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New Music Adds - April 14, 2015

written by Steve Ibanez on

Waxahatchee

Waxahatchee - Ivy Tripp

Label: Merge
Genre: Indie Rock
Reviewed by: Steve Ibanez
Wielding an arsenal of crunchy guitars and a sweet (but mild) Southern voice, Katie Crutchfield is able to whip together some 90’s reminscent guitar pop gems. She refers to the album title as "a term I made up for directionless-ness, specifically of the 20-something, 30-something, 40-something of today, lacking regard for the complacent life path of our parents and grandparents." which I think is something most of us can relate to as lost college students….

Shlohmo

Shlohmo - Dark Red

Label: True Panther
Genre: IDM/Electronic
Reviewed by: Steve Ibanez
An appropriate title, this record feels murky and claustrophobic. Distorted synths lead you through the dark until you get lost in the seasick wails and glass shattering drums. Puts you in a trance. Works well for bed music.

The Mountain Goats

The Mountain Goats - Beat the Champ

Label: Merge
Genre: Folk Rock
Reviewed by: Steve Ibanez
When John Darnielle isn’t writing novels or lending a hand in various other musical projects, he constantly records lyrically whimsical songs under the Mountain Goats moniker. The record is thematically built on professional wrestling (???), though it’s probably a big metaphor for “nameless bodies in unremembered rooms…” - Joseph Fink

Ava Luna

Ava Luna - Infinite House

Label: Western Vinyl
Genre: Indie Rock/Math Rock/Soul Pop
Reviewed by: Joe Turner
Slurp. Mmmm. Juicy. This album is like one of those mysterious fruit smoothies with a bunch of vegetation that you like mixed in with other vegetation that you didn’t know you liked, or that you didn’t know you liked in the context of the fruit you already knew you liked. And then there is the question of which ingredient makes the title of the smoothie… Is it a banana smoothie with mango or a mango smoothie with banana? And where the heck does the coconut come into play?

Suuns and Jerusalem In My Heart

Suuns and Jerusalem In My Heart - Suuns and Jerusalem In My Heart

Label: Secretly Canadian
Genre: IDM/Indie Rock
Reviewed by: Steve Ibanez
*An unlikely pairing, Suuns and Jerusalem In My Heart team up to craft a swirling and entrancing journey of a record. Middle Eastern flavors appear courtesy of Lebanese Jerusalem In My Heart. The songs take their time to blossom completely, with interesting electronics bubbling in and out in a repetitive trance-like state. Suuns apply some subtle guitar and drum work to distinguish this electronic record into something that feels more like a collaboration. Works well for bed music. *

Pale Blue

Pale Blue - The Past We Left Behind

Label: Captured Tracks/2MR
Genre: EDM/Ambient
Reviewed by: Steve Ibanez
Layers and layers of loops and reverb lift you to space, losing yourself in your own mind, before thumping bass unfailingly grounds you back to earth. The name of the group is a reference to Carl Sagan’s description of a photo of Earth taken from Voyager 1 back in 1990: “Pale Blue Dot.”

New Music Adds - March 31, 2015

written by admin on

Sufjan Stevens

Sufjan Stevens - Carrie and Lowell

Label: Asthmatic Kitty
Genre: Folk/Singer-Songwriter
Reviewed by: Steve Ibanez
This is the music I always pictured this guy making. Stevens reached his experimental climax with his last album, Age of Adz, five years ago and now he’s made a return to roots. Totally unlike Adz, this record feels earthly and organic. Thematically based on his strained and confusing relationship with his mother, the record was crafted as a way of coming to terms with her death in 2012. His voice is velvet as always but with the subtle addition of crackles and pops in the throat that come with age. Fragile melodies soar over fluttering guitars and collages of airy, washed out soundscapes. One of more pure and emotionally rich albums to be released this year.

Alex G

Alex G - Trick

Label: Lucky Number
Genre: Pop Rock
Reviewed by: Steve Ibanez
I stumbled on Alex G’s bandcamp a few summers ago and was struck by the mystery of it all.. Twelve albums of music were uploaded, accompanied by various iconic yet somewhat unappealing artwork. The email contact listed is monsterhead7@aol.com and tags include “shit” “nice” and “rugrats”. When you googled “Alex G,” you got a Youtube star that sings covers. Regardless, the music speaks for itself. This is the first music I heard from him and fell in love from the beginning strums of “Memory.” Alex writes songs about his life, and in turn, probably yours. Perfectly imperfect pop songs, often sent to a strange dimension with unorthodox screeches and spidery guitars. A reissue after the blow up of last year’s DSU, he’s gonna grow . . .

Courtney Barnett

Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

Label: Mom & Pop
Genre: Folk Pop/Indie Rock
Reviewed by: Evan House
Australian singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett captures pure musical intimacy on “Sometimes I Sit”. These songs serve most importantly as gateways into her personal journal. House-hunting in a shabby Melbourne neighborhood and observing a pseudo-suicide attempt from a disgruntled office worker are just two examples of these entries. “Put me on a pedestal, I’ll only disappoint you” declares Barnett, whose emotional rawness draws immediate comparison to Patti Smith. This album is incredible.

