Mediation uncannily micro-manages as September albums seek middle ground. Arbitrate among subliminal synthesist FLOATING SPECTRUM‘s transdimensional chill, “A Point Between,” and sugar-boogie chefs VIDA BLUE‘s mouth-watering electro-gumbo, “Crossing Lines,” or choose from beautiful swoon-pop architect JAMIE DRAKE‘s radiant, “Everything’s Fine,” and wise spitfire BETH HART‘s, elegant word-armory, “War In My Mind.” Reconciliations include savvy lavender tunesmith LUKE TEMPLE‘s beat-driven, “Both-And,” plus contrapuntal wonders EFTERKLANG‘s calming gossamer-rock, “Altid Summen,” (Always Together).
Hiss Golden Messenger - Terms of Surrender
Album title: Terms of Surrender
Record Label: Merge
Born from dive-bar backrooms and blue-collar bayous, Hiss Golden Messenger’s lonely indie-folk holds deep-fried asides against gritty blacksmith licks, free-range tumbleweed twang strung from barb-wired country and roots-bruised blues. Rugged hungers fed thankful banquets, “Surrender,” values valor, neighborhood labors and noble fellowship devoted to roadhouse shuffles bathed in Hammond organ and rambling self-examinations woven with hard-won truths and trust-worthy verses.
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Frankie Cosmos - Close It Quietly
Album title: Close It Quietly
Record Label: Sub Pop
Resplendent in sterling yearning, metered sweetness and cheery lyrics, “Close,” throws mid-tempo hope into discreet plain-spoken diplomacy, unmasking passive-aggressive pursuits against gorgeous porcelain choruses for sly bedroom bop spackled in dazzling rainbow refrains. Catchy, compact melodramatics wrapped in carefree melodies and heavenly delivery, the starry-eyed and silver-tongued Frankie Cosmos spins eyewitness dishing elevated in kittenish bliss and romantic guitar-pop side-trips.
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Jenny Hval - The Practice of Love
Album title: The Practice of Love
Record Label: Sacred Bones
Playful and provocative, Norwegian novelist and evocative sonic adventurer Hval juxtaposes persistent rhythmic flow with inquisitive philosophical prose, taming origami angels whose pressing questions bend and fold into majestic revelations; coded poetry posing unfinished riddles. Sensuous fantasy planted in mind-expanding mantras, “Practice,” packages pensive transcendence with earthy images, stacking florid organic mysteries with perplexing reflections, impenetrable connections and perceptive conjecture.
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Mermaidens - Look Me In The Eye
Album title: Look Me In The Eye
Record Label: Flying Nun
Cryptic silhouettes dancing in choreographed collapse, “Eye,” rides calculated landslides, conspiring in spiraling riff-driven narcolepsy with shadow-rock cliff-hangers roaring through murky, mascara-laden psychedelia and furious stiletto-pedaled shoegaze tracing pinpoint precision around drowsy indecision. Bubbling in subtle eruptions and dizzy indulgences, the tide-turning Mermaidens’ dynamic calamities yield surprisingly lucid moods from anxious, contagious beats, swirling minor-key revelry and cosmic pole-vaulted free-falls.
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Chelsea Wolfe - Birth of Violence
Album title: Birth of Violence
Record Label: Sargent House
From hallowed to harrowing, Wolfe’s unholy folk hosts throaty subterranean ghosts channeling incandescent animals prowling around divine shrines; mythic predicaments floating in glowing omens and soaked in soul-baring prayer. Visceral riches twist, enrich and bewitch with lusty bluster and sizzling whispering while the sophisticated, “Violence,” casts silk nets over raging seas; trembling requiems scored in scorched mourning and glorious euphoria.
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Pretend Collective - Pretend Collective
Album title: Pretend Collective
Record Label: The Giving Groove
Cornered formulas morphing crackling day-tripping narratives into thoughtful yacht-rock holidays, “Pretend,” befriends memorable templates decorating electric rodeos and paisley parades in work-week secrets and slow-burning concerns. Rallying ballads dipped in hazy persuasions co-opt pop conventions and sprinkle winks among earnest coercion as the eclectic Pretend Collective sprinkles slightly sinister melancholy into time-warped stories supported by cavorting metaphors and sneaky clichés.
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From pop-soul coquette BAT FOR LASHES sumptuous, “Lost Girls,” to funky art-popper SUI ZHEN‘s electronic sonnets, “Losing, Linda,” autumn falls hard. Ask six-string ringers PERSPECTIVE - A LOVELY HAND TO HOLD‘s sun-blasted tapestry, “Lousy,” torch-goth rockers JAIL WEDDING‘s raucous, “Wilted Eden,” or careening demons THE PARANOYDS’ garage-punk slam-dunks, “Carnage Bargain.” Between carousing outcastes TWIN PEAKS’ ragged happiness, “Lookout Low,” and slick, polyrhythmic SIS’ eighties-flavored, “Gas Station Roses,” wonk-pop confidant BLOOD CULTURES’ mega-imaginative, “Oh Uncertainty! The Universe Despairs,” and dreamy schemers THE LAZY SUSANS’ robust, “Now That The Party’s Over,” discontent represents.