by: Matt Buga
U.S.E. - Loveworld [Mannheim Worldwide/Rebel Group]
This 7-piece, also known as United States of Electronica, and are way dance-y and full of soul. Awesome funk/soul inspired guitar hooks, vocoders, disco-beats and rad lyrics make this album way too fantastic and positive and upbeat. RIYL: A more analog Daft Punk channeling Andrew WK’s spirit (not musical style).
Vivian Girls - Everything Goes Wrong [In The Red]
New release from this excellent garage 60s pop punk-y femme trio!
Chll Pll - Aggressively Humble [Porter Records]
Double Zach-attack from Hella’s Zach Hill and Hexlove’s Zachary Nelson. The album title nails the feeling of this album: Zach Hill’s frantic virtuoso drumming beneath eccentric electronic pop music. Surprisingly mellow and calming despite the noize.
The Twilight Sad - Forget the Night Ahead [Fat Cat Records]
These Scots are back with another melancholic pretty one. Great dynamics on this one; one moment you got some quiet clean guitar work going, and then BAM heavy guitar wash all over the heavily accented and emotive vocals.
Pastels/Tenniscoats - Two Sunsets [Domino Recording]
This isn’t a split between the Glasgow classics and Japanese pop duo, but a collaboration of two boy-girl duos. A double date album if you will. This is mainly based around ultra delicate percussion, strings and wind instruments. Calm and lounge-like, this is a good album to end summer with. I recommend an iced tea and the lead guitar hook driven fourth track, “Vivid Youth.”
Monsters of Folk - Self Titled [Shangri-La Music]
“Indie” super group featuring M. Ward, Jim James of My Morning Jacket, Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis of Bright Eyes. A good meshing of styles creates a lot distinct and fresh tracks on this one. If you like at least one of these guys, or maybe even none, you’ll probably find something you’ll like.
Mason Lindahl - Serrated Man Sound [Porter Records]
At-times-baritone folk dude making pretty and touching songs. Definitely has guitar playin’ chops, and occasionally leans towards tasteful guitar experimentation while maintaining melody and sincerity.
A Sunny Day In Glasgow - Ashes Grammar [Mis Ojos Discos]
Dream pop drenched in reverb and echo. Pretty hectic with all the echoing drums and guitars as well as all the vocal melodies, yet pretty calming despite how busy it is.
The Ettes - Do You Want Power [Take Root]
Produced by Dan Auerbach, this sassy female lead stomping trio sounds like early Yeah Yeah Yeahs channeling a little bit of classic rock.
Drummer - Feel Good Together [Audio Eagle]
Speaking of Dan Auerbach, this is a project of the drummer of Black Keys as well as the drummer of Teeth of the Hydra. However, this album sounds nothing like either of those groups. We got a fine piece of rock n pop (roll) right here with catchy guitars and keyboards. Okay so very rarely can you hear a little bit of a Black Keys guitar solo, but not much. This is fresh and cool.