Ghastly Menace

Ghastly Menace - Songs of Ghastly Menace

Label: The Record Machine
Genre: Indie Pop
Reviewed by: Courtney Wilson
This is the Chicago-based band’s first full-length album and it’s full of soft vocal and catchy guitar hooks. The album carries an overarching theme of coming to terms with the endings experienced in life (relationships). These guys are like a more upbeat version of Grizzly Bear.

New Music Adds - March 24, 2015

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Death Grips

Death Grips - The Powers That B

Label: Third Worlds LLC
Genre: Industrial Hip Hop/Punk
Reviewed by: Steve Ibanez
The polarizing and violent noise mutilators return with a double album; the first disc containing warped Bjork vocal samples and the second taking on a more traditional (if you can call it that) punk feel featuring guitar from Nick Reinhart of Tera Melos. Musically chaotic and bursting at the seams, play this if you don’t give a shit about if your listeners will like it or not.

Mitski

Mitski - Bury Me At Makeout Creek

Label: Don Giovanni
Genre: Punk Pop
Reviewed by: Steve Ibanez
Initially released last year on a limited run through mini label Double Double Whammy, Don Giovanni has swooped in to distribute her work more widely. Mitski’s music would be beautiful bare and acoustic (her voice is enough) but she has the incredible talent of using her arsenal of sounds as a complement to bring it to new creative levels. Grungy guitars sludge along and Halloween-y synths make unexpected appearances. Great songwriter that will continue to gain recognition...

The Skints

The Skints - FM

Label: Easy Star Records
Genre: Reggae/Dub
Reviewed by: Steve Ibanez
We tune into 103.Skints as DJ Mr. Versatile spins these Londoners, who making some authentic sounding reggae music. The best tracks feature vocals from special guests (MC Horseman, Tippa Irie). Bass is phat, the occasional skippity of guitar delay is a nice touch. Groove on.

Modest Mouse

Modest Mouse - Strangers to Ourselves

Label: Epic
Genre: Indie Rock

Purity Ring

Purity Ring - Another Eternity

Label: 4AD
Genre: Electronic

Pause

Pause - No Small Order

Label: DZK
Genre: Hip Hop

New Music Adds - March 19, 2015

written by admin on

Tobias Jesso Jr.

Tobias Jesso Jr. - Goon

Label: True Panther
Genre: Singer Songwriter/Pop
Reviewed by: Steve Ibanez
What it boils down to is that this dude writes damn good songs. With the majority of the production handled by former Girls member JR White, the instrumentation is crisp, warm, and sounds like he’s playing in your room. This is pop perfection; every chorus is a banger. Paul is definitely a major influence...

Swervedriver

Swervedriver- I Wasn’t Born To Lose You

Label: Cobraside
Genre: Shoegaze / Dream Pop / Alt Rock
Reviewed by: Len Comaratta
First album since 1998! They aren’t as abrasive as their 90s work, but they still have the same fire in their belly.

Chris Lightcap’s Bigmouth

Chris Lightcap’s Bigmouth - Epicenter

Label: Clean Feed
Genre: Post Bop / Modern Jazz
Reviewed by: Len Comaratta
Craig Taborn and Gerald Cleaver!! And TWO tenors! Chris Creek and Tony Malaby. So freakin’ good. Follow up to their debut Deluxe. This is a true super group that together creates a cohesive whole, resulting in grand collective statements of driving, ethereal beauty.

Ryley Walker

Ryley Walker - Primrose Green

Label: Dead Oceans
Genre: Folk Jazz Rock
Reviewed by: Steve Ibanez
A sprawling jam of feathery folk rock songs arranged by guitar connoisseur Ryley Walker. Acoustic guitars spindle over piano chords that swirl into psychedelic live jams that reminisce the old classic rock bands they may take influence from. Some nice music to start the spring off with.

Lady Lamb the Beekeepers

Lady Lamb the Beekeepers - After

Label: Mom+Pop
Genre: Folk Rock
Reviewed by: Steve Ibanez
Aly Spaltro aka Lady Lamb layers her gorgeous voice over jangly folk rock songs that also incorporate the bite and bop of surf rock. Very hooky rock music that could be made if you combined Angel Olsen with Wavves. Kinda derivative musically, but her voice brings it to another level.

Will Butler

Will Butler - Policy

Label: Merge
Genre: All sortsa rock
Reviewed by: Steve Ibanez
Brother and bandmate of Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler, Will is known for his wild and unceasing energy during his primary band’s shows. Here on his debut solo album, he brings some of that fury into the songs themselves. It’s pretty diverse musically, ranging from bouncy (5), to thrashy (6), to ballad-like (3). His goofy voice reminds me of Violent Femmes.

Twin Shadow

Twin Shadow - Eclipse

Label: Warner Bros.
Genre: Pop/New Wave
Reviewed by: Evan House
George Lewis Jr.’s generic response to his preceding bunch of highly acclaimed works. The grandeur of the perceived soundscape is washed out entirely by flashiness and gaudiness. Although mentionable, catchy moments exist on “Eclipse”, the album appears to be more of a release lacking the necessary supplemental pressure.

