Category Archives: Belarus

MOTM’s Best Album Of 2007

As promised yesterday, here’s the battle for the best album of 2007. Yes, battle… because I’ve got two contenders this year, and I just can’t pick one. So here’s what I’ll do: I’ll let the songs battle it out! Ladies and Gentlemen, take your seats and witness The Shins from the U.S. of A. in the blue corner fighting against the Shout Out Louds from Sweden in the red corner. Wincing The Night Away or Our Ill Wills… who will it be? Let’s get ready to rumble!

Round 1:
Sleeping Lessons Vs. Tonight I Have To Leave It
The Shins have a great opener, but the SOL track is easily one of the best tunes this year!
Shins : SOL 0:1

Round 2:
Australia Vs. Parent’s Livingroom
This one’s for the Shins. Great chorus on the SOL track, but overall, Australia’s better!
Shins : SOL 1:1

Round 3:
Pam Berry Vs. You Are Dreaming
Well, Pam Berry really isn’t a proper song (but a great introduction to the next one!), and You Are Dreaming is my favourite SOL-song, so this one’s clear.
Shins : SOL 1:2

Round 4:
Phantom Limb Vs. Suit Yourself
I guess Phantom Limb’s my favourite 2007 song, so I can’t give the point to SOL.
Shins : SOL 2:2

Round 5:
Sea Legs Vs. Blue Headlights
Two dark horses, but Sea Legs wins with a nose’s length!
Shins : SOL 3:2

Round 6:
Red Rabbits Vs. Impossible
Impossible’s just too good to not win, even if Red Rabbits is a very nice one, too.
Shins : SOL 3:3

Round 7:
Turn On Me Vs. Normandie
Has to be Turn On Me, my second-favourite song from the album. Sorry, Normandie…
Shins : SOL 4:3

Round 8:
Black Wave Vs. South America
This one goes to SOL once again… South America is one of the coolest tunes this year!
Shins : SOL 4:4

Round 9:
Split Needles Vs. Ill Wills
Hmmm… this is hard. I think I’ll go for Split Needles. Yeah, that I’ll do!
Shins : SOL 5:4

Round 10:
Girl Sailor Vs. Time Left For Love
Once again, a very hard decision. Both songs are exceptionally great. Ah, damn… I’m voting for the Shins because that song kept following me for two weeks on my holiday this March!
Shins : SOL 6:4

Round 11:
A Comet Appears Vs. Meat Is Murder
Oh well… A Comet Appears is nice, but Meat Is Murder is just a bit nicer… point for the SOL!
Shins : SOL 6:5

Round 12:
Hard Rain
OK, what do I do now? The Shout Out Louds have one song left, and it’s quite a good one. Based on points so far, The Shins are the winners, but there’s Hard Rain… and a decision has to be made. Hmm…



Well, here’s what I’ll do: since I’m calling the shots here, and there really are no rules for such lists, I’m gonna make a double-winner this year! Easy as that! So here it is:


The Shins – Wincing The Night Away
Shout Out Louds – Our Ill Wills

To finish this year’s best-of-lists, I’ve got one honourable mention that probably would have made the top spot if it would have been around for a bit longer. Here goes:

Belarus – Communicate

Thanks to the work and effort of a small label called Playdead, the debut album of Belarus was released even when the band had broke up earlier this year. And we would have missed one of the best britpop-albums in years if it wasn’t for Playdead! Eleven britrock-gems that easily surpass most of the hyped releases of 2007. If you’re buying one last album this year (or are looking for the first one to buy in 2008), I highly recommend that you invest your money in Belarus! Visit Playdead‘s website for more information, and listen to Belarus‘ music on these two MySpace-sites:

Stay tuned for a special Christmas treat tomorrow!!!

Mixed Bag Of News

will release their first album, Elegies Of Lessons Learnt, on October 1st. A single called Deception will also be released, on September 10th. Head over to the band’s MySpace to listen to Victress, the B-Side of the single. And here’s the tracklist for the album:

1. We All Fall Down
2. Twenty Five Sins
3. The Deception
4. Voice of Reason
5. Death of an Idealist
6. Remnants of an Army
7. We Go Hunting
8. Come Over
9. Spencer Perceval
10. Epiphany
11. Death is the End

Sweden’s Moonbabies will finally release their new album At The Ballroom in Germany, Austria and Switzerland on August 31st. Niiiiice!

The Moonbabies – Sun A.M. (MP3)

Swiss melancho-rockers Mañana will be going into the studio to record their debut album. If you haven’t heard of the band before, you should definitely check out the sound clips below, and if you’re a videogamer, you might already know their brilliant signature tune Miss Evening, which was on the soundtrack to Fifa Football 2005.

Mañana – Fast Days (MP3)
Mañana – Miss Evening (MP3)
Mañana – There It Goes (MP3)

Danes Spleen United are also giving the finishing touches to their second album. It will be released early 2008, and if it’s just nearly as good as the debut album, it will be a smash hit. Let’s keep our fingers crossed!

