Hype be damned! With Savages, the ghost of post-punk past is alive and thriving. Their debut LP, Silence Yourself, is aggressive, visceral, catchy and a bit dangerous, possessing the brutal intensity and energy that has been converting live audiences into disciples all year. Check the whole thing – out May 7 via Matador.
For their fifth LP, Deerhunter is at the point where they could clean it up, turn up the hooks and get ready for those festival and arena paydays. Fortunately, they do pretty much the exact opposite on Monomania. It's basically the punkest thing I've heard all year – all scuzzy garage monsters with gnarled melodies, dead-of-night mania and enough disregard for 'major album' production that it becomes an aesthetic unto itself. From the Neil Young basement stomp of "Pensicola" to the bleary jangle of "The Missing," the album covers lots of ground while remaining snug in an overarching attitude that's the beautiful equivalent of a spit to the face.
Slumberland band Girls Names knows how to jangle and phase their way into a dreary worldview. From the propulsive, narcotic pull of the epic-reaching title-track to the Smiths-alluding "Hypnotic Regression," you'll love this one if you want to imagine sitting alone in your bedroom in 1986 wondering if anyone will ever understand you. Out February 26.
Over the past few years, Cali brothers Andrew and Daniel Aged have paid their rent by playing in the studio for artists like Pharrell, but that doesn't wholly prepare one for the patient, sultry crunch that comes across on their new inc. album entitled No World. This isn't R&B for grinding in the club. No, it's more smoke a joint in the bathtub and fall asleep early R&B – aka the best kind. If your hooked by opener "This Place," then you're in for a real treat. Out next week on 4AD.
Just a sample, just a drag, just a little something to get a taste: that's the concept behind Fool's Gold Records' brand new Loosies compilation. Here, label honchos A-Trak and Nick Catchdubs bring you the coolest music from the ever-obese line between dance, electronic and rap, featuring artists like Danny Brown, Donnis Grande Marshall, King L, MondreMAN of Main Attrakionz, Roach Gigz and many other favorites of this here website. Sample it all below – just be careful not to burn too many in a row.
When I was rifling through records at Other Music last year, the store was playing Andy Stott's Passed Me By and I got so sucked into his sub-earth bass and angelic, hypnotic elements that I almost fainted. Luxury Problems, his new LP, continues that path but boosts each element considerably. On first impression, it's an utterly unique electronic effort that ignores dance theatrics and bass-of-the-day discussions for something more timeless, resolute and classical. Check it out via our pals at NPR.
If it's the eve of Halloween, then it's time for a new album by The Soft Moon. Check out Zeros – a propulsive collection of hyperdrive, Kraut-inflected, distorted synth workouts. From the scream-laden tension of "It Ends" to the slash-and-run pressure of "Insides" to a title-track that oozes with Manchester trappings, the album is yet another feather in the cap of Captured Tracks, which is really having a hell of a year.
Album Stream: The Soft Moon - Zeros [Captured Tracks]
Download: The Soft Moon - Insides [RCRD LBL]
No surprise at all that Dan Snaith (aka Caribou) goes all-out for the dancefloor on the new LP from his Daphni moniker. What blows our minds a little is that it's a top 5 dance album this year – a stunning amalgam of music history and experimentation via Snaith's catchy knack for composition and a modular synth that he built for himself. It's out now digitally and will hit October 16 via Merge in the US and Snaith's own Jiaolong label.
Certainly one of the best debuts of the year, Chris Cohen's Overgrown Path balances psychedelia and breezy, orchestrated indie-pop with the maturity of a poised veteran. "Optimist High," my favorite of the bunch, has been on repeat for a few months, while tracks like 'Caller No.99" and "Inside A Seashell" provide sonic worlds that can easily take you out of boring reality for a bit. The whole thing is out today on Captured Tracks and gets my highest recommendation. Sample away!
Early into Coexist, The xx dispels any notions that the proceeding songs will eschew their trademark spare style. The breathy vocals and youthful sexual angst are back on the group's sophomore record, which is more ruminative and less hooky than its predecessor. See if you're feeling its placid vibe below, before its official release September 11.