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Alabama Shakes | Boys & Girls

ATO (2012)
In 2012, every other mainstream female pop singer is trying her hand at honest-to-God soul, shooting stylistically for Aretha Franklin (by way of Adele's 21) but usually winding up closer to early-Nelly Furtado.
By: RYAN REED  |  April 10, 2012


Nada Surf look to the galaxy for answers

For Matthew Caws, songwriting isn't exactly fun. In fact, it's more like agony.
By: RYAN REED  |  April 04, 2012


M. Ward | A Wasteland Companion

Merge (2012)
"Jump inside this tidal wave with me," sings ash-voiced cherub Matt Ward on his stunning seventh album.
By: RYAN REED  |  April 03, 2012


Great Lake Swimmers | New Wild Everywhere

Nettwerk Records (2012)
On their fifth full-length, veteran Toronto quintet Great Lake Swimmers specialize in breezy, monochromatic Sunday-school folk.
By: RYAN REED  |  March 28, 2012


Choir of Young Believers | Rhine Gold

Ghostly International (2012)
On their jaw-dropping debut, 2008's This Is for the White in Your Eyes, Denmark's Choir of Young Believers sounded like an actual choir, or maybe a musical militia — angelic voices ascending in ghostly rings of reverb, enveloped by orchestral flourishes and indie-rock thrust.
By: RYAN REED  |  March 21, 2012


Dr. Dog is the drug

Psychedelic prescription
On their current trek, promoting their playful and raw seventh album, Be the Void (Anti-), Dr. Dog have reached headliner status, playing the biggest, most tightly packed rooms of their career.
By: RYAN REED  |  March 14, 2012


Tanlines | Mixed Emotions

True Panther Sounds (2012)
Mixed Emotions is a shiny bear-hug of an album — sometimes short on fresh ideas, but never lacking in heart.
By: RYAN REED  |  March 13, 2012


Andrew Bird | Break It Yourself

Mom + Pop (2012)  
Big freaking surprise: Break It Yourself, Andrew Bird's seventh collection of intimate chamber-pop, is . . . beautiful.
By: RYAN REED  |  February 28, 2012


Poliça | Give You the Ghost

Totally Gross National Product (2012)  
R&B, meet prog.
By: RYAN REED  |  February 21, 2012


Craig Finn | Clear Heart, Full Eyes

In the near-decade he's spent as frontman-lyricist of bar-rock saviors the Hold Steady, Craig Finn has hardly been labeled a happy camper.
By: RYAN REED  |  February 14, 2012


Inside the theatric folk appeal of You Won't

Willing Participants
"It's about trying to let things come without judgment," says You Won't frontman Josh Arnoudse.
By: RYAN REED  |  February 07, 2012


Tennis | Young & Old

Fat Possum (2012)
Denver's Tennis, the husband/wife duo of Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley, are back with another slab of dreamy, feather-light pop.
By: RYAN REED  |  February 07, 2012

Album review: Be the Void

Dr. Dog | Be the Void

Anti- (2012)
With Be the Void , their sonically raw sixth album, these Philly psych-pop oddballs have pulled a fussy, self-conscious about-face, indulging in their weirdest ideas in years.
By: RYAN REED  |  January 31, 2012

Hospitality - CD Review

Hospitality | Hospitality

Merge (2012)
On their homonymous debut, Hospitality sound like 800 different trendy bands at once (from Twin Sister to Tennis to TV on the Radio), so if it's pure originality you're after, you've come to the wrong department.
By: RYAN REED  |  January 24, 2012


Chairlift | Something

Columbia (2011)
"You lost your focus, but I got a plan for it," sings Caroline Polachek in a crystal-clear chirp on "Amanaemonesia," hovering over a dark, winding bassline and iceberg synths.
By: RYAN REED  |  January 17, 2012


Cardinal | Hymns

Fire Records (2012)
After a nearly two-decade silence, chamber-pop duo Cardinal emerge from their near-mythic hibernation with the sleepy-eyed, Beatles-underwater gem "Northern Soul," which crawls out of the speakers as if to say, "Yeah, we've been gone since 1994 — but really, don't mind us!"
By: RYAN REED  |  May 21, 2012


Back with Bozmo, Moore takes off his Thinkers cap

Kid n' play
Bo Moore is "a little Thinker-ed out."  
By: RYAN REED  |  December 14, 2011


Korn | The Path to Totality

Roadrunner (2011)
Korn claim to embrace "dubstep" on the surprisingly un-terrible The Path of Totality, but their electronic makeover is skin-deep.
By: RYAN REED  |  December 14, 2011


Goldmund | All Will Prosper

Western Vinyl (2011)
On his quiet, haunting fifth album under the Goldmund moniker, Keith Kenniff plays three instruments: acoustic guitar, piano, and the scrapes and scruffs of ambient room noise.
By: RYAN REED  |  December 06, 2011


Death Cab for Cutie | Keys and Codes

Atlantic (2011)
Generally, Ben Gibbard is indie rock's über-dork godfather. But here he just sounds like a dork.
By: RYAN REED  |  November 29, 2011


Tegan & Sara | Get Along

Warner Bros. (2011)
Trust me — I've searched, but I haven't found a more adorable band than Tegan & Sara: Canadian lesbian twins with squeaky-thin voices and ramshackle skills, banging out earnest pop epics with lyrics ripped straight from their diaries, delivering more heart and sweat in a single track than most bands could muster in two careers.
By: RYAN REED  |  November 22, 2011

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