Slow and steady wins the race.
We’re not sure when “post-rock” morphed into indie electronica, but in hindsight, many bands took this path (looking at you Stereolab and Animal Collective). Tortoise is no exception but on earlier albums these sensibilities were separated song by song. On The Catatrophist they’ve merged these seamlessly into their loping Morricone-esque vibes and guitar jams. –Diego Gonzalez
Life After The Herethereafter
Miranda Lee Richards is one of the few former Brian Jonestown Massacre members to continue making outstanding music. Her third studio album Echoes Of The Dreamtime is a rich balance of warm, vintage, Los Angelino canyon-rock tones and more forward-thinking songcraft, beautifully laced with sublime hooks. Richards’ enchanting voice contrasts whispery intimacy with a soulful strength. –Eric Shea
INDIE SUB OF THE WEEK
Space pop meets Moog-gaze.
Anakin broadcast their latest blast of hook heavy, fuzz drenched guitar rock from a sonic space station drifting through the stratosphere, employing their Celestial Frequency Shifter to beam smart pop hooks, shoegazey guitar crunch and swirling, spaced out synths into the ears of earthbound stargazers who dig the likes of Hum, Failure, Weezer and Smashing Pumpkins. –Andee Connors
Long known as a mambero….
Fuego, aka Miguel Durán, steps out of that mold and embraces contemporary trap in a big way. Much as this production aesthetic has taken over mainstream hip hop, Latin artists have become equally enamored, but on Fireboy Forever II, Fuego ups the ante, demonstrating the potential US-born Latin artists have when they exploit cultural multiplicity. –Marcos Juarez
No Truer Grit
With many new Americana artists embracing high-end studio production of mainstream commercialism, it’s quite refreshing to hear that Lucinda Williams is keeping things gritty, twangy, rusted, busted and true. The Ghosts Of Highway 20 plays like the soundtrack to a Jim Jarmusch film. Her own songs deliver, but she also gives Springsteen’s “Factory” the desolate Nebraska treatment. –Eric Shea
Risk pays off for nonkeen.
Starting eight years ago, German composer/pianist Nils Frahm rejoined childhood friends for improvisational basement sessions, riffing on their old tapes and recycling new ones. Their stunning resultant album The Gamble essentially represents a lifetime of music, suffused with layers of nostalgia and atmosphere. Boards of Canada fans will exult, but these are uniquely organic, intimate soundscapes. –Party Ben
Suede’s second post-comeback album will delight old fans and land the band some new ones.
The songs on Night Thoughts are deceptively buoyant; deceptive because the sweeping, hook-laden tracks like “Outsiders,” “No Tomorrow” and “Like Kids” belie Brett Anderson’s dark lyrics. In this sense, the Anderson/Richard Oakes songwriting partnership continues to evoke many of the legendary Morrissey/Marr songs. –Mat Bates
Montreal indie-psych band taps into Floydian soundscapes.
A Coliseum Complex Museum is everything you could ask for from a Besnard Lakes record, complete with reverb-drenched guitars, atmospheric background synths and Jace Lasek’s trademark falsetto. Check out the haunting “Necronomicon,” which recalls their very best earlier work. It’s intoxicating, as it is expansive – put those headphones on and drift away. –Michelle Solomon
Giovanni James demands your attention with debut single.
Musicians don’t like to be pigeonholed or categorized; fortunately for newcomer Giovanni James, the rapper-singer-dancer-guitarist-and-more is nearly impossible to typecast. On “Shame On You,” James’s raspy vocals, accompanied by his jumping-off-the-page lyrics and one seriously gripping guitar lick (“Jailhouse Rock,” anyone?) make for one of our favorite debut singles in a while. –Jordan Davidoff
Doomed to grind (or vice versa?).
Drum machine driven grindcore gods Agoraphobic Nosebleed slow things way down and offer up a crushing set of unlikely doom on Arc, the first installment in a series of forthcoming EPs. AnB vocalist Kat Katz (wo)mans the mic this time around, spitting venomous vokills over some surprisingly Sabbathy, monstrous and malevolent, doomed stoner-sludge. –Andee Connors