by: Martim Galvão
Julianna Barwick - Nepenthe - (Dead Oceans)
Julianna Barwick's latest LP is probably as close as you can get to actually hearing the Nordic Lights. Glacial choral arrangements sweep to and fro as distant instrumentals appear then disappear back into the ether, creating a sense of discovery and wonder.
Destruction Unit - Deep Trip - (Sacred Bones)
Noise, chaos, destruction, freedom, etc... Destruction Unit's debut LP is the sonic equivalent of laying down a pile of TNT and blowing your brain out of it's imaginary prison - or something like that. Deep Trip is psychedelic punk rock at its loudest, perhaps also finest.
Upside Drown - Mood Music - (s/r)
Like a nice afternoon breeze, Mood Music both gets you going and relaxes you at the same time. The band's DIY indie sound, easy-on-the-ears female vocals, and flowing but not overwhelming energy combine to make for a properly enjoyable album.
Julia Holter - Loud City Song - (Domino)
An incredibly well-produced pop odyssey through influences like Joni Mitchell and Frank O'Hara, Loud City Song is all kinds of interesting and reflects Holter's virtuosic ability to craft accessible music without sacrificing substance.
His Electro Blue Voice - Ruthless Sperm - (Sub Pop)
Ruthless is a good adjective to describe this album. Through all the shouting, blaring guitars, and synth attacks there is an unrelenting energy that drags you along whether you want to or not. Kraut beats drive the mechanical groove straight into your brain until you start head banging in accord.
Summer Aviation - Elevator - (s/r)
The husband and wife duo deliver a 6-deep dose of Seattle sunshine pop. Straightforward tunes and a clean production value guarantee easy summer foot tapping and plenty of pep to get you through the afternoon commute.
Lumerians - The High Frontier - (Partisan)
Krautrock, Afrobeat, post-punk, and 1970's sci-fi soundtracks all meet in the Oakland-based band's sophomore LP, The High Frontier. Known for their intense performances, the quartet make it clear that they can deliver equally well through a set of speakers.
DIANA - Perpetual Surrender - (Jagjaguwar)
Perpetual Surrender, the debut album from the Toronto-Based indie quartet, presses a lot of the right buttons. Arpeggiated synths, smooth chords, airy vocals, and a solid beat make this a prime pick for summertime.
Diarrhea Planet - i'm rich beyond your wildest dreams. – (Infinity Cat)
Driving rock'n'roll from the home of it all, Nashville, TN. Diarrhea Planet's latest release is a pounding reminder of what it was like before the lo-fi, reverb-drenched wave took over indie music.