by DENISE LU
SPOTLIGHT: Maston – Shadows [Trouble in Mind]
On Shadows, LA-based Frank Maston offers up dreamy pop drenched in thick psychedelia. Shimmery guitar strums, echoing vocals and accents of harmonious oohs and aahs are all topped off with what sounds like the production of the ’60s. Warm tones, muted horns and bright bells all point to an aesthetic of yesterday glory. Instrumental cuts are cinematic and sound like parts of a dream sequence, while tracks with vocals sculpt detailed landscapes of revival pop with modern day complexities in composition.
Cyclopean – Cyclopean EP [Mute]
Following up to Can’s The Lost Tapes released last year, Cyclopean reunites two of the pioneer Krautrock band’s founding members, Jaki Liebezeit and Irmin Schmidt. Tribal percussion and dark, creeping harmonies make for a trance-like collection with an ominous air.
Jacco Gardner – Cabinet of Curiosities [Trouble in Mind]
Dutch multi-instrumentalist Jacco Gardner evokes scenes of 1960s United Kingdom on his debut full-length. Sprinkled with sunshiny baroque pop, Gardner paints magical scenes that are fairylike, but not overtly sweet.
K-X-P – II [Manima]
Finnish four-piece K-X-P delivers a Krautrock-influenced album, dressed in a completely different fashion with hints that range from glam rock, techno and pop to abstract minimalism, offering a diversity that keeps the album interesting and fluid.
The Lewis Connection – The Lewis Connection [Reissue] [Numero Group]
The first of a series of releases from reissue label Numero Group of the ’70s Twin Cities soul and funk scene, the self-released title of The Lewis Connection, the project of a brother duo, was originally released in 1978. Unconfirmed rumors have it that Prince himself played on this album.
Pissed Jeans – Honeys [Sub Pop]
Hardcore punk outfit Pissed Jeans’ fourth full-length Honeys still pumps through the same hair-raising terror rock as their past albums. On par with labelmates METZ, Pissed Jeans deliver a few dozen punches on this record that is prone to set things on fire.
Blackfeet Braves – Blackfeet Braves [Lolipop]
Darwin Deez – Songs For Imaginative People [Lucky Number]
Fear of Men – Early Fragments [Kanine]
Foals – Holy Fire [Warner Bros.]
Lisa Germano – No Elephants [Badman]
Millionyoung – Variable [Old Flame]
Nataly Dawn – How I Knew Her [Nonesuch]
PVT – Homosapien [Felte]
Salva – Odd Furniture EP [Friends of Friends]
The Flaming Lips – Songs For Love (self-released)
The Little Ones – The Dawn Sang Along [Branches Recording Collective]
Veronica Falls – Waiting For Something To Happen [Slumberland]