As an indie-only blogger with five years of webcred, I tend to have a very full mailbag.  I also have this psychotic feeling of obligation to listen to everything I get–or at least to get through the first track.  Sixty percent don’t get me to track 2.  For another twenty percent, I can’t make it through the whole thing.  Then there’s the remaining 2 out of 10, which get reviewed.  Here’s two.

First, I don’t know why I do, but I really dig the new EP from Ela Caspian, “Stars.”  It’s upbeat pop with few surprises, but it’s played well and it’s catchy as hell.  I always look on self-released material with more mercy, particularly when it is released for free, but I’m not sure Ela Caspian even needed such special dispensation.  It’s cheerful party music, with nothing to offend, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with having a little fun.

Get it at the band’s myspace page.

Stars (YSI)

The second free EP on the menu today is from Jon Hardy and the Public.  Their EP, “Sugar,” is also a free D.I.Y.  And it’s terrific. I really haven’t enjoyed an EP so much in a long time.

The St. Louis band has already established itself on NPR and in No Depression, so you also pretty much know it’s Americana just from the pedigree.  It seems like this is a genre that a lot of new artists play in–maybe it’s easy or something–but that makes it even harder to distinguish a special sound.  Jon Hardy has a great voice–he’s actually a singer–and the songwriting is tight and original.  The music does have that alt-country feel, but there’s enough indie rock in here to make it cool, and there’s no twang to tie it down.  Come for the great cover of “Where Did Our Love Go,” but stay for originals like Hold Your Tongue.

Here’s some samples, but I don’t recommend them.  I recommend going to get the whole thing for free.  Get it free!

Hold Your Tongue

Where Did Our Love Go? (Supremes cover)

Related Posts

About The Author