The Week’s Best MP3 Downloads, incl. The Stray Birds, Local Natives, Lord Huron

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With their debut full-length Almost Endless released this past week, Philly new-wave / rock outfit The National Rifle were the featured topic for this week’s Unlocked series here on The Key.  The new album takes the band’s sound in a new direction with it’s polished overtones, which you can learn more about here and here.  Below, stream and download “Street Burn.”

California indie alt-poppers Local Natives may have already sold out their Union Transfer date in April, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still enjoy their new LP Hummingbird.  The band has made lead track “You & I” available as a free download on their Soundcloud.  The song is reminiscent of the band’s 2010 debut Gorilla Manor with it’s bright guitars and heavy drums, but slants the overall tone in a more mysterious direction.

Nashville’s Photo Ops (Terry Price) has said his goal when recording his upcoming album How to Say Goodbye was to pay homage to three influences – Paul Simon’s self-titled debut (1972), Dion’s Born to Be With You (1972) and The Radio Dept.’s Clinging to a Scheme (2010).  Price blends the classic 70s melodies of the Phil Spector-produced albums with the dreamy, lush production of The Radio Dept. effortlessly on the How to Say Goodbye.  Go here to download “Someplace.”

Each weekday in February, World Cafe will be offering a free download from recent sessions, forming a 20 song, limited edition sampler by the end of the month.  The first offering was 2012 favorite Lord Huron‘s Cafe take of “Ends of the Earth” off of their Lonesome Dreams debut.  Stream and download the song below, and check back all month to complete the collection.  Listen to the full Lord Huron session here.

Lancaster folk trio The Stray Birds came in for a Key Studio Session this week, recording  four songs from their latest self-titled LP and reaching back to 2010′s Borderland EP for “My Horses Ain’t Hungry.”  Thanks to their classic approach to folk music blending both catchy, invigorating melodies with more adventurous explorations of Appalachian-style compositions, The Stray Birds recently received praise from NPR and Folk Alley.  Stream and download “Dream in Blue” below from their Key Studio Session and grab the full set here.

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