iTMS: Free Tuesday

by Erica Sadun

US: Girl and the Sea by the Presets
On "Girl and the Sea," this Australian electro duo conjures up minimal atmospherics and the plight of attention-starved club kids (after the club has closed). It's synth-pop with a warm heart: the blips and bleeps keep the party shuffling along while the melody pines for something more real. "Girl and the Sea" is our free Single of the Week.

US: Red, White and Blue by Rockie Lynne
Rockie Lynn rose up out of the South, and there's definitely a bit of American pride hanging over his music. But "Red, White and Blue" is more than just a rally-rousing cry for patriotism -- it's actually willing to admit that flag-waving isn't enough anymore. The rousing country tune preaches tolerance, but doesn't shove it down your throat, and is our free Discovery Download this week.

Australia: Stares & Whispers '05 by Weapon X & Ken Hell
"Stares and Whispers" features a depth and maturity not previously associated with larrikin emcees Weapon X and Ken Hell. The song pairs the top-notch rhyming ability of two of Australia's finest rappers with vocals from diva/Aussie soul legend Renee Geyer, who oozes soul. Taken from Sneakerpimpin' Aint Easy, "Stares and Whispers" is our free Single of the Week.

Canada: Downtown by Peaches
If we made a list of things we've learned from The Teaches of Peaches, well...let's just say we couldn't print it anywhere. So it's a bit of a thrill to be able to say that our free Single of the Week, "Downtown," offers even more of the raucous, sexed-up electro-pop we wouldn't feel comfortable bringing home to mother.

UK: Hende Baba (Let's Go, Father) by Thomas Mapfumo
Thomas Mapfumo is one of the key voices in the dynamic world of music from Zimbabwe. Recording since the early '60s, Mapfumo draws extensively on the traditional rhythms and melodies of the Shona people, but his music also carries an overt political theme: decrying social ills. This chiming gem of a tune is our free Single of the Week and is taken from Mapfumo's 2006 release, Rise Up.

France: Venus Paradise/Good Bye
À l'écoute de Electric Melody, il ne fait aucun doute que nous tenons là l'album d'un des meilleurs compositeurs français pouvant rivaliser avec la scène pop rock anglaise actuelle. Les mélodies pures, portées par des voix cristallines, soutenues par des rythmiques tour à tour pesantes et aériennes, des arrangements finement ourlés donnent à ces titres une pop imparable. Extrait de ce premier opus, « Good Bye » est notre Single de la semaine sur iTunes.