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La Big Vic | Cold War

Underwater Peoples (2013)
In 2011, La Big Vic released Actually, a retro-futuristic avant-pop album playing skillfully with classical and experimental influences.
By: LIZ PELLY  |  February 01, 2013


Unknown Mortal Orchestra | II

Fat Possum Records (2013)
With the frustrating and often brilliant II, these oddball psych-pop New Zealanders have sunk even deeper into the swampy digs of why-fi — as in, "Why the hell tarnish such excellent songs with such half-assed fidelity?"
By: RYAN REED  |  February 01, 2013


Local Natives | Hummingbird

Frenchkiss Records (2013)
Local Natives' sophomore album bows out with closer "Bowery," a brooding indie-rock epic. But its true climax arrives a track earlier.
By: RYAN REED  |  January 30, 2013


Bloody Hammers | Bloody Hammers

Soul Seller Records/Sacrificial (2013)
Presented as some kind of satanic pigfuck ritual, this North Carolina quartet's debut is far less doomy than advertised.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  January 29, 2013


The History of Apple Pie | Out of View

Marshall Teller Records (2013)
London-based quintet the History of Apple Pie's debut LP for Marshall Teller Records is an essential spin for fans of Dino Jr. riffs and early Slumberland indie-pop.
By: LIZ PELLY  |  January 29, 2013


Bleeding Rainbow | Yeah Right

Kanine Records (2013)
The only defect of the sort-of-but-not-really debut from Bleeding Rainbow (no longer called Reading Rainbow, possibly due to litigious ire festering under LeVar Burton's genial television persona) is that the Philly foursome merely hop off the launching point forged by Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine, and a handful of others from the oft-exalted grunge era.
By: BARRY THOMPSON  |  January 23, 2013


Ducktails | The Flower Lane

Domino (2013)
Whereas previous Ducktails albums collaged pop ideas with kaleidoscopic filters and home-recorded hiss, The Flower Lane distills those disparate parts into a more firmly structured songcraft, sewn together with psychedelic guitars and dreamy imagery.
By: LIZ PELLY  |  January 23, 2013


Ra Ra Riot | Beta Love

Barsuk Records (2013)
On their woefully underrated first two albums, Ra Ra Riot worked their trademark art-pop sweet spot.
By: RYAN REED  |  January 23, 2013


Holy Grail | Ride the Void

Prosthetic Records (2013)
Prosthetic Records (2013)
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  January 16, 2013


Toro Y Moi | Anything In Return

Carpark Records (2013)
Chaz Bundick's done with chillwave, the lo-fi, underwater synth-pop fad that propelled his Toro y Moi project to hipster-blog stardom.
By: RYAN REED  |  February 14, 2013


Yo La Tengo | Fade

Matador Records (2013)
Fade starts with James McNew and Ira Kaplan harmonizing on the line "sometimes the good things fade."
By: GARRETT MARTIN  |  January 17, 2013


A$AP Rocky | Long.Live.A$AP

A$AP Worldwide/Polo Grounds Music/RCA Records (2013)
A$AP Rocky is a living, breathing Tumblr aggregator.
By: MICHAEL C. WALSH  |  January 16, 2013


Christopher Owens | Lysandre

Fat Possum Records (2013)
Who knows what fans were expecting with Girls frontman Christopher Owens's debut solo album — but whatever it was, it likely didn't involve madrigal flutes and Jim Croce fingerpicking.
By: RYAN REED  |  January 08, 2013


Free Energy | Love Sign

Free People Records (2013)
For some context on how to approach the Philadelphia-based Free Energy as a classic-rock revival band, turn to their recently released video for "Dance All Night," one of the best tracks off sophomore album Love Sign .
By: SEAN CORBETT  |  January 08, 2013


Mike Cooley | The Fool On Every Corner

Cooley Records (2013)
A Mike Cooley solo album is a treat for Drive-By Truckers fans.
By: NICK A. ZAINO III  |  January 08, 2013


Big Boi | Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors

Def Jam (2012)
"Been a handsome-ass nigga since my mama wiped my bottom," raps Antwan Patton (a/k/a Big Boi, a/k/a Sir Lucious L. Leftfoot, a/k/a Daddy Fat Sax, a/k/a Billy Ocean) minutes into his schizoid sophomore album.
By: RYAN REED  |  December 10, 2012


Majical Cloudz | Turns Turns Turns

Arbutus Records (2012)
Devon Welsh is a frequent collaborator with his best friend Grimes, but he's also been recording introspective songs by himself for years.
By: LIZ PELLY  |  December 10, 2012


Young Fathers | Tape One

Anticon (2012)
Scotland does boldly inventive/wildly playful indie-pop (and prior to that, post-punk) with such machine-like efficiency that it's been a detriment to the country's other genres.
By: RYAN FOLEY  |  December 10, 2012


Chris Weisman | Maya Properties

OSR Tapes (2012)
Chris Weisman is surprisingly focused for someone so intrinsically weird.
By: LIZ PELLY  |  December 04, 2012


Memory Tapes | Grace/Confusion

Carpark Records (2012)
It was a mad bummer when Philly's synth-infused post-punk outfit Hail Social quietly called it a day a half-decade ago after just two inspired releases.
By: MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER  |  December 04, 2012


Mogwai | A Wrenched Virile Lore

Sub Pop (2012)
All in all, Virile Lore feels more "deleted scene" than "director's cut."
By: RYAN REED  |  December 04, 2012

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