written by: Eric Witt on September 18, 2013

TRAAMS’ debut release, Grin, kicks into gear with the hypnotic “Swimming Pool.” The driving beat, a staple of the band’s sound, runs alongside an aggressive note hammered out on the guitar. As this note gives way to the melody and melodicas and soft vocals rise around it, the aggression seems to retain a calming effect. “Swimming […]

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the band in Heaven – Caught in a Summer Swell

written by: Eric Witt on September 5, 2013

Caught in a Summer Swell, the first full-length from the band in Heaven, isn’t lamenting being trapped in an endless summer; it is wholly accepting it. Each repetitive, glowing progression is another step deeper into a sun-soaked, psychedelic landscape. These summer anthems of Caught in a Summer Swell are decorated with fun synths glossed with dreamy effects and sweet […]

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Julia Holter – Loud City Song

written by: Eric Witt on August 29, 2013

In the world of vocalists, there are jukeboxes and there are composers. Julia Holter‘s vocals are the centerpiece in her music, though as a multi-instrumentalist, she is able to guide the music through her world of melodies and noises by playing most of it herself. Each world of Holter’s is potent and idiosyncratic, which leaves […]

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O’Brother – Disillusion

written by: Eric Witt on August 15, 2013

Chicagoans may only know of O’Brother from musing about the band’s first album, Garden Window, but they got a true taste of the band’s huge sound at Lollapalooza this year, where onlookers were treated to work from its soon-to-be-released sophomore album, Disillusion. With three guitarists, one might assume O’Brother’s sound would be cluttered, but it’s […]

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Don Cavalli – Temperamental

written by: Eric Witt on August 8, 2013

With a short lick on a deep-funky Wah-soaked guitar, the title track of Don Cavalli’s Temperamental kicks off. After a quick, bluesy key-change, Cavalli sings, “No wonder why baby, I’m sitting here thinking,” making the beginning of Temperamental sound like it’s jumping in halfway through a heated conversation. Cavalli’s music is temperamental itself, never resting […]

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dBridge – Move Way

written by: Eric Witt on August 4, 2013

DBridge, otherwise known as Darren White, kicks off his latest EP in an unconventional, albeit fitting way. The first track is a collaboration with DJ Skeptical, and the intro sample is abstract and oddly political. A man explains his investigation of colonialism and exploitation in Jamaica, which found him constrained by “spiritual vampires,” and the […]

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Splashh – Comfort

written by: Eric Witt on July 19, 2013

Sun-soaked and stoned, the release of Splashh’s debut album Comfort came at the perfect time of year, but judging by the sound, it would fit well in the summers of the 1960s. Comfort was released by Kanine Records, so it isn’t alone in its rehashing of that retro sound—bands like Surfer’s Blood and Beach Day […]

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Scale the Summit – The Migration

written by: Eric Witt on July 5, 2013

The “progressive” bands of yesteryear were the first to earn this title with their unconventional instrumentation, structures, and modes. That era marked the melding of the strict theory of classical music with the openness of psychedelic rock, and the result would forever affect rock and roll, whether in opposition or in honor of that. Now, […]

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Sigur Rós – Kveikur

written by: Eric Witt on June 27, 2013

Sigur Rós is one of those bands to get lost within. Each swelling passage flows patiently into the next while remaining on a certain wavelength, like some sort of Icelandic raga. For yours truly, the music embodies sensuality for life and every instrument awakens the senses. This holds true on Kveikur, but this particular journey […]

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City and Colour – The Hurry and The Harm

written by: Eric Witt on June 19, 2013

A heavily distorted guitar fades in with a low grumble akin to the sound of Dallas Green’s previous band, Alexisonfire, only to be supplanted by a strike on the acoustic guitar. City and Colour is Green’s acoustic brainchild, and The Hurry and The Harm is his latest LP. Green has a strong voice, which he […]

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