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New Adds: Bob Moses, Speedy Ortiz, Wire, Passion Pit, Built to Spill, Hiatus Kaiyote, Nai Harvest, Alabama Shakes, Slug, and Barry White

Bob Moses - All in All: The Canadian house duo has released a compilation album of previously released singles. All in All is a wistful presentation of postclubby minimal trance. In this project, Jimmy Vallance and Tom Howie couple dark and ethereal vocals with delicate, low BPMs. “Interloper” is a nice little house instrumental inclusion. It goes right into “Stealing Fire,” which is a bit shoegaze inspired with traces of heady electro. It’s by no means a groundbreaking electronic album but it’s the perfect slinky groove if your brain needs a break from the RELENTLESS, UNYIELDING beats from Damogen Furies, amirite? ARI

Recommended tracks: 1 – “Far from the tree”,4 – “Interloper”, 5 – “Stealing Fire”

Speedy Ortiz - Foil Deer: When listening to this album I realized how little I listen to guitar-based music. It is very rare that I enjoy music that is largely guided by guitars because for me it is often difficult to differentiate between genres and artists (beyond their voices). When I first put on Foil Deer, I was not expecting to like it. If anything I expected to be somewhat indifferent, but lyrically this album is amazing. By far my favorite line is “I’m not bossy, I’m the boss” from “Raising the Skate”. It is these types of one-liners that really carry the album for me and make it a standout. Generally the front half of the album is heavy with fast-tempo tracks, while the second is mid-tempo, which is my style. Before this album, I had never really listened to Speedy Ortiz, but I will say that it makes me want to go back and listen to their debut album and that is completely worth listening to even if you are not normally into this style of music. KEN

RIYL: Ex Hex, Joanna Gruesome, The Breeders, Pavement

Recommended Tracks: Raising the Skate (2), My Dead Girl (9), Dvrk Wvrld (12)

Wire - Wire: Wire’s self-titled album is the 14th installment in the band’s almost 40-year-long on-and-off career. Their self-titled album redefines what Wire means from when they first came onto the punk scene in 1976 with their acclaimed album Pink Flag and its signature punk sound. This album proves that the band is not afraid of change and that they are always willing to bring new sounds to the table. The album brings the band to a place that is more laid back, alternative and even pop while still letting you know that it is a Wire album. In the midst of this genre shift they stay true to their roots by having a large variety of songs. The band showcases their newer pop side by the song Shifter,a struggling relationship song. The song Blogger is flat out weird repeating the line “Blogging Like Jesus” in the chorus, but it is still somehow catchy. The instrumentation is that of typical punk/alternative band.  Throughout most of the album the guitars keep it simple, using mostly single note melodies and power chords. There are occasionally some psychedelic synths and the drums keep the album steady. The original fans of Wire may not necessary love this new release if they are not into pop but people like myself who favor bands that are always willing to experiment could easily find themselves enjoying this release. Good for these guys for being able to keep up the creativity this late in their career!   HARRY

RIYL: Pavement, Television, The Smiths, The Clash

Recommended Tracks: Shifter (2), Joust and Julia (7), Swallow (8)

Passion Pit - Kindred: Passion Pit's music has a special place in my heart, as I suspect it does in those of a lot of people of my generation. Even though I wouldn't say their brand of pop is what I generally go for, I can't help but get a rush of nostalgia when I hear certain songs of theirs. "Take A Walk" triggers a highlights of high school montage in my mind, and honestly, who doesn't get the feels when they hear "Sleepyhead" ? That being said, as wonderful as these little mental forays into the past can be and as fondly as we may feel toward those things that prompt them, there's a lingering sense that these wistful indulgences must be limited. This is the frame of mind with which I began listening to Kindred. Before this week, I hadn't even realized that these guys were releasing new music, so reviewing this album felt very much like jumping into the past. I was returning to something that I had set aside a while ago, and not-so-surprisingly, it didn't feel the same this time around. The band's feel-good synth-heavy melodies and Michael Angelakos’ high pitched altered voice didn't hit a girl's emotions like they used to and at times felt like a bit too much. I found myself at times thinking, "Can you not be this ridiculously happy?" and then I felt like that grumpy old man yelling a the children having fun on his lawn. What had I become? But as I listened more to Kindred I started to remember why I had enjoyed this stuff in the first place. Passion Pit is catchy - these are danceable fun melodies paired with easy-to-remember choruses that are definitely gonna get stuck in your head for a while after listening. More than that, the lyrics touch on feelings deeper and more real than one might expect if they were focusing more on the melodies. "Dancing On the Grave" deals with those feelings of nostalgia I was talking about with Angelakos singing "I can't stay here." Similarly, opener "Lifted Up (1985)" finds him singing at the chorus "1985 was a good year." Kindred is meeting me at a time in my life where it might not be exactly what I'm looking for anymore, but nonetheless, it reminds what I found so appealing about it in the first place. Not gonna lie, I jammed out a bit. CAROLINE

