A Few Tracks To Check Out: Tatanc, Tropikal Animal, Valibela
Post-rock! A weird genre, it is. Ambient... rock? Can you call post-rock rock, even? Who knows. Anyway, this is a very good post-rock album right here. The album cover gives a good feel for the tone: Melancholy, but colorful. Although it's melancholy throughout (is there such a thing as happy post-rock?), it has a lightness of tone to it that keeps it feeling optimistic and warm. If you like Sigur Ros, you'll probably like these guys. They're a bit less... I don't know, sacred-sounding than Sigur Ros, if that makes any sense. This is a really impressive debut, all things considered, and it's pay what you want! Check it out for sure.
A Few Tracks To Check Out: Honestly, the album has a really great flow and you should listen to it all at once. It is post-rock, after all.
Skafunkrappoprock! I like these guys, they're cool. At heart they could probably be best compared to ska punk, I suppose, in that they're rocky ska. They're not really all that punky though, instead folding in swing, funk, and hip-hop influences for a tasty and very energetic mixture. I challenge you not to feel at least a little bit happier when the first song on their (so far) only album jumps out of your speakers. The band doesn't appear to have their own singer, so about a third are instrumentals, a third are rapped over by various people, and a third are sung over by Nuala Honan (I don't know who that is, but she's got a good voice and a cool name) or other singers occasionally. My only real complaint about this album is that I'm not much of a rap aficionado, so I wish there were more songs featuring Nuala (or other singers) and less with rapping. Oh, and I guess the mood can get a bit tiresome by the end of the album, but that's not so much a complaint as the mood is a key part of their sound. Just gotta be in the right mood. All things considered, this is a very cool album, and I'm looking forward to seeing their next release.
A Few Tracks To Check Out: One, Sailing Bird!, Magenta
Paul Shapera/Mocha Lab
A Few Tracks To Check Out: Madame Chatterlaine, Voodoopunk, Nyarlathoptek
A Few Tracks To Check Out: Old King Cole, Pump Shanty,Our Boy Jack
Let's end with a less obscure (comparatively) fellow. Formerly the leader of the 90s alt-rock band Toad The Wet Sprocket, after the band broke up in the late 90s, Glen embarked on a solo career. Well-compose singer-songwriter folk-rock and alt-rock galore. Is good. Winter Pays For Summer (sadly, it's a good album) is missing from his Bandcamp page, but all the rest is there.