The Decemberists are an American indie rock band from Portland, Oregon. The band consists of Colin Meloy (lead vocals, guitar, principal songwriter), Chris Funk (guitar, multi-instrumentalist), Jenny Conlee (piano, keyboards, accordion), Nate Query (bass), and John Moen (drums).
Their debut EP, 5 Songs, was self-released in 2001. Their eighth and latest full-length album I'll Be Your Girl was released on March 16, 2018, by Capitol Records, and is the band's fifth record with the label.
In addition to their lyrics, which often focus on historical incidents and/or folklore, the Decemberists are also well known for their eclectic live shows. Audience participation is a part of each performance, typically during encores. The band stages whimsical reenactments of sea battles and other centuries-old events, typically of regional interest, or acts out songs with members of the crowd.
Animal Collective is an American experimental pop band formed in Baltimore, Maryland. Its members consist of Avey Tare, Panda Bear, Geologist, and Deakin. The band's work is characterized by an eclectic exploration of styles, including psychedelia, freak folk, noise, and electronica, with the use of elements such as loops, drones, sampling, vocal harmonies, and sound collage. AllMusic's Fred Thomas suggests that the group "defined the face of independent experimental rock during the 2000s and 2010s."
Noah Benjamin Lennox, also known by his moniker Panda Bear, is an American musician, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and co-founding member of the band Animal Collective. In addition to his work with that group, Lennox has released six solo LPs since 1999, with his influential 2007 album Person Pitch inspiring numerous subsequent acts. His subsequent albums Tomboy (2011) and Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper (2015) both reached the Billboard 200.
Tortoise is an American post-rock band formed in Chicago, Illinois in 1990. The band incorporates krautrock, dub, minimal music, electronica and jazz into their music, a combination sometimes termed "post-rock". Tortoise have been consistently credited for the rise of the post-rock movement in the 1990s.
Múm (stylized in lowercase) (Icelandic pronunciation: [muːm]) is an Icelandic indietronica band whose music is characterized by soft vocals, electronic glitch beats and effects, and a variety of traditional and unconventional instruments.
The band was formed in 1997 by original members Gunnar Örn Tynes and Örvar Þóreyjarson Smárason, who were joined by twin sisters Gyða and Kristín Anna Valtýsdóttir. According to Kristín, the band's name was not intended to mean anything. Gyða left the band to return to her studies after the release of Finally We Are No One. In early 2006, Kristín also left the band, although it was not officially announced until 23 November of that year. With only Tynes and Smárason remaining in the group, a large group of new musicians were brought on board: guitarist/vocalist/violinist Ólöf Arnalds, trumpet/keyboard player Eiríkur Orri Ólafsson, vocalist/cellist Hildur Guðnadóttir, percussionist Samuli Kosminen, and multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Mr. Silla. The new collective of musicians recorded their fourth album during 2006; Go Go Smear the Poison Ivy was released on 24 September 2007.
Closure in Moscow is an Australian progressive rock band that formed in Melbourne, Victoria in 2006. The group is composed of guitarist-singer Mansur Zennelli, guitarist Michael Barrett, drummer Salvatore Aidone, bassist Duncan Millar and lead singer Christopher de Cinque. To date they have released one extended-play and two full-length studio albums: The Penance and the Patience (2008), First Temple (2009) and Pink Lemonade (2014) respectively. The band has reached notable success throughout the international rock circuit for their live performances and avant garde sound.
18 months after forming, Closure in Moscow released their debut EP (self-proclaimed "albumette") in 2008, titled The Penance and the Patience. Upon the release of the EP, the band members were an average age of 21, and the complete lineup had only been together a few months. They went to extreme lengths to record The Penance and the Patience: the band spent three to four months straight writing or doing preproduction, as well as quitting jobs to go on tour. It was eventually recorded at Sing Sing Studios in Melbourne, with each of the band members selling his car to get American music producer and engineer Kris Crummett out to do the album. Crummett had previously worked on albums with Drop Dead Gorgeous, Fear Before the March of Flames, Kaddisfly and Dance Gavin Dance. The albumette was completed in July 2007, nine months before its release.
Daniel Victor Snaith (born March 29, 1978) is a Canadian composer, musician, and recording artist who has performed under the stage names Caribou, Manitoba, and Daphni.
