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Eno * Hyde
Someday World - WARP
FILTER Grade: 81%

By Ken Scrudato on June 12, 2014

 

Eno * Hyde

Dearest Brian,

We’re chuffed you chose to mingle your musical blood with once-Underworld-chappie Karl Hyde. Not sure you even realized, but Someday World sounds quite like Happy Mondays at times, and rather like King Crimson at others. Of course, we knew you were mates with that Fripp fellow—though who could have guessed you were also concealing a Madchester fetish? (“Hallelujah!”) But really, the grooves are so ace, we almost pulled the vintage baggies out of storage. The jittery but pretty prog guitar riffs are also a nice new touch for you. Best of all, you and Karl harmonize so magnificently, in that, you know, “lifelike robot” sort of way. And since you thought to ask of us, “Did...

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Bob Mould
Beauty & Ruin - MERGE
FILTER Grade: 84%

By Adam Pollock on June 12, 2014

 

Bob Mould

Pre-dating Kurt Cobain, Frank Black and all the others, alternative-rock elder statesman Bob Mould was, in the mid ’80s, at the forefront of that musical genre’s evolution. With Hüsker Dü, and then Sugar, he helped forge a path for the loud, stripped-down, guitar-based anthems that would propagate the media and (sometimes) the airwaves for over a decade. While Cobain exited tragically, and the media turned its back to more mainstream, “Nickelback’s best mid-tempo rockers!” fare, Mould continued to make ass-kicking post-punk. Certainly, as he matured, there have been the mellower moments, even an acoustic guitar or two, but for the most part Mould has stayed with what works best—loud and...

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The Fresh & Onlys
House Of Spirits - MEXICAN SUMMER
FILTER Grade: 75%

By Christian Koons on June 12, 2014

 

The Fresh & Onlys

The Fresh & Onlys don’t like to stay put, and with House of Spirits, their fifth album in as many years—and on almost as many labels—this is certainly the case, perhaps to a fault. The album’s first single “Bells of Paonia,” a melodically-driven meditation of distortion and a thumping kick drum that borders on shoegaze, is followed by the brooding western twang of “Animal of One,” which would be right at home accompanying the opening credits of a Tarantino film. The transition is a bit jarring. Singer Tim Cohen’s honest, no-frills vocals lend these songs some sense of togetherness, and Wymond Miles’s imaginative guitar work is often enough to cover a multitude of sins (see the scorching...

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First Aid Kit
Stay Gold - COLUMBIA
FILTER Grade: 82%

By Alejandra Gomez on June 11, 2014

 

First Aid Kit

On their previous album The Lion’s Roar, the Söderberg sisters drew deeply from their influences. Now, they’re finding their own voices. Every song on Stay Gold is beautifully crafted to feel like a new and complete soundscape—orchestrated strings, rolling drums and airy flutes enhance the Americana guitar riffs—bringing out the vivid imagery of their lyrics. From the classic country ballad of “Cedar Lane” to the campy tempo of “Heaven Knows,” First Aid Kit don’t hold back on storybook memories. As on the title track—inspired by Robert Frost’s resignation to the idea that “nothing gold can stay”—the album is an exploration of fear, identity and change. “A Long Time Ago” serves as the...

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Alexis Taylor
Await Barbarians - DOMINO
FILTER Grade: 77%

By Kathy Iandoli on June 11, 2014

 

Alexis Taylor

It feels like Hot Chip fans are finally comfortable with frontman Alexis Taylor’s solo side hustle, and so is he with Await Barbarians. 2008’s Rubbed Out was awesome in its ability to showcase Taylor’s reach beyond the confines of his group’s cult following. Await Barbarians continues that sentiment only more refined—the first single “Elvis Has Left the Building” being a prime example in all of its pleasantly subdued glory. Other tracks like “Closer to the Elderly” show how Taylor can meld some of Hot Chip’s sound into his own solo body, while songs like “Piano Ducks” and “New Hours” show Taylor exploring new dimensions to his sound. It doesn’t hurt that he’s recorded every instrument on...

