Black Belt Eagle Scout
From absolving proggers MAJOR STARS’ epic frenzy, “Roots of Confusion Seeds of Joy,” to tenuous dreamer BLACK BELT EAGLE SCOUT’s, folk-soul hopes, “At The Party With My Brown Friends,” August albums distill social motives. Interact or take a pass with cybertronic love-children GOOD IN THE DARK’s savage disco-chic, “If You Feel It,” snakeskin digi-swinger THE ROCKET SUMMER’s shadow-addled, “Sweet Shivers,” or insurgent metallurgists BLANCK MASS’ electro-catastrophic mosh-rock, “Animated Violence Mild.”
Modern Nature - How to Live
Album title: How to Live
Record Label: Bella Union
Combining the creative forces behind Ultimate Painting and Beak, Modern Nature deploys calm post-rock opuses, embroidered maps hosting python sax and whispers draped over ubiquitous bass swimming in rambling trance; jazz-dappled appetizers bobbing in Krautrock punchbowls. A fluid, nuanced fairy-tale, “Live,” lives in backwater bliss, minimalist Zen head-trips circling feudal fields and pagan forests with unflinching mystery and intuitive moods.
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Esther Rose - You Made It This Far
Album title: You Made It This Far
Record Label: Father/Daughter Records
Genuine, sunny, quilting-bee dance-hall, “Far,” swings from mountain music to bayou folk peppered in Texas do-si-do doo-wop and rockin’ hillbilly twang; lazy Cajun fiddle whittling charming figures and Hawaiian slack adding to the effortless festivities. An old-school Grand Opry throwback, Rose goes for golden-throated nostalgia with clear rhymes, cantering cadence and classic heartbreak baptized in dandelion ear-candy and sisterly wisdom.
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Electric Youth - Memory Emotion
Album title: Memory Emotion
Record Label: Last Gang Records
Powder-puff purrs from silicon-chip mistresses and motion-sensitive sequences tweaked by studio-grooved gurus, Electric Youth pursues posh robotic blossoms plunged into plush narcoleptic luxury, curled vertigo inverted into moody, futuristic visions whizzing past opulent propositions. Slick, civilized seductions sprouting stainless angel-wings and soaring over palatial constructions, “Memory,” blends synthesized whimsy into uplifted artifice for voyeuristic insistence, tempting exemptions and sparkling exhibition.
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Possible Humans - Everybody Split
Album title: Everybody Split
Record Label: Trouble In Mind
Splintered six-string acrobatics barreling through estranged jangle as militant rhythms charge toward sordid destinations, “Split,” rips and sniffs garage-rock riffs with anxious disdain and scholarly mockery, terse head-first affronts by tough punks flexing jam-band flair. A churning whirling finely-tuned unit, Possible Humans scatter a basket packed in flashy influences, spicing up simmering opinions with live-wire pig-piles and rambling carny double-talk.
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Marika Hackman - Any Human Friends
Album title: Any Human Friends
Record Label: Sub Pop
Brawny, chameleonic pop asserting strong-worded verse into sultry declarations, Hackmann back-hands the establishment expressing diabolical gender politics whose smooth moves hide hard truths. Harmonies harboring cultivated barks dance beneath torch-song longing while cosmopolitan pondering flutters in overt flirting, turning, “Friends,” into frank, sweet menace colored in slow-burning funk; mutual-consent temptations bathed in tuneful ingenuity, coaxing emotional resonance from heady hallucinations.
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Ainslie Wills - All You Have Is All You Need
Album title: All You Have Is All You Need
Record Label: Ainslie Wills
Savvy ballads powered by subtly tumultuous sophistication, “Need,” sneaks fleeting details into tender heart-wrenching chemistry, taming multiple hungers through rich, empathetic vocals and smart, spirited lyrics, driving heartbeat percussion and lofty chamber-pop arrangements. Blessed in expressive restlessness, Wills builds teasing intrigue from intimate simplicity with grand candle-lit piano and head-spinning synths bursting into thirsty dance-floor grooves from lush, hypnotic solace.
