This Month's Picks

When The Cellar Children See The Light Of Day (CD)

Mirel Wagner

Finnish folk singer Mirel Wagner creates the kind of dark lullabies that would make Michael Gira of Swans feel right at ease. Using minimalistic guitar pickings and her haunting voice, Wagners’ music is stripped to the bone while lyrically embracing the macabre. Her sophomore release, When The Children See The Light Of Day, continues on the grim and haunting themes present in 2011’s self-titled album. Produced by Finnish electronic musician Vladislav Delay, there are a bit more layers here but Delay is also a master at knowing what to leave out. The result sounds completely timeless. The album’s opener “What’s Underneath The Floor” (spoiler alert: the devil’s tongue) sets the tone for a moody and sexy album that is the sonic equivalent of romantic horror stories being whispered in the moonlight.

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Genre: Rock

Amid The Noise And Haste (CD)

SOJA
D.C. based dub unit SOJA’s latest release takes a glossier approach to the reggae styling they are noted for. Produced by the multiple Grammy winning Jamaican producer Supa Dupa (Eminem, Rihanna, Bruno Mars, Dirty Heads), Amid The Noise And Haste is full of pop friendly party jams and smooth grooves for 420 enthusiasts. With collaborations from Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, Michael Franti, and Collie Buddz, this 13-track full length claims to be the first of its kind to be recorded in its entirety by the engineer. The result is the most polished effort from the band to date. For those who want to hear these songs live, SOJA is currently on the Soulshine Summer Tour in select U.S. and European cities.More
Genre: Reggae

Angus & Julia Stone (CD)

Angus & Julia Stone
It’s been over three years since folk darlings (and siblings) Angus and Julia Stone joined forces to put out a record. The two of them have been enjoying successful careers independent of one another and had no intention of working musically together again. That was until legendary producer Rick Rubin (Metallica, Adele, Red Hot Chili Peppers) contacted Julia out of the blue about wanting to work with the duo. The result is their most compelling release to date. Working collaboratively on songwriting for the first time, this new self–titled album is a departure from the siblings' folksy MOR pop of the past. It’s more dynamic and blues influenced. Leading track “Heart Beats Slow” sets the tone for the entire album with sweet harmonies and rich instrumentation while “Death Defying Acts” showcases the powerful fragility of Julia’s voice channeling Billy Holiday.More
Genre: Rock

Time Is Over One Day Old (CD)

Bear In Heaven
Delicately balancing melancholy dreaminess with upbeat tempos, Brooklyn based post-rockers Bear In Heaven follow 2012’s I Love You, It’s Cool with the more scaled down Time Is Over One Day Old. Like previous efforts, all the drama of their synth heavy, spaced out sound collages is present here but there is also a certain urgency and exciting dark energy brought on by the galvanizing percussion of new drummer, Jason Nazary. Much like the title suggests, Bear In Heaven are playing with ideas of time and space, each track interweaving with the next one, creating a sort of brooding, timeless celestial soundscape before fading away.More
Genre: Rock

Sand + Silence (CD)

The Rosebuds

It has been over two years since the release of The Rosebuds' very personal and autobiographical break-up album, Loud Planes Fly Low. Since then, duo Ivan Howard and Kelly Crisp have spent two years apart on opposite coasts working on other creative endeavors. They came together again last spring to work on their sixth full-length album, Sand + Silence. Produced by Bon Iver's Justin Vernon (who also plays guitar and synth) and featuring Matt McCauglan on drums and Nick Sangborn on bass, most of the tracks were recorded live in Vernon's April Base Studio. This newer approach gives the record a feeling of elasticity that is evident in numbers like "Blue Eyes" (a breezy sonic lollipop) and the darker and more melancholic, "In My Teeth." While each song exudes the same catchy intensity The Rosebuds are noted for, it also showcases the growth of Howard and Crisp's songwriting skills while celebrating that celebratory feeling of new beginnings with old friends.

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Genre: Rock

Lonerism (LP)

Tame Impala

If Jeff Magnum (Neutral Milk Hotel) had been born 10 years later and became obsessed with tape loops, this is sort of what it would sound like. Stellar effort, even better than their first LP. Get on it, people.  

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Genre: Rock