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From The Roots To The Sky is a challenging listen to say the least, but the high level of skill from the performers and the hidden depths it conceals also make it one of the most rewarding.
The brassman pulls off a neat trick on this record: being faithful to jazz tradition whilst not falling to the traditionalist trap.
Dance Into The Desert is a remarkable debut album which encloses a large amount of craft and attention to detail within a deceivingly modest pop format.
If it’s folky, vaguely R&Bish, prefers jangle to distortion and vibraphones to reverbed snare, mixes heart-on-sleeve sincerity and arch cleverness, and, above all, remains intensely melodic, it can find a home on Marina.
Dedicated to improvisation, the keyboardist’s omnivorous tastes and punk rock attitude keep at least one foot outside the tradition at all times.
Few manage to create something that at once feels removed or distant from the composer and yet still retains a high degree of raw emotional honesty.
Made Out Of Stars occasionally feels like a collection of odds and ends but it’s impossible to complain because the quality of songwriting and execution is just so pitch perfect.
the calm | the storm is a conceptually perfect work from a band at their peak, and proves that no wait is ever too long if the results are this rewarding.
Two years after Boo Boo, Chaz has channeled that chill opera’s focus on jadedness and turned it outward into riposte.
Sum Of All Parts, with its four songs, should leave fans more than satiated until Mark Peters, with or without The Dark Band, enters the studio again.
Even with only four songs there is more to the Havoc Siren than on most LPs three times longer. “Solstice” is the climax and brings elements of shoegaze, plodding along, crescendoing before coming down to an abrupt ending which is leading this listener to go and check out the band’s back catalog.
The UK Singles Volume One puts a twist on what could have otherwise simply been another greatest hits collection.
Spark is brimming with as much heart and soul as technical skill, and it must easily rank as one of 2018’s most flawless folk albums.
Elise is a very strong, confident effort from a musician who is still discovering his image, but it shows a remarkable amount of promise.
Fresh reissues allow listeners to appreciate these overlooked Badfinger albums from 1974 for them for the gems they are.
Remember when U2 and the Alarm wrote unabashedly uplifting anthems, with simple, catchy guitar hooks, lighter-waving arrangements and lyrics that unironically championed love and joy over hate and gloom? Divine Weeks remembers.
In contrast with his music’s meticulous prog-rock precision, real-world paranoia, isolation, and gothic gloom, Steven Wilson fills the venerable Royal Albert Hall with thrills, abandon, camaraderie and euphoric spirit.
“It’s already been seven years since R.E.M. called it a day,” says BBC producer Mark Cooper. “It’s lonely without them.” This pile of well-preserved pop may not stop everybody from hurting as R.E.M.‘s retirement enters its eighth year, but it can coax smiles to temper the loss.
Gauntlet Hair has been reborn as cindygod. The change in name and lineup also comes with a revamped industrial and at times chilling demeanor.
“Piroshka is a UK supergroup formed from members of Lush (Miki Berenyi), Moose (KJ “Moose” McKillop), Elastica (Justin Welch), and Mick Conroy (Modern English). For those expecting this new group to sound like any of those other groups, think again.”
“The approach this time mixes in dance beats with trippy elements and features a more blended approach with respect to vocals.”
Upscale Madhouse is a big step up for the band, and it includes some of the year’s best artistic developments in the genre.
The Stones’ 1968 release Beggars Banquet is a rarely-disputed classic and the final complete album from the quintet’s original lineup including Brian Jones. The LP’s two sides are led by the group’s sharpest forays into social protest, “Sympathy for the Devil” and “Street Fighting Man.”
There’s nothing revolutionary about Hardcore, but there’s something obviously admirable about the band trying to change their own community for the better through the power of music.
All things power pop find a home in Shake Some Action 2.0!
Recording everything live on his phone with little more than his guitar and his collection of New Yawk accents, Hamell eschews slick production – or any production at all – in order to put his stories right in your ear, where they’ll slither into the lizard part of your brain and leave stains.
The tour must have been an amazing experience for Braun, because Through Train Windows is one of her purest and most concise statements as an artist yet.
Having proven themselves the most experimental groove combo on the circuit, MM&W take another step forward with Omnisphere, a concert collaboration with postmodern orchestral ensemble Alarm Will Sound.
Like a broken-hearted romantic with a shelf full of Larry Brown books and a bottle by his side, Max Jeffers writes songs as if every record in his collection comes from either Texas or Minneapolis.
Though it may be only for certain rock cognoscenti, the arrival of a new album from guitarist Richard Lloyd is always something of an event.
The hiatus of Australia’s amazing Drones was a shock coming after its upward creative arc, but all is not lost for fans of their distinctive arty psychedelic postpunk roots rock. Singer/songwriter Gareth Liddiard and bassist Fiona Kitschin keep the vision flowing with drummer Lauren Hammel and guitarist/keyboardist Erica Dunn in Tropical Fuck Storm.
And We Rise_ is produced on a surprisingly grand scale for an album that was essentially recorded all at home by Graves, and it will undoubtedly serve as one of the most uniquely individual artistic statements in the genre in recent years.
Mastered by Frank Arkwright at the famed Abbey Road Studios in London, this Escondido, CA-based foursome’s seventh album sounds more robust, expansive, and sonorous than their previous six.
Wanderingted will catch your attention and not let go.
Soul Asylum would go on to make records with more acclaim and success, but its first two lay out the qualities that would get them there, making them as essential as anything in the band’s catalog.
It’s not the deepest of music, but there’s a real artistry to Senior’s definition of fun and you’ll be too busy dancing to think of anything else anyway.
With his now-signature blend of twinkly new wave and melancholic power pop, Dragonetti knocks out one sweetly melodic gem after another here, putting adult uncertainty and confusion to a catchy soundtrack.
Duet records can be a challenge, especially if neither musician is part of the usual rhythm section. But acclaimed saxophonist Mark Turner and former Bad Plus pianist Ethan Iverson make it seem easy.
In fact, the title of Hungover is misleading, because the EP finds Psychocide with a renewed sense of creativity.
Bassist/composer Chris Lightcap has an impressive resumé in the jazz field. But he also harbors a love for psychedelic and instrumental rock from the sixties, and that’s what provides the inspiration for Superette.
Though he’s been slinging strings for a couple of decades, Austrian guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel is hardly a household name, even in the jazz world. But it’s a mark of the respect for which his peers have for him that he can attract the kind of talent that makes up his band on his latest release.
It’s been five long years since we last heard from worldbeat iconoclasts Dead Can Dance. Fortunately, the hiatus ends with the release of Dionysus, a brand-new DCD album that’s both familiar and not quite like anything the group has done before.
Aided by 16 guest musicians, this Chicago troubadour’s third solo album adds plenty of new stylistic wrinkles to the homespun, Wilco-esque alt-country of his 2014 II and 2011 Archive + Spiral.