Rock

Next Thing (CD)

Singer/songwriter Frankie Cosmos (aka Greta Kline) explores new emotional and instrumental territory with Next Thing. The beauty in Kline’s writing does not lie within immense statements and large gestures, but instead can be found in her ability to examine situations and relationships with heartbreaking sincerity.

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Visions Of Us On The Land (CD)

Providing the ideal entry point for neophytes and an intoxicating aural high for the faithful, Damien Jurado's new opus completes the tale of an individual who has had to disappear from society in order to discover some universal truths.

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Let Me Get What I Want (CD)
The art rock duo Daddy pushes beyond the sonic space of music into the surrounding ecology, creating evocative arrangements that merge together the assumed separations between time, space, and cultures. Read more
New Misery (CD)

Cullen Omori's solo debut goes beyond the glam punch of his old band, the Smith Westerns, to new sounds, new sources of inspiration, and greater self-awareness. Synths play a large role and there is a deliberate pop streak, inspired by the top-40 radio that Omori heard while working at a medical supply company.

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Sorrow: A Reimagining Of Gorecki's 3rd Symphony (CD)

Saxophonist Colin Stetson’s latest solo release features Arcade Fire violinist Sarah Neufeld and Liturgy’s Greg Fox on a rendition of avant-garde composer Henryk Gorecki’s Third Symphony that “draws heavily from the world of black metal, early electronic music, and from my own body of solo saxophone music,” according to Stetson. Slow and foreboding, yet full-bodied and alive, these renditions feature beautiful operatic vocals, notes that shift between atonal and euphonious, with swells of strings and stirring, rumbling percussion. It adds up to a singular, moving experience that should be undertaken by fans of neoclassical music and indie rock alike.

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IV (CD)

The heavy indie-rock collective’s latest is the first thing they’ve released since the 2012 soundtrack for Year Zero. IV kicks off with the metal riffs and synth flutes of “Mothers of the Sun.”

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The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us (CD)

Beach Slang has proven they can write memorable songs, share that energy live, and create a community of like-minded fans, but they've always been missing one thing: an album. The Things We Do is the culmination of their collective career and picks up where their two critically acclaimed 7-inches left off.

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Welcome The Worms (CD)

Bleached features sisters Jessie and Jennifer Clavin at the helm, formerly of punk greats Mika Miko. Their first album, Ride Your Heart, was a blast of fuzzed-out riffs and sugary, snarling melodies. This time around, they've teamed with engineer Joe Chiccarelli (Morrissey, The Strokes, Elton John) and co-producer Carlos de la Garza (Paramore, YACHT) and added bassist Micayla Grace to the fold, resulting in an album that’s bigger and fuller but no less charming. Ended relationships, home eviction and other twentysomething turmoil fuels the determined energy of Go-Go’s-esque punk rockers songs like “Keep On Keepin’ On,” while L.A. imagery remains a focal point of inspiration. “Trying to Lose Myself” is a hedonistic trip, all about how great and shitty it is all at once to get high all the time and sleep around, while the guitars are appropriately LOUD. Thankfully, Chiccarelli and de la Garza haven’t sanded away the Clavins’ rough edges, but merely helped to present them well — witness how the ferocious power-pop of “Wednesday Night Melody” crashes into a chorus of crystalline, Bangles-esque harmonies. And the Clavins’ pop side comes out roaring on the last half of the album, which boasts a wealth of hooks on songs like the new wavey “Chemical Air” or fizzy “Sour Candy,” the latter of which could be reimagined for a Carly Rae Jepsen or Sky Ferreira album. Welcome the Worms is a bag of candy-covered razorblades that never fails to entertain.

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Super (CD)

After 35 years and 13 albums, bands are supposed to settle down into maturity and dwindling returns. But that’s not what’s happened with synth-pop heroes the Pet Shop Boys. Their latest recaptures the spark of their original, early-’80s albums with disco-flavored jams that cheekily look back on the past while still keeping an eye forward. For instance, “The Pop Kids” imagines the lives of two young adults going to university in London in the early ’90s to be near the music scene while a house beat reminiscent of that era booms in the background. Tracks like “Inner Sanctum” are pure bangers, meant for the dancefloor with a hi-NRG beat that doesn’t quit. Indeed, a song like “Happiness” seems squarely aimed at the group’s queer fans, with charm that overcomes any familiarity with the dance music tropes they employ. Anyway, it feels like a reclaiming, more than anything, given that Pet Shop Boys were at the forefront of such music, inspiring the likes of today’s artists like Jamie xx and Cut Copy. Whether you’re new to them or danced to “West End Girls” on the West End of London in your youth, Super welcomes you with open arms.

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Are You Serious (CD)

After four years since his last release, it’s a pleasure to dive back into Andrew Bird’s odd, wonderful little world on Are You Serious. Bird remains both a tinkerer and a perfectionist, moving readily between the stuttering, horn-laden soul “Capsized” and shuffling chamber-folk of “Roma Fade.” He even indulges in a little classic rock worship on the Who-ish “Valleys of the Young.” Yet Bird is at his best crafting intricate pop songs that you have to hold close to understand. He knows how to draw you in, with a playful melody on a song like “Puma.” Then he keeps you interested with brainy acoustic ditties about the science of love (“Chemical Switches”). Are You Serious sets itself apart from prior releases with a high-profile collaboration — the perfectly disjointed breakup duet “Left Handed Kisses,” with Fiona Apple. But those looking for his trademark piercingly beautiful whistle are rewarded on “Saint Preservus,” on which he lets loose over Spanish guitars and a medieval melody. Bird’s music may be an acquired taste for some, but once you’re on board, his music is immensely rewarding to those who listen closely, never more so than on Are You Serious.

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