Snaith originally recorded under the stage name Manitoba, but after being threatened with a lawsuit by Richard "Handsome Dick" Manitoba (real name Richard Blum), formerly of punk band The Dictators, Snaith changed his performance name to Caribou. Snaith's previous full-length albums were then re-released under the new moniker, and The Milk of Human Kindness was released in 2005 by Domino. In June that year the album topped the !earshot Campus and Community Radio Top 200 chart.
When playing gigs, Snaith usually performs with a live band and plays percussion. Ex-bandmates include bassist Andy Lloyd of Born Ruffians and drummer Peter Mitton, now a producer for CBC radio. Currently, the live band consists of Snaith, Ryan Smith, Brad Weber, and John Schmersal. Live shows also often include complex video projections on a large screen, as captured in a DVD released in November 2005. "In music I will have an idea to put some different sounds together or a melody that meshes with a chord sequence or a sonic mood," said Snaith in an interview. "I'm not the type of person who takes physical things apart and plays around with them, but I like taking mental ideas apart and playing around with them. That's what appeals to me about what I've spent my life doing."
The Mountain Goats are an American band formed in Claremont, California, by singer-songwriter John Darnielle. The band is currently based in Durham, North Carolina. For many years, the sole member of the Mountain Goats was Darnielle, despite the plural moniker. Although he remains the core member of the band, he has worked with a variety of collaborators over time, including bassist and vocalist Peter Hughes, drummer Jon Wurster, multi-instrumentalist Matt Douglas, singer-songwriter Franklin Bruno, bassist and vocalist Rachel Ware, singer-songwriter/producer John Vanderslice, guitarist Kaki King, and multi-instrumentalist Annie Clark.
Throughout the 1990s, the Mountain Goats were known for producing low-fidelity home recordings (most notably, on a cassette deck boombox) and releasing recordings in cassette or vinyl 7-inch formats. Since 2002, the Mountain Goats have adopted a more polished approach, often recording studio albums with a full band.
Crystal Castles was a Canadian electronic music group formed in 2006 in Toronto, Ontario, formed by songwriter-producer Ethan Kath and singer-songwriter Alice Glass, who later left and was replaced by Edith Frances. Crystal Castles were known for their chaotic live shows and lo-fi melancholic homemade productions. They released many limited vinyl singles between 2006 and 2007 before releasing four studio albums between 2008 and 2016.
Kristian Matsson (born 30 April 1983) is a Swedish singer-songwriter who performs under the stage name The Tallest Man on Earth. Matsson grew up in Leksand, and began his solo career in 2006, having previously been the lead singer of the indie band Montezumas. His music has often drawn comparisons to the music of Bob Dylan.
Since 2006, Matsson has released five full-length albums and two EPs. He records and produces these in his home, and usually records his voice and guitar together on one track. He is known for his charismatic stage presence.
He was previously married to Amanda Bergman, also known by the stage name Idiot Wind. Together, they wrote the music for the Swedish drama film Once a Year.
Beach House is an American musical duo formed in Baltimore, Maryland in 2004. The band consists of vocalist and keyboardist Victoria Legrand and guitarist, keyboardist, and backup vocalist Alex Scally.
Their self-titled debut album was released in 2006 to critical acclaim and has been followed by Devotion (2008), Teen Dream (2010), Bloom (2012), Depression Cherry (2015), Thank Your Lucky Stars (2015), B-sides and Rarities (2017), 7 (2018), and Once Twice Melody (2022).
Vocalist and organist Victoria Legrand, who graduated from Vassar College in 2003, and guitarist Alex Scally, who graduated from Oberlin College in 2004, formed the band in 2004 after meeting in Baltimore's indie rock scene, producing music composed largely of organ, programmed drums, and steel guitar. Of the origins of the band name Scally said: "We’d been writing music, and we had all these songs, and then there was that moment where you say ‘what do we call ourselves?’ We tried to intellectualize it, and it didn’t work. There were different plant-names, Wisteria, that kind of thing. Stupid stuff. But, once we stopped trying, it just came out, it just happened. And it just seemed perfect." In an interview with Pitchfork, Legrand addressed their being a two-member status thus: "[I]t's a way to challenge ourselves: What do you do when it's just the two of you? ... [O]ne of the reasons this has been such a fulfilling experience for me is that with two people, it's so much easier to achieve things that feel exciting and new."
Of Montreal is an American indie pop band from Athens, Georgia. It was founded by frontperson Kevin Barnes in 1996, named after a failed romance between Barnes and a woman "of Montreal". The band is identified as part of the Elephant 6 collective. Throughout its existence, of Montreal's musical style has evolved considerably and drawn inspiration from 1960s psychedelic pop acts.