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Moonsign - Okay You First
Album title: Okay You First
Record Label: Yes Rave
Idiosyncratic dispatches scattered among huggable house, organic shape-shifting refrains and optimistic bridges, Moonsign’s symphonic flocks dot percussive pre-dawn clusters enveloping soft synth-pop centers. Compassionate sci-fi ballads and epic odes to growth hold ecological and interpersonal implications, giving, “First,” a fistful of hopeful musical utopias cradled in faith, lined with calm ethereal choruses while placid interstellar harmonies announce vigilant wind-tossed prophecies.
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Bleached - Don’t You Think You’ve Had Enough
Album title: Don’t You Think You’ve Had Enough
Record Label: Dead Oceans
Defiant irony twisting old-school crate-digging into cheeky wordplay, bratty challenges and revved interrogations, “Enough,” stuffs sleek struts, switchblade raves and California daydreams inside curt verse, short-fuse grooves and shook hooks. Churning out fully formed ear-worms storming beat-seized brains, party-crashing Bleached seeks reckless connections between indie-rock assaults and punk-pop perfection with flirtatious verve and flashy bombast re-mastered into exquisite day-glo retro.
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Joanna Sternberg - Then I Try Some More
Album title: Then I Try Some More
Record Label: Team Love Records
Wonder and innocence surrounds Sternberg’s deceptively simple wisdom. Articulate, level-headed folk holding honest hearts to a pure light, their rare clarity warmly embraces piano-parlor harmonies and front-porch choruses. Minimal instruments bring twinkling whimsy, devotional emotions and authentic tenderness to the precious, “More,” whose unadorned charms feeds sincere needs, encouraging fair human communication and providing fearless focus in a distracting world.
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Jesca Hoop - Stonechild
Album title: Stonechild
Record Label: Memphis Industires
Traipsing in thorny fields with lantern-lit lyrics peering into family histories, “Stonechild,” rides rustic percussion over choral swarms with dainty language framing prancing enchantments and Arcadian chamber-pop cascades trotting past fascinating pagan parades. Electro-acoustic dreaminess decorates spirited philosophical operas while Hoop swoops in bewitching chills and prog-folk thrills, cross-stitching tranquil fables from mischievous melodies bending sensitive menace around maternal concerns.
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Jesca Hoop online:
Julio Nickels - Feeling Fickle
Album title: Feeling Fickle
Record Label: Like Literally
Deadpan sanity laid over digital glitter, Nickels dips dystopian hopes into eclectic sound events; percolating havens harboring freedom-seeking frequencies alongside disembodied observations. Passive existential happenings suggesting fence-sitting lessons, the slow and steady, “Fickle,” builds post-rock whispers from timid wizardry into royal stories patched with faded twang and masterful crackle, centerless methods yielding tenuous collections infusing genuine tension with abandoned vengeance.
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Julio Nickels online:
Imperial Teen - Now We Are Timeless
Album title: Now We Are Timeless
Record Label: Merge
Concept-pop fraught in frosted power-chords, cautious providence and brokered commotion, “Timeless,” blinds with radiant New Wave cravings wound around sultry, sugar-coated irony; sinister minor-key majesty painted in aloof brooding and kaleidoscopic bop. Princely resistance weathering post-modern regrets, Imperial Teen’s smug rug-cutters reach near-boils to ratchet passions into seething teases cooled by smooth well-oiled grooves then reheated into steamy paperback dramatics.
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Palehound - Black Friday
Album title: Black Friday
Record Label: Polyvinyl
United in jaunty indie-pop conjugation and earnest, burgeoning soul-searching, Palehound’s multi-tasking aspirations connect reflective second-guesses to thirsty curiosity where timid self-image tends tender envy with verbal caresses redressing fleshy blessings. Demonstrable confidence celebrating fragile valor through visceral descriptions hip to shared joys, the tangibly candid, “Friday,” transforms humble, home-demo authenticity into sophisticated engagements balancing patient postmortem refrains alongside full-bodied rebuttals.
