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  • Slipped Discs October 2017

    Discs You May Have Missed
    by John Noyd

    Julien Baker

    Julien Baker

    Initial Thoughts

    Fall’s shorter days throw serious shade onto October albums, sparking interest and firing imaginations. Reflect upon radiant songstress MIRAH’s rich, reimagined string-quartet supported, “Sundial,” or low-key charismatic chameleon A. SAVAGE’s head-spinning indie-rock collage, “Thawing Dawn,” then consider country-folk crooner ROB WILLIAMS’ gentle roadhouse jamboree, “An Hour Before Daylight.” before absorbing heartfelt fountainhead JULIEN BAKER’s superb interpersonal exposé, “Turn Out the Lights.” The incandescent Ms. Baker plays Madison’s Majestic October 20th.


    Disc Reviews


    The White Buffalo - Darkest Darks, Lightest Lights

    The White Buffalo - Darkest Darks, Lightest Lights

    The White Buffalo

    Album title: Darkest Darks, Lightest Lights
    Record Label: Unison Music

    A roots-fueled, blues-infused, rowdy, raspy honky-tonk, “Dark,” kicks up dust revving heaven’s outlaw angels with slow-pitched pulp-fiction, A scrounger’s bounty tailor-made for barb-wired dive bars and midnights at the crossroads, The White Buffalo’s cornered characters expound road-weary theories with stoic heroics while red-hot guitars gallop, hounded drums rumble and sharp lyrics singe their wings on gritty riffs and fiery licks.

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    Colleen - A flame my love, a frequency

    Colleen - A flame my love, a frequency

    Colleen

    Album title: A flame my love, a frequency
    Record Label: Thrill Jockey

    Happily matching bubble-wrapped palpitations punctuated by cooing computers, buoyant, electro-ballerina Colleen composes unfolding emotions with pure, gurgling circuitry, merging prancing raindrop phantoms with chattering digital patterns. Coy, vacuum-sealed calliopes rejoice in voiceless poise around impish art-pop fairy-tales regaled in calm, experimental sound-stencils, “Frequency,” knits parallel systems both natural and artificial; tranquil sanctuaries filled with sublime baroque designs refining interactive strategies.

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    Circuit des Yeux - Reaching for Indigo

    Circuit des Yeux - Reaching for Indigo

    Circuit des Yeux

    Album title: Reaching for Indigo
    Record Label: Drag City

    Torn from deep-forest oracles uttering complex hexes beneath prophetic jazz-folk recollections, “Indigo,” growls in exquisite misery, casting microtonal omens with bellowing joy and evoking eclectic memories shrouded in shimmering enigmas. Boisterous voyager and sonic conqueror, Circuit des Yeux battens down and plows ahead navigating treacherous questions through hurricane refrains; sophisticated tsunamis crooning enchanting demands summoning plummeting plans with resurrected textures.

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    Wild Ones - Mirror Touch

    Wild Ones - Mirror Touch

    Wild Ones

    Album title: Mirror Touch
    Record Label: Topshelf Records

    Nimble, swinging Cashmere synths primp with sly kittenish sin programmed in wry Cheshire cat grins while Oregon’s Wild Ones pamper hook-heavy fantasies prowling around film noir back-lots, pacing in contagious space-age impatience. Exploring modern courtship’s sorted head-games as victor and victim, “Mirror,” casually balances dynamic examination with haphazard passion crafting peek-a-boo grooves oozing sensual menace lacquered in alluring dream-pop circuses.

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    Mister Heavenly - Boxing the Moonlight

    Mister Heavenly - Boxing the Moonlight

    Mister Heavenly

    Album title: Boxing the Moonlight
    Record Label: Polyvinyl

    Pliable and pounding, clever and confounding, “Moonlight,” delights in sizzling contradictions; mocking pop bops in blazing syncopation, headstrong ska scoops zany do wop brewing thrashing mash-ups over slithering cobra rodeos. Roaming every which way with sure-hands and clear purpose, clown princes Mister Heavenly embrace diverse mirth from madcap shakedowns built from boardwalk boogie to sinister incriminations baked in paranoid percussion.

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    Stars - There is No Love in Fluorescent Light

    Stars - There is No Love in Fluorescent Light

    Stars

    Album title: There is No Love in Fluorescent Light
    Record Label: Last Gang Records

    Hopeless poets romancing danceable dissertations, Stars harbors savvy cabaret gushing in lusty touches and pushing plush indie-pop promises onto mirror-ball peers hailing late-night cabs to meet languishing dangers for satin-smooth rendezvous. Daintily aching, the iridescent, “Fluorescent,” swoons and flutters among lonely-hearts and misplaced lovers trapped in unconditional finishes; personal journeys turn dazzling pageants as compassionate ballads evolve into spectacular galas.

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    Final Thoughts

    Autumn’s longer nights get people commiserating, with mixed results. Witness alt-pop chanteuse BECCA RICHARDSON’s intimate symphonies, “We Are Gathered Here,” footloose beat-seeker LINDSTRØM’s throbbing, “It’s Alright Between Us As It Is,” and boogie-barkers ELECTRIC SIX’s thundering funhouse, “How Dare You.” From deep-sea divers HOLY HUM’s glacial-rock underbelly. “All of My Bodies,” to galactic waxers DEAD LEAF ECHO’s, narcotic, “Beyond Desire,” pleasures are many. Then again, there’s guitar-mired fireballs TOUGH AGE’s smoldering commotion, “Shame,” subversive pop-merchants WOLF PARADE’s carnivorous glam-rock shenanigans, “Cry Cry Cry,” and two-fisted MELKBELLY’s irresistible demolition, “Nothing Valley.”