Jono McCleery – Pagodes

written by: Tanisha Wallis on November 8, 2015

London-based songwriter Jono McCleery starts his third album with an acoustic guitar, but what follows isn’t expected. Pagodes, with its meandering piano solos and occasional electronic flourishes, is like an experiment with genres. One moment, McCleery masters the classic singer-songwriter structure —the musician with his guitar— and in the next he adds twisting, uneven electronic melodies […]

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Jesse Hackett – JUNK

written by: Tanisha Wallis on July 16, 2015

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. For his debut solo album, Jesse Hackett took that popular phrase to heart, finding inspiration in an old Yamaha PSR-110 that had been thrown away, which he used to create the album. JUNK is partially comprised of the keyboard’s many (and somewhat limited) sounds, creating a disjointed journey that’s sometimes […]

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Jenny Hval – Apocalypse, girl

written by: Tanisha Wallis on June 10, 2015

With the cracks and pops typically associated with listening to a vinyl record, Norwegian musician/writer Jenny Hval begins her sophomore album, Apocalypse, girl, with the words, “Think big, girl/Like a king/Think kingsize/Did you learn nothing from America?” The track, “Kingsize,” like most of the songs on the album, combines sexuality and politics in a way that’s […]

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Of Monsters and Men – Beneath the Skin

written by: Tanisha Wallis on June 9, 2015

When chamber-pop outfit Of Monsters and Men’s debut album, My Head is an Animal, was released in 2012, the album’s catchy melodies and upbeat, folk-inspired songs garnered international popularity. The band’s latest album, Beneath the Skin, may follow in the first album’s footsteps, but not because it’s a duplicate of the band’s former sound. Formed in 2010, the […]

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Sharon Van Etten – I Don’t Want to Let You Down

written by: Tanisha Wallis on June 8, 2015

No one knows the struggles of the heart quite like Sharon Van Etten. With each new record, her emotionally-fueled songs are lauded for their honesty and sincerity. Four albums into her career, her folksy music is garnering more attention than ever (her last album was named one of the best albums of the year by Rolling […]

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The Helio Sequence – The Helio Sequence

written by: Tanisha Wallis on May 20, 2015

Indie-rock duo The Helio Sequence is reinventing the way it approaches music. Its eponymous sixth album, The Helio Sequence, came of a popular competition called “The 20 Song Game,” wherein a band attempts to hammer out 20 songs in one day. Originally created by an organization called the Immersion Composition Society, the game pushes musicians to create organically […]

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Joanna Gruesome – Peanut Butter

written by: Tanisha Wallis on May 19, 2015

Filled with fuzzy guitar riffs and the type of drumming that barrels through a crowd, Joanna Gruesome’s sophomore album, Peanut Butter, is like a heightened continuation of the band’s 2013 debut, Weird Sister. Joanna Gruesome’s sound—part Riot Grrrl-era punk, part dreamy nu-gaze—is louder, grimier, and sweeter on Peanut Butter, creating an album that, in all its clamor and commotion, reflects the […]

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Johanna Warren – nūmūn

written by: Tanisha Wallis on May 19, 2015

Immediately bewitching and otherworldly, Johanna Warren’s nūmūn is a captivating album inspired by the phases of the moon. Following her 2013 release, Fates, Warren’s sophomore album will transport listeners to an ethereal place. With prominent acoustics and mesmerizing effects brought to life by sound engineer Bella Blasko, nūmūn explores life’s cycles with wonder, hope, and the knowledge that they […]

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The Tallest Man On Earth – Dark Bird Is Home

written by: Tanisha Wallis on May 10, 2015

The Tallest Man On Earth is Swedish-born Kristian Matsson, known for his folksy, acoustic guitar-driven songs, and gravelly voice. On his fourth album, Dark Bird is Home, Matsson brings in more instrumentals than usual, adding depth to his sorrow-tinged songs about living with and overcoming fear. Matsson’s past albums feature a solo act, so Dark Bird […]

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Best Coast – California Nights

written by: Tanisha Wallis on April 27, 2015

Best Coast, comprised of singer/guitarist Bethany Cosentino, guitarist Bob Bruno, and drummer Brady Miller, perfectly blend a fuzzy, lo-fi sound with some pop tendencies, creating music that’s immediately recognizable as its own. With its signature surf-rock/noise-pop influence, the band’s new album, California Nights, focuses on its staple themes—complicated relationships, moodiness, and life’s confusing twists and turns—creating […]

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Heidi Lynne Gluck – The Only Girl In The Room

written by: Tanisha Wallis on April 23, 2015

As a collaborator with the likes of Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s and Lily and Madeleine, Heidi Lynne Gluck has cemented her position as a sought-after session musician. On her debut EP, The Only Girl In The Room, Gluck’s honest songwriting, set against roving acoustic melodies, proves her music can stand on its own. […]

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Mavis Staples – Your Good Fortune

written by: Tanisha Wallis on April 21, 2015

Chicago-born legend Mavis Staples has a glittering, decades-long career under her belt, and her new EP, Your Good Fortune, proves she shouldn’t stop anytime soon. The EP features two songs written by musician Son Little, and two fresh takes on classics. Son Little adds his combination soul/blues/hip-hop influence in his songwriting and instrumentals, while Staples lends […]

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