At the end of the day, Guitar Romantic is simply a fucking awesome power-pop record that would've been just as relevant and engaging twenty-five years ago, and will undoubtedly be just as fun twenty-five years down the road. It may seem glaringly retro on the surface, but The Exploding Hearts have released an album that is, at its core, ageless.
Some people have commented that Tinariwen have always been a country band, albeit a North African take on the genre. That idea is magnified here as the Tuareg band’s trademark snaking guitar lines and hypnotic rhythms blending seamlessly with pedal steel, piano and strings from guest musicians including Daniel Lanois, the embellished arrangements lending the songs an epic, universal application.
The three-time Grammy nominees sound refreshed on 10 new songs distilled to the essence of The Milk Carton Kids: two voices blended together in spellbinding harmony, accompanied by subtly perfect acoustic instrumentation. Turns out that’s a tough sound to get just right, but I Only See the Moon shows just how much the duo were willing to work for it.
The tongue-in-cheek and aloof record finds its roots in covert sapphic, and paradoxical narratives, kaleidoscopic soundscapes and cool, grunge-fueled vocals. Complete with obscure and frank lyricism, I Am The Dog staples itself as one of this year's best. Featuring songwriting contributions from Teddy Geiger (Caroline Polachek, Sylvan Esso) and Sarah Tudzin (Weyes Blood, Slowdive).
This is a body of work born from a shared passion for pushing the limits of blues music. Produced by the legendary Jon Spencer, Death Wish Blues melds eclectic sensibilities into a batch of songs both emotionally potent and wildly combustible and helps fulfill their shared longtime mission of opening up the genre to entirely new audiences.
Aperture is Jadagu’s coming-of-age mixtape, chronicling bad breakups (scuzzy garage rocker “What You Did”), sibling allyship (the glitchy “Admit It”) and leaving behind a religious upbringing (distorted diary entry “Letter To Myself”); while opener “Explanation”’s hazy vocals and synthesized strings is Mazzy Star updated for the TikTok generation.
"The Become EP is a collection of 5 songs from the Once Twice Melody sessions. We didn't think they fit in the world of OTM, but later realized they all fit in a little world of their own. To us, they are all kind of scuzzy and spacious, and live in the spirit realm. It's not really where we are currently going, but it's definitely somewhere we have been. We hope you enjoy these tunes.” - Alex and Victoria
Part experimental indie and part ‘70s soft rock, Califone’s first record in three years reaches new levels of harmony, fragility, and confidence. Whether detailing aging goths retaining their identity through year-long spooky decorations, an imagined conversation with an inbred monarch, or the conflicts between identity and technology, Villagers spreads out and luxuriates in the messy darkness of modern life.
A source of empathy through emotional lows and affirmations through emotional highs, Broken By Desire… is a continuation of, more than an evolution from, his debut. Channelling sadness and self-doubt to forge connection, this album is what Lewis’ music has always strived to be: a testament to the strength that can be found in heart-wrenching sincerity.
Ghost follows last year’s opus Impera as intended from the start with Phantomime, a diverse and spellbinding sampling of the band’s musical DNA. Featuring covers of classics by Television, Genesis, The Stranglers, Iron Maiden and Tina Turner, Phantomime pays tribute to these unlikely bedfellow influences while stamping them all with Ghost’s undeniable sonic signature.
Rock and classical royalty unite on brand new album Drastic Symphonies. Recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London, Def Leppard have drastically deconstructed and reimagined some of their biggest hits, collaborating with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. This bold new approach to the orchestral hits formula sees new vocal and guitar recordings from the band.
Cattle Decapitation’s extreme metal will be the soundtrack to the end of the world when it inevitably arrives. Here they’ve once again penned an album to accompany the end of times and make us all feel terrible about it. At the end of the day are we not human parasites that feed off the Earth’s life force? A Terrasite?
Santa Barbara outlaws Devildriver are still wringing righteous thunder from those clouds over California on pummeling 10th album. If there is any question as to whether the band is slowing down any time soon, Dealing With Demons Vol. II proves that 20 years into their career, even with their demons in tow – they move forward at the forefront of metal.
From start to finish, The Amity Affliction's whisper-to-a-scream energy and Dan Brown's masterfully dynamic guitar work underscores each track. With a musicality as heavy and hard-hitting as singer Joel Birch's intensely emotional lyrics-about suicide, gun violence, religion and mental illness- Not Without My Ghosts finds TAA at their brutal best.