MixTape Monday: The Free Download Edition

The world of music is such a fascinating place nowadays. Just think about it: Ten years ago, bands were up in arms over sites like Napster, Morpheus and Kazaa allowing the everyman to download music for free. Now, free downloads are as a vital part of music marketing as a press kit is. Oh, the times they are a changin’.

In 2011, there have been some very awesome singles released for free, and I’ve included some of my favorites in this week’s mixtape. I discovered most of these free tracks from the truly awesome music site/internet radio station ShoreAlternative.com.

This site is an absolute must-listen for music lovers. Shore Alternative, or S*ALT for short, is your gateway to new music from the local Jersey/New York/Philly area to international artists. This site has opened my ears and eyes to so many news bands and so much good music. For me, it’s helped me rediscover my love and passion for music.

If you’re looking for some new, free music downloads of your own, check out S*Alt’s Download Page.
— Bill Bodkin

Flogging Molly — “Don’t Shut ‘Em Down”
Free Download at: Flogging Molly’s Official Website or Shore Alternative’s Music Download Section
With Saint Patty’s Day approaching, the tunes of Flogging Molly — one of the greatest bands influenced by the Emerald Isle — should be filling your iPod. Their latest track is the first single off their new album, which will be released in April. On first listen, you might be a tad disappointed, as it doesn’t match up to the some of the seminal back catalog of FM. However, upon a second or third listen, you’ll get swept up in the pint in the air, blue collar anthem about the working class man. It’s vintage Flogging with politically charged lyrics, a rollicking chorus and, of course, the unmistakable voice of Dave King.

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The Strokes — “Under Cover Of Darkness”
Free Download at: The Strokes Official Website (download may have expired)
This single was discussed before on Pop-Break. the day after its release. I’ll reiterate my point on this post: I’ve never been a Strokes fan before, but after listening to their first single in half-a-decade, I must say my once staunch opinion has been changed. This jangly and fun track is a breath of fresh, sweaty, indie-oriented air. It’s got all the trappings of a classic garage rock song to it and it improves with age.

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G. Love & Special Sauce — “Fixin To Die”
Free Download at: G. Love’s Official Website
Of this group of free downloads, this is hands down the most impressive. We’ve known G. Love as the funkiest white boy out of Philadelphia for quite some time. His songs have been the stuff of many a summer backyard party or beachfront bonfire. With “Fixin’ To Die,” we get a smokin’-hot blues joint filled with a hand-clappin’ beat and amazing harmonica solo. Of the mainstream singles he’s released this is probably G. Love’s best work to date. Take notice of this song and download it to your music library ASAP.

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Nicole Atkins — “Vultures”
Free Download At: Shore Alternative’s Music Download Section
When we spoke with Nicole Atkins this month, we learned that the tone of her latest album Mondo Amore would be strikingly different than her previous effort, Neptune City. The proof is in the pudding on her newest track “Vultures.” This moody new single shows off Atkins as a more darker, more sultry songstress. I really dig this track because it shows off a new side of Atkins, but it never shines away from what brought her to the dance — an impressive set of pipes and a penchant for writing a catchy tune.

Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.