Squirrel Flower - photo by Tonje Thilesen
There, but not quite, June album’s hopeful goals range from fairy-rock philosophers AZURE RAY’s bewitching wisdom, “Remedy,” to polyester confessor JOHNNY KOSMOS’ retro-groovy, “Pastry.” Thwarted rewards course through magical tarot narrator SPELLING’s elaborate cabaret, “The Turning Wheel,” hallowed pop-carolers SAINT SISTER’s celestial questions, “Where Should I End,” and humble tumbleweed STEVIE WEINSTEIN-FONER’s roots-blues boogaloo, “Wondering,” while self-completion seeks singular indie-revisionist SQUIRREL FLOWER’s steely reveals, “Planet (i).” Success is nearly here.
Devin Shaffer - In My Dreams I’m There
Album title: In My Dreams I’m There
Record Label: American Dream Records
Placated dreamscapes and audio cinema verité revolve around Shaffer’s experimental musical experiences, surreal appeals waft past casual conversations erasing borders between intangible phantoms and sentient memories. Interconnected reflections dispersed among otherworldly swirls from strummed guitars brushed in reverb, reversal and reconnaissance, There,” rises half-relaxed and wholly open, diaries fired with quiet privacy left smoldering in hallucinogenic mentions and soft-spoken notions.
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Quivers - Golden Doubt
Album title: Golden Doubt
Record Label: Ba Da Bing
Ensemble-pop assembled in genial scenery for hook-laden sanctuaries, “Golden” holds broken hopes under rose-colored microscopes, examining jangly pain with savvy accuracy and upbeat treats. Second-guessing essays in affectionate conjecture and intellectual acceptance, Quivers’ literate deliverance brings genuine tenderness to crafted melodramas and stylish kindness to real feelings, hiding tidy pining hindsight behind lofty cosmic vaudeville filled with swooning honeymoon harmonies.
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Mind Maintenance - Mind Maintenance
Album title: Mind Maintenance
Record Label: Drag City
Dancing trances for pleased yogis, Joshua Abrams and Chad Taylor, the intuitive world-jazz gurus behind Mind Maintenance’s self-titled debut pair North Africa’s guimbri and Zimbabwe’s mbira bridging cross-cultural gulfs through a subtle lulling touch marked by undeterred curiosity and flickering rhythms. Playful patterns clatter down phased staircase-mazes lifting Mind Maintenance’s shifting riffs with subliminal consistency; dissolving designs fostering modulating hypnotics.
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Lightning Bug - A Color of the Sky
Album title: A Color of the Sky
Record Label: Fat Possum
Hushed, lush, “Color,” conjures modest melodic odysseys feeding deep needs from undimmed wellsprings; sumptuous comforts gathering placid happiness from introspective messages softly pondering unrequited lives in dawning symphonics. Ephemeral chamber-folk sentinels basking in hazy daylight, Lightning Bug hosts supple well-constructed bluster shielding shoegaze angels from foggy propositions, revealing unyielding yesterdays in miniature reminiscences while cradling radiant patience through elusive truths.
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Liz Phair - Soberish
Album title: Soberish
Record Label: Chrysalis Records
Anecdotal trophies squeezed between maternal concerns, admirable swagger and discerning verse, Phair pairs feminist presence sauntering with taunting confidence and true-life adventures centered around lyrical rear-view mirrors and candid indie-rock stamina. Incisive, descriptive, defiant and perceptive, “Soberish,” has nothing to prove and something to say, extolling and unfolding redemptive date-night diplomacy spiced with sizzling invitations, enticing advice and cautionary honesty.
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Lipstick Jodi - More Like Me
Album title: More Like Me
Record Label: Quite Scientific
Edgy exclamations coiled around feisty enticements, “More,” explores estranged entanglements lit in electric gloss; neon pondering traversing a busy city’s abyss trapping homesick labyrinths. Encrypted in tweaked keyboards and guitars, bottomless New Wave bass and gated shotgun drums, Lipstick Jodi decode slick midnight promises, charging carte blanche parties with hard-wired abandon from teasing sequences, unsettling presets and keen synth-pop sheen.
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Shaky relations jostle July albums from panicked mechanic AEGIR’s electro-shocked cyber-rock, “The Earth Grew Uncertain,” to singer-songwriter KAYLEEE ELIZABETH’s rich, shimmering convictions, “Playing with Fire,” and sensitive alt-pop codependents ISLAND’s glow-in-the-dark, “Yesterday Park.” Whether pulled by holistic folk-poltergeists BRIARS OF NORTH AMERICA’s organic enchantments, “Supermoon,” or psilocybin sensualists IMUR’s foxy technology, “My Molecules” tensions upend intentions. Consider head-spinning linchpins WHISPERING SONS’ post-punk paranoia, “Several Others,” sparring arbitrator JIM WARD’s double-edged pledges, “Daggers,” vocalist composer MABE FRATTI’s synthesized artsongs, “Será que ahora podremos entendernos?” or bombastic CLEOPATRICK’s taunting angst-rock onslaught, “Bummer.”