Tag » album review
AroarA, a Canadian husband and wife duo comprised of Andrew Whiteman (Broken Social Scene) and Ariel Engle (Land of Kush), bring us a most exquisite debut entitled In the Pines. This EP is part of a forthcoming album and adaptation of Alice Notley’s book of poems of the same name. Each song corresponds with one of the poems and contains words and phrases in the lyrics. If the EP is any indication, the release of the full-length album is sure to be as ... Read More
On their sophomore album, Portland-based Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside cull the best bits from music’s past eras, creating a mercurial hybrid of rockabilly, blues, country, and garage rock. Ford’s vocals have just enough of a worn edge to sound appropriately world-weary and jaded, but she’s smooth enough in her delivery to pull off sweeter, poppier tracks. Catchy “They Told Me” brings to mind the tight hooks of fellow retro rockers the Black Keys, ... Read More
Though she sounds melancholy on her beautifully solemn debut Ripely Pine, Aly Spaltro has something to celebrate. As Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, she offers up a winning new brand of Southern discomfort (though she’s from the North), with tastes of pop, folk, and Americana. The album begins with a guitar slowly strumming sorrow, as if Spaltro is quietly waiting for the pain to go away while offering up lyrics like, “Love is selfish/Love goes tick tock ... Read More
If any of you My Morning Jacket fans were expecting more of the same from your favorite frontman’s new record, there’s one hell of a surprise in store for you. Jim James’ first solo full-length, Regions of Light and Sound of God, is a heady, exploratory deluge that envelops the listener in an eclectic embrace. Over the course of the album, James incorporates everything from the romantic sway of a string quartet (“Actress”), to ... Read More
  Almanac, the second full-length from Brooklyn band Widowspeak, opens with cascading guitar lines you could listen to on loop all night long. Molly Hamilton’s waifish vocals float down between the heavy drums, getting listeners primed for more, more, more. Still drawing a striking resemblance to beloved ’90s legends Mazzy Star, Widowspeak seems to be venturing out from under that shadow. The guitars, courtesy of Robert Earl Thomas, are more ... Read More
I’m stoked to say that even after a long break, indie-pop icons Tegan and Sara have still got it—as demonstrated one Thursday night in January when the Canadian sibling duo packed the basement venue at The Standard in the East Village. The sisters laid down old favorites as well as new tracks off their first album since 2009’s Sainthood. Both women took the chance between songs to get personal with the crowd, sharing the inspirations behind their ... Read More
Sometime around the release of his 1984 album Climate of Hunter, Scott Walker discorporated and his consciousness scattered. Periodically, he’s able to gather his atoms back together and create a harrowing dispatch from the ether before vanishing for another decade or so. His once-golden voice reduced to a haunted wail, Walker painstakingly recreates the sounds of traveling through half-existence surrounded by phantoms of the 20th century’s cruelty. ... Read More
Ellie Goulding’s debut Lights reached the U.S. in 2011, but it didn’t take off for over a year. Now, Goulding is new pop royalty, and Halcyon presents a stark contrast to her introduction. Where Lights possessed an almost naïve view of the world, Halcyon shows her to have matured. Songs like “My Blood” and “Dead in the Water” take hopelessness to new heights. There are some nods to EDM—as on the Calvin ... Read More
Crystal Castles set the bar pretty high for their third release. After all, NME named their eponymous debut the 39th greatest album of the last decade, and their sophomore effort received widespread critical acclaim. Luckily,  Alice Glass and Ethan Kath show no signs of slacking off on (III). This time around, they’ve abandoned some of the thrashing punk of their self-titled 2008 release while retaining the abrasive energy of a noise band. The result? A ... Read More
Lightning strikes a fourth time with Matt and Kim’s newest album. If the Brooklyn duo seems familiar, perhaps it’s because you saw their bare-naked asses in the now-classic “Lessons Learned” video. Behind the keyboard, Matt Johnson’s deviant, almost Dookie-esque vocals combined with Kim Schifino’s gung-ho drumming make for an upbeat, heart attack-paced record with just a hint of disco. As the first of several party anthems on ... Read More
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