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Paul Banks | Banks

It has taken a decade, but Paul Banks has finally written his mission statement in song: "Death will come by ocean, I want that guarantee," he sings on "I Paid for That," a propulsive cut from his debut solo album.
Matador Records (2012)
By RYAN REED  |  October 26, 2012

Sun Airway | Soft Fall

One of the more remarkable evolutions in the contemporary musical underground may be Jon Barthmus's decade-long peregrination from hardcore punk to the ambitious electro-pop of Sun Airway.
Dead Oceans Records (2012)
By JAY BREITLING  |  October 12, 2012

Black Moth Super Rainbow | Cobra Juicy

Technology makes secrecy well-nigh impossible, so Black Moth Super Rainbow settle for employing it as a narrative device.
Rad Cult Records (2012)
By RYAN FOLEY  |  October 12, 2012

Benjamin Gibbard | Former Lives

"It's been a basement of a year," Ben Gibbard sings over a perky two-chord strum on the saccharine "Oh, Woe." It's hard not to take him literally.
Barsuk Records (2012)
By RYAN REED  |  October 12, 2012

Old 97's | Too Far To Care [15th Anniversary Edition]

What if the Beatles didn't have an audience? That's a crude way of putting the seminal talent of Old 97's vs. the size of their cult, a small swatch of rock fans not put off by Rhett Miller's extra-Texan twang and country fans who could stomach Philip Pe
Omnivore Records (2012)
By DAN WEISS  |  October 05, 2012
OTR:FlyingLotus:Until The Quiet Comes

Flying Lotus | Until The Quiet Comes

On Until the Quiet Comes , his reliably solid fourth studio album, Flying Lotus's Steven Ellison continues to bang out mind-bending electro-donut jams for folks who don't quite "get" electronic music.
Warp Records (2012)
By RYAN REED  |  October 05, 2012

OTR: Tame Impala :: Lonerism

Tame Impala | Lonerism

Australia's Tame Impala make music as the Lester Bangs character describes it in Almost Famous : if and when their psychedelic rock and roll "chooses you," it begs for intimate consumption.
Modular Records (2012)
By ARIEL SHEARER  |  October 05, 2012
Sugar: Copper Blue + Beaster + File Under: Easy Listening

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

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.
Merge (2012)
By DAN WEISS  |  July 20, 2012
Passion Pit: Gossamer

Passion Pit | Gossamer

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.
Columbia (2012)
By MICHAEL MAROTTA  |  July 20, 2012
Gaslight Anthem -- Handwritten

The Gaslight Anthem | Handwritten

Handwritten finds the Gaslight Anthem firmly grounded — all grease, grit, and earnest emotion as visceral as the hometown soil caked beneath their fingernails.
Mercury (2012)
By ALEXANDRA CAVALLO  |  July 20, 2012
Album: Purity Ring - Shrines

Purity Ring | Shrines

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?
4AD (2012)
By REYAN ALI  |  July 20, 2012

Album:The Very Best - MTMTMK

The Very Best | MTMTMK

"World music" is an archaic label, but there's no better way to describe the Very Best's MTMTMK .
Moshi Moshi/Cooperative Music (2012)
By RYAN REED  |  July 20, 2012
Micachu & The Shapes -- Never

Micachu & The Shapes | Never

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.
Rough Trade (2012)
By ZETH LUNDY  |  July 20, 2012

Sleep | Dopesmoker [re-issue]

In the early-'90s metal drought, a strange strain developed through the cracks in the pavement, as downtuned strings, sluggish tempos, and vintage amplification led to the blossoming of stoner rock.
Southern Lord (2012)
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  June 08, 2012
Kin - Crowell and Karr

Mary Karr and Rodney Crowell | Kin: Songs by Mary Karr & Rodney Crowell

Kin is a finely crafted country ode to home and family from a couple of writers who know the territory.
Vanguard (2012)
By NICK A. ZAINO III  |  June 08, 2012
WIXIW - Liars

Liars | WIXIW

The sixth full-length from Brooklyn band Liars is an album in the sense that it's been recorded, has a release date, and is worth a review. But with so much improperly used space and so few tangible ideas, the result doesn't feel like an actual album as
Mute (2012)
By REYAN ALI  |  June 08, 2012


David Bowie | The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars [40th Anniversary Edition]

