From intergalactic prog-rock minimalists MONO’s gargantuan phantoms slow-dancing around delicate silhouettes inside, “Nowhere Now Here,” to contemporary country-folk songbirds LULA WILES pointed, coin-toss philosophy, “What Will We Do?” January albums suggest everyone make plans, seek solutions and get organize. Discover undercover structure in angel-winged guitar-slinger STEVE GUNN’s mythic Americana, “The Unseen In Between” or crack open honest pop-harmonic ANGELO DE AUGUSTINE’s effervescent treasure, “Tomb,” but wake up and do something.
Frances Cone - Late Riser
Album title: Late Riser
Record Label: Thirty Tigers
Lifted in smooth blue-eyed soul flowing in bold dream-pop composure and courageous harmony-rich exposure, Frances Cone’s sumptuous air-brushed heaven blends solemn compositions into tumultuous wonders, inspiring choir-spiked hindsight fortified in evangelical groundswells exploding over cagey rhythms. Drenched in sensitive strengths and generous intentions, “Riser,” nurtures positive urges, enraptured baptisms countering drowning struggles with dramatic auto-tuned beauty from commanding synth-kissed witnesses.
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Dani Bell & the Tarantist - Wide Eyed
Album title: Wide Eyed
Record Label: The Redwood Music
Alley-cat sass slinks past B-movie flashbacks letting pulp-fiction vixens spin, “Wide Eyes,” around empowered prowlers sparring with open-hearted targets. Sensual empathy emptied into beatnik quips at after-hours night-clubs, Bell’s dream-boat vocals twist coy joys into tempting remedies, whip-smart whispers nestled in grind-house rock as contagious danger lures uncertain mercies into smoky, fire-escape soirees sound-tracked by hip-swiveling doo-wop from doomsday sock-hops.
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You Tell Me - You Tell Me
Album title: You Tell Me
Record Label: Memphis Industries
Silky knots dissolve in gorgeous flourishes fluttering among angular bangers; Field Music’s Peter Brewis and Admiral Fallow’s Sarah Hayes fuse trifling delights into luminous movements and glossy posturing. Poignant chords explore sharp-cornered rapport in the duo’s self-titled debut, with fussy luxuries gracing pliable pop through posh pantomimes, ornamental contentment painted in sophisticated refrains, charismatic ballets laced in lush metropolitan crushes.
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Sharon Van Etten - Remind Me Tomorrow
Album title: Remind Me Tomorrow
Record Label: Jagjaguwar
Languid entanglements make moody mazes for the indomitable, “Tomorrow,” whose manipulated sounds, melodramatic melodies and methodical percussion exhume funeral gloom into cutting rebuttals; newborn scorn knitting distant intimacy into proud alt-rock shrouds. Combative reactions, glorious abandon and self-assured purges flavor Van Etten’s psychological toffee, churning obscure cures into elusive proofs to assist hard-bitten victims sweeping romantic debris from bittersweet secrets.
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Tim Presley's White Fence - I Have to Feed Larry’s Hawk
Album title: I Have to Feed Larry’s Hawk
Record Label: Drag City
Gritty, jittery surf-twang dirges crash irrational art-punk passions into casual goth-pop pathos as Presley’s baroque-folk mojo floats unhinged flings past refracted realities with eerie calm and devilish delirium. Rocked in cock-eyed ironies, analogue anarchy and supernatural theatrics, “Larry’s,” packs fractured twilight torch-songs around tender demented wig-outs; slow-drip trips shaking off memory-lane mind-games with trans-dimensional calliopes, flubber-toughened bass and ricochet-rattled guitars.
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William Tyler - Go West
Album title: Go West
Record Label: Merge
Gentle eloquence greased in free-wheeling, scene-stealing versatility, the panoramic, “West,” never rests, whether fashioning magical cinematic road-trips from Celtic-country melting-pots or stitching backwoods minuets from placid Bluegrass jazz. An international tapestry of radiant runs resonating in unquenchable curiosity and serene execution, Tyler’s stylish sleigh-rides dash and skate, polishing off quicksilver passages whose soft-spoken approach shine swift licks onto nimble riffs.
