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New Album Reviews:

Purity Ring: Another Eternity
Buy! - (4AD)
This Canadian duo’s masterful second album features a cleaner, more polished and dynamic sound for their brooding, hip hop-inflected electro-pop, combining dark, fuzzy synths, cold trap beats and trunk-rattling bass with wistful melodies and Megan James’ ethereal vocals and emotive lyrics. 2/26/2015 - Don Yates

Other Purity Ring album reviews:

Shrines - 7/18/2012


Moon Duo: Shadow Of The Sun
Buy! - (Sacred Bones)
The Portland-via-San Francisco duo of Wooden Shjips guitarist Ripley Johnson and keyboardist Sanae Yamada was joined by drummer John Jeffrey on their third album of droning space-rock, which also happens to be their most potent set to date, with more brightly melodic and sharply defined songs combining fuzzy guitar riffing, eerie keyboards and hypnotic motorik rhythms. 2/26/2015 - Don Yates

Other Moon Duo album reviews:

Circles - 9/21/2012
Mazes - 4/6/2011


Lady Lamb: After
Buy! - (Mom+Pop)
Formerly known as Lady Lamb The Beekeeper, this Brooklyn-via-Brunswick, Maine artist (aka Aly Spaltro) has shortened her stage name to Lady Lamb for her second official full-length. It’s a bolder, more direct-sounding album with a dynamic indie-pop sound featuring driving rhythms, guitars and keyboards along with occasional horns, strings and other instrumentation accompanying her impassioned vocals and poetic, emotionally evocative lyrics. 2/26/2015 - Don Yates


Matthew E. White: Fresh Blood
Buy! - (Domino)
The second album from this Richmond, VA-based artist is a well-crafted set of soul-inflected pop, featuring a warm, full-bodied though intimate sound, impeccably arranged with lush strings, soulful horns, piano, soft vocals and effervescent harmonies. 2/26/2015 - Don Yates


Lost Lander: Medallion
Buy! - (self-released)
This Portland band’s second album is a diverse, well-crafted set of expansive indie-pop incorporating elements of folk-pop, funk, electro-pop, prog, psych-rock and more on dynamic songs with imaginative arrangements and bright pop hooks. 2/26/2015 - Don Yates

Other Lost Lander album reviews:

DRRT - 6/22/2012


Young Guv: Ripe 4 Luv
Buy! - (Slumberland)
The latest release from Fucked Up guitarist Ben Cook (aka Young Guv) is a strong, hook-filled blend of funky Prince-style electro-pop with jangly Big Star power-pop. 2/26/2015 - Don Yates


Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders: Playmates
Buy! - (Fat Possum)
This Australian band’s fourth album is an evocative set of brooding, ‘80s-steeped pop with dark synths and moody guitars accompanying Jack Ladder’s dark baritone reminiscent of Nick Cave. (Released last fall overseas, it’s just now being released in the US.) 2/26/2015 - Don Yates


Ryley Walker: Primrose Green
Buy! - (Dead Oceans)
This Chicago-based guitarist/vocalist’s second album is an expansive, ‘70s-influenced blend of pastoral folk-rock, jazz, psych-rock and more, combining Walker’s complex acoustic and electric guitar work with piano and other instrumentation on a variety of warm, intricately detailed songs. 2/26/2015 - Don Yates


The Gift Machine: Hard Facts Are Still Uncertain
Buy! - (self-released)
The latest album from this Southern California-via-Anacortes, WA band led by Dave Matthies is a fine set of psych-tinged indie-pop with shimmering guitar lines, atmospheric keyboards, occasional horns, gentle harmonies and dreamy melodies. 2/26/2015 - Don Yates


THEESatisfaction: EarthEE
Buy! - (Sub Pop)
This Seattle duo’s second album is a bit more cohesive and generally more low-key than their promising 2012 debut album awE naturalE, though no less adventurous, with an entrancing blend of Afro-futurist hip hop, cosmic R&B, psychedelic funk and astral jazz. Produced again by Erik Blood (and also featuring appearances from Shabazz Palaces, Meshell Ndegeocello, Porter Ray and Taylor Brown), the album features a warm, hypnotic sound with spacy keyboards, blunted rhythms, airy harmonies and poetic lyrics balancing sharp social commentary with more spiritual yearnings. 2/20/2015 - Don Yates

