Obscure Sound: Best of June 2011

It’s hard to believe July is already here. The mid-point of the year has arrived, and for many sites like this it marks a time to evaluate 2011’s releases thus far and attempt to order them in some way. I consider doing so to be somewhat premature and unnecessary; I know of many albums the past few years that took several months to click, so why focus on past releases now? Instead, I tend to focus on relatively unknown acts this time of year.  The first five tracks on June’s compilation feature wonderful artists that are far from being a household name… at the moment at least. Still, their songs speak for themselves in showcasing extreme talents that will introduce them all — from the infectious electro-pop of Canopies to the intricate folk-rock leanings of Warm Weather — to the spotlight, and deservedly so. These groups all have what it takes to be something great. As a bonus, look for many of them to be featured in the future on an excellent new site I’m working with, GroopEase.

After some familiar names with fresh sounds (Junior Boys, Bon Iver) the compilation returns to a bunch of new acts, for the most part. Although Shabazz Palaces feature hip-hop vets like Digable Planets’ Butterfly and Southern All Stars are Japanese best-sellers, their music fits extraordinarily well with this time of year and the abundance of new quality acts emerging lately. There’s no need to ignore the fresh new sounds of The Demos, The Overcoat, and The Stanley Blacks; they all sound creative and energetic, each with their own unique stylistic traits. Finishing the compilation up is The Trade Winds’ classic “New York’s a Lonely Town”, one of the many excellent tracks on the Beach Boys sound-alike compilation That’s Not Me: Best of the Beach Bastards. Between this compilation and that one, they should help you get through the sweltering days of summer. I know I say this often, but I believe this is one of the most jam-packed and consistently enjoyable OS compilations to date. Enjoy!

01. Canopies – Rebels (post)
02. The Wind – Hathor (post)
03. Warm Weather – I Only Know (post)
04. Ennui – Coconino (post)
05. The Elliots – When Evil Happens (post)
06. Junior Boys – Banana Ripple (post)
07. Bon Iver – Calgary (post)
08. The Demos – Meet at Night (post)
09. The Overcoat – Kid’s Bones (post)
10. Shabazz Palaces – An Echo From the Hosts That Profess Infinitum (post)
11. Southern All Stars – You (post)
12. Them Changes – Lie to Me (post)
13. Fenech-Soler – Lies (post)
14. Figurines – Every Week (post)
15. The Stanley Blacks – In Sight (post)
16. The Trade Winds – New York’s a Lonely Town (post)


Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

Send your music to [email protected].


  1. Lots of great songs here, Warm Weather and The Wind are definitely on my radar now, I look forward to hearing more from them.

  2. Indeed, one of the best compilation of indie music I’ve heard so far! Keep it up!

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