Monthly Archives: September 2017

Walrus – “Family Hangover”

“Family Hangover” is the first LP released by Walrus. The band seems to have an eclectic mix of influences, which combine to form the album’s many intricate tracks. I would describe the music as psychedelic rock with chill, surfy vibes, as well as some occasional punk rock instrumentals. The lead singer’s voice struck me as […]

Alvvays- “Antisocialites”

This album shows a slight departure from the bands original sound as displayed on their debut album. Moving away from their more punk roots, the band includes glittery synths and delves into dream-pop, surf sounds, which was only hinted at on their first release. Featuring the soft, clean, female vocals, that Alvvays has been known […]

Camp Cope- Self-Titled

Camp Cope material originated as solo works by the lead singer and guitarist Georgia Maq, who has been independently releasing material since 2014. The music can be broadly classified as indie-punk. But it is so much more than that. The lyrics are quirky and real. Each of the songs tell a story, and the way […]

Mount Kimbie- “Love What Survives”

Within a few seconds of listening to the first track, “Four Years and One Day,” I can already tell Mount Kimbie have reached a more mature and complex sound. Throughout this album, all traces of their original dubstep roots are gone and what’s left is a style verging on post-rock. This album is filled with […]

The National- “Sleep Well Beast”

This is The National’s 7th studio album, and although the band continues to include many elements they have come to be known for (moody, soft spoken lyrics; complex drum patterns; detached, melodic guitar riffs) they attempt to push some of their own boundaries on this album and experiment with new effects. This album is definitely […]

Cymbals – Light In Your Mind [Tough Love]

Cymbals newest album combines acoustic instruments, synths, and drums for an album of 80’s-influenced post-punk and indie-electro vibes. The combination of synthetic and acoustic instruments gives the album a fun, nostalgic sound. Label: Tough Love Start With: 1,3,7,10 FCC: Clean RIYL: Capital Cities, Beach Fossils, Citrus, Hoops, Hot Chip, Genesis, Metronomy, Friendly Fires, Wild Nothing, DIIV

Betsayda & Parranda El Clavo (Odelia) Loe Loa

Traditional Venezuelan music meant to be sung together with a group. Makes you feel like you are a part of the party! Very uplifting and celebratory music that makes you feel the roots of this rich musical culture. Great percussion! ALL GOOD!!

The Karpinka Brothers- Talk is Cheap (self-released)

These artists hail from Saskatchewan, Canada and the stereotypical Canadian niceness and positivity is very present in their music. Recording and production for the album was done by grammy-nominated Howard Bilerman, who was effective at creating a happy album full of nostalgic rock sound. Play all

! Esso ! Afrojam Funkbeat (Sonic Octopus) Juntos

 Chicago based with International Tentacles, this group brings a lot to the table. More Latin than Afro or Funk, this album blends many styles with latin roots from romantic to spoken word and MC styling’s, all with great percussion and horns. Start with 2, 5, 6, 10, 12, & 13

Ruben Gonzalez (World Circuit) Introducing…

Hard to believe this legendary Cuban pianist hasn’t released a solo album before this! He’s a favorite among the Buena Vista Social Club, has played with everyone, and this album is a masterpiece of classic Cuban music. All Good!!

Chicago Afrobeat Project (Self) What Goes Up

Another solid release from this diverse group. Lots of different vocals including Chance the Rapper gives this album a different feel from song to song, but the Afrobeat holds it together. Great instrumentation and the vocals vary depending on the song. Start with 1, 2, 6, & 8

Michel Camilo & Tomatitto (Verve) Spain Forever

A bit of a misnomer as this album is classic guitar and piano jazz. Great music for the romantic in all of us with Spanish inspiration. All Good!

Lila Downs (Sony) Salon, Lagrimas, Y Deseo

 Grammy winner and Mexican songstress is back with a dramatic, emotional, romantic, and empowering album for the times. A great mix of traditional sounds and a buttery voice that carries deep feelings. I liked the more upbeat tunes as opposed to the ballads, but that’s just me. Try 1, 4, 6, 9, & 12

Joseph Daley Earth Tone Ensemble (Jaro) 7 Deadly Sins

The concept is each song depicts a different Sin, so each composition has it’s own personality. At times it can be Orchestral and classic, others are a complete assault of the senses, and some are beautiful and romantic. The musicianship stands out in each song and you can tell it’s performed by masters. 3 was […]

King Schascha (Self) Rudeboy Skankin

Solid Skankin tunes from legit sounding dudes. Upbeat, happy, & positive tunes! I liked 1 & 3

Black Seeds (Easy Star) Fabric

NZ rockers bring another dynamic release! For the uninitiated, they sound like Depeche Mode & Daft Punk had a baby that Ziggy Marley and Deepak Chopra raised. The result is an album that has a vintage 80s emotion, with modern bass & blips/blobs, a positive and new agey lyrical approach, all on a backbone of […]

Summer Heart- 101 (Perfect Texture)

This electronic/dream pop album is upbeat and summery, fitting for the band’s name. According to the Swedish solo artist, the album is supposed to tell a love story, as seen in the oscillation between tales of love and struggle sung over danceable beats. Recommend tracks 1, 3, 7, PLAY ALL!

Madeline Kenney- Night Night At the First Landing (Company Records)

Featuring soaring vocals over excellent production, this indie rock album is a beautiful collaboration between Kennedy and Toro y Moi’s Chaz Bear. The overall sound is dreamy and atmospheric, and reflects album’s cover of a serene picture of the night sky.  PLAY ALL!

Baby Jesus- Took Our Sons Away (Yippee Ki Yay Records)

This album is high-energy and pure rock and roll. The Swedish band has a clear 60’s rock sound, but their punk inspiration is also easily identifiable from this album. The lyrics are growled over the guitar and the beat is undeniably danceable. PLAY ALL- huge fan!

James Vincent McMorrow- True Care (James Mahogany Books ltd.)

This album is a masterful combination of a variety of synths, piano, and guitar. The work was similar to/reminiscent of that of artists including Bon Iver and S. Carey. As a whole, McMorrow’s use of synths and harmony creates a sound that is both mysterious and soothing; the slow nature of the songs allows for […]

The Lovely Bad Things- Teenage Grownups

This energetic album is largely alternative rock, but tracks like the opener “I’ll Listen” and #7 clearly point to punk influences. The album consists of lots of guitar and head-banging tunes which are intermittent with some slower ballads including #11 “Glow Buddy.” As a whole, the balance between the different sounds is effective at giving […]

Peter Janson–Places in Time

Gracious, flowing solo guitar works, originals and covers. A mix of classical, jazz and world. Play!

Vitezslava Kapralova–Complete Piano Music

Czech composer, pieces vary from intense to gently. Play!

Gregory Mertl–Afterglow of a Kiss

Each of these pieces for wind ensemble and primary instrument, moves through different emotions, intensities and rhythms. Play most!

Ken Walicki–Cyberistan

Electro-acoustic works for a variety of  instruments–mostly gentle, trk 5 aggressive. Play!