by: Matt Buga
Efterklang & The Danish National Chamber- Performing Parades [Leaf]
Now this is something fantastic. This four-piece from Denmark performed their album, Parades, with the National Chamber Orchestra back in 2008, and this is the fantastic live recording. Already structurally strong, there are more then 30 guest musicians on this, from a brass quartet to three seperate choirs to a string quartet, giving it an very full sound. A thick multi-layered parfait of melody.
Daniel Johnston- Is & Always Was [Eternal Yip Eye]
A new one from your favorite lispin' eccentric. This goes on the side of his better produced albums, with rock songs of all sorts, perhaps leaning a bit towards sounding like The Flaming Lips at times. Although I gotta say I do like the first acoustic track the best.
Finn Riggins- Vs Wilderness [Tender Loving Empire]
This is what I'm talkin' bout. A trio that does the whole melodic rockin' out thing, but its sort of hard to nail it down to any particular style. Sort of like Pretty Girls Make Graves but more energetic, raw, and complicated. I really like this.
Get Back Guinozzi!- Carpet Madness [Fat Cat Records]
Here's a real fun one. Guitar tones sort of recall The Cure/Smiths and/or post-punk, but with some tropical or 60s French pop influence a little. I mean its not over-the-top positive and sunny, but this female-vocal'd group is definitely permeated with a light-hearted feeling.
Gospel Gossip- Dreamland [Guilt Ridden Pop]
Nice music by a female-fronted group that sort of recalls the earlier 90s sounds of shoegaze. Not so much distortion, more reverb, delay, good upbeat-tempos.
This is a collection of remixes of Headlights songs. They are a pretty mellow indie pop band, and these songs give em a nice electronica-sheen (only a thin layer though). Personally, I feel like this is a pretty big improvement to these songs. So if you are or aren't a big fan of Headlights, still give this album a go. Some big names on here include The Album Leaf, Cale Parks, and Casiotone for the Painfully Alone.
My Robot Friend- Soft-core [Doublefeature]
This album has a cool electronic-coating over its indie-pop roots. Its got some guitar, but its mostly electronic. Pretty mellow generally, and has a lot of guests, including Dean Wareham of Galaxie 500 and Luna.
The Ghost Is Dancing- Battles On [Sonic Unyon]
Indie pop with a dose of power-pop mixed with some epic stylings. And I mean this is the most flattering way, but I can emo ala Get-Up Kids influence that you can just sort of here now and there. Well produced, solid song writing.
F*ck Buttons- Tarot Sport [ATP/R]
Ephemeral dj duo. Very soothing and melodic while still way energetic. Trance-inducing. Sort of like adding beats to ambient music perhaps. Awesome. Actively relaxing? Past and present at once? Time sandwich? Looking forward and backward at the same time? Yeah this is one is pretty good. Really good to blast out loud.
Katsen-it Hertz! [Shelflife]
Electro-pop boy-girl duo playin 8-bit inspired fun tunes from over the pond in the UK. Its pretty fun, and if you like cats and keyboards which for some reason I believe is a popular trend at the moment, you'll like the cover.
Olekranon-Identi [Inam Records]
Another industrial influenced shoegaze album from Olekranon, but this time with a little more RPM-influence with the programmed drums. Starts off a little more happy sounding, then starts to get a little more dark, but is fabulous all the way through. For fans of Jesu and Nadja.
Moodring- Scared of Ferret [Silber]
Pretty hard to describe since its all over the place. I'll use a bunch of sentence fragments and hopefully that can give you some idea. Psychedelic freak stuff. Percussive and tribal. Not fast. Kraut rock. Whirly sounds and other weird electronic noise. Maybe a weird dark occult shed, possibly musty. Well, kraut-rock I guess. Good.
Orchestre Poly-Rythmo De Cotonou- Echos Hypnotiques [Analog Africa] This
is a collection of recordings from 1969-1979 this Benin group and its fantastic. Funky and afro-beat-y and groovin' all over the place. For fans of ethnic funk, for fans of obscure rare music, and for fans of music. Awesome.