Alvvays – Alvvays

Alvvays – Alvvays

Entering through the indie pop door by way of Vivian Girls and Best Coast, Toronto's Alvvays have arrived on the tinny, reverb-loving scene with their first LP. Like CHVRCHES, Alvvays recognize the Google-friendly potential of the letter "v" when borrowing a common...

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Shlohmo and Jeremih –  No More

Shlohmo and Jeremih – No More

I stumbled upon this unlikely duo a little over a year ago when they released "Bo Peep" and the accompanying NSFW video that made my whole body feel funny. This project was originally slated to drop back in February, and after a few more quiet months, it was unsure if...

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Jungle – Jungle

Jungle – Jungle

Last summer, a UK production duo went incognito under the aliases of simply J and T to form a mysterious group known as Jungle. At first glance, the group just seemed to be another batch of aspiring musicians venturing into music under an unorthodox method to grab...

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MellowHype –  INSA

MellowHype – INSA

There is a clear hierarchy in the notorious West Coast collective Odd Future. Frank Ocean recently dropped his OF representatives, but he's still somewhat associated and he is untouchably superior to the whole group. He garners acclaim from all directions and his...

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Sia – 1000 Forms of Fear

Sia – 1000 Forms of Fear

Australian-born singer/songwriter Sia Furler is probably one of the most popular and influential artists in pop music today, although you’ve probably never heard of her name, nor even seen her face. But with pipes like Mariah Carey and a collaborative resume that...

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Lewis Watson –  The Morning

Lewis Watson – The Morning

Lewis Watson may have millions of views as a YouTube star and a rising social media presence at only 21 years old, but he’s unlike many of his other youthful counterparts on the cusps of fame. Instead of spiraling out of control since he’s gotten famous, Watson has...

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Robin Thicke –  Paula

Robin Thicke – Paula

It’s been almost a year since Robin Thicke released his most successful, self-titled album to date, which notably scored him countless radio airplay, Grammy nominations, and multiple Billboard Music Awards. Now, he’s back at it, eying up the top of the charts by...

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Ab-Soul – These Days

Ab-Soul – These Days

Towards the end of 2012, Kendrick Lamar brought him and his crew into the mainstream with the masterpiece Good Kid, Maad City. Kendrick, ScHoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, and Jay Rock had been releasing high quality free projects and independents albums for the last few years as...

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RIFF RAFF – NEON iCON

RIFF RAFF – NEON iCON

Gonzo internet rapper RiFF RAFF has achieved the kind of success that is uniquely 21st century; his distinctive look, humorous Twitter account, and cartoonish brand of materialism have made him something of an absurdist icon within the rap community, despite his...

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Lone – Reality Testing

Lone – Reality Testing

British producer Matt Cutler began recording as Lone in 2007 and has since been responsible for the some of the most inventive, dynamic tracks in dance music in recent years, layering hip hop drums with 90's rave-inspired synths  to create a maximalist sound that...

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Pogo – Younghood

Pogo – Younghood

Mostly everyone understands the idea of a sample or snipped included in a piece of music. The point, if the musician gets it right, is to relate the clip to the thematic vibe of the music or lyrics. Many hip-hop artists do this successfully (Wu-Tang Clan, Aesop Rock)...

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Total Control – Typical System

Total Control – Typical System

Just when the world thought it had enough modern 80’s synth-rock reincarnations to sort through, Australia’s Total Control releases Typical System, an album that churns out all the goth-rock nuances in all the right places. But with any genre-replicating album, it...

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Lana Del Rey – Ultraviolence

Lana Del Rey – Ultraviolence

Even if you aren't a fan of the mega-pop star Lana Del Rey from small town Lake Placid, New York, you've heard her hits--"Young & Beautiful," "Blue Jeans," or "Summertime Sadness" rolling through the speakers of bars, clubs, and beaches (I can assume, some of her...

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clipping. –  CLPPNG

clipping. – CLPPNG

Before I start this review I just wanna touch on one thing real quick. The whole phenomenon of bands/music groups,  cutting out vowels in song/album/artist names or replacing them with Vs, is so played out. I can't stand the name of this album, just make it a...

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The Antlers – Familiars

The Antlers – Familiars

Since Hospice emerged as a narrative record of tremendous emotional force in 2009, The Antlers have consistently defined themselves through their weightiness. There is no hip posturing, no casual cleverness, and very little pop sensibility to the music they spin forth...

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First Aid Kit – Stay Gold

First Aid Kit – Stay Gold

First Aid Kit, composed of the elven-queens Klara and Johanna Soderberg, hit an Internet nerve after they placed their cover of hit Fleet Foxes song “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song” on YouTube back in the year of 2008. Shortly before that, they had already re-recorded...

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Fucked Up – Glass Boys

Fucked Up – Glass Boys

In their new release, Glass Boys, Canadian hardcore punk outfit Fucked Up demonstrates their knack for tasteful anthemic punk rock, albeit in a more modest way than usual. This time around, the band looked to more self-reflective and moody elements to join their usual...

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Glass Animals –  Zaba

Glass Animals – Zaba

It was just this past April that the promising Oxford-based quartet Glass Animals cemented themselves a tight little niche in the psychedelic indie-pop market with their beaming EP Gooey. Now they’ve returned with their debut album, Zaba, to prove that beyond the...

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50 Cent –  Animal Ambition

50 Cent – Animal Ambition

Animal Ambition works when 50 Cent understands that he's worth 140 millions dollars. Sometimes 50 gets caught up with his life back when he was fresh off of being shot 9 times, straight off of the streets, and all the other details that made him one of the best...

