The year wraps things up with ticking discs embracing changes and promoting perseverance. Mix meticulous prog-rockers NEKTAR’s tasty covers of Rush, Roxy Music and Neil Young on the rad, calibrated, “A Spoonful of Time,” into crisp vindictive hardcore legends BAD BRAINS’ lurching ska-punk crunches, “Into the Future,” then add simmering multilingual NADINA’s, plush production and hauntingly exotic atmospheres, ”In The Now,” along with Morcheeba front-woman SKYE’s sultry dance-beats, “Back to Now,” and 2012’s closing momentary marvels morph into timeless mementos.
Midnight Magic - Walking the Midnight Streets
Album title: Walking the Midnight Streets
Record Label: Midnight Magic Sounds
Twitching tempos pant, vamp and rave in vixenish conniptions; locomotive voltage from aerobic robots time-jump between funky mirror-ball boogie and modern cosmopolitan voodoo. Throbbing neon pop, “Streets,” creates earthy squirming in sultry cyber-soul, tantalizing fever dreams realigning animal grace into lusty grooves piecing indulgent pulses from decadent connections. Sinfully kindling simmering opinions, Magic’s galactic disco gyrates in steamy catwalk sauntering.
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b. fleischmann - I’m Not Ready for the Grave Yet
Album title: I’m Not Ready for the Grave Yet
Record Label: Morr Music
Swirling percolations, ominous phenomena and placid pitter-patter knit bewitching synergies beneath academic oratory, semi-detached irony and cheeky offbeat sequences. Austrian multi-instrumentalist fleischmann’s oddly logical, microcosmic dollops paint plaintive puzzles dressed in clanking rancor, anchored by bubbly brilliance, radiant cadence and literary lunacy. A whimsical symphony weaving sharp, sardonic comments around rhythmic fits, “Grave,” persuades and surveys, happily mapping sonorous scenarios
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Wild Yaks - Milion Years
Album title: Milion Years
Record Label: Ernest Jenning Record Co
Lung-busting thunder roars and cavorts unleashing stampeding sieges of six-string squalor beneath vigorous twists, shaggy tragedies and rambling good cheer, “Years,” starts strong and never lets up, piling propulsive roller-coaster blasts on top of ragged, galloping bombast. Loosely convoluted and divinely conspiring, multi-faceted passions rule Wild Yaks’ rousing indie-rock assaults, unflinchingly floundering in unhinged binges, gripping trips and existential interventions.
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Paul Kelly - Spring and Fall
Album title: Spring and Fall
Record Label: Gawd Aggie
Modern minstrel and Australian icon, Kelly’s folksy farewells and sturdy, well-earned concerns unfold and console through glistening jigs, vaudeville waltzes and waxing honky-tonk ballads; scrappy raspy acoustics wrapped around home-brewed truths, nomadic moods and troubadour roots. Delving into deliverance, “Spring,” wrings wistful tales chronicling confirmations, troubling impulses and nagging introspection battered by desire, lifted in love and cradled in experience.
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My Radio - Starts in the East, Falls in the West
Album title: Starts in the East, Falls in the West
Record Label: My Radio
Foxy pop-rock shadow-boxing reeling in fleet-footed feelings, breathless benedictions and rallying cry choruses; “Starts,” sparks headstrong songs equipped with delicious riffs, nuclear-powered bounce and melodic brawn. Tough but tender, courageous and flirtatious, MR’s suave, impetuous sketches reinforce romantic candor through glitzy wisdom, earnest firmness and spring-loaded control; a two-pronged marathon between sizzling missiles and trim ringers baited in anxious impatience.
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Julie Doiron - So Many Days
Album title: So Many Days
Record Label: Aporia
Drawing from youthful country-blues pursuits and solitary alt-folk melancholy, Doiron’s congenial chamomile chameleon deliver self-reflective lullabies glazed in rumbling twang and swaddled in hummingbird harmonies, plain-spoken guitars and coy, cautious observations. Calico camaraderie steeped in meek sweetness and doused in mousy countenance, “Days,” flavors life’s everyday strife in unobtrusive reviews of subtle deeply-felt troubles yielding wishful epistles from barbed-wire diaries.
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Almost but not quite, CDs whose titles imply it’s not over yet await your discovery. From woeful folk-poet ANGEL OLSEN’s choice, rootless-country hungers, “Half Way Home,” to Albanian vocalist ELINA DUNI’s, sublime world-jazz heartache, “Matanë Malit (Beyond the Mountains),” and psych-folk cohorts DREAM BOAT’s vacillating astral pastorals, “Eclipsing,” nearly there never sounded so good. Elusive ruses prove slippery witnesses with prolific beat-master LEGOWELT’s rewired techno-funk, “The Paranormal Soul,” sky-straddling one-man caravan UNKNOWN COMPONENT’s thoughtful cathedral-pop pageant, “Blood v. Electricity,” and while, not Earth, Afro-futurist SINKANE’s party-hardy, “Mars,” offers hospitable accommodations