A flashy cast of radical characters populate April albums this year; from low-rent eccentrics GOAT GIRL’s scatter-brained pranks shredding catchy psycho-savvy battiness, “Goat Girl,” to slippery, whip-smart, bass-squared sludge-punks THE MELVINS’ heavy, clever, brick-wall hydraulics, “Pinkus Abortion Technician.” Other early spring candidates include experimental genre-jumping wave-raiser MOUSE ON MARS’ multi-styled dial-ups of synchronized vignettes, “Dimensional People,” and crouching soul-blues gaucho KING TUFF’s lobbed street-wise prophecies inside grizzled glam-rock, “The Other.”
Air Waves - Warrior
Album title: Warrior
Record Label: Western Vinyl
Orphaned love-sick indie-pop steeped in jaunty Krautrock jangle and calm New Wave patience, “Warrior,” wrangles glowing neon synths around sleepy six-string rhythms driven in cruise-controlled roller-coasters. Picture midnight pastel carousels swaying under LED starlight as Air Waves’ faithful choruses court Aurora Borealis Valentines pining in divine compliance, a guilty romance mixtape simmered in contrapuntal spunk, counterbalanced talent and sing-along sincerity.
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Paul de Jong - You Fucken Sucker
Album title: You Fucken Sucker
Record Label: Temporary Residence
A Turing test with Tourette’s, “Sucker,” disassociates and negotiates, stimulates and sublimates, leaping between the subliminal and the criminal through gothic-blues mind-control blending Dickensian references, terror-riddled ragas sparring schizophrenic targets and manipulated field-recordings exploring stymied ironies. Donning multiple sonic costumes, de Jong conjures conceptual laboratories to concoct provocative art, juxtaposing gross notions broaching social boundaries beside rebellious critiques preaching mirror-holding sociology.
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Simone Felice - The Projector
Album title: The Projector
Record Label: New York Pro
Gifted in honest, authentic, lyrical diction, Felice’s sparse, cinematic scenarios address fresh questions to old lessons; tragic, fact-checked concessions reaching deep into conflicted folk-blues fictions unbending in belief and trembling in amends. First-person pearls captured in steely realism, “Projector,” selects solemn responses bravely facing character-drawn problems to world-weary experiences, whether one-act parables seeking reasons or personal history hurting with purpose.
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Gum - The Underdog
Album title: The Underdog
Record Label: Spinning Top
Thick, wonky psychedelics morph pliable plastic soul from cozy programmable prog-rock, Gum’s savvy dramatics feature phlanged jams, turbo-charged harmonics and steam-cleaned keyboards, perfect strobe-lit choreography for dry wits and mobile hips. Waking from sedated dreamscapes inside rainbow echo-chambers “Underdog,” doles out wavy space-age funk-dunked flashbacks, camouflaging disparaging remarks in glorious Technicolor while surrounding drowsy lunar-lounge soundtracks in fizzy seltzer-pelted feelings.
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Laura Veirs - The Lookout
Album title: The Lookout
Record Label: Raven Marching Band
Drawn from home-baked jazz-folk moments arranged in cool, modern-pop, Veirs’ clear, uncluttered visions circle over canyon trailheads and penthouse patios, caressing impressions flickering with wistful sophistication. Airy, tailored rhinestone arias, “Lookout,” oversees warm words tuned to steel guitars and string quartets; elemental memories ride ascending melodies bundled among maternal wonder and trusted comforts frolicking alongside high-flying swing-sets and gentle jungle-gyms.
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Youth in a Roman Field - Storm Conductor
Album title: Storm Conductor
Record Label: self-release
Launched in feathers and fleece swirling beneath wind-tossed chamber-pop, “Storm,” swarms with voluptuous vocals blossoming in rosined rondos wound around klezmer melancholy and swept under art-salon two-steps. The curious, courteous Youth pursues high-minded muses using willowy looped violin prowling in edgy, rural acoustics; plucked spider-web arpeggios prepped for brain-salad surgery while existential tensions buzz in bedroom-jazz ballads and crossroads-devil temptations.
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Make some noise for globe-trotting oscillator MIND OVER MIRRORS’ grand poly-ambient phantoms, “Bellowing Sun, ” breathless, perceptive rockers HOP ALONG’s melody-filled curveballs, “Bark Your Head Off,” and cyber-dance alchemists MAKENESS’ unglued computer grooves, “Loud Patterns.” Then eavesdrop on sun-showered space-cowboys FEVERBONES’ oblique dream-pop, “Dream Talk,” brainy funkateers PARTIALS’ tricky multi-layered ricochets, “Glossolalia,” and hook-happy pop-rock songwriters OBERON ROSE’s full-disclosure, “Tell Me All About It,” before fumbling under post-punk vigilantes GANSER’s basement-chatroom, “Odd Talk,” and rockin’ indie-pop earth-angels WYE OAK’s luscious, fidgety, velvet-crushed, “The Louder I Call The Faster You Run.”