This Month's Picks

Days Gone By (CD)

Bob Moses
Using organic instrumentation mixed with electronic production, Bob Moses draw on the two poles to vividly resonate across both. Alternating between dancefloor burners and moments of reflective repose, Days Gone By weaves a rich spectrum of sensation over the course of its ten tracks. More

Nevermen (CD)

Nevermen is a supergroup featuring some of the best rock vocalists alive. TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe crafts dense tapestries of synthesizers and swooping, acrobatic vocals on tracks like “Mr. Mistake,” over which Mike Patton (Mr. Bungle, Faith No More) unleashes his malleable growl and Adam Drucker (Subtle, Themselves) spits verse. Rather than try to crowd one another out, Adebimpe, Patton and Drucker work like cogs in a well-oiled machine, manufacturing layered, experimental pop with little regard for genre constraints. Nevermen finds three wildly different artists coming together remarkably, each one game for what the others throw their way. Luckily for us, it sounds great, too. More
Genre: Rock

Hoka (CD)

Nahko & Medicine For The People
Impossible to classify. Take a spiritual journey with the album Hoka . Nahko has emerged a new hero for both the planet and our souls, and if you’re not howling like a wolf by the end of this set you might want to re-check the latter. Soon haunting melodies and the sound of the wolves rustling through the desert will be running through your dreams. More
Genre: Rock

Beginning Of A Memory (CD)

Matt Wilson's Big Happy Family
Critics have been calling this “Matt Wilson’s Greatest Hits.” He assembled the musicians with whom he loves to play the music his late wife loved, and it’s a real celebration. Wilson is a jazz drummer, and as a writer his harmonic palette is simple, but as a performer he prefers a broad, freewheeling approach with a real sense of humor underlying it all. More
Genre: Jazz

Under The Sun (CD)

Mark Pritchard
It's hard to pin Mark Pritchard down. Techno party master; experimental ambient composer; electronic exotica; Pritchard's works (often under various pseudonyms) are so incredibly expansive that they can only could come from the era of obsessive record collectors and MP3 hoarders that know that history of recorded sound. Under The Sun , Pritchard's third album for Warp, drops the footwork and jungle sound of his previous singles and EPs, getting simultaneously more precise and clean while dropping the barriers of dance music. His tracks no longer feel like another jam waiting to get blasted loud in a late night warehouse party. They feel more at place in your home with a hot drink or an evening stroll with a cold breeze blowing. "Beautiful People" features Radiohead's Thom Yorke whose voice is at its most delicate among the Moondog-esque drum sample and the ambient textures that together sound absolutely heavenly. The titular track "Under The Sun," with its pop vocal sample, feels more in touch with the world of Brainfeeder's Flying Lotus as the quietest bass drum loop is repeated over the music, echoing and reverberating until it's just spectral ear candy. The yin to the yang of Mark Prichard's previous works, Under the Sun  feels like the good vibes and drunk/drugged memories of his electronic dance days have taken a major step back for music that's more contemplative, meditative, and ethereal. No other album this Spring is as hauntingly beautiful. More

A Day For The Hunter, A Day For The Prey (CD)

Leyla McCalla
Haitian-American cellist based in New Orleans plays heavy songs in a light style. Featuring a great Haitian dance track (“Peze Cafe”). More
Genre: Folk

Skeleton Tree (CD)

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Skeleton Tree ’s album opener “Jesus Alone” starts off Nick Cave’s latest LP with a heavy, oppressive, and haunted atmosphere. At times anguished, eerie and seeking, it’s some of Cave’s strongest work in years. For an artist with a carefully-curated public persona, whose lyrics often recount the tall tales of dark, dangerous, and larger-than-life figures, there’s a real openness and vulnerability to the new songs that makes them even more hard-hitting. (Longtime fans know the album was recorded in response to the tragic death of his son, Arthur.) It’s no surprise, then, that there’s a devastating quality to these songs, as well as a strange beauty springing from the love that makes the singer’s grief so palpable. These songs will follow you around long after the album has ended. More
Genre: Rock

Away (CD)

Okkervil River
Endings are often just the beginnings of something new, or as the old saying goes, when one door closes, another door opens. However you express it, the concept that change is painful but can lead you in a new direction is as old as pain itself. Okkervil Rivers’s Away seems to be frontman Will Sheff’s reckoning with death, exits, moves, and all other trappings of transition. The album opens with the plaintive acoustic pickings of “Okkervil River R.I.P.,” which would lead us to think two things: the band is in flux and Away is going to be a somber excursion with Sheff. There is some truth to both of those presumptions. Some members of the Okkervil backing band have moved on, but the shiny side of that coin is that Sheff employed some exciting new talent to fill out the orchestration, creating a new sound for the album. Marissa Nadler, the classical ensemble yMusic, Shearwater’s Jonathan Meiburg, and many more lend their diverse musical gifts to Away , opening a new sonic doorway inside the Okkervil universe. More
Genre: Rock

Human Performance (CD)

Parquet Courts
 “Dust is everywhere — SWEEP!” So goes the refrain of the first single off N.Y. indie-rock heroes Parquet Courts’ new album. Human Performance seems less concerned with proving anything to anyone than ever, yet finds the band settling into itself nicely and coming up with some of its most weirdly catchy songs. Since releasing the excellent Light up Gold in 2013, the band has drawn from a certain brand of brainy New York indie rock of yore, from Talking Heads and Television through Sonic Youth and the Beastie Boys. Then came Sunbathing Animal , the thorny but ultimately winning follow-up, along with assorted albums and EPs that saw them trying on various guises, with the results hit-or-miss. Now, on songs like the Velvet Underground-ish title track; short, rhythmically clever tunes like “Outside” and “I Was Just Here”; and shoutalong slacker anthems like “Paraprhased,” Parquet Courts sound comfortable yet energized, mature but real in their embrace of the surreal and off-kilter. As it’s been somewhat both exhilarating and maddening to watch them over the past couple of years, Human Performance is that redemptive album that shows keeping an eye on Parquet Courts is well worth your time. Their best yet. More
Genre: Rock

A Moon Shaped Pool (CD)

When first putting on "Burn The Witch," the beginning of the Radiohead's new album, you might feel you've mistakenly put on a new Belle and Sebastian single. The slightly twee and plucky string arrangements seem to harken back to a Kinks-y Village Green Preservation Society -era jaunt. But give it a minute and Thom Yorke's trademark silky-gloom fills the village with a hypnotizing sense of doom. "Daydreaming" starts with a minimalist piano line and vocals but slowly builds with mysterious layers to a vast soundscape. With A Moon Shaped Pool  Radiohead have proven they've fully transcended the trappings of a '90s guitar rock band and turned into something more akin to a collection of texture, emotions, and sounds; a sort of soundtrack to the 21st century. More
Genre: Rock