Perfume Genius / Too Bright / Matador / 2014

Too Bright is the third full length from Seattle-based solo artist Perfume Genius (aka Mike Hadreas). RIYL: The Antlers Hadreas’ first two records were mostly spare, piano-dominated (more bedroomy) productions. This record finds Hadreas using the studio as an instrument and stretching both his voice and ambition without abandoning his signature sound. Too Bright was […]

Tennis / Ritual In Repeat

Ritual In Repeat is the third full-length from Denver-based husband and wife duo Tennis. The record was produced by a trio of A-list musicians: Patrick Carney (The Black Keys), Jim Eno (Spoon) and Richard Swift (the Shins). The band continues to grow with each release and with this record Alaina Moore’s voice sounds more assured […]

Merchandise – After The End /4AD/2014

After The End is the fourth album from Tampa 5-piece Merchandise. The name Merchandise is derived from the song by Fugazi. Merchandise has released numerous records, EPs and tapes on independent punk labels and are veterans of the DIY scene. While not a clone of Morrissey, singer Carson Cox does embody certain elements of Moz’s […]

Woman’s Hour – Conversations

Conversations is the debut album by London-based 4-piece Woman’s Hour. The band’s sound is categorized as ‘swoon-pop’ and the group’s name is taken from a beloved female-focused news and culture show on BBC Radio 4. I’d argue this record is very much this year’s answer to Rhye’s ‘Woman’ from 2013. RIYL: Rhye, The xx, Beach […]

Strand Of Oaks – HEAL

HEAL is Philly-based singer/songwriter Timothy Showalter’s fourth full-length under the moniker Strand Of Oaks. The album will immediately appeal to fans of big-sounding Americana-rock bands like My Morning Jacket (especially Jim James fans), Band Of Horses, as well as The War On Drugs. Opener “Goshen ‘97” kicks of HEAL with a melodic guitar jam on […]

Because I Forget – 2014 Jan-May

Bucking my usual (Year End) Best Of, doing a mid-year best of while its fresh covering Jan-May. Thoughts? Gripes?(note: tailored to fit an 80 minute CD-R, playlist, etc.) 1. Real Estate – The Bend 2. Dean Wareham – My Eyes Are Blue 3. Quilt – Tie Up the Tides 4. Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks – […]

Conor Oberst / Upside Down Mountain

Upside Down Mountain is the second “solo” album solely attributed to Conor Oberst, he most famously of Bright Eyes. I’m not entirely sure what sets this material apart from Bright Eyes material though. (maybe the band lineup?) This album does have a few more spare, singer-songwritery numbers like the absolute gem “You Are Your Mother’s […]