Keeping it loose, October hedges bets with snake-oil shamans KUNDALINI GENIE’s opiated, “Half In Half Out,” and alt-rock topplers MOANING LISA’s insidiously finicky, “Something Like This But Not This.” Meanwhile ambivalence grips ultra-clubbers MAGDALENA BAY’s bell-bottom boogie, “Mercurial World,” and folk-jazz casualty CHARLOTTE CORNFIELD’s lucid ruminations, “High in the Minuses.” Witness slippery non-commitment in sunshine-folk sister MYSTERY ROSE’s personal quirks, “Socially Distant,” and automaton-popper BLACK MARBLE’s programmed romances, “Fast Idol.”
Eleanor Buckland - You Don’t Have To Know
Album title: You Don’t Have To Know
Record Label: Soundly Music
Expanding from her acoustic roots with Boston folk trio Lula Wiles, Buckland’s rolling backroads rodeo addresses life’s unavoidable messes with fearless lyrics and perceptive pep captured in galloping backing circling twang-jangle heartache and rockin’ wanderlust. Wisdom distilled into compact two-act story-songs, “Know,” smolders in incandescent electricity; thumping drums, race-car guitars and assorted keyboards empathizing beneath poetic connections and restless introspection.
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Sam Evian - Time To Melt
Album title: Time To Melt
Record Label: Fat Possum
The heart-felt “Melt,” lathers creamy blue-eyed soul poured over funky punchy synthesized vices, back-burner mirth simmering in liquid lovesick whispers glazed, engaged and laid down into loose dreamy grooves cooked over dancing flames. Somewhere between psychotropic Romeo and pixie-dusted Pied Piper, Evian fuses future sounds to commercial flirting, sci-fi prizes awarded for yacht-rock sock-hops broadcasted in boldly cozy quadraphonic technicolor.
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Illuminati Hotties - Let Me Do One More
Album title: Let Me Do One More
Record Label: Hopeless Records
From pop-punk spunk to soft indie doo-wop, the chameleonic Illuminati Hotties’ frantic antics layer coy patience over spicy crisis for well-rounded musical playgrounds unleashing fiery irony with blistering proficiency and slinky riffs. A crash-course in tempting sensual vengeance, “More,” launches muscular hustle within sly bangers and catnip ballads; rampant cantankerous vamps whose wry side-eye hides tender contentions and guarded affections.
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Gone To Color - Gone To Color
Album title: Gone To Color
Record Label: self-release
A polished polyphonic debut, the self-titled collaborative laboratory tames turbulent currents and divisive rhythms hosting various vocalists to manufacture sinister facets from prismatic atmospheres, exquisite cosmopolitan options expertly unknotting twisted sophistication. Helmed by Tyler Bradley Walker and Matt Heim, Gone to Color snakes anxious urban malaise around shiny, steely, self-reflective cages, executing luxurious turns from troubled thoughts struggling for composure.
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Lotic - Water
Album title: Water
Record Label: Houndstooth
Immersive mermaid, Lotic composes evasive memories crafted from contorted worry, fragmented tension and operatic malice drifting among gossamer flotsam and lifted in amorphous choruses; obtuse truths tweaked in sleek grief, imaginative alchemy and sleepless release. The wary, “Water,” haunts in refracted passions practicing corrosive hypnosis, extolling an enigmatic dissatisfaction curled inside bewitching rituals, roaming sonar, swirling purrs and skittish glitches.
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Kedr Livanskiy - Liminal Soul
Album title: Liminal Soul
Record Label: 2MR
Russian folk melodies reincarnated into electronic golems, “Liminal,” floats stroboscopic disco beneath hacked satellite chatter, astral Valkyrie choirs and flashy beatbox mashups producing slippery psilocybin head-trips dipped in nimble cosmic rapture. Languid anchorless mix-master Livanskiy dances past elastic passages, swaying runways beamed from inflamed brainstems and attached to foreign tongues, pleasurable mental acupressure woven from crisp samples and synthetic textures.
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Between sensitive alt-country maestro TRACE MOUNTAIN’s contemplative, “House of Confusion,” and Latinx revisionists DOS SANTOS’ beach-fog travelogue, “City of Mirrors,” paradoxes sock October in explicit mysteries. Unravel inquisitive sound-synthesist TIM STORY’s curated homage, “Moebius Strips,” shadow-chasing maven MARISSA NADLER’s steadfast castaways, “The Path of Clouds,” and gourmet multi-instrumentalist DINNER’s well-mannered candor, “Dream Work,” before solving barbwire bluesman RETT SMITH’s midnight sympathies, “What The Walls Cannot See,” harmony-rich pop-duo HOVVDY’s romping promises, “True Love,” crystalline chamber-folk angel SHANNON LAY’s gorgeous, poised, “Geist,” or extraordinary songwriter HAND HABITS’ exhilarating back-pages, “Fun House.”