RIP The Noise Is

Hey everyone,

So it’s about time that I end this wonderful blog that I had been doing for so long. I started it in 2009 pretty much as a dumb leak blog and I eventually turned it into something I really loved doing. I became exposed to so much amazing music and met a ton of great people, and I really hope I spread some of that onto you. As I’m graduated from college now, I’m going to be focusing on other things now and I think it’s a good time to end The Noise Is.

One thing I will be spending a majority of my time on from now on is a record label that I recently started called Jurassic Pop. As of right now, it’s mostly cassettes of Indiana bands, but we’re going to be doing vinyl in the near future and hopefully expanding farther than just the great state of Indiana.

Thanks again to those who stuck with my site (even when I wasn’t posting much), I’m grateful for every person that came to my blog.


P.S. I’m probably not going to be doing a top 50 albums of 2012, but here’s my top five.

1. Cloud Nothings – Attack On Memory
2. Japandroids – Celebration Rock
3. Sleeping Bag – Women Of Your Life
4. Stagnant Pools – Temporary Room
5. Gap Dream – Gap Dream

YEARS – “Stay Inside”

MP3: || Stay Inside ||

Here’s the single from Lafayette, IN shoegazers YEARS’ debut album, It Can Kill. “Stay Inside” is a striking pop track which bears strange feelings of nostalgia for the familiar and unfamiliar, while still showing the dizziness of the past, present, and future. Singer/guitarist Jordan Banks’ voice sits comfortably over the wavering verses of foggy guitars and the crystal clear choruses. Even at the third track position on the album, the single acts as somewhat of a beginning, a climax, and a resolution to It Can Kill. The remaining nine tracks leave you to decide which ones fits YEARS best. All of It Can Kill is streaming on their website, and you can order the CD from their store.

broken light – “Dawn of Nothing”

MP3: || Dawn of Nothing || (Right-click to download)

Check out a fantastic track from the debut album of Indiana up-and-coming shoegaze-pop outfit, broken light. “Dawn of Nothing” is a soaring fuzz-pop anthem, with touches of Microcastle-era Deerhunter and a guitar melody that would make Yuck jealous.  The track, as uplifting as it wants you to feel, leaks with frontman Eric Komenda’s lyrics on emptiness and disarray, but you’ll never feel better yelling out lines like, “Greet the void the slowly swallows/ All your secrets until you’re barren and bleak.” The group recorded The Spring Tide, with Brett Sanderson of Champaign, IL band Headlights and the release date/label is TBA.  Head over to their Bandcamp to hear another track from the album, “Nucleo/tides.”

High School Girls – “U R So Smart (I Think That It’s Sexy)”

MP3: || U R So Smart (I Think That it’s Sexy) ||

Disclaimer: I am in this band!

After the release of our debut EP earlier this year, we released our debut album, I’m in Heaven, Major Sevens, last week.  It’s full of Jens Lekman-esque jangle-pop songs about girls, growing up, and love, that are given the big-room feel of WU LYF and Cymbals Eat Guitars thanks to the album being recorded in a theater in downtown Lafayette, IN.  Listen to the single from the album, “U R So Smart (I Think That It’s Sexy),” an ode to the wonderful smart girls in our lives.  I’m in Heaven, Major Sevens is available on Bandcamp digitally and on CD.

Fang Island – “Asunder”

MP3: || Asunder ||

“Asunder” is the first taste from Fang Island’s new album, Major (pssh like they were gonna name it Minor). If you’ve listened to Fang Island before, especially their 2010 self-titled, you know to expect explosive sky-high party anthems that Andrew W.K. would be proud of. Listen to the massive “Asunder” in all of its glory, with harmonic guitar lines, sleigh bells, and one incredible triple harmony moment. Major will be out July 24th on Sargent House.

Sleeping Bag – “Soccer Ball (Final Mix)”

After a wonderfully fantastic debut, which made it into my top five records last year, Sleeping Bag have a new record that will be out this year. Bloomington recording studio Russian Recording, where the band recorded their follow-up called Women of Your Life, sent out an email with news on the album. They said, “We crammed all three of the dudes into the smallest room in the studio and recorded all the bed tracks live (drums, guitar and bass), giving the album a tight, intimate, cozy feel.” They also included a final mix of a track that will appear on the record. “Soccer Ball” is a lovable anthem with simple yet perfect melodies, tongue-in-cheek lyrics, and a fantastic Weezer-loving chorus. Women of Your Life will be out on Joyful Noise Recordings hopefully sometime in the fall.

