Short and sweet, late summer’s single-word albums depose the verbose and unilaterally conquer August. Whether intrepid jesters THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS’ reissued delight, the definitive, “No,” or disco-soul playboys THE ICE CHOIR’s refined pining and tortured misfortunes, “Afar,” concise surprises pack powerful punches. Ragged chamber-rock mavericks PANORAMIC & TRUE’s worldview, “Wonderlust,” tender-hearted bard BEN TAYLOR’s truth-rooted hearsay, “Listening,” and headstrong monitors BLOC PARTY’s groomed doom-pop, “Four,” single-handedly encapsulate vast habitats.
Micachu and the Shapes - Never
Album title: Never
Record Label: Rough Trade
Ferocious, lo-fi, pitch-shifted, cock-eyed grime climbs aboard clanging go-go robots whose drop, bop and roll trashcan stanzas stock posh, misbegotten urban disturbance and cartoon-wonky tromping, Micachu’s skewed views fuel droid-punk wrung, sprung and cunningly drugged. Dabbling malfunctions pinned to fizzling synergy, clipped, stripped to stammering ambience and tumbling conundrums, “Never,” severs rational fashions catapulting deconstructed rumpus around outrageously contagious mayhem.
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Laetitia Sadier - Silencio
Album title: Silencio
Record Label: Drag City
Ethereal material framed in plush Parisian affection, “Silencio,” pools cool Moulin Rouge blues into philharmonic saunas; aloof pursuits coated in cat-walked politics and inspired by fatalistic innocence. Chiffon swan-songs spawned from Afro-Cuban roots, Sadier’s sly Campari safaris swish, dip and swoon coaxing post-nuclear grooves from luscious comforts, prickly insistence and educated hesitations. Stereolab’s former chanteuse plays UW-Madison’s Terrace September 29th
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Shoes - Ignition
Album title: Ignition
Record Label: Black Vinyl
Chiming designs primed in dreamy vertigo and twisted anticipation, “Ignition,” rocks stream-lined time-bombs ticking in consoling explosions backed by pedal-powered guitar barbs and spring-loaded showdowns, gleaming harmonies fleeing, glistening counterpoint inside calming three-part karmas. Subversive architects of heart-throb pop the Shoes’ snap carries surly undercurrents; soliciting dissidence beneath dazzling chassis, rifling obsessive resentment and bittersweet demeanors through compassionate mash notes.
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Six Organs of Admittance - Ascent
Album title: Ascent
Record Label: Drag City
Astral Stratocasters straddle galloping catastrophes saddling rabid psychedelics onto septic epics, Organs’ super-sized portions heap meaty blues-rock freak-outs onto derelict experiments mixing feedback and filigree. From heavy to heavenly, elastic guitar jams prove callous talisman attracting collapsing tapestries while deep-space waves break over whammy-barred shards guarding ghostly motives. “Ascent,” rides mile-high pile-drivers against mind-bending inflections, delicate insurrection and epileptic redirection.
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Thenewno2 - thefearofmissingout
Album title: thefearofmissingout
Record Label: Hot Records Ltd
Sci-fi spies trolling dream-soaked decadence, gregarious guttersnipes, Thenewno2 spin grinning, systemic webs dredged in sweat and edgy threats; cautionary tales from predatory explorers. A gangly chain of tawdry flotsam looped into haughty admonishments, “thefearofmissingout.” packs Blade Runner stunners slithering in illicit dimness and slowly glowing boasts orbiting sizzling visions dripping in lizard-rock trickery and floundering fantasy ground from blurry underworld-blues.
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Wild Cub - Youth
Album title: Youth
Record Label: Big Lights Recordings
Cross-stitching riffs atop wicked pixilated calypso, “Youth,” boosts effervescent funk onto chattering pop-rock catalysts; inter-faced layers convey airbrushed gusto alongside melancholy holidays. Provocative and alluring, WC’s bright, bold vocals fold throbbing tropical mobs into thick, tightly-knitted synths and bristling ADD bass; catchy ecstasy etching reckless romance on moon-lit dance floors spun among fleet-footed memories decked out in glamorous closed-circuit subterfuge.
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Meanwhile, summer’s two-word titles birth metaphors, commands, poetry and irony. Dig the duality in above-average scavenger and barking-mad manipulator JUNK CULTURE’s hand-picked salty alt-pop textures and dialectical digi-bop treasures inside, “Wild Quiet,“ or Barn Owl sidekick and intergalactic abstractionist EVAN CAMINITI’s cosmic cushions, gaseous chasms and quivering symmetries freefalling into pre-natal nirvana on the monumental, “Dreamless Sleep.” Then divide your attention between pogo moguls and hypno-tronic pontiffs, YEASAYER’s heady electro-fed joystick-rock, “Fragrant World,” and despondent folk-rock desperadoes WHITE VIOLET’s exquisite mysteries and spotty histories in the pretty, poignant, “Hiding, Mingling.”