Eddy Current Supression Ring- Rush To Relax [Goner Records]
Goner Records successfully extends their arms to across-the-sea neighbors in Australia for a more mellow branch of garage-punk-pop BLISS. "Rush To Relax" has one of my favorite balances of rawness, melody, jangliness (which I'm not necessarily down with), hooks, and originality. As mentioned earlier, this is an overall more relaxed release from Goner, but its still just slightly gritty without being alienating OR phony. I guess its good barbecue music for the summer? OH I GOT IT, I couldn't put my finger on it, but this is sort of like Mclusky without the over-the-top balls-to-the-wall hey-time-2be-loud approach 24/7. Did you like the Strange Boys release last week or two? Well check this out too (its maybe better).
The Bundles-The Bundles [K Records]
Super folk super group! Jeffrey Lewis, Kimya Dawson (moldy peaches), Karl Blau, Anders Griffen, and Jack Lewis! Lots of clever fun cute folk to be found in here. I'd say that Kimya and Jeffrey have the most clear voices. If you were kinda bummed with Jeffrey Lewis' last album, this should be more than enough to cheer you up!
Brute Heart-Brass Beads
This is a really cool female trio of viola, bass, and drums. Could easily be "just experimental," but these gals have their chops down and recorded nine great tracks of poignant, original, beautiful music.
A Weather-Everyday [Team Love]
A full-soundin' folk group of the delicate variety. Pretty dynamic stuff though, from fragile and tiny to really large and...well, still fragile actually! Sort of like a cute weather balloon being blown up and deflated. Can a weather balloon be cute? I think I meant hot air balloon. For fans of Iron and Wine and being sensitive.
Drink Up Buttercup-Born and Thrown on a hook [Yep Roc]
Last release from these guys was jangly rock n roll with lots of yelpin', this one carries a little bit of that over, but adds a lot of really fun eccentric 60s style pop songs ala Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour with a little bit more personality like if David Bowie or Nick Cave wrote it. So mash these together in your gullet: The Seeds, The Beatles, David Bowie. what?
Archie Bronson Outfit- Coconut [Domino]
As music director, I've become pretty familiar with record labels. Domino is one of the really good ones that always send great stuff. ABO continues the trend with this great funk-psych-dance-tropical-postpunk album. Coconut is like swirling reverb dance rock group that sort of sounds like a messed-up interpretation of Hercules and Love Affair. So when this album is on, I'm present with three options: gyrate my hips, head-bang, or get a fog-machine+strobe light combo. Well, I guess you can do the last one with the first two, or even do all three together if you're feeling particularly contrarian.
Black Tambourine- Black Tambourine [Slumberland]
Shoegaze twee motherf'ers with a re-release INCLUDING 4 newly recorded tracks! And one of them is a cover of SUICIDE!! Anyway, if you're a fan of the Vivian Girls, My Bloody Valentine, Raveonettes, Jesus and the Mary Chain, any shoegaze, and any other Slumberland groups, go ahead do yourself a favor and listen to this classic group from the late 80s/early 90s if you haven't already.
Josiah Wolf- Jet Lag [Anticon]
Josiah of Why? in his first solo release. I suppose its easiest to call it folk, but its expansive to say the least. Lots of cleverly implemeneted broad instrumentation and production techniques. Full and personal.
Total Babe-Heatwave EP [So tm]
A nice female-lead group of the twee-pop variety. A nice full-band set-up lead by acoustic guitar and violin (or cello blah blah yell at me) that complements the style really well by avoiding turning this into an orchestral pop group. Pastels-y. Really good handle on song-writing and melody, and as nebulous as that may sound, they've got it down.
Radar Brothers- The Illustrated Garden [Merge]
Pop-psych-folk-garage ala 60s. Regarding the 60s-tag: the songs are in good ol' conventional structure, but throw in dream-y reverb-y riffs here and there and use some psych-ish keyboards and a sitar a lil'. Sort of like the Byrds, you know? Also, suprisingly big sound for a 3-piece.
Various Artists-Future Magic Vol. [Mushpot]
The name of this compilation hits the nail on the head. All kinds of stuff, but it has this certain magical surreal dreamy feeling that is usually upbeat instead of slow and droning. Basically, cool cut pop songs that would feel good in the dark with a gigantic artsy LED light display doing cool things.
Ulaan Kohl-III [Soft Abuse]
Literally one of the best guitar psych/drone albums ever probably. Here is a cheap RIYL: Neil Young's Dead Man sound track, Boris' collaborations with Michio Kurihara, Spacemen 3. This is the most active of the "Ceremony" trilogy that he has now completed, and just as good as the others. Sometimes its intense, sometimes its more calm, but its always awesome. Be a real cool kid and listen to all three albums in a row.