Stagnant Pools sign to Polyvinyl Records, share “Dead Sailor” MP3

MP3: || Dead Sailor ||

Bloomington shoegaze brother duo Stagnant Pools have signed to Polyvinyl Records, who will release their debut album Temporary Room. “Dead Sailor” is the first single from the album, and like past demos, is a chugging slab of wall-of-noise guitar fuzz that also makes for a fantastic pop anthem with hooking melody. According to Polyvinyl, the bros received a tour van as a recent graduation presents, so expect tours this summer and fall. Temporary Room will be out August 7th and is up for preorder from Polyvinyl’s store on white vinyl (limited to 300), black vinyl, and CD. Watch a video of them playing “Dead Sailor” in my old DIY space in West Lafayette, IN.

Mid-American – “Shadow”

MP3: || Shadow ||

Back in March of 2010, I posted about the young Indiana band Mid-American and their first release, Fake Homes.  Now some two years later, after a successful Kickstarter, Mid-American has come back with the release of their self-titled debut album.  Their early sound was impressive for such a young band, but the group has expanded into a bigger and appropriately dense sound for Mid-American.  The second track, “Shadow,” is a crazy-catchy bubblegum-pop ode filled with foot-tapping build-ups and an infectious bell line that you won’t forget for days.  Mid-American’s uniqueness comes from a variety of new and familiar sounds including a touch of Radiohead’s remoteness (“The King of Nowhere”), big percussive aesthetics (“The Clearing”), their sheer ability to capture a melody (“Shadow”). and a minute-and-a-half instrumental interlude that proves to be one of the best tracks on the album (“Taijasa”).  All of this paired with frontman Phil Johnson’s sentimental voice alongside his powerful lyrics of confusion and loss makes for a rousing debut from this Indiana group.  Mid-American is out now digitally on their Bandcamp, with preorders for the album on vinyl and CD.

Balkans’ Self-Titled

My good friend Mike at Sippy Cup Everything turned me onto the Atlanta rockers Balkans’ self-titled debut a couple weeks ago, and I haven’t stopped listening since. And it’s a huge bummer that these guys are no more from what it looks like. Despite that, any fan of the early 2000s guitar-pop scene should listen to these guys immediately. Stream the entire album below, and go order the record from Double Phantom.

Trouble Books – “Dead Bee in a Golden Bowl”

My good friends and personal favorite Trouble Books have recently released their third LP, Concatenating Fields. After their fantastic 2010 second album Gathering Tones, and one of the best records of 2011 in their colab album with Mark McGuire, the husband-wife duo calls their new outing “definitely the best Trouble Books album yet.” The bedroom-pop feel hasn’t changed much, but in “Dead Bee in a Golden Bowl,” they are striving for something that feels more natural than everything else they’ve done. Dulled bass beats, minimal drum machine, pretty synth lines, and of course their almost-signature harmony style, this track finds TB sounding as comfortable as they ever have. One big thing to be stoked about is that they went for high-quality and had Concatenating Fields mastered by James Plotkin and the vinyl cut at Dubplates and Mastering in Berlin. These are the go-to guys in the ambient/drone scene for vinyl, and they’ve done pretty much every Editions Mego release and mostly all of my Emeralds vinyl. Go and order the LP from Bark & Hiss, limited to 300 copies.

Gap Dream – “58th St. Fingers”

MP3: || 58th St. Fingers ||

Gap Dream is the one-man bedroom psych-pop project of Clevelander Gabe Fulvimar, who formally played guitar in the pop quartet Future Days/Clovers.  “58th St. Fingers” is the lead track off Gabe’s self-titled debut album, and it’s a great ultra-groovy jangle-pop song  that’ll make you feel way too cool when blasting it with your windows down during the recent wonderful weather.  This album’s been a surprise favorite of mine this year, and I highly recommend it.  The cassette is available from Burger Records, the digital’s up for purchase on Gap Dream’s Bandcamp, and vinyl will be out sometime this summer.

Netherfriends – “Bloomington, IN”

MP3: || Bloomington, IN ||

It seems like Netherfriends, aka Shawn Rosenblatt, is a non-stop pop machine, either from his extensive touring across the US or his constant writing. His newest album, Middle America, is the first album of us 50 States 50 Songs project, where he visits and writes a song about a city in every state. “Bloomington, IN” is the second track on the album which shows off Rosenblatt’s sensitive indie-pop tendencies and tribal undertones, and assures us that “everybody wants to have a good time.” Middle America will be out on Kilo Records digitally, and you can hear the entire album from on Netherfriends’ website.

