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Blur | 21

EMI (2012)
Best Britpop band? That’s a question of taste — though if your answer is Oasis, you’re probably wrong, and if your answer is Blur, you’re probably right.
By: ZETH LUNDY  |  July 24, 2012

Micachu & The Shapes -- Never

Micachu & The Shapes | Never

Rough Trade (2012)
Like her stylistic sista Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs, Micachu's Mica Levi makes pixelated, abstract anti-pop that sounds like marionettes jamming in an aluminum factory.
By: ZETH LUNDY  |  July 17, 2012

Passion Pit: Gossamer

Passion Pit | Gossamer

Columbia (2012)
It's now been more than three years since Cambridge-bred Passion Pit birthed debut Manners to critical acclaim, a wait largely the result of a two-year world-touring schedule.
By: MICHAEL MAROTTA  |  July 19, 2012

Album: Purity Ring - Shrines

Purity Ring | Shrines

4AD (2012)
Ever imagined what it would be like to hear an angel-voiced woman recite a book of fairy tales in the back of a nightclub at 2 am as drowsy synth lines float through the speakers?
By: REYAN ALI  |  July 17, 2012

Sugar: Copper Blue + Beaster + File Under: Easy Listening

Sugar | Copper Blue/Beaster + File Under: Easy Listening

Merge (2012)
Two live shows, mucho B-sides, and the ferocious Beaster EP now all compressed into one gulp could leave even the biggest power-pop fan gasping for air.
By: DAN WEISS  |  July 17, 2012

Gaslight Anthem -- Handwritten

The Gaslight Anthem | Handwritten

Mercury (2012)
Handwritten finds the Gaslight Anthem firmly grounded — all grease, grit, and earnest emotion as visceral as the hometown soil caked beneath their fingernails.
By: ALEXANDRA CAVALLO  |  July 17, 2012

Album:The Very Best - MTMTMK

The Very Best | MTMTMK

Moshi Moshi/Cooperative Music (2012)
"World music" is an archaic label, but there's no better way to describe the Very Best's MTMTMK .
By: RYAN REED  |  July 17, 2012


Azealia Banks | 1991

The only downside of Azealia Banks's mildly slept-on debut EP is that her wildfire YouTube classic "212" was anything but subtle (recall: "I guess that cunt gettin' eaten"), whereas the remaining 13 minutes of music here require more time to sink in than the average Grizzly Bear fan would assume.
By: DAN WEISS  |  July 10, 2012


Digits | Where Do You Belong?

Self-Release (2012)
Sad people dance, too.
By: NINA MASHUROVA  |  July 10, 2012


DIIV | Oshin

Captured Tracks (2012)
On the debut LP by Brooklyn four-piece DIIV (formerly known as Dive, but still pronounced the same way), frontman and songwriter Zachary Cole Smith drifts between the dark and dreamy, channeling bits of new wave, '80s indie-pop, and Krautrock with ethereal instrumentals and reverb-drenched vocals.
By: LIZ PELLY  |  July 10, 2012


Grasscut | Unearth

Ninja Tune (2012)
Grasscut are ascension music: each measure another layer of melody, each minute another swell in forward momentum.
By: ZETH LUNDY  |  July 10, 2012


Twin Shadow | Confess

4AD (2012)
4AD Ever since his 2010 synth-pop sleeper debut Forget blew up like a critical landmine, Twin Shadow mastermind and former Bostonian George Lewis Jr. has been pigeonholed as an '80s-pop revivalist, mostly to his own annoyance.
By: RYAN REED  |  July 10, 2012


Van She | Idea Of Happiness

Modular (2012)
Somewhere in a coastal town right now, Van She's synthpop anthem "Beat of the Drum" is playing while groggy, bubblegum-pink, already-nostalgic 20-year-olds move out of the beach house they rented for a week.
By: RYAN FOLEY  |  July 10, 2012


Dirty Projectors | Swing Lo Magellan

Domino (2012)
In the indie-rock academy of musical tomfoolery, Dave Longstreth has always earned excellent marks.
By: RYAN REED  |  July 03, 2012


Echo Lake | Wild Peace

Few labels have fed the shoegaze/dream-pop hydra as regularly as Oakland-based Slumberland. Wild Peace is the label's latest offering, the debut from London duo Echo Lake.
By: RYAN FOLEY  |  July 03, 2012


Eternal Summers | Correct Behavior

Kanine (2012)  
Attempting to construct a simultaneously diverse and great record is a gamble.
By: REYAN ALI  |  July 03, 2012


Friends | Manifest!

Fat Possum
With their debut full-length, Brooklyn pop quintet Friends have released the best pop album of the summer.
By: LIZ PELLY  |  July 03, 2012


Future of the Left | The Plot Against Common Sense

Xtra Mile Recordings
Future of the Left frontman Andrew Falkous's anti-music piracy tirade on Myspace three years ago was far more convincing and a galaxy less stuffy and condescending than David Lowery's recent response to an NPR intern's essay about how she hardly ever buys CDs.
By: BARRY THOMPSON  |  July 03, 2012


Holograms | Holograms

Captured Tracks
Remember back in the day when Hot Fuss came out and everyone thought the Killers had built the definitive aural bridge between Joy Division and New Order?
By: MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER  |  July 03, 2012


Beachwood Sparks | The Tarnished Gold

Sub Pop (2012)
Consider how you feel when walking barefoot — the sensation of dewy grass, warm sand, or cool water underneath your soles.
By: JULIA R. DESTEFANO  |  June 19, 2012


Empires | Garage Hymns

 History (2012)
In 2011, Empires came tantalizingly close to winning a record deal and a Rolling Stone cover story after making it to the final four of the magazine's "Do You Wanna Be a Rock & Roll Star?" contest.
By: ANNIE ZALESKI  |  June 19, 2012

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