Flasher - photo by Will Matsuda
June grabs the brass ring with riff magicians FLASHER’s optimal pop-rock, “Love Is Yours,” indie enigma SOCCER MOMMY’s self-critical syllogisms, “Sometimes, Forever,” and brooding chanteuse ANGEL OLSEN’s unrequited Nashville sadness, “Big Time.” Other musical incentives include folksy proponents CAAMP’s fireside Americana, “Lavender Days,” rock-steady messenger HOLLIE COOK’s tropical hospitality, “Happy Hour,” space-age PANDA RIOT’s granulated dream-pop layer-cake, “Extra Cosmic,” and brass-plated jazz-agitators LETTUCE’s funkified dance-party, “Unify.” What gets you going?
Joan Shelley - The Spur
Album title: The Spur
Record Label: No Quarter
Helmed by Shelley’s sweet, steady voice and firm, maternal verse, “Spur,” cradles intimate fables, poetic lessons addressing human connections in blameless language. Hushed kindhearted comforts rocked in friendly eloquence, “Spur,” nurtures and cultivates through clanging steel strings finger-picked with watch-maker’s patience. Tasteful, courageous country-folk hopes wrapped with melodic options and graced with spacious arrangements, tackling thorny thoughts with resolute truths.
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Kamikaze Nurse - Stimuloso
Album title: Stimuloso
Record Label: Mint Records
Fertile whirlwinds simmering in hypnotic oddities, “Stimuloso,” sows swinging indie-bop hypotheticals tainted in zany bangers and blazed jangle; frothy, punk-pop chaos flossed, crossed and tossed into fun-fueled hallucinogenics dosed in cozy mind-blowing comas. Devious creatures flexing aggressive eclectics etched in progressive textures, Kamikaze Nurse divebombs shoegaze melancholy with spirited bluster, reeling in bendable schizophrenia, holding opposable notions in dynamic panoramas.
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Kristeen Young - The Beauty Shop
Album title: The Beauty Shop
Record Label: self-release
Furious grandeur manufactured in glamourous prog-pop calamity, seething blitzkrieg grievances and operatic alt-rock passions, Young’s eerie fearlessness plunges from sweat-soaked robo-aerobics to petulant hysterics erupting in run-away cravings, gauntlet-launching symphonics and dervish-curated curveballs. Crunchy cyber-funk chasing cabaret appetizers, “Beauty,” fuses militant malevolence with thunderbolt emotions for gadget-packed pageants cashing in multi-tasking athletics and aria-strewn galas splashed in stomping Broadway fever-dreams.
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Shearwater - The Great Awakening
Album title: The Great Awakening
Record Label: Polyborus
Deep, rich mediations steeped in dreamy beliefs and cosmic solace, the forsaken, “Awakening,” glows in soft monastic majesty, glimmering visions shadowing hallowed synthesizers, trudging percussion tumbling down sullen tunnels, soft-spoken commotion floating in gorgeous orchestras. Mesmerizing co-pilots in rainy night-drives, Shearwater’s compassionate flashes light vast galaxies, tidal messiahs washed onto primordial shores seeking new homes while roaming through battered catacombs.
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Lindsay Clark - Carpe Noctem
Album title: Carpe Noctem
Record Label: Audiosport Records
Airy, acoustic fairy-tale star-sailor, Clark sparkles with windchime-lined guitars cavorting around chamber-folk vocals and wood-nymph string quartets; luminous musings sailing through sun-dappled calico jazz and lace-embroidered gingham pop. A bright, idyllic musical loom “Noctem,” shuttles fondly between breaking dawns and smiling twilight, a wakeful daydream escape woven with descriptive whimsy, strung from wonder-filled welcomes and paired with spare, piano-led prayers.
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David Newbould - Power Up!
Album title: Power Up!
Record Label: Blackbird Records
Sun-baked rattlesnake boogie surrounding fence-riding power-ballads, “Power,” growls with desperado howls, kicking gritty blues-roots grooves with rock-solid resilience; leathery premises etched in noble lonesomeness and stormy disappointments raging in cantankerous faith. Revved in restless repentance rattling uphill battles, Newbould sells good times with few regrets alongside wounded love garnished in edgy respect, a bittersweet street-preacher’s credo facing and vanquishing anguish.
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Motivation kickstarts hopeful goals from phenomenal jaw-dropper BARTEES STRANGE’s alt-pop soul-rock, “Farm to Table,” to distortion-engorged wave-riders HORSEGIRL’s uber-tubular, “Versions of Modern Performance,” plus fantasy ambitions from discrete secret-keeper KATIE BEJSIUK’s memory bouquets. “The Woman On The Moon,” and irascible dazzler HALF-HANDED CLOUD’s cartoon doo-wop, “Flutterama.” Worthy pursuits include discerning observer AL RIGGS’ pop-tronic odysseys, “Themselves,” and free-jazz duo I AM’s monster skronk, “BEYOND,” but carry risks as demonstrated by turbo-ripping mischief-makers MOTHERHOOD’s hefty, “Winded,” or keen confidant JAMES VINCENT MCMORROW’s kind counsel, “The Less I Know.” Seek and achieve.