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Dum Dum Girls | End of Daze

More than an artistic evolution, End of Daze is a stylistic one.
Sub Pop (2012)
By DEVON MALONEY  |  September 28, 2012

Dark Dark Dark | Who Needs Who

Back in 2010, the loosely Minneapolis-based quirk-folk jamboree Dark Dark Dark wrote songs that felt like they were about being outside (even if they weren't).
Supply and Demand
By BARRY THOMPSON  |  September 28, 2012

Mumford & Sons | Babel

Three years ago, London folk-rock quartet Mumford & Sons blew up in a major way with "The Cave," an angst-fueled, Grammy-nominated strummer built on quiet-loud dynamics, Country Marshall's propulsive banjo, and Marcus Mumford's gruff bellow, which c
Glassnote (2012)
By RYAN REED  |  September 28, 2012

Field Report | Field Report

Just because Chris Porterfield recorded his debut solo record at ex-DeYarmond Edison bandmate Justin Vernon's April Base studio in Eau Claire does not mean it will break your heart like Vernon's mythic cabin in the woods.
Partisan (2012)
By DEVON S. MALONEY  |  September 21, 2012

R.E.M. | Document [25th Anniversary Edition]

Fans of R.E.M. enjoy arguing over which album was the band's true shark-jump, but 1987's Document was inarguably the end of a groundbreaking era.
Capitol/I.R.S. Records (2012)
By ZETH LUNDY  |  September 21, 2012

How To Dress Well | Total Loss

To the casual ear, there might not be a dramatic difference between Tom Krell's debut album (2010's Love Remains) and Total Loss, his potent new collection of ethereal hymns.
Acephale (2012)
By ANDREW GRAHAM  |  September 14, 2012


Glen Hansard | Rhythm & Resose

The Frames' Glen Hansard releases Rhythm & Repose, his first solo album, having created an unusual juggernaut with Once .
Anti (2012)
By NICK A. ZAINO III  |  September 14, 2012

Dinosaur Jr. | I Bet On Sky

It's hard to believe, but Dinosaur Jr. released their debut 27 years ago.
Jagjaguwar Records (2012)
By JAY BREITLING  |  September 14, 2012

The Raveonettes | Observator

Attentive Raveonettes fans passed the summer anxiously, weighing the implications of the revelation that the duo's forthcoming collection largely sprang from frontman Sune Rose Wagner's Jim Morrison-inspired bender of booze and benzos.
Vice Records (2012)
By JAY BREITLING  |  September 07, 2012

Richard Hawley | Standing at the Sky's Edge

Richard Hawley's seventh studio album opens with "She Brings the Sunlight," a clouds-parting, hippy-dippy drone explosion that plays like "Tomorrow Never Knows" caught in the echo of a football stadium.
Mute (2012)
By ZETH LUNDY  |  September 07, 2012

Maximo Park | The National Health

Maximo Park have always slipped through the cracks in the US, a fact that borders on the criminal: besides being one of the most consistent post-Britpop acts around, the Newcastle quintet is also one of the genre's most adventurous bands.
Straight to the Sun (2012)
By ANNIE ZALESKI  |  September 07, 2012


Bob Mould | Silver Age

Now that he's getting love as a godfather figure from both sides of the indie/mainstream divide (see No Age and Foo Fighters, for starters), Bob Mould is again playing like he has something to prove — or at least an iconography to maintain.
Merge (2012)
By ZETH LUNDY  |  August 31, 2012

Nü Sensae | Sundowning

Grunge-punk shriekers Nü Sensae hail from Vancouver, and originally formed as the duo of bassist/vocalist Andrea Lukic and drummer Daniel Pitout.
Suicide Squeeze
By ANNIE ZALESKI  |  August 24, 2012

Dan Deacon | America

America as a country is rarely celebrated by its off-the-radar and off-kilter musicians.
By REYAN ALI  |  August 24, 2012