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Froth - Duress
Album title: Duress
Record Label: Wichita Recordings
Lacerated dashes crash pneumatic jags in effervescent post-rock shoe-gaze as, “Duress,” resets machine-pressed anomalies exploring microtonal drone-pop with tasty abrasive glazes and tart narcotic whispers coiled around stoic hypnosis. Engineered eeriness flows over Froth’s ominous somnambulists, liberating conflicted instincts tinged in methodical madness from mechanical hearts embracing industrial serenity. Froth along with Seattle heavyweights Versing play UW’s Terrace June 28th.
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Dressy Bessy - Fast Faster Disaster
Album title: Fast Faster Disaster
Record Label: Yep Roc
Armed to the teeth with svelte belters, double-shot taunts and slash-and-burn purrs, Dressy Bessy’s arresting endeavors spawn con-artist angels avenging club-house outcasts stripping pompous romps down to skin-tight skirmishes. Rabid doo-wop ballads trapping jagged scat-rap chit-chat, “Disaster,” matches fussy shrugs and feigned disdain to sweet-tart alt-rock cabaret, lusty tussles primed for devilish rebellions schooled in institutional foolishness and risk-free teases.
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Mike Adams At His Honest Weight - There Is No Feeling Better
Album title: There Is No Feeling Better
Record Label: Joyful Noise
Gentle intentions washed in romantic nostalgia and spun-dried with beat-driven finishes and hook-happy after-thoughts, “Feeling,” reels in love-sick folk-rock, adrift in half-forgiven bygones, soul-mate daydreams and self-indulgent sympathies. Wrapped in casual harmonies, subtle bluster and spangled jangle, the exquisite MAAHHW riff on near-misses and forever-kisses to make persuasive vacations for world-weary peers; forward-facing escapes into trusted tropes and free-floating anecdotes.
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Mariee Sioux - Grief in Exile
Album title: Grief in Exile
Record Label: Night Bloom Records
Minstrel reminiscences quivering in glimmering intricacy, Sioux’s bewitching folk pitches pastoral allegories in cantering tempos, bird-call melodies and laced arrangements, tumbling somewhere between grazing fables and intimate myths. Flitting about in drum-less propulsion from supple wrists across finger-picked guitar, “Grief,” befriends darkness radiating calm, illuminating doubts and grounding fears, sprinkling discreet cheek-to-cheek incantations with courtly dormouse flourishes and unconditional kindness.
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French Vanilla - How Am I Not Myself?
Album title: How Am I Not Myself?
Record Label: Danger Collective
Pogo-brash No Wave sax ricochets throughout, “Myself,” serving pumped punk-ska sabotage around unvarnished dance-friendly ear-benders bristling with testy intellect. Democratic rapscallions, French Vanilla packs people-backed politics into flash-mob mosh-pits, interpersonal dervishes slurping down street-savvy attitude where sweaty expressions, thrashy passion and hollered logic bounce around road-rage crusades fueled by funky grass-roots pursuits. Catch them Aug 10th at Milwaukee’s Back Room.
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Family is where social motives begin and summer’s musical harvest reflect those roots with volatile indie song-cobbler OH ROSE’s perceptive street-cred dread, “While My Father Sleeps,” and back-road rhinestone poet JESSE MALIN’s narrative parables, “Sunset Kids.” Introduce angelic skywriter JAY SOM’s embracing alt-pop fantasia, “Anak Ko,” (My Child) to corn-fed court jester TAYLOR HOLLINGSWORTH’s wry, half-baked boogie, “Tap Dancin Daddy,” and it’s all relatable. Further extend the connection with carefree daydreamers PARSNIPS’ cross-eyed kinderpop, “When the Tree Bears Fruit,” and Aussie-pop supergroup SEEKER LOVER KEEPER’s nurtured panoramic urgency, “Wild Seeds.”