He deconstructs pop conventions within the first five seconds in pom pom with a devilish grin, setting the tone for an uncompromising mélange of hissed art rock that ups the ante even further than the disarmingly twisted Mature Themes.
Warpaint are very much an Ikea act, not that that’s meant as a dig at their potential audience ... but rather as both are in the puzzling position of frequently pulling off genuine style and sophistication, but occasionally slipping up on the absolute basics.
Following last year’s acoustic-based Sleeper, Segall’s newest release is an ambitious 17 tracks, all of which combine 60s pop sensibilities with contemporary psych flavors and dissonant embellishments.
A work of faultless skill and assured sophistication, The Take Off and Landing of Everything positions Elbow as one of the most quietly ambitious and rewarding acts of our generation.
The romantic in De Marco is now very much a presence in his life, far from it being a farce, and adroitly balances those feelings of solitude and intimacy by clasping dearly to the everyday proportions that make his life complete.
It’s a record that does an awful lot of things ‘wrong’ and is all the more beguiling for it.
As simple and unchallenging as Atlas is, it’s undoubtedly the group’s most emotionally resonant album, both sonically and lyrically, even if Real Estate chooses to unleash them in a diminutive sigh rather than a fearsome roar.
They continue to operate with a restlessness that results from making just enough changes to link their stern commitment to write straight-ahead rock songs with a classic feel.
It’s hard not to listen through Here and Nowhere Else with a smile on your face, as the hooks and instrumentation are just so incredibly lively and infectious it makes the whole album a momentous, front to back blast.
Despite the sun-soaked paisley vibe that it initially sets, Alvvays sidetracks itself from the “summer album” malady with a surprising amount of hefty hooks and sweet-and-sour lyrical contours.
Few artists in this day and age take self-expression through art to heart like Hadreas does as Perfume Genius, and with the sensitive confidence that radiates from Too Bright, he’s mastered it in a way few artists never do.
It’s an incredibly well-observed, poignant look at what it means to be Jenny Lewis right now, yet lacks the indefinable quality to make it a classic.
It widens the scope of influences even further, becoming more refined and pointed as they begin to settle into a new pattern whilst playing some of those old tricks.
Whether it’ll appeal to actual teenagers rather than those who are reduced to reflecting on their own adolescence through the dim glow of nostalgia is an interesting question, but either way, MØ might have just released the freshest, most joyful pop record of 2014
The songs that make up Lazaretto are the most diverse on a White album since Get Behind Me Satan, and even more impressively, the songs themselves could stand alongside those on Icky Thump and Consolers of the Lonely thanks to the wonderful arrangements.
Her pain, her flaws, her confidence and her laughter make her one of the most relatable songwriters around today, as human as the rest of us.
This is the strongest tUnE-yArDs album to date, more ambitious musically, more urgent and eloquent lyrically, and yet somehow more danceable all the same.
The Beck we find in Morning Phase depicts a weary soul resting in a hammock as he explores his transcendental spiritual existence, rather than the sprightly blue-eyed cockatoo that was starting to find his groove again after an almost-defeating spinal injury.
Swans have always made albums that are meant to get you to sit down and really *listen,* but with To Be Kind, that seems especially true. The dynamic range on the album is, quite literally, startling.
They most certainly have created something special over the 15 months or so the album took to piece together.
There is no single powerful element that obscures the other through LP1, however, and Bartlett’s previous EP proves this is still very much her singular vision.
Kozelek creates because it’s his need, a blessing that cannot be wasted. And Benji is his way of showing gratitude to those who enriched his life to its greatest capacity.
It’s difficult to think of another artist who’s so consistently inventive and rewarding. Listening to St. Vincent is a more enjoyable experience each time you press play, thanks to its seemingly bottomless well of inspiration.