Mischief is afoot as June album titles dabble in midsummer magic’s madness. Unrest caresses dance-delicious surf-punks SHOPPING’s ska-rodeo, “Consumer Complaints,” cellar-dwelling Cinderella SOAK’s endearing teardrop-pop, “Before We Forgot How to Dream,” and singed indie-rockers BRONTOSAURUS’ soaring imploring counterpoint, “Our Animal Ways.” Meanwhile philosophical anarchy courts untamable alchemy between spot-on pop-correspondent, BEN LEE’s feel-good revolution, “Love is the Great Rebellion,” and prog-polished prodigies JAGA JAZZIST’s astral-encapsulated tapestry, “Starfire.” Expect the unexpected.
Jenny Hval - Apocalypse, girl
Album title: Apocalypse, girl
Record Label: Sacred Bones
Beached speech from holy oceans pitch articulate wit enunciating eerie lists inside art-rock lyrics; Hval’s celestial rhetoric voice secular specters planted in arctic marvels, angelic swells and cyber-spanning panoramas submerging swirling performances in frosted positivity. Aloof truths fan fancy tangents inside incandescent stanzas impaling flailing white-whale fairy-tales rendered in contemporary serenity as, “Apocalypse,” sips nuclear-winter symphonies from willful children’s imaginations.
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Girlpool - Before the World was Big
Album title: Before the World was Big
Record Label: Witchita Recordings
Emancipated play-dates roller-skate through wide-eyed diary-riding glad-tidings trailing unbridled cartwheel zeal alongside noble hand-holding bromides; “Big,” serves generous road-trip-brokered folk-punk homilies transformed into hopeful jump-rope waltzes. Vetting winsome observations trimmed in fly-by-night insights, sharp eyes pry hop-scotch thoughts from frank complaints while guitar, bass and intertwined vocal harmonies power Girlpool’s drum-less dynamics in cheery jubilation, grinning synergy and open empathy.
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Kid Wave - Wonderlust
Album title: Wonderlust
Record Label: Heavenly Records
Cruise-missile blizzards chisel tousled dream-pop insomnia, Kid Wave’s thick, but sensitive intensity craft sleek chassis onto whip-smart go-carts, the London-based, internationally-casted quartet’s sassy rallies balance competence beside confidence for swift deliverance of fragile goods. Sleepy pleads fend off narcotic pillow-talk, lowering, “Wonderlust,” under solidly modern sonics; slinky commitments sprinkled in nightclub glitter applied by poker-faced mavens played with blissful indifference.
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iji - Whatever Will Happen
Album title: Whatever Will Happen
Record Label: Team Love
Power-carousing fleeced in cheeky twee, rocked in soft, indie-pop and splashed in midnight jazz, “Happen,” zaps loose brass, phat swagger and swinging rhythms in flouncy down-town lounge drunk with promise, full of verve and swimming in talent. Hush Puppy hipsters flutter utterly irony-free in retro-savvy remedies, over-loaded vocabularies unraveling iji’s casual travelogues into irresistible reminisces, choice reminders and sly hints.
(2017) Page Views
Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Multi-Love
Album title: Multi-Love
Record Label: Jagjaguwar
Stitched in groovy Frankenstein Valentines, UMO’s garage-soul Romeos exude lo-fi funk from junkyard jewels; lysergic cross-circuits crunching funhouse bumps into trippy basement raves and disco-commissioned intermissions. Immersed in flanged drum-pad boogie, blue-eyed Motown tributes and rootsy alt-pop chutzpah, “Multi-Love,” build Hydra-like blights spinning odd-ball logic from slinky whimsy and criminal resilience for dance-friendly chemistry bent on electrifying hip romantic calamities.
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Pins - Wild Nights
Album title: Wild Nights
Record Label: Bella Union
Surly purrs imbedded in smirking mascara-lined dirges laid over brittle stiletto-rock insurgence from subterranean palladiums, “Wild,” files venomous memories, assembling jilted jigsaw-goth from salamander mantras, four-on-the-floor power-chords and smoldering old-school templates. Hurtling vexing vixen doo-wop from twin-fisted sisters refining sunken dungeon come-ons, PINS’ pouty doubts and stern burns fuse leather-clad ballads with fem-blended anthems bleeding steamy teases beneath steel-belted helter-skelter.
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After midsummer wig-outs, June settles down and gets back to business, wisely beginning with country-jazz party-crashers REINA DEL CID’s sizzling folk-wisdom, “The Cooling,” before advancing towards former Abe Vigoda guitarist and fluent alt-rock doodler MICHAEL VIDAL’s cerebral cathedral, “Dream Center,” and bright melodic-pop philosopher _LINDEN’s lush, harmonic sauna, “Rest and Be Thankful.” Kicking it up a notch, lubricated future-troopers NO JOY’s serrated shadow-rock, “More Faithful,” gets back on the horse along with quicksilver guitarist CHRISTOPHER PAUL STELLING whose stellar chamber-roots revivals host hospitable gospel in the invigorating, “Labor Against Waste.”