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The Big Takeover Issue #82
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Ben DeLaurentis - Liar for a Muse (Self-Released)

20 September 2018

As one would expect, Liar for a Muse is quieter than the work with DeLaurentis’s band, but it’s also much more refined and mature as if the artist has a newfound sense of direction.

Warm Drag - S/T

Warm Drag - S/T (In the Red)

18 September 2018

Warm Drag is the authenticity yielded by a natural continuation of Paul Quattrone and Vashti Windish’s collaborative DJ sets, and the theme of this night is acid western.

dep - We Are The Lights That Will Not Go Out (Self-Released)

11 September 2018

We Are The Lights That Will Not Go Out is nothing groundbreaking, but it’s the perfect album when you’re in need of an injection positivity.

Snow Bound from The Chills.

The Chills - Snow Bound (Fire Records)

8 September 2018

“The venerable Dunedin quintet is back after three years with a delectable but moody new release.”

James White and the Blacks - Sax Maniac (Futurismo)

6 September 2018

Comprised of some of New York’s best session musicians and dedicated to his manager and girlfriend Anya Phillips (who passed away from cancer in 1981), this differs from his previous work, but not enough that fans who are unfamiliar with it shouldn’t hear it.

Glenn Jones - The Giant Who Ate Himself...

Glenn Jones - The Giant Who Ate Himself and Other New Works for 6 & 12 String Guitar (Thrill Jockey)

4 September 2018

Jones’s latest full-length indebts itself to his bygone friend and mentor John Fahey in a personalized sonic essay on his early teachings.

The Goldwyn Experiment - Avenue B (Stash)

1 September 2018

Overall, it’s the artist’s personality—a confident expression of both good humor and serious artistic intent—which makes Avenue B such an enjoyable, wild ride that never stops to rest for long.

Eric Anders and Mark O'Bitz - Of All These Things (Self-Released)

30 August 2018

Of All These Things is a work in which the love and care of the musicians’ craft is evident everywhere, and fortunately the pair is already hard at work on a follow up.

Oh Sees - Smote Reverser

Oh Sees - Smote Reverser (Castle Face Records)

27 August 2018

On their twenty-first record, Oh Sees remain confounding in their pace and dependability.

Jared Weiss - Isolated Thunderstorms (Self-Released)

21 August 2018

With Isolated Thunderstorms a listener should come for Weiss’s own takes on his New York musical idols, but stay for his sensitive and introspective lyricism.

Phantastic Ferniture - S/T

Phantastic Ferniture - S/T (Polyvinyl Records)

21 August 2018

Aside from one breezy single, this perfunctory debut is about as catch-all as a ClipArt search result for ‘indie band.’

Ty Segall & White Fence - Joy

Ty Segall & White Fence - Joy (Drag City)

17 August 2018

Joy resembles not the electric freak jam of its former, adopting instead a case of perpetual nervousness and a short fuse. Segall and Presley have bottled the essence of Dr. Jekyll transforming into Mr. Hyde.

My Autumn Amor - Letters To Brie (Self-Released)

13 August 2018
From the effusively charming “Gabrielle” to the Killers influenced “In A Scene,” Letters To Brie is a standout example of bedroom pop from an artist who so very clearly wears his heart on his sleeve.
Geography and Luck by Neil Sturgeon and the Infomaniacs

Neil Sturgeon and the Infomaniacs - Geography and Luck (Buzzwagon Beat Recordings)

12 August 2018

“Neil Sturgeon and his band of Infomaniacs have created a delightful new release, full of well-constructed hooks and excellent lyrics.”

Pram - Across the Meridian

Pram - Across the Meridian (Domino)

7 August 2018

Pram’s first release in a decade is often the score to the rumpus of ghosts in the attic after their being unleashed from a dusty music box ballerina’s stimulus.

Astral Cloud Ashes - Dear Absentee Creator (Self-Released)

6 August 2018

Dear Absentee Creator shows a lot of growth since Astral Cloud Ashes’ first record, and it suggest a consistent progression of devoted artistry.

