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One should hesitate in calling Theotokos a concept record, but drug addiction and how it effects both the user and those around them is a theme that repeats on many of the songs.
Girlpool may have enlarged their sound, but they still possess a nakedness to their performance that is unmistakably their own. If anything, expanding to a full band has strengthened their identity.
“Jane Weaver is progressive rock in its purest molecular form. Fossilised in ferric, the crystal in the concrete. Magnetic, melodic, folkloric, unapologetic and rhythmic in her discipline.”
Arrival doesn’t show a tremendous amount of growth in Space Motel since their last full-length, but it does show them just as strong with no sign of slowing down.
Barcelona, Spain’s Cachemira explode with a stoner-friendly debut straight out of the Summer of Love.
A large part of what made Jennifer Kent’s 2014 horror film The Babadook so effective was Jed Kurzel’s unsettling score.
A couple of years after this Buffalo, NY outfit’s 2011 debut LP 4am, dazzling lead singer Mary Ognibene left the band. DM’s new vocalist Maria Sebastian is as breathtaking as her predecessor, and this EP’s three distinctive tunes showcase her multifarious skills.
Seminal indie shoegaze/dream-pop band Secret Shine returns with the gloriously dreamy and sublimely spectacular There Is Only Now.
Milan, Italy’s Giöbia see their undisputed 2015 masterpiece remastered, repackaged and reissued for all the world to finally hear properly.
In case you haven’t heard, B-52s vocalist Fred Schneider has been active with his new band The Superions (Noah Brodie and Dan Marshall) for over a decade.
Shanghai, China’s Round Eye return with a referendum on last year’s election that offers an insightful glimpse from outside the United States.
Having already established herself as a prominent side-player to the likes of William Parker, TV on the Radio and Spoon, trumpeter Jaimie Branch delivers an outstanding debut as band leader that showcases the full range of her talent.
“I hear so many things as I parse through these songs, all of them memorable in that timeless way that great 60s songs had on me. I also hear echoes of modern artists like Sloan, *Fountains of Wayne, and The Posies. I am sure that is because all these bands have similar influences and all grew up with the same records in their collections.”
By 1995, Swans had evolved through several styles of music, from no wave skronk to punishing industrial sludge to Southern Gothic ballads to driving, droning guitar rock.
Displaying a clamor of ideas and a cavalier misdirect of convention, Lindsay’s first album in 13 years sees his avant garde leanings at their most pronounced yet in his Brazilian influenced work.
Frame of Mind has a wonderfully charming home grown sound that perfectly suits Sam Levin’s quietly confident style, and should easily turn out to be surprise indie sleeper hit.
“Martin Phillipps, acclaimed singer/songwriter from the equally fabulous group The Chills, is on a roll. He’s emerged in the last several years with one of the finest albums of his career (Silver Bullets) and this version of The Chills is better than ever. Following last year’s Record Store Day release, The Chills return with a fine single “Rocket Science” / “Lost in Space”.”
Between 1967 and 1971, directors John Palmer and David Weisman, fixtures of Andy Warhol’s Factory, filmed Superstar/“It” girl Edie Sedgwick in what would ultimately prove to be the defining role of her short life as Susan Superstar, the subject of 1973’s Ciao! Manhattan.
Japanese noise god Masami Akita, better known as Merzbow, teams up with Nine Inch Nails keyboardist Alessandro Cortini for a mutual celebration of the famed EMS synthesizer.
Combining forces with The Mattson 2 has granted Bundick with his most accomplished product to date, and although Bundick prefers to explore new territory rather than retread old digs, we may hope that should he choose to break tradition someday off in the future, he sees fit to return to this psychedelic powerhouse.
“When I heard that Cherry Red was releasing a band-curated box set of all their recordings, I thought it was about damned time. That the band is enjoying a renaissance is no accident, as classic bands from that era are reforming and drawing bigger audiences than ever.”
Although there exists definable cornerstones, the band thrives more in that vague no man’s land, that abstract Venn diagram where goth, cabaret, vaudeville, and the circus all intersect.
This is a fun release for Record Store Day that mimics the cornerstone of countless mixtapes made by teenaged prog-rock nerds of decades past, self included. For the first time, “Cygnus X-1, Book I: The Voyage” and “Cygnus X-1, Book II: Hemispheres” are officially bundled together into one complete story.
