Crossroads and tipping points abound this fall, signaling a time to take care and take action. From wide-eyed songwriter ANNA MCCLELLAN‘s raw honesty, “I saw first light,” to stormy alt-country journeyman CHRISTIAN KJELLVANDER’s solemn, haunting, “About Love and Loving Again,” big changes are just a step away. Prepare yourself with legendary session singers FLAT FIVE‘s rockin’ cocktail-pop, “Another World.” and nocturnal pearl-divers PUBLIC MEMORY‘s sinful synthetics, “Ripped Apparition,” Buckle up.
Badge Époque Ensemble - Self Help
Album title: Self Help
Record Label: Telephone Explosion
Smooth intuitive jazz attached to stark noirish sizzle, “Help,” melts sinister synergy cushioned in tentative melodies to woke hope lit in smoky solos and palatable collaboration. The immensely talented Toronto seven-piece restlessly caresses contorted chords exploring wind-tossed improvisations into scorching detours subtly touching on fleeting feelings before launching into schooled cool from modern boppers drawing hip traditions into post-millennial splendor.
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Emily Edrosa - Another Wave Is Coming
Album title: Another Wave Is Coming
Record Label: Park The Van Records
Savage caveats from a savvy maverick armed in snaggle-tooth guitars, thumping drums and anchored bass; Edrosa articulates spitfire wit dipped in garage-rock assaults, rallying rattled comebacks and chasing self-incriminating impatience basted in contagious folk-punk jangle. Assisted by friends from Emily’s native New Zealand and her current L.A. residence, “Wave,” braves discouraging insecurity with refreshing perspective, astute exuberance and combative sass.
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Told Slant - Point the Flashlight and Walk
Album title: Point the Flashlight and Walk
Record Label: Double Double Whammy
Narrative parables connect and confess as the softly illuminating, “Flashlight,” weathers severed efforts with tender acceptance, modest caution and inevitable revelations celebrating life’s beautiful imperfections through plain-spoken moments centered around earnest verses, metaphorical choruses and poetic measures. Vulnerable conundrums befriending sensitive sentiments, Told Slant’s themes tease humanized philosophy into tuneful ruminations, adapting tactful, fact-driven ballads into casual mid-tempo indie-pop psychoanalysis.
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KAYE - Conscious Control
Album title: Conscious Control
Record Label: self-release
Gossamer confidence embraces bold emotions as KAYE’s expressive alt-pop testaments add tempting feminist funk to delicious bewitching mysteries transforming whispering kittenish intimacy into writhing pile-driver tiger swipes craving flaming danger. Personal whirlwinds dwelling among catchy introspective epics and dazzling cinematic pageants, “Conscious,” conjures complex empowerment colored in ghostly devotion and wishful conviction, fusing lucid studio maneuvers to candid biographical transparency.
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Thaba - Eyes Rest Their Feet
Album title: Eyes Rest Their Feet
Record Label: Soundway Records
South Africa comes to Brooklyn as modernized Mbaqanga slow dances in soulful romance; the shifting, uplifting polyrhythmic, “Eyes,” ties aching hearts to silenced minds with serene beats surrounded by sensual synths and passive sax. United by positive vibes and music’s universal language, Thaba consoles with flowing control, airtight flights whose graceful pacing moves like moonlit tides beneath tranquil trade winds.
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Tiña - Positive Mental Health Music
Album title: Positive Mental Health Music
Record Label: Speedy Wunderground
Dark karma harvests cathartic bargains from Tiña’s bittersweet dream-pop, reaping peppery therapy that rolls with the punches, finding joy in the unavoidable while confronting existential menace with mocking deference. Untapped rapture wrapped in psychotropic disclosure and served in homegrown commotion, “Health,” invigorates with skeletal proficiency; bone-cutting bliss led by explicit simplicity, artistic consistency and devilishly level-headed instincts for redemptive tempests.
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Facing today’s delusional confusion, one tends to want to wish it all away. Seek comfort in meandering minimalist HENRIETTE SENNENVALDT’s art-jazz torch-songs, “Something Wonderful,” placid rascal JACK NAME‘s subversive smirks, “Magic Touch,” mixing-board explorer ÓLAFUR ARNALDS’ suggestive investigations, “some kind of peace,” and big-band phantoms GHOST FUNK ORCHESTRA‘s superfly jive, “An Ode to Escapism.” Back to basics sound appealing? Join eccentric sound-chemist CAMILA FUCH‘s cosmic beat-pop, “Kids Talk Sun,” straight-talking street-poet RAFAEL VIGILANTICS’ hip-hop blues-rock, “Blue River, Grey Sky,” and cyber-trance somnambulist EMILY A. SPRAGUE‘s synaptic catnaps, “Hill, Flower, Fog.”