From classy crooner A GIRL CALLED EDDY‘s recanted romantics, “Been Around,” to nomadic jazz-rockers NIGHT WATER‘s languid, “Leave No Trace,” January albums live and learn. Clean slates placate anthem panthers COLONY HOUSE‘s bouncy counsel, “Leave What’s Lost Behind,” consolidate smug-punks SLØTFACE‘s jelly-center interventions, “Sorry For The Late Reply,” negotiate digitized saxman JONAH PARZEN-JOHNSON‘s tonal cologne, “Imagine Giving Up,” and reiterate exquisite lounge-lizard revisionists DESTROYER‘s glam-pop sophistry, “Have We Met?”
Ben Watt - Storm Damage
Album title: Storm Damage
Record Label: Unmade Road
Cradling stony consolation, patient contemplation and stylish reprisal, “Damage,” seeks dependable serenity through row-house prose proposing reflective perspective; grounded pronouncements treading weathered memories entrenched in tender contentions, select recollections and candid family defenses. Cloaked in minimal synths, slithering bass guiding flickering rhythms and teasing keyboards, Watt’s watchful observations walk between folk and soul, mining the past while embracing the future.
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Squirrel Flower - I Was Born Swimming
Album title: I Was Born Swimming
Record Label: Polyvinyl
Electric aquatic folk-jazz passages flow, compose and collapse in placid untapped undertow emotions, turning, “Swimming,” into imprisoned indie visions flailing tailored failures in celebrated guitar-centric revelations. Stamina enamored in strong wills and obsessive quests, Squirrel Flower’s warrior stories challenge tactful fashions in casual banshee banter, churning free-verse turmoil within raptured fascination, unraveled in unparalleled attractions and repackaged with unrequited compassion.
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Poliça - When We Stay Alive
Album title: When We Stay Alive
Record Label: Memphis Industries
Lulled hungers gnawing on sleepless dreams, Poliça’s celestial velvet electro-pop sprinkles frosty possibilities over slow mirrorball burns, crystal teardrop trip-hop for lacquered insomniacs hijacking midnight soul trains to meet imaginary lovers. Blithe spirits writhing beneath iridescent skies, “Alive,” smolders in secret meetings, tribal fires and aloof grooves; tastefully pacing through shifting mazes inside computer-made jungle barricades designed for agile passion.
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Beach Slang - The Deadbeat Bang of Heartbreak City
Album title: The Deadbeat Bang of Heartbreak City
Record Label: Bridge Nine Records
Brazen cantankerous boogie cooked in panting nocturnal yearning and dried in beaten string-sweetened hindsight, bittersweet beacons Beach Slang tangles, tallies and tussles; slashing crafty savagery from confident stomps and crashing open-hearted targets into eloquent melt-downs. Simmered, slashed and shaken, “City,” splits gritty pity into pithy garage-rock gestalt and honest symphonic punk prayers infused with jagged thought-bombs and pop-conscious, riff-driven bombast.
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Innocence Mission - See You Tomorrow
Album title: See You Tomorrow
Record Label: Bella Union
Fragile valor lifts, “Tomorrow,” from waterlogged underdogs with simple deliberate wishes to beautiful morning-dew messengers sending heavenly intentions into brave new days. Drowsy flowery tunes wake in fragrant chamber-pop bouquets through The Innocence Mission’s whispered wisdom whose delicate hesitancy often blossoms into noble heroics, subdued moods floating on wind-tossed vocals escorted by aching violins, timid nylon-string guitar and muted brass.
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Field Music - Making A New World
Album title: Making A New World
Record Label: Memphis Industries
Meticulous British misfits, Field Music’s well-honed maelstroms drop methodical chops with syncopated pay-offs, ironic jaunts prompting funky hopscotch prog-pop copping lavish classical sashays, scoffing and bopping in rigid missions, artistic marvels and ballroom subterfuge. Semi-satirical lyrics with half-nervous verses, “World,” swirls in reflex-stretched get-downs; euphoric detours creeping beneath sweeping robot operettas rolling in cosmopolitan options, post-modern propositions and blue-eyed cyber-soul.
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Celebrating the cerebral, January ponders insurgent circuit-breakers WIRE‘s opiated dystopias, “Mind Hive,” heady shepherds LOVING‘s flashback pastures, “If I Am Only My Thoughts,” and delicate emissary ALICE BOMAN‘s ethereal narco-folk, “Dream On,” while questioning perceptions in silicone swami DAN DEACON‘s embroidered contortions, “Mystic Familiar,” and secretive priestess TORRES’ danger-tainted alt-pop, “Silver Tongue.” Collective consciousness cautions estranged indie-rockers WOLF PARADE‘s reluctant corruptions, “Thin Mind,” and sparkle-pop swingers ECHOSMITH‘s defiant, self-reliant, “Lonely Generation,” but welcomes R&B multi-instrumentalist SON LITTLE‘s soulful, “aloha,” and pop-rock ocelot FRANCES QUINLAN‘s breathless digressions, “Likewise,” Think about it.