PHOTO: PETER ENGLISH
SONG TO DOWNLOAD: "Phantom"
WEB SITE: bigtroubless.angelfire.com
WHY THEM: Big Troubles' Web site is an Angelfire page, featuring a link to check out the video for their song "Georgia" via Ebaum's World and a scrolling marquee reading "Don't forget to sign the guest book!" It might seem like a joke, but it is actually a brilliant manipulation of online media to visualize their music's hyper-nostalgic '90s noise-pop aesthetic. The band's songwriters, Alex Craig and Ian Drennan, home-recorded their first album, Worry, straight to four-track tape, taking cues from underground '80s-and-'90s pop bands like the Lilys, the Rosemarys, and early Slumberland staples. They did it so well that Slumberland caught on — and now the 22-year-old label is set to release their sophomore effort, Romantic Comedy, in August. Recorded with producer Mitch Easter (R.E.M., Pavement), it promises to be not only cleaner-sounding, but one of the best pop records of the year.
ALSO CONSIDERED: Ducktails — The solo psych-pop project of Real Estate guitarist Matt Mondanile, who just wrapped up touring Europe with Big Troubles and Julian Lynch. Lynch, Ducktails, and Big Troubles all have roots in Jersey suburb Ridgewood.