Out This Week 3/5

Local Music, In Stores Now
Dillon Sturtevant

Two Seattle bands top this week's list of new releases. Since 2011's full-length No Witch, The Cave Singers added Blood Brothers/Past Lives/Fleet Foxes (among others) member Morgan Henderson to their lineup and teamed up with Fleet Foxes producer Phil Ek for their fourth LP Naomi out on Jagjaguwar. Our Music Director Don Yates points to Ek's introduction bringing a "brighter, more easy-flowing sound" to a new batch of "smartly crafted songs that never overstay their welcome." They're joined atop the list by fellow Seattle band Hey Marseilles, whose new sophomore release Lines We Trace will likely cement their rise to becoming a national-level act. The beautifully orchestral folk-pop record matches lush acoustic instrumentation with "Matt Bishop’s plaintive tenor and the band’s airy harmonies on beautifully crafted songs with poignant lyrics and heart-tugging melodies."

The Men continue to prove how versatile and talented a group they are with their fourth release New Moon. Their early noise-rock beginnings are fully incorporated into a new album with "elements of punkish garage-rock, rootsy folk-rock, buoyant power pop and trippy psych-rock." There's not a weak song on the whole album, and the group's mix of "blazing guitar riffs, energetic rhythms and fist-pumping hooks, fleshed out with occasional piano, lap steel, mandolin and harmonica" make New Moon a must-listen. More high-energy music comes from Thurston Moore, whose new group Chelsea Light Moving just released their self-titled first album. After a gentler acoustic-based solo album Moore comes fiercely back with this "bracing blast of punkish avant-rock, with adventurous, often-aggressive songs combining dissonant, fuzzed-out guitars, forceful rhythms and Moore’s slack-jawed vocals."

There are plenty of other great new releases to grab this week. The new Youth Lagoon LP Wondrous Bughouse has Trevor Powers contemplating his mortality amid an "imaginative set of warped psych-pop, with a dense, reverbed sound featuring shimmering synths, tinkling piano, bright drums, and fragile vocals," and the debut from Grimes cohort Doldrums is a "mesmerizing set of fractured electro-pop with frenetic, densely textured songs combining chopped samples, trippy ambient textures, industrialized tribal beats, eerie falsetto vocals and sticky pop melodies." Cloud Cult has given us their 9th release that's "a bit more restrained than 2010’s erratic Light Chasers, while still offering an adventurous blend of orchestral pop, prog, psych-rock, folk and more." Iceland's Olof Arnalds is releasing her third album (but first all in English) that is another wistfully charming "set of acoustic-oriented folk, with a sparse, dreamy sound combining guitars and charango lute, along with occasional piano, strings, harp and keyboards" to accompany her delicate, fluttering voice. Uncle Tupelo co-founder Jay Farrar lends his mournful voice to songs of loss and heartache on his band Son Volt's 7th album of "Bakersfield-inspired honky tonk with a rootsy blend of acoustic guitars, fiddle, pedal steel and loping rhythms"; Montreal's Suuns second album is a characteristically "moody and subtle blend of minimalist prog-rock, electronic, psych-rock and more, with a dark, often-droning sound combining foreboding guitars, spacey synths, hypnotic rhythms and eerie vocals"; Cult figure Robyn Hitchcock has released a new album that's diverse but low-key, "ranging from gentle, psych-tinged folk-pop and somber piano-based ballads to some fuzzy garage-rock."

