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the new pornographers brill bruisers

The New Pornographers “Brill Bruisers” –Album Review

Matador (2014)

Someone ought to look this up, but it seems to me that The New Pornographers might hold some sort of record for longest-lasting supergroup, or at least deserve to be on some list of that sort. All of the bandmates are in other functioning bands, four are solo artists…it’s amazing these folks have time to do anything together, let alone continue making music together for as long as they have. […]


First aid Kit cedar lane

Check Out First Aid Kit’s New Video “Cedar Lane”

Sweden has definitely proven herself a leader in the electro-pop market these days, but Americana?  That’s for, you know, Americans.  Right? Think again. Johanna and Klara Söderberg, the Swedish siblings performing under the moniker First Aid Kit, have spent the last few years building a reputation for giving the American Americana artists (say that five times fast) a run for their money, proving that when the passion is there, “foreigners” […]


Manchester Orchestra Cope

Manchester Orchestra “Cope”—Album Review

Republic (2014)

To state the obvious—Manchester Orchestra’s new album Cope is loud. Really loud. Front to back. And that’s exactly how they planned it. If you’re a fan of Manchester Orchestra, you need to know this up front because if you’re looking for a repeat of the dynamic variation found in 2011’s Simple Math, you’re bound to be disappointed.  For Cope, Andy Hull and crew have eschewed their more introspective side for […]


Beck Morning Phase

Beck “Morning Phase”—Album Review

Capitol (2014)

Let’s get this part out of the way:  Beck aficionados will not be able to listen to his new album Morning Phase without immediately associating it with 2002’s Sea Change.  They are cut from the same cloth: slow-paced, highly introspective, somber, hangover-infused songs with an appropriate tip-of-the-hat style-wise to Laurel Canyon and Neil Young. The two records are sisters in that they sound very like each other, and very different […]


St. Vincent self-titled

Stream St. Vincent’s Self-Titled Album a Week Early

The time is finally here.  Avant-garde pop songstress Annie Clark (nee, St. Vincent) has been teasing us for months with a systematic release of singles (including “Birth In Reverse,” and “Prince Johnny”)—and now, a week before the actual release of the record, fans can stream the entire album online via NPR First Listen. The biggest problem with experimental artists is that they have a tendency to get so far “out […]


Woman's Hour

Up-and-Comers: Woman’s Hour

Here’s a band you’re likely to hear a lot more from in the coming months. A four-piece electro-pop act based in London, Woman’s Hour is just now coming on the radar, but they’ve already made best-of lists on publications like BBC6 Music and Line of Best Fit for last year’s tunes “Darkest Place” and “Thunder,” as well as an impressive cover of Leona Lewis’ “Bleeding Love.” Their just-released new single […]


Bombay Bicycle Club So Long

Bombay Bicycle Club “So Long, See You Tomorrow”—Album Review

Universal Island Records (2014)

Over the years, London-based indie-rockers Bombay Bicycle Club have developed an interesting reputation in that the one predictable thing about them is their unpredictability. We buy records from our favorite other bands because we pretty much know what to expect, but we buy BBC records for the opposite reason—because we don’t know what they’re going to sound like this time, but we have to find out. It’s a risky prospect […]


Dum Dum Girls Too True

Dum Dum Girls “Too True” –Album Review

Sub Pop (2014)

From the beginning of their career, Dum Dum Girls have been running something of a risk by leaning so heavily on the past for their sound—a goth-infused, reverby noise-rock influenced by the likes of Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Stone Roses and The Cure. It’s a retro sound more at home in the 60s than in the twenty-teens.  And yet, Dee Dee Penny and company have somehow owned this sound […]


Young the Giant Mind Over Matter

Young the Giant “Mind Over Matter”—Album Review

Fueled By Ramen (2014)

“This is where I come from / This is where I belong,” sings Young the Giant frontman Sameer Ghadia in his signature warbly vibrato on “Crystallized,” the second advance single from their sophomore effort Mind Over Matter. If there’s a line in the song that encapsulates the feeling of this album, to me, it’s this one. After a debut album that yielded two radio-friendly hits but little else, the band’s […]


Broken Bells After the Disco

Broken Bells Release New Single “After the Disco”

Upcoming album of the same name drops Feb. 4

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been waiting/hoping for a new album from indie-rock duo Broken Bells for quite some time. The combination of Danger Mouse and Shins frontman James Mercer might be considered a side project, but considering that their self-titled debut album peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard 200 and earned a Grammy nomination, its obvious that their unique combined sound deserves to stand on its […]


Vampire Weekend Modern Vampires of the City

The Top Five Indie/Alternative Albums of 2013

As 2013 comes to a close, it’s time to take a look back at the artists who have released stellar work over the past year. I don’t mind telling you I had a hard time whittling this list down to five—this was simply an amazing year for the indie scene. To help make up for it, I’ve added a couple of honorable mentions at the end. Here are my picks […]


St. Vincent self-titled

St. Vincent Shares New Single “Birth In Reverse”

After last year’s highly creative and classy collaboration with David Byrne, baroque pop songstress St. Vincent (nee Annie Clark) is back with a new blonde ‘do, an Ingenuity Award from the Smithsonian (for her creative approach to the performing arts), and a new self-titled album in the works. This week, she teased us with a new single, “Birth In Reverse,” from the upcoming record. It’s got to say something when […]


Jake Bugg Shangri La

Jake Bugg “Shangri-La” –Album Review

Virgin/EMI (2013)

Okay. I’m totally enamored with this guy. Brit retro folk-rocker Jake Bugg definitely made a stir with his self-titled debut album last year—enough of a stir, in fact, to get him nominated for this year’s coveted Mercury Prize (alongside notables like David Bowie, Laura Marling and Arctic Monkeys). He continues to solidify his niche with this week’s release of Shangri La. Shunning the EDM club-scene trends of so many of […]


Passenger

Up-and-Comers: Passenger

The story of Passenger is almost as compelling as his music; it’s a riches-to-rags-to-riches story, at least musically speaking. Started in the UK by Michael Rosenberg and Andrew Phillips ten years ago, Passenger was initially a five-piece band with a major label backing it. Shortly after the release of their debut album Wicked Man’s Rest in 2007, however, Phillips left, and the band subsequently scattered. Undeterred, Michael Rosenberg, the only […]


Midlake Antiphon

Midlake “Antiphon” –Album Review

Bella Union (2013)

Imagine you’re an indie rock band with several critically acclaimed albums under your belt. You embark on a new project, you spend months writing, rehearsing and preparing, and in the middle of recording…your frontman and primary songwriter leaves the band. It’s truly a do-or-die moment, because your band basically has to undergo a heart transplant in order to survive—let alone measure up to the bar set by your previous work. […]


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