Whether boarding day-glo power-pop harmonists ELEPHANT STONE’s blissed-out boy-scout roundabout, “Ship of Fools,” or spotting scorching retro-hipster torch-singer and rockin’ soul-sister RACHAEL YAMAGATA’s articulate capitulations, “Tightrope Walker,” September albums advise you to choose wisely. Consider squirming urban snake-charmers WARPAINT’s ultra-sultry stalk-rock odyssey, “Heads Up,” pathological heart-throbs BLACK MARBLE’s impatient basement chills, “It’s Immaterial,” and schizophrenic sentimentalists NO ONE MIND’s, self-titled pseudo-cinematic pop-rock smorgasbord before confusing final conclusions with decisive delusions.
Bellows - Fist and Palm
Album title: Fist and Palm
Record Label: Double Double Whammy
Jaw-dropping synth-pop clock-work stacked in steady resonating harmonies and symphonic chamber-rock arrangements, Bellows’ pouncing counterpoint woo dancing enchantments into thunderstruck teardrops crying turbo-charged lullabies in water-bed head-trips. An inviting sheen laid over sophisticated mayhem producing an invigorating stage for heavenly tension, “Fist,” shifts between ambitious mischief and promising competence, juggling smug tribal vibes alongside rhythmic pirouettes and calm melodic tonics.
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Eluvium - False Readings On
Album title: False Readings On
Record Label: Temporary Residence
Colossal architectural free-falls dissolving gurgling swirls, eclipsed hisses and sumptuous hums “False,” vaults into oceanic ambient somnambulism; persuasive quakes enveloping solemn convoys drenched in subtle suspense. From downgraded monster-waves blanketing saintly membranes with baptismal lighthouse gazes, Eluvium’s breathing wide-screen cathedrals release solid aural auroras steeped in stirring, purring chromatic avalanches unfurling sterling environments within tubular scoops layered in eerie tranquility.
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Tim Presley - The Wink
Album title: The Wink
Record Label: Drag City
Connecting mismatched Mad-Hatter pitter-patter to snappishly synaptic punk-pop catastrophes, White Fences’ resident sound-chemist Presley severs and tethers, performing curious surgeries on tropical-goth, intentionally demented Baroque-folk and wobbly wizard-rock. Half-joking commotion roasted in paradigm rhymes from imaginative dream-captains practicing Dada black-magic, “Wink,” rethinks normal instincts in rickety syncopation, spindly persistence and elliptical dips merging absurd jabberwocky subversion into urgent fringe-art conversions.
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Flock of Dimes - If You See Me Say Yes
Album title: If You See Me Say Yes
Record Label: Partisan
Rooted in soft, buttery coos spread over glitzy, pedal-box loops, “Yes,” chirps, shimmies and percolates; angel-arranged choirs concocting modern comedies whose tender surrenders on rainbow-covered dance-floors capture deeper meanings among inescapable feelings. Zapped in dizzying inspirations, Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner’s side-project’s spring-board chords, careening sequences and braided cascades spew cellophane daisy-chains lining daring designs with thrilling frills and sensitive revelations
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Pixies - Head Carrier
Album title: Head Carrier
Record Label: Play It Again Sam
Pulp-fiction predicaments gilded in supersonic confidence, Pixies’ twisted tales and artful dodges drop major chops with gleeful gonzo fondness topped-off with dollops of crispy, crunchy alt-rock romps. Locked in rapid narratives glazed in smoldering solos, “Head.” treads pithy hipster history with blunt lyrical punches; steely rapport recorded in paranormal paranoia and stylized nihilism, combustible character assassinations driven in bullet-proof grooves.
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Itasca - Open to Chance
Album title: Open to Chance
Record Label: Paradise of Bachelors
Knitted in silvery bluegrass runs and muted flatlander-blues, “Open,” evokes folksy utopias centered in effortless memories dressed in overlapping calico tapestries; quotable poetic disclosures embrace graceful observations as lush haunted laments conquer fear and face rejuvenating futures. Embroidered in buoyant coordination, Itasca’s nimble guitars, sparse flute and ballerina violin waltz in restless tide-pool swan-songs, anchoring selective reflections around effervescent affections.
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From conceptual techno-imp JENNY HVAL’s fascinating cyber-ripe socio-political soliloquies, “Blood Bitch,” to midnight rambler ANGEL OLSEN’s nostalgic country-soul tragedies, “My Woman,” and vamp-pop commentator ANN MAGNUSON’s sardonic monologues, “Dream Girl,” September assembles the feminine. Apply hallucinogenic punk-rock posse NOTS’ unvarnished narcotic tirades, “Cosmetics,” then dabble in swinging lounge-pop scroungers LE FEMME’s rug-cutting post-romantic hungers, “Mystere,” before cradling spiritual folk-poet CARRIE NEWCOMER’s perceptive celebratory testaments, “The Beautiful Not Yet,” for fertile maternal concerns. Carrie headlines a benefit for Dane County Courage to Teach at Madison’s First United Methodist Church September 16th.