The Weather Station – Loyalty
Classic folk music, all plucky and sung from the back of the throat—quavering with a reedy quality. Soothing in its familiarity yet a refreshing break from contemporary styles and tropes of revival, which for some reason only seem to resurrect 70’s psychedelica. Warning: you might fall asleep if you listen for too long.
RIYL: Dar Williams, Sibylle Baier, Leonard Cohen
Top Tracks: ‘Way It Is, Way It Could Be,’ ‘Shy Women’
DTCV – Uptime!
On their 4th full length LP, DCTV blends French pop sensibilities with a grungy American alt-rock aesthetic. Composed of French vocalist Guylaine Vivarat and James Greer (formerly of Guided by Voices), much of Uptime! focuses on the juxtaposition between Vivarat’s cooing voice and the snarling guitars looming bass behind her. While occasionally reminiscent of early Stereolab, DCTV never strays too far from traditional song structures like Stereolab does, relying on simple pop hooks instead. Not all of the songs on this album are perfect, but those that hit the mark are absolutely worth a listen.
Top Tracks: Miley Cyrus wins the Race, X-Water, Astros
RIYL: Blondie, early Stereolab, Chastity Belt
Torres – Sprinter
A divergence from the stripped down sound found on her first LP, Torres’s Sprinter is drenched in reverb and considerably more aggressive. Torres’ voice and lyrics still remain the centerpiece however. Throughout the album, Torres demonstrates that her knack for storytelling hasn’t diminished at all. Like on her first release, Sprinter is filled with vivid stories of loss and aguish, but the rough guitars behind her give those stories a greater sense of immediacy this time.
Top Tracks: Strange Hellos, Sprinter, The Harshest Light
RIYL: PJ Harvey, Angel Olson, Waxahatchee
Michael Rault – Living Daylight
Knowing that Michael Rault is signed to Burger Records probably gives you a pretty good idea to how he’s gonna sound given their penchant to sign just about any lo-fi garage rock band with enough stick and pokes. What’s surprising is how much more mature Rault sounds on the simultaneously mellow, rocking, and occasionally funky Living Daylight. At his worst, he sounds like a hodgepodge of influences from Mikal Cronin to Wilco. At his best, however, Rault proves his worth as a multi-instrumentalist and presents us with a great, very fun album.
RIYL: Burger Records, Mikal Cronin, Ty Segall, the 1960s
Top Tracks: All Alone (On My Own), Real Love (Yeah), Suckcess
Sóley – Ask The Deep
Demonic Pixie Music.
Top Tracks: Aevintyr, One Eyed Lady
Twinsmith – Alligator Years
Remember the early 2000s, when every single band sounded like a rip-off of the Strokes and Franz Ferdinand but with some kind of gimmick. Well, Twinsmith never seemed to get the message that people are ripping off other bands now. Nevertheless, Alligator Years will manage to please most fans of the post-punk revival of the past decade. They’re the right mix between relatively fun to listen to and really generic.
RIYL: the early 2000s indie rock scene, the Strokes, The Kaiser Chiefs, Franz Ferdinand
Top Tracks: Alligator Years, Seventeen, Shut Me Out