Phil Elverum lost his wife—an artist and the mother of his child—to cancer. His new album is a meditation on her memory, but also on what it means to keep living. These songs are not fun. They are pretty and they are deep, steeped in a love that prevails beneath the overwhelming sorrow.  Label: P.W. Elverum & Sun Play: 1, 3, 6, […]

More wackiness from Animal Collective to liven up your day! This is the companion release to their 2016 Painting With album. As with every new Animal Collective album, their music is in one way or another different on Painting With and it’s accompanied EP from previous works. Their characteristic juxtaposition between campfire primitivism and electronic experimentation has remained a near-constant. Label: Domino Recording Play: 2, 3, […]

Slow sludgy guitars, with an almost drone-like quality, layered over ethereal female vocals. This is metal lite, for folks who like something slower and with clearer vocals. Great for any ritualistic plans you may have for the coming solstice! RIYL: Wax Idols, Planning for burial, Whirr Label:Relapse Recommend: 1, 2, 3, 6, FCC: 5

This Montreal based quintet, a great, banging pop-rock album. It hits hard right from the beginning and apart from the one slow song in the middle, keeps the pace throughout. With the guitars and vocals driving the majority of these songs, using only a scant smattering of sythesizers, these guys create a solid sound for […]

Another from the ever prolific Conor Oberst, this folk-rock album is a bit of a darker reflection on death and loss. Fans of the Obe will love it, as it has those wavering fragile vocals with some great traditional instrumentation, accordians, harmonicas, violins, and the like. RIYL: Bright Eyes, M. Ward, Jim James Label:Nonesuch Recommend: […]

A great little indie-rock album, with a lot of fun, catchy hooks, crisp, driving drums, and self referential, often sarcastic vocals that delivers from start to finish. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, but you’ll be jamming the whole time. Favorite album of 2017 so far!?   RIYL: Thin Lips, Sorority Noise, Pixies, human kitten Label: Lame-O Records […]

A Reissue/remix of Soundgarden’s first album with some early recordings and chaotic noisey interludes sprinkled in for nostalgic purposes. If you are a fan of Soundgarden and other music from the era, your sure to enjoy this. RIYL: Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, Nirvana Label: Sub-Pop Recommend: 1,2,4,6 FCC: 4, 7

Contemporary gamelan, breaking the traditional rules. Play!

The classical crossover cello duo famous for transcribing rock works for cellos has released this album of movie music with the London Symphony Orchestra. Good if you are a fan of popular movie music.

Lovely, modern and abstract, yet lyrical works for harp and various accompaniment. Play!

Animated and mostly very short works for various instruments (vibraphone, piano, flute, violin, horns) varying rhythmically. Play!

Jean Cras was a career Naval officer in the French service (ending as a rear admiral). A polymath, he found time to compose. These are lyrical, interesting works.

Decidedly abstract works for sax, but accessible, Scelsi’s quiet.

A collection of modern, abstract solo cello works, including Henze, Stockhausen, Britten and Sciarrino, amongst others. Play!

Canadian Guitar Quartet performs a collection of mostly modern, abstract pieces with one transcription of Vivaldi. Play!    

Vicky Chow performs works by Andy Akiho and Daniel Wohl amongst others, ranging from quiet abstract to staccato. Play!

With diverse instruments (bells, bike horns, digital insects and more) these are ambient, somewhat droning and eerie works, interesting!

This is a gorgeous album by Towner, known for his elegant guitar work especially in the jazz world. Here, he seems more classical, perhaps because he’s using either classical or 12-string guitar. Play, play, play!

Mostly lilting and gracious works by an Armenian composer with folk elements. Play!

Great works for viola and piano, especially Weinberg’s! Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet  well-known.

Beautiful, modern chamber symphonies, lyrical yet with tension. Play!

VOIDS is the latest album from indie progressive rock band Minus the Bear who have built a large following over their 15+ year career with a series of diverse albums. This album is somewhat of a return to the sound of their best albums Menos El Oso and Planet of Ice, but feels a bit […]

Johnossi are a rock duo from Sweden who have a big following there, but are mostly unknown in the States. Blood Jungle is the followup to their 2014 album Transitions (which I reviewed that summer and enjoyed quite a bit), and fifth album overall. This album is fairly mainstream sounding radio rock like you would […]

Latest album from the art-rock band led by Dave Longstreth, most famous for their critically acclaimed 2009 album Bitte Orca. The entire album is inspired by his breakup with former collaborator Amber Coffman (lead vocalist on Dirty Projectors’ most well known song “Stillness is the Move”). The lyrics reflect the emotional toll of the end […]

Husband/wife duo Tennis are back with their fourth album, Yours Conditionally, which they wrote and recorded after taking another sailing trip like the one that inspired their debut album. As one of the bands at the forefront of the “indie pop” sound of this decade’s first half, this album goes back to their roots, with […]