Dubuque, Iowa’s sensual and soulful chanteuse Gloeckner doesn’t make many albums; this is only her third LP going back to 2004’s Miles Apart, and first since 2010’s Mouth of Mars. Yet Vine is worth the seven-year wait.
New Paltz, NY ambient duo Arranged Marriage NP deliver a stunning debut that merges Indian classicism with Brian Eno’s sonic manipulation.
San Francisco synth-punks Inhalt deliver their first full-length in the form of a “best of” session for the celebrated Part Time Punks radio show.
“The Groovies were more punk than hippie – think of a San Fran Stooges – and never seemed to be a good fit for the laid-back California scene, but that didn’t slow them down.”
“His iconic career has followed many twists and turns, but on his upcoming release, he is revisiting the quirky psych pop he is known for. Tongue is firmly in cheek with these songs, but there are serious moments too. The sound here hearkens back to The Soft Boys as well as his early solo records.”
“This new album is a testament to his strength, courage, and unflagging determination to heal and soldier on. And what a great new album this is.”
A review of Cold War Kids sixth studio album, L.A. Divine.
Nana Grizol return with their first album in seven years without skipping a beat, continuing to craft intimate anthems for those who prefer their romanticism served with a side of reasoning.
Flach’s Empty Mansions, is a concept album about division and confusion in the modern era, and is the culmination of a long series of attempts and experiments by Flach.
Split between Bahrain and the UK, Flamingods persist, releasing a third studio album that reaches beyond earthly exotica into alien territory.
To celebrate a decade of sonic disturbance, NYC’s Pharmakon, aka Margaret Chardiet, delivers a full-on assault on the senses in the form of her third full-length.
Blending breezy reggae with brassier jazz/bebop, Ontario’s two-time Juno Award-nominated pianist/singer Wilson’s sixth album is a polished, ear-pleasing pastiche.
Throughout veteran L.A.-based violinist Murphy’s Red Mountain Blues, fiddle, banjo, and mandolin frolic so euphorically, you’d expect an impromptu line dance to break out any minute.
Breakthrough is an album easy to enjoy and hum along to what’s on the surface, but dig a little deeper and you’ll find a work rich in complex emotional content.
In mostly foregoes the hard-driving rock crunch of this Seattle quintet’s 2015 Chaos EP, in favor of subtler, more intricate arrangements that better accentuate the velvety and vivacious voice of frontwoman stayC Meyer.
It took seven years for this Hoboken, NJ foursome to release their first-rate 2014 fourth LP Infinite Regression, so it feels fortunate to have this follow-up come only two years later. At is another alluring album.
Former members of Brooklyn’s Livids reconvene for a scorching debut as Moral Panic.
Jay Som, the project of Oakland musician Melina Duterte, channels her bedroom-produced lovelorn ballads into its first proper LP, proving that headspace and recording space share no correlation.
Berkshire, UK trio Revbjelde deliver an astonishing debut that blurs so many lines between genre boundaries the entire concept becomes irrelevant.
This Long Island, NY/Maryland-based “space drone” outfit is fronted by two hypnotic female singers, Neptune Sweet and Sharon Malkin, the latter crooning in Hebrew. With subdued beats and celestial synths, Shin is a soul-purifying, inner peace-producing pleasure.
Ctrl+Z is one of those special albums that goes beyond being just a collection of songs; rather, it’s an impactful and continuous voyage into beauty, tragedy, and everything in-between.
I doesn’t usher in a brand new genre; rather, it perfects a special type of music that only a few other modern artists can match.
The Long Dark Road may have too much shoegaze in it to satisfy traditional metal fans, but has enough merit to attract newcomers as well as those searching for something a little weightier than normal.
“The title track is an extended mini jam with interesting elements percolating through at different points, but the brilliant use of trumpet is what makes it really stand out! It’s an instrument I love, and it’s so classy.”
In many regards, California Torpedo sounds like a debut album. It’s the work of a band that is still searching for its footing, but it’s also a work of unquestionable merit when the pieces fall perfectly into place.
With its stratospheric synths, encircling guitars, battering ram drums, and baleful, bellowed vocals, Overseas is a revitalizing return from this strapping synth-punk outfit.
Their third and most recent album, Famous Monsters essentially follows the pattern of the previous two, but it finds a band at their peak, and if not, at least very close to it.