Buzzing in puzzles, June albums match imaginative challenges to inexplicable riddles. What exactly is cloaked dream-stokers THE STARGAZER LILIES’ nubile nightmare, “Door to the Sun,” or chronic cybertronic architects PLAID’s mechanical fantasies, “The Digging Remedy,” and what inside jokes support glazed cave-dwellers PALE DIAN’s sound-drenched chemistry, “Narrow Birth,” dark-pop industrialists TWIN RIVER’s spellbinding, “Passing Shade,” or stalking alt-rocker MITSKI’s exuberant bipolar truces, “Puberty 2”? Inquiring minds want to know.
Still Parade - Concrete Vision
Album title: Concrete Vision
Record Label: Lefse Records
A velvet-vampire’s feast complete with bleeding hearts, eternal yearning and immortal fortitude, Still Parade’s thick analogue fog flogs narcoleptic flutter from chillwave cavalcades, cooing fool’s bargains for high-stakes infatuations ransacking lush love-songs coated in Vaseline dreams. Blushing behind troubled crushes, “Vision,” swoons in soft synthesized wonder; plush upbeat chords absorbing delicious somnambulist’s road-trips with refined pining from scheming choirboy daydreams.
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Oh Pep! - Stadium Cake
Album title: Stadium Cake
Record Label: Dualtone
Upending convention in friendly misdirection, “Stadium,” stages cagey parlor-pop in lofty flash-mob sophistry, scrubbing subtle rebuttals and compassionate acts into smart, propulsive melodies. The smooth Australian duo’s catchy macro-ballads pledge tender confections to cosmopolitan confessions. Prying sly prizes from unsuspecting connections, Oh Pep’s dazzling cabaret highlights life’s small victories, personal triumphs and common failings in giddy rhythms and perky proclamations.
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Whitney - Light Upon the Lake
Album title: Light Upon the Lake
Record Label: Secretly Candaian
Laid-back hep-cats laying aggressive dexterity over shiny rhinestone harmonies, Whitney’s gleaming creamy bayou-country joys buoy polished swamp-water tonics in frisky riffs, sure-handed swing and breezy demeanor. Touched in crisp brass and strung in gurgling guitars, “Lake,” placates with luxurious purrs immersed in kind reminders and hummable comforts; a well-planned adventure whose bright whistle-stop philosophy draws primrose paths down hobo holidays.
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Rae Fitzgerald - Popular Songs for Wholesome Families
Album title: Popular Songs for Wholesome Families
Record Label: self-release
Sequestered with questions and plagued by doubts, patient, sanctioned tales drift in cozy proposals and humane refrains while, “Wholesome,” promotes hopeful moments in hand-holding folk and frail, sophisticated soul. Confronting uncomfortable feelings with bare-boned poems gathered from tarnished karma, Fitzgerald builds strong confident pleads for intimate release, achieving subdued resolution after fever-breaking heartache cautiously launches tantalizing analysis over waltzing indie-pop.
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Deerhoof - The Magic
Album title: The Magic
Record Label: Polyvinyl
Tinkering in twerk-worthy earthiness, Deerhoof’s psychedelic shin-digs dodge and bop atop unstoppable chops, popping out funky home-grown grooves alongside noise-pop juggernauts. Heavy with levity, the foursome’s unpredictably trippy frack-rock talents gets goosed and let loose for fun, wigged-out hullabaloos. Euphoric avant-garage barn-burners dressed in reckless affection and smile-filled abandon turns the snap, crackle and blunt head-rushes inside, “Magic,” positively magnetic.
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Moonface and Siinai - My Best Human Face
Album title: My Best Human Face
Record Label: Jagjaguwar
Warrior-citizens holding commanding anthems for ransom, “Face,” rides neo-romantic loneliness into grand, glorious places. Mounting jagged attacks with cavernous bombast, Wolf Parade’s Spencer Krug’s alter-ego Moonface mind-melds with demonic-rockers Siinai to spray-paint urban verve over molten brimstone. The clamoring vanguards slither in suspicious diligence uncoiling snake-oil choruses lathered with savvy pathology, dredged from shredded edges and simmered in clenched vengeance.
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June courts disasters and fancy finales with electro-punk crunchers ODONIS ODONIS’ mysterious, delirious intimidation, “Post Plague, ” while experimental-folk entrepreneur KATIE KIM’s wonderfully vulnerable, “Cover and Flood,” and forest-nymph ghost-poetess THE GLOBELAMP’s chamber-jangle fables, “The Orange Glow,” suggest cataclysmic shifts. Ominous honesty haunts art-pop sister duo PURO INSTINCT’s swirling synth-lounge textures inside, “Autodrama,” with upgraded punk-rock chroniclers PAWS’ crafted blasts and hooked-based chaos, “No Grace.” and magical neo-classical song-writer ZIEMBA’s supernatural madrigals, “Hope Is Never,” delivering existential credentials in naked frankness. Ziemba plays Madison’s Arts & Literature Lab June 4th