Author Archives: mcsquawk

Offa Rex – The Queen of Hearts

Offa Rex are a new band featuring members of The Decemberists plus vocalist Olivia Chaney. The music of pays homage to psychedelic folk rock of the 60s, fusing traditional English/Celtic folk music with some rock influence as well. Traditional songs as well as a few covers of more recent work. Some standouts are “Blackleg Miner”, […]

The Mynabirds – Be Here Now

Be Here Now is the latest album from Mynabirds, the Washington D.C. project led by Laura Burhenn. Nine tracks of soulful indie pop/rock. Each song sounds different than the last. Politically inspired lyrics, especially on track 3 “Golden Age” which cleverly reference specific events that have happened over the last year. But to show the […]

Ruby Bones – Ruby Bones

Debut album from New Jersey band Ruby Bones. 11 tracks of energetic, catchy garage rock with pop hooks and saxophones giving it a nice touch. Unique lyrical style but can get a bit repetitive since a lot of the same themes show up through different songs. The album’s biggest flaw is that it can get […]

Hazel English – Just Give In / Never Going Home

Hazel English (yes that’s her real name) is an Australian born, singer/songwriter now living in Oakland, CA. This album combines two EPs – a new EP called Just Give In (recorded with Jackson Phillips of Day Wave) and last year’s Never Going Home. Her music is a mix of the surf inspired sound of Beach […]

Au.Ra – Cultivations

Cultivations is the sophomore album from Australian shoegaze band Au.Ra. This album is somewhat of a departure from the cluttered sound of their debut Jane’s Lament, into lush dream pop that allows more space for these songs to breathe, and also some electronic soundscapes like the instrumental track “Blue Chip”. The album kicks off with […]

All We Are – Sunny Hills

Sunny Hills is the Sophomore album from British band All We Are. This album moves towards dance-punk with an atmospheric, melodic sound and shoegaze guitars. There are some good singles early on, but the album really picks up towards the end with “Youth” and “Waiting”. Play: 1, 2 3, 7, 8 FCC Clean (2 is […]

Moby & The Void Pacific Choir – More Fast Songs About the Apocalypse

Moby is back with the second album from his new project The Void Pacific Choir. Exactly like the title says – nine more tracks of the synth-punk of his previous album These Systems Are Failing. A departure from the sample-based, downtempo electronica Moby is famous for. Synth-punk, some might even call it industrial, with catchy […]

Gothic Tropic – Fast or Feast

Gothic and tropic are two words you wouldn’t think go together, but the contradiction of those two words describe the music of Gothic Tropic quite well. A band led by frontwoman Cecilia Della Perutti, Fast or Feast is a collection of ten songs that are complex and catchy with a variety of influences. Has a […]

The Birthday Massacre – Under Your Spell

Under Your Spell is the latest album from long-running Canadian goth rockers The Birthday Massacre, known for their synth laden sounds and purple album covers. This album seems to have an overall theme of the end of a long term relationship, descibed in songs such as the title track and “All of Nothing”. Overall, this […]

Land of Talk – Life After Youth

Life After Youth is the comeback album from Land of Talk, the indie rock band led by frontwoman Elizabeth Powell. Land of Talk put out a couple great records around the turn of this decade but took an extended hiatus. This album is a welcome return, with great vocals and good lyrics that set them […]

Little Cub – Still Life

Debut album from alternative synth pop trio from London, who first received attention for their excellent single “Breathing Space” (included on this album). Many of these songs can be a little repetitive, especially since the choruses in a lot of the songs consist of repeating the same line over and over. What sets Little Cub […]

Flogging Molly – Life is Good

Irish folk punks Flogging Molly return with their fifth album and first in six years, and is much better than I would have expected – probably their best album since 2004’s Within a Mile of Home. The album is strongest when they stick to their folkier sound, especially on songs like “The Guns of Jericho” […]

Royal Thunder – WICK

Royal Thunder return with their third full-length. With their crunchy riffs and the powerful vocals of frontwoman Mlny Parsonz, Royal Thunder are the kind of metal band that you don’t have to be a metal fan to enjoy, and this album continues their run of great albums proving them to be one of the most […]

Little Dragon – Season High

Season High is the latest album from Little Dragon, the Swedish art-pop group fronted by the excellent vocalist Yukimi Nagano and most famous for collaborations with artists including Gorillaz, SBTRKT, Kaytranada and ODESZA. This album takes more of a turn towards synth pop and though not their strongest work overall, has plenty of standout tracks […]

The Afghan Whigs – In Spades

90’s alt-rockers The Afghan Whigs return with their second album since their 2011. Led by frontman Greg Dulli, also known for his 00’s projects The Twilight Singers and The Gutter Twins. In Spades opens with “Birdland”, a song that doesn’t sound too far removed from the last Radiohead album, and then launches into “Arabian Heights”, […]

The Bob’s Burgers Music Album

Double-disc compilation of songs from one of the funniest animated sitcoms on TV right now. Many of these tracks are the little ditties that play over the end credits of the episodes, but also include some of the show’s musical numbers like “Electric Love” and “Bad Stuff Happens in the Bathroom”. There are also some […]

Cold War Kids – LA Divine

Cold War Kids return with their first album since 2014’s Hold My Home, which contained their biggest hit to date “First”. That song spent a whopping 64 weeks on the Billboard Alternative charts. On LA Divine, which is inspired by their hometown of Los Angeles, they bring more of their piano-driven, bluesy pop-rock led by […]

Craig Finn – We All Want the Same Things

We All Want the Same Things is the third solo album from The Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn, and his most fully realized solo release to date. Holden is known for his witty lyrics that often tell stories of working class people in the city. This album mainly focuses on personal relationships, and codependency is […]

Chaz Bundick Meets the Mattson 2 – Star Stuff

Star Stuff is the result of a collaboration between Chaz Bundick (from Toro Y Moi) and jazz duo The Mattson 2. A set of psychedelic, more extended jams than you usually hear from Toro Y Moi. Some of the songs are instrumental, other songs have lyrics and aren’t too off from Toro Y Moi’s more […]

Adna – Closure

Closure is the third album from Swedish singer-songwriter Adna. Dark, theatrical pop, interchangeably using piano and guitar, with strong marching band-like percussion. Places more focus on the lyrics, rather than the ethereal, reverb-filled approach that other similar artists take. Heartbreak is a theme across the album, with the last song reaching an emotional climax. Definitely […]

Arkells – Morning Report

Morning Report is the latest album from Hamilton, Ontario’s Arkells, a very popular rock band in Canada who have won several Juno awards, yet aren’t well known outside their home country. They are looking to change that with this album and have recently been touring with Frank Turner. Their newest release has a fairly mainstream, […]

Minus the Bear – VOIDS

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 – Blood Jungle

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 […]

Dirty Projectors – Dirty Projectors

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 […]

Tennis – Yours Conditionally

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 […]