by: Brian C. Quon
TV on the Radio - Dear Science (DGC/Interscope)
While this might not be as raw and aggressive as Return to Cookie Mountain was, this album might be better than its predecessor in both listenability and complexity(a parlay difficult to pull off when the bar was already set so high). This album combines dense, complicated rhythm sections with intermittent sound samples, synths, and punchy horns that fill the space of each song to its brink. It really says something that upon first listen I would stop to focus on what was going on during each song, yet was still able to enjoy each song on a wholistic level. Expect this to end up in my year end top 10 lists.
With all that said, don't be surprised if we end up pulling this within the next couple of weeks depending on what KROQ does with it.
Lambchop - OH (Ohio) (Merge)
Lambchop is music for a quiet Summer afternoon, alone in a hammock with yer' favorite gal, the big game on, and all your lofty misconceptions about 1950's suburban America finally realized. On OH (Ohio) you'll find pleasant glassy acoustic guitar, pleasant piano, and the pleasant baritone vocals of Kurt Wagner that recall the not-so-pleasant vocals of Tinderstick's frontman Stuart Staples. Did I mention this music was pleasant?
Because it is, this music.
This music is very pleasant.
Deerhunter - Microcastle (Kranky)
Microcastle is a moderately tempoed experimental-rock-but-
sometimes-pop band that incorporates a lot of muddying effects to their guitars to create a sort of dreamy, cerebral end result. Check it, Deerhunter fans.
Boston Spaceships - Brown Submarine (Guided By Voices)
Woah do you remember that band Guided By Voices that everybody was in love with but I was apathetic about? Well the principle songwriter of Guided By Voices, Robert Pollard (along with John Moen of the Decemberists and Chris Slusarenko), has created Brown Submarines which is essentially another GBV album but under another name. This album reminds me of how much I miss the guitar-work of the late '80s and early '90s, as its just packed with abrasive guitars, changing time signatures, interesting chord changes, and everything that made that era of music great. This is a good album guys.
You.May.Die.In.The.Desert. - Bears in the Yukon (Zankyo)
This is post-rock with attitude, if there ever has been such a thing. Relying more on delay effects and elaborate technicality than on the traditional post-rock "quiet then loud" aesthetic, this three-piece instrumental band sounds like a weird combination of former post-rock band Juno, Explosions in the Sky, and the math-rock guitar playing of Tim Kinsella.
Dungen - 4 (Kemado)
This is the fourth album from this Swedish outfit, and bandleader Gustav Ejstes has ditched the guitar for the piano, and the end result has been jazz-influenced psychedlic-rock that you would find in a seedy movie about secret agents from the '70s that has a bunch of explosions and vaguely mysogynistic language throughout.
Brightblack Morning Light - Motion to Rejoin (Matador)
So I am not as big a fan of Brightblack Morning Light as other people are, but apparently Pitchfork and Matador like them a lot so I just dumb (or I don't do enough drugs to appreciate). This is incredibly sparse, laid-back, and mellow album for those days when Spiritualized is just too wild and crazy for you.
The Flying Torbillon Orchestra - Escapements EP (Self-Released)
Apparently everytime I do adds for KUCI I am required to add an EP from a smaller band that I like, and this week it's the Flying Torbillon Orchestra. Escapements is indie-pop somewhere between Belle & Sebastian and the Decemberists, and its a very well written EP with male-female harmonies and guitar work that is not overly complex but still strangely inviting.
Caw! Caw! - Wait Outside (Slanty Shanty)
Let me first tell you all about how much I dislike bands naming themselves in exclamatory non-sequitors because they are obvious ploys to get people to check their probably-indie-pop music out and winning people over with their quirkiness as opposed to their music. Let me next tell you how it works everytime on me, and the especially horribly named Caw! Caw! are no exception. This is high-energy indie pop for all the people who like that sort of thing.