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Tomas Barfod
Love Me - SECRETLY CANADIAN
FILTER Grade: 84%

By Breanna Murphy on June 10, 2014

 

Tomas Barfod

Tomas Barfod’s second album, Love Me, is your summer jam—full of bright, catchy hooks to steer you toward the sun and moody, deep-cut grooves to guide you back from the stars. Like 2012’s Salton Sea, Barfod once again brings his DJ sensibilities and talents to mixing sounds and transforming them into emotional experiences. The Danish musician is joined by a multitude of varied guests for this trip there and back, including a wistful Here We Go Magic’s Luke Temple, a laidback Night Beds, a soulful Pell and a saccharine Sleep Party People, in addition to longtime Barfod collaborators Jeppe Kjellberg and Nina K, both alums of Salton Sea. K’s appearances, in particular—four in all—are all...

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Jack White
Lazaretto - Third Man/Columbia
FILTER Grade: 90%

By Ken Scrudato on June 10, 2014

 

Jack White

Jimmy Page and Keith Richards walk into a church, kneel down and begin praying, “Dear God, sorry about all that Satan stuff, but rock and roll is dying, and we really need your help to save it.” And God says to them, “What do I look like, a miracle worker?”


Luckily, God made Jack White. And Jack has made a new record.


Now, the very idea that such an unthinkable blasphemy as “food is the new rock and roll” even manages to pass through anyone’s lips merely confirms that we do, indeed, have a situation on our hands. Seriously, could you actually imagine yourself shakin’ on down to “When the Levee Breaks” and then suddenly thinking, “Gee, if only I had an artisanal pickle instead?”

...

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Glass Animals
ZABA - Harvest
FILTER Grade: 83%

By Sarabeth Oppliger on June 9, 2014

 

Glass Animals

Glass Animals’ full-length debut sounds just as its single, “Gooey,” suggests. ZABA’s syrupy melodies reel you in, get your blood pumping and craving more, but it’s the lyrical innuendo that sticks to you and won’t let go. The album—heavily laden with tribal-meets–R & B percussion that carries ZABA from start to finish—thrives thanks in part to the inclusion of vocalist Dave Bayley’s falsetto oozing all over its 12 tracks, spreading visceral desire wherever it lands. Breaking up the cycles of eclectic drumbeats are varied electronic blips that inspire the exotic, twisting and turning from one track to the next. Much like the coded message of genre blending embedded within each ZABA track,...

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Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Only Run - CYHSY/THE ORCHARD
FILTER Grade: 80%

By Bailey Pennick on June 9, 2014

 

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Wedged right in the middle of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s 2007 LP, Some Loud Thunder, was “Satan Said Dance.” The track was as strange and disconcerting as its title, thanks in part to its heavy (and out of character) reliance on glitches, computer sounds and synths. Were these the sounds of the devil? Perhaps, yes, to indie darlings whose calling card had quickly become warbling vocals atop a stream of jangly guitars and disco-beat drumming. Seven years and two albums later, it seems that the Alec Ounsworth–led project has embraced the digital—through drum machines, synthesizers and interjected sound bites—for their newest release. Only Run marks the 10th anniversary for CYHSY, and a...

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Pillar Point
Pillar Point - POLYVINYL
FILTER Grade: 83%

By Sarabeth Oppliger on May 9, 2014

 

Pillar Point

Extending beyond his indie-pop project Throw Me The Statue and further into a realm of introspective electropop, Scott Reitherman’s debut as Pillar Point will be familiar to previous fans, yet different enough to place the two projects outside of the same genre. While the beats that carry tracks like “Eyeballs” and “Curious Of You” are somewhat recognizable, Reitherman’s accentuated gloom is unmistakable, adding new depth as he dives unabashedly into emotive lyricism that pairs nicely with the textural layering of synth slathered across the record. As a tactile attempt to process the chaos around him, the multi-instrumentalist melds ’80s dance pop beats with melancholic shoegaze, allowing...

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