Young Mammals – “Landlady”

MP3: || Landlady ||

Here’s the newest music from Texas garage-kids Young Mammals, with the first taste since their fantastic 2010 album Carrots. The great production along with their almost signature jangle-tones make for a great A-side on their first vinyl release, which will be out on Bombs By Mail sometime soon, hopefully on radical colored vinyl like their first release.

Hear Unreleased Clovers/Future Days Album

Cleveland pop group Clovers, changed to Future Days, not only made big steps in their hometown, but were on the verge of becoming the next big thing in the national indie-pop/garage scene. The band had done tours with rad-rockers Free Energy and Secretly Canadian’s Foreign Born, and rumors were swirling that they were working with big labels. Then the group went down to Nashville to record with the Black Keys’ Pat Carney, recording what would be their official debut album, The Breezer. Weeks after getting back, Future Days threw up a couple tracks from the new album on SoundCloud, played a few local shows, and rumors swirled that the band had been signed to Fat Possum. Sometime near the end of last summer, I found out that the band had disbanded, killing all of the rumors and album releases they had planned. The band sent me The Breezer sometime before they told me about the breakup, and the album quickly became one of my favorites, especially the ultra-jangly second track “Carry Me Away.”  It was sad to me that nobody was going to here these fantastic pop songs, so the band allowed me to show their album that never happened.  Here are a couple tracks from the unreleased, unmastered album, The Breezer, and a link to download the entire album. Once you give it a couple listens, you’ll realize why it was such a bummer that Future Days didn’t became a bigger thing, cause the talent, songwriting, and spark were definitely there.

MP3: || Carry Me Away ||

MP3: || Sun Drops ||

Bears Release Show, New Song, & Music Saves In-Store

Bears’ fantastic third album, Greater Lakes, is on the verge of its wide release. The Greater Lakes release show will be at the Grog Shop tomorrow, along with great local pop band Afternoon Naps and the Lighthouse & the Whaler. And before that show, Bears will be playing a special acoustic show at Music Saves at 6. Here’s the Facebook events for the release show and Music Saves in-store. Also, they just released a new track from the album, “The City Still,” along with a remix by Low In The Sky.

MP3: || The City Still ||

MP3: || The City Still (Low in the Sky Remix) ||

High School Girls – “I Would Be A Great Lover For You”

MP3: || I Would Be A Great Lover For You ||

Well here’s another shameless plugs of one of my own bands! High School Girls is a love-pop duo from Lafayette, IN, and we just released our first EP, Breakfast Years, last week after recording a few tracks in the studio. Head over to our Bandcamp to listen and download the EP for free. We are also doing a Kickstarter right now to try to finish recording an album in the same studio where we did the tracks for the EP. Any help is greatly appreciated!

Cloud Nothings “No Future/No Past” [VIDEO]

And it looks like Pitchfork has treated our hometown boys well.

Cloud Nothings’ Attack On Memory Stream

Cloud Nothings’ third album Attack On Memory drops a week from today, but you can hear the entire album right now via Complex. Preorder for the album is up on Insound.

Stagnant Pools – “Consistency”

MP3: || Consistency ||

One of Indiana’s biggest up-and-comers Stagnant Pools just released the first taste of their upcoming 2012 record, release TBA. “Consistency” is a massive slice of punked-out sky-high shoegaze from the Bloomington brothers, and it definitely gives indications of a fantastic record from these two. Below is a video of the duo playing “Consistency” at my now-defunct basement venue Jurassic Park, and the song sounds just as huge.

Bears – “Eleven A.M.”

MP3: || Eleven A.M. ||

Let’s start 2012 on a great note! Cleveland pop heroes Bears released their highly anticipated third album, Greater Lakes, last week after their successful Kickstarter. Here’s the first track on the album, “Eleven A.M.,” a nice and dreamy pop doodle with Bears’ signature twee tones. I don’t think I’m alone in saying this it’s fantastic to have new Bears music, and they prove exactly why they’re still one of the best pop bands in Ohio. The album is officially out on Misra Records this February, and preorder for the clear vinyl and CD is up on Bears’ site or Misra’s shop.



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EMAIL: thenoiseis [AT]
If you are in a band or know a band you think I will like, shoot me an email. Just send me a link, artwork, and a short description of the music.




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