Sounding like the musical offspring of acts like Best Coast and Real Estate, Canadian quintet Alvvays' (pronounced "always") self-titled debut album is surf-pop gold. But the sunny guitar sound paired with yearning lyrics might conjure up some conflicting emotions.
The brooding, figurative lyrics of "Long Night" -- "Can't unsee the things I saw, fallen devils, false gods" -- hints at where Boston band Guster has been and where it's headed. Back with its first album in four years (due out officially in early 2015), the band worked with producer Richard Swift (well-known as keyboardist for the Shins) for a dark, intensely atmospheric sound.
The Heavy Anchor treated south-side St. Louis to an eclectic set of music on Saturday, hosting four bands on a long, loud summer night.
Pop music is so many things to so many people. To the Rosebuds, featuring the core of Ivan Howard and Kelly Crisp, it means working with Justin Vernon as producer for a sound as bright as the late summer sun, jangling your guitars till they sing along with you on the big, irresistible chorus of "Blue Eyes."
There are many ways to describe what it's like to listen to the new PHOX album, but let's allow Jimi Hendrix to take it away: "You make me wanna get up and scream...I'm tired of wasting all my precious time, you've got to be all mine, all mine...Foxy Lady." Or in this case, "Phoxy."
With echoes of the Magnetic Fields plugged in and the Smiths cheered up (if just a little), the Skating Party, effectively the work of Philadelphia musician Gregory James, has a lush and finely-layered '80s sound that's at once lyrical and danceable.
Coconut Records aren't exactly a household name, but judging from the enduring melody and spirit of a song like "West Coast," they should be. New York-based band Mainland pays a fittingly lo-fi and surfy tribute in this satisfying cover.
Richard Davies has worked as both a solo artist and with Eric Matthews for the group Cardinal, but the Australian-American musician got his start in the Moles, and he heads back to those strummy, acoustic-pop roots with the fetching "Beauty Queen of Watts."
Some two years in the making, "Let’s Love," the new album from Scarlet Tanager, finds the St. Louis band enriching its chamber-pop sound with ever-maturing emotional and instrumental textures, notably on the haunting, call-and-response vocals of "Place That I Come From."