A Sequence Of Waves is the new album from New York artist/producer Patrick Grant. Fusion music has always been an art form that is hard to pin down and this album is no different. Technical proficiency abounds, with tight, complex arrangements and interesting instrumental interplay. The album has flashes of King Crimsonesque rock, theatrical style passages and nods to jazz and classical forms. It is also an album that stands as an artistic endevour for its own sake, rather than one that will find any kind of wide audience. If your tastes tend to the progressive side, this is an album that will fulfill your needs. Stream and buy A Sequence Of Waves at the link below.
Thursday, September 28, 2017
Echo is the new album from Swedish band The Search. Echo will appeal to those who like stylish music in the vein of Depeche Mode and New Order. The ten tracks are atmopheric and haunting, with plenty of synths and guitars, minimalist beats and nice ambient layering. Like much of Swedish music, this is an album for those that like their music to flow rather than careen. Music that is smooth, tasteful and ethereal. Stream and download Echo at the link below.
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Flesh & Bone is the new EP from Chicago musician Dan Rico on France's Shit In Cans Records. The three tracks are retro pop-punk goodness with touches of rockabilly and R&B. These are the kind of tracks that never go out of fashion. What you have here is a singer/songwriter giving you no pretense, no gimmick rock as it has been done since the beginning, straight from the heart. Stream and buy Flesh & Bone at the link below.
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Vancouver band Ponytails have released their S/T debut EP. The six tracks share sonic space with bands like Real Estate, Beach Fossils and Ducktails. With a smooth sheen, abundant nice guitar licks and crisp vocals. As a whole the EP is highly enjoyable and carries a bit more edge than the aforementioned bands. Not any new ground here, just good solid indie rock. Stream and download Ponytails at the link below.
Monday, September 25, 2017
Down At The Liquor Store is the new album from Mississippi artist Steve Azar & The Kings Men. The thirteen tracks are a stylish and polished take on Americana music that effortlessly blends country, blues and rock. What results is a tasty album full of radio ready tracks. Tight arrangements and crisp musicianship frame Azar's vocals that glisten with feeling and authenticity. This is a strong album throughout, with the only negative being a decidedly studio musician feel, rather than real edge or energy. Stream Down At The Liquor Store at the link below.
Friday, September 22, 2017
Lightning Like Me is the new album from London rockers Oh! Gunquit. The ten tracks have a retro rock-a-billy feel, with a nice lo-fi edge and more rawness than a piece of meat on a black eye. Energy abounds as the album unfolds into a punk dance party that will raise the roof and annoy the neighbors. This is a perfect slice of the very trendy retro pie and is an absolute must have. Stream and buy Lightning Likes Me at the link below.
Thursday, September 21, 2017
Off White is the new album from former Trespassers William member and Chemical Brothers collaborator Lotte Kestner. The twelve tracks are a testament to a transcendent artist, who has created an album of sublime beauty. The songs weave an intimate simplicity into the perfect vehicle for Kestner's mesmerizing vocals and redefine the universality of indie folk as an art form. This is one of the best albums we have heard this year and it is an absolute must have. Stream and buy Off White at the link below.
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Always is the new album from Seattle's The Blue Hour. The eleven tracks overflow with a delicate, yet powerful beauty that is at once compelling. The songs have an engaging complexity of textures that play out as an atmospheric excursion of the senses, creating both imagery and aural excitement. Combining the best elements of folk and dreampop, with a touch of Bohemian passion, the album transforms the sonic space it occupies into an intimate cocoon of sound. A definite must have. Stream and buy Always at the link below.
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Ocean Forest is the S/T debut album from the Myrtle Beach band on North Carolina's Silber Records. The nine tracks make a definiative statement as one of the best albums we've heard this year. Produced by Brian McKenzie of FZB regulars Electric Bird Noise, this album is a testament to all that's good in shoegaze and psychedelic music. We can always count on getting fine music from Silber Records and this album is an absolute must have. Stream and buy Ocean Forest at the link below.
Monday, September 18, 2017
Grams is the debut full length from Chicago band Local Motive. The nine tracks have a retro R&B feel complete with standout brass and guitar parts, as well as tasteful changes in dynamics. Unfortunately, the album seems to miss the mark in terms of somewhat muddled mix and lack of real edge or excitement. Repeated listens failed to generate any sense of engagement with the tracks and the album as a whole seemed to plod along between dynamic highs and lackluster off tempo parts. The vocals added little to any sense of excitement, and served more to tie together the instrumental parts rather than propel the tracks forward. A album of good musicianship, but yet one that is overall forgettable rather than memorable. Try it for yourself, stream and buy Grams at the link below.
Friday, September 15, 2017
Of A Distorted Star is the new album from Polish artist/producer Opollo, aka Jarek Leskiewicz. the ten tracks are dense assemblages of ingenious synth pads, atmospheric textures and subtle noise. More sonically engaging than an ambient recording and more ambient than a melodic based instrumental album, this record defies genres with a series of experimental soundscapes that soar and twist effortlessly in a total aural experience. Stream and download Of A Distorted Star at the link below.
