Penguin Prison: I was really excited to come across this artist because I have a soft spot for happy pop/dance music. Penguin Prison has the voice of George Michael but with the modern musical stylings of Miike Snow; the prismatic, “shiny” qualities of his music, however, are his own. “The Worse It Gets” and “Something I’m Not” are dance-inspiring tracks that should be included in every Friday night soundtrack.
Nicole Atkins: At first glance, Nicole Atkins seems like she could be just another pretty face, but not only can this girl sing - she can belt out tunes like it’s nobody's business. “Brooklyn’s on Fire!” and “Maybe Tonight” show off her soulfulness and affinity for all things classic. Atkins’ new album comes out in January 2011.
The Depreciation Guild: What drew me to this Brooklyn-based trio was their creative mix of grinding guitar chords, gentle vocals and trancelike synths. Their latest album, Spirit Youth, was released in May to rave reviews from Pitchfork, SoundVenue and many more. Listen to “Dream of Me” to experience The Depreciation Guild’s unique blend of experimental pop.
Dive Index: “Electroacoustic” seems like it’d be an oxymoron, but Dive Index makes the genre work with quiet instrumentals and tender vocals. The focus on lyrical themes of water, air and flying give the music a calming and organic feel, as demonstrated in “Sole Fishing.”
Medium Troy: Okay, so they’re not exactly new - I’ve featured MT several times already on BNB - but the boys of Troy just released a new EP and I had to include one of the tracks on this playlist. “Space Tree” shows how much the band has grown since its previous album, the self-titled debut from 2008 - note Connah Jay’s rigorous turntabling and Jojo Ferreira’s introspective lyrics (“will you watch the world burn from your jet? / or plant a tree on your spaceship? / we’ll never find another home / but we can feel the wind blow”). The Space Tree EP is available for free download on the band’s Facebook page.