Opportunities to escape send September albums into Utopian promotions and Zen getaways. From sniper-sharp SHOUT OUT LOUD’s sponge-cake power-pop, “Ease My Mind,” to indie-rock jangle-meisters DEAD STARS’ contemplative angst, “Perfect Patterns,” frayed nerves seek peace. Optional alternatives include torch-singing soul-sister TORRES’ electric art-rock adventures, “Three Futures,” avant-jazz circuiteer KA BAIRD’s surrealist Eden, “Sapropelic Pycnic,” and retro-groovy THE BABE RAINBOW’s, astral-spackled self-titled delight. No worries, everything is coming up rose-colored glasses.
The Huntress and the Holder of Hands - Avalon
Album title: Avalon
Record Label: Supply and Demand
Willful pilgrims slashing past locomotive basses, stalking cellos and soaring violas, goth-folk Huntress kindles simmering myths with tarot-card charges. The solemn, promising, “Avalon,” snakes damning incantations over thundering tundra draped in phoenix-fired wakes, spinning earthy dirges into palpitating dares while lusty percussion dance beside nimble strings swimming in savage passion and warrior beats. THATHOH play Milwaukee’s Shank Hall September 27th.
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The Clientele - Music for the Age of Miracles
Album title: Music for the Age of Miracles
Record Label: Merge
Courtly discourse awash in posh, wishing-well novellas, “Miracles,” wield well-mannered analysis whose royal harpsichords, sea-side calliopes and Tudor lutes scoop gilded dream-pop sorcery into swinging, psychedelic elegance. Golden moments polished and placed in Carnaby storefronts, The Clientele’s soft-sell intel makes marvelous foggy waltzes; coy, buoyant sophistication tripping down magical rabbit-holes, surrendering pretensions and hosting heavenly energies cast in silver-screen cinematics.
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Florist - If Blue Could Be Happiness
Album title: If Blue Could Be Happiness
Record Label: Double Double Whammy
Feathery folk-pop fortresses subtly shaded in dawning electronics, Florist nurtures sun-soaked hopes in honeyed buzz, building breezy reasons out of gentle requests and wide-eyed flights; sentimental recollections lending sensitive reflections to smooth, acoustic revelations. Backyard guitars plucked in sweet, diary-inspired innocence weaves between timid synths tinted in wildflower whimsy, as, “Happiness,” hatches tentative connections, waking sleepy daydreams from wondrous slumber.
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Tender - Modern Addiction
Album title: Modern Addiction
Record Label: Partisan Records
Aloof clues brewed in muted conclusions bewitch the duplicitous, “Addiction,” nursing just deserts behind velvet curtains as hunted hungers dressed in synth-soul gold console willing victims soliciting amorous nightclub vampires. Sultry sultans sainted in cool restraint, the suave, shadow-dancing Tender dissects contemporary dilemmas in programmed romance; future-pop sounds finessing caressing confessions around suspicious supposition for secret peeks into intriguing backstreets.
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Emily Haines - Choir of the Mind
Album title: Choir of the Mind
Record Label: Last Gang Records
Poignant disappointments holding idle recitals splendidly blend feisty crises cushioned in lush chamber-rock options and unblinking piano-driven minuets; speckled in stirring worries and ecclesiastical harmonies, Haines’ languid refrains spotlight timely reminders, reexamined regrets and metaphysical riddles. Open to mystery, the slyly blithe, “Choir,” fires vexing questions into races already run, excavating past masks to uncover memory gems inside unexplored stories.
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F ingers - Awkwardly Blissing Out
Album title: Awkwardly Blissing Out
Record Label: Blackest Ever Black
Ghost-motioned notions floating over fizzled glitches download pre-natal fables from electro-static catalysts rallying proto-metallic crickets in rippling micro-rhythms; the aqueous, “Blissing,” bobs in inquisitive synchronized minimalism backlit in embryonic sonics. Pagan spacemen creeping through fleeting, shoe-gazed mazes, F ingers wrings Krautrock kabuki from abducted fluctuations glazed in intermittent symmetry, splashing harsh sparse departures among serene dreams and burnt-out fuse-box ambience.
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While some fall albums liberate, others trap. Take flip, pop-rocker ALEX CAMERON’s sneaky, cheeky, “Forced Witness,” add post-punk social-worker sophists PROTOMARTYR’s, corrosive, hard-nosed prose, “Relatives in Descent,” stir in slick-pop sympathizer ANNIE HART’s glossy, studio-routed reconnaissance, “Impossible Accomplice,” and assorted auditory ambushes await. Overwhelmed selves might consider, slow-jam R&B cyber-preacher HUMAN HEAT’s immaculate compassion, “All Is Too Much,” and brittle New Wave roustabouts OMNI’s insistent pivoting, “Multi-task,” before consorting with garage-rock ghouls FLESH WORLD’s intrepid perceptions, “Into the Shroud,” and digital divas THE BLOW’s delicious doomsday play-date, “Brand New Abyss.”