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The xx | Coexist

The xx's sleeper electro-soul debut was defined by its silences as much as its sounds: by the pauses between dusty, cymbal-less beats, stoned basslines, and echoing guitar pings, and by the pregnant tension between the voices (the unison NyQuil croons o
Young Turks (2012)
By RYAN REED  |  September 07, 2012
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Deerhoof | Breakup Song

Jammy San Francisco art-noise rockers Deerhoof got us going with the clever online "Jingletron" last month and left fans jittering with excitement for Breakup Song.
Polyvinyl (2012)
By SEAN CORBETT  |  August 31, 2012
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Lynyrd Skynyrd | Last of a Dyin' Breed

The eponymous track of Lynyrd Skynyrd's 13th studio album opens with a tease of gritty gusto — a skank-nasty slide riff a few ghostly notes short of Led Zep's "In My Time of Dying."
Roadrunner Records
By RYAN REED  |  August 31, 2012
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Matthew Dear | Beams

Matthew Dear has always been a producer first, DJ second, and songwriter third.
Ghostly International (2012)
By MICHAEL C. WALSH  |  August 31, 2012
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Swans | The Seer

Swans albums are the unparalleled expression of multi-instrumentalist Michael Gira, who often sounds like he's either deranged with enthusiasm or deranged with bitterness.
Young God (2012)
By RYAN FOLEY  |  August 31, 2012
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Animal Collective | Centipe de Hz

Animal Collective deserve credit for not doing what most artists in their position would do right about now — namely, get reactionary.
Domino (2012)
By JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  August 31, 2012


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Loudon Wainwright III ages appropriately

The reason why Loudon Wainwright III drives us crazy is the same reason why we love him so much.
Grown man
By JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  June 08, 2012
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Kate McGarry makes a feminist move on the standards songbook

On a first listen to Kate McGarry's new Girl Talk (Palmetto), you might not suspect any special agenda — this is simply the kind of original, heartfelt treatment of a well-chosen mix of songs that the singer has led us to expect in her half dozen release
In her own time
By JON GARELICK  |  April 06, 2012
Assaf Kehati - Flowers and Other Stories

Assaf Kehati Quartet | Flowers and Other Stories

The Boston-based Israeli guitarist Assaf Kehati and his quartet know how to straddle the great divide.
AKJazz (2011)
By JON GARELICK  |  July 15, 2011
Assaf Kehati - Flowers and Other Stories

Assaf Kehati Quartet | Flowers and Other Stories

The Boston-based Israeli guitarist Assaf Kehati and his quartet know how to straddle the great divide.
AKJazz (2011)
By JON GARELICK  |  July 15, 2011
new Givers album 'In Light'

Givers | In Light

When Givers self-released their first EP two years ago, it was easy to pigeonhole the Lafayette, Louisiana, quintet as just another baby buzz band, a dime-a-dozen blog filler.
Glassnote (2011)
By DEVON MALONEY  |  June 10, 2011


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Face to Face | Laugh Now, Laugh Later

Putting 1999's Ignorance Is Bliss aside, Face to Face still sounds the way they always have.
Antagonist (2011)
By REYAN ALI  |  May 27, 2011
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Gold Panda | Lucky Shiner

There are usually two options for electronic hip-hop records: mellow trip or study in complex head-buggery.
Ghostly International (2010)
By LUKE O'NEIL  |  October 22, 2010
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Kings of Leon | Come Around Sundown

Kings of Leon seem to have hit their stride on their fifth studio album — but it's more of a stroll, and they're not heading anywhere particularly new.
RCA (2010)
By ALEXANDRA CAVALLO  |  October 15, 2010
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The Cinnamon Fuzz | Cruise of the Century

Self-released (2010)
Self-released (2010)
By MICHAEL MAROTTA  |  October 08, 2010
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The Birthday Massacre | Pins and Needles

If you disregard the distorted guitars, the spooky sound effects, and the unapologetically gothtarded imagery, not much separates the Birthday Massacre from honest-to-gosh bumblegum pop.
Metropolis Records (2010)
By BARRY THOMPSON  |  October 01, 2010


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Women | Public Strain

For their sophomore effort, Women returned to the same Calgary studio that had birthed their 2008 debut, the basement of fellow musician/neighbor Chad Van Gaalen.
Jagjaguwar Records (2010)
By MICHAEL GRIMES  |  October 01, 2010
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Abe Vigoda | Crush

Over the past three years, Abe Vigoda have made some serious progress, going from California kids making cryptic but pretense-free DIY clatter to the sole opening band on one of Vampire Weekend's national tours.
Post Present Medium (2010)
By REYAN ALI  |  October 01, 2010
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No Age | Everything In Between

What are a couple of LA noise rats like No Age trying to say with a stargazing track like "Katerpiller" smack in the middle of their new album?
Sub Pop (2010)
By MATT PARISH  |  September 24, 2010