October 25, 2011



Every few months I send out a sampler of songs that I’m excited about.  
It originated from a number of people continuously asking me what was floating my boat, and oftentimes I couldn’t articulate an answer on the spot, due to the circumstances of the moment when they inquired or being at a peak stress level that was rendering me speechless.  I sent one of my samplers around to my usual list last week, but this time it included some songs that I had created for my day job, so this may not be the forum for those, and anyway, not all of them are available yet on iTunes.  These are 5 bands that I’ve decided to highlight from that batch of 15 since I’m passionate enough about them that I want to share them as much as possible.

FREELANCE WHALES “Generator Second Floor” – this NY based band has been playing since 2009 and are part of the super cool French Kiss label (Passion Pit, Local Natives, The Drums...).  Countless wonderful melodies spark a multitude of emotions, most of which translate simply as joyous.  If you’re a fan of Arcade Fire and the musings of all the rest of the ultra-hip current roster of indie rock troubadors then this shouldn’t disappoint.

THE BOXER REBELLION “Both Sides Are Even” – based in London, these guys have been playing together for over a decade, but they’ve only just come onto my radar this past year.  They present a hauntingly melodic landscape that very clearly draws inspiration from a long career of battles won and lost.

BON IVER “Holocene” – I questioned including this mostly due to the fact that it’s already somewhat saturating the hipster radio market.  Beauty shouldn’t be punished for too much attention, though, so here’s my shout-out to one of the best releases of the year!

DUNCAN SHEIK “Kyoto Song” – I totally love to hear new interpretations of older songs and Duncan Sheik covering one of my all time favorite songs by The Cure is no exception.  I can’t say that he took it to any unbelievably fantastical level, but his is a very pleasant and straightforward pop song.  His entire new release Covers 80’s delves into the heart of the 80s with songs by Tears For Fears, Love & Rockets, Japan and Depeche Mode to name a few, so it’s definitely worth checking out the rest of the tracks if you’re hankering for some 80s flashbacks.

GIVERS “Saw You First” – this was one of my favorite live shows this year!  Hailing from Lafayette, Louisiana, their energy is on par with the previously mentioned Arcade Fire and the joy that they express both live and on record is beyond infectious.

Enjoy the music until the next time.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."