RIYL: Matt & Kim, MGMT, Vampire Weekend, Phoenix

Recommended Tracks: 1, 4, 6, 9 

Built to Spill - Untethered Moon: The dream of the 90s is alive and well in Doug Martsch. This dude really lucked out. I mean, you start a band that’s really a glorified solo project where all of the other members are just dispensable cronies; then you get picked up by Warner; you’re given pretty much total creative freedom, and despite major label backing your band still goes down as one of the greatest indie rock bands ever. What’s more, Martsch can continue to make guitar driven 90s indie rock in 2015 and people will still love it. I don’t know if it’s a nostalgia thing, but it can’t just be that cause I definitely wasn’t listening to Keep It Like A Secret when I was 6, but I still very much dig this new album. Untethered Moon is sure to please any fan of old BTS. The guitar is the main attraction. Martsch shreds with the kind of drawn out, crunchy, single note solos that Neil Young perfected on Everybody knows This is Nowhere. Like Neil, Martsch was something of a guitar hero for his generation, but what separates his sound is the gear he uses, lots of effects and always heavy feedback. Check out the tiger growl on “Living Zoo”, gets me every time. A couple tracks, in particular “C.R.E.B” offer some departure from the mold, but I’m not sure how I feel about them– some weird, sloshy effects going on reminding me of Old Greg for some reason. The subject matter remains angsty, but with a particular emphasis on memory, causing me to wonder if Martsch is suffering from memory loss or something. Oh yea and there’s a strong sentiment that “rock will never die” on here; we’ll see how this album sells and reassess that statement. SHILL

RIYL: Dinosaur Jr, Yo La Tengo, Pavement, Death Cab for Cutie

Recommended Tracks: “All Our Songs”, “Living Zoo”, “When I’m Blind”

Nai Harvest - Hairball: Turn in your final paper, throw the surfboards on top of the wagon, and you know what, invite that alternative girl from English class. You’ve always thought she’s cute, and this is the last summer before she goes off to college…. what? Oh, sorry, I was just listening to Hairball, the latest release from UK pop-punk duo Nai Harvest. Somewhere between the Sex Pistols and Green Day, Nai Harvest does a great job of keeping an unmistakably punk sound while exploring a wealth of feel-good, summery vibes to guide the direction of the record. Ben Thompson’s shouted, poorly enunciated vocals carry just the right amount of melody to keep things on the pop side of punk while sounding beautifully reminiscent of Johnny Rotten. His chord progressions on guitar may not be complex, but they’re very well executed and the chord choices seem to capture a really carefree, fun aesthetic.  Drummer/percussionist Lew Currie totally nails it on fast, head banging rhythms that are hard not to dance to. Overall, the project flows really well as a cohesive unit. I can’t wait for some long summer days out on the boat, guided by the carefree jams ofHairball. CHRISTIAN

RIYL: Wavves, The Orwells, Motion City Soundtrack

Recommended Tracks: “Buttercups” (6), “Sick on My Heart” (2), “Drinking Bleach” (4)

Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color: Alabama Shakes give classic Memphis blues, mixed with blue-eyed soul and traditional rock and roll. They definitely wear their influences and do not tread far outside of the standard rock-soul infusion sound on Sound & Color. What they may lack in experimentation they make up for with skill. Each track has its own unique identity, while remaining cohesive within the album’s context. Their choruses soar and are energizing, especially within album that is largely low to mid-tempo. Lead vocalist, Brittany Howard, has a unique voice that recalls tUnE-yArDs’s Merill Garbus at her most shrill. Howard’s voice is the differentiating force between Alabama Shakes and other bands. Normally her voice would not be found at the front of a band, which makes a musical style that has been repeatedly done, fresh and interesting. KEN

Recommended Tracks: “Gimme All Your Love” (5), “Future People” (4), “Miss You” (10), “Gemini” (11)

RIYL: The Black Keys, Dirty Projectors, Hozier, Mumford & Sons

 

Slug - Ripe: This album is fun and weird and groovy and alternative and chill. I really dig it. Also, look at this video - it is totally awesome and weird and perfectly encapsulates how I feel about this album (aka EVERYONE NEEDS TO LISTEN TO THIS... or at least appreciate the track titles). ASHLEY

Recommended Tracks: "Greasy Mind" (5), "Cockeyed Rabbit Wrapped in Plastic" (2), "Eggs and Eyes" (4)

RIYL: of Montreal, Dirty Projectors, 

 

Barry White - All Time Greatest Hits: I still have no idea what the show Ally McBeal was about, but my mom used to really like it. Judging by this video, I probably would hate the show, but hey, at least the people who made it have good taste in music. Here's the deal: I know that greatest hits albums are a little lame, but this greatest hits compilation is SO perfect that I don't even feel bad about adding it to the station. I mean really, Barry White's voice = sex. Period. If anyone needs to get ~in the mood~ anytime soon, borrow this CD (you are welcome). ASHLEY