Les Sins - Michael: Chaz Bundick (aka Toro Y Moi) is making moves on the dance floor with his first official album under the Les Sins moniker. Greatly influenced by 90s dance electronica and inspired by cartoon and movie soundtracks, this album gives you a twist on some o’ dat deep bass-y synth-y house-y goodness. It has warmth and entices me, like Chaz is holding my hand and guiding me through a smoke-filled room to the center of the pulsing beat. He’s peeling away the chillwaves with an album that is groovy as hell. The first track, “Talk About,” is the best jumping off point, using a sample from Nas’s "One Love," with a repeating “who got shot in the dome-piece?” The album also has an awesome album cover, which uses a still from the equally awesome “Bother” music video. The Chaz man is evolving and shelling out some slyyyyy new dips. ARI
P.S. “Drop” is definitely an homage to old Aphex.
Recommended tracks: “Talk About”, “Bother”, “Bellow”, “Sticky”
Bruiser Queen - Sweet Static: St. Louis duo with a big rock n’ roll sound. Most of the tracks on this album are a mixture of surfy punk and 60’s bubble-gum pop. Then again some tracks, like the opener, are soulful, like an Alabama Shakes that has traded in blues roots for skiffle. Bruiser Queen falls into that sort of mod revival sect that I associate with roller derby and modern pin-up, you know – lots of black, tattoos, fishnets, but also bob haircuts. Their boyfriends drive motorcycles and eat greasy burgers at their local bars. Whether or not that’s what these people are actually like, I have no idea. Lead singer Morgan Nusbaum seamlessly switches from belting out scuzzy street punk to sultry R&B, and the drummer drips and drives as needed. Also, the more I listen to this the less I associate the actual members of this band with my prior description, so don’t let that deter you. SHILL
RIYL: The Woggles, The Len Price 3, X
Recommended Tracks: “Save Me”, “On the Radio”, “Tiny Heart Attack”
Deerhoof - La Isla Bonita: It’s grungy, it’s noisy, it’s raw as hell, it’s awesome. Deerhoof’s new album, La Isla Bonita, has got some great textures going on. As the guitar plucks out impressively melodic riffs and the drums bang heavy-handedly, the vocals chant along in a playful mixture of Bjork meets Hatsune Miku. All around this album is just full of fun effortless songwriting. The song “Last Fad” is riddled with spontaneous math rock outbursts, the vocals carelessly sing lalalala on top of the guitar. The twanging guitar on “Tiny Bubbles” cues the lone ranger vibes. Punk anthem “Exit Only” blows your garage door off its hinges, accompanied by the priceless lyrics, “too many choice to order breakfast.” This shit cracks me up. Guitars clashing, percussion banging, this thing is just cool. The male vocals on the final song “Oh Bummer” remind me of Grizzly Bear and leave me wanting more. This is Deerhoof’s 12th album and you can tell they’re past taking themselves too seriously. Not that they’ve become a gimmick; they just don’t have to try to be cool anymore. They just are. AROG
RIYL: The Flaming Lips, St. Vincent, TV on the Radio
Recommended Tracks: “Doom”, “Exit Only”, “Oh Bummer”, “Paradise Girls”
Panda Bear - Mr. Noah EP: With many Panda Bear releases, I have absolutely no idea yet a certain grasp of what to expect. With his upcoming full length album Panda Bear vs. The Grim Reaper on the way, it seems that the Mr Noah EP gives us a small sample of what is to come. Similar to other projects, the Mr Noah EP frames Panda Bear’s voice, distinct yet drowning, over very wild production. However, it’s 2014, and Panda Bear’s production has once again evolved. This time, the EP features glowing and drugged out synths that demonstrates similarities to projects of Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker. Panda Bear still stays true to his style, as these synths stand out against the crowded, layered drums and sounds so distinct to Panda Bear and Animal Collective. Indeed, we all need Panda Bear’s hypnotic voice over some trippy soundscapes, and the Mr Noah EP is only the tip of the iceberg of what is to come.
RIYL: Tame Impala (Lonerism), Animal Collective (Merriweather Post Pavillion)
Recommended Tracks: "Mr Noah", "Faces In the Crowd"