Screaming Females

Screaming Females - Rose Mountain

Label: Don Giovanni
Genre: Punk Rock
Reviewed by: Ben Conlon
I heart chick lead singers! A three part band that is well composed. Fast guitars with catchy licks that can get heavy at times and can get your feet tapping if your into that kind of stuff. Marissa Paternoster, ze lead singer & 2012 spin guitarist 77th greatest guitarist of all time has a girthy ;) voice with an inflection style that sort of reminds me of a more masculine sounding Coheed and Cambria lead singer Claudio Sanchez . She probably would be good at singing sea shanty's or funeral dirges but there's no money in that (R.I.P my career). This release sounds a little bit clearer and more polished than previous releases. Also their from the Jerz so they get a big thumbs up from me.

New Music Adds - April 23rd, 2015

written by WUVT on

martinGore

Martin Gore - MG

Label: Mute
Genre: Avant Instrumental Electronic
Reviewed by: Len Comaratta
The principle force behind Depeche Mode returns with another solo album that once again is far removed from the more accessible pop of DM. Some of this reminds me of Eno’s darker ambient themes (#2) and some of it reminds me of John Carpenter films of the late 70s early 80s. #12 reminds me of Fuck Buttons

alabamaShakes

Alabama Shakes - Sound & Color

Label: ATO
Genre: Soul / Blues
Reviewed by: Len Comaratta
Exquisite blend of soul, blues and even some funk. Relix described this as “the festival world’s leading retro-soul revivalists turn in a psychedelic, sci-fi epic”. Brittany Howard and troupe return with a soul stirring follow-up to a phenomenal debut filled with “volcanic thrashers (8)…silky soul (3)…spacey psychedelic soul jams (4)” [Rolling Stone]. The ballads are phenomenal

death

Death - N.E.W.

Label: Tryangle Records
Genre: Punk / Rock
Reviewed by: Len Comaratta
YES!!! A Brand new Death album! III wasn’t a fluke. This is some hard hitting rock (more so than than harder punkier earlier stuff). Inspired by the positivity brought to them by ever-increasing numbers of new fans, the current lineup (Bobby and Dannis Hackney, Bobbie Duncan) completed several songs started back in the 70s by brothers Bobby and David Hackney. Reminds me a lot of OFF! if that band was about half-speed. Heck, “At the Station” reminds me of Bowie!!

mew

Mew - + - (plus minus)

Label: Play It Again Sam
Genre: Psych Pop / Psych Folk Pop Rock
Reviewed by: Len Comaratta
Mew’s first album in 6 years. Danish prog rock psych noise meisters soar on their latest album. The band has been evolving into a far more vibrant, expansive sounding band over the course of their albums and this is certainly a grand next step in their journey. GOOD STUFF!!!

squarepusher

Squarepusher - Damogen Furies

Label: Warp
Genre: IDM / Drum n Bass / Electronic
Reviewed by: Len Comaratta
Another phenomenal notch in the belt! A wonderful blend of pretty much everything he is known for – experiments w/ musique concrete, spastic boundary warping drum n bass, aggressive interpretations of ensemble jazz. He attempts to recapture the passion, innovation and retromanic tendencies that have fallen on the wayside as the medium and genre blew up into the mainstream….And he does it. CoS described it as “the hyperactive love child of EDM and traditional jazz”.

saun&Starr

Saun & Starr - Look Closer

Label: Daptone
Genre: Soul / Soul Revival
Reviewed by: Len Comaratta
Saundra Williams and Starr Lowe aka THE DAPETTES. Yes, the back up singers to the one and only Sharon Jones are now stepping out in front and they do so with every bit of soul, style, class and gravitas you’d expect. This is a wonderful album. And it’s an ALL ANALOG production!!! Any fan of soul and especially DapTone will get down with this!! GOOD GOOD GOOD STUFF!!!!

roseWindows

Rose Windows - Rose Windows

Label: Sub Pop
Genre: Post Rock / Indie Rock
Reviewed by: Len Comaratta
*The follow up to Sun Dogs opens with a gloomy haunt laden with gorgeous sonic imagery that drops you into a smack down of musical templates and textures that once again prevent any blanket labeling of this band. This album has a more playful feel to it with some of the arrangements. If you are a fan of My Morning Jacket you’ll dig this. *

metz

Metz - II

Label: Sub Pop
Genre: Noise Rock / Post Punk / Indie Rock
Reviewed by: Len Comaratta
per their press release “the 10-track effort promises to be “much heavier, darker, and sloppier,” its lyrical tone stemming “from a year of loss and doubt, of contemplating [the band’s] relationships with death and the planet.” These guys are touring with FIDLAR and Lightning Bolt!!!

wire

Wire - Wire

Label: Pink Flag
Genre: Post Punk
Reviewed by: Len Comaratta
Album 13!!!And it smokes (despite it also being way mellower than most Wire) If only Buzzcocks could maintain the way Wire has. Filled with swooning pop melodies with a hint of 60s nostalgia and irresistible rhythms. Fans of classic Wire will find things to enjoy here. Think of these songs as something of a little brother or cousin melodically to Chairs Missing and 154.

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