Which way next? From rip-roaring power-chord hoarders HOCKEY DAD’s sly, “Blend Inn,” to shimmer-pop aviators TRÈS OUI’s sunbath, “Poised To Flourish,” the right choice is rarely the easy way out. Divided between chamber-folk chronicler ALELA DIANE’S soaring discourse, “Cusp,” or clockwork percolator POPPY ACKROYD’s elegant. “Resolve,” February cringes with decision. Meanwhile imp-pop impresario ANNA MCCLELLAN’s self-reflective, “Yes and No,” and restless rock-swamis TENDERFOOT’s fissionable inquisition, “Break Apart,” offer popular options.
I'm With Her - See You Around
Album title: See You Around
Record Label: Rounder
Honey-dipped traveling-songs brewed in mountain-gospel blues whose restorative organics blossom in wholesome vocals and neighborly narratives, I’m With Her serves rich sunlit traditions with refreshing zest from sonorous sorority. Modern, cultivated roots-music, “Around,” resounds in boundless banjo mandolin counterpoint, electric folk-guitar runs and willowy fiddle fills to fulfill, sustain, comfort and advise. The trio plays Stoughton Opera House February 28th.
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Joan As Police Woman - Damned Devotion
Album title: Damned Devotion
Record Label: Play It Again Sam
Cobra hypnosis flickering in prickly rhythms, “Devotion,” provokes soulful vogue strolls touched by runway-model coddling; purring allure perched in flirtatious patience like sleep-walking catnaps taken in fiendish Venus fly-traps awaiting tasty contact with ravishing magic. Empowered by Joan’s sensual progressions, chain-gang syncopation and subtle untroubled melodies, unshakeable boldness holds court over slinky visions assembling royal processions down proud prowler’s playgrounds.
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Marlon Williams - Make Way For Love
Album title: Make Way For Love
Record Label: Dead Oceans
A soothing croon blessed with restless textures inside perfect pitch, Williams’ gilded tombstone baritone melts unwise desires into dark-hearted Valentines swinging on golden-throated hopes and rockabilly melancholy. Whether unadorned or arranged in anxious danger, aloof beauty consumes, “Love,” with frail bittersweet regalia housing bartered cathartic regrets where brooding solitude proves to be sumptuous company for misbegotten shadow-boxers and garden-party pariahs.
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Cecil Frena - The Gridlock
Album title: The Gridlock
Record Label: Hovercraft Records
Dynamic stamina enraged and engaged in spunky punk-pop gloss and faultless alt-rock curiosity, “Gridlock,” stalks melodic contraband, building billowing fury from tender desperation while sneaking sweet, fleeting details into supersonic extravaganzas. Fresh impressions and encyclopedic expediency keeps Frena’s solo debut sharp but slippery, roaming over unexplored territories to harvest scrumptious bluster packed with exacting thoughts, familiar feelings and novel thrills.
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Field Music - Open Here
Album title: Open Here
Record Label: Memphis Industries
Concocting sardonic tonics, angular earth-angels Field Music sparkle and fizz in pristine pizzazz flagging buzz-saw New Wave dance-rock spritzed in ethereal harmonies, impertinent verses and narcotic string-quartets. Groovy utopian spoofs coated in cheeky teases and electro-baroque hocus-pocus, “Open,” wriggles in wry socio-economical romps circling ironic bourgeois pomp as savvy capitalistic ballads gallop in cosmopolitan dogma, satirical lyrics and post-global romance.
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Ezra Furman - Transangelic Exodus
Album title: Transangelic Exodus
Record Label: Bella Union
Quirky, acerbic burlesque reviving glitter-bomb funk with savage back-catalog swagger, “Transangelic,” telegraphs juicy velvet-crushed struts around tortured misfortune while ravenous tramp-rock pageantry jars in joyous flamboyance. Show-biz kisses tied to misfit wit, Furman’s dishy disclosures turned uninhibited smack-downs crackle in pop-culture sass and revel in devilish truths; exposing trauma to karma on drum-machine pulpits in hook-heavy temples with street-wise choirs.
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Hearts take a beating this February. Befriend precocious indie-pop adventuress CAROLINE ROSE’s robust. “Loner,” then applaud psycho-synthetic professor MONTERO’s surreal, “Performer,” before comforting mega-catchy Britpop-rockers THE WOMBATS’ lean, ingenious, “Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life.” Regarding romantic calamities, hep post-folk composer SARAH MCQUAID’s languid, earthy, “If We Dig Any Deeper It Could Get Dangerous.” and boppy folk-rocker ANNA BURCH’s decisive, “Quit The Curse,” preach retreat while cyber-soul cipher SON LUX’s techno-tribal cabal, “Brighter Wounds,” and diva-fevered, studio-tampering somnambulists POLICA and STARGAZE’s astral collaboration, “Music for the Long Emergency,” face disgrace.