Henry Laufer aka Shlohmo offers "another top-notch set of emotional, neck-breaking beats that continue to touch upon instrumental hip-hop, night bus, moody trap, and downtempo vibes with evocative synths and complex drumwork" -- a highlight is How to Dress Well's Tom Krell's vocal on the opener "Don't Say No." From Norway, Highasakite's latest EP is "an intoxicating blend of ‘60s pop, Norwegian folk and electro-pop, featuring a bright, colorful sound with keyboards, zither, autoharp, jazzy tribal drums, tambourines and hand claps." The debut from LA's Rhye is an absolutely amazing, "elegant, R&B-tinged electro-pop, with a smooth, intimate sound that's been aptly compared to a cross between The XX and Sade, combining synths, piano, lush strings, stylish horns, electronic beats, soft, sultry vocals and sophisticated melodies"; Another great debut comes from Australia with Young Dreams' new release of "a fine set of playful symphonic pop with a huge, colorful sound combining busy drums, synths, guitars, strings, woodwinds and more on densely textured, shape-shifting songs with buoyant harmonies and sugary melodies." Trent Reznor's project how to destroy angels_ offers yet another debut full-length (albeit from a marquee-level musician) in Welcome Oblivion; the band seems destined to confound NIN diehards, but delight those who are open to this brighter, unexpected side of Reznor.

Sample these and more of this week's recommended new releases here:

  • John Amadon - Meet Me When I Call (MP3)

  • from The Bursting Sheaf (self-released)
  • Ólöf Arnalds - Treat Her Kindly (MP3)

  • from Sudden Elevation on One Little Indian Records
  • Bill Baird - Spring Break of The Soul (MP3)

  • from Spring Break of The Soul on Pau Wau Records
  • The Cave Singers - Have to Pretend
  • from Naomi on Jagjaguwar
  • Chelsea Light Moving - Burroughs (MP3)
  • from Chelsea Light Moving on Matador
  • Cloud Cult - Good Friend
  • from Love on Earthology Records
  • Cy Dune - Where the Wild Things (MP3)
  • from No Recognize on Family Tree Records // Cassette Burger Records
  • Doldrums - Anomaly (MP3)
  • from Lesser Evil on Arbutus Records
  • Helado Negro - Dance Ghost (MP3)
  • from Invisible Life on Asthmatic Kitty
  • Hey Marseilles - Bright Stars Burning
  • from Lines We Trace on Onto Entertainment / Thirty Tigers
  • Highasakite - Son of a bitch
  • from In and out of weeks EP on Propeller Recordings
  • Robyn Hitchcock - Be Still
  • from Love From London on Yep Roc Records
  • Hollis Brown - Nightfall (MP3)
  • from Ride on the Train on Alive Records
  • How to destroy angels_ - How long?
  • from Welcome oblivion on Columbia Records
  • Javelin - Nnormal (MP3)
  • from Hi Beams on Luaka Bop
  • Judy Kang - You (MP3)
  • from Judy Kang (self-released)
  • The Men - Electric
  • from New Moon on Sacred Bones
  • John Murry - The Ballad of The Pajama Kid (MP3)
  • from The Graceless Age on Evangeline Recording Co.
  • Kate Nash - 3AM
  • from Girl Talk on Have 10p Records
  • Rhye - Open
  • from Woman on Innovative Leisure
  • Shlohmo - Don't Say No (ft. How To Dress Well)
  • from Laid Out EP on Friends of Friends x Wedidit
  • Son Volt - Hearts and Minds
  • from Honky Tonk on Rounder Records
  • Stubborn Heart - Need Someone (MP3)
  • from Stubborn Heart on One Little Indian Records
  • Superhuman Happiness - See Me On My Way (MP3)
  • from Hands on The Royal Potato Family
  • Suuns - Edie's Dream
  • from Images Du Futur on Secretly Canadian
  • They Might Be Giants - Call You Mom
  • from Nanobots on Idlewild Recordings
  • Úlfur - Heaven in a Wildflower (MP3)
  • from White Mountain on Western Vinyl
  • Water Liars - Linens
  • from Wyoming on Big Legal Mess
  • Waxahatchee - Peace and Quiet
  • from Cerulean Salt on Don Giovanni Records
  • The Woolen Men - Mayonnaise
  • from The Woolen Men on Woodsist Records
  • Young Dreams - First Days of Something
  • from Between Places on Modular
  • Youth Lagoon - Dopla (MP3)
  • from Wondrous Bughouse on Fat Possum

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