Other THEESatisfaction album reviews:

awE naturalE - 3/16/2012


Zebra Hunt: City Sighs
Buy! - (Tenorio Cotobade)
This Seattle trio’s debut full-length is an excellent set of melodic, psych-tinged indie-pop reminiscent of the Go-Betweens along with various classic Flying Nun bands from New Zealand like The Clean and The Chills, combining jangly guitars and crisp, propulsive rhythms with smart lyrics and wistful melodies. 2/20/2015 - Don Yates


Eternal Death: Eternal Death
Buy! - (Labrador)
This Swedish duo’s debut album is a promising set of dark electro-pop with a hazy sound featuring chilly, buzzing synths, propulsive rhythms, yearning vocals and brooding, often-gloomy lyrics juxtaposed with euphoric pop hooks. 2/20/2015 - Don Yates


Dan Deacon: Glass Riffer
Buy! - (Domino)
This Balitmore artist’s latest album follows up a couple of large ensemble-based releases (2009’s Bromst and 2012’s America) with this return to a more basic, electronic-oriented method of composing and producing his euphoric trance-pop, though still as densely layered as ever with circular rhythms, looped samples and bright pop hooks. It’s also his most vocal-oriented recording, with his vocals often pitch-shifted, chopped and looped or otherwise manipulated. 2/20/2015 - Don Yates

Other Dan Deacon album reviews:

America - 8/17/2012
Bromst - 3/13/2009


Screaming Females: Rose Mountain
Buy! - (Don Giovanni)
The 6th album from this New Jersey trio led by guitarist/vocalist Marissa Paternoster features a bit more of a polished sound courtesy of Seattle producer Matt Bayles, while also branching out some with some fine ballads. Despite these refinements, their muscular blend of garage-punk, ‘70s stoner-rock and post-punk sounds as potent as ever on tight, focused songs propelled by Paternoster’s fierce guitar riffs and inventive solos. 2/20/2015 - Don Yates

Other Screaming Females album reviews:

Ugly - 4/13/2012


Dutch Uncles: O Shudder
Buy! - (Memphis Industries)
This British band’s fifth album brings a bit more of an electronic bent to their arty, funk-inflected pop-rock, combining synths and a variety of other electric and acoustic instrumentation with taut rhythms, shifting time signatures, elastic vocals and bright pop hooks. 2/20/2015 - Don Yates


The Minus 5: Dungeon Golds
Buy! - (Yep Roc)
The 10th album from this veteran band led by Portland-via-Seattle artist (and Young Fresh Fellows frontman) Scott McCaughey is another strong set of sharply crafted power pop featuring some of the most direct and personal songs of McCaughey’s illustrious career, with many of them touching upon aging and mortality. Special guests include Peter Buck, Jeff Tweedy, Ian McLagan, members of the Decemberists and other notables. (These songs were previously released as part of a limited-edition, 5-LP vinyl-only box set called Scott The Hoople In The Dungeon Of Horror for Record Store Day 2014, though about half of them have been reworked for this album.) 2/20/2015 - Don Yates

Other Minus 5 album reviews:

Down with Wilco - 2/15/2003


Radical Dads: Universal Colors
Buy! - (Old Flame)
This Brooklyn trio’s third album is a strong set of punkish, ’90s-influenced indie-pop combining a lo-fi, energetic sound with wistful melodies, angst-fueled lyrics and anthemic song hooks. 2/20/2015 - Don Yates


The Pop Group: Citizen Zombie
Buy! - (Freaks R Us)
The first album in 35 years from this influential British post-punk band led by Mark Stewart is a heady blend of post-punk with dub, jazz-funk, industrial, noise-rock and more, combining a densely produced sound with Stewart’s sneering vocals and biting critiques of consumerism and capitalism. 2/20/2015 - Don Yates


Jose Gonzalez: Vestiges & Claws
Buy! - (Mute)
The third solo album (and first in seven years) from this Swedish singer-songwriter is a typically well-crafted set of stripped-down folk-pop with hypnotic guitar lines inspired by West African desert blues and elemental percussion accompanying his gentle, layered vocals and philosophical lyrics. 2/13/2015 - Don Yates

Other Jose Gonzalez album reviews:

In Our Nature - 9/12/2007


Carl Barat & The Jackals: Let It Reign
Buy! - (Cooking Vinyl)
The former Libertines frontman sounds reinvigorated with his new band The Jackals on this impressive debut album, which charges ahead with some raging, Clash-influenced rockers while also making room for a couple of sweeping ballads. 2/13/2015 - Don Yates



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