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New Album Reviews:

Chet Faker: Built On Glass
Buy! - (Future Classic/Fontana)
The debut album from Melbourne-based vocalist and electronic producer Chet Faker is a stunning breakout release, handsomely showcasing his wide-ranging talents at fusing R&B, electronic, soul, pop, and jazz elements into his own intoxicating sound, all enhanced by his warm vocals, ultimately recalling the likes of James Blake, SOHN, Justin Vernon, and even a touch of Citizen Cope. 4/18/2014 - Alex

Sonic Avenues: Mistakes
Buy! - (Dirtnap)
This Montreal band’s third album is another first-rate set of punkish, hook-filled power pop reminiscent at times of The Exploding Hearts, featuring consistently strong songs with fuzzy ringing guitars, energetic rhythms, bright pop melodies and anthemic sing-along choruses. 4/18/2014 - Don Yates

Other Sonic Avenues album reviews:

Television Youth - 2/2/2012

Ratking: So It Goes
Buy! - (XL)
This New York trio’s debut full-length is an impressively diverse set of adventurous underground hip hop. Producer/DJ Sporting Life provides a variety of intricately crafted tracks with skittering, rapid-fire beats, booming bass, noisy textures, warm horns and more accompanying rappers Wiki and Hak’s off-kilter flow and New York-focused rhymes. 4/18/2014 - Don Yates

Pink Mountaintops: Get Back
Buy! - (Jagjaguwar)
The fourth album from this now LA-based project of Black Mountain’s Steve McBean is an impressive blend of anthemic psych-rock, swaggering glam and motorik post-punk. Mixed by Randall Dunn in Seattle, the album also features the talents of J Mascis, Giant Drag’s Annie Hardy and Dead Meadow’s Steve Kille, among other notables. 4/18/2014 - Don Yates

Neighbors: Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?
Buy! - (Beating A Dead Horse)
This Seattle band’s official debut full-length is a first-rate set of scrappy indie pop-rock ranging from sardonic Pavement slacker-pop to punkish guitar raveups. 4/18/2014 - Don Yates

Other Neighbors album reviews:

John In Babeland - 4/6/2012

Vox Mod: The Great Oscillator
Buy! - (self-released)
Breaking out last year with the release of his bombarding SYN-ÆSTHETIC album, prolific musician/producer Scot Porter (aka Vox Mod) returns with a new album that’s stacked, epic, and similar in structure to its predecessor. The Great Oscillator places Vox Mod’s driving, synth-heavy, space-bound production style in the spotlight once again, yet his army of synths is quite possibly bigger and more expansive this time around. The choice guest vocalists – Eighteen Individual Eyes’ Irene Barbaric, Pollen’s Whitney Lyman, Fly Moon Royalty’s Miss Adra Boo, Midday Veil’s Emily Pothast, IG88 collaborator Jenni Potts – appear on a few of the immediate standouts and add their unique styles to Vox Mod’s dense, celestial soundscapes. 4/18/2014 - Alex

Other Vox Mod album reviews:

SYN-AESTHETIC - 1/25/2013

Fujiya & Miyagi: Artificial Sweeteners
Buy! - (Yep Roc)
This British trio’s latest album finds them returning to a more explicitly dance-oriented approach, combining acid house, techno, disco and motorik rhythms with squiggly synths, funk guitars, hushed vocals and optimistic lyrics. 4/18/2014 - Don Yates

Other Fujiya & Miyagi album reviews:

Transparent Things - 1/18/2007

Elephant: Sky Swimming
Buy! - (Memphis Industries)
The debut album from the London-based duo of Amelia Rivas and Christian Pinchbeck is a promising set of psych-tinged dream-pop combining a haunting, atmospheric sound with ‘60s girl-group melodies. 4/18/2014 - Don Yates

Zoe Muth: World of Strangers
Buy! - (Signature Sounds)
This Seattle artist branches out a bit more on her excellent third album by blending some early folk-rock and indie-pop influences into her classic-sounding country-folk. Produced by George Reiff in Austin, the album has a warm, rich sound with guitars, mandolin, piano, organ, pedal steel, violin, cello and more accompanying Muth’s plaintive vocals and finely chiseled lyrics about heartaches and hard times. 4/18/2014 - Don Yates

