Joanne Shaw Taylor
May music champions anarchy, conspiracy, and non-conformity. Side with perky, quirky TACOCAT’s bopatropolis, “This Mess is a Place,” legendary L7’s grunge-wrung blow-outs, “Scatter the Rats,” prog-octopus STEVE MOORE’s tranquil sanctuaries, “Beloved Exile,” or mind-blowing baroque-tokers OLDEN YOLK’s surreal serenades, “Living Theater.” Investigate confrontational confidantes HONEYBLOOD’s scene-stealing sugar-rock, “In Plain Sight,” blues-rocker JOANNE SHAW TAYLOR’s bristling boogie, “Reckless Heart,” and mammoth BLACK MOUNTAIN’s Middle-earth splurges, “Destroyer.” before all hell breaks loose.
Big Thief - U.F.O.F.
Album title: U.F.O.F.
Record Label: 4AD
A ringing, raspy dreamworld, both unearthly and rustic, “U.F.O.F.” overflows in breezy medieval creepers winding chordal vines among curious murmurs and wistful riffs. Knapsack saints lurking in passive fascination and feral innocence, Big Thief harnesses grainy flames flickering in fancy transience; organic enchantments dancing around nesting indie incantations, circled in scrappy faux-folk passions mastering sand-castle pastels crumbling into tidal-pool rainbows.
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Truth Club - Not An Exit
Album title: Not An Exit
Record Label: Tiny Engines
Brittle art-rock assailants regaled in beatnik spit and ripped with cranky angst, Truth Club rallies beneath burnt-out social maladies, channeling the so-called banal into banzai guitars, bursting in python brawn and venturing down dark urban ennui. Full-moon confusion depleting meaning in philosophical all-nighters, the reckless, “Exit,” exhibits deadpan stamina around spastic collapse for braided mayhem rancid with jittery post-punk trances.
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Hælos - Any Random Kindness
Album title: Any Random Kindness
Record Label: Infectious Music
Sensual leopards riding coded messages over aerobic kaleidoscopes, “Random,” panders, flexing expectations and tempting chance connections with purring exertions flaunting rhythmic charisma in steamy bedroom overtures under night-fueled mirror-balls. Near-tribal street-parties fading into cosmic flotsam, Hælos mixes musical mosaics from fluid tug-of-war dialogues, promenading prayers whose receding pleads ebb and flow, stretched over synth-pop chasms and sprinkled in lyrical catch-phrases.
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Matt Kivel - Last Night in America
Album title: Last Night in America
Record Label: Cascine
Beautiful desolation wafts through Matt Kivel’s vapor-haunted alt-folk minimalism, steel strings plucked among lulling sound-covens shift with distant intimacy, tone poems wandering among severed memories cast from hallowed shadows and impassable fragments. Catspaw calls into neon fogs humming in electric incandescence, spectral echoes and stark mirages, “America,” combines world-weary queries funneled into wonder with monitored electronics steeped in fleeting mystery.
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Boogarins - Sombrou Dúvida
Album title: Sombrou Dúvida
Record Label: OAR
Cyber-soupy grooves doused in water-born Diaspora saunter seaside inside heady sighs and sleepy guitars while, “Sombrou,” simmers in woozy driftwood nuance oozing casual jet-lagged jazz peppered with galactic prog-rock magic served over slow-broiled psychedelic elegance. Hypnotic astral operators, the sultry Boogarins inhabit diaphanous afternoons basking in Latin sizzle, capturing classic twilight appetites in phantom romance, sunset regrets and fickle rhythms.
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Charly Bliss - Young Enough
Album title: Young Enough
Record Label: Barsuk
Scamp glam-rock subplots sport telegraphic New Wave power-pop spinning Cheshire cat grins in merry-go-round calliopes for wide-awake lullabies; Charly Bliss’ hi-voltage ballads glow in bittersweet speech baked in cotton-candy glaze. The cunning, “Young,” lounges on wicked thin ledges perched to pounce on curated grace baiting booming beats as laser-saber solos weld bell-like melodies to cast-iron wills looking for dance-partner thrills.
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Half-full glasses balance spring’s suspicions with radio-ready electro-angels BARRIE’s shiny, “Happy to be Here,” funky goth-punk CATE LEBON’s in-flight Midas-touched, “Reward,” trampoline-pop social-climbers, FUJIYA & MIYAGI’s incandescent diplomacy, “Flashback,” and sizzling digital-wizard RICH AUCION’s spring-loaded techno-soul, “Release.” Elsewhere, May blazes in outrageous optimism via swinging FAYE WEBSTER’s adorable torch-singer’s back-porch, “Atlanta Millionaire’s Club,” ultra-cool troubadour SAM COHEN’s Memphis-tempered retro-pop, “The Future is Still Ringing in my Ears,” roadhouse blues-gurus ROBERT RANDOLPH AND THE FAMILY BAND’s stomping, “Brighter Days.” and sunbeam ALEX LAHEY’s smart, romper-room show-tunes, “The Best of Luck Club.”