Fear not, December releases deliver lots of optimistic incentives. Positive solace arrives inside ambient ranch-hands SUSS’ lonesome Big-Sky fly-bys, “Promise,” pensive cosmopolitan sequencer LATE NIGHT FINAL’s extended mind-benders, “A Wonderful Hope,” and celestial messengers THE HAMRAHLÍÐ CHOIR’s plush Icelandic meta-lullabies, “Come and Be Joyful.” Meanwhile, brighter futures include futuristic fusionist SON LUX‘s purring, whirling mercies, “Tomorrow II,” and hard-swinging soft-jazz groovologists WYL & WUN TWO’s ultra-cool loops, “We Talk Tomorrow.”
Easter Island - Take All the Time You Think You Need
Album title: Take All the Time You Think You Need
Record Label: Self-Release
Calm harmonies skate over languid pangs and bittersweet changes while Easter Island’s carpeted heartache shimmers in unlimited forgiveness, embattled sadness embraced by tender interventions and compliant alliances. An indie-pop safety-net stretched from gorgeous choruses to hushed touches, “Take,” creates chivalrous missions from incandescent penance, racing in triumphant percussion chasing starlit guitars sparking bell-tower power-chords among washed-ashore keyboards and second-wind finishes.
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Elif Yalvaç - Mountains Become Stepping Stones
Album title: Mountains Become Stepping Stones
Record Label: NNA Tapes
Tasty abrasions dissolve into alien landings absorbing monolithic transmissions colored in unmuzzled fuzz, disintegrating fades and stuttering buzz; the metamorphic, “Mountains,” bellows and buckles beneath tonal coronas and chromatic chasms captured by stroboscopic mitosis. Shape-shifting enigmas signaling from manufactured catastrophes, Yalvaç squeezes mammoth waves from blossoming throbs and radiant decay while chronic tectonics rise from dense frenzy to deep frequencies,
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Kevin Godley - Muscle Memory
Album title: Muscle Memory
Record Label: The State51 Conspiracy
Philosophical offerings bristle in fluid brooding as Godley lobs probing vocals over techno-focused dystopias; slithering images and coiled semiotics snake past seething reason opposing capital-saturated media feeds and booming consumer vacuums. Cynical intimidation from venomous victims playing language games employing topical propaganda, “Muscle,” fusses in subtle cusses and immaculate beats; sly, stylistic mischief waxing over global meltdowns and psychic crises.
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Bon Bon Vivant - Dancing in the Darkness
Album title: Dancing in the Darkness
Record Label: Self-Release
From woozy jubilees to sobering eulogies, “Darkness” barks in braying brass and steamy reeds fired in torch-song soliloquies reflecting sensuous reverence with flowing condolences and passionate gratitude. Hungry for life, New Orleans’s Bon Bon Vivant put down roots while reaching for the sky, embracing bawdy voodoo klezmer, street-parade funk and sweet champagne ballads that devour the sweet and the sour.
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M. Ward - Think of Spring
Album title: Think of Spring
Record Label: ANTI-
Fragile magic casting mellow spells, Ward turns Billie Holiday classics into discerning interpretations for voice and acoustic guitar, spotlighting hesitant regrets and pressing confessions through timid insinuating minimalism. Hip, cool, and wise while pining, lost in lover’s limbo, “Spring,” swings in sighing hindsight and fond farewells; intricate, sophisticated blues left at the altar dressed in nuanced truth and warm regards.
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Lavender Diamond - Now Is The Time
Album title: Now Is The Time
Record Label: Petaluma Records
Buoyant soirees poured over chilled vibes and house-guest benevolence, the refined, “Time,” pitches rich, architecturally measured treasures, discovering hovering pleasures in melodic messages; lofty chamber-pop swansongs whose energetic chemistry swoon in velvet well-wishing and lush encouragements. Empathetic emissaries and art-parlor angels, Lavender Diamond’s soothing muses woo, cruise and fuse seasoned carefree teases, braiding bright inviting asides around deep meaningful dreams.
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Countering the year end’s supportive morsels, December albums also court assorted disasters. Whether you side with gruff blues-roots busker DUFF THOMPSON‘s haunted honky-tonk, “Haywire,” or prog-rock opera prophets TDW‘s symphonic histrionics, “The Days the Clocks Stopped,” dark days persuade our internal renegades. Take your chances with eighties-based tastemaker PAUL JACKS’ synth-swaddled yacht-rock, “Black Jackal,” and indie-rock polisher QUARTER-LIFE CRISIS’, shiny, cameo-studded EP, “Quarter-Life Crisis,” before cautiously opting for R&B boudoir suitor AN ONLY CHILD‘s lovelorn sojourns “Prepare the Body,” or snarky charmer IZAAK OPATZ‘s classic country-pop covers, “Hot & Heavy-Handed.”