Smirks lurk behind summer smiles as August albums toss a wink and a nod to idyllic situations. From country-blues maverick JACKIE GREENE’s hard-swinging, cinematic, “Back To Birth,” to fuzz-blustery pop-punks WORRIERS’ scorching deal-sealer, “Imaginary Life,” wishful innocence thrives. Whether measuring frontier fusionist MONK PARKER’s raw art-folk hosannas, “How The Spark Loves The Tinder,” or treasuring suave chamber-pop chameleons MOTHER FALCON’s delectable orchestral ecstasy, “Good Luck Have Fun,” paradoxical paradises await.
Drinks - Hermits on Holiday
Album title: Hermits on Holiday
Record Label: Birth Records
Intentionally eccentric and willfully wobbly, “Hermits,” unfurl an inventive collaborative dementia between brilliant psycho-Brit Cate LeBon and White Fences’ irrepressible Tim Presley. Crazed sages waging fruity canoodling against giggle-riddled syllogisms whose unruly tomfoolery sprouts like lop-sided poppies from well-watered wig-outs, DRINKS’ impish electro-shocked leads and bonker beats release idiosyncratic pageants capturing happily madcap rascals slurping schizophrenic chemistry under moonlit labyrinths.
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Daniel Pearson - Alone, Together
Album title: Alone, Together
Record Label: Saint in the City Records
Serious lyrics imbedded in muscular country cruise through stormy prairie-rock as Pearson’s forceful, coercive indie-folk anecdotes unfold in glorious stories. Seeking compassionate gratitude in earnest mercies, the British songwriter evokes first-person struggles examining lost faith and renewed hope. The warm camp-fire welcome, “Alone,” provides rides strong, social emotions inside Good Samaritan narratives; peppering every perceptive question with several unanswerable examples.
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Tamaryn - Cranekiss
Album title: Cranekiss
Record Label: Mexican Summer
Soaked and stoked by cybernetic ghosts, the Lilith-dipped, “Cranekiss,” whips industrial colors from tampered dance-rock fantasies for thick tantric trances planted within weightless basements; submerged urges swimming in swampy pomp. Carving lavish cavernous sounds, Tamaryn’s massive schematics attract multi-tasking catastrophes for monstrous concerts featuring shimmering quicksand romps where air-brushed songs ping-pong among parallel carousels squashing cosmic operas under mammoth canopies.
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Teen Daze - Morning World
Album title: Morning World
Record Label: Paper Bag Records
Polished frolics caught inside sugar-coated soul, the lush, transcendent Teen Daze push pristine power-pop into warm fades, tender blends and sleepy dissolves; nature-based havens launch rippled space-age heartbreak guided by love-struck harmonies while pool-side choirboys perch beneath shiny torch-song flourishes. The sterling, “World,” glides in quietly positive confidence experimenting with blissful string quartets, understated tape manipulations and light-headed bedroom confession.
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The Mynabirds - Lovers Know
Album title: Lovers Know
Record Label: Saddle Creek
Fur-lined dirges flirting in kinky winks and penthouse purrs, “Know,” prowls in passive cabaret, teasing powder-puff lust with emphatic alt-pop magic. Bewitching conflicts twisted into edgy sedatives, The Mynabirds’ well-planned glam plays gothic-sponsored synths like thinking Vegas sphinxes. Poised in coy theatrics, band-leader Laura Burhenn dazzles with deep thoughts frosted onto layered cakes baked in puzzling romance and haunted desires.
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Ultimate Painting - Green Lanes
Album title: Green Lanes
Record Label: Trouble in Mind Records
Knicking quick-witted riffs, low-key jangle and riverside harmonies, Ultimate Painting modifies disembodied rail-yard blues skewed with baroque-folk psychedelia to rock an intricate yet relaxed catchiness infused in grassroots grooviness. Cantilevered clock-work fashioning hepcat moves inside guitar-tangled minuets, “Green,” courts contorted pastorals in deliberately nimble trips, injecting sophisticated misdirection into straight-edged pledges; back-stage jams revamped through subtle hustle rustling consolable doldrums.
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Summer suddenly crashes with dire album titles declaring it’s all over. From synthesized deriders TELEPATHE’s dark, knotted club-rock embargoes, “Destroyer,“to velvet-pelted mood-producer CHELSEA WOLFE’s marvelously startling maelstrom, the pitch-black, “Abyss,” gloomy beauty elicits delicious risk. Bombastic taskmasters RADKEY’s high-voltage blues-rock temptations, “Dark Black Makeup,” unseats defeat while the calming chaos of audio adventurer WILLIAM BASINSKI’s tape-loop waterfalls inside, “The Deluge,” and alt-rock hang-gliders AAVE’s flaming electric resignation, “There’s Nothing,” promises divine demise. Finally, ethereal Welsh surreal-pop elf GWENNO’s narcotic sci-fi adaptation, “Y Dydd Olaf (The Last Day),” suggest sublime finales.