by: Tan Doan
Dragon's Power Up ? Brace For The Bloom (Guilt Ridden Pop)
This band sounds like Karate a whole lot, which is great for somebody like me. The guitars and melodies get a little mathy or proggy, and they add in other instrumentation to keep things interesting. Takes me back to '99.
Wovenhand ? The Threshingfloor (Sounds Familyre)
For those who know Wovenhand, you know exactly what this record sounds like already. Its dark, dense, brooding, slightly religious, and awesome. Maybe call it country-noir? Interestingly enough, they were chosen to open for Tool on a few dates this year, how sweet is that? If you like this, look into 16 Horsepower, or Slim Cesna's Auto club.
William Ingrid ? Where Are You? (Self Release)
If you're into Beach House, Phantogram, Wye Oak, Cold Cave, or The Postal Service, check out this husband and wife duo. Most of the time, they lay down some female vocals over simple electronic beats and folky riffs. Some tracks (3) have off putting male vocals, so you can probably skip those (the same way I skip most Cold Cave track with Wesley singing) and play the rest.
May Mcdonough ? Spilt Milk (Artisans Label)
This is a great (self) release from the OC. May Mcdonough has a very sultry, bluesy voice that would sound just fine with a torch band. The instrumentation is minimal, but I feel like she'd have no problem keeping her voice as the focal point. Not quite Fionna Apple, but still fantastic.
Geronimo! - Fuzzy Dreams (Beat Them All Up)
Fuzzy is a good way to describe most of this record. They lay down fuzzy, heavy guitar riffs most of the time in the same vein as Black Sabbath, but they're definitely not metal. Maybe a little grunge or psychedelic. Some tracks show their poppier side, and a couple meander into the 8 min mark, just letting the riffs unfold.
French Quarter ? It's Not Just Kissing (Life's Blood)
An album with mostly quiet, simple pop songs. With pop, sometimes simple is the best way to go.
The Nails ? Hotel For Women (Citybeat)
This is a re-release of old material from the 80s. A bit punk, a bit ska, a bit new wave. Thanks to Wes for the recs: 1,5,8,11
The Beauties ? The Beauties (Six Shooter)
The Beauties are already somewhat well known north of the border, which weirds me out a bit for some reason, though I don't know why. This release is very well produced and polished. If you want some rootsy, countryish sounds, this is a good one to throw in.