Pure Bathhing Culture
This year’s April albums shake, wave and modulate. Whether pulsating synth-poppers PURE BATHING CULTURE’s, heart-broken disco, “Night Pass,” Floating programmer TOR LUNDVALL’s precocious retrospective, “A Strangeness in Motion,” or softcore circuit-boarder TEEN DAZE’s undulating, “Bioluminescence,” spring rings, ripples and tingles. Motion-sensitive compendiums from Transatlantic alt-rockers CIRCA WAVES’ contagious interrogations, “What’s It Like Over There,” and Britpop impresarios THE LEISURE SOCIETY’s masterful double-album, “Arrival + Departures,” only add to the energy.
Lady Lamb - Even in the Tremor
Album title: Even in the Tremor
Record Label: Ba Da Bing
Gospel-polished indie-rock waltzes scale emotional heights while, “Tremor,” unearth deep-seated dreams leaning into groovy crusader-flavored closure for potent proactive unpacking excavating universal statements from autobiographical chapters. Humble rumblings teasing seething Phoenix pleads, Lady Lamb enlists simmering soul-kitchen brass and maypole folk-singer strings in a rich blustery production that impresses as it caresses, yielding bold philosophical control over lively existential pleasures.
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Tim Baker - Forever Overhead
Album title: Forever Overhead
Record Label: Arts & Crafts
Stepping away from Hey Rosetta, frontman Baker’s solo debut inserts trade-wind sway into sensitive reflections, leveraging unrequited insights and celebrating swift, uplifting attitudes with tranquil choirs, contrapuntal gumption and unaccompanied honesty. Fortunate tourniquets to melodic memories whose resting heartbeat hugs simple wisdom, “Overhead,” visits missed opportunities with transformative discourse touring fearless interior dialogues and soft-shoe moves partying in hardy camaraderie.
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Weyes Blood - Titanic Rising
Album title: Titanic Rising
Record Label: Sub Pop
Lush, air-brushed constructs papered in three-layered prayers and cross-stitched wishes, the radiant, “Rising,” reaches for embraceable transcendence past unseen horizons warmed in weather-beaten sunbeams and pitch-bent redemption. Forward-looking and nostalgic, Weyes Blood’s comforting bell-bottom ballads, tweaked in sweetheart country-rock and frosted in seventies ballroom pop, gently envelope sumptuous swirls with breathless momentum while guiding climbing song-lines into sublime musical design.
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Wand - Laughing Matter
Album title: Laughing Matter
Record Label: Drag City
Exploratory story-tellers, L.A.‘s Wand rock jam-band bangers and space-folk head-trips, spreading electric medicine by mashing heavenly frenzy from math-rock flash into epic splash-down psychedelia spanning grand, mechanical fantasies and anxious, impatient improvisations. Lost inside friendly schizophrenia, “Matters,” rattles, straddles and roars with stammering mantras building into sizzling six-string siroccos only to fade quietly among cryptic wizard’s riddles riding long-distance bliss.
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Rozi Plain - What A Boost
Album title: What A Boost
Record Label: Memphis Industries
Ghost-jazz serenity coasts in seamless tonal flows painted bright with uncanny poise superimposed over immaculate alien fairy-tales; “Boost,” boots soft narcotic software rinsed in whispered swinging, manicured splurges and game-maker restraint. Hushed, art-pop hymns sprout horns in formal proportions as tactful mastermind Rozi Plain plots, flip-flops and slow-bops, hosting tasteful, post-modern world-beat roaming in golden ratios, raving beneath well-behaved races.
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Ralph Heidel - Moments of Resonance
Album title: Moments of Resonance
Record Label: Kryptox Records
Germany’s Heidel leads the collective Homo Ludens into knitting-needle cathedrals housing sharp scissoring rhythms, spacious chamber-music infusions and crashing cinematic windfalls. Fashioned from brooding jazz, sweeping classical bombast, collapsible ballet and Geiger-counter trance, “Resonance,” pounces in pondered reconnaissance; intuitive movements chasing break-through conclusions through enigmatic rapture, heralding swelling peril lurking in prog-rock preludes and trick-or-treat suites livid in devilish relish.