The Rabbitts - Tall Pines & Tangled Vines (Self-Released)

30 July 2018

Tall Pines & Tangled Vines has an undeniable charm and chemistry which is impossible to fabricate.

Monique Angele - Alive (Self-Released)

29 July 2018

Alive isn’t experimental in a nature in which one could categorize it as belonging to the avant garde; instead, it’s experimental on a personal level as she continues to search deeper within herself for emotionally honest material.

American Amnesia - Yet Here We Are (Prophet Motive Records)

25 July 2018

Yet Here We Are inevitably carries some of the tell-tale traces of youth, and there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that, but it is undoubted that the band will continue to make great leaps forward as they mature.

Miriam Waks - Tales from a Room (Self-Released)

22 July 2018

Waks’ commitment to treating her subjects with authenticity gives the entirety of Tales from a Room a legitimacy rare among debuts.

Pitchfork 2018 (Pre-Coverage)

17 July 2018

Pre-coverage for Pitchfork 2018.

Body/Head - The Switch

Body/Head - The Switch (Matador Records)

17 July 2018

The Switch does away with the sterility of Body/Head’s debut and seeks to better represent the group’s live sound.

Jane in Space - Gorerunner (Aion Records)

15 July 2018

It’s only been two years since the debut album of NYC’s Jane in Space was released, but thankfully they haven’t waited too long for a follow up EP.

Maxwell James - Maxwell James (Self-Released)

12 July 2018

Maxwell James manage to pack a wide array of human emotion into a very short release, making it a compelling listen from the beginning.

Ledges - The Sun, The Stars, The Moon, and Me (Self-Released)

10 July 2018

The Sun, The Stars, The Moon, and Me is a dynamic collection with the occasionally brilliant moment, and one is left with a desire for the band to continue to create music in the future under a more unified vision.

Kicklighter - Paper Planes Vol. 1 (Aardvark UK)

10 July 2018

Fans of Kicklighter will be anxiously waiting to see what Young will do with an orchestra, but Paper Planes is a bittersweet finale from an artist who clearly still has so much to give to the world of pop.

Cover art for Meadowsweet from Chatham Rise.

Chatham Rise - Meadowsweet (Picture In My Ear Records)

4 July 2018

“Meadowsweet is a mind-bending and cosmic head trip, immediately dousing your synapses with its dreamy hooks.”

ASG Survive Sunrise album art

ASG – Survive Sunrise (Relapse)

3 July 2018

Self-described psychedelic stoner-punks, ASG return (finally!) with Survive Sunrise. It continues the North Carolina band’s trajectory of excellent, never-boring, energetic music. My only complaint about this band is why do we have to wait five or six years between offerings?

Marty Thompson - Romantic Stories (Self-Released)

2 July 2018

Ultimately, Romantic Stories is richer and far more fulfilling than a mere travelogue.

Tuomas Palonen-Tuomas Palonen

Tuomas Palonen – Tuomas Palonen (Palatsi Finland)

29 June 2018

Aside from his familiar trill, the hushed, homespun folk Helsinki’s pleasantly-voiced Palonen fashions on TP is far removed from his previous outfit Kuparilinna’s punchier, ‘60s-inspired indie pop, surf, and psych-rock.

The Blue Collar Army - Norrland (Ladysnow Society)

28 June 2018
Norrland is a bleak listen to be sure, but it’s sure to find an audience in a European society in the midst of political turmoil.
Various Battleground Korea Bear Family

Various - Battleground Korea: Songs and Sounds of America's Forgotten War 4xCD/BOOK (Bear Family)

27 June 2018

At the end of World War II, the victors, i.e. the USA and USSR, split the territories they’d defeated along ideological lines.

Neko Case - Hell-On (Anti)

27 June 2018

The album’s first great stretch of songs starts with the 3rd track, the lilting ballad “Halls of Sarah,” ending with a vocal hook utilizing Case’s astonishing voice that is destined to get stuck in your head for days afterwards.

