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When I chance upon a band with a new album that I begin to like right away, and upon further investigation discover that they've been around for a while and have something like 3 or 5 or 10 albums that came out before this one; I have to fight a feeling of mild panic and anxiety. Does anyone else experience this?

Because I'm already pressed for time to listen to the music I know and love. And I've found time to discover this new thing and that's always good.

.

But now I learn, it's not new. There's a lot more listening to do, and when am I going to that? Hm?

I know, not a real problem as problems go. But I'm experiencing it (again) with a new record by Radar Bros. I'd seen the name before because I always am checking out releases from Merge Records. But not until a strong recommendation from a friend did I listen to their new album Eight.

It turns out to be a rather bracing record of Left Coast indie pop in the vein Grandaddy or Earlimart, but with an edge of Sparklehorse. And the occasional melody that Elliot Smith may have not gotten around to. Making a very strong impression on me early in the year.

[And despite the title, it appears I only have six previous releases to check out]

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I am definitely interested in hearing more from Kate Boy. The Peter Gabriel influence is probably a bit too pointed, but still:

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Julian Lynch's new album 'Lines' is a panache of experimental sounds that is somewhere in between jazz, folk, and electronic music. Very different, but definitely a grower.

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Greg P   

Mid-70's Laurel Canyon goodness by way of some young brits named after an old Stephen Stills tune... First song off the new Treetop Flyers album. Love this.

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opus   

The new Jay Tholen, titled The Low Drone of Earth, removes much of the chiptune/electronica aspects of his previous albums, but it's still a fascinating slice of dark psychedelia from Christianity's fringe. Oh, and it's also a concept album about a young lad who leaves to explore the world with his robot friend and gradually loses his faith.

My review: http://opus.fm/music...arth-jay-tholen

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Greg P   

Guitarist and ambient-noodler Sumner McKane released Select Visual History back in February and I finally got around to downloading and listening a few weeks ago. What a gem.

His previous non-soundtrack release, What a Great Place To Be (2008) is one of my all time favorite chill-out albums; instrumental post-rock, that manages to find the sweet spot between hushed ambient music and more composition-oriented, guitar-driven tunes. The new album strikes the same balance, leaning this time around towards form, chops and even a couple moments of Jeff Beck-style lyricism ("The Injured Hawk"). Wonderful, textural album full of mini-dreamscapes that beg repeated listens.

Edited by Greg P

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Ah, now that's a recommendation I can sink my teeth into. Hope the guy's on Spotify. I'll check out those recordings. Thanks, Greg.

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His previous non-soundtrack release, What a Great Place To Be (2008) is one of my all time favorite chill-out albums; instrumental post-rock, that manages to find the sweet spot between hushed ambient music and more composition-oriented, guitar-driven tunes. The new album strikes the same balance, leaning this time around towards form, chops and even a couple moments of Jeff Beck-style lyricism ("The Injured Hawk"). Wonderful, textural album full of mini-dreamscapes that beg repeated listens.

Nice, Greg. Spotify doesn't have the new album, but I just listened to What a Great Place To Be. It's exactly as you said, although the ambient slant is a bit sleepy for my tastes. I'm now listenging to The Mighty Damariscotta.

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Greg P   
Nice, Greg. Spotify doesn't have the new album, but I just listened to What a Great Place To Be. It's exactly as you said, although the ambient slant is a bit sleepy for my tastes.
Ha! Remember, my operative phrase was "chill-out"! Sumner is something of an anomaly in ambient/post-rock circles. For starters, he's a stellar instrumentalist and a kick-ass country-picker. I mean, the guy shreds and could easily be doing session work in Nashville with any of the heavy hitters in that genre. Instead he works out of his cave in rural Maine, where he produces these restrained, deconstructed ambient/americana pieces that require some time to digest. The Mighty Damariscotta is a gorgeous piece.

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stu   

People who like indie-alt-folk-punk, or various other formations of those four words, may wish to listen to the Palace of Justice. Especially this one, which is quite Iggy-y.

'Mum says we've got these hormones....'

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Greg P   

I bought Bombino's new album Nomad over the weekend and have not been able to stop listening. He balances his traditional, native Saharan African influences with an exultant distillation of blues and american roots music. The closing track ,"Tamiditine", turns all the African influences sideways and offers up an almost Dead-like, hippie campfire anthem with B3 whirring, hauntingly underneath. The simple melody repeats for nearly five minutes and for my money, it could repeat for another five and not wear out its welcome. His electric guitar work is stunning throughout; agile, simple, hypnotic. I'm anxious to check out his back catalog when I wear this one out. Essential 2013 album.

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Greg P   

Seven years after the wonderful Trials of Van Occupanther and three years after the flute-tooting misstep of The Courage of Others, Midlake has announced a new album without lead singer Tim Smith. This here has all the signs of a very nice recovery-- hints of 70's Brit proginess, kick ass drumming, Richard Wright More-era Farfisa organ and the usual tasty harmonies. More jet pack and spaceship than hooded robes. Very nice.  

Edited by Greg P

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opus   

I've recently become very enamored with the music of Pan Aurora. Their latest EP (my review) is a lovely bit of melodramatic, atmospheric post-punk in the same vein as Wild Beasts, with a hint of David Sylvian. Below is a video of an acoustic performance of one of their earlier singles.

 

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All Songs Considered this week featured a clip from an artist whose moniker is Death Vessel, from the new album Island Intervals. I loved it and I'm listening to the album now. The opening track, "Ejecta," is a knockout: Imagine Sigur Ros singing in English with Tom Waits providing Bone Machine-y percussion. Beautiful stuff. And produced by Jónsi.

Edited by Overstreet

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Every year I'm introduced to a new female artist that I just end up loving their album for the rest of the year, this year might be Sally Seltmann's 'Hey Daydreamer'. Similar to Feist, it's upbeat indie pop with depth.

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Joel   

For the sake of my reputation I'm not starting a new thread on this band, but I really like this new song by

 

wait for it

 

Fartbarf.

 

I really do like it, I'm not just being funny.

 

You can hear the single and read about them in this article titled with a rhetorical question: "Why Won't People Take Fartbarf Seriously?"

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Kinch   

It came out two months ago, but I just heard and fell in love with Other World, the collaboration between Peter Hammill and Gary Lucas.

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Haven't yet heard it for myself, but am excited to note that there is a new release by Stanton Moore-- drummer for the killer New Orleans funk band Galactic, now making his debut as the leader of an acoustic jazz trio. Sign me up.

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Haven't yet heard it for myself, but am excited to note that there is a new release by Stanton Moore-- drummer for the killer New Orleans funk band Galactic, now making his debut as the leader of an acoustic jazz trio. Sign me up.

 

Well shoot: Now I regret listing this album here instead of starting its own thread. It deserves one: This is a tremendously entertaining and imaginitive jazz recording, taking a really unique approach to the music of New Orleans (and indeed, conjuring all the kinetic energy of a second line with just a three-piece band) and always swinging mightily.

 

I like this better than any jazz record I've heard this year (or last, come to think of it)-- including The Bad Plus and the upcoming Brian Blade Fellowship.

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