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Sisyphus – Sisyphus

Sisyphus – Sisyphus

Something that sounds like a leftover youth group drum set in someone’s garage. Double-tracked rap and a drawbar organ. A synthesizer drops in and drums get chopped, rearranged. Vocals stutter. “When you feel like f—ing shit up/let’s f—shit up.” Sufjan Stevens is in the room. Do you believe me? Such is the nature of sphinxlike […]

Xiu Xiu – Angel Guts:Red Classroom

Xiu Xiu – Angel Guts:Red Classroom

It doesn’t take a deep perusal of Xiu Xiu’s decade-plus catalog to see that Stewart, the mastermind of the band, wants to shock. He came right out and said it on 2010’s Dear God, I Hate Myself: “If you expect me to be outrageous I will be extra outrageous.” You could say that Stewart wants […]

Mirah – Changing Light

Mirah – Changing Light

“Said the goat to the shepherd/I will cut your throat/I will eat you whole/I will let you know who’s in control of the mountain.” There is a palpable tension as Mirah drawls these eldritch words in a cavalier slur. They appear to be written in cursive script; written in blood. The first notes of Changing […]

Bluffing – Sugar Coated Pills of Wisdom

Bluffing – Sugar Coated Pills of Wisdom

Let’s not get hasty and classify BLUFFING’s Sugar Coated Pills of Wisdom as strictly a pop record just because the tracks are all two minutes or less. Take “Circles,” with its opaque chords, dreamy vocals, the build and the final rush. What we have here might be a heretofore undiscovered form of truncated shoegaze. And […]

Andrew Bird – Things Are Really Great Here, Sort of…

Andrew Bird – Things Are Really Great Here, Sort of…

For all ye hip-hop heads and indie-kids hoping to jump a sound and call it your own before the whole world blows up about it, please look elsewhere. Andrew Bird is painfully uncool, add to that he whistles and uses the fiddle as the main instrumentation for the bulwark of his catalog, which unfortunately falls […]

Amy Ray – Goodnight Tender (take 2)

Amy Ray – Goodnight Tender (take 2)

Amy Ray is undoubtedly best known for being one half of the folk-rock duo Indigo Girls. She’s been on the music scene for decades and has explored expanses that span the musical map. On her new release, though, she feels like she’s found her home; like she might settle down and stay awhile. Goodnight Tender […]

Amy Ray – Goodnight Tender

Amy Ray – Goodnight Tender

Insert a snide comment about country as formula: my dog died, my woman left, I love my truck, God bless America. It’s the staple hip defamation of the music that the old townies listen to while us young folks tout our new-wave freak-folk and politically astute hip hop. But Amy Ray is unapologetic about Goodnight […]

Wetwood Smokes – Earth Tones & Red EP

Wetwood Smokes – Earth Tones & Red EP

There is a moment on Wetwood Smokes’ debut EP, Earth Tones & Red, where you get a clear sense of what the future might hold for this engaging trio. The opener, “A Better Man,” is an echoing, hook-heavy guitar track that would be gold on college radio and even modern rock radio while we’re at […]

Marla Mase – Half-Life EP

Marla Mase – Half-Life EP

There are some artists who intentionally change up their sound in an effort to avoid categorization, making subtle shifts in a calculated way of trying to stay fresh and inviting. And while that’s not a terrible thought, perhaps more engaging are those artists whose sound shifts and confounds with it’s unique changes just by virtue […]

The Clientele – Suburban Light (Reissue)

The Clientele – Suburban Light (Reissue)

It shouldn’t be a surprise that The Clientele stared out as close to fully formed as they did. Afterall, they didn’t as much create a sound as carefully curate one. Alasdair Maclean surely has to have tremendous record collection of sun-dappled, 60s and 70s pop. Obviously, almost nobody listens to just one type of music; however […]