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Fly Rasta Album Art

Title: Ziggy Marley - "Fly Rasta"
Label: Tuff Gong Worldwide
Genre: Reggae
Description: Ziggy continues to bring the positive vibes on his eighth solo work. It bleeds love and sunshine; just look at the track names. If the sun is out, or if it isn’t, play this to brighten up your day and spread some love. Fly Rasta!

Enter the Slasher House Album Art

Title: Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks - “Enter the Slasher House”
Label: Domino
Genre: Experimental Pop Rock
Description: It’s Avey Tare’s first solo work since 2010’s “Down There” and the first of the Slasher Flicks moniker. Not sure what the purpose of said moniker, as these aren’t frightening or dissonant in any way. Quite a lot of commotion in the songs, though not as compelling as AC stuff but if you dig their music it is worthwhile.

Shriek Album Art

Title: Wye Oak - "Shriek"
Label: Merge
Genre: Pop Rock
Description: Woooaaaah, was my first thought after hearing Jenn Wasner was ditching her guitars for keyboards, as I thought they were vital towards making “Civilian” the good album that it was. This album, while completely different, is tremendous and showcases her excellent voice. I applaud her for making a daring artistic leap, and, though a little front heavy, commend her for creating something thoroughly enjoyable from top to bottom.

Wasted Years Album Art

Title: OFF! - "Wasted Years"
Label: Vice
Genre: Punk
Description: These guys know how to play fast and loud. They explore tempo changes a lot and their lead singer loves to scream. Blasting society and capitalism for all of its absurdities in less than 2 minutes.

Under Color of Official Right Album Art

Title: Protomartyr - “Under Color of Official Right”
Label: Hardly Art
Genre: Rock / Post Punk
Description: These Detroit rockers lay somewhere in the void between pop and post-punk, between an abandoned warehouse littered with beer cans and cigarettes and a studio apartment with satellite television. Like a bug that won’t bite, on the cusp of sweet rawness but never quite forgetting to please those with soft ears.

Jekyll/Hyde Album Art

Title: Your Friend - "Jekyll/Hyde
Label: Domino
Genre: Bedroom Guitar Pop
Description: Your Friend is Taryn Blake Miller. Here on her debut EP she’s collected a nice assortment of bedroom pop songs that are very bare boned and slow, allowing for a nice exploration of her voice (which is very sweet) and the subtle instrumentation going on, giving it a very exposed and personal feel. These songs are really great.

 
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Here and Nowhere Else Album Art

Title: Cloud Nothings - "Here and Nowhere Else"
Label: Mom + Pop
Genre: Post Punk / Noise Pop / Power Pop
Description: Baldi returns with the aggressive noise of Attack on Memory but the guitars and vocals aren’t as clean, giving off more of the lo-fi pop feel of his older stuff. Most songs build into these ferociously epic musical culminations with Baldi screaming his head off in an examination of the duality between boredom and fascination with life as well as how to escape the past and embrace the present.

Salad Days Album Art

Title: Mac DeMarco - "Salad Days"
Label: Captured Tracks
Genre: Jangle Pop / Soft Rock
Description: Mac Demarco has interested me as a songwriter for a while now, and he’s started to show some serious skills on this one. His warped guitar playing is now a little more expansive, with a more exploratory bass to match. The songs are a bit more serious in tone than most of his last one, but every track still feels strongly like Mac. I think we’re seeing some incredibly mature and advanced tracks that will go down as Maccy classics. Nearly no stumbling on the entire album. A grade “A” LP from a guy who probably hasn’t reached his ceiling yet.

Singles Album Art

Title: Future Islands - "Singles"
Label: 4AD
Genre: Indie Rock
Description: I haven’t found anything particularly unique about this, pretty standard indie fare with four on the floor beats.

Saudade Album Art

Title: Thievery Corporation - "Saudade"
Label: ESL
Genre: Bossa Nova
Description: World music chameleons Thievery Corporation indulge in the smooth rhythms of bossa nova on this release. Draws influence from bossa nova legend and pioneer Antonio Jobim. Ladies be singing in Portuguese and French super seductively. Put this on if you’re feeling exotic and sexy.

Darlings Album Art

Title: Kevin Drew - "Darlings"
Label: Arts and Crafts
Genre: Baroque Pop
Description: Kevin Drew is one of the two founding members of the Canadian collective Broken Social Scene. With his second solo album “Darlings,” we see how much influence he has on the band as he maintains the airy, chamber pop sound that makes their music so distinctive. However, what makes this record individual from a BSS record is the prominence of the keys and synths, with the guitar usually serving as an accent. It gives Drew’s music a little more laidback and textural vibe than BSS, feeling more minimalist and not as much crazy production and orchestral instrumentation. The theme of sex is pretty heavy throughout, but that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise with a guy whose band has a song called “Handjobs for the Holidays.” Solid record, I’m a sucker for reverb-y vocals and well produced drums.