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SBTRKT – Transitions

SBTRKT – Transitions

SBTRKT had the right idea when he split his latest LP, Transitions, into three phases. Each two track pairing plays off the thematic tones of the one before. The latest of the three came out today and it signals a darker, ominous twist from this formerly upbeat and...

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Ben Frost – A U R O R A

Ben Frost – A U R O R A

With his new album, A U R O R A, electronic musician/composer Ben Frost sheds a new light on the genre, merging experimental minimalism with a modern rock sensibility. Finding a middle ground between artificial sound and live instrumentation, the record stands alone...

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Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Only Run

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Only Run

“How can I open up?” asks Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s Alec Ounsworth on “As Always”- the opening track of the band’s latest release. He seems to have answered his own question, as the song- a cosmic cascade of phaser synths and Ounsworth’s signature howl- introduces...

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Sam Smith –  In the Lonely Hour

Sam Smith – In the Lonely Hour

Anyone unfamiliar with the rather ordinary sounding musician Sam Smith may notice him from his featured vocals in Naughty Boy’s chart topping “La La La” or Disclosure’s club smash “Latch.” Now he faces the challenging task of matching the quality and success of his...

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Deniro Farrar –  Rebirth

Deniro Farrar – Rebirth

2014 looks to be a pretty big year for Charlotte rapper Deniro Farrar. Last year saw the release of two mixtapes (Patriarch and Patriarch II), which helped him to a selection to the illustrious XXL Freshman Cover for 2014. Signed with Vice Records and Warner Bros,...

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Mac Miller –  Faces

Mac Miller – Faces

Mac Miller has taken an unconventional path as an artist. He gained notoriety as pseudo-frat rapper after a couple mixtapes as a late teen, then released an independent that was number 1 on Billboard. With a style that appealed to the mainstream, and a debut album...

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Sylvan Esso – Sylvan Esso

Sylvan Esso – Sylvan Esso

There are very few new albums in 2014 that have struck me song by song. The War On Drugs' Lost In The Dream and Porches' Lost In The Cosmos are two of those. It pleases me to say that I have found a third. Sylvan Esso, comprised of former acapella-folk singer Amelia...

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The Black Keys – Turn Blue

The Black Keys – Turn Blue

It's been a busy week for Patrick Carney. The Black Keys have just released their 8th (can that be right?) studio album, and he's somehow managed to find time to reignite his old beef with Justin Bieber. While he's correct in his opinion that Justin Bieber is pretty...

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Thunderegg – C’mon Thunder

Thunderegg – C’mon Thunder

C’mon Thunder, the new release from San Francisco's Thunderegg, is the album we just might deserve. Full of lyrical real life experiences, as in the way they actually happen and not the way we thought they would happen, sometimes a creative licence is just a cop out....

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Willie Watson – Folk Singer Vol. 1

Willie Watson – Folk Singer Vol. 1

In the summer of 2012, my family traveled two and a half hours to see a musician named Willie Watson play at an anti-fracking festival in his hometown of Hector, NY. The festival was free, in a grass lot, and Willie was one of maybe eight other musicians on the day’s...

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The Horrors – Luminous

The Horrors – Luminous

Names can be deceiving. In spite of their moniker, The Horrors are about as terrifying-sounding as a hot bath or a warm shower (which post-Psycho still might be scary for some). The band also isn't light and effervescent enough to be described as Luminous, the title...

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Lykke Li – I Never Learn

Lykke Li – I Never Learn

The Swedish-bred Lykke Li has an incomparable way of conveying her self-reflecting lyrics on I Never Learn, her third and final installment in what she describes as a trilogy about the whirlwind emotions of a young woman. As was the case for her previous two albums, I...

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Damon Albarn – Everyday Robots

Damon Albarn – Everyday Robots

Damon Albarn, of Blur and Gorillaz fame, has always been a maverick, pushing pop music into fairly atypical, frequently imaginative territory. On his first full-length solo album, the legendary alt-rocker, working from a slower, more subdued, sonic position, has...

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Mystic Braves – Desert Island

Mystic Braves – Desert Island

Mystic Braves is one of those groups that tend to ramble on. Since their last, self titled album, they haven't quite figured out how to stray from their original sound, which is a western-influenced, rawhide feel. For starters, I'm not asking that a group create...

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tUnE-yArDs –  Nikki Nack

tUnE-yArDs – Nikki Nack

If ARTPOP was a small trip into Lady Gaga’s creative mind that tried to combine art and pop culture into one musical form, then tUnE-yArDs' new album, Nikki Nack, is a full on exploration of pop culture sweetly crafted into an unorthodox collection of rhythms and...

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Chad VanGaalen – Shrink Dust

Chad VanGaalen – Shrink Dust

As a newcomer to the land of Chad VanGaalen, Shrink Dust is quite the brazen introduction to the Albertan singer-songwriter's musical ethos. Known for his imaginative lyrics, full of sci-fi world-building, offbeat preoccupations, and demented wordplay, VanGaalen is on...

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Neon Trees –  Pop Psychology

Neon Trees – Pop Psychology

It was just four short years ago that Utah-bred quartet Neon Trees scored its first hit on the mainstream pop charts with “Animal,” and only two years since the group followed that smash with the irresistibly catchy “Everybody Talks.” The new wave pop group consisting...

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Woods – With Light and with Love

Woods – With Light and with Love

With Light and with Love, as its creators must have intended, is light and lovely. Yet for an album offering semi-straightforward psychedelia that seems tamer than Tame Impala, there is a fair amount of sonic playfulness. Joy jumps from each note. Woods, a folk rock...

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