album reviews

Album Review: Wild Child – Fools

Wilson’s storytelling vocals combined with poignant Paramore-doing-folk-esque lyrics and a set of solid melodies throughout the album are what allows Fools to rise above unambitious folk-pop ditties rehashing the same instrumentation and base throughout each song, proving themselves to be more eclectic and honed in musicality than your average band.

Album Review: All Dogs – Kicking Every Day

All Dogs, the not so punk, yet extremely punk, band from Columbus, Ohio make some seriously powerful music. The band is comprised of singer, guitarist, and songwriter Maryn Jones, guitarist Nick Harris, bassist Amanda Bartley, and drummer Jesse Withers and the definitely are a musical tour de force. They self describe as, “punks making pop music in Columbus, Ohio” never have truer words been spoken. The beauty of the Internet and the twenty first century is the lack of necessity that is packing up your things and moving away to Los Angeles, Chicago, or New York to make it making music.

Album Review: Small Feet – From Far Enough Away Everything Sounds Like The Ocean

Stockholm, Sweden’s new indie masterpiece has just introduced themselves as Small Feet, and they are beginning their indie career with a hauntingly impressive and melodic musical narrative condensed to look like an album. Lead by Simon Stålhamre, the band is releasing their debut album, From Far Enough Away Everything Sounds Like the Ocean, on the 14th of August, an album that gives the feeling of a meaningful and layered conversation between two old friends in the hush of a cold Stockholm night.
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Eisley – Currents

"Currents" marks the 4th LP for Texan quintet Eisley. A family band consisting of 4 siblings and 1 cousin (Sherri, Stacy, Chauntelle, Weston and Garron) this pop - folk group's newest LP is light-hearted and ethereal. Unlike their previous album "Valley, " "Currents" was recorded in Sherri and husband Max Bemis' (of Say Anything) home studio and created without a producer. The band members had complete control over their album and took the opportunity to shape the album around their true artistry. The result was a less pop-focused album that instead warms with whimsical lyrics, flowing strings and loads of romanticism.
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Spose – The Peter Sparker Mixtape

Spose is pretty different than your typical rapper. He's a 27-year-old skinny white guy. He doesn't rap about drinking or clubbing or throwing money at strippers. Instead, he raps about paying his bills, his favorite sports teams and even doing mundane chores, like the dishes. For his self-released album "The Peter Sparker Mixtape, " Spose presents 13 tracks that are truly representative of his skills and style. After being dropped from Universal in 2010, he's not looking for anyone's approval or even mainstream radio-play. You won't find pop tunes on this album, but plenty that will grab your attention and stick in your head like one.
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Golden Youth – We Are Alive

Golden Youth is indie Californian duo (and BFFs) Stephanie Lauren and Kyle Monroe. In anticipation for their debut LP, they have recently released their second single via NYLONmag, “We Are Alive.” The tune opens with fluttering flutes (think Jonsi) and continues to employ more classically orchestral instruments to create a textured sound with a lighthearted melody. Lauren takes control of the lead vocal line, with a gravel to her voice that’s organic and warm. Her voice marries well with Monroe’s and together they “ooh” and “ahh” their way through this joyous tune. This song makes you want to run outside and skip through a lush meadow full of blooming daisies. It’s the perfect song for springtime. “We are all alive, ” Lauren reminds us. And boy does it feel good to be alive.
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Album Review: Lewis Watson “The Wild EP”

Already a chart topper in the U.K., LP "Every Kingdom" marks folk singer Ben Howard's debut in the U.S. Where lyrics and musicianship reign supreme, 24-year-old Howard sets himself apart due to his gravelly yet pleasant timbre, soulful lyrics and quite a bit of impressive guitar picking. With help from a few backing musicians by way of added strings and harmonies, this lush album is full of accessible, hearty folk tunes.
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Album Review: BEN HOWARD – EVERY KINGDOM

Already a chart topper in the U.K., LP "Every Kingdom" marks folk singer Ben Howard's debut in the U.S. Where lyrics and musicianship reign supreme, 24-year-old Howard sets himself apart due to his gravelly yet pleasant timbre, soulful lyrics and quite a bit of impressive guitar picking. With help from a few backing musicians by way of added strings and harmonies, this lush album is full of accessible, hearty folk tunes.
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Album Review: White Prism EP

When White Prism invites listeners to "come and rest your weary heart" on opening number "Song 52" of her self-titled debut EP, get ready to do so. With a soothing tone tempered with a hint of dysphoria, the following four songs of "White Prism" are relaxing, ethereal electro-pop that fit well with just about any mood.
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Album Review: Major Lazer “Free the Universe”

