by: Tan Doan
School of Seven Bells - Disconnect From Desire (Vagrant/Ghostly International)
There is no sophomore slump for School of Seven Bells. Their followup to Alpinisms is just as good. The trio puts (sometimes harmonized) female vocals over a backdrop of dream poppy guitars and electronics. Incredibly well produced, Disconnect From Desire warrants a listen.
Calibro 35 - Ritornano Quelli Di... (Nublu)
If you don?t know what a 60?s Italian soundtrack sounds like, put this on and be delighted. Funky, jazzy, sometimes even surfy. Browse around and you?ll find many that you?ll like.
The Drums ? ST (Downtown Music)
KUCI played The Drum?s last EP, Summertime, a lot, and for good reason. Well, here?s an album full of the same fun indie-pop you?ve come to know and love. Why do I love it so? Hard to say, really. Maybe its the relentless high notes being cranked from the bass. Maybe it is the sometimes incredibly sad and lonely lyrics, despite of the upbeat melodies.
To Rococo Rot ? Speculation (Domino)
Speculation To is a deliberately paced post-rock album. Songs slowly build, with accents getting added and repeated along the way, before they wind down and fade out. While this may be technically a ?post-rock? album, it?ll definintely fit with some of the more electro-accoustic groups out there that put out more experiemental stuff, such as Sack & Blumm.
Tokyo Police Club ? Champ (Mom + Pop)
I initially had a lot of reservations about this album, but upon repeated listenings, it has definitely grown on me, both lyrically and musically. There?s nothing really groundbreaking about the album; everything on it has been done before (by themselves no less), but it?s done very well. I can imagine a room full of kids shouting out to the semi-anthematic chorus of Favourite Color. If you like carefully crafted indie rock with catchy hooks, something similar to the Weakerthans, give this one a spin.
Lille - Tall Shoulders (Whale Heart)
Here?s yet another girl with a ukulele, but somehow this album sticks out. This EP is best described as as collection of short, ukulele fueled folk songs. Actually, putting the ukulele so far in front is disingenuous. Lille has a great voice and a good sense of melody.
Dan Sartain - Dan Sartain Lives (One Little Indian)
Dan Sartain, from Birmingham, makes lo-fi music that feels perfectly suited to be played at any dive bar around the country. Beyond that, I find it hard to classify this record. Various sources have used the term rockabilly, but there only seems to be a hint of it here and there. I personally enjoy the slower tracks like 4, 7, 8, 10 but check out the other faster, rawer tracks as well.
Bare Wires - Seeking Love (Permanent Records)
This trio plays catchy 70s garage pop, possibly from a garage in Oakland CA.
The Barballatones ? Surf Narcs (The Barballatones)
Novelty surf/goth/synth band known for goofy, over-sexualized songs does much of the same, but gets serious on parts of this album too.