Stornoway - photo by John Bullock
From STORNOWAY’s blissful Brit-folk, “Beachcomber’s Windowsill,” to RICHARD THOMPSON’s live, “Dream Attic,” sanctuaries populate late summer’s musical choosing. Between nestling misfit limericks, slippery jigs and maritime melodies in GREAT BIG SEA’s rowdy, crowded, “Safe Upon the Shore,” hiding out in ARCADE FIRE’s maverick indie-rock novella, “The Suburbs,” or seeking refuge alongside MARC COHN’s fashionably re-imagined nostalgia supporting the smooth, sultry, “Listening Booth: 1970,” surrendering to shelter seems a sensible solution.
Young Galaxy - Invisible Republic
Album title: Invisible Republic
Record Label: Paper Bag
Bold, smoldering alien jangle-rock visionaries soldier and slither around goth-gospel pop spouting disenchanted evangelism. Sporting strutting spooky elegance the ghoulishly cool, “Republic,” saunters, meshing textures and coercing conjectures, dispensing bewitching empathy. Sleek, oblique and slightly out of reach, YG’s temptingly redemptive persuasions reasonably teases, treed feedback among risky and irresistible sacrificial dance-floor rituals.
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Jimmy Gnecco - The Heart
Album title: The Heart
Record Label: Bright Antenna
Singing and playing every instrument, Gnecco’s raw courage and emotional depth sculpt melodramatic crashes and torrential torment, toreador handclaps and cliff-hanging crescendos - fermented fevers whose glories rise and fall with frankness and finesse. From solemn to soaring, resilient to resigned, “Heart” is a labor of love offering stormy rebellions and pre-dawn prayers.
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Drivan - Disko
Album title: Disko
Record Label: Smalltown Supersound
Cozy sunshine tempos goad cyber-shaman garden parties to sow funky, kinder-pop assemblages roaming over pixilated, trip-folk jams. Home-grown croaks and groans; Sweden’s electro-collective Drivan stirs together ghostly temptress vocals, playful plinking keyboards and subtle psychedelic software to percolate innocent rhythms. Bemused and accepting, “Disko” can be a place, a product or a state of mind.
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The Love Language - Libraries
Album title: Libraries
Record Label: Merge Records
Succulent schmaltz, witty quips and swashbuckling bluster combine swinging, torch-song charisma inside hip-shaking hooks as champagne gallantry purges primal urges. TLL’s fluent truants sweep and swoon, crooning in undulating pop-rock majesty. Melting retro-chic treats into spectacularly groovy bravado; the royally flamboyant, “Libraries,” catalogs classic hand-claps, echo-laden harmonies, velvet violins, fifties-styled back-beats and steel guitars.
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Miniature Tigers - Fortress
Album title: Fortress
Record Label: Modern Art
Tropical-flavored irony bounces from lazy, calypso disco to coy, calliope pop; consecrating lackadaisical lunacy and lovelorn catastrophes into flirty circuses. “Fortress,” cleverly calculates adolescent angst and college-laundered quandaries for cosmic, mosh-pit harmony. Unraveling romantic semantics behind cryptic glimpses and elliptical riddles, MT’s zippy, tipsy philistines serve hyperactive imaginations cock-eyed operas ala comic book sonatas.
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As get-aways go self-reflection often ends up the destination Gaze into dance-popsters BACK TED N TED’s electro-mosaic roof-raiser, The Mirror,” assess road-tested story-teller DAN MANGAN’s self-confident indie-rock honky-tonk, “Nice Nice Very Nice,” then weigh psychedelic medics DREAMEND’s otherworldly folk-songs, “So I Ate Myself Bite by Bite.” Put some faith in smokin’ hot blues-rockers LOS LOBOS’ muscular, “Tin Can Trust,” before finally drink up worldly-wise emo-rockers MYSTERY JETS’ biochemical chameleon, “Serotonin.”