Alabama Shakes — Boys & Girls
A lot of the chatter about the much hyped debut album from the much hyped Alabama band will be about how dearly it holds the values of traditional rock and roll at a time when the music-obsessed chattering class collectively seems to be rolling its eyes at them. This will be ugly and divisive and ultimately a shame: these songs simmer and strut and then, thrillingly, burst, offering further proof that what matters is not which decade or which genre an artist is aping, but the skill with which they ape it.
Lissy Trullie—Lissy Trullie
Ms. Trullie has successfully navigated the murky waters of internet-based hype and is back with her self-titled sophomore full-length. She remains obviously indebted to and infatuated with the LES of the 70s and 80s, but she's also added a touch of elegance to the mix, with a slightly less snotty delivery and a more pronounced willingness to let the songs and arrangements breathe.
M. Ward — A Wasteland Companion
The funny thing about M. Ward, of course, is that he's actually way more talented than the many people he's collaborated with over the years, from Zooey to all those dudes in Monsters of Folk. Nowhere has this been clearer than on A Wasteland Companion, which incorporates parts of the many pop eras he's proven so adept at helping other people emulate, but allows Ward's peculiar and immediately identifiable style to transform it into something far greater than the sum of its parts.
Moonface — With Siinai: Heartbreaking Bravery
I haven't actually heard all of this record yet, but judging from the two songs that have been released so far, I'm expecting big things. Spencer Krug traveled to Finland to record it with neo-kraut band Siinai backing him up. It's a curious decision, given his general restlessness and kraut's steadfast desire to settle into a groove, but it's nothing if not intriguing.
New Music from 8 Bands You Need to Hear Alumni
White Rabbits just released a very good album, Milk Famous, and Violens are about to release one called True. You may recall that these bands were featured in previous installments of our annual 8 Bands You Need to Hear feature. This year's is out on 4/25.
Real Estate — Easy 7"
Laugh for a moment at Real Estate going so far as to call one of their massively listenable songs "Easy" and then allow yourself to get lost in it, just the way you're supposed to.
The Return of Woods… on 4/20
Sure, you'll have to go to Maxwell's in Hoboken for it, but jeez, you guys… you really should try leaving this place every now and then. (If you can't do it, they'll be at 285 Kent on May 5th.)
Record Store Day
Hopefully you've saving up. Because 45 RPM, 2xLP pressings of Fleetwood Mac's self-titled album don't come cheap. (For a more reasonably priced alternative, you'll want to grab the extremely good and extremely underrated Destroyer's Rubies, now available on vinyl for the first time ever. Thank you, Merge Records.) Saturday, 4/21 at record stores far and wide.
Listening to Tons of Old NYC Hardcore When You Notice That H2O is Playing Irving Plaza This Month
And then briefly but wholeheartedly wishing bands still sounded like the Gorilla Biscuits.
The Deep, Deep Depression Brought On By Seeing Beyoncé's Tumblr and
realizing how insanely boring your life is in comparison.