Category: Music Reviews


Girlpool

Girlpool
Powerplant
Anti-

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Cleo Tucker (guitar, vocals) and Harmony Tividad (bass, vocals), Girlpool, is a folk punk band from Los Angeles. The duo formed in 2013, when Tucker and Tividad were still teenagers. Their sound is notably praiseworthy for its impertinence. Following the rather sparse approach taken in the group’s debut, “Before the World Was Big”, they’ve introduced a drum kit on “Powerplant” backing Tucker’s guitar and Tividad’s bass. The tracks on “Powerplant” express plenty of brash self-confidence in the sense of 1990s Liz Phair. Drop the needle on “123” and enjoy!


Delia Gonzalez

Delia Gonzalez
Horse Follows Darkness
DFA

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Delia Gonzalez is perhaps best known for her videos, visual art, theatrical performances and concerts as well as her earlier collaborations with Gavin Russom. She has released her second album following Remembrance. The storyline of Horse Follows Darkness is one of a rather complex re-encounter with the American Wild West and the continuance of that heritage through time. Complexity comes from the imagery and dream-like atmosphere stirred by the intertwining of a melange of influences running from minimalism to post-punk and electronica poly synth. The five-track album is quite brief, but the auditory experience is other-worldly.


WALL

WALL
Untitled
Weyrd Son / Wharf Cat Records

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WALL was (yes, was – the band broke up summer last year) a post-punk or no wave band based in Brooklyn. Before hanging it up, the band realized much acclaim in NYC and beyond (SXSW). The hard-rocking band of Vanessa Gomez (drums), Vince McClelland (guitar and vocals), Elizabeth Skadden (bass and vocals), and Samantha York (vocals and guitar) has recorded an LP which delivers on the NYC underground brand. For those who recall the 1970’s when sleazy and sometimes dangerous venues in downtown Manhattan notably defined and radiated a music culture (for example, CBGB, Mercer Arts Center ), WALL does not disapoint. But WALL is much more than a 1970s-80s derivative band. There’s a lot going on beyond the churning sound ascribed the The Velvets, fuzz-noise of Television with Tom Verlaine and Richard Hell or the provocative and confrontational work of Lydia Lunch. For example the jangle pop, underground pop sound that sprung out of the Athens, Georgia music scene (PYLON) comes to mind. Exceptionally, what goes on is not chaotic non-sense. It is a well-integrated source relating feelings of helplessness, confusion, and worry with irresistible strength. This ten-track LP from “High Ratings” to “River Mansion” earns top recognition.


The Overcoats

Overcoats
Young
Arts & Crafts

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Overcoats, the singing and songwriting duo of Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell have released their debut album on the Arts & Crafts label. While track-by-track it’s difficult to slot the music into a single genre, you won’t go wrong listening to this mix of indie pop, folk, soul and even jazz. Nicolas Vernhes (Dirty Projectors, Daughter) and Autre Ne Veut joined the duo in co-production.


Lillie Mae

Lillie Mae
Forever and Then Some
Third Man Records

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Lillie Mae (Rische), American singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, perhaps best known as the fiddle and mandolin player in Jack White’s live band, has released her solo debut. The album is produced by White and is best generally defined as Americana blending country-rock, alt-country, blues and bluegrass. She stays true to Americana roots, and along with her vocals, she has most certainly kept on with supporting fiddle and mandolin. Lillie Mae offers up her own style alt-country and warrants special attention.


Karen Elson

Karen Elson
Double Roses
Hot Records

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Karen Elson, the British model and musician, has released her second album following a seven year hiatus since the release of “The Ghost Who Walks”. Elson’s “Double Roses” brings to mind the singer-songwriters of Laurel Canyon and the counterculture musicians such as Joni Mitchell and Carole King. The album has numerous highlights, but “Hell and High Water,” “Raven,” and most certainly “Distant Shore” cannot be passed by. This is an album not to be missed.


Aimee Mann_Mental Illness

Aimee Mann
Mental Illness
Superego

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Aimee Mann, the American rock and folk singer-songwriter, bassist and guitarist is back with her ninth solo album. The eleven-track album might best be described as soft, but certainly not light in the message(s) delivered on life and relationships. It’s easy to slip off into a state of melancholy, but then it would be unfair to think of the album as depressing. It leaves the listener with a folksy tanquility. This is the album for feeling comfort in uneasy times.


Dollyrots_Whiplash Splash

The Dollyrots
Whiplash Splash
Arrested Youth Records

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The Dollyrots, Kelly Ogden and Luis Cabezas are back with “Whiplash Splash”! The 13-track album is pretty much what one would expect from the pair; a speedy, punchy brand of pop-punk sure to take you to your happy place. True, the John Fields produced recordings might feel too sweet for words or border on being too gitzy, but the album is made for having some fun. If you want to be serious or intellectual, this is not the album to satisfy those states of mind. But if you’re looking to feel good and enjoy some exuberant, raucous rock – go for it!


Anohni

Anohni
Paradise
Secretly Canadian

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Anohni is the English-born singer, composer, and visual artist and the lead singer of the band Antony and the Johnsons. The song “Manta Ray” in the film Racing Extinction earned her and Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song along with J. Ralph. Her debut solo album, “Hopelessness”, was released in May 2016, and was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize as well as a Brit Award. Paradise is a six-track EP. The dominants messages aggressively challenge male economic and political dominance. Overall, this EP is a commanding and influential contribution.


The Dove and the Wolf

the dove and the wolf
I Don’t Know What to Feel
Fat Possum

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The Dove & the Wolf
I Don’t Know What to Feel
Fat Possum

Paloma Gil and Louise Hayat-Camard, the duo known as the dove and the wolf, have released an extended version of their previous EP. Paloma and Lou were raised on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean; one in Paris and the other on the French Caribbean Island of Martinique. Their sound is lush and dreamy. The 10-track album might be labelled as dream-pop or shoegazing given the multi-layered atmosheric texture one experiences in the listening, but interestingly enough, one also hears a blend of 1970’s poop-rock. Overall the album delivers a very pleasant sound and leaves the listener feeling, perhaps, satisfied and mellow. Have a listen to the album. It is likely that one will find at least a track or two to add to their playlist.


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