Tag » album review
  In the three and a half years since Bat for Lashes (aka Natasha Khan) released Two Suns, her brand of vaguely goth chamber pop has taken off—just ask Florence + the Machine, Zola Jesus, or Grimes. Those ladies are wonderful, of course, but we’ve missed Bat for Lashes’ singularly weird beauty. On her third album, The Haunted Man, Khan’s talent is out in full force. Opener “Lilies” kicks things off with an operatic, ... Read More
Jumping seamlessly from style to style and interweaving elements from garage rock, ’60s girl groups, and cabaret, the music of Austin-based duo Agent Ribbons is hard to classify. On Let Them Talk, the band takes a lighter turn than on its past two full-lengths and embraces the whimsical side of its twisted-fairytale style. Opener “Family Haircut” begins with ethereal “oohs” sung over ominous drums, but soon enough, the pace picks up ... Read More
  If you enjoyed the cacophonous hooks of Micachu and the Shapes’ 2009 debut Jewellery, you’ll be happy to hear much of the same on the band’s second studio album Never. The LP may seem languid upon first listen, but it packs a punch. Although she’s classically trained, frontwoman Mica Levi finds merriment in the use of nontraditional instruments and household objects on Never—therein lies its uniqueness. The first track ... Read More
  N.Y.C.’s MNDR serves up a rough-cut gem with its first full-length, Feed Me Diamonds. Comprised of duo Amanda Warner and Peter Wade, the band’s ’80s-inspired, electro sound doesn’t go down as easily as straight-up pop music because the beats and synths are unrefined, raw, and gritty. Werner often wavers between hitting and not hitting her notes, which adds tension to the already deliciously strained music. The single “#1 in ... Read More
  With an emphatic nod to the ’80s, Omaha-based trio Icky Blossoms’ eponymous debut is a super danceable affair that’ll have you caking on the blue eye shadow and hiking up your acid-washed jeans. Extroverted songs dominate the album, with explosions of cosmic synthesizers and drum-machine claps (this band loves clapping) that recall a poppier New Order. “Sex to the Devil” showcases frontwoman Sarah Bohling’s hypnotic ... Read More
  The name Family Band evokes a large, cheery ensemble, but this duo’s music tends toward foreboding melodies and dark, disillusioned lyrics. Comprised of married couple Kim Krans (an illustrator) and Jonny Ollsin (a one-time heavy metal guitarist), Family Band’s sophomore effort Grace & Lies is full of mystery, terror, and the excavation of painful memories. Opener “Night Song” establishes the album’s tone with bone-chilling ... Read More
  Minimalism, thy name is Britt Daniel. The Spoon frontman, already so accomplished at the fine art of paring a song down to its skeleton, has found new ways of establishing understated elegance with his new project Divine Fits. He, Dan Boeckner, and Sam Brown populate the space on the record like fussy interior decorators, seeking an elusive feng shui with perfectly placed stabs of guitar, percussion, and electronics. While the end result is deceptively ... Read More
  Belgian songstress Selah Sue may look like a model with her golden nest of hair, but she has powerful pipes and true talent. Her self-titled debut offers her distinctive take on smooth soul laced with tropical reggae beats; the album is filled with reckless rapture and fiery attitude. “I’m feeling real passionate,” Sue howls in “This World,” an explosive ballad that might inspire you to caress a glass of Jamaican rum. ... Read More
  The Dirty Projectors aren’t known for musical simplicity, but on the band’s sixth album Swing Lo Magellan, it takes a stab at stripped-down soul and R&B, mixed with the sprawling orchestral arrangements, handclaps, and neo doo-wop flourishes they love. “About to Die” sounds like frontman David Longstreth’s attempt at a drive-in classic, and single “Gun Has No Trigger” loads up on the “oohs” and ... Read More
    Purity Ring, the Canadian electronic duo of Corin Roddick and Megan James, sounds like water so freezing cold it shocks your skin—it’s surprising, uncomfortable, and disorienting. Icy-blue notes appear throughout their debut full-length album, Shrines, as James’ aloof-but-assertive vocals go in and out of focus, trading places moment to moment with spastic synthesizers. Roddick handles that instrument, turning delicate melodies ... Read More
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