Author Archives: theragdollengine

SAM SMITH – In the Lonely Hour (Capitol)

Brit Superstar “nice-boy-soul-singer” has rose to worldwide success with this album (Billboard 2). Crooning, with one hell of a set of pipes. Very groomed production. Album is a set of “love letters” to a man, unrequited. Mid-tempo washes, delicate late night vulnerability. Billboard singles: 3 Stay With Me 4 Leave Your Lover 5 I’m Not […]

JENNY LEWIS – Voyager (Warner)

Former member of Rilo Kiley and collaborator with The Watson Twins. 2nd solo album since 2008. Lots of hardship in her life led to very honest and bare lyrics, but they are supported by a jangle rather than a death-rattle. Collaborations with Beck, Ryan Adams, Johnathan Rice, First Aid Kit, etc etc… There is little […]

BOMBADIL // Tarpits and Canyonlands (Ramseur Records)

Ukelele, keyboards, harmonica and string sections give this album a light, boppy drive. Twinkling stars, mid-day ice cream, and carousels. Lyrically charming. Wanderlust and resilience thread this album together. The album is long-awaited: it was set to release back in 2009 when Daniel Michalak, the driving force of the band was diagnosed with neural tension […]

EMBY ALEXANDER // Frontispiece (Self Released)

Arizona based “indie-giants.” DIY style music, self-consciously very art-rock. Album is 12 tracks meant to be listened to as “4 suites of 3 songs each”. I suppose it works, probably is great live, but feels a bit muddy for the high concept — each song has several songs within it, and at a certain point […]

FENECH-SOLER // Stop and Stare EP (So Records)

English four-piece electro-pop. These songs have been previously released in England, but this EP is their first US release. Slick, breezy, catchy. Summer driving, summer dancing. Chart-friendly breed of 80’s pop, Ibiza dance and nu-rave pop anthems. TRY: 4, 3, 1 RIYL: Cut Copy, Delphic, Friendly Fires

Walter Martin – We’re All Young Together (Family Jukebox)

Hooray for a ** rocking ** children’s album!  Walter Martin (frontman of The Walkmen) pops out a kid and realizes that most children’s music drives parents bonkers. He gets his friends and bandmates together and makes We’re All Young Together.  This album is simple, splendid, delightful. Heart lifting, feet catching. Innocent but mischievous, romantic but […]

The Black Keys – Turn Blue (Nonesuch)

Dan Auerbach is unstoppable. Rocking fun with some psychedelic turns, but holding down the trademark Black Keys’ blues-rock-strum-down. Patrick Carney holds down the beat like the madman he is. A very strong CD, with some upbeat ditties for flipping-your-eggs-in-the-pan, other songs set for dreaming-of-rolling-the-windows-down-in-your-car. Not as playful or as tenacious as other recent albums. Mature, […]

EELS – The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett (EWorks Records)

More confessionary, sad-ballad storytelling from the Eels. Orchestral rises with otherwise simple instrumentation. Lyrics are one man’s lullaby letters to everyone he meets.  Try:   12 (Mistakes of My Youth), 5 (A Swallow in the Sun), 6 (Where I’m From), 4 (Agatha Chang), 2 (Parallels), 1 (Where I’m At) FCC 7 RIYL: Micah P Hinson, Bill […]

Hundred Waters – The Moon Rang Like A Bell

Second album from Gainsville-based quartet. They dub their sound as “Folktronica” and The Moon Rang Like A Bell is a blend of sexy ethereal female vocals with electro-magic harmonies and cavernous beats. Has a haunting, rolling, echoey chamber feeling. Soundtrack for a gondolier rowing through a magnetic canal on the way to see a falling […]

Jolie Holland – Wine Dark Sea

Jolie Holland – Wine Dark Sea “The album of a lifetime” from an artist who has knotted together a century of American song – jazz, blues, soul, rock and roll – into a stew that is comforting, delicious, and deep rooted in steady-awesomeness. Get ready to slap your thighs with the drums and guitar, close […]

Arc Iris – Arc Iris

Arc Iris – Arc Iris Orchestral pop from a former core member of the Low Anthem (Jocie Adams). In this album, a joyful and seasoned chanteuse bridges multiple shifts and sounds within single songs. Instruments vary greatly from track to track, with solid showcase of the glockenspiel, trombone, violoncello. Exceptionally impressive – the band claims […]

Young Magic – Breathing Statues

Young Magic – Breathing Statues Holographic landscape – ghostly harmonies, world influenced sounds. Using synths, bells, and harp, Indonesian vocalist Melati Malay and Australian producer Isaac Emmanuel create several enveloping musical works. The album unfolds into several sound environments, but overall remains consistently chill, hypnotic, sensual, intimate, with a lounge/downtempo feeling. Created as the duo […]

EMA – The Future’s Void

EMA – The Future’s Void Matador Records   The sophomore album by EMA (Erika M. Anderson) retains the sonic signature of her first album Past Life Martyred Saints: feed-backed noisy guitar style, visceral songwriting and a DIY recording ethos. The Future’s Void meditates on universal themes of how we interact with the world, and how […]

Trick Mammoth – Floristry

Trick Mammoth – Floristry    (Fishrider Records) Trick Mammoth formed in 2013 in Dunedin, New Zealand. Their sound has been described as “flower pop.” Millie Lovelock’s voice is a bit like cotton candy on a merry-go-round.  This music is a perfect soundtrack to eat ice cream and hold hands with your honey while wearing faded primary […]