The Young Things
February fosters human relations, from lively blue-eyed granola-soul revisers HE’S MY BROTHER SHE’S MY SISTER to foxy Canadian cabaret slayers MOTHER MOTHER and restlessly textured alt-rockers RADAR BROTHERS. Less directly connected, but equally part of the family welcome blithe British folk-rock melody-makers CO-PILGRIM, livid lounge-lizard rock-gods THE YOUNG THINGS, free-wheeling indie-pop Romeos THE LITTLE ONES and flirty, earthy show-stoppers COMPANION. Apparently underlying desires for interpersonal concerns reap mid-winter musical returns.
Tegan and Sara - Heartthrob
Album title: Heartthrob
Record Label: Warner Brothers
Moving from their adorably uproarious indie-pop past into the slick, mega-watt synth-rock of, “Heartthrob,” Canadian’s beat-driven twins blossom from diary-fired pen-pals to incendiary scene-stealers. Burning with lustful thrusts, smoldering condolences and torrid choruses, the sisters still manage to earn sympathetic connections and admirable allies. Infectious and perceptive, Tegan and Sara play Madison’s Orpheum February 24th and Milwaukee’s Pabst March 7th
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Chris Stamey - Lovesick Blues
Album title: Lovesick Blues
Record Label: Yep Roc
Layered in tasteful soft-rock chamber-pop, folk-guitar harmonies and coffee-shop anecdotes, “Blues,” blooms in delicate intelligence and plain-spoken fellowship. Revisiting reminiscences, commiserating and reconsidering, the subtly succinct Stamey’s self-reflective directness and clear-eyed lyrics form supple couplets and quaint refrains, breezing between downtrodden doubts, undissolved resolve and humbled hindsight as strings, brass and woodwinds embellish simple civil whimsy and second-time around regrets..
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Autre ne Veut - Anxiety
Album title: Anxiety
Record Label: Software Recording Co.
Glowing in satin passions cast over fiery falsettos, synthesized cries and gospel-washed polish, the tirelessly unrequited, “Anxiety,” wrings electro-pop pathos from fragile hearts engulfed in desire. Tangled in danger and snared by despair, AnV’s bent-knee pleads bleed acrobatic theatrics, slithering and swiveling in stirring, burning murmurs and flashy panache; tantric romance trimmed in svelte, heartfelt pelvises and flickering cybernetic rhythms.
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Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside - Untamed Beast
Album title: Untamed Beast
Record Label: Partisan Records
Level-headed reveler and simmering torch-song singer, Ford’s batter-dipped sass and tough-chick grit melts soapbox boasts into frosted caution drawing saucy celebrations from salty bop for lip-smacking, finger-snapping, rumble-seat gumbo. Bawdy stomps and jump-start romps ignite frisky epiphanies via jive surf-guitar bards and rock-a-billy fillies while, “Beast,” courts and cavorts in cheeky discourse. Ford and company play Madison’s Majestic March 31st.
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Hayden - Us Alone
Album title: Us Alone
Record Label: Arts & Crafts
Sweet downbeat feats of casual brilliance, “Alone,” unfolds subdued grooves inside jaunty melancholy; soft-spoken folk soaked in ragged truths and wheezing bar-room organ, second-hand synths, plaintive piano and understated garage-rock guitar. A laconic chronicler whose solid, waltzing promises drop despondent prophets into modest odysseys, Hayden patiently paints drowsy prowlers and unguarded martyrs; shaggy captains steering weary wagons to uncertain flirtations
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Matmos - The Marriage of True Minds
Album title: The Marriage of True Minds
Record Label: Thrill Jockey
Dabbling in telepathic adaptations, Baltimore’s incorrigible explorers, Matmos troll the subconscious, plundering psychic vibrations to transform ambient phantoms into dance-friendly energies and extrasensory memories into heady, edgy treasures. The scientific misfits’ abstract extracts exact transcendental dimensions from erratic synaptic patterns, decoding psychotropic kaleidoscopes as, “Minds,” mines seamless dreamscapes from odd dichotomies and pristine visions from random snippets of mental conniptions.
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Teni - Afrodisiac
Album title: Afrodisiac
Record Label: House of Mekeda
Afro-Cuban fusions dipped in seductive percussion, midnight horns mournfully cornering soul-jazz labyrinths, “Afrodisiac,” matches soothing coos to tempting tempos for cool musical jewels swayed by reggae and bathed in highlife. Generous, spirited and softly persuasive, Teni’s Nigerian roots and London birth bridges global traditions with feminist wisdom, an earth-mother enchantress doling bold, lavish mantras through bewitching sophistication and sultry funk.
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Riding an avalanche of winter discs are several titles suggesting imminent instability and palatable collapse. Rubberneck classy aristocrats AMOR DE DIAS’ divine art-pop bossa novas, “The House at Sea,” and electric baroque-folksters WOODPIGEON’s glorious stories, “Thumbtacks and Glue., then investigate fearlessly mysterious MY GOLD MASK’s multi-faceted bombast, “Leave Me Midnight,” and eloquent INDIANS’ enigmatic atmospheres, “Somewhere Else.” Finally, bouncing dance-pop scoundrels ATLAS GENIUS’ hairpin binges, “When It Was Now,” and Brit-pop harmonists VERONICA FALLS’ coy co-ed confessions, “Waiting for Something to Happen,” offer timely options; both hit Wisconsin in March.