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GospelbeacH - Another Winter Alive
Album title: Another Winter Alive
Record Label: Alive Naturalsounds Records
Carefree companions ready to rumble, GospelbeacH feeds jangly ranch-hand fandangos into smug honky-tonk rockers for infectious gems assembling wandering hearts onto toe-tapping attitudes. Divided into lo-fi live-cuts and previously unreleased songs polished to perfection, “Winter,” layers cheerful hometown feels over subtly intricate precision where restless tempests rustle smooth California shuffles rooted in colluding harmonies, rollicking riffs and open road anecdotes
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The Bevis Frond - We’re Your Friends, Man
Album title: We’re Your Friends, Man
Record Label: Fire Records
A double-album loaded in tart remarks, urbane refrains and haughty bon mots, “Friends,” blends British folk-rock loftiness alongside psychedelic-garage barrages for a stunning display of manners and mayhem. Wise country squires swallowed in cosmic squalor, The Bevis Frond’s world swirls in sadness and stoicism, madness and mysticism; caterwauling six-strings soaring over calm heads singing searing suites dressed in elegant despair.
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LP - Heart To Mouth
Album title: Heart To Mouth
Record Label: Vagrant Records
Best intentions stretch breathless connections over smoldering diva fevers; LP speaks directly, singing in foxy pop whirlwinds while building emotional bonfires in the blazing, “Heart to Mouth.” Bittersweet symphonies capture sizzling victory laps inside confessional spectacle as, “Heart,” tackles bewitching entanglements with polish and flair, a deliberate slip and determined swagger wrapping smoldering boldness around beat-greased teases and string-infused grooves.
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Darwin's Finches - Good Morning Creatures II
Album title: Good Morning Creatures II
Record Label: Artificial Head Records & Tapes
Brain-pan landslides collide inside, “Good Morning Creatures II,” erupting from powerful sour-mash howls, stormy psycho-blues breakdowns and lurching cow-punk subversion. Grizzled gonzo gauchos, Darwin’s Finches greets specious reality with electric menace and suspicious visions flying off the handle directly into the fire, collaborating with fellow Texan Jandek in a detour-riddled tour de force scorched in psychedelic barbecue from college-town cantinas.
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Silent Servant - Shadows of Death and Desire
Album title: Shadows of Death and Desire
Record Label: Hospital Productions
Diode-toasted motorists piloting breathing machines, heat-seeking Silent Servant merges sullen pulses into roaming monotones; luminous, chattering patterns inhabiting slumbering hums amid throbbing pongs. Manufactured patch-bay midwives birthing cyborg orchestras, SS conducts daring binary aerobatics spitting Ritalin spinners with matrix-stripped persistence. Stroboscopic flip-flops stir-fried in wobbly trigonometry, “Shadows,” salivates in palatable electronics, hunger-driven rhythms and generative sedatives washed in anxious databanks.
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Majken - Young Believer
Album title: Young Believer
Record Label: Kollektivet Records
Curious coronations formed from welcoming spells and majestic blessings, “Young Believer,” weaves enchanted piano, heavenly choirs and tugboat brass into nimble chamber-pop ballads swept up in dreamy divination. Swedish chanteuse, life student and self-taught harpist, Majken parlays naked fates against lush repercussions, posing both knowing and innocent while fashioning a mystical balance between benevolent polyphonic melancholy and tentatively centered reverie.
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Michele Mercure - Beside Herself
Album title: Beside Herself
Record Label: RVNG Intl
Basement arcades whose blissful thrills blossom in primitive synchronicity, Mercure’s overdue anthology trips, flips and unfolds vintage synths and tampered samples marching down cyber-dream construction-sites armed with single-minded grooves chasing funky fire-flies among factory ruins. Surreal symphonies integrating mouse-trap Krautrock, “Herself,” chooses eerie palettes to compose haunting compositions for dances both stiff and spacey, natural and mechanical, flawless and accidental.