Todd Terje: It's Album Time
Buy! - (Olsen)
This Norwegian producer’s debut full-length is an adventurous, irreverent blend of space disco, motorik prog, jazz-funk, ‘60s lounge, samba and more, featuring playful, masterfully constructed songs fleshed out with colorful synths, propulsive beats and effervescent melodies along with occasional lush strings, guitars, pianos, woodwinds, live drums and other instrumentation. 4/11/2014 - Don Yates

EMA: The Future's Void
Buy! - (Matador)
This second album from this South Dakota-raised, California-based artist (aka Erika M. Anderson) is an emotionally intense blend of industrial rock and moody grunge, combining buzzing electronics, clanging guitars and distorted, tremulous vocals on hard-hitting songs exploring the alienating effects of modern technology, online identity and internet surveillance. 4/11/2014 - Don Yates

Chad VanGaalen: Shrink Dust
Buy! - (Sub Pop)
This Calgary artist’s fifth album is one of this strongest sets yet of spacy psych-folk, featuring a warped sound with acoustic and electric guitars, aluminum pedal steel and more, along with folk-rock harmonies, eerie lead vocals and often-surreal lyrics. 4/11/2014 - Don Yates

Other Chad VanGaalen album reviews:

Infiniheart - 8/16/2005

Karol Conka: Batuk Freak
Buy! - (Mr. Bongo)
This Brazilian rapper’s debut album is an impressive, hard-hitting blend of hip hop, baile funk, batucada and other styles, combining trap rhythms, bright synths, booming bass and her fiery delivery with Afro-Brazilian percussion and other traditional Brazilian instrumentation for a sound that’s both deeply rooted and ultra-modern. 4/11/2014 - Don Yates

Fear Of Men: Loom
Buy! - (Kanine)
This British band’s official debut full-length is a promising set of dark dream-pop with an atmospheric sound juxtaposing catchy pop melodies with bleak lyrics of loneliness, boredom and anxiety. 4/11/2014 - Don Yates

Other Fear Of Men album reviews:

Early Fragments - 1/25/2013

Woods: With Light and With Love
Buy! - (Woodsist)
The eighth album from this New York band finds them continuing to sharpen their song craft while polishing their sound on a consistently strong set of songs ranging from brightly colored pastoral pop to torrid psych-rock jams. 4/4/2014 - Don Yates

Other Woods album reviews:

Bend Beyond - 9/14/2012
Sun and Shade - 6/10/2011
At Echo Lake - 5/10/2010

Protomartyr: Under Color of Official Right
Buy! - (Hardly Art)
This Detroit band’s second album is an impressive set of bleak post-punk featuring a dark, astringent sound with angular guitars, taut rhythms and acerbic lyrics. 4/4/2014 - Don Yates

Wye Oak: Shriek
Buy! - (Merge)
This Baltimore duo recasts their sound for their fourth album, leaving behind guitars for a strong set of dreamy electro-pop with bright cascading synths and piano, stately bass lines and mostly mid-tempo rhythms accompanying Jenn Wasner’s supple alto and lyrics of loss and renewal. 4/4/2014 - Don Yates

Other Wye Oak album reviews:

Civilian - 2/25/2011

Bobby Bare Jr's Young Criminals' Starvation League: Undefeated
Buy! - (Bloodshot)
The latest album from this Nashville artist is a diverse, expertly crafted set of break-up songs ranging from distortion-drenched rockers and jangly power-pop to moody, tension-filled rock and melancholy roots-tinged ballads. 4/4/2014 - Don Yates

Sohn: Tremors
Buy! - (4AD)
The debut album from this London-born, Vienna-based producer/vocalist (aka Toph Taylor) is an impressive set of brooding post-dubstep soul reminiscent at times of James Blake and Rhye, featuring a dark, atmospheric sound combining intricate electronic rhythms and analog synths with his soulful falsetto and lovelorn lyrics. 4/4/2014 - Don Yates

Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks: Enter The Slasher House
Buy! - (Domino)
This Brooklyn band led by Animal Collective’s Avey Tare and also featuring former Dirty Projectors bassist Angel Deradoorian and former Ponytail drummer Jeremy Hyman debuts with an adventurous album of off-kilter, shape-shifting psych-pop with a murky, densely produced sound featuring buzzing guitars, funhouse keyboards, busy drums, strained, manipulated vocals and half-buried pop hooks. 4/4/2014 - Don Yates

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