Fool's Gold - Flying Lessons
Fool's Gold bouncing, delightful third LP is a perfect summer album. Sounding like a mixture of Vampire Weekend and Remain in Light-era Talking Heads, Fool's Gold blends African inspired rhythms with American pop sensibilities to create catchy jams. While the vocals of this release are disappointingly in English as opposed to the rumbling Hebrew of their first release, they still do well framed by the shiny guitars and organic sounding drums that make up the majority of the instrumentation on this record. All of this is complemented by excellent and airy production that lets each note ring out.
RIYL: Vampire Weekend, Talking Heads, Devo
Top Tracks: I'm in Love, Break the Cycle, Another Sun
Du Blonde – Welcome Back To Milk
Psychedelic folk star Beth Jeans Houghton has decided to completely ditch her odd sound acoustic tracks in favor of a new name and distortion driven rock songs. Mostly, it works. At its worst, Welcome Back To Milk can sound like something you would hear at 2 in the afternoon on a classic rock station when they only play 80s glam rock. At its best, however, Du Blonde proves she can write a really solid rock song.
RIYL: David Bowie, Beth Jeans Houghton, Glam rock
Top Tracks: Black Flag, Raw Honey, If You’re Legal, Mind is On My Mind
Shamir - Ratchet
Shamir's first album positions the 20 year old singer at the forefront of the burgeoning electronic r&b scene. Following up his first EP, Ratchet is dazzling. Crisp, spacious production that emulates old school Detroit techno by producer Nick Sylvester highlights Shamir's almost impossibly high voice that seems to straddle the line between feminine and masculine. These two work together to create create incredibly catchy pop that emulates the best of Michael Jackson or Prince.
RIYL: Michael Jackson, FKA Twigs, Justin Timberlake, Sylvan Esso
Top Tracks: On the Regular, Call it Off, Youth
Chappo - Future Former Self
This Brooklyn group's newest album is an ambitious blend of traditional psych rock and experimental production. Making full use of autotune, glowing synthesizer, and something that seems almost like rapping but not quite, Chappo sometimes falls short of making perfectly coherent songs. But when this album does come together, it does so beautifully, with tracks like Orange Afternoon and I'm Not Ready putting forward some of the better psych rock I've heard recently.
RIYL: The Flaming Lips, MGMT, Temples
Top Tracks: Orange Afternoon, I'm Not Ready, Hey-O
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
Surface to Air Missive is 23 year old Taylor Ross, from Tallahassee, Florida.
The long awaited Battle of the Bands was off to a solid start last Friday April 24 at the Cave. Fourteen student acts performed and filled the basement of Evans with sweet vibes. This year’s Battle of the Bands really showcased a great variety of diversity. From Hip Hop acts reminiscent of freestyle Fridays by Scatty & Cla$$ic, Flux Duckling, reallylionel, and X^2 to funk infused soul groups like Who is Jordan Peota and Northern Riot. Other crowd favorites such as the classic Gross Domestic Prada and the freshmen cover band Saber Tooth Mouse Lion brought some strong energy to the stage. All in all, he Cave had a solid attendance with a good bunch of sweaty college kids moshing it out.
The next final round of Battle of the Bands will be held next Saturday sixth weekend at 8:30pm at The Grand featuring this year's finalists Real Lust, reallylionel, At Your Disposal, Northern Riot, Fem Exciter, and melfry. Make sure to come out and support these students bands while having a blast... you know how these things go
Photos by Thomas Hiura
Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color
Groovy guitar and soulful vocals peddle sultry tracks along a chill train on old tracks. Tight drumming and some 1970s waves ground the recordings in a familiar territory. Think Willis Earl Beal’s Nobody Knows, but with more depth and variation.
Top Tracks: Miss You, Gimme All Your Love, The Greatest, Shoegaze
RIYL: Gnarls Barkley, T-Rex, D’Angelo
Turnover - Peripheral Vision
With bands like "American Football" reuniting to play sold out shows across the country, it only makes sense that we'd start to see more new emo bands prop up with their own brand of whiny vocals and delicate guitar. Turnover isn’t a new band per se, they released a pop-punk album in 2013, but this album is such a radical departure from their previous work that they might as well be. Like any self-respecting emo album, this record is dominated by shiny guitar melodies, hazy waves of reverb and wistful vocals lingering overhead. Throughout this release, Turnover maintain a firm grasp of pop sensibilities and their album is thoroughly enjoyable and accessible.
RIYL: early Death Cab for Cutie, American Football, The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die, Into It. Over It
Top Tracks: Cutting My Fingers Off, Hello Euphoria, Take my Head
Winter –Supreme Blue Dream
Winter's first full length LP is dreamy and lush, more than a little like the strain of marijuana it's named after. Driven by front woman Samira Winter's floating vocals and graceful guitar melodies darting out from underneath swells of reverb, this album is absolutely entrancing. Unlike many of their Dream Pop/Shoegaze compatriots who often fail to innovate once they've found a winning formula, Winter refuses to sit still. Each track contains a tiny innovation, with hand drums, saxophones, electronic beats, and acoustic guitar all being featured at one point or another. Yet, despite all of these additions, Supreme Blue Dream somehow remains a cohesive and beautiful album that is easy to let yourself sink into.
RIYL: Cocteau Twins, My Bloody Valentine, Beach House
Top Tracks: Crazy, Some Kind of Surprise, Expectations/Exigencias
George Fitzgerald –Fading Love
George Fitzgerald first came on the electronic scene by dropping deep house festival anthems like “Child” and “Thinking of You.” On his first LP however, Fitzgerald has moved away from “hands in the air” house music and towards a more cerebral type of dance music that has a broader emotional range than eye jiggling ecstasy. While clearly remaining dance music with throbbing bass and piercing synthesizers at its core, Fading Love makes effective use of poignant vocal samples and sparse production to land emotional punches that most of its contemporaries don't even attempt.
RIYL: Aphex Twin, Midland, xxy
Top Tracks: Full Circle, Call it Love (If You Want To), Shards
Work It - Missy Elliot
Wegula - GRRRL PRTY
Let 'em Say - Lizzo & Caroline Smith
Rather Be (Feat. Jess Glynne) - Clean Bandit
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