(119) Page Views
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Gabby's World - Beast on Beast
Album title: Beast on Beast
Record Label: Yellow K Records
Whip-smart, happy pop swirled in giddy indie-rock, “Beast,” reaches for the stars and grabs brass rings; circling worry with confident promises where friendly suggestions slide down carefree beats riding rainbow highways paved in pastel harmonies. Immersed in day-glo open disclosure and silver-lined kindness, the former Eskimeaux’s reincarnated Gabby’s World spins in dizzy, twist and shout welcomes and genuine, tender good-byes.
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Public Memory - Demolition
Album title: Demolition
Record Label: felte
Velvet neon streaked across galvanized clockwork, “Demolition,” blends ancient anchorless pangs into precise rhythmic devices for luscious zig-zag schematics infiltrating cool sonic fogs. Submitting shimmering images sinking in impoverished economy, billowing in silhouettes and tangled in directionless dimensions, Public Memory interjects fishbowl ghosts broaching cybernetic etiquette with mobile claustrophobia, lost, vacuum-sealed lightning rods smoldering under stainless glazes and frosty blue-prints.
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Kelly Moran - Ultraviolet
Album title: Ultraviolet
Record Label: Warp Records
Sound-cluster sculptor and aural animator, Moran’s lively style stacks calculated cacophony into climatic happenstance; toppling hops overtaking rippling skips while brisk, exponential melodies engulf waterfall geometry married to fearlessly serial hysteria. A wonder and delight, “Ultraviolet,” negotiates, infatuates and retaliates with keyboard-driven expeditions decorated in gamelan tail-spins and divine pachinko symmetry, sorting assorted contorted choreography into lovely, enchanting and ticklish.
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Love Jerks - Million Movies
Album title: Million Movies
Record Label: self-release
Spry lo-fi rock operettas culled from melodramatic matinees and real-life romance, “Movies,” croon and schmooze in heavy-petting show-stoppers, jiving to hoodwinked hullabaloos, skinny-tie shin-digs and Friday-night house-parties. Fun-loving punks crashing renegade serenades into hopped-up teen anthems, Love Jerks cruise in gear boy-girl face-offs, retro-swinging kitsch dishing electric-blue doo-wop and gushing New Wave hustle; savvy finales crafted for ravenous off-Broadway cabaret.
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Rosanne Cash - She Remembers Everything
Album title: She Remembers Everything
Record Label: Blue Note
Bittersweet steel-guitar ripples among brushed snare and aching bass; elegant apprehension weaves between sad-ballad resolutions and strong story-teller’s intrigue as woke folk royalty Cash pours her entire being into every self-reflected moment. Personal myths rising from campfire hymnals, “Everything,” connects hearts and minds to humane campaigns with subtle orchestration, clear lyrics and perceptive metaphors shining sober hope onto solemn problems.
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Between perceptive roots-rockers TRAPPER SCHOEPP’s cheeky, ” Primetime Illusion,” transcendent heavyweights SWERVEDRIVER’s unnerving alt-rock curveballs, “Future Ruins,” and sideshow surrealists DEERHUNTER’s, imaginative, “Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared?” January starts the year dark. Then again, paisley groovers SEANCE CRASHER’s rainbow-washed soul, “Gentle Cycle,” psychotropic mythmakers THE EARTHLY FRAMES’ sky-high, “Light Reading,” and clever hook-heavy party-animals FIDLAR’s uproarious, “Almost Free,” offer brighter alternatives. Who knows, maybe indie-pop PAVO PAVO’s intriguing, “Mystery Hour,” indie-rock story-tellers HAWK AND DOVES’, “Our Childhood Heroes,” or hepcat EERIE WANDA’s low-key retro-pop, “Pet Town,” will light your way.