Mixing deep clubby, electronic beats with haunting vocals and pop tendencies, this is a spectacular and unexpected CD for the dance-floor. FCC: Clean PLAY: 2, 3, 8 RIYL: Arthur Russell

Strings and light piano keys surround a calm, soothing voice on many of the tracks. The album is a little melancholy, nostalgic and sedated— there’s some good storytelling on here.  FCC: Clean PLAY: 1, 2, 4, 10  RIYL: Haux, Basia Bulat

Playful but complex indie-pop from a group that is “dedicated to the art of pop songwriting.” Catchy, cheesy and breezy, this is a good album to listen to and sing and along with while you soak up some sun. FCC: Clean  PLAY: 1, 5, 6   RIYL: Of Montreal, Phoenix, Flaming Lips

standard woods; indie rock with psych pop influences RIYL: Foxygen, Kevin Morby, Kurt Vile, John Andrews Play: 1, 2, 6 | FCC: clean

English band Basement blends the styles of noise rock and punk in a fashion that may sound familiar upon first listen, but with further inspection, stands out upon a plethora of other bands trying similar things. This is due to the diversity in their sound, which on this record ranges from grunge rock, to alternative, […]

jazzy blues-rock with doo-wop elements RIYL: Margaret Glaspy, Shannon & The Clams, Valerie June, Hurray For The Riff Raff Play: 2, 5, 1, 7 | FCC: 4

It’s pretty much exactly what you’d expect from a band who hasn’t put out any material in almost two decades. It’s good, it’s classic, but it doesn’t pack the same punch their earlier stuff did. That said, Damage and Joy contains all the feedback dripping guitar and angsty (which does feel strange voiced by a 50 year-old […]

Corbo’s Adrift is varied and dynamic. Each song seems to have the capacity to stand alone and the interesting melodies paired with starry synths and spacey guitar licks fall together for a diverse, appealing sound. The textured 30-minute album is trancey and dazed. Play it! Play: 3,6,7 FCC: 4,8 RIYL: James Blake, Dirty Projectors, Bon Iver, Francis […]

On this short EP, the mastermind behind Blume Hinges, Aaron Egeland debuts his ability to diversify his sound as an artist, with each song on the project sounding different from any before it. He shifts between an almost emo punk sound to soft acoustic in the blink of an eye, with only his distinct vocal […]

The members of Hoops are what one might call a talented bunch of fellows, each with enough musicality to front their own band and yet they have all managed to combined their musical talents together into one project without any member overshadowing another. Three of the members sing on their debut album, giving the record […]

British electronic musician Darren Cunningham, better known as Actress, returns from early retirement with his densely progressive fifth full-length album AZD. Pronounced “azid,” the album features many songs over 5 minutes and deserves multiple go rounds. Songs like “RUNNER” and “FANTASYNTH”, with their incessant repetition and varied minimalism, paint a vivid picture of a mechanical paradise where […]

Classic electro-pop remixes of a classic sub-par pop song. Nothing to sneeze at but not something I would listen to in my spare time. RIYL Famba, Zash, or whatever.

Her fifth studio album in 27 years, this powerful vocalist obviously puts much thought into her compositions. Here she seeks to speak to the new generation in Mali, but using many traditional instruments & with much respect for Mali’s musical heritage. Outstanding!

Malian desert blues from a master guitarist who played for years with Ali Farka Toure, performing with an impressive collection of fellow musicians; their band is called BanKaiNa. All original compositions (the first seven are by Kelly). Great new sounds from the Sahara!

The Loreena McKennitt of Tunisia? One might say this brings to mind a fusion of Celtic & Arabic soundscapes, with creative vocals that soar, throbbing Tunisian-style percussion, delicate layers of electronica, & fascinating arrangements featuring traditional Tunisian instruments. Known for her anthems during the Tunisian revolution, the theme here is a condemnation of dictatorship. Last […]

The band’s favorite tracks, mixing ancient Sufi poetry & folk songs from diverse religious & ethnic groups in their native Iran, original compositions by vocalist Azam Ali & multi-instrumentalist Loga Ramin Torkian. A.R. Rahman featured on track #5. Many good ones here.

A collection of ragas faithful to the tradition of the Kirana Gharana and the 13th century musician Gopal Nayak. Vocalist Ustad Ali Khan is a descendant of this line, born in Kairana in Uttar Pradesh (India), from which this music gets its name. You can feed your spirituality with this.

New fusion from Austin TX, mixing Mexican & other Latin influences with soul, rhythm & blues, African beats, & rock ‘n roll. Defies classification but pleasing nevertheless.

Jimmy Whoo, Parisian producer and Co-Founder of  Grande Ville Records, returns with the second part to his Motel Music album that he wrote over a three month stay in Los Angeles. Consisting of “dark, filmic moments that weave together dreamlike visions of L.A. landscapes and night time glamour,” or in this writer’s words, a mellow mix […]

The lines between techno and electro-pop continue to blur on the fourth studio album from Jeff McIlwain, aka Lusine. “The concept behind Sensorimotor pulls from a special kind of double meaning of the word,” McIlwain recently noted. Beginning with “Canopy”, an opener seethed in wind chimes and harmonic distortion, the album moves on to more synth heavy, […]

Another strong album from British electronic musician Chris Clark; his eighth studio release since his musical debut in 2001. Death Peak is just under 45 minutes of varied techno styles mixed with wonderfully progressive ambient compositions. Glittering melodies on tracks like “Living Fantasy” and “Peak Magnetic”, alongside the washed out vocal elements of “Catastrophe Anthem” give the album a less foreboding feel than some of Clark’s previous […]

With self-described “ethereal vocals and subdued guitars,” this album is sad, subtle, calm, acoustic, a little monotonous, and perfect for staying in bed and thinking about your ex. Still, it will probably will not bring you to tears. Play: 1, 4, 5  RIYL: James Vincent McMorrow, Connor Oberst, Laura Marling FCC: Clean

Thoughtful, progressive dance jams. Sounds kind of empty at first lesson and almost too poppy—but overtime it holds its weight, for sure. DAWN is fun and futuristic. If you like easy, melodic pop but want something with substance, and thought provoking lyrics, give her a listen. RIYL: Sun Ra, Anna Kova. FCC: 2, 5, 7

It’s adolescence. It’s angsty. It’s pop punk. This album is pretty much exactly what you’d expect from a pop punk band, nevertheless, it succeeds. The album, while predictable, is engaging and interesting. Maintaining the pop-punk tradition of chunky rhythm guitar, driving, melodic bass lines, simple, powered drums, sullen lyrics and trill guitar solos for much of […]