by: Paul McEldowney
Chairlift - Something – (Kanine)
Every guilty pleasure rolled into one antironic cosmic blue-crimped 80's yoga-pallades-tape leotard-all-the-time pop outfit. It's a beautiful mechanical, polyrhythmic space work-out with diva vocals that makes me want to reference Katy Perry Feat. Kanye West's E.T. again. OK, I'll do it: You're not like the others, Futuristic lover, Different DNA, They don't understand you.
Frankie Rose - Interstellar – (Slumberland)
I remember listening to an episode of This American Life where a group of Harvard physicist with no girlfriends or boyfriends who tried to apply the Drake Equation to the chances of them finding that special someone. The Drake equation is a mathematical equation which sort of determines the probability of there being intelligent life in the Universe. Instead of 'intelligent life', these scientists used 'girlfriends' and instead of using variable factors like 'distance from a star', they would use 'completing a college degree' or 'having a good sense of humor'. It seems like a lot of bands are slowly going through an 'Bah, I'm too old for this!' stage. The existential crisis that this stage triggers seemed to have Frankie Rose to shoot for the stars and go for a shimmering, cleaner, romantic spaced-out pop. It's the search for that cosmic love based on your terrestrial living that connects the two narratives i've described.
Tennis - Young & Old – (Fat Possum)
Boy/Girl skiing in short shorts and sailing in circles heart melting garage pop from your favorite stuck-on-a-boat met-in-philosophy-class cutey patooty couple.
Black Bananas - Rad Times Expressway IV – (Drag City)
Black Bananas is the newest incarnation of 90's psych pop band Royal Trax. It's a burned-out acid tripping funky classic rock warbly sex syrup mess of flanger pedals, guitar solos, and bleeps in every bloops with no holds bar sincerity. It's like if Ratatat started a 70's glam psych band. Just great.
The Mallard - Yes On Blood – (Castleface)
The headlines are in. John Dwyer has a good ear for a good tune and a good time. The newest release on his Castleface records is by The Mallard, the only living thing that's been able to successfully escape the thralls of Fresno, California. Congress created the dust bowl, and The Mallard created a new album reminiscent of Dwyer's earlier folkier and mellower OCS with the jam band elements of Wooden Shjips and psyched out weirdness of the Bird Names.
Yellow Ostrich - Strange Land – (Barsuk)
The band that continually challenges my poor spelling skills have a new album which challenges themselves to expand the emotionally complex, melodic, and bombastic drum heavy folk pop sounds from their first album into something more compelling and mature.
Kellen & Me - Kellen & Me – (Audiotree)
Down to earth underwater scuby-diving under the covers pjs bedroom freakfolk pop.
Cursive - I Am Gemini – (Saddle creek)
Mopey down-on-the-dumps anti-valentines day raw whisper-to-screaming emo-punk with some grungey Slinty moments.
Daredevil Christopher Wright - The Longsuffering Song – (Self Released)
Acoustic gregorian chant in-church falsetto acoustic vocal driven folk pop.
The Twilight Sad - No One Can Ever Know – (Fatcat)
Dancey opera-y, maybe a little Nick Cavey, synth-based black-coffee ceremonial goth pop.