10 Best Free MP3 Downloads of January
We love sharing great new music with you. And we gave away plenty of great songs over the past month, including guitar-based heartland rock, synth-fueled indie pop and even some folksy tunes with banjos. We've rounded up our 10 favorite free MP3 downloads from January to make it easy for you to grab them. So read up on what we have to say about the music and then fill up your playlists.
Alcoa, 'Keep Track / Lose Track'
When he isn't leading Massachusetts hardcore group Defeater, Derek Archambault makes more melodic, and slightly twangier, music as Alcoa. The great 'Keep Track / Lose Track' is a roots-rock gem, complete with pedal steel guitar.
August Premier, 'Trenches'
Chicago's August Premier were part of the Fueled by Ramen crew a few years ago, so you know where these guys are coming from. They're still making radio-ready pop-punk with ringing guitars and big choruses. The hook-stuffed 'Trenches' doesn't let up once it digs in.
Gentlemen Hall, 'Sail Into the Sun'
You may have heard Gentlemen Hall's 'Sail Into the Sun' in a commercial for a Samsung camera. Like fellow Massachusetts pop lovers Passion Pit, the Boston-bred Gentlemen Hall make super-catchy synth-pop with big, wonderful beats.
Mansions, 'Heavy Dungeon Echo'
Don't let the stripped-down first half of 'Heavy Dungeon Echo' fool you. Once the song kicks in with buzzing guitars and distorted noise, the Seattle duo carry it through to a glorious mess of an ending that eventually turns back into the intro. Cool stuff.
Bryce Midas, 'Lady of the Lake'
Taking its cue from the pastoral shadings of artists like Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes, singer-songwriter Bryce Midas' lovely 'Lady of the Lake' goes down smooth. Midas' cozy, warm voice makes a perfect complement to the song's plucked acoustic tone.
1985, 'Everything's Perfect'
New York's 1985 have a new record coming out on Valentine's Day. It's fitting, because the springy pop of 'Everything's Perfect' is all about living in the moment with the people you love. Guaranteed to make your crappy day at least 87 percent better.
John Nolan, 'C'est Le Fin Dumonde'
John Nolan is a busy guy, pulling double duty with Taking Back Sunday and Straylight Run. Now he's into a solo career that's given us 'C'est Le Fin Dumonde,' a moody mid-tempo waltz with some fuzzy guitars and a few French words.
Chris Shotliff & the Hardest Part, 'The Run'
This gutsy rocker heads back to old-fashioned classic rock for inspiration (dig that 'Born to Run' nod in the chorus), swings through the heartland (that riff is pure gold) and ends up somewhere near indie-rock heaven. Not a bad place to be.
Swear and Shake, 'These White Walls'
Brooklyn quartet Swear and Shake inject banjo and organ into their folksy tunes -- a mix of rootsy swing and indie cool. They may sing about "smoking weed and watch(ing) TV,' but the rousing 'These White Walls' reveals way more inspiration.
Total Warr (Featuring the Death Set), 'Bambastard'
Paris' Total Warr team up with Johnny Siera from Australian electro-punks the Death Set on this retro-leaning dance track that sounds like early-'80s post-punk fused with modern-day indie rock. The natural pairing makes for a three-minute blast of awesomeness.