Review: Gaelynn Lea – “Rebuild”

Man, Gaelynn Lea knows how to wring the sentimentality out of an Electro Harmonix. The Duluth, Minnesota-bred composer/songwriter, who won the NPR Tiny Desk Contest in 2016, enchants listeners with more winding aural wonders filtered from her violin through that Memory Man pedal on the COVID-19-initiated release “Rebuild,” out now on Bandcamp. The single, a…

Review: Helen Money – “Atomic”

The Chicago-based cellist Alison Chesley is accustomed to providing the sonic equivalent of accent marks and highlights on other people’s statements of intent. She has appeared on some 150 LPs, offering the bowed weep and illuminating scope of her instrument to the likes of Anthrax, Russian Circles, Bob Mould, MONO, and many more. But, when…

Review: tetema – “Necroscape”

Melbourne-based electro-acoustic musician Anthony Pateras has a way with words. Take, for example, the colorful context he sets in advance/press materials for “Haunted on the Uptake” from Necroscape, the sophomore LP of the group Pateras fronts alongside carnival barker extraordinaire Mike Patton. “Sounds like the Melvins’ tour van broke down in the Balkans, and instead of going…

Review: Ryan Rumery – “And, Apart”

Multi-instrumentalist Ryan Rumery’s emotive music always has traded in a kind of nuance, with even his most emphatic statements – which often are bookmarked by ethereal sound-sculpture – being underpinned by the sticky uncertainty of second thought. Coronavirus, no matter how society-halting it becomes, simply cannot stop that. So Rumery, now in isolation due to…

Review: Cabane – “Grande Est La Maison”

There are only so many tablespoons of sugar you can put into your tea or coffee before it’s just sugar, with a spot or hint of the caffeine that’s supposed to drive it through your nervous system. That seems to be the main problem with Grande Est La Maison, the newest LP from Brussels-based composer Thomas…

Review: Magnetic Ghost – “Pixels”

There are many spots where one can enter Pixels, the new LP from Magnetic Ghost, the nom de guerre of Minneapolis multi-instrumentalist Andy Larson. I like to begin with the second track, “Joshua Tree at Sunset”. The piece starts amidst a buzzing drone, and the swells wax vaguely synthetic, backed by the whirring of gears and the…

Review: Human Impact – S/T

Imagine an orgy scored by rusty industrial equipment blasting New York City noise-rock, something like Unsane, Cop Shoot Cop, or Swans in their wicked primes. It would be a gritty, menacing spectacle — sweaty, filthy, angry sex — and set in some cold-water flat on the Lower East Side or along the Gowanus in a…

Review: Amanda Palmer – “Forty-Five Degrees”

Amanda Palmer doesn’t waste much time getting going on her new record – and she doesn’t pull any punches. On the first song out of the gate on Forty-Five Degrees: A Bushfire Charity Flash Record, which is available online now on Bandcamp, she adds several timely verses to a pristine yet stark (and, at times, rattling)…

Review: MELK – S/T

It’s really easy to drink the Spencer Kilpatrick Kool-Aid. The Reno-based singer-songwriter has an amazing, even intoxicating handle on pitch-perfect period strut – in most cases, Stax-infused soul – and a smoky, emotion-damaged croon that accents and accentuates it perfectly. While his voice sounds like a cross-hatching of a bluesy John Mayer and Bill Withers,…

Review: Paracute for Gordo – “Best Understood by Children and Animals”

Post-rock boasts a long lineage of outfits driven by glassy guitars. Though birthed from the oft-unpredictable, highly surrounding-soaked likes of Talk Talk’s Laughing Stock, Television’s Marquee Moon or Slint’s Spiderland, much of what has come to define the post-rock genre, be it June of 44’s and Mogwai’s tangled multi-guitar attacks or Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s and Explosions in the…