by Jericho Cerrona
Hudson valley-based indie pop outfit Breakfast in Fur conjure blissful soundscapes on their latest LP Flyaway Garden; an album dabbling in echo-chambered percussion, airy keyboards, chugging guitars, and lilting vocals. A charming, 35-minute blast of childlike psychedelia.
With the carcass of post-punk dangling in atrophy, Chicago four-piece Disappears take the cyclical Krautrock-inspired rhythms and repetitive grooves from 2013's Era and dive further into the darkness on fifth full-length Irreal. This is a spare, unbearably intense album; a claustrophobic experiment in minimalism that nonetheless feels vitally raw.
For all the Pavement and Slowdive comparisons, the "I love the 90s" debut from Leeds band Menace Beach has it's own scuzzy charms. A slacker indie pop record with big hooks, distorted guitar lines, and endearingly lo-fi production, Ratworld would undoubtably be dismissed as pastiche if the melodies weren't this good.
One of the most influential genre filmmakers of the 1970s/1980s, John Carpenter has always been renowned for his classic movie scores and with Lost Themes, he's complied brand new material that runs the gambit from his ominous synth-driven motifs, kitschy New Age-style jazz, to long stretches of ambient noise. With all of the retro revivalism going on these days, leave it up to Carpenter to bring back the 80s as only he can.
Jenny Hoyston, Ellie Erickson, and Bianca Sparta are back with their first record since 2006's Nightlife, and though they've somewhat abandoned their jittery math-punk roots, Lost Weekend features quite possibly the trio's best songwriting yet. The lyrics are wittier, the pop sensibilities more defined, and the band's sense of playfulness more directly shared with the listener.
Even though Australian psych rockers Pond share members with fellow Aussie outfit Tame Impala, this is the work of a far more ambitious group of musicians. Colorful, bizarre, dancey, and mired in acid-psych atmosphere, Man It Feels Like Space Again has both the drug-trip freakouts of bands like the Flaming Lips as well as the hip-shaking grooves of 60's soul groups such as Funkadelic.
The sophomore effort from Australian noise-pop outfit Twerps sounds like something from the Flying Nun label circa 1985; with lots of jangly guitars, laconic melodies, and post-breakup lyrics strewn across a series of pleasantly arranged tracks. Drawing influences from The Clean and The Go-Betweens, Twerps haven't so much reappropriated an older style as they have perfected their own sonic universe.
Philly native Hezekiah manages to combine jazzy samples, soul-infused production, and socially conscience lyrics to gorgeous effect on Dreams Don't Chase Themselves; an album resonating from an older era of hip-hop which placed it's significance in the power of lyrical narratives rather than faux-braggadocio posturing.
Alabama-based spoken word artist Matt Finney's latest collaboration with Dutch musician Mories is less dependent on the drone-induced atmosphere and despairing lyrical subject matter of 2014's EP Creation Myths. Instead, Mories layers atonal glitches, electronic flourishes, percussive beats and ambient synths over Finney's bleak poetry, which is less pervasive here than in past outings, but nonetheless creeps in like a rolling fog just when you've been lulled into a false slumber.
Aimless 20-something life gets a new soundtrack with Los Angeles-based DIY rocker Colleen Green's third full-length album; which comes across like stoner pop (is that a thing?) filtered through the lens of power chords and a strong female perspective on being young and reckless. It's debatable whether or not Green really wants to grow up, but one thing is certain; she sure knows how to write a catchy hook.