The Go! Team
Enter the year with attic-fashioned dream-pop genies THE LIMIÑANAS’ magic-carpet lark, “Shadow People,” and punk-rock banshee-divas DREAM WIFE’s twisted non-domesticated bliss, “Dream Wife,” and January albums remind us we rarely stand alone. From clatter-pop collective THE GO! TEAM’s unchecked joy-seeking network, “Semi-circle” to chill playground pagan and electro-mosaic soul-slayer TUNE-YARDS’ gate-jumping social commentary, “I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life,” debaters, matchmakers and collaborators congregate, administrate and advocate.
Porches - The House
Album title: The House
Record Label: Domino
Wooed in precious auto-tuned swoons fluttering over freshly-plucked percussion and subtle sultry synths, “House,” hosts sophisticated tastes whose aches quake and memories tremble; bon vivant savants’ tender architectural splendor supporting liquid glass tapestries poured over beseeching cotton-candy balladry. Heaven-sent sentimentalist Porches presents spellbound sonics surrounding emotional quandaries and haunting promise. The cyber-phantom romantic plays Madison’s High Noon Saloon February 23rd.
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Holy - All These Worlds Are Yours
Album title: All These Worlds Are Yours
Record Label: PNKSLM Records
Paisley-upholstered roller-coasters tie epic messages to dashing crashes, melting thundering crescendos into zany bangers with dizzying synchronicity and pivoting divinity as, Holy’s blown-minds anoint orchestrated head-trips in bell-bottom bluster and power-pop counter-point. Gorgeous distortion filtered through kaleidoscopic thoughts wrapped around astral blasts and flashback panache, “Worlds,” curls in swirling cut-and-paste riffs from mythic witnesses switching cosmic melancholy for blissful well-wishing.
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Mimicking Birds - Layers of Us
Album title: Layers of Us
Record Label: Glacial Pace
Deep-shag magnets grab placid jangle-rocked psych-pop while the plush head-rush tucked in, “Layers,” peels slow-motion vertigo from swinging whimsy for courteous dervishes wringing shimmering lyrics from sun-soaked foot-notes. Melodic, space-age soothsayers, Mimicking Birds shepherd electric fret-filled daydreams bouncing around big-sky horizons and diamond-studded beaches in translucent shaman harmonies. The Portland outfit plays FRZN Fest January 18th at Madison’s Majestic Theater.
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Shopping - The Official Body
Album title: The Official Body
Record Label: Fat Cat
Stacked in hyperactive passion announcing grass-roots counseling alongside animal-paneled pouncing, blunt British dance-punks Shopping jump past slumming proletarian presumptions with breakneck pecks and slithery rhythms from rooftop sleuths cruising urban jungles. The snappy clash between willfully fidgety guitar, wriggling fingered bass and twitchy tumbling drums cascade, “Official,” into careening street-parade paranoia with chain-clanging danger lurking behind every lurching, assertive verse.
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Hollie Cook - Vessel of Love
Album title: Vessel of Love
Record Label: Merge
Pulled by shore-bound waves, Cook’s blazed reggae bobs and drifts in tranquil tropical awesomeness providing shaded sanctuary to supple supplicants rockin’ narcotic positivity with destressed treasures tethered to spiritual pleasures. Freedom squeezed between sun-baked melodica and dub-soaked trap-kits, “Love,” liberates minds, hearts and bodies in suggestive festival caresses from hemp-temptress’ beckoning questions offering sensual sea-side redemption through prime island unwinding.
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Calexico - The Thread That Keeps Us
Album title: The Thread That Keeps Us
Record Label: Anti-
Strong songs conjuring nuanced narratives inside miniature cinema soundtracks, “Thread,” strings laughing brass and growling guitars between barrio blues and field-hand fiestas hopping from solid indie-rock to gentle Tex-Mex chamber-folk to quinceañera party-funk. Ignited by vigilant sympathy for modern hardships, Calexico translates pride and honor into cautious optimism and valiant perseverance detailing small-time triumphs over age-old challenges and down-to-earth concerns.
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Living in the upside-down? From unstoppable electro-bop escape-artists DJANGO DJANGO’s shiny, ubiquitous, “Marble Skies,” to lyrical alt-pop loner JESSE MARCHANT’s brave, hopeful, “Illusion of Love,” groovy incongruities rule the new year. Can’t believe your own eyes? Gaze upon home-schooled indie-rock laureate CAPTAIN OF SORROW’s make-shift, dark-horse, pulp-fiction mysteries, “Racetrack Babies.” and oblique, noise-punk bombardiers NO AGE’s pepper-sprayed, leathery dance-parties, “Snares Like A Haircut,” before puzzling among insolent, intellectual brat-packers THE SPOOK SCHOOL’s jaunty taunts and savvy jabs. “Could It Be Different?” and blistering shard-guardians SHAME’s riled, heavy-gauged, “Songs of Praise.”