Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
Sound Sunday is a weekly MakeUseOf feature presenting the best free album downloads available online. Every edition invites you to explore various genres and artists from around the world. This first edition of 2012 is taking you on a journey of genres from electronic beats, via pop and folk to progressive rock and metalcore.
Please share your thoughts and post your feedback in the comments. Album submissions, suggestions, and genre requests via email [tina at makeuseof dot com] are most welcome!
Joe Mazz Electronic – Mad Times
Genre: electronic, beats, dub, instrumental, hip hop
From Joe’s website: “Joe Mazzarella is a music producer and recordist with experience in a variety of genres. Whether working with local singer-songwriters, crafting beats for rap artists, or creating lively recordings of rock bands, Joe produces professional quality tracks with sounds that stay true to an artist’s music.”
From the album intro: “I’m always torn between the jazz world and the world of funk and groove, so even though this album has a ton of beats and grooves I couldn’t help adding in some jazz elements, some piano solos, and guitar solos by the great Jimmy Morrell!”
Mad Times is a name your price download from Bandcamp.
Moddi – Moddimiks 2010
Genre: alternative, indie, pop, post rock, acapella, compilation
From Moddi’s Facebook profile: “My name is Pål Moddi Knutsen, twenty-four years old as I write this. I come from an island called Senja in the far north of Norway. Whoever you are, and whatever reason you have for listening: thank you for lending me your time!”
Moddi was previously featured on Sound Sunday with his album Away From Home.
Moddimiks 2010 is a free download from Bandcamp.
Cloudbirds – Selftitled
From their homepage: “Cloudbirds is the new roots-inspired venture of ex-The M’s bandmates Josh Chicoine, Joey King and Glenn Rischke. Using three-part harmonies and intertwining guitars, the Chicago trio moves effortlessly between heart-felt and down-home folk music.”
The selftitled album Cloudbirds is a free download from Bandcamp.
David Löhstana – Folk & Acoustic
Genre: acoustic, instrumental, folk
David Löhstana is an artist from France. Folk & Acoustic is an instrumental album where David demonstrates his guitar skills. The tunes are upbeat and relaxing.
Folk & Acoustic is a free download from Jamendo.
Genre: orchestral, instrumental, soundtrack, film musicEpic Soul Factory – Volume One
From their Jamendo profile: “¿Do you like movies? ¿Do you like trailer epic music movies? Then come here to listen some of our stuff. That’s exactly what we do. EPIC SOUL FACTORY it’s a group of four film music composers: Cesc Vilà, Fran Soto, Ysmer and Pela. Epic Soul Factory compose for trailer, cinema, tv, shortcuts…”
Epic Soul Factory’s Volume One is a free download from Jamendo.
Rusko – O.M.G.!
Genre: electronic, dubstep
From his Facebook page: (…) “Rusko brought a highly driven energy and fun approach to the dubstep massive, quickly coining his own take on the genre that infected . His sound appealed to many people outside of the dubstep world as his productions became more adventurous in formula, sound and energy. His huge hit “Cockney Thug” has been played by everyone from Pete Tong, Switch, Diplo and Santogold. And has been remixed by Buraka Som sistema, Diplo, Drop the Lime and the Scratch Perverts.”
O.M.G.! is a free download from.
Donae’o – Indigo Child
Genre: urban, club, dance, house
From his homepage: “A kingpin where all things UK dance are concerned, Donaeo (meaning Gift from God) has been a staple fixture on the underground since his anthemic debut ‘My Philosophy (Bounce)’, made when he was just 16, aired back in 2001. Regarded not just as a producer, his forays into singing, rapping and songwriting have gone on to shape the star that’s in many ways still yet to be fully revealed. (…) “Last year I feel like I found myself and it’s kind of like this; you can look at ADHD in two ways… You can take pills for it or be an Indigo Child. The only difference between me and someone else is that I’ve got a lot of excess energy but I’ve found a way to channel it. I’m about dance music and this album is definitely that.””
Indigo Child is a free download from Bandcamp.
SKYPILOT – Harold (You Sold Your Brother Down)
Genre: rock, stadium, art-rock
Technically, this two song single doesn’t qualify for Sound Sunday. However, great music always receives an exception. The title track is my favorite song of this edition. Also check out the song Light From A Dying Star.
From their Facebook page: “Locals of Brisbane, Australia, SKYPILOT have emerged to play a new kind of rock music that matches haunting soundscapes, untamed melodies and soaring vocals to create an elevating stadium rock experience. Their songs take you on an emotive journey from devastating lows to dizzying heights where you feel like you could defy the laws of gravity and levitate off the ground.”
Not to be missed is the little background story for each of their songs.
Harold (You Sold Your Brother Down) is a free download from Bandcamp.
We’re Doomed – Like A Machine
Genre: alternative, progressive rock
From their Facebook page: “We’re Doomed is an explosive culmination of tempered skill and intelligent song-writing. A groovy yet heavy assault on progressive rock, the 4-piece Halifax-based band draws inspiration from the impending apocalypse and the human condition. With heavy riffs, syncopated rhythms, dynamic vocals, and a general disregard for the genre barriers between rock, pop and metal, We’re Doomed will melt your face faster than a zombie outbreak would overrun civilization.”
Like A Machine is a name your price download from Bandcamp.
Empty Lungs – Identity Lost
Genre: post-hardcore, punk, rock
From their Facebook page: “Empty Lungs (…) play passionate, angry and catchy music that draws influence from punk, folk, country and post-hardcore. The bands adrenaline laced live shows have gained them a reputation as a must see act and within a few months of playing shows around Ireland they had already received attention from local media and received airplay on BBC Radio 1. (…) 2012 will see Empty Lungs enter the studio to record an EP and after that the band intend to hit the road and do some heavy touring around Europe and the UK.”
Identity Lost is a free download from Bandcamp.
Stand for the Fallen – Look Where We Are
Genre: alternative, rock, metalcore, screamo, post-hardcore
From their MoshCam profile: “Stand for the Fallen is a 5 piece Post-Hardcore band from the Northern Beaches area of Sydney. Tearing up the scene, appearing at many shows around the Sydney area with their energetic live act, Stand for the Fallen are only going to move on to bigger and better things as 2010 comes to a climax.”
Look Where We Are is a name your price download from Bandcamp.
New to Sound Sunday? Past editions of Sound Sunday are available here.
Feel free to get in touch with me [tina at makeuseof dot com] to share free material, suggestions, and feedback or simply add your comments below.