Tag » album review
  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
Dream-psych duo Peaking Lights’ third full-length album, Lucifer, is their most accessible yet. Out June 19th on Mexican Summer in the US and on Weird World June 18th in the U.K, it follows last year’s release of the incredible summer lovin’ 936. This latest album contains a similar meditative atmosphere, with grooving rhythms and rich textures, but it's gentler than their 2011 record. Lucifer is comparatively more like a ... Read More
Some artists get better with age, and Patti Smith is definitely one of them. With the recent success of her book, Just Kids, about her relationship with late photographer Robert Maplethorpe, Smith’s receiving the most attention she’s had since the late 1970s. I’d bet that many of those who’ve read Just Kids aren’t even very familiar with Smith’s music. This makes the timing of her newest musical album, Banga, rather perfect. The ... Read More
Brooklyn based quintet Friends are set to release their debut album, Manifest!, on Fat Possum Records June 5th, just in time for the summer. Brimming with tropical pop rhythms and percussive tribal beats, this album is perfect for hot rooftop parties and beach side dances the gals of Blue Hawaii would be jealous of. The album opens with the explosive and catchy “Friend Crush,” full of rippling synth lines and reverb-laden vocals reminiscent of Karen O ... Read More
It’s hard to believe it’s been almost four years since New Zealand’s Ladyhawke, otherwise known as Pip Brown, burst onto the scene with her immensely danceable debut record, but her second album Anxiety will make you forget she ever left. “Girl Like Me” starts things off with a Metric-inspired bang, with Brown’s smoky vocals cascading over layers of snappy drums and punchy bass lines. First single “Black White & ... Read More
Despite her recent forays into poppier territory, Norah Jones still calls to mind the image of a young chanteuse churning out wise-beyond-her-years jazz tunes in a downtown club. On her fifth album Little Broken Hearts, she’s still downtown, but she’s traded the jazz club for a hip, hole-in-the-wall pub. After working with him on 2011’s Rome, Jones reteamed with Danger Mouse as her producer, and his indie, hip-hop influence is all over this ... Read More
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