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Hand Habits - placeholder
Album title: placeholder
Record Label: Saddle Creek
Spotlessly evocative waif-pop folk-rock, “placeholder,” sprinkles whole-grain psycho-twang glitter over well-fed bohemian beds blessed in wall-to-wall melancholy and polished in life-learned mercy. Aching in patience and woozy with rumination, Hand Habits’ appetite for mellow magic produces tasty licks, condensed sentiments and caressing chords; wind-tossed willow wisdom refracting passive windowsill considerations into water-nymph symphonies where sparkling downstream daydreams become sun-ripened masterpieces.
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Ten Fé - Future Perfect Present Tense
Album title: Future Perfect Present Tense
Record Label: PIAS America
Subtle, nudged percussion bubbles beneath plush, baritone buskers; Ten Fé‘s somber cosmopolitan optimism crafts cool, hatchet-burying hooks wrapped in romance-enabled danger and cozy ear-candy allure. Muscular seductions tucked inside tender censure and tempting exceptions, “Tense,” consents to tuxedo-clad attitudes, vetted etiquette promising safe havens for part-time players, cat-walk majors and dawn-breaking trainers. Ten Fé plays Milwaukee’s Back Room March 28th.
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E.B. the Younger - To Each His Own
Album title: To Each His Own
Record Label: Bella Union
A traveling troubadour’s suitcase packed in friendly, good-time rhythms, whose casual crooning blooms beneath anecdotal hopes and good-neighbor fables, “Own,” intones gentler times where intelligence brought cleverness and differences came with benefits. A pseudonym for Midlake’s Eric Pulido, E.B. cushions his personable concerns in electric chamber-folk overtures tumbling down soft-pop rabbit-holes with swelling melodies carrying earnest verses to beautiful conclusions.
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Stella Donnelly - Beware of the Dogs
Album title: Beware of the Dogs
Record Label: Secretly Canadian
Modern folk-punk chronicler and attentive connector, Donnelly’s tidy just deserts and sturdy straight-talk cockiness mix dry-wit feminism alongside pop-tart earth-angel bliss for saucy possibilities served over cheeky, breezy themes. Half coy, half boisterous, grounded in tight, understated arrangements, “Beware,” out-stares clever revelations with playfully upfront charms; criss-crossing gender politics through bright bouncy tunes while grooming jump-rope grooves espousing revolutionary truths.
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Turning Jewels Into Water - Map of Absences
Album title: Map of Absences
Record Label: FPE Records
Indigenous intermissions splicing dark jungle twitches into crack manufactured happenings, “Map,” uncaps globe-trotting trances ramped in cyber-industrial tribalism; pumped drum-circle glitches casting powerful incantations cut into funky, digitized reductions. Smooth-glass balderdash orbiting beyond ambient tampering, TJIW’s precisely positioned fractal catapults make remixable trips for eternally recurring contortions, future-pop art-museums beamed back to Earth in slick, rhythmic linguistics and shape-shifting kismet.
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Strand of Oaks - Eraserland
Album title: Eraserland
Record Label: Dead Oceans
Cavernous rapture riding twilight-bitten blues through fog-bound ballads, Strand of Oak’s embroiled scuffles muscle shuttered moods mounted in hounded folk-emo majesty; serrated raves paved in brave self-doubt. Birthed in melodramatic surges and contemplative fates, “Eraserland,” draws gritty vision-boards from pendulum-swinging cliff-hangers, amending tender reflections into glorious reforms then sending fond remembrances sullied ultimatums. SoO plays Madison’s High Noon May 2nd.
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Murray A, Lightburn - Hear Me Out
Album title: Hear Me Out
Record Label: Dangerbird Records
Warm, massaged, mahogany phrases enrich Lightburn’s cavalier melodies, relaying unwavering romance in lofty optimism and heroic hope. Well-considered admissions swinging in bon vivant wants embellished in starlit sighs, “Hear,” steers intriguing sincerity and sensitive repentance in polished doo-wop harmonies; glowing, retro-lounge pearls strung from golden odes to love’s saving grace, life’s inevitable fumbles and the heart’s journey between the two.
