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20 Albums to Look for in Spring

Posted by Billy Gil, March 8, 2016 11:47am | Post a Comment

20 albums to look for in spring

 

Hey! It’s almost spring. That means a ton of great albums are on the way. Check out this list of 20 that we’re looking forward to.

The Joy FormidableHitch
Out March 25

joy formidable hitch lpThe alt-rock trio’s third album was recorded in the band’s native Wales. Check out the fun video for “The Last Thing on my Mind” below, which flips the tables on the female objectification. (It’s kinda NSFW.)










Bob MouldPatch the Sky
Out March 25

bob mould patch the sky lpThe former lead singer of Husker Du and Sugar’s latest album is a “triumph of opposing forces and properties” from “the master of balancing personal darkness with melodic brightness,” according to a press release. Watch the video for the introspective “Voices in My Head” below.

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Preorder Kendrick Lamar's Surprise Album 'untitled unmastered'

Posted by Billy Gil, March 4, 2016 07:20pm | Post a Comment

kendrick lamar

kendrick lamar untitled unmastered cdRapper Kendrick Lamar surprised us all today with the release of his new album untitled unmastered. The CD version is now available to preorder and will be released March 11 on Aftermath.

The album features unreleased demos from his most recent album, the critically acclaimed (and Grammy-winning) To Pimp a Butterfly. Lamar has previewed tracks from the album on “The Colbert Report” and “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” (“untitled 03” and “untitled “08”), according to Pitchfork. He also unveiled an unreleased verse on the Grammy Award show. Check out those performances below.

 

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Album Picks: Heron Oblivion, Esperanza Spalding, La Sera

Posted by Billy Gil, March 4, 2016 09:41am | Post a Comment

Heron Oblivion - Heron Oblivion

heron oblivion lpHeron Oblivion's axes clash like fighting wolves, tangling like the brambles and branches that adorn the album cover. Keeping all this Crazy Horse-style madness reined in are the heart-stopping vocals of Meg Baird of Espers. Her voice can simmer low and quavering like a classic British folk singer and then rise to seemingly unattainable heights on songs like the climactic "Your Hollows." The Bay Area band is a supergroup of sorts, with members of psych-rock groups like Comets on Fire and Six Organs of Admittance. I'm sure it's even better live, so don't miss a chance to see them, including today at Amoeba SF at 6 p.m. Read my interview with the band here.

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Album Picks: School of Seven Bells, Quilt, Yuck

Posted by Billy Gil, February 26, 2016 09:06am | Post a Comment

School of Seven BellsSVIIB

school of seven bells sviib lpSchool of Seven Bell’s fourth and final album is a beautiful tribute to the band and its founding member Benjamin Curtis, who died three years ago after battling a rare form of lymphoma, leaving co-member Alejandra Deheza to finish the album they’d started with another producer. But SVIIB isn’t an overly sad affair, though knowledge of the story behind it certainly cast the lyrics of sadness and longing in a different light — most of them were written before Curtis’ diagnosis, in the wake up of the breakup of Curtis and bandmate Alejandra Deheza’s romantic relationship and their forging forward as friends and bandmates. SVIIB looks back fondly on their time together. The band’s combination of dream-pop and electro-pop has never been more lucidly realized than on songs like “Ablaze,” which opens the album on a rush of teenage emotion and big synth-laden beats, like Erasure’s new-wave optimism reimagined for a generation weaned on M83 and Chvrches. “There was a you before me, there was a me before you,” Dehenza sings with hip-hop inflected delivery on “On My Heart.” “A Thousand Times More’s” New Order-style heartfelt synth-pop and the freestyle-flavored “Signals” call to mind happier times for the band, when they were a trio on albums like Disconnect From Desire. On the devastating “Confusion,” Deheza sings wearily over a billowing cloud of synths and organs, exhaling the line, “I understand nothing of these changes,” with the sense of sitting at rock bottom and staring upward. That impression of a light in the tunnel that SVIIB leaves you with makes the album feel not like a sad ending, but a celebration of their work.

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Album Picks: Wild Nothing, Seth Bogart, The Shivas

Posted by Billy Gil, February 19, 2016 09:39am | Post a Comment

Wild Nothing - Life Of Pause

wild nothing life of pause lpWild Nothing’s third album is a glorious thing. It’s an album that transcends any genre tags like dream pop or indie pop that dogged Jack Tatum’s work in the past — it’s simply a first-class pop album in the vein of Roxy Musics sophisticated artpop classic, Avalon. Life of Pause is Tatum’s most varied release thus far. “Reichpop” opens regally with a wall of vibraphones, slick new wave beat and Tatum’s cool breath of a vocal. “A Woman’s Wisdom’s” ethereal soul moves into sugary, MBV-inspired shoegazer Japanese Alice” and through the lush, synth-heavy title track, the languidly sexy “Alien” and “To Know You’s” motorik beat and cinematic guitar shimmer. Neil Young-inspired folk songcraft inform “Adore,” and things return to slinky grooves for “TV Queen” and “Wherever I,” touches of sax and strings adding an air of cheek and class. In the past, you could have pinned Tatum down as someone who admirably filtered influences like C86-style college rock and dream-pop but ultimately wore them on his sleeve. Life of Pause sheds any such limitations and is easily one of the best indie rock releases of the early new year.

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