This Month's Picks

Pursuit Of Ends (CD)

High Pulp
Genre-bending post-rockers High Pulp’s new album, Pursuit of Ends , is an enlivening, dynamic listen. The Seattle group paints in bold brushstrokes, with vivifying colors—there’s no snoozing your way through this album, no putting it on in the background as light party music. Drawing sonic inspiration from Miles Davis’ Second Quintet and creative concepts from ideas about magic, the will, and the individual, Pursuit of Ends ’ joyous spirit and colorful palette demands to be heard. Close your eyes and let your imagination run free to the lush soundscapes provided by this inspired collection of songs. More
Genre: Rock

Time~Lapse Nature (LP)

Diatom Deli
Diatom Dell’s Time~Lapse Nature feels mythic, pastoral, and entrancing. Vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Deli Paloma-Sisk’s crystal clear vocals float above lilting guitar like a classical wood nymph singing hymns to the surrounding countryside. The sounds of crickets and birds add evocative atmosphere and fascinating texture to these hypnotically simple songs. Utterly spell-binding and otherworldly, Time~Lapse Nature feels imbued with ancient wisdom, modern environmental concerns, and timeless beauty. More

Songs From The Elkhorn Trail (CD)

Jim Lindberg
Jim Lindberg trades black leather for dirty denim on his new acoustic album, Songs from the Elkhorn Trail . The Pennywise singer has always been a nimble, thoughtful songwriter, and it's very cool to see how he applies those skills to a more rootsy folk-punk sound. These songs could hold their own among the story-driven workingman's rootsy rock of Lucero or Drive By Truckers--although Lindberg's vibe is a bit more upbeat, his choruses sometimes more anthemic. Gritty, authentic, and approachable, Songs from the Elkhorn Trail  feels like an old friend. More
Genre: Rock

The Gods We Can Touch (CD)

Some singers just seem touched by the gods; that’s the case with Norway’s left-of-center pop singer Aurora. Fittingly for this daring songwriter, her latest album reaches back out into the cosmos, with the title The Gods We Can Touch . The songs are theatrical electro-pop with avant-garde sensibilities in the vein of Florence + the Machine, Austra, and perhaps a glossier Jenny Hval. The vibe is sweeping and cinematic, with seeing strings, captivating vocals, and disco-tinged rhythms. On this album, Aurora crafts a fairy tale world all of her own imagining—it’s a welcome, vivid, brilliant dream. More
Genre: Rock

Peacock Pools (CD)

Pink Mountaintops
After an eight-year hiatus, Stephen McBean (Black Mountain) is back with new music from his project Pink Mountaintops. The songs that would become Peacock Pools materialized in the early days of the pandemic, fomented from McBean’s eclectic interests (Camille Paglia essays, David Cronenberg flicks, early Pink Floyd) and brought to life by a star-studded stable of indie world musicians who also sought sonic collaboration. With contributions from artists who’ve worked with Destroyer, Death Valley Girls, Ty Segall, and more, the album has a varied, interesting vibe—everyone here is powered by passion and ready to experiment. The album opens with a cover of Black Flag’s “Nervous Breakdown” before heading into a tribute to the Swell Maps’ Nikki Sudden. Along the way, Steven McDonald of Redd Kross and Dale Crover of Melvins show up to participate in the cosmic proceedings. Trippy and tremendously fun. More
Genre: Rock

Zeit (CD)

Like many bands, Rammstein have their pandemic album. Of course, being Rammstein, Zeit  goes much harder, much heavier. After the band’s busy touring schedule was grounded by COVID-19, they hit the studio, finding artistic inspiration in the grave circumstances surrounding the recording sessions. It’s a typically intense listening experience, with punishing riffs, foreboding vocals, and lyrics that upend your expectations at every turn—here you’ll find the band delighting in crassness, while just around the corner they’re delving into even more delicate topics, namely despair, death, and emotion. Rammstein has always been a band that takes pleasure in provocation and with these sometimes nuanced lyrical excursions, they’re certainly headed off in uncharted directions. And it works. Forceful, fiery, and perfect for the times we’re living in. More
Genre: Rock

Emotional Eternal (CD)

Melody's Echo Chamber
Melody's Echo Chamber takes their time crafting each element and that care and inspiration are felt on their latest, Emotional Eternal . Having moved from cosmopolitan Paris to the majestic Alps, Melody Prochet builds on her band’s ethereal, throwback sound by incorporating elements of haunting psychedelia, English folk, and swirling guitar. Although there are many standout tracks, this is an album with a capital “A,” meant to be listened to in its entirety, all the better so it can cast its heady spell. Hazy and vaguely melancholic, Emotional Eternal feels like a pastoral daydream. More
Genre: Rock

Two Ribbons (CD)

Let's Eat Grandma
As you may have guessed from their distinctive name, Let’s Eat Grandma isn’t afraid to take chances. On their album Two Ribbons , longtime best friends Jenny Hollingworth and Rosa Walton push indie pop into experimental, exciting, affecting new dimensions. The duo creates dreamy washes of synth-powered sound with danceable beats and moments of intensity and intimacy. The vocals are astounding; paired together, Hollingworth and Walton’s voices intermingle effectively, and when on their own possess a piercing, unforgettable quality. This should be the year of Let’s Eat Grandma—don’t sleep on this one! More
Genre: Rock

Profound Mysteries (CD)

Royksopp’s new release, Profound Mysteries , is more than just an album; it’s a whole multi-pronged conceptual project. The universe of Mysteries includes films and visualizers described as “artifacts”—if it all seems very intellectual and gallery chic, you’ll be glad to learn that the music doesn’t require a PhD in art criticism to enjoy, just a beating heart and an appreciation for soaring electronica. Standout tracks include the Alison Goldfrapp-voiced “Impossible” and the disco-tinged “Breathe” featuring Astrid S. There’s no filler on this collection; all the songs create their own mini world that blends elegantly into the album as a whole. These are Mysteries you’ll want to explore. More


Vince Staples
Vince Staples' Ramona Park Broke My Heart is one of the most solid, moving hip-hop albums you're likely to hear this year. It's definitely one of Staples' most introspective and intense. Even the tracks that initially feel like Friday night party bangers have a bittersweet undercurrent for a young life lived on the tightrope between good times and despair. This is a serious, no holds barred chronicle of Staples' experiences in a neighborhood marked by gangs, violence, and poverty; the artist has spoken out about the way others produce and consume street life narratives with a relish for "trauma porn." That's not what Ramona Park is about. This excellent album shows a young man grappling with the ways in which one's past is always present. That he chooses to share that process with us is a gift for fans of intelligent, affecting hip-hop. More
Genre: Hip Hop