Tag Archive: Alternative


Jaguwar
Ringthing
Tapete Records

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We’re back with our “Pick of the Week”. We haven’t been slacking off over the holidays, we just didn’t see (or hear) new releases that made for a good HorizonVU fit. Jaguwar, the Dresden trio of Lemmy Fischer (vocals/guitar), Oyèmi Noize (vocals/bass) and Christoph Krenkel (drums) have released their LP “Ringthing” (as in the Electro-Harmonix single sideband modulator) and the album’s content certainly stays in line with its title. The band offers up a cornucopia of special effects ranging from noise and sweeps through to inventive applications of dynamics, which are truly notable. There are also some great vocals from Fischer and Noize on “Night Out” and “Whales”, for example. It is the case that while the all the effects tracks swirl and twirl through the songs they don’t leave much room for the vocals to live often getting in the way. Nevertheless, the LP is solid and offers up some well written and well-executed tracks. It’s likely that you’ll enjoy the melodies, and frankly, the album might serve as a reference work for alternative/shoegaze.


Courtney Barnett/ Kurt Vile
Lotta Sea Lice
Matador

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Australian singer, songwriter meets up with American singer, songwriter and the outcome is really darn good. Perhaps a bit surprising given stylistic differences; Barnett’s sometimes weird, rambling spoken-word style and Vile’s blend of rock, folk, new wave, and country-pop. The duo does come into alignment, but it seems as though Vile is the dominating influence, i.e., Courtney drifts closer to Kurt’s sonic signature than vice versa (take “Over Everything”, for example). There is some foot tapping to do through “Continental Breakfast” and “Blue Cheese”. This is a nice autumn release; maybe find the groove by thinking bright-colored leaves on sunny New England day. Even if you’re not into one artist or the other, or both, open up and give it a listen.


Amy O
Elastic
Winspear

Indiana-based Amy O’s (Amy Oelsner) “Elastic” is justly titled owing to the artist’s penchant for out of the ordinary song structures, changes in pace (moving from opening track “Lavender” to “Soft Skin” or “History Walking to “Sunday Meal”, for example) and melodies. The twelve track album is a quick listen with only two tracks (“Cherry Blossom” and “Spill”) running over three minutes. But, the briskness of the album along with the changes in tension and mobility moving track-to-track and the melodic relationships are what makes this debut album work. Oh, it’s a fair bet that there’s a hook or two that will stick in your head. “Elastic” is a worthy debut.

Visit Amy O at Facebook and iTunes


Marika Hackman
I’m Not Your Man
Sub Pop

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English artist Marika Hackman releases her second album, “I’m Not Your Man”. She began recording her first full-length album, “We Slept At Last” in 2014. The latest effort is far more aggressive than the first in the sense that it packs a much bigger or louder punch owing to the inclusion of a full band, London-based Big Moon. The result is a grungier sound, which works for Hackman. In addition to the grunge, the listener will hear obscurations of sound as in shoegaze or neo-psychedelia. Her vocals remain true to earlier recordings, light and sugar-coated. Overall, there’s plenty of energy, temperament, and sexuality to make “I’m Not Your Man” a pick of the week!


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.


Sallie Ford

Sallie Ford
Soul Sick
Vanguard

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Sallie Ford’s second album “Soul Sick” is all about…well…soul sickness or those feelings and emotions that give rise to fear, anxiety and troubles of living in one’s own skin. Ford is certainly not the first to pick up on the themes of the album, but what makes this recording worth the time is her energy and abililty to bring together disparate sounds such as retro Top 40, rock, and psychedelia. Check it out!


Cherry Glazerr

Cherry Glazerr
Apocalipstick
Secretly Canadian

Cherry Glazerr brings on great post-punk/indie noise pop with this latest release “Apocalipstick”. Clementine Creevy heads up the band along with drummer Hannah Uribe , vocalist Sophia Muller and bassist Sean Redman. “Told You I’d Be With The Guys” is an stand-out track along with “Nuclear Bomb” (the video features Creevy having an interesting, however bizzare) relationship with her Rickenbacker https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3Pnr3S10yA

Visit Cherry Glazerr at Facebook and iTunes


Maria Taylor

Maria Taylor
In the Next Life
Flower Moon

The Birmingham Alabama-born singer-songwriter has released her sixth solo album. The tracks are generally mellow and warm. Taylor’s dreamy voice makes this album well worth the time.

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Emily Jane White

Emily Jane White
They Moved in Shadow All Together
Talitres

California indie rock, folk-rock, indie acoustic artist has released her fifth album. The album is hypnotizing and even eerie at times. She addresses social battles and injustices faced by women. In addition to the lead tract, “Frozen Garden”, special recognition goes to “Pallid Eyes” and “Nigtmares on Repeat”.

Visit Emily Jane White at Facebook and iTunes

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Margaret Glaspy
Emotions and Math
ATO

California native, Brooklyn-based artist Margaret Glaspy delivers an inward-looking rock-sound with power.

Visit Margaret Glaspy at Facebook and iTunes



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