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New Album Reviews:

FF: Lord
Buy! - (Couple Skate)
This Seattle-based trio’s debut album is an impressive, well-executed blend of atmospheric shoegaze, Sonic Youth noise-rock and Nirvana/Wipers grunge, with churning, distorted guitars, energetic rhythms, gloomy vocals and strong song hooks. 10/17/2014 - Don Yates

Meatbodies: Meatbodies
Buy! - (In The Red)
The debut album from this LA band led by Fuzz bassist (and Mikal Cronin touring guitarist) Chad Ubovich is an excellent set of psych-tinged garage-punk reminiscent of his Fuzz bandmate Ty Segall (who guests on bass and drums here). Ubovich is a killer guitarist, and the songs here are consistently strong, ranging from heavy garage-rock and blistering synth-punk to energetic glam-pop and psychedelic space-outs. 10/17/2014 - Don Yates

Cabana: Normal City
Buy! - (self-released)
This Seattle band’s debut full-length is a promising set of expansive psych-rock with a warm, dynamic sound featuring fuzzy guitars, hypnotic rhythms and dreamy melodies. 10/17/2014 - Don Yates

Marianne Faithfull: Give My Love To London
Buy! - (Easy Sound)
The 20th album from the veteran British artist is her strongest in years. There are a few well-chosen covers and a couple of new songs written for her, but most are new co-writes, combining Faithfull’s often-acerbic lyrics with music written by Nick Cave, Steve Earle, Roger Waters, Anna Calvi and other notables. The album also features an impressive supporting cast of musicians including Portishead guitarist Adrian Utley, Ed Harcourt on keyboards and guest appearances from Brian Eno and Bad Seeds’ Warren Ellis and Jim Sclavunos, and they provide sympathetic accompaniment on emotive songs ranging from stormy rockers to dark, majestic ballads. 10/17/2014 - Don Yates

Kevin Morby: Still Life
Buy! - (Woodsist)
The second album from the former Woods bassist and Babies frontman is a rock-solid set of muscular folk-pop with bittersweet melodies and lyrics of a life in transition. 10/17/2014 - Don Yates

Absolutely Free: Absolutely Free
Buy! - (Lefse)
Rising from the ashes of DD/MM/YYYY, this Toronto trio offers up a promising debut album that adventurously blends dreamy psych-rock with motorik German prog, combining spacy synths, hypnotic rhythms and airy harmonies. 10/17/2014 - Don Yates

The Tripwires: Get Young
Buy! - (FOLC)
This Seattle band’s third album is another first-rate set of smartly crafted power pop with jangly and crunchy guitars, energetic rhythms and bright pop hooks. 10/17/2014 - Don Yates

Kindness: Otherness
Buy! - (Female Energy/Mom+Pop)
The second album from London-based artist Adam Bainbridge (aka Kindness) finds him toning down the disco influences of his promising debut album in favor of an often-gorgeous set of ‘80s R&B-influenced electro-pop, featuring a spacious sound with atmospheric keyboards, occasional warm sax, harp and other instrumentation, gentle funk rhythms and soulful vocals from Bainbridge along with some special guests including Kelela, Robyn and Devonte Hynes (Blood Orange). 10/10/2014 - Don Yates

Tony Allen: Film of Life
Buy! - (Jazz Village)
The 10th solo album from the legendary Nigerian drummer is an impressive set of expansive Afro-Beat inflected with soul, jazz, dub, psych-rock and other styles. 10/10/2014 - Don Yates

Elliott BROOD: Work and Love
Buy! - (Paper Bag)
This Toronto-based band’s fifth album moves away from the historical subjects they favored on earlier albums for their most personal and most polished release to date of anthemic folk-rock, combining crunchy electric guitars and a variety of more rootsy instrumentation with catchy song hooks and epic sing-along choruses. 10/10/2014 - Don Yates

Other Elliott BROOD album reviews:

Days Into Years - 1/23/2012

Buy! - (Dropping Gems)
The long-awaited debut full-length album from Seattle-based electronic musician and vocalist Alex Osuch (aka DJAO) is an engrossing set of bass-heavy, ambient-leaning, soul-tinged grooves that spotlight his woozy drums, jazzy flourishes, atmospheric textures, and airy vocals, frequently expressing wordless lyrics that beautifully glide over his warm productions. 10/10/2014 - Alex

