Free, New Music

Toilet Guppies is loathe to be the scurrying, little errand boy of record companies and marketing hipsters, but here are some free, legal downloads dropped by some of our favourite artists' record companies to promote hotly anticipated albums:

Both from Smoke Ring for My Halo, out on 8 March. These little tastes, as well as last year's «Square Shells» EP and «In My Time» single, indicate Kurt Vile is going the way of inconsequential Sonic Youth family values indie listening; here's hoping there are moments scratching deeper than the surface (as on all his previous, truly terrific albums). At least these tracks are a little dreamy, reminding us that there is such a thing as summer and that this winter business won't last forever. (While you wait, I strongly suggest you download early radio session versions of two of the tracks slated for release on Smoke Ring for My Halo—«Ghost Town» and personal favourite «Runner ups».

Oh, and don't forget Vile's former band's new digital EP, which comes highly recommended, with the record label already magnanimously distributing two of its tracks, entirely for free:

And then there's the family of Ak Ak:

From S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT, out on 8 February. Pretty song. Akron/Family are a bit hit-or-miss these days, but at least they're a bearable and not least intelligent voice of positivity and innocence, for those days when you need a break from the loathing. And where else are you going to get that?

Don't believe the hype, but enjoy the music. Sweet, free music…

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