Bowie's greatest album? Depends on the day. Canonically, however, this is and will always be a BFD: an archetype of alternative commercial rock, the primo platter of the so-called glam era; and arguably the best record ever made about apocalypse, interp
Virgin/EMI (2012)
By ZETH LUNDY  |  June 08, 2012

Fawn | Coastlines

Jaded girl-boy harmonies, gleeful three-chord riffs, healthy doses of punkish noise and emo melody: Coastlines , the debut LP from Detroit indie-pop quartet Fawn, feels like a charming souvenir from a musical era two decades in the rear-view.
Quite Scientific Records (2012)
By RYAN REED  |  June 08, 2012

Metric | Synthetica

Of all the Canadian acts that stumbled onto the scene in the early aughts, Metric have been the most consistent in putting out quality material.
MMI/Mom+Pop (2012)
By MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER  |  June 08, 2012

Bruce Springsteen | Wrecking Ball

There was a time when Bruce Springsteen didn't need rousing choirs, swelling orchestrations, or repetitive Pogues poses to broadcast anthemic populist subversion.
Columbia (2012)
By ZETH LUNDY  |  March 09, 2012
Black Bananas Rad Times Xpress

Black Bananas | Rad Times Xpress IV

It's a rare thing when you listen to a record and can actually hear drugs spewing from the speakers, but such is the gift of Rad Times Xpress IV , the latest from Jennifer Herrema, the exRoyal Trux chanteuse now doing business as Black Bananas.
Drag City (2012)
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  March 09, 2012

nitejewel - one second

Nite Jewel | One Second of Love

Los Angeles songstress Ramona Gonzalez began home-recording dark dance music in 2008, attracting the attention of blogspots and boutique labels with her soulful voice, lo-fi post-disco beats, and distinct sense of weirdo minimalism.
Secretly Canadian (2012)
By LIZ PELLY  |  March 09, 2012
Scuba album Personality

Scuba | Personality

Believe it or not, there still exist some pockets of the globe where dubstep remains sacred, with champions of purism deflecting the ever-tainting mainstream intrusions.
Hotflush Recordings (2012)
By MICHAEL C. WALSH  |  March 09, 2012

The Woodrow Wilsons | The Devil Jonah

The Woodrow Wilsons are a haushold name — to anyone familiar with Jamaica Plain's Whitehaus Collective, that is.
Whitehaus Family Records (2012)
By  |  March 06, 2012
Off the record: The Asteroids Galaxy Tour

The Asteroids Galaxy Tour | Out of Frequency

Getting a boost with songs from their 2009 debut, Fruit , featured in iPod and Heineken ads, and getting handpicked as concert openers by a then-still-functioning Amy Winehouse in their native Copenhagen, the Asteroids Galaxy Tour rode a lucky streak o
BMG Rights (2012)
By MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER  |  February 03, 2012
Album review: Be the Void

Dr. Dog | Be the Void

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.
Anti- (2012)
By RYAN REED  |  February 03, 2012

Grimes -- Visions

Grimes | Visions

The debut record from Grimes, an alias of the Montreal-based Boucher, kicks off the peculiarity parade by presenting song titles steeped in cutesy affectation.
Arbutus (2012)
By REYAN ALI  |  February 03, 2012
Off the record: Mark Lanegan Band

Mark Lanegan Band | Blues Funeral

Unlike a few of his early '90s Seattle contemporaries who made tons of money, erstwhile Screaming Trees vocalist Mark Lanegan has not died, put out shitty records, or made a self-deprecating cameo on Portlandia.
4AD (2012)
By BARRY THOMPSON  |  February 03, 2012
Off the record: Habits

Schoolboy Q | Habits & Contradictions

Without much that can be considered "structure" in terms of the verse-chorus-verse standard, Q confidently wobbles through an album's worth of jaded bangers.
Top Dawg Entertainment (2012)
By MICHAEL C. WALSH  |  February 03, 2012
Off the Record: Air - Le Voyage

Air | Le Voyage Dans La Lune

It was inevitable that Air would one day be asked to soundtrack a colorized version of an iconic 1902 silent French film about moon exploration, right? There's the French thing, the moon thing, the kitsch-cool factor.
Astralwerks (2012)
By ZETH LUNDY  |  February 03, 2012