Tag » album
Our ethereal goddess is back. Zola Jesus has announced a new album due to be released on October 7th. Taiga, a follow-up to 2011’s Conatus, and is named after the Russian name for boreal forest. These forests grow both in her home of Northern Wisconsin, and in the place of birth of her ancestral origins in Russia. In a press release, Zola Jesus says that she feels like this album is her “true debut, because it’s the first time [she] has felt so ... Read More
Sean Tillmann, aka Har Mar Superstar, is a veteran musician who should be more famous than he is, given that he’s a stellar singer/songwriter with a sublime set of pipes. On Bye Bye 17, his fifth album under the Har Mar moniker, Tillmann takes a detour from 2009’s disco-infused Dark Touches and delves into full-on classic R&B, Sam Cooke-style soul, and early ’70s-era Al Green-inspired tunes. On the opener, “Lady, You Shot Me,” bombastic horns ... Read More
Actual pyramids are bottom-heavy, just like Brightest Darkest Day, the debut from a duo made up of vocalist Drea Smith and OK Go’s Tim Nordwind. The two concoct a range of sonic textures which sometimes captivate and other times get lost in the fray. Album closer “Nothing I Can Say” staggers under a feedback loop as dreary as a rainy day in Manchester. About half the album is bogged down in these kinds of post-punk genuflections—a pity, ... Read More
  It wasn’t so long ago that Charles Bradley was a struggling James Brown impersonator, but after Daptone Records—Brooklyn’s answer to Motown—discovered him, the 64-year-old soul singer’s career finally achieved liftoff. On Victim of Love, the follow-up to his dazzling 2011 debut No Time for Dreaming, the R&B crooner sounds undeniably confident, trading his heartache for love and channeling Al Green more than the Godfather of ... Read More
  Lisa Germano’s albums always remind me of a car accident—her lyrical stories contain elements that both attract and repel, like she can’t stop picking at certain wounds, even if it hurts a little. Her newest album No Elephants is rife with similar dualities. Germano’s breathless voice is simultaneously ecstatic and on the verge of a meltdown, especially when she sings lyrics like, “All is not well outside.” A ... Read More
   Since its beginnings in 2002, Los Angeles band the Bronx has incorporated a sunny element within its version of hardcore. Maybe it’s a California thing, but it’s hard to describe their explosive, melodic, pump-your-fist music, other than to call it pizza-party punk. Their latest effort The Bronx (IV) is lacking any form of anger, which feels weird for a band of their ilk. Still, songs like “Along for the Ride” and “Ribcage” are loud, ... Read More
Wanda Jackson may be approaching her 75th birthday, but the Queen of Rockabilly shows no signs of slowing down. On her 31st album, Jackson goes back to her roots with the signature mix of rockabilly and country that made her famous in the late 1950s. Unfinished Business features five new tracks and five covers of tracks by artists from Etta James to Woody Guthrie to the Rolling Stones. Produced by established folk musician Justin Townes Earle (son of Steve Earle), ... Read More
  Known for its robotic vocals (courtesy of a vocoder), Black Moth Super Rainbow has always been difficult to understand, both literally and figuratively—see also the masks the band members wear onstage and their aversion to press. For their fifth album, though, they’ve learned to use their words, discussing the many facets of love on tracks like “Hairspray Heart” and “Like a Sundae.” Kickstarter donations from fans funded ... 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
U.K. singer Lianne La Havas is standing on the precipice of superstardom. She’s been buzzed about and blogged about, but until very recently, we’d only heard a few of her songs (including the amazing “Forget,” which you should check out on YouTube immediately). Luckily, we had the opportunity to check out an intimate showcase by La Havas here in NYC, and were blown away by her confidence on stage and by her powerful-yet-delicate voice. ... Read More
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