Sharon Van Etten: “Serpents” on Fallon (Video)

Last night, Sharon Van Etten played the song “Serpents” on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (video below), debuting a new band featuring a guest appearance by Aaron Dessner (the National). The song is from Van Etten’s forthcoming 3rd LP, Tramp, which is slated for release on 2/7/12 via Jagjaguwar. It’s also been released as a single b/w non-album track “Mike McDermott.”

The performance featured a more amplified sound palette than her previous work, adding tinges of indie rock to Van Etten’s alt-folk style, with the songwriter inhabiting a bolder demeanor fronting the proceedings. Add the key ingredient of stardom’s formula – a memorable lead-off single like “Serpents” – andTramp appears poised to be Van Etten’s breakout release. Congratulations on a very successful network TV debut!

Sharon Van Etten Plays Late Night with Jimmy Fallon Tonight!

One of our favorite indie-folk songstresses, Sharon Van Etten, performs tonight (1/5/12) on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Sharon recently announced that her forthcoming record,Tramp, will be released on 2/7 via Jagjaguwar.

Hear and download “Serpents,” a track from the album, on the label’s website.

Guided by Voices on Letterman; new recording

As you probably know by now, Robert Pollard has reformed Guided by Voices with much of the lineup from its nineties lo-fi heyday. They appeared last night on on David Letterman, performing “The Unsinkable Fats Domino,” the lead-off single from their new album Let’s Go Eat the Factory. And other than a little tumble by bassist Greg Demos partway through the song, they sounded just great. (Don’t worry, he’s okay!)

You can mail order the new LP now (as well as its digital equivalent) or wait ’til 1/16 to visit your local record-seller. But by all means, take the time to hear it: although some of them might be past the stage-diving portion of their careers, Pollard and Co. sound refreshed and inspired.

M83: “Midnight City” (Video)

Questlove’s controversial musical intro for Michele Bachmann on Jimmy Fallon’s show may have stolen the headlines – the band played Fishbone’s “Lyin’ Ass B—-”. But there was something else musical going on during the Monday broadcast that shouldn’t go unnoticed.

M83′s new CD, Hurry Up We’re Dreaming, is out now via Mute. This electronica-rock hybrid is already storming up the charts. Eighties ambience, anthemic hooks, and arena-sized sonics combine in a memorable melange. But don’t call M83 retro: they stand out distinctly from the pack of eighties nostalgists. On Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, they’ve amalgamated and transmuted synth signatures past into an ebullient music for the present.