A number of EPs, mostly containing remixes from Major Lazer's debut album, “Guns Don't Kill People, Lazers Do” have been released since yellow-mohawked, neck chain hulaing, daggering champion hype man Skerritt Bwoy's split from the group. “Free the Universe” is Major Lazer's first full-length album since the split, however, and while the EPs as well as Major Lazer's the live shows during the last tour seemed to feel a little lacking from the loss of Skerritt Bwoy's flamboyant antics, the new album fills whatever gaps there may have been with a host of major guest talent and varied and complex beats.
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Album Review: BAJOFONDO Presente

It's not surprising that Bajofondo is composed of a whopping eight members. Hailing from Argentina and Uruguay, this Latin-alternative rock band is full of rich and interesting layers that create a sound all their own with their fourth LP "Presente." An innovative venture, Bajonfondo fuses several genres of music together to create "electro-tango, " with obvious influences from tango and electronica (duh) along with jazz and hip-hop making their mark. While this may sound like a strange mix for a niche market, this blend of genres actually makes the group far more accessible as it brings old-school tango fans into modern music and tango to younger listeners who may ordinarily dismiss it.
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Album Review: Hollis Brown – Ride On The Train

It doesn't get much more straightforward than classic rock group Hollis Brown. This New York based quartet delivers 1960s inspired American rock tunes with a no muss, no fuss attitude. While these chaps may hail from the east coast, they've got southern charm down pat with debut LP "Ride On the Train." Together they've created no-frills feel-good Americana that's got loads of genuine soulful emotion.
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Blood Diamonds’ Barcode EP on OWSLA

New and interesting producer Blood Diamonds (Michael Tucker) has just released a new EP featuring four mixes of his track “Barcode” featuring Dominic Lord. This is Blood Diamonds’ first EP on his new label, OWLSA.
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Tying Tiffany – One EP via ZerOKilled Music

Hailing from Italy, Tying Tiffany has been releasing moody techno tunes since the mid '00s, with four-song EP "One" being her most recent endeavor, following full-length 2012 album "Dark Days, White Nights." Supermodel, actress and DJ, TT has pulled from her myriad of talents to become an edgy songstress siren, with gloomy tunes and fetching beats that set her apart from the crowd.
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Album Review: GOLD FIELDS – Black Sun

Your ears may be screaming in pain if you've got your headphones at the average level when you begin Gold Field's album "Black Sun". The aggressive intro of "Meet My Friends" isn't the most pleasant way to start an album, but luckily, Gold Fields redeems itself with sing-songy "ahs" and melodic and lyrical references to The Police's "Roxanne." On "Black Sun" this Australian quintet has created a diverse LP for their American debut with dark contemplative numbers interspersed with late night dance tunes led by strong beats.
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Album Review: BOY – Mutual Friends

Don't let the name BOY fool you - they're actually a female duo of singer Valeska Steiner and instrumentalist Sonja Glass. Based out of Hamburg, this Swiss-German pair met in 2005 and have since released light-hearted pop album "Mutual Friends" and are more than prepared to make waves with their debut in the U.S. Together these women create playful tunes as Steiner's charming voice (a bit reminiscent of the ever-talented Feist) never falters from its clarity and Glass' instrumentation and harmonies add depth and variety to simple melodies. The album opens with stripped down number "This is the Beginning." Steiner chants "this is the beginning of anything you want" over and over, and they're right! This song starts the album off with listeners wanting more, and the ladies make good on their promise with great songs to follow.
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Album Review: Highasakite – In and Out of Weeks

Norwegian quintet Highasakite is already a hit in their Northern Europe homeland, but this March, they bring their folky, electronic, pop blend to SXSW, debuting their five song endeavor "In and Out of Weeks" in the U.S. At the heart of this group are founders Ingrid Helene Havik (vocals and zither) and Trond Bersu (drums). After meeting at a jazz conservatory, the new lovers formed Highasakite in an effort to spend more time together, gradually combining forces with three additional players to flush out their sound with more percussion, synthesizers and even tuba and flugabone. The result is a full sound that takes influence from American pop music, Norwegian folk and Phil Spector-esque electronica while employing tribal beats and experimental synths to create unique soundscapes heightened by Havik's soaring vocals.
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Album Review: Metric | SYNTHETICA | Stream + Video

Synthetica is without question an album from the future sent to be enjoyed today. Thick dream layers hover above each track, and alternate from fast paced electro guitar riffs to seducing drumbeats. ‘Youth Without Youth’ is the first reason to dance as if no one is looking which reflects the albums embedded theme.