Love Letters Album Art

Title: Metronomy - "Love Letters"
Label: Elektra
Genre: British Electropop
Description: Caressing melodies are superimposed on a combination of both dreamy electronic leads and intimate acoustic rhythms. Really cool stuff going on here. Metronomy takes it back to the 60’s with pop influences Lennon and Supertramp inherently prevalent. And to top it off, this was recorded completely on analogue; TAKE ME BACK!

The Great Pretend Album Art

Title: Should - "The Great Pretend"
Label: Words on Music
Genre: Shoegaze / Dream Pop
Description: Should has been doing shoegazy guitar pop since the 90’s, so they definitely have a knack for the signature clean, airy sound. The best songs on this album are the ones with the vocals mixed low, because some of these lyrics are a bit cringe-worthy. Can’t deny the textured and sweeping instrumentals though.

Hard Boiled Soft Boiled Album Art

Title: Odonis Odonis - "Hard Boiled Soft Boiled"
Label: Buzz Records
Genre: Industrial Surf-gaze / Lo-fi Noise Rock
Description: Somber tunes that pack quite a bit of punch, tied together with atmospheric overtones to achieve the ultimate crossbreed of pop-gaze delight. The first half of this 12 track album goes hard, literally, in a good way as the pressure builds approaching climax. The second half represents a release in the built up pressure, crossing the threshold coincidentally on the 6th track, “Release”.

It's Reggae Album Art

Title: Rafter - "It's Reggae"
Label: Asthmatic Kitty
Genre: Dub Pop / Contemporary Reggae
Description: Jah man, these be some instrumental roots rock reggae dub jams for yah. Red headed Rafter Roberts is back again fearlessly tackling a range of roots and genres into one big glob of sound that’ll have your reaching for that spliff and the summer daaaaaazzzzzeeeeeee.

 
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The Drop Beneath Album Art

Title: Eternal Summers - "The Drop Beneath"
Label: Kanine
Genre: Post Punk / Dream Pop
Description: Thanks to the band working with an outside producer for the first time, this one has a little smoother around the edges aesthetic with more affected, but slightly buried guitars that places a greater emphasis on Yun’s voice (a previous WUVT DJ) than their previous albums, coupled with darker subject matter make this feel like stepping inside on a late summer day for a fresh glass of ice water and watching some bastard take the last lemon slice for himself.

Mirrors The Sky Album Art

Title: Lyla Foy - "Mirrors The Sky"
Label: Sub Pop
Genre: Pop / Electro Folk
Description: This London gal dropped the WALL moniker and joined Sub Pop to drop a superb debut under her own name. A soft whispery voice singing deeply confessional songs with excellent hooks over these lush and subtly intricate songs. Pitchfork called it digital pastoral music and I guess that’s pretty accurate.

Angel Album Art

Title: Pure X - "Angel"
Label: Fat Possum
Genre: Indie Rock
Description: The grossest airbrushed van or t-shirt of album art is made up for by these shimmery smooth guitar tunes. Whole album is pretty love-centric (go figure the giant heart and track names). Universal, as we all run out of time to find love.

Lost in the Dream Album Art

Title: The War on Drugs - "Lost in the Dream"
Label: Secretly Canadian
Genre: Psychedelic Rock
Description: This album is very good and very easy to get lost in. Summed up by its own lyrics; “sitting alone down here living in darkness, through the haze, there's no one there, it evaporates and fades like a grand parade, but I don’t mind chasing the light that’s drifting.”

Range of Light Album Art

Title: S. Carey - "Range of Light"
Label: Jagjaguwar
Genre: Chill
Description: Very pretty and mellow music for strolling through the snow. He has a degree in classical percussion so, yea, he knows how to make pretty music and this definitely has some classical influences and a wide range of instruments. Bon Iver fans will enjoy.

Mess Album Art

Title: Liars - "Mess"
Label: Mutes
Genre: Indie Electronic / Experimental Electronic / Dance Punk
Description: This album opened telling me to take my pants off, so I did then got it moving to some brooding dark synthesizers that took me higher and made my eyes sore, so I closed them and ended up at the Institute of Gizmology.

