by: Sam Farzin, KUCI Music Director
Black Lips - 200 Million Thousand [Vice]
Happy-go-crazy broken garage rock boys from ATL fresh off a million world tours, bonafide rock stars that still would rather play basement parties (always happening in Irvine).
Mirah - (a)spera [K]
A voice like the regrets you don't have sings earnest over strings n' things, with the help of Mr Microphones Phil Elvrum, Chris Funk of the Decemberwhos and some other very nice and talented people. Mirah's first in 5 yrs.
Bell Orchestre - As Seen Through Windows [Arts & Crafts]
Fact: the track "Throw It On A Fire" from this group's first record was played on my first radio intern time. Fact: this is the true post-rock, thumping with pure analogue drive and horns like the sky.
Say Hi - Oohs & Aahs [Barsuk]
Hooks hooks hooks, pop that churns and burns under synths, interlocking melodies, taut and sparse instrumentations. Simultaneously frilled and no-frills, and heartening.
Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Beware [Drag City]
Probably the most ambitious, consistent, prolific, commited, embittered, collaborative, ubiquitous, and perhaps distinct dude in indie-rock. And I don't even really listen to him!
Handsome Furs - Face Control [Sub Pop]
The new record from Wolf Parade dude Dan you know what? Forget this blurb. Here's a promo photo for this album featuring both Furs.. Sex sells, right?
tUnE-yArDs - BiRd-BrAiNs [Marriage]
This is way neat; damaged, loop-y, sample-laden pop. Weird lyrics, weird structures: this tends both new weird Americana and glitch-hop. Real sweet.
Malajube - Labyrinthes [Dare To Care]
LOL c'est un pop-proggy album chantÚ en franšais.
BLK JKS - Mystery [Secretly Canadian]
Dudes make a sort of TV on the Radio gone to Mali record.
Julie Doiron - I Can Wonder What You Did With Your Day [Jagjaguwar]
This rules; if you dug Mount Eerie - Lost Wisdom, here is 2/3 of that three-person grouping doing some introspective melancopop-ing.
Polka Dot Dot Dot - Love Letter To New Zealand [Bicycle]
Almost Americana gone doo-wop pop. Real cute!
Great Lake Swimmers - Lost Channels [Nettwerk]
Not a lot of folks tackling the hushed 70s folk sometimes rock sound this goes at so effortlessly.
Vampire Hands - Me And You Cherry Red / Cuz It's A Beach Funeral [Modern Radio]
This is totally all over the place. Give it a chance. It is at core a pop-noise album with a lot of weirdo flourishes and hooks under evil sounds. Totally neat, just give it a second!