Another bit of news from Denmark, but not good ones: JoyceHotel have called it quits and no longer exist as a band. No news if any of the members will go solo. Sad news indeed!

The end of a band doesn’t necessarily mean the end of it all though. Brits Belarus are living proof. The band decided to split up a few months ago, just before their debut album was about to be released. Now the fine folks at Play Dead Records have put in an effort to save the works of Belarus, and finally, the album is ready to order! My copy is already on the way, and I’ll write about it when it’s here. In the meantime, please visit the band’s two myspace-sites and listen to some of the finest Britpop-tunes from this great band!

And to complete this post, here are a few new songs that I recommend… full and free as ever! 🙂

Little Big Adventure – The Easiest Thing (MP3)

Northern Portrait – What Happens Next (MP3)

Sambassadeur – Subtle Changes (MP3, via Pitchfork)

Red Sleeping Beauty – Don’t Say You Love Me (MP3)


I’ve written about the split of Belarus just last week, and now it seems that all is not lost. Former band member Matt has decided to post some of the band’s songs on two MySpace-sites, and is even trying to release the debut album somehow for interested fans. Very good news indeed! If you listen to the songs on those sites, you’ll see that this is an album worth being released!

Belarus – On The Spot

Belarus – Reaction (MP3)

Sir Salvatore have knocked on my MySpace-door with a very friendly message, and after listening to their songs, I’ve decided to let them in. The band from San Francisco has lately been compared to The Strokes, Tapes n’ Tapes, Pavement or Death Cab For Cutie, and as it looks, they’ve already gotten some attention in the blogosphere. Right so! The songs are really catchy and fresh, and should appeal to every indie-rock-lover. Well, enough talking, let the music speak. Here are two songs from their latest EP:

Sir Salvatore – Hooray This Projector (MP3)

Sir Salvatore – Public Key (MP3)

I’ve read about Isle Of Thieves a few months ago (I just can’t remember where… probably during my holiday in Canada or I’ve read it on some blog…), but somehow forgot about them again. But good music wants to be found, so I was very glad that the band has finally found my MySpace. The Toronto band was founded only in 2006 and is currently recording their first full length album. If cool indie-rock is what you’re after, you should download and listen to the songs available on their two MySpace-sites, ey!

Isle Of Thieves – Rockstar (MP3)

Isle Of Thieves – Love Artificial (MP3)

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More This ‘N That…

Sad news from Belarus (the band, not the country!): they have decided to call it quits. A debut album was almost finished, but will now probably never see the light of day. What a shame! Just to freshen up your memory: Belarus was a Brit-Rock-band with a promising future, and their catchy-as-hell hymn Standing In The Right Place ended up as my fifth-favourite single of 2006. I just hope these talented guys will soon again take on new projects!
Belarus – Standing In The Right Place (MP3)
Belarus – Taking The Mad Out Of Madness (MP3)

Today’s award for Blondie-sound-alike goes to Blonde Readhead for their new song 23. Even if the similarities are obvious, it remains a pretty cool song!
Blonde Readhead – 23 (MP3)

I didn’t really care about Jarvis Cocker‘s solo album after I’ve heard some of the songs. Just wanted to let you know that you can have one of the better ones for free now. Get it here:
Jarvis Cocker – Don’t Let Him Waste Your Time (MP3)

Apparently, the bandwith for the Human League downloads from last week’s Flashback Friday has already been exceeded. I will re-up the songs tonight to another host, so check back later if you still need them.
Transferred the files to a new host! Download should work again!

And: I’m already waaaaay past the 100’000-visitor-mark! Really cool! Thanks to all of you who have been visiting!
The Lodger – Many Thanks (MP3)

You might already have read about that ominous new Interpol-single, Like Ashes. Well, fact is that it’s not Interpol‘s song, but one from Swedish band Cut City (you could easily mistake that song for an Interpol one though!). But there is news from Interpol: a live performance of two new songs called the Heinrich Manoeuvre and Pioneer has popped up on YouTube. The quality is not too good, but it gives you an impression of what we can expect next from the band. There’s a date on the official Interpol Site, 7.10.2007; looks like we have to be patient for a few months more…
Cut City – Like Ashes, Like Millions (MP3)

Interpol – Heinrich Manoeuvre (video on YouTube)
Interpol – Pioneer (video on YouTube)

I don’t really like promoting bands that don’t offer at least one free download, but now and then, I’ll make an exception. Dutch band A Balladeer‘s songs are really worth listening to, and their album Panama is another strong contender for the year-end-list (although it was released last year…). I recommend you visit their sites and listen to the songs… indie-pop at its best!!! Swim With Sam and Summer are especially good! is another site that lists free MP3s from the Net. They already have a huuuuge archive of artists, and even if you can’t read German, you should find your way through the site. Happy downloading! 🙂