by: Paul McEldowney
Beirut - The Riptide (Pompeii)
Moving from their highly thematic, orchestral, and careful Flying Club Cup, and the synth-pop oddities of his Realpeople EP of 2009, the new album by border benders Beirut is more straightforward, refreshing, fun, and hopeful, while still retaining their nostalgic baroque folk sound that made them famous. The best part of this album in its fun pop sensibilities, compared to their previously more conceptually forced work, is that it is unpretentiously charming and carefree, allowing for a deeper and immediate appreciation.
WU LYF - Go Tell Fire To The Mountain (LYF recordings)
Emotive to the point of being gospel-like atmospheric indie rock whose sound reflects the band's developed cloudy and mysterious existence. All instrumentation is performed with a highly religious fervor and seriousness with post-rock Explosions In The Sky-like guitar work and dynamism, and raspy animalistic soulful choir style vocals whose energy is goose-bump inducing.
Stephen Malkmus And The Jicks (Mirror Traffic) - Matador
New album by Pavement frontman Stephen Malkmus shows off his ability to mature without abandoning his schizophrenic and messy song writing styles. While the album outlines Malkmus' ever-going exploration of pop song structures, he always knows how to tie everything together with his sense of melody and eternal earnestness.
Jacuzzi Boys - Glazin' (Hardly Art)
High and tight misleadingly sensitive fun times mischievous garage punk. I started watching the first season of Parks and Recreation, and I just watched the episode where Amy Pollard's character wants to be part of the boy's club, which is essentially a club where a bunch of guys in the department take a break from work to shoot the breeze. Amy's character really romanticizes the boy's club and the new album by Jacuzzi Boys really captures that romanticization.
Blood Orange - Coastal Grooves (Domino)
RIYL: Dom, Cults, The Rapture, Test Icicles
Former member of Test Icicles has a new mellowed out, yet sassy-by-nature atmospheric disco-surf collection of mile-highers. Raising the sassitude to new levels from his former project, Blood Orange's Devont้ Hynes drips with playful and confident effeminence that teases and breaks hearts.
Devon Williams - Euphoria (Slumberland)
Sweet and surreal kaleidoscopic Bowie-esque glam pop by L.A.'s Devon Williams with layers of milky guitar shimmers, dominant melodic New Order style bass lines in the front, and sentimental thoughtful, lovey dovey, and nostalgic vocal stylings. Music to doll yourself to.
Widowspeak - Widowspeak (Captured Tracks)
Restrained sentimental and dreary garagey folk pop which admirably values a haunting and beautiful clarity, and lyrical and tonal complexity not found in their lo-fi contemporaries.