Various Artists: Master Mix: Red Hot + Arthur Russell
Buy! - (Yep Roc)
The latest volume in the Red Hot series of albums to benefit AIDS awareness programs is an impressive 2-CD tribute to influential composer/musician Arthur Russell, whose eclectic works ranged from classical and experimental to disco, folk and rock. An impressive lineup of artists contribute, including Hot Chip, Sufjan Stevens, Robyn, Jose Gonzalez, Phosphorescent, Blood Orange, Cults, Devendra Banhart and many more. 10/10/2014 - Don Yates

Other Various Artists album reviews:

After Dark 2 - 5/24/2013

Caribou: Our Love
Buy! - (Merge)
The fifth album from Ontario-born, London-based producer/multi-instrumentalist Caribou (aka Dan Snaith) is an even more dance-oriented follow-up to his 2010 breakthrough album Swim, with an often-intimate and R&B-influenced sound combining pulsing house, hip hop and other club rhythms, warm, emotive synths, delicate vocals and bittersweet melodies. 10/3/2014 - Don Yates

Other Caribou album reviews:

Swim - 4/9/2010

Jungle Fire: Tropicoso
Buy! - (Nacional)
This LA band’s debut full-length is a fiery blend of Afro-beat, Latin jazz, funk and psych-rock, with a tight, percussion-driven sound that also features heavy fuzztone and scratchy rhythm guitars, tight, funky rhythms and soaring horns. 10/3/2014 - Don Yates

Zola Jesus: Taiga
Buy! - (Mute)
Now living on Vashon Island, this Wisconsin-raised artist wrote the songs for her excellent fourth album while inspired by her natural surroundings on Vashon. Taiga features a cleaner, more direct and widescreen sound for her goth-tinged electro-pop, with cavernous production combining haunting synths, brass, strings and more with her powerful, dramatic vocals and emotive lyrics exploring the complicated relationship between humanity and nature. 10/3/2014 - Don Yates

Other Zola Jesus album reviews:

Versions - 8/16/2013
Conatus - 9/30/2011

Iceage: Plowing Into The Field Of Love
Buy! - (Matador)
This Danish band’s third album is a richer, more expansive take on the band’s aggressive post-punk, with a more diverse sound that brings them closer to the goth and roots-tinged post-punk of The Gun Club and Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds. The album is often brooding and dramatic, using a variety of instrumentation including piano, horns, strings, mandolin and organ along with clanging guitars to accompany Elias Bender Ronnenfelt’s gloomy vocals and darkly evocative lyrics. 10/3/2014 - Don Yates

Other Iceage album reviews:

You're Nothing - 2/15/2013
New Brigade - 6/23/2011

Jamie T: Carry On The Grudge
Buy! - (Virgin)
This British artist’s third album (and first in five years) is a darker, more brooding take on his gritty, homespun blend of rock, hip hop, folk, ska and other styles, with consistently strong songs combining potent song hooks with poignant, often self-lacerating lyrics. 10/3/2014 - Don Yates

Flying Lotus: You're Dead!
Buy! - (Warp)
The fifth album from this LA electronic composer (aka Steven Ellison) is a masterful concept album exploring the afterlife with a heady, densely produced blend of space-jazz, hip hop, footwork, funk, prog and psychedelia, combining a variety of instrumentation and intricate rhythms with occasional guest vocals from a stellar supporting cast including Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, Dirty Projectors’ Angel Deradoorian, Thundercat, Niki Randa, Kimbra and more. Legendary jazz keyboardist Herbie Hancock also guests on two songs. 10/3/2014 - Don Yates

Other Flying Lotus album reviews:

Until The Quiet Comes - 10/1/2012

Peaking Lights: Cosmic Logic
Buy! - (Weird World)
The fourth album from the married duo of Indra Dunis and Aaron Coyes is their clearest, most concise and pop-oriented release to date, masterfully blending electro-pop, dub, psych-pop and more with a lean mix of bright keyboards, jangly psych guitars, robotic rhythms, sing-speak vocals and hypnotic song hooks. 10/3/2014 - Don Yates

Other Peaking Lights album reviews:

Lucifer - 6/15/2012

Greylag: Greylag
Buy! - (Dead Oceans)
This Portland-based trio follows up their 2012 EP The Only Way To Kill You with their debut full-length, and it brings a harder, edgier and more dynamic sound to the band’s expansive folk-pop. Produced by Phil Ek, the album combines rumbling electric guitars and muscular rhythms with rich acoustic instrumentation and warm folk-rock harmonies. 10/3/2014 - Don Yates

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