The Kris Special - Alone Feels Like a Hotel Room (No Exit)
Finally, music for me. No more of that catchy, "to-the-point" crap. This is slow, spacious music reminiscent of the '90s slowcore movement and, in particular, they remind me of a more spacious version of Low. On their website they mention that a lot people compare their music to listening to the desert, and I think that's a fair comparison to make. Warm, slow, and spacious. Spacious, slow, warm. Slow, spacious, warm. Perhaps if I keep writing those words over and over again you'll all get the point.
XX Teens - Welcome to Goon Island (Mute)
When I was trying to find out more information about this band, I typed XX Teens into the google search bar before realizing that was probably an unwise thing to search for on a public computer. On the plus side, KUCI's website ranking on google will probably skyrocket as a result of this being added (hello gross old men). There are a few very good songs on this album that are built around the superb drumming of Ross Orton. Check out songs 2 and 3.
Secret Machines - The Secret Machines [World's Fair]
So the singer/guitarist dude of this band left and then they reformed with a new dude and here they are making more of the same mildly-stoner psych-jams.
Blitzen Trapper - Furr [Sub Pop]
That "Rockin'" "Bob Dyland" sound + wacky synths and sounds. On first listen, not as jarring and all over the place as Wild Mountain Nation, but more "mature."
Jolie Holland - The Living And The Dead [Anti-]
Folks songs, M. Ward, Jealous Zooey Deschanel.
Adventure - Adventure [Carpark]
This RULESSSSSS. Like, video game music, but serious, sort of. Crystal Castles, but like, if they were Cormac McCarthy and in love with making snow angels.
Volcano! - Paperwork [Leaf]
Do you like Dirty Projectors most recent work? That is, music that it basically really technical and intricate but also reallllly off-kilter. This is for you.
Duchess Says - Anthologie des 3 Perchoirs [Alien8]
I LOVE THIS ALBUM. This is one of my favorite albums of the year I think. We got it in April and then the promoter emailed me and said HEY DON'T ADD IT UNTIL AUGUST/SEPTEMBER. In any case - no-wave dance jammers with a perfect synthesis of abrasion and accessibility. check this OUTTTTTTT.
Faraquet - Anthology 1997-98 [Dischord]
Dischord + mathrock = Faraquet. That is math, people.
Laika & The Cosmonauts - Cosmopolis 1988-2008 [Yep Rock]
I was really feeling this. This is rpm, this is jazz, this is rock-a, this could be soundtracks, this is world. But like, all on synthesizers and vintage organs and stuff. Really lounge-y too. Maybe for fans of Stereolab and ~chillin~.
These United States - Crimes [United Interests]
Prolific dudes! More folkestral tunes from these sad and merry faced guitar slinger(s).
Friendly Fires - Friendly Fires [XL]
I was hesistant about the hype for this band but I think they won me over. It's cliche but they are probably 'dance-punk.' Whatever, who needs genres. If you want to groove but also punch snot-nosed poseurs with your moves, listen to this. I regret writing this blurb.
Jared Mees And The Grown Children - Caffeine, Alcohol, Sunshine, Money [Tender Loving Empire]
I like Tender Loving Empire. A lot of stuff they send us can kind of fit under a cute 'pop' header. This is cute and poppy. I am running out of steam.
Lady Dottie & The Diamonds - Lady Dottie & The Diamonds [Hi-Speed Soul]
It would be rude to compare this to Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings. Oops. Wait no, this is much more rock and roll. Features some rad cover songs.
Novillero - A Little Tradition [Mint]
This is the kind of indie-rock that is worth adding to KUCI.
Mother Mother - O My [Heart] [Last Gang]
Ukuleles, nasally girl vox + boy vox, acoustic start-stop instrumentation. Kind of like post-punk but on the beach.
Noah And The Whale - Peaceful The World Lays Me Down [Interscope]
This band is apparently ENORMOUS in the UK. I had not really heard of them before. Do you like Herman Dune? Because you will have no trouble liking Noah and the Whale then. Also, if you like Noah And The Whale maybe you should check out Herman Dune if you hadn't. This band name makes me think of the film The Squid and the Whale. I love that movie.
I'm From Barcelona - Paper Planes (single) [Dolores]
Words cannot express my disappointment upon learning this was not a cover of the MIA song.