For its new album the Oklahoma City band Skating Polly decided to work with lo-fi experimental king Calvin Johnson, and the results, as heard on the track "Alabama Movies," prove that art punk really can be made riotously fuzzy and scuzzy again.
The tones and textures of 'Garden,' a new song by Owls of the Swamp (aka Australian songwriter Pete Uhlenbruch), seem to disappear like breath off a fresh razor. But somehow the tranquility of the track lingers long after it's gone.
"Strugglin'" by I Am the Albatross is more than just another lo-fi foray into gothic country. The Austin-based trio has sure-footed, bluesy musicality and a great Leonard Cohen quote to get you brooding along.
"Slacker rock" really should be a genre descriptor/epithet we've long since retired. But if a rock musician is going to go for the California gold, he may as well sound wide awake and joyful doing it -- and that's just what Chris Pope and the band Blonde Summer accomplish on the irresistible "High Times."
Cajita started out as the one-man band of Jay Chakravorty, though recently the project has taken on a broader but still achingly intimate quality. One listen to "The Stars" is enough to succumb to the sound.
Crafty and intricate, the music of Forsthays has undeniable echoes of Frank Ocean while still venturing into wholly new, wholly eclectic electro-R&B vistas. Case in point: the new track "Better Off Now."
Never underestimate the power of familial bonds, in music as in life. Brothers Aaron, Bryson, Ryan and Landon Baggaley, who perform together as the Los Angeles band Brown Shoe, channel those deep connections into the bold, thundering rock anthem "Lonely Beast," the title track of what will be an ambitious, three-part EP release this year.
The nervous, post-punk energy that powers "Waiting" by Montreal band Ought is only surpassed by the not-so-subtle social critique of its theme. "How long you been waiting?" isn't just directed at a lover. It's directed at all of us.
Brush up on your German and warm up to the graceful country folk of Desiree Klaeukens on the banjo and fiddle-laced track "Warm In Meinem Herz" ("Warm in My Heart").
Never content to repeat themselves, the duo of Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack, aka Wye Oak, venture into fully-synth (and cello and guitar) powered, fully-danceable dream pop on "The Tower," a track from their forthcoming album "Shriek."