Lorelle Meets The Obsolete – De Facto
(January 11th on Sonic Cathedral Records)
Psychedelic noise-rock that walks the thin line between being artistically and willfully difficult. Avoids becoming lost in a gauzy haze by virtue of an excellent rhythm section that knows instinctively how to ride a groove.
Steve Gunn – The Unseen In Between
(January 18th on Matador Records)
Gunn tackles some emotionally heavy subjects but some of it is rendered rather toothless by his breezy, amiable style. Still, it’s a pretty listen, even if some of the subject matter seems a little misplaced among the sounds.
The Twilight Sad – It Won/t Be Like This All The Time
(January 18th on Rock Action Records)
12 years ago I hid in an apartment high above Parkdale and fell in love with The Twilight Sad. Their fifth album is the same band, only clearer and better. The former wall-of-noise guitar sound has been pared back and aspects of keyboards and strings have become bricks in that wall instead, making for a more user-friendly but still emotionally harrowing experience.
Sharon Van Etten – Remind Me Tomorrow
(January 18th on Jagjaguwar Records)
The Sharon Van Etten you know is dead. OK, that might be a little hyperbolic. Still, her new album finds her busting out of the indie rut in the same way everyone else does: by mining the Eighties for inspiration. As it turns out she does it really, really well.
Maggie Rogers – Heard It In A Past Life
(January 18th on Capitol Records)
I mean yeah, at it’s heart it’s just contemporary adult pop, but there’s enough twists and stylistic aberrations to raise a smile.
Deerhunter – Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared?
(January 18th on 4AD Records)
So…Bradford Cox clearly has a better grasp on this whole “cleaner, poppier” take on Deerhunter than the last, execrable album, but it still fails to live up to older, wilder Deerhunter records. That said, I’m now starting to , appreciate the direction he’s going in, and I’m glad to see some of the more experimental side of the band shine through a little more. Might come around on it more later but if you (for some reason) liked Fading Frontier then this is that album but much, much better.
Nili Hadida – Nili Hadida
(January 18th on Allpoints Records)
Solid enough adult pop with an interesting flair for quietly dramatic production choices.
Pedro The Lion – Phoenix
(January 18th on Polyvinyl Records)
Unfortunately, somewhere over the past 15 years David Bazan seems to have lost the knack of projecting his voice in that deep, soaring way that made Control such a delight in the dark days of 2002. So while this reunion is nice, and the songs have the power of emotional immediacy, it falls rather short of expectations.
Buke And Gase – Scholars
(January 18th on Brassland Records)
Crafty noise-pop that is never afraid to take a detour, even if it might not always pan out. The New York duo channel the wild spirit of Deerhoof while keeping things light, fresh, and original.
Lost Under Heaven – Love Hates What You’ve Become
(January 18th on Mute Records)
WU LYF DIED FOR THIS?
Night Beats – Myth Of A Man
(January 18th on Heavenly Records)
Tough, hard-spun rock ‘n’ roll that takes it’s cues just as much from the Stones as it does classic heartland Americana.
Steve Mason – About The Light
(January 18th on Domino Recording Company)
Spiritualized, minus the charm and charisma.
Joe Jackson – Fool
(January 18th on Ear Music Records)
I know it’s distressingly en vogue to raid the Eighties but some things are better left there.
James Blake – Assume Form
(January 18th on !K7 Records)
For a guy who made his bones on a Feist cover he sure does have amazing staying power, doesn’t he? It’s probably because his instincts as a producer are impeccable: he knows exactly how to glitch a sample in just the right way to provide maximum effect, like a minimalist painter loading yards of meaning into a single brush stroke. Plus, he can sing.
Subjective – Act 1: Music For Inanimate Objects
(January 18th on Masterworks Records)
A trip through classic sounds brought up into the modern world by Goldie and James Davidson. “I Saw Her Last Summer” has the rattle from Armand Van Helden’s dark garage remix of “Spin Spin Sugar” and that’s all I really ask for in life.
Future – Future Hndrxx Presents: The WIZRD
(January 18th on Epic Records)
It’s a Future album, I don’t really know what else you’re expecting. It sounds like every other Future album: it revels in its own materialistic nihilism, and it sounds smug while it does it. Also, it doesn’t give you a choice; you have to move, even if you’re barred out.
Toro y Moi – Outer Peace
(January 18th on Carpark Records)
Chaz Bundick’s pop excursions are a pleasure, albeit a lightweight one. What he sacrifices in substance he makes up for in style though, and if you just wanna dance then you could do a lot worse.
Liz Brasher – Painted Image
(January 18th on Fat Possum Records)
It’s honestly just basic-ass live-band R&B but I listened to the whole damn thing so what do I know?
Papa Roach – Who Do You Trust?
(January 18th on Eleven Seven Records)
15-year-old me would have loved this album, which tells you something (mainly that it’s unsubtle, bludgeons the listener with sounds that were tired even by the time Papa Roach first came out, and is a cringe compilation in it’s own right). If you’re bald, rock a goatee, drive a lifted F150, and work part-time night security at a warehouse, here’s your new repeat platter.
The Flesh Eaters – I Used To Be Pretty
(January 18th on Yep Roc Records)
Imagine if Nick Cave formed Grinderman but as a garage band that loved Kiss.
Ariana Grande – “7 Rings”
Logic – “Keanu Reeves”
PUP – “Kids”