REVIEW: Various Artists – “The Co-Op Communique Vol. 3”

Music writers are lucky bastards. As a form of payment for their poetry, they get a stream, an everlasting stream, of free music. It’s a pretty good deal if you can score it. Well, to be blunt, the epic compilation series The Co-Op Communique makes YOU the music writer. The third installment in the annual…

REVIEW: Edmondson – “Strange Durations”

The Gainesville, Florida-based brothers behind the duo Edmondson make an engaging sort of vaguely orchestral piano pop on the record Strange Durations, out now via Bandcamp and on Elestial Sound. But, while their intimate vocals have a dreamy but carefully syncopated, Pet Sounds-on-methadone sort of quality to them, efforts for their lyrics to imbue any…

REVIEW: Chicken & The Chick Flicks – “Too Bad About The Sun”

Chicken and The Chick Flicks’ Too Bad About The Sun, out now on Shinkoyo, is exhilarating for reasons that most records simply aren’t. A microtonal-poetry reading for a demented albeit low-key dream, the record pairs Thax Douglas – he of the live concert reading; check the resume here – with Skeletons b(r)and leader Matt Mehlan,…

REVIEW: Demen – “Nektyr”

The opening track – fragile and damaged, haunted and haunting – is so, so, so good, all lulling, breathy vocals, skittering drums and imprecise synth sounds. But Nektyr, Demen’s debut on Kranky, out Friday, is pretty much downhill from there. It isn’t that the music oblique that songwriter Irma Orm conjures is flawed. Sometimes, the…

REVIEW: Heron – “You Are Here Now”

To hear some good reverb-drenched post-rock on the radio dial or the event horizon, you can do a heck of a lot worse than Heron, the Pennsylvania quartet that made its debut recently with the engaging and shimmering full-length You Are Here Now. On the record, which they self-released, the band situates itself comfortably near…

PROFILE: High Plains (2017)

For those who haven’t been paying attention, Cinderland — the debut LP from Scott Morgan and Mark Bridges, the duo known as High Plains — is a serious early contender for year-end Top Ten lists. It is elegiac and nuanced stuff, at once dreamy and funereal; the record just ebbs and flows from your turntable…

REVIEW: The Afghan Whigs – “In Spades”

In Spades, the Afghan Whigs’ sequel to 2014’s Do To The Beast LP, is, as Whigs’ outings go, a pretty colorful and ambitious affair. Out Friday on vinyl and digital formats via Sub Pop Records, the album – the group’s second since it thankfully ended a 16-year-hiatus with Beast – shakes the rafters at points…