This record broadens Powers' musical and lyrical scope into something universal in a literal and figurative sense, evoking the cosmos, heaven, and hell. But Powers sounds curious and awestruck rather than naïve, someone who explores this lush and frightening soundworld instead of explaining it. The production is an upgrade from their previous album titled The Year of Hibernation. The main improvement is thematic. The previous album focused on escape and became defined by its limitations; however, Wondrous Bughouse looks inward and discovers the endless possibilities of imagination and introspection. Listen below to "Dropla". Enjoy!
Local Native's signature agile vocal harmonies and tight instrumental interplay remains, the most noticeable change on Hummingbird is that the tone is decidedly more blue than the light-infused mindset of their 2009 debut Gorilla Manor, and it’s resulted in a richer, more layered album from the group. The shift in mood could be attributed to a number of things - notably bassist Andy Hamm’s 2010 departure from the band and the death of Ayer’s mother last summer - but the band’s ability to channel their reactions to the lows of the past two years shows an incredible musical growth from the last record. As musicians, they’re more aware of their melodic gifts and, even better, how to restrain them in order to create a polyphonous tension. They no longer use three-part harmonies as their go-to tool to make a song explode out of the listener’s speakers; instead, they’ve learned a sense of restraint that suits them well, often letting one singer take the reins while the other three members form a swirling, circular rhythm to support him. Listen to the album here!
Matthew Mondanile was thought of as regarding Ducktails as the lackadaisical counterpart to his other, more famous band, Real Estate. The Flower Lane is the latest progression for what now resembles a fully fledged group. Mondanile's hasn't tempered the echoes of his other band in Ducktails, but he isn't confined to Real Estate's shadow, either. This album also seems to have a larger musical vocabulary. For instance, a distinct difference in this album is its production. Fuller, smoother, and more polished, it’s Mondanile’s most sonically pristine effort. Previous Ducktails albums wove a flawed tapestry in which different synthetic sounds and tones were combined to emphasize a more intimate, imperfect whole; The Flower Lane, on the other hand, has clearly pronounced parts contributing to its larger, refined sound. Although, few critique this album and say that Mondanile needs to open his heart because there is a general lack of soul. Pitchfork ranked this album as a 7.1 Listen below to Letter of Intent. Enjoy!!
Miracle Mile is STRFKR's fourth record, which seems like a lot for a perennial second-tier band on the dorm-party circuit. This is a testament to Hodges' skill as a craftsman: He can turn out reasonably engaging amalgams of lightly funky disco rhythms and mildly trippy psych rock ambiance without breaking a sweat. His records-- now made in collaboration with a band that includes bassist Shawn Glassford, drummer Keil Corcoran, and guitarist Patrick Morris-- are always immaculate and thoroughly professional enterprises. But, like a machine designed to endlessly churn out identical pots, STRFKR apparently never wondered if the world needed another record like Miracle Mile. This band can capably turn out listenable, inoffensive music that conforms to the demands of the marketplace, but that doesn't mean Miracle Mile has any discernible personality or artistic character. It's just another well-made pot on a shelf with nothing inside.
Duo Adam Green and Binki Shapiro have just released their self-titled debut album of enchanting ballads about love and heartbreak. They seemed like an unlikely pair, but this album shows that they are a match made in heaven. They have the tender and warm appeal of She & Him and the timeless presence of Elvis Presley. If I were you, I would invest in their beautiful music. Listen to song Casanova below!