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Cherry Glazerr - Stuffed and Ready
Album title: Stuffed and Ready
Record Label: Secretly Canadian
Double-dare savior faire pitched in flinty quips over crunchy stunners, “Stuffed,” stacks rascally swagger onto ticklish tease and subversive reversals for ravenous magic stoking smoldering emotions. Ripped rock riffs woven from indie ingenuity, the crafty Cherry Glazerr party-crashes with blazing charades and chameleon charm igniting ferocious reproaches from mischief mistress’ doe-eyed ambushes trapping risky, frisky fun spun from power-pop fantasies.
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Bayonne - Drastic Measures
Album title: Drastic Measures
Record Label: Mom + Pop
Steady confetti textures shimmy, twinkle and shine behind Bayonne’s molting, blue-eyed butterfly soul, tropical froth pelleted in cellophane boogie, slow-motion ecstasy dipped in rainbow-riddled rhythms and fidgety digital visions. Hatched in placid waveform incubators, “Drastic,” relaxes in aqueous sound-mattresses; cotton-candy phantoms drunk on chattering percussion, rippling synths rinsed in double-ply sunshine inside colliding arpeggios absorbing cordial chords achieving sleepy peacefulness.
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Julia Jacklin - Crushing
Album title: Crushing
Record Label: Polyvinyl
Truth-bomb romps calmly lay down the law and Jacklin is public defender and ace reporter. Burning questions with long fuses, the Aussie’s honest, confident, “Crushing,” breaks everything into simpler pieces. Defiant self-reliance coated in folk-pop melancholy, friendly deference and plain-spoken poetry, Jacklin’s personal insights apply disquieting focus to shy, diary disappointments, charging hypnotic hurrahs hiding unspoken stories under pensive compensations.
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Martin Frawley - Undone at 31
Album title: Undone at 31
Record Label: Merge
Youthful troubadour days ripen into descriptive reminisces and keen self-examination as, “Undone,” strums and plunges, stalking and balking with distracting challenges wrapped in genre-hopping pop-punk passions. Smart, perceptive and articulate, Frawley’s solid observations find common ground in bouncy modesty, laidback hindsight and droll consolations; well-paved escapades braving clever fair-weather speculations anchored in leveraged memories, court-jester regrets and small-town pawn-shop monologues.
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Girlpool - What Chaos is Imaginary
Album title: What Chaos is Imaginary
Record Label: Anti-
Wide-eyed DIY adventurers, Girlpool’s infectious folk-punk gumption expands into nuanced choral-pop confections built from wholesale exuberance, centered incandescence and authentic sentiment then adding breathless depth, thoughtful polish and selective effects. Surrounded by plush, muscular daydreams leapfrogging into symphonic honky-tonk, the curious, “Chaos,” spawns fawning vaudeville concoctions radiating sumptuous stadium flame-outs, coffee-shop chops merging intimate string bridges to unlocked bedroom jangle.
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From soft-spoken dreamboats EARTHQUAKE LIGHTS’ jazzy fleet-footed compassion, “Distress Signal,” to craggy chronicler CRAIG FINN’s bittersweet allegiances, “I Need A New War,” April goes for the melodramatic. Between alt-rock imp SOAK’s starry-eyed fly-bys, “Grim Town,” caterwauling prowlers PRIESTS’ illicit missions, “The Seduction of Kansas,” and power-pop Scots ASTRID’s well-earned return, “Fall Stand Dance,” menace abounds. Mix in dream-jangle wranglers THE PROPER ORNAMENTS’ heavy-lidded lucidity, “Six Lenins,” Broadway-rock despots FOXYGEN’s Philly-tilled killers, “Seeing Other People,” and saucy Aussie JESS RIBERO’s brazen, bullet-grazed , “Love Hate,” and curtain calls await us all.