INDIE / POST-ROCK
Instrumental masters want to make you uncomfortable.
Even if you’ve never heard of Austin’s Explosions In The Sky, you’ve likely heard their music. In addition to providing the soundtrack to Friday Night Lights, their recordings have appeared in over 30 commercials and soundtracks. For their seventh album, they’ve intentionally adjusted their cinematic soundscapes to be less cathartic and more unsettling.
by Mat Bates
R&B / SOUL
dvsn maximizes potential of minimalist R&B.
Drake’s OVO Sound label has become a global hotbed for the sensual future-soul currently dominating the landscape via the likes of The Weeknd, PARTYNEXTDOOR and Drizzy himself. Toronto-based OVO’s reign over this movement continues with dvsn — singer Daniel Daley and producer Nineteen85 –whose sultry electro-soul will intoxicate listeners throughout late nights and early mornings.
Indie Sub Of The Week:
Lightning Wheel is an all too brief blast of retro, cinematic doomwave, evoking ‘80s VHS chase scene soundtracks with its pulsing synths, stuttering, sped up vocals and skittering beats. It’s a dreamily danceable, retro, jam rife with dizzy melodies and teeth rattling low-end that sounds like M83 covering Salem or Crystal Castles scoring a straight-to-video John Carpenter flick!
A Feast for the Psyche
On the single “Turn Me On,” Dinner (aka producer/singer Anders Rhedin) insists, “I’m a normal guy.” If there’s an alternate reality where “normal” means a bedroom-eyed Dane making soaring Scritti Politti-meets-Pet Shop Boys synthpop with Talk Talk’s ambitious earnestness and the most expressively enunciated baritone since Sisters of Mercy, that place sounds awesome.
by Party Ben
EMO / POST-ROCK
Listen and become a believer.
Atmospheric emo post-rockers TWIABP return with extended tracks from 2015’s Harmlessness. True to form, these tracks don’t stray from the clearly successful formula long time fans have grown to love. The hallmark darkly emotional vocals, never-ending intense melodies and ultra dramatic crescendo seem almost like an homage to post-rock predecessors American Football and Prawn.
by Crystal Lowe
No issues here.
“I’m coming straight from the gut,” she cautions on opener “Mindful,” setting the stage for a confrontational, girl-positive album. Her honey sweet voice on tracks like “Ain’t You” brings a very Adele-like attitude with vintage R&B beats, and the Jason Derulo duet “Make The Bed” is a strong hit single contender, with urban-pop crossover appeal.
MODERN ROOTS REGGAE
The McGregors serve stern warning.
On “Zero Tolerance” Stephen “Di Genius” constructs a tuff riddim of pulsing basslines framed by angelic vocal harmonies and horn stabs, over which he and Chino paint pictures of Jamaica’s sufferers standing on the uneasy edge of social upheaval. It’s an anthem for the people ready to turn the tables on the powers that be.
Jouk li jou….
A multigenerational collective of musicians from disparate backgrounds came together in the wake of Haiti’s 2010 earthquake to light a flame in a dark moment.
Drawing on a prodigious cultural patrimony to punctuate an ever-evolving musical identity, the resulting recordings beautifully project a sense strength and artistic purpose. This is non-static dynamic modern roots music.
Oakland band’s EP harks back to when the word “indie” meant something.
Not that they’re a throwback act, but TWCRTG rocks with the sonic wherewithal of a band whose members grew up during indie rock’s 1990s heyday (Pavement, Superchunk, etc.). Armed with top-shelf stomp-boxes and barbed song-hooks, IJTWTTA looks forward while simultaneously recalling an era when mixtapes predated burned CDs.
by Eric Shea
DRONE METAL / NOISE
Amplifier worship meets exquisite noise.
On their sixth collaboration, these two Japanese underground heavyweights deliver two distinct sets of songs intended to play simultaneously! Boris rework a clutch of older tracks into a more amorphous, heaving and churning dream-doom, while Merzbow delivers a new set of freeform FX abuse and cosmic, psychedelic skree that’s both surprisingly lovely and savagely caustic.