Get out your thermometers. Whether ignited by brazen Thrice front-man DUSTIN KENSRUE’s smoldering meta-rock cocktail, “Carry the Fire,” or warmed by casual folk-pop master JOSH ROUSE’s pithy sympathies, sly metaphors and feather-weight escapes inside the vibrant, “Embers of Time,” April album titles run hot and cold. Probe quirk-pop synth-shockers REPTAR’s radiant microwaveable raves, “Lurid Glow,” then gauge emphatic indie-rock catalysts VIENNA’s feverishly well-meaning, “Cold Truth,” before exploring alternative comfort zones
Sam Cohen - Cool It
Album title: Cool It
Record Label: Easy Sound Recordings
Warm, misty-mountain synths float over heavenly seventies space-rock, levitating, “Cool,” into sumptuous pools of bohemian dreamers swimming with sidewinder guitars doused in reverb-soaked mojo and foggy melancholy. Hazy, palatial parades wading in outlaw analog powers Cohen’s meticulous odes to go-for-broke utopias; rad ballads slathered in decorated speculations fabricating deep-shag tapestries that capture hitch-hiker rhapsodies in orchestrated choruses and slow-boiled solos.
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Shana Falana - Set Your Lightning Fire Free
Album title: Set Your Lightning Fire Free
Record Label: Team Love
Gotham pomp crumbles under echo-chamber game-changers, striking, “Lightning,” in sulfuric verdicts with bionic blows cloaked in black velvet gloves. Stamping banshee avalanches in scorched chords, subterranean beats imprint fire-glazed shoe-gaze prying sugar-coated sirens, seismic Kaisers Falana and Michael Amari from volcanic dream-pop panic via gale-force torch-songs seething beneath devouring prowess. The dark cathartic duo storm Madison’s Mickey’s Tavern April 16th
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Matt and Kim - New Glow
Album title: New Glow
Record Label: Harvest
Twisting big-top pop-rock with gleeful glitches into pinky-swear double-dares inside party-down kisses, Brooklyn’s kite-flying tour-guides Matt and Kim’s summer-fun conundrums parlay an uber-exuberant Rube Goldberg surge of post-apocalyptic mirth laced in rhyming irony and duplicitous mischief. From neon-ripped hip-hop to Technicolor dub dipped in playful Casio kitsch, “Glow,” unrolls auto-tuned Romper-rooms papered in neighborhood nostalgia, flash-mob enthusiasm and chronic honesty.
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Calexico - Edge of the Sun
Album title: Edge of the Sun
Record Label: Anti-
From suave mariachi brass contrasting noble emotional collapse to feisty electro-fiestas bleached in red-hot desert-blues, roving musical conquistadors Calexico unearths deep replenished roots from weathered heritage by planting future-roosting branches with soul-seeking sentiment, tenacious patience and subtle self-assurance. Smooth in modern-day execution and rich in half-whispered history, “Edge,” registers tender memories roasted in folk-rock salsas swept among dusty gringo shuffles.
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Doldrums - The Air-Conditioned Nightmare
Album title: The Air-Conditioned Nightmare
Record Label: Sub Pop
Splashing in spastic, ectoplasmic chasms while cobbling wobbly Afropop-goth to churning nocturnal infernos, “Nightmare,” slither through funky post-punk pratfalls trapping wriggling mysteries in strobe-lit bailiwicks; sexy webs slinging slushy jungle percussion into test-tube grooves. Deranged Canadians spraying neo-industrial bluster over transistorized Terrordomes, Doldrums’ rumbling cunning oozes in spooked latex interludes spawning intergalactic mash-ups attracting squirmy neural blast-offs into diabolical holodecks.
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John Moreland - High on Tulsa Heat
Album title: High on Tulsa Heat
Record Label: Thirty Tigers
Heavy sighs turn to deep breathing as sorrow finds a centered voice in Moreland’s sharp, Dust Bowl folk; gritty lyrical intricacy nurtures plucked heartstring intimacy with solemn six-string soliloquies tinted in rambling panhandler candor. Authentic connections riddle, “Tulsa,” with level-headed introspection riding beside hungry country kickers for an album challenged by life’s fated intervention and lifted in transcendent roadside redemption.
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Catering to fickle sticklers, spring brings a gourmet’s cavalcade to music’s prudent taste-makers. Sample a head full of Penny Dreadful with a side of icy enticements and brooding disapproval from shadowy chanteuse NADINE SHAH’s post-modern noir, “Fast Food,” then gorge yourself on satin cinematic contractors OOFJ’s angel-driven studio commissions, “Acute Feast.” Harried appetites find happy palates when metro-pop song-thrush AMBROSIA PARSLEY’s old-school cool faces empowered lounge in the mouth-watering, “Weeping Cherry,” while entrancing soul-jazz fancier and slow-dance romancer MIKAELA KAHN’s yearning, purring, “Milk & Honey,” surely tantalizes the musically famished.