Naming names, July offers alt-folk enchantress BLAKE HAZARD’s chillwave-pop, “The Eleanor Islands, ” fur-lined blues-thumpers DEAD BOOTS’ sunshine psych-rock, “Veronica,” and sublime pulp-fiction writers THE LOVE LANGUAGE’s triumphant alt-rock indulgence, “Ruby Red,” but summer’s classification mania spreads to self-obsessed declarations. Witness; New Zealand’s pioneering multi-guitar BIRD NEST ROYS’ career-spanning reissue, “Me Want, Me Get, Me Need, Me Have, Me Love,” before exploring slo-mo synth-soulster RYAN POWER’s luscious, literate, “Identity Picks.”
Daughn Gibson - Me Moan
Album title: Me Moan
Record Label: Sub Pop
Merciless purrs from wrangler’s twang, “Moan,” hones spring-loaded rodeos into ghost-town trip-hop livid with slithering soliloquies scavenged from barbed-wire heartache. A post-modern honky-tonk bronco, Gibson’s outlaw growl and rattlesnake charms languish around leathery melodies layered in brawny steam-punk electronics augmented by insidious laptop steel and back-alley harmonicas. DG plays Madison’s High Noon Saloon July 21st alongside ace guitar-slinger Steve Gunn.
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Wise Blood - Id
Album title: Id
Record Label: Dovecote
Brandishing outlandish samples whose firing-squad choirs blast fractured bombast, WB’s massaged collages harbor woozy blues and street-wise boogie; slow, persistent grooves laboring under urban jungle theater, super-cool kick-backs and PMA segues. Found-sound scenarios frame, “Id,” twisting jazz, blues and gospel into old school-loops boosting groovy share-cropper bop, writhing raps zapped with art-pop sass, hip world collisions double-tracked, dubbed-up and cross-faded.
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Chris Berry - King of Me
Album title: King of Me
Record Label: Kanaga System Krush
Washed in frisky polyrhythmic bliss, “King,” crowns Afro-funky punches and nimble, bi-lingual chants extolling solid social conscience carried by humane refrains. California-born and Zimbabwe-educated, Berry, a multi-talented rhythmist, singer and international activist swims and swings in vigorous tropical pop drenched in contrapuntal wonders, spreading communal grooves between sun-roasted truths juggling tumbling drums, voracious vocalists, liquid bass and thundering thumb piano.
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The Deadly Gentlemen - Roll Me, Tumble Me
Album title: Roll Me, Tumble Me
Record Label: Rounder
Vibrant and resourceful, TDG’s traditional blue-grass line-up revel in elaborate narratives, scene-stealing playfulness and folk-rock leanings, the wistfully twisted Boston quintet’s runaway-train changes pit brisk riffs against unstoppable chops as each member’s voice gathers steam unleashing serene harmonies. Peppered in tasty jam-band grand-slamming, “Roll,” coasts in casual one-upmanship; quietly providing a spidery drive to dive-bombing romps double-dipped in top-tapping happiness.
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Eleanor Friedberger - Personal Record
Album title: Personal Record
Record Label: Merge
Placid ballads, lonely sambas and halting waltzes saunter along as earth-bound lounge in luxurious certainty capture first-class songs in pool-party impertinence; “Personal,” whirls in journal-churning thrills as quotable anecdotes and candid mandates stream and careen inside bohemian dreams knee-deep in coy Freudian rejoicing. Breezily leisurely, Friedberger’s flirtatious tastes snake through pithy sixties shin-digs, sprinkling torch-song soul around jazzy, chatty rigmarole.
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RocketNumberNine - MeWeYouWe
Album title: MeWeYouWe
Record Label: Smalltown Supersound
Sputtering drums and space-ghost synths dip and skip between unraveling rattlings knitting explosive, propulsive patterns, Rocket9’s tunneling industrial cunning provides Memphis-tendered bottom to the duo’s roasted robotic-toppings for a shuffling gumbo packed in squeaky tweaks and embroidered beats. Tightly-fitted digital twiddling, “MeWeYouWe,” parades in waves of splashy crashes and astro-dipped rip-tides; fluttering brushes of blushing percussion tailor-made for nuclear-powered dance-floors.
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Feeding the ego is a life-long undertaking. While smart, chamber-folk interlopers BOMBADIL’s bright, level-headed, “Metrics of Affection,” and rockin’ cosmonaut STELLAR OM SOURCE’s squirming beat-fused firmament, “Joy One Mile,” measure life’s treasures, fervent observer GRANT OLNEY’s, calm, inquisitive, “Hypnosis for Happiness,” and rock-dramatist KIRIN J. CALLINAN’s coiled, cathartic, “Embracism,” offer magical strategies. Covering both sides of mental conundrums, restless romantics JACK BEAUREGARD’s fleet-footed space-pop, “Irrational,” shimmering glam-rockers SMITH WESTERNS’ precarious shot-gun marriages, “Soft Will,” and echo-chamber clairvoyant DESERT STARS’ rapture-ravaged throb-rock madrigals, “Shackled Habits,” illustrate the flip-side to selfish well-being.