 
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St. Vincent Album Art

Title: St. Vincent - "St. Vincent"
Label: Republic/Universal
Genre: Orchestral Pop / Guitar Pop / Art Pop
Description: ANNIE CLARK IS A GODDESS!!! OH MY GAWD EVERY TRACK IS AMAZING. SHE EXUDES CONFIDENCE IN HER CRAFT. INFLUENCES FROM BYRNE BUT STILL ENTIRELY A ST. VINCENT ALBUM. THE GUITAR IS IMMACULATE, THE VOCAL MELODIES CASCADE IN GOLD, THE ARRANGEMENTS ARE SUPERB. UGHHHHHHHHHHHH POP PERFECTION!! BEST OF 2014 YET!! PLAY!!

Electric Balloon Album Art

Title: Ava Luna - "Electric Balloon"
Label: Western Vinyl
Genre: Avant Garde / Experimental
Description: Tried to write this review several times but they just make too diverse of music to sum up in a little paragraph. One female and two male lead singers float the songs along these arty (a sneeze opens 6), funky, punky, new wavey-ish tracks with exemplary weaving guitars and vocal harmonies. Great horns creep in too. For a band whose mantra is first thought, best thought, this feels very calculated. Seriously good and definitely a track on here for everyone.

Axxa/Abraxas Album Art

Title: Axxa/Abraxas - "Axxa/Abraxas"
Label: Captured Tracks
Genre: Lo-fi Psych Pop / Fuzz Pop
Description: This guy got signed to CT by mailing his cassette with his visual art. Just hazily, summery, straight out of the 60’s pop tunes with plenty of guitar solos and some organs and some swishy swashy sounds.

Underneath the Rainbow Album Art

Title: The Black Lips - "Underneath the Rainbow"
Label: Vice
Genre: Southern Punk Rock
Description: The Black Lips are a dirty rock and roll band and they’re not ones to impress with sophistication. All of the songs on here are short bursts of energy and the production gives vibes that come straight from 60’s psychedelic garage rockers. They give it a spin of their own with their raunchy sense of humor and scuzz-ball aesthetic, the sound is something I can associate to the Jackass state of mind, in a good way mind you. “Put your phone in your crotch and set it on vibrate!!” screams singer Cole Alexander on the hook of “Do the Vibrate.” Crude stuff, but hilarious. These songs put a smile on my face and make me daydream of days of hanging on the beach with my buds. Can’t argue with that feeling.

Blank Project Album Art

Title: Neneh Cherry - "Blank Project"
Label: Smalltown Supersound
Genre: Experimental Pop / Minimal
Description: The week of comebacks continues, as this is her first solo outing in 18 years. Kieran Hebden producing. I can’t comment to her past work, but this is great. Unf soulful electro-tinged jams with this hypnotic phraseology of words that will have you dragging your booty on the floor.

The Soul of All Natural Things Album Art

Title: Linda Perhacs - "The Soul of All Natural Things"
Label: Asthmatic Kitty
Genre: Psych Folk
Description: This geezer can sing! Think a much hipper Susan Boyle. Scratch that because this psych folk is actually fresh and in no way sounds old or dated. Her first album in 44 years. Mellow vibes for these mellow winter days.

Hubba Bubba Album Art

Title: Damaged Bug - "Hubba Bubba"
Label: Castle Face
Genre: Fuzzy Electropop
Description: Damaged Bug is John Dwyer’s (Thee Oh See’s) new solo project. He momentarily throws his guitar on the backburner, replacing it with some slow spacey synths produced from the notorious Moog MG-1. In this long cosmic exploration, Dwyer looks out the window of his spaceship, questioning the alien life in front of his eyes.

Atlas Album Art

Title: Real Estate - "Atlas"
Label: Domino
Genre: Guitar Pop / Dream Pop / Jangle Pop
Description: I am a bit disappointed that this album is not the Marquee Moon spiritual successor I thought it was going to be (Youtube search: ”real estate new song 8/11/2012”), but there’s nothing really that wrong with it. Yep, I wouldn’t describe Atlas as boring, but I also wouldn’t say that any of these midtempo arpeggio explorations excite me either. For a record two years separated from their last album, Real Estate has not strayed far from the light, clean, and not too mentally challenging guitar interplay of albums past. Despite occasionally laughable lyrics, the songs are well-developed enough to say this band still has something special in their system.

Close to the Glass Album Art

Title: The Notwist - "Close to the Glass"
Label: Sub Pop
Genre: Alternative Rock
Description: German band The Notwist has their roots in metal and hardcore, but their 8th album develops the electronic pop sound that they’ve been developing for a decade.Most of these songs contain the heavy bass thumps and the bleeps and bloops that bring Age of Adz-era Sufjan Stevens to mind. The warped and heavily processed sounds that fill the production keep your head spinning, but the gems on this album all sound different. The Strokes-esque gem and obvious single, “Kong” will have that melody stuck in your head for days. The longest track on the record at almost 9 minutes, “Lineri” is an instrumental that stuck out as the most introverted and touching song on the album.