Neutral Milk Hotel was an American band formed in Ruston, Louisiana, by musician Jeff Mangum. They were active from 1989 to 1998, and again from 2013 to 2015. The band's music featured a deliberately low-quality sound, influenced by indie rock and psychedelic folk. Mangum wrote surreal and opaque lyrics that covered a wide range of topics, including love, spirituality, nostalgia, sex, and loneliness. He and the other band members played a variety of instruments, including non-traditional rock instruments like the singing saw, uilleann pipes, and Digital Horn.
Neutral Milk Hotel began as one of Mangum's home recording projects. In 1994, he released the song "Everything Is" on Cher Doll Records. The song's exposure convinced him to record more music under this name. In 1996, he worked with childhood friend Robert Schneider to record the album On Avery Island, which received modest reviews and sold around 5,000 copies. Mangum recruited musicians Julian Koster, Jeremy Barnes, and Scott Spillane for the band's second album, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. Its 1998 release received mostly positive but not laudatory reviews.
Boards of Canada are a Scottish electronic music duo consisting of brothers Michael Sandison and Marcus Eoin, formed initially as a group in 1986 before becoming a duo in the 1990s. Signing first to Skam followed by Warp Records in the 1990s, the duo subsequently received recognition following the release of their debut album Music Has the Right to Children on Warp in 1998. They followed with the critically acclaimed albums Geogaddi (2002), The Campfire Headphase (2005) and Tomorrow's Harvest (2013), but have remained reclusive and continue to rarely appear live.
Ólafur Arnalds (Icelandic pronunciation: [ˈouːlavʏr ˈartnalts]; born 3 November 1986) is an Icelandic multi-instrumentalist and producer from Mosfellsbær, Iceland. He mixes strings and piano with loops and beats, a sound ranging from ambient/electronic to atmospheric pop. He is also the former drummer for hardcore and metal bands Fighting Shit, Celestine, and others.
In 2009, Ólafur also formed an experimental techno project, entitled Kiasmos, with Janus Rasmussen from the Icelandic electro-pop band Bloodgroup, announcing his electronic debut album in 2014.
In 2013, Ólafur composed the score for the 2013 ITV series Broadchurch, for which he won the 2014 BAFTA TV Craft Award for Best Original Music.
Steven Ellison (born October 7, 1983), known by his stage name Flying Lotus or sometimes FlyLo, is an American record producer, DJ and rapper from Los Angeles. He is also the founder of the record label Brainfeeder.
Flying Lotus has released seven studio albums—1983 (2006), Los Angeles (2008), Cosmogramma (2010), Until the Quiet Comes (2012), You're Dead! (2014), Flamagra (2019) and Yasuke (2021)—to critical acclaim. He has produced much of the bumper music on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim programming block. He also contributed remixes for fellow Plug Research artists including Mia Doi Todd.
In 2012, Flying Lotus began rapping under the persona Captain Murphy, based on the Sealab 2021 character of the same name. Ellison kept this fact a secret for several months, finally revealing his identity several weeks after the release of his first rap mixtape: Duality (2012).
Final Fantasy is a fantasy role-playing video game developed and published by Square in 1987. It is the first game in Square's Final Fantasy series, created by Hironobu Sakaguchi. Originally released for the NES, Final Fantasy was remade for several video game consoles and is frequently packaged with Final Fantasy II in video game collections. The first Final Fantasy story follows four youths called the Warriors of Light, who each carry one of their world's four elemental crystals which have been darkened by the four Elemental Fiends. Together, they quest to defeat these evil forces, restore light to the crystals, and save their world.
LSD: Dream Emulator is an exploration game developed and published by Asmik Ace Entertainment for the PlayStation. In LSD, the player explores surreal environments without any objective. The player can only move and touch objects that will warp them to another setting. The game was conceived by Japanese artist Osamu Sato, who rejected the idea of games, and wanted to use the PlayStation as a medium for creating contemporary art. The game's concept is based on a dream diary kept by an Asmik Ace employee for over a decade.
The game received a limited release in Japan on October 22, 1998, alongside a soundtrack and a book composed of excerpts from the dream diary. LSD quickly fell into obscurity, but in years since has experienced a resurgence in popularity due to its eccentricity being an engaging point of discussion for humor blogs and Let's Play commentators. In retrospect critics have praised its whimsical qualities, with it being cited as one of the most experimental video games of all time. The game was released on the Japanese PlayStation Store in 2010.