Review: Christian Frederickson – “Islands of Light”

There’s this piece of ephemera from the days of the Rachel’s ensemble that sticks to the attic of my mind like so much setting rubber cement – let’s call them the scrolls. Far from biblical or Talmudic or scriptural (in a sense of religiosity, at least), they were large sheets of paper on which members…

Review: Daughters – “You Won’t Get What You Want”

Daughters, never a band to play it understated, returns as a beast both transformed and reborn in the Rhode Island quartet’s first release since a pseudo “break-up” around 2009/2010 – You Won’t Get What You Want, out last week via Ipecac. It’s not immediately a satiating bit of consumption but it certainly grows inside you like…

Review: Will Oldham – “Songs of Love and Horror”

Songs of Love and Horror — a new LP, out alongside a tome of lyrics last week via Drag City, wherein the acclaimed singer-songwriter Will Oldham unfurls tender incantations of songs from the Palace and Bonnie “Prince” Billy catalogues — is frighteningly, frighteningly evocative stuff. It also might be the indie-folk icon’s finest record in…

Review: Colin Mawson – “Death of the Ego”

It begins in isolation: a descending piano line, a star-twinkle gradually picking up speed as it traverses the lonely sky. The song – the title track to Colin Mawson’s Death of the Ego, out next week via Disintegration State – is eerily calm and resolute, an interesting take to lead a record by a multi-instrumental…

Review: Uboa – “The Sky May Be”

I haven’t heard a record this year that sounds like it has as much acid running through its veins as The Sky May Be, the new, digital-only release from Australian experimentalist Uboa, a.k.a. Xandra Metcalfe, out last week on Bandcamp. Tracks like “Thigh High Cat Tights,” perhaps the release’s best track, are harsh noise pushed…

Review: Jessica Moss – “Entanglement”

The violin can be a beautiful thing and there are surely moments on Entanglement – sound artist/Silver Mt Zion member Jessica Moss’ sophomore outing, out next week via Constellation – that are engaging, even rapturous. But in the end, the new LP is just that and, sadly, that alone: a collection of beautiful moments or…

Review: Peel Dream Magazine – “Modern Meta Physic”

Peel Dream Magazine, a fuzzy-eared nod, in part, to BBC man-about-town John Peel, makes pillowy, fey and sometimes borderline-experimental pop. And on the group’s new LP – Modern Meta Physic, out recently via Slumberland – they do a pretty fine job of it, or at least that’s the vantage point from this tower. On songs…

Review: The Jacob Duncan Quintet – “It’s Alright To Dream”

I just feel cool, like everything’s alright, when I’m listening to Jacob Duncan, don’t you? Well, thankfully for all of us who like feeling like the world’s not completely coming apart at the seams, the talented Louisville saxophonist is back after his debut, The Busker, won over critics with a few tricks up his sleeve and a…

Review: HHY & The Macumbas – “Beheaded Totem”

Dub filtered through with tribal polyrhythms and a touch of mysticism is the name of the game on Beheaded Totem, the sophomore LP from Portugese experimentalists HHY & The Macumbas, out a few days ago via House of Mythology. While that description could send some of the more ambitious listeners among us into fits of…

Review: Mudhoney – “Digital Garbage”

Mudhoney, which is now running strong past its 30th year of existence, has never really been that topical. (I mean, c’mon, “Touch Me, I’m Sick” hardly had policy implications.) Leave it to frontman Mark Arm, though, to shake up the established order of things. On the Pacific Northwest band’s new LP  — Digital Garbage, out yesterday…