Albums Picks, New Albums Out Today: Twin Shadow, Holograms, Aesop Rock and More

Posted by Billy Gil, July 10, 2012 01:01pm | Post a Comment
Album Picks:

Twin Shadow ConfessTwin Shadow – Confess
I must “confess” that I was a big old sucker for Twin Shadow’s first album. One of those “I’m wired to like it” kind of things. George Lewis Jr.’s second album has some of the same slow-motion bittersweet nostalgia thing that made the first album so great, but it also comes alive with a new romantic swagger that previously was just implied by the music. His songs have lost none of their immaculate detail, though. “Golden Light” is immediately memorable for its big chorus, with Lewis at the peak of his Phil Collins/Peter Gabriel style of throaty, emotive vocals, but the verses are impeccably put together, too. First single “Five Seconds” has the same sort of “Boys of Summer” rush that Forget’s “Slow” had, but it’s no cheap retread — it sounds taken apart and put back together, as Lewis unleashes his pipes at unexpected moments, and the whole thing has such a wonderful hushed tension that it’s enthralling throughout. Confess shows Lewis can really go for it pop-wise while still engaging listeners with layered songs and well-considered production choices.

hologramsHolograms – Holograms
Really great, ferocious stuff from Sweden’s Holograms. “Monoliths” plays its goth cards early, with foreboding riffs and similarly indignant vocals that seem to call out some impending tragedy, which comes in the form of the song’s second two-thirds, a straight-ahead rush of focused guitar energy punctuated by belted vocals. “Chasing My Mind” meanwhile has an almost comically simple and upfront synth riff that the band then undermines with its weird yelp vocals and riffery — which comes out an improbably perfect concoction. Seems like this year’s Iceage. More European post-hardcore, please.

Aesop RockAesop Rock – Skelethon
Aesop Rock’s first album in five years brings more head-scrambling rhymes over a backdrop of blinking synths and tinny beats, creating a thoroughly addictive set of vocal hurricanes. Old school hip-hop sound meets New School absurdist weirdness once again.

Also out today:

dirty projectors swing lo magellanDirty Projectors – Swing Lo Magellan
A more accessible version of the band fond of visceral, twisted afro-tinged indie pop is found on Swing Lo Magellan, as the band gets closer to holding court as this era’s Talking Heads.


mission of burma unsoundMission of Burma – Unsound
The best post-punk reunion EVER continues as Mission of Burma releases its fifth album and fourth with its reunited lineup.


Eleni MandellEleni Mandell – I Can See the Future
Eighth album from the L.A.-based singer-songwriter. Check out a free download of "Never Have To Fall In Love Again (feat. Benji Hughes)" by Eleni Mandell. She plays tonight at Hotel Cafe with Lavender Diamond for the record release.


Marina and the DiamondsMarina and the Diamonds – Electra Heart
Second album by the Welsh indie pop artist features collaborators such as Diplo and Stargate.


The Complete Beat English BeatThe English Beat – The Complete Beat and Keep the Beat
Complete Beat has every commercially released song from the new wave band’s heyday over five discs, while Keep the Beat is a best-of comp.

digitalism dj kicksDigitalism – DJ Kicks
The superfun electro duo logs an entry into the DJ Kicks mixtape series. Featuring tracks by Optimo, Vitalic, The Rapture and more.


pharcydeThe Pharcyde – Bizarre Ride II: The Pharcyde [Expanded Edition]
An expanded edition of the pioneering West Coast hip-hop group’s 1992 debut. The deluxe edition includes the original album in its entirety, plus two additional discs including instrumentals, remixes, and “B-cydes.”

Beak IIBeak – Beak II
The second album from the trio known as Beak (or Beak>), which features Portishead multi-instrumentalist Geoff Barrow, offers beautifully bleak tracks of electronic/krautrock/experimental noise pop, getting surprisingly hooky on the upbeat “Yatton” and the menacing “Wulfstan II.”

Relevant Tags

Beak> (2), Beak (3), The Pharcyde (7), Digitalism (2), The English Beat (2), Marina And The Diamonds (1), Eleni Mandell (2), Dirty Projectors (5), Mission Of Burma (3), Holograms (8), Aesop Rock (18), Twin Shadow (8), New Releases (214), New Albums (213)