From ghost-folk floater SKULLCRUSHER’s, woozy beauty, “Quiet The Room,” to doe-eyed rockers THE BACKSEAT LOVERS’ music hall swan songs, “Waiting To Spill,” October albums attempt to command randomness. Quantify, ascertain and organize alongside perpetual sensualist THE SOFT PINK TRUTH’s dual-deck discotheque, “Is It Going To Get Any Deeper Than This?” ping-pong automaton RIVAL CONSOLES’ sequential adventures, “Now Is,” and sweet symphonic songbird ALICE BOMAN’s luscious, “The Space Between.” Order up!
Robin Holcomb - One Way Or Another, Vol. 1
Album title: One Way Or Another, Vol. 1
Record Label: Westerlies Records
The historically minded Holcomb looks back over her own career; collective memories where pauses speak volumes with tactful passion, jaunty phrases dancing around agrarian phantoms; persuasive, insistent, anchored and inescapable. Colloquial art-folk reimagined in assorted covers, originals and reframed side-projects set to voice and piano, “Another,” captures time’s ubiquitous meticulousness whose lyrical legacies waltz in eloquent and ominous feminist remembrances.
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Stephen Becker - A Calm That Shifts
Album title: A Calm That Shifts
Record Label: NNA Tapes
Translucent moods cruise through the lightly tranquilizing, “Calm,” hiding steely queries inside measured reveries with immutable musicality perusing assorted forethought and meandering banter. Articulate, sensitive and confident, one-man-band Becker plies multi-instrumental skills in air-brushed percussion, glowing guitars and narcotic bass as effortless fretwork brings nimble jazz chords and melodic soft-pop purrs to nuanced songs addressing messy connections with swooning elocution.
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Disq - Desperately Imagining Someplace Quiet
Album title: Desperately Imagining Someplace Quiet
Record Label: Saddle Creek
A five-piece powerhouse whose indie cred shreds dread and vexes tech, DISQ pits misfit quips against slash and burn earnestness for boppy bombast and sizzling gizmo maneuvering swift ditties into fearless delirium. The polished demolished dynamic keeps, “Quiet,” lively, a quivering riddle where cool nerds surge and dodgeball rockers offer direct amends with energetic contentions battling malice with old-fashioned traction.
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Robyn Hitchcock - Shufflemania!
Album title: Shufflemania!
Record Label: Tiny Ghost Records
From swirling psycho-skiffle non-sequiturs to learned curveball meditations, “Shufflemania!” quaintly contains zany refrains among nefarious narrative dares tapping compassionate rapture with minor-key skullduggery. An illustrious bishop-baiting busker, Hitchcock eyes both sides and straddles the addled and the academic, mirthful dirges quoting interlopers and jumping trains with rambling shenanigans and post-mortem exhortations both spry and wise, quietly diabolical and oddly logical.
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Alex Lilly - Repetition Is A Sin
Album title: Repetition Is A Sin
Record Label: Release Me Records
Relatable modern-day fables bolstered in silver-screen sheen and sprinkled with extravaganza glamour, Lilly’s dizzy synergy rides kiss-and-tell carousels circling life’s facades in clever pop hooks and pastel backing. Clear, lyrical reveals facing friendships, self-worth and identity, “Repetition,” dips, rises and twirls in upbeat ballads rallying affectionate conjecture; light, bite-sized insights inviting trust through shared cares, gentle confession and mutual truths.
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NNAMDÏ - Please Have A Seat
Album title: Please Have A Seat
Record Label: Secretly Canadian
Hyper-imaginative future-pop grafting carefully caustic math-rock onto auto-tuned patch-bay prog-soul fusion, “Seat,” treats aural alienists to immaculate sensory assaults and candid romance, equally smug and modest, sly and honest. Astonishing melodic rounds circle fractal magnificence as NNAMDÏ hammers home ear-worm sound-quakes, lifting cartoon doom into trippy introspection while super-pumped joystick licks pitch gear-shifting mischief and tender frenzy for charming tsunamis.
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Some say let Nature take its course. Coy voyeurs BABEHOVEN’s empathetic synth-pop, “Light Moving Time,” post-bop swamis SUN RA ARKESTRA’s well-rehearsed subversions, “Living Sky,” and cinnamon indie SCOUT GILLETT’s fiercely weary, “no roof no floor,” couldn’t agree more. Funky psychotronic flowerchildren RUBBLEBUCKET’s horn-scorched, “Earth Worship,” and seething dreamer A. A. WILLAMS’ unmasked dramatics, “As the Moon Rests,” clear paths to astral happenings, while astute pop-rock troubadour PETER ASTOR’s encapsulated, “Time On Earth,” and pedal-steel balladeer HONEY HARPER’s honky-tonk gauntlets, “Honey Harper and the Infinite Sky,” bow to powerful cosmic mosh-pits.