 
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Kill The Artist Album Art

Title: Falcon Eddy - "Kill The Artist"
Label: Living Gold
Genre: Indie Guitar Punk
Description: Falcon Eddy is guitarist/vocalist Amy Maloof and drummer Craig Bunce. This is the rawness! Maloof tears apart the concept of impressing other people with material objects and knows people are shallow, uninteresting sheep lacking original thoughts. So CHILL!!!

Manhattan Album Art

Title: Skaters - "Manhattan"
Label: Warner Bros.
Genre: Indie Rock
Description: None of these losers even skate and they think they are way hardcore, but they are not hardcore, but can they write some undeniably catchy hooks! NY centric thanks to some field recordings of the subway, cab ride, so on. They have that crossover appeal that is going to make them wildly popular.

Indra Album Art

Title: Pyramid Vritra - "Indra"
Label: Stones Throw
Genre: Experimental Hip Hop
Description: Pyramid Vritra is Hal Williams; forklift driver by day, badass producer/rapper by night. He is one half of the Jet Age of Tomorrow with OF. This is homemade dopeness, 100% sample free music for ya ear holes.

Haxel Princess Album Art

Title: Cherry Glazerr - "Haxel Princess"
Label: Burger Records
Genre: Dream Pop / Garage Pop
Description: these 3 chicks and one dude play hazily sweet garage pop. High school kids that wrote a song about grilled cheese and talk about cracking poop jokes: say no more, I’m a fan.

You're Gonna Miss It All Album Art

Title: Modern Baseball - "You're Gonna Miss It All"
Label: Run For Cover
Genre: Pop Rock / Pop Punk
Description: This guy has a knack for good songwriting that is very catchy and socially observant, seeming to be pulled straight from his personal journal. New anthems for the high school class of 2014 until beach week. This is the clean edit.

Present Tense Album Art

Title: Wild Beasts - "Present Tense"
Label: Domino
Genre: Indie Dance
Description: These guys supposedly cut and pasted this thing together on a computer with each member contributing multiple instruments, which if true is pretty impressive given its coherent flow. Great production really lets this one breath, as the songs ride along brooding synths and steady drums, gradually filling the dark spacious room with enough neon light to find that people are in there dancing. Clean edit.

Voices Album Art

Title: Phantogram - "Voices"
Label: Barsuk/Republic
Genre: Electropop / Electronic Rock
Description: Underneath the veil of easily likable, head bobbing music, is the cold-hearted Kraken women Sarah Barthel stomping on the ribcages of all her past boyfriends and crying about her sad, hard life. Dark content wise but still accessible and dancy. If you liked their EP from earlier in the year you’ll like this.

Hey Daydreamer Album Art

Title: Sally Seltmann - "Hey Daydreamer"
Label: Arts & Crafts
Genre: Pop
Description: Mrs. Seltmann presents these emotionally charged, piano led pop gems in full Technicolor. Heartfelt songs painted in pastel. They get real and can be sullen but they always end up being uplifting somehow. I really just want to go read that book with her in that magically, gumdrop world she’s living in.

 
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Real Hair Album Art

Title: Speedy Ortiz - "Real Hair"
Label: Carpark
Genre: Indie Rock
Description: This is the new EP from Speedy Ortiz.

Ghosts of Then and Now Album Art

Title: Illum Sphere - "Ghosts of Then and Now"
Label: Ninja Tune
Genre: Electronic
Description: This is pretty rad stuff. Definitely some Four Tet influences felt. A breadth of samples, instruments, and influences are seen throughout but this album is entirely its own. Just solidly put together tracks with a slightly dark tone that are definitely worth a spin.

Sun Structures Album Art

Title: Temples - "Sun Structures"
Label: Fat Possum
Genre: Psychedelic Pop Rock / Neo-psychedelia
Description: If you like your rock and roll music sun drenched in psychedelia from a bygone era of long hair, recreational drugs, and Volkswagen buses then look no farther than these kids who perfectly encapsulate that sound. This album sounds straight out of the late 60’s. Warm synths, vocal harmonies, and all that other good stuff.

Burn Your Fire For No Witness Album Art

Title: Angel Olsen - "Burn Your Fire For No Witness"
Label: Jagjaguwar
Genre: Folk Pop / Lo-fi
Description: I love this women’s voice! Really personal and relatable songwriting that will pull on your heart until it is string cheese. It alternates between slow burners and lightly fuzzy guitar pop. Like any good friend, she’ll punch you in the gut then hug you until you forget all your problems. A truly great album.

 
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