Turn to Crime
Fleeting reprieves, short-lived fibs and temporary everything visit May albums this year. From wobble-pop buzz-kills TURN TO CRIME’s fascinating sociopath noir-rock flashback, “Actions,” to animated chamber-jazz writer-arranger RACHEL GRIMES’ distinctively inquisitive instrumentals, “The Clearing,” possibilities blossom and fade. Whether institutional truths or effortless ideas, nothing is permanent, so enjoy polyrhythmic soul-spinner ABRAM SHOOK’s cosmopolitan holiday, “Landscape Dreams,” and fearless pop-imagineers OTHER LIVES’ Kafkaesque arabesques, “Rituals,” before time buries us all.
My Morning Jacket - The Waterfall
Album title: The Waterfall
Record Label: ATO Records
Desire runs wild through, “Waterfall,” whose deep-shag platitudes and heavenly suspensions tout ecstatic abandon in tabernacle parables. Lacquered bombast cast in clock-master’s closets, MMJ’s mind-blowing soul injects delicate tenderness in exalted rock covenants, mustering triumphant shifts within miniature riffs as syncopated stamina clamors in full-moon grandeur, righteous arrangements and ethereal appeal. MMJ plays Milwaukee’s Riverside Theater June 20th and 21st.
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The Orange Peels - Begin the Begone
Album title: Begin the Begone
Record Label: Minty Fresh
Sun-soaked West Coast power-pop meets rock-geeked apple-cheeked psychedelia inside TOP’s old-school revolutionaries where breath-taking weightlessness spreads from heady experiments to gutsy productions. Joyful orchestral cleverness converge in sharp, harmonic commerce and sentimental effervescence as, “Begone,” spawns smooth groovy tunes; shiny compositions whose tie-dyed jangle wears synth-pop spangle and six-string symphonies glistening in singer-songwriter petitions ride candy-coated rollercoasters in radio-friendly memories.
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Frog - Kind of Blah
Album title: Kind of Blah
Record Label: Audio AntiHero
Country-river folk spinning skinny-dipping syllogisms from hot-tip hipsters and daydreaming beatniks, “Blah,” shadow-babbles in swirling pop-culture skullduggery surfing an eclectic fusion of runaway sentences, nervous diversions and murmured worries. Rambling jam-band acoustics canoodle into sunny indie-rock wonder bundling Frog’s vernacular spectaculars into exquisite hillbilly shape-shifters curating meandering pandemonium from literate misfits for a contorted multi-storied voyage sailing furiously curious purges.
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Rey Pila - The Future Sugar
Album title: The Future Sugar
Record Label: Cult Records
Moving to manicured stammers from mid-eighties samples poured over sporty choruses braised in underbelly glamour, Rey Pila’s brisk, fidgety New Wave funk spaces out and gets down with riff-pitched boogie. A refreshing exodus despite years in studio limbo, the slinky, “Sugar,” cannot sit still; muscular party-pop hustles roar while sinister alt-rock come-ons board bullet-train dancehalls, space-station nightclubs and black-market happy-hours.
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Ivan & Alyosha - It’s All Just Pretend
Album title: It’s All Just Pretend
Record Label: Dualtone
A dazzling indie-pop grab-bag unraveling theatrical narratives in kind-hearted bravado and poignant misfortune, “Pretend,” blends repentant questions into hook-filled hootenannies; unshackled ballads ransacked in brassy gratitude leap from street-wise reprisals to tear-stained amends. Masters of last-chance love-songs packed in foreshadowed passions and streamlined swagger, I&A’s hard-luck romances crush on folk-rock flings as simple opinions address courtship’s hardships with ear-candy sincerity.
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Torres - Sprinter
Album title: Sprinter
Record Label: Partisan Records
A solace-seeking mediator trapped in harrowing happenstance, tortured sorceress Torres treads quicksand landscapes with mystical intimacy, searing mirror-piercing confessions into viscous artistic expression. Chilly uphill marathons pondering dogged melancholy while conquering haunted ceremonies, “Sprinter,” bursts with personal mercies washed in swamp-grunge lunges, tenuous connections sketching viral modern-rock presumption; a defensive intensity exorcising deep-seated demons through bluesy minimalism and simmering convictions.
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From antsy transience to rock-hard reality May albums erect a solid following with titles built upon construction themes. Attach indie-folk architects TWO SHED’s ghost-rock cast-offs swarming razor-sharp coffee-shop biographers, “Assembling,” to mood-altering arc-angels BARNETT + COLOCCIA’s eerily surreal digital multiverses, “Weld,” for monumental chemistry. Fit micro-cosmic manipulator HOLLY HERNDON’s seamless sound-streams teetering between crisp glitch-craft ambience and morphable mechanical organics, “Platform,” into spry, jubilee-blues swingers MADISEN WARD AND THE MAMA’s honey-suckle shuffles, “Skeleton Crew,” then finish with authentic thrash-pop day-trippers HOP ALONG’s coy guerilla revelations, “Painted Shut.” for good measure.