Thursday, September 14, 2017
Long Vivid Dream is the debut EP from Montreal duo Discolor Blind. The five tracks are dark synthpop tinged rock, with an understated noise and lo-fi sonic patina. The tracks feature some nice original sounds, interesting arrangements and unexpected heavy passages, all the while keeping an overall atmospheric sound. Complex but yet engaging, this is a debut to be reckoned with and is a definite must have. Watch the video for EP track Bland and Grey, then stream and buy Long Vivid Dream at the link below.
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Milwaukee indie label Good Land Records brings us the debut S/T album from Chicago power pop band The Obleeks. The ten tracks have a radio ready sheen with crisp production and solid songwriting. The vocals are reminiscent of Tom Petty, but comparisons stop there, with the varied and extremely interesting instrumental performances standing on there own. A vary solid debut album that showcases a band we should expect much more good music from. Stream and buy The Obleeks at the link below.
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Wonderland Wins is the new album from Swedish artist/producer Martin Månsson Sjöstrand. Regular readers of this blog will be familiar with his work in Dog Paper Submarine and This Heel. The ten tracks on this new album showcase an artist that is at the height of his powers, with superb songwriting and arrangements. The album delivers a wondefully original take on post-punk, lo-fi and indie rock, with some glitchy elements thrown in for good measure. A fine album all around and a definite must have. Stream and buy Wonderland Wins at the link below.
Monday, September 11, 2017
No Honey is the new EP from Toronto indie rock band Goodbye Honolulu. The 5 tracks blend elements from grunge, garage and post punk into a solid EP, with a strong college radio feel. Nice varied dynamics propel the songs along and help keep the interest high. This is an extremely well crafted album, that marks a band that is fully developed in their songwriting, arrangement and production skills. A definite must have. Stream and buy No Honey at the link below.
Friday, September 8, 2017
Sagitta is the new EP from Chicago singer/songwriter Ryan Herrick. The six tracks are alt-folk pieces that channel elements of blues, folkrock and Americana. What immediately strikes one, is just how heavy this album is. Though based on acoustic instruments, the sheer power that is transmitted through the tracks is staggering. Herrick's voice is strong and compelling, the songwriting inspired and the musicianship is at a very high level. Taken together, this is one of the best albums we have heard this year. An absolute must have. Stream and buy Sagitta at the link below.
Thursday, September 7, 2017
Swedish indie label Peter Out records always sends cool stuff and this time they sent something really special. Kabinet Dod was a band in the first wave of Swedish punk being active from 1979-1991. In that time the band never released any records, insisting that their music must be experienced live. However, they did record their live shows and now Peter Out brings us Kathiztan, a compilation of live recordings by the band from 1979-1981. Almost 40 years later these recordings have a rawness and intensity that showcases a unique punk rock band that is still relevant and needs to be part of everyone's collection. A definite must have. Stream and download Kathiztan at the link below.
Wednesday, September 6, 2017
EP is the aptly titled Bearsuit Records debut from Japanese artist Hayato Takeuchi. The 5 tracks are original instrumental music that melds electronic, synthpop and guitar elements into a unique sound, that is both engaging and compelling. In many ways this EP could be viewed as a new form of classical music for a world removed to the far future. Only rarely do we have a chance to listen to music so original, that it defies existing genres, while at the same time embracing them. This is a work that should be in everyone's collection. Stream and buy EP at the link below.
Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Resilient is the new album from Chicago's Chip Ratliff. The eight tracks are a master class in everything funky. The album channels all the best influences from the likes of Sly Stone and George Clinton, with doses of Prince's rock sense. This was a very difficult review to write...because how the fuck could anyone possibly sit still listening to this album. Multiple dancing induced typos later, all we can say is, absolutely get this album or call 911, because you must be dead. Stream and buy Resilient at the link below.
Monday, September 4, 2017
Fly I Will, Because I Can is the new album from Brooklyn dreampop band My Favorite Things. Though ostensibly a quintet, the band is mainly an artistic vehicle for singer/songwriter Dorothea Tachler. The twelve tracks are lilting dreampop, with requisite doses of reverb, healthy amounts of atmospheric instruments and vocals, but also well placed elements of folk and bohemian influences. An altogether nice album, though the mix does leave things a bit muddy in spots. Stream and buy Fly I Will, Because I Can at the link below.
Friday, September 1, 2017
Standing Here is the new EP from artist, producer and indie label honcho Ric Gordon. Gordon calls the EP the best recording of his career. A strong statement from an artist who has released 16 albums and EPs under various monikers and produced another 26 for other artists. The EP is a superlative work of indie/folkrock and alt-country, that with five "A" tracks and no filler, will stand as one of the best singer/songwriter records of the year. A definite must have. Stream and buy Standing Here at the link below.