by DENISE LU
SPOTLIGHT: Grave Babies – Crusher [Hardly Art]
Seattle-based Grave Babies dole out some creepy, processed Halloween pop on Crusher. Upon closer inspection, though, the melodies are pretty heartening and easy to hum along to, even if they’re dressed in grungy, distorted guitars and dystopia-like, unintelligible vocals. Founder Danny Wahlfeldt records most of the tracks himself, an admirable task considering the result: a cohesive album offering a distinctly new sound that invokes a cloud of different reactions.
Atoms for Peace – AMOK [XL]
The latest from Thom Yorke’s side project, Amok acts as another outlet for Yorke to experiment while still being inherently rooted in his usual writing. The impressive bill boasts Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, Joey Waronker of Beck and R.E.M. and Brazilian instrumentalist Mauro Refosco. It’s not best output by Yorke, but still worth a listen. Read our review here.
Autre Ne Veut – Anxiety [Software]
From our review:
Anxiety is an album littered with opuses. Each is a self-contained universe encapsulating whichever emotion it is assigned. No track has a clear meaning, and Anxiety truly does take on the form of a Rorschach test, becoming whatever the listener views it as… It grows beyond its deeply emotional roots, to become whatever you want it to be.
Golden Grrrls – Golden Grrrls [Slumberland]
With an array of EPs and 7-inches under their belt, UK pop rock outfit Golden Grrrls fully deliver on their self-titled LP. The group extends beyond the uniform tiresome indie pop and combine intricate countermelodies with progressive harmonies to make for sunshiny duets that doesn’t drown in kitsch.
Johnny Marr – The Messenger [Sire]
The Messenger is the solo debut of The Smiths icon Johnny Marr as he steps up with not the unusual range of inspiration, from British alt-rock filled illustrious riffs to garage rock and adrenaline beats. A solid album that’s nostalgic and still refreshing, Marr doesn’t disappoint with his first solo effort.
Shout Out Louds – Optica [Merge]
On their fifth full-length, Shout Out Louds take on plenty of ’80s pop, but with more thought-out composition that stems out of the boundaries of mundane dance tracks. The Swedish outfit fluctuates between gloomily airy, heartfelt ballads and complementary energetic anthems.
Boy – Mutual Friends [Grönland]
Braid/Balance and Composure – Split EP [No Sleep]
Cappadonna – Eyrth, Wynd & Fyre [RBC]
Doldrums – Lesser Evil [Arbutus]
Gold Fields – Black Sun [Astralwerks]
Idiot Glee – Life Without Jazz EP [Hop Hop]
Mister Lies – Mowgli [Lefse]
Mount Moriah – Miracle Temple [Merge]
Ólafur Arnalds – For Now I Am Winter [Mercury Classics]
Pearl Necklace – Soft Opening [Smalltown Supersound]
Popstrangers – Antipodes [Carpark]
Sally Shapiro – Somewhere Else [Paper Bag]
The Embassy – Sweet Sensation [International]