The Acorn – No Ghost Album Cover Review

For The Acorn’s latest album, No Ghost, band member Howard Tsui was enlisted to create the album artwork. The chosen cover piece, entitled Spectral Residue, is thematically appropriate, and showcases Tsui’s knack to draw influence from the supernatural. To quote Tsui’s artist statement about the series: “Abstract shapes and gestural brushstrokes are applied to rice paper that is taped onto gallery walls. The paper is then removed leaving behind faint marks, textures and forms that have bled through the rice paper. Metaphorically, the ‘life’ of the painting is transferred onto the wall, while the crumpled and torn paper alludes to a lifeless body. Through automatic drawing, I tease out demonic figures out of these abstract forms using a sulfur and

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Ducktails – Ducktails III: Arcade Dynamics Album Review

Ambient bedroom pop pioneer Matt Mondanile, aka Ducktails, manages to break into untapped psych-pop territory on his new album, while appeasing those who long for his forgotten demo cassettes. And while Ducktails III: Arcade Dynamics takes an impressive step towards the sound of his other band, Real Estate, the album retains that distinctly Ducktails hypnosis, a sound that only Mondanile has perfected. I can recall the first time I heard a Ducktails’ song. It was “Backyard,” from the Underwater Peoples summer compilation, and it was a strange microcosm of noise and brilliance. The drums sounded like someone rapping on a hollowed-out door and the tambourine seemed to be played by a drunk person, but at the same time, there was

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Monster Rally – Coral Album Review

While bands like Tennis, Cults, and Best Coast battled for blog buzz in 2010, cashing in on nostalgically inclined 20-somethings, Monster Rally quietly crafted one of the best albums that could loosely be pigeon-holed into this genre. Coral is, fundamentally, an instrumental album, but the energy and vibrancy spilling over on every track articulates the kind of emotion and personality usually conjured through vocals. Listen to “Moonglow” – DOWNLOAD MP3 On “The Birds (Pts. 1-2)” you’re immediately taken in by the soft whistling and maraca loops, the track finally climaxing as tickling piano keys fade during the last minute of the track. The entirety of Coral has this vibe. Cool and calm, yet precise and intricate. The opening track on

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Keith Canisius – This Time It’s Our High Album Review

Keith Canisius’ latest album, This Time It’s Our High, starts off as an annoying reminder as to just how much excellent music exists which you will probably never, ever hear about. The burden is almost crippling. At some point, though, you just have to suck it up and delve in full on, putting aside the daunting reality that you will never experience everything great in the world. You just have to be grateful you discovered something that made you feel this way in the first place. “People’s Faces,” the intro track to This Time It’s Our High, makes me feel this way. It took me completely by surprise, its existence standing in sharp contrast to what I was expecting (which

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Say Hi – Um, Uh Oh Album Review

Over the years, and with each new release, Seattle-based Say Hi seemed to lose a touch of its eccentric bedroom-pop quality. The music remained endearing, but was clearly transforming into something more “grown-up.” Luckily, the sole creator behind Say Hi, Eric Elbogen, has managed to bring new life to his project with his latest, entitled Um, Uh Oh. Listen to “Devils” – DOWNLOAD MP3 The album is a definite step forward in the maturing process, but brings back some of the exuberance of early releases in a mischievous manner. Songs like the aptly-titled “Devils” contain wicked tones that are fun and sleek. “Sister Needs A Settle” has a sharp edge down to the “uh huh, uh huh, uh huhs” that

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Own Records Mixtape (#4) Stream & Download

This mixtape is composed of songs released by Own Records, a small independent label based in Luxemburg (Europe). Despite the diversity of these tracks, we like to believe that you will recognize the thin red line that moves us.

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