People meet Carlos Castaneda on a Vision Quest….” Do I need to say anymore? For a great interview with Akron/Family, check out Aquarium Drunkard.


Bat For Lashes: “Daniel”

Natasha Khan, aka Bat For Lashes, is a beautiful dreamer that is offering her world of love and stories for those willing to explore. Both of her albums have been nominated for UK/Ireland’s prestigious Mercury prize. When I sat and chatted with her at Outside Lands, she was wearing a t-shirt, her eyes surrounded by glitter, wearing a white feathered headdress that I assume she made. Her album Two Suns is a story of star crossed lovers (maybe alluding to her love for the Karate Kid). Her sound is rich, with intricate drum patterns, and a voice that calls with longing. She reminds me of Madonna’s song “Power of Goodbye” from The Neverending Story.


The Raveonettes: “Last Dance”

If this is the last dance, than I’ll save this for The Raveonettes. With a lo-fi sound that is not washed clean, “Last Dance” is bright and enticing. There is an element of 60s psychedelic rock that is coupled with a pop techno beat production, making an excitingly new and old sound. The Raveonettes are my new favorite discovery.

If you enjoyed this post, check out these:

Listen to What You’re Missin’: Modest Mouse, Speech Debelle, 88-Keys, and Discovery

Listen to What You’re Missin’: Au Revoir Simone, Madeline, Tupac, and Atlas Sounds

It’s Working Out: An Interview with Mayer Hawthorne