Nocturnal Blonde - Smart Heart (Self-Released)

26 June 2018

As the EP is a little ephemeral, it could use some beefing up, but it remains a touching tribute to a cause which deserves far more attention.

Codename: Dustsucker album art

Bark Psychosis - Codename: Dustsucker (Fire Records)

24 June 2018

“This music is unsettling, sparse, elegant, and always engages the listener. Yet, it is never easy listening by any stretch.”

Halfwait - The Official (Self-Released)

23 June 2018

The Official may have been a long time coming, but Halfwait have handsomely rewarded their fans for the wait with an album that encapsulates their entire growth as a band up until this point.

Sebastian O - In Your Room (Self-Released)

22 June 2018

In Your Room is commendable for the risks taken, but hopefully it will be lauded more for the quality of Sebastian O’s songwriting.

Pale Blue Dot - Anatomy (Rockfish Music)

20 June 2018

Many asked what kind of music would come out of the Trump era, and without a doubt Anatomy is an injection of compassion which we so desperately need.

Disaster Relief - S/T (Ravine Records)

19 June 2018

You’d be hard pressed to find many horn sections today finer than the one in Disaster Relief, and this album comes just in time to remedy this summer’s heat wave.

Stacie Rose-Stacie Rose

Stacie Rose – Stacie Rose (Enchanted)

18 June 2018

It’s been five years since New Jersey native Rose’s last album, 2013’s sumptuous Stars, Stripes, and Milestones. But boasting livelier and more luxurious production and arrangements, this self-titled sixth LP outshines it.

Sun on the Square from Innocence Mission

The Innocence Mission - Sun on the Square (Badman Recording Co.)

17 June 2018

“Their songs are full of sensory imagery and deeply felt instrumentation, and it’s their unique way of trying to approach universal joys and sorrows that allows the band to achieve the emotional connection with their listeners that makes them so special.”

Cordova - Runaway Summer (Self-Released)

14 June 2018

In just four songs, Cordova makes a bold statement at a blisteringly fast pace with Runaway Summer, and sets a precedent for their next full-length album, whatever that may be.

In the Light of Led Zeppelin - Pompeii Sessions (Self-Released)

10 June 2018

The covers obviously can’t compare to the originals, but In the Light of Led Zeppelin does a more than commendable job of proving the elasticity of a well-written song and that recording another artist’s work doesn’t have to mean a faithful reproduction.

NEUROTIX - Basement Recordings (Self-Released)

6 June 2018

For an album recorded at a practice space, there is an accomplished aspect to Basement Recordings regardless of its very unpolished state.

James Labrosse - Orange Night (Self-Released)

6 June 2018

By looking back through the history of world and pop music, James Labrosse ends up creating something with Orange Night that is both fresh and exciting.

Joan of Arc - 1984

Joan of Arc - 1984 (Joyful Noise Recordings)

4 June 2018

Joan of Arc’s latest is a patchwork of retrospective blips that fade in and out at an almost subliminal rate, not looking to drag new meaning out of the past but rather to ensure that nothing was overlooked.

Album art for Dear 23 by The Posies

The Posies - Dear 23 Reissue (Omnivore Recordings)

3 June 2018

““Golden Blunders” is marvelous ear candy with a memorable main melody and strong lyrics. And the muscle behind the sweetness kicks ass! That’s what power pop is all about really, an amalgam of sweetness and light mashed with hard driving drums and bass, and these guys do it so well!”

Maniac - Dead Dance Club

31 May 2018

Maniac’s Release ‘Dead Dance Club’ Is A Radiant Devotion To Punk Rock

Armonite - And the Stars Above (Cleopatra Records)

28 May 2018

Ultimately, And the Stars Above is music which one can easily put on in the background while carrying on with one’s day, but it also invites close listening and individual interpretation.