END 2015
ISIS hits Paris hard with Charlie Hebdo in Jan and a larger, citywide attack in Nov | millions of refugees start flooding Europe to escape the Syrian War | China scraps it's one-child policy | Volkswagen cheats emissions testing
Beach House
Thank Your Lucky Stars
Second release of the year from these guys. We like this one a bit better than Depression Cherry. Common Girl is the best song of the year from Beach House. (Oct '15)
The Brian Jonestown Massacre
Mini Album Thingy Wingy
Anton is back at it with some decent new tunes. (Nov '15)
Welcome To Your New Life
Nice single, rocky but with some mellow sounds and slide guitar. (Oct '15)
Alos Quartet
Nice classical quartet that has has some interesting old country types of arrangements. (Oct '15)
King Midas Sound / Fennesz
Edition 1
Fennesz's soundscapes provide a great backdrop for Kind Midas Sound. Put this one on for late night background sounds. (Sep '15)
One and Sixes
Kings of slowcore provide another slow, sleep disc ... until some raging swirling rage takes over the song Landslide. (Sep '15)
Julia Holter
Have You In My Wilderness
Lana Del Rey's '15 release got all the attention, but if you're looking for a lush, reverb drenched disc that takes more risks (and gets more rewards), you need to get this one. Then again, we've recently been a sucker for chica-led bands with piano/keyboards, violin, cello/bass and great songwriting skills. (Sept '15)
Alone (Ténéré)
Bluesy, rocky tunes from some Tuereg (Sahara Desert nomadic ) folks. A little droney/repetitive and full of energy in much the same way that Cajun music is, but with Mali/North Africa influences and a fuzzy electric guitar replacing the accordian. Solid disc to introduce yourself to this genre. (Sept '15)
MID 2014
The Supreme Court votes 5-4 to allow same-sex couples to marry nationwide | Bye bye US middle class: % of Americans living in middle-income households fell below 51% | FIFA scandal | NASA's New Horizons flys 8k miles above Pluto
Briana Marela
All Around Us
Nice vocals over some atmospheric backgrounds. Pretty decent. (Aug '15)
Beach House
Depression Cherry
First of two releases from Beach House from this year, classic Beach House. (Aug '15)
Jenny Hval
Apocalypse, Girl
Experimental and critically aclaimed will often lead to music that will clear out a room at a party. But sometimes experimental music reaches moments of sublime that can't be achieved with more conventional arrangements. This has been the case with some of Hval's previous tunes (The Seer comes to mind). In this case though, not so much. That said, this may be Hval's most accessable album to date and her piercing voice, one that is not afraid to hit minor notes, still prevails providing for some moments where we get answers to the question "what would happen if Jenny Hval made a standard pop song?" (June '15)
Expanding Flower Planet
Quirky, harpsichord ladened, female vocals going from from soothing to grating in the same song. A little hit or miss with some one of a kind unique songs such as Violet Minded. (Aug '15)
The Weather Station
This one opens with a soft stunner in The Way It Is, The Way It Should Be. It's the sort of song that makes you realize that you got your money's worth just one song into the listen. Other reviews will glow about the intimacy of the lyrics and soft guitar strumming. We're good with all that, it is a beautiful album after all. But we'll just queue up this album opener when we need that special song that only we know about ... until some motion picture music director discovers it and puts it in their movie to accompany the emotional ending. (May '15)
Django Django
Born Under Saturn
A masterpiece of a pop rock album. We haven't been as excited about listening to every song on a rock album like this since The Stone Roses' first release. (May '15)
The Secret Church Orchestra
The Secret Church Orchestra EP
Soaring falcetto vocals with a lush orchestra backgroup. We love the tune Fatal Soul. (Apr '15)
The Helio Sequence
The Helio Sequence
A solid sundrenched psychedelia album that combines does a nice job combining electronics and traditional instruments in a modern feel. A lot of good songs here, but none that really stand out as heads and shoulders above the others. (May '15)
Start 2014
Guns deaths become as common as traffic deaths in US | New England Patroits win "Deflategate" Superbowl | Apple Watch goes on sale
San Fermin
Similar feel as their first disc, which is to say, great orchestration, the best singers in the business and lots of sonic adventure (Parasites breaks down from a march-like indie song to a hoe down for a brief period). But no bright shinners like Sonsick off their last album to sing along with. (Apr '15)
The Magic Whip
Brilliant new release after some 15 year hiatus or so. This is a perfect come back album showing hints of the same old band but growth and new ideas, the later in the same vein as Albarn's first solo album released just 6 months or so prior. What a treat for fans like us. (Apr '15)
The Alialujah Choir
Big Picture Show
Outstanding initial release full of great Americana songs, often sung in beautiful guy-girl harmonies. Little Picture is in the running for best song of the year. (Mar '15)
Matthew E. White
Fresh Blood
Soft spoken (singing) piano man playing some big soulful tunes. (Mar '15)
Ryley Walker
Primrose Green
Jam band folk with some fantastic acoustic guitar playing. (Mar '15)
Lord Huron
Strange Tails
Very well crafted americana tunes pop rock songs. (Mar '15)
Moon Duo
Shadow of the Sun
Drone on. (Mar '15)
New Waveish, well crafted catch electronic pop tunes. Definitely worth a spin. (Mar '15)
Mount Eerie
Classic Mout Eerie dreary, drab, bleak songs. Did we mention they are wonderful dreary, drab, bleak songs? (Feb '15)
Laura Marling
Short Movie
We love the song Howl on this album. A softly picked electric with some breathy singing over it. That works. The rest of the songs, while beautifully song, played and recorded, didn't connect so much. (Mar '15)
Susanne Sundfor
Ten Love Songs
Electropop meets Disco. (Feb '15)
Father John Misty
I Love You Honeybear
We like FJM's first disc more, but still some decent tunes on this one. (Feb '15)
Solid release from this reincarnation of Great Lakes Swimmers. More edge than GLSand some darkness thrown in there too. (Jan '15)
The Controversy
Don't Count On Me
Well crafted electropop disc that blends agressive edgy tunes with some more tender moments. (Feb '15)
Belle & Sebastian
Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance
B&S getting a little discopopy on us on their first disc in a long time. Today is probably one of the sweetest songs they've every written. (Jan '15)
Fantastic Planet
Lovely, lush futuristic soundscapes from a lovely, lush girl who knows how to master a guitar and loop pedal. The album cover does this one justice. (Jan '15)