Summertime aside, June albums go dark this year. Emotional shade comes from posh goths COLLAPSING SCENERY’s cyber-shadowed love-letters, “Stress Positions,” soft-spoken gonzo-folkie TIM HEIDECKER’s, astute, white-boogie, “What the Brokenhearted Do…” and power-pop veterans SALT’s rainy, paisley thunder, “The Loneliness of Clouds.” Meanwhile, literal darkness parks beneath stalking indie-rocker STEF CHURA’s full-moon croons, “Midnight,” Americana foot-soldier JAKE XERXES FUSSELL’s roots boot-camp, “Out of Sight,” and astral-blasters PELICAN’s interplanetary anvil-splitters, “Nighttime Stories.”
Palehound - Black Friday
Album title: Black Friday
Record Label: Polyvinyl
United in jaunty indie-pop conjugation and earnest, burgeoning soul-searching, Palehound’s multi-tasking aspirations connect reflective second-guesses to thirsty curiosity where timid self-image tends tender envy with verbal caresses redressing fleshy blessings. Demonstrable confidence celebrating fragile valor through visceral descriptions hip to shared joys, the tangibly candid, “Friday,” transforms humble, home-demo authenticity into sophisticated engagements balancing patient postmortem refrains alongside full-bodied rebuttals.
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Froth - Duress
Album title: Duress
Record Label: Wichita Recordings
Lacerated dashes crash pneumatic jags in effervescent post-rock shoe-gaze as, “Duress,” resets machine-pressed anomalies exploring microtonal drone-pop with tasty abrasive glazes and tart narcotic whispers coiled around stoic hypnosis. Engineered eeriness flows over Froth’s ominous somnambulists, liberating conflicted instincts tinged in methodical madness from mechanical hearts embracing industrial serenity. Froth along with Seattle heavyweights Versing play UW’s Terrace June 28th.
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Dressy Bessy - Fast Faster Disaster
Album title: Fast Faster Disaster
Record Label: Yep Roc
Armed to the teeth with svelte belters, double-shot taunts and slash-and-burn purrs, Dressy Bessy’s arresting endeavors spawn con-artist angels avenging club-house outcasts stripping pompous romps down to skin-tight skirmishes. Rabid doo-wop ballads trapping jagged scat-rap chit-chat, “Disaster,” matches fussy shrugs and feigned disdain to sweet-tart alt-rock cabaret, lusty tussles primed for devilish rebellions schooled in institutional foolishness and risk-free teases.
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Mike Adams At His Honest Weight - There Is No Feeling Better
Album title: There Is No Feeling Better
Record Label: Joyful Noise
Gentle intentions washed in romantic nostalgia and spun-dried with beat-driven finishes and hook-happy after-thoughts, “Feeling,” reels in love-sick folk-rock, adrift in half-forgiven bygones, soul-mate daydreams and self-indulgent sympathies. Wrapped in casual harmonies, subtle bluster and spangled jangle, the exquisite MAAHHW riff on near-misses and forever-kisses to make persuasive vacations for world-weary peers; forward-facing escapes into trusted tropes and free-floating anecdotes.
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Mariee Sioux - Grief in Exile
Album title: Grief in Exile
Record Label: Night Bloom Records
Minstrel reminiscences quivering in glimmering intricacy, Sioux’s bewitching folk pitches pastoral allegories in cantering tempos, bird-call melodies and laced arrangements, tumbling somewhere between grazing fables and intimate myths. Flitting about in drum-less propulsion from supple wrists across finger-picked guitar, “Grief,” befriends darkness radiating calm, illuminating doubts and grounding fears, sprinkling discreet cheek-to-cheek incantations with courtly dormouse flourishes and unconditional kindness.
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French Vanilla - How Am I Not Myself?
Album title: How Am I Not Myself?
Record Label: Danger Collective
Pogo-brash No Wave sax ricochets throughout, “Myself,” serving pumped punk-ska sabotage around unvarnished dance-friendly ear-benders bristling with testy intellect. Democratic rapscallions, French Vanilla packs people-backed politics into flash-mob mosh-pits, interpersonal dervishes slurping down street-savvy attitude where sweaty expressions, thrashy passion and hollered logic bounce around road-rage crusades fueled by funky grass-roots pursuits. Catch them Aug 10th at Milwaukee’s Back Room.
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Countering the darkness, June offers hippie-jam space-rangers DIRE WOLVES trance-folk caravan, “Grow Towards the Light, rock stalwart KIRIN J. CALLINAN’s crafted theatrics, “Return to Center,” auto-modulators TENGGER’s absorbing cosmic floss, “Spiritual 2,” and ultra-smooth MATTSON 2’s jazz-infused soul-grooves, “Paradise.” Elsewhere, electro-pop glitterazzi HOT CHIP’s catwalk gala, “A Bath Full of Ecstasy,” alt-country chroniclers FRUIT BATS’ sunny-side highway symphonies, “Gold Past Life,” and savvy rabble-rouser MATTIEL’s cowpunk slam-dunks “Satis Factory,” keep things upbeat. Even Afro-Cuban psycho-fusionists DIVINO NINA’s woozy, sun-ripened, “Foam,” and synth-pop rhythmicist NAYTRONIX’s multi-tracked alchemy, “Air,” lighten our load.