Whether show-boating home-bodies DIEALPS!‘s thought-rock frolics, “Our City,” charismatic alt-pop alchemists THE MYNABIRDS’ boisterous, “Be Here Now,” or restless raucous-rockers PINACT’s surgical blitzkrieg, “The Part That No One Knows,” August album’s wanderlust collides inside finding your identity. Possible search strategies include vintage hipsters GUIDED BY VOICES’ effortless hook-heavy blessings, “How Do You Spell Heaven,” shaggy psychedelic-janglers BIRDS’ hazy, cagey, “Everything All At Once,” and rodeo-poets MELVILLE’s freedom-riding, “The New Zero.”
Gogol Bordello - Seekers and Finders
Album title: Seekers and Finders
Record Label: Cooking Vinyl
Punk gumption funneled into braying horns and dervish-serviced fiddles, the defiant, strident, Gogol Bordello’s quick-pivoting Balkan-rock rains raving Spaghetti Western rampages over Bolshevik-rich mosh-pits with skulking muscle and barking espionage. Growling defcon stomps packed in Cossack cool, “Seekers,” wreak compassionate havoc with gypsy-swinging opinions inhabiting iron-willed party-tunes. Opening for Modest Mouse, the band plays Madison’s Breese Stevens Field September 30th.
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Angelo De Augustine - Swim Inside the Moon
Album title: Swim Inside the Moon
Record Label: Asthmatic Kitty
Tranquil, woodshed-weathered feather-bed folk, “Moon,” dances in spring-creek rambles where finger-picking mastery splashed in nimble divinity captures anointed counterpoint sprinkled with vine-climbing symmetry. Sleepy reverb envelopes inquisitive rhythms mimicking precious memories as De Augustine’s comforting voice and graceful guitar navigate embroidered pastoral voyages enlisting distant whispers and wistful wishes; open-hearted verse poured over engorged chords, assorted flourishes and embellished progressions.
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Unkle - The Road Part 1
Album title: The Road Part 1
Record Label: Cooking Vinyl
Enthralling and exotic, softly methodical and curiously subversive, “Road,” journeys through soulful doldrums past heart-pounding grooves draped in svelte, acoustic interludes. Diligent wisdom marches guarded desires down cavalier travelogues unraveling diva soliloquies teased in majestic poltergeist sketches of gripping visions; elaborate collapse greets seamless segues throughout Unkle’s dawn-breaking studio symphonies simmering with synthetic tentacles threatening cap-sized rapture and reckless spectacle.
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Nadine Shah - Holiday Destination
Album title: Holiday Destination
Record Label: 1965 Records
A spine-tingling temptress controlling irrepressible tempests, Shah’s Afro-funky percussion, riff-driven bridges and phat punch-drunk brass command wary mercenaries brokering smoking-gun covenants. Rug-cutting struts shouldered by dark, smoldering vocals, “Destination,” stalks in flagrant secret-agent patience and curdling worldly self-assurance; building selective declarations into no-nonsense concerts by decorating eclectic perspectives with razor-edge shreds then exposing hard, cold logic to dangerously contagious persuasions.
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Ema - Exile in the Outer Ring
Album title: Exile in the Outer Ring
Record Label: City Slang
Conceived in a basement confronting working-class anxiety, gender politics and American redemption, “Exile,” emerges from crumbling assumptions and bittersweet beliefs to exude vigilant discipline hot-boxed in processed buzz and consumed in looming gloom. Absorbent, resilient, resourceful and determined, EMA glowers in overflowing cacophony compacted by disembodied philosophy, jack-hammered examination and transient alienation rupturing from tungsten-spun cyber-grunge washed with post-millennial micro-tensions.
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Dent May - Across the Multiverse
Album title: Across the Multiverse
Record Label: Carpark Records
Meta-intellect connected to swooning satin-smooth moods, May’s candy-coated soul preaches cheeky sweetness whose sanitized romances hide ironic sonnets beneath immaculate pop concoctions. Fizzy and clever, shiny and coy, “Multiverse,” combines early uptown disco into pastel power-ballads for luscious post-modern music-hall, lathering shy choirboy daydreams in sunshine harmonies, bell-bottom bass-lines and winsome sing-along choruses wrung from passive calculations parodying exacting craft.
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This summer, idols, ideologies, attitudes and beliefs compete between bohemian daydreamers CAROLINE SAYS’ sophisticated college-pop soirées, “50,00,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong,” and spooked New Wave reboots THE DISTRICTS die-tooled love-fools, “Popular Manipulations.” Meanwhile, metaphorical indie-rock story-teller MATT POND PA’s cruising honeymoon hunger, “Still Summer,” and romantic somnambulist BRIANA MARELA’s effusive future-pop, “Call It Love,” propose opposing rose-colored hope. Perhaps answered prayers reside in crystal-visioned synth-smithy CYMBALS’ dance-floor prog-pop, “Light in your Mind,” laid-back arabesque guitar-slinger JACK COOPER’s swinging country-squire jazz-folk, “Sandgrown,” or deep-seated art-pop pleader GORDI’s lush, pulsating, “Reservoir.”