Nathan Fake | Steam Days

Even though it's difficult to feel a human pulse on his third studio album, Steam Days, Nathan Fake's brand of laptop-tronica remains uniquely organic.
Border Community (2012)
By RYAN REED  |  August 24, 2012

The Darkness | Hot Cakes

The most obvious strike against the Real Life Spinal Tap's reunion album (yup, first since 2005) is trying to find an excuse to care about it.
Wind-Up (2012)
By DAN WEISS  |  August 24, 2012


Wild Nothing | Nocturne

If critics should be harsh toward the top dogs of the music business for offering nothing new to a particular genre or sound, how should they then turn their pens on emerging artists?
Captured Tracks (2012)
By JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  August 24, 2012

Alanis Morissette | Havoc and Bright Lights

Alanis Morissette is one of those artists whose works can't be judged on anything but a case-by-case basis, due to the fact that she puts the entirety of her emotions, personal triumphs and failures into each one.
Collective Sounds
By  |  August 18, 2012

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti | Mature Themes

Ariel Pink has never been one to limit himself conceptually.
4AD (2012)
By PERRY EATON  |  August 17, 2012

Yeasayer | Fragrant World

To promote their excellent third album, Fragrant World, Brooklyn's resident art-pop weirdos sent their fans on a psychedelic audio-visual Internet scavenger hunt.
Secretly Canadian (2012)
By RYAN REED  |  August 17, 2012

Six Organs of Admittance | Ascent

Ben Chasny is the thinking man's shredder, a chin-stroking, Gaston Bachelard-quoting antithesis to philistine six-string savants like Steve Vai.
Drag City (2012)
By RYAN FOLEY  |  August 17, 2012


Shed | The Killer

If aliases in the world of techno indicated split personalities, Rene Pawlowitz would surely qualify for dissociative identity disorder treatment.
50 Weapons (2012)
By MICHAEL C. WALSH  |  August 17, 2012

Ry Cooder | Election Special

Ry Cooder's spur-of-the-moment (or is it heat-of-the-moment?) political album opens like any good political album should, with a rollicking blues song told from the point of view of Mitt Romney's dog.
Nonesuch (2012)
By ZETH LUNDY  |  August 17, 2012

Archers of Loaf | All The Nation's Airports + White Trash Heroes [Deluxe Remasters]

Don't let anyone who says every Pavement album is worth owning tell you that you don't need Archers of Loaf's final two albums.
Merge (2012)
By DAN WEISS  |  August 17, 2012

M-Dot | Layercake

I stopped paying much attention to M-Dot about two years ago.
EMS Productions  
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  August 10, 2012

Antibalas | Antibalas

As its simple title would suggest, the fifth album from the Brooklyn Afrobeat torchbearers gets back to basics.
Daptone (2012)
By ZETH LUNDY  |  August 10, 2012


Nas | Life Is Good

Life Is Good is the album Illmatic fans have browbeat Nas into making while undervaluing an astounding number of achievements over a dozen "other" albums.
Def Jam (2012)
By DAN WEISS  |  August 10, 2012

Niki & the Dove | Instinct

On their debut full-length Instinct, these electro-pop Swedes strike a delicate balance between trance-y hooks and artful, world music weirdness — and the results typically sound like Cyndi Lauper covering Fleetwood Mac, as produced by Kate Bush.
Sub Pop (2012)
By RYAN REED  |  August 10, 2012

Reverend Horton Heat | 25 to Life

With a charismatic frontman like Jim Heath, whose inimitable voice sounds as if it has been soaking in a vat of whiskey, it's not hard to believe the Rev has been going strong for more than two decades.
Yep Roc (2012)
By JULIA R. DESTEFANO  |  August 10, 2012

Redd Kross | Researching the Blues

It's difficult to imagine that Redd Kross once boasted a sound so hard-charging that punkers were crestfallen when the band traded it in for the poppier style that made up 1987's Neurotica, an LP time has let slip through cracks filled by Sonic Youth an
Merge (2012)
By MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER  |  August 10, 2012