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Commune | Goat

Commune begins with the strike of a meditation gong, an interesting serenity in contrast to the rest of the album which has me pleading: “is there a respectable synonym for ‘fucking awesome?’” Goat is the thesis statement to David Byrne’s 1999 essay ‘I Hate World Music,’ a furious hodgepodge of transcontinental influences that merge into a magnificent confluence. Commune is brash and punk, an integrated romp of the senses.

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Singles | Future Islands

Though it’s conjecturally impossible to top 2010’s lo-fi breakthrough assemblage In Evening Air, Future Islands’ 2014 release Singles was their witting gambit to get recognize, reach a larger audience, and use kaleidoscopic production to land them spots on late night television. Well, it worked. Singles utilizes the classic Islands pallet but escalates it into a glittery, polished, banger bringer that took them from kitchenette sized DIY venues like Brooklyn’s Silent Barn to stages in Paris performing for thousands of fans.

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Music For Heart And Breath | Richard Reed Parry

Hear ye the impeccable din prophesying ovation over Will Butler’s announced solo record. Then remember Arcade Fire’s other members’ projects (thinking Sarah Neufeld’s Hero Brother) and locate Richard Reed Parry. Music For Heart And Breath echoes the best works of Terry Riley and Arvo Pärt, a labyrinthine orchestration that makes harmony in dead ends and a listener wonder what it means for music to ascend.  

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Alvvays | Alvvays

As if to placate the hungering zombies of 90s yesteryear, Alvvays appears and meets their demands. Prepare for nestled little darling songs assisted by Dunlop guitar picks on an anti-oscillating downward stroke. Maybe the most accessible thing on this list, Alvvays breaths reanimated air into a mummified genre. Probably Ian Parton’s album of the year.  

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Where Does This Disco (EP) | YACHT

It’s like, how isn’t this artist the biggest thing ever of all time? We’ve all asked ourselves this, referring to whomever, but with YACHT, it sticks. In an absolute sucker punch from one of the most underappreciated duos in music, prepare to be dazzled by a hit and subsequent, well, why call them b-sides? Featuring vocals from the most charismatic performer in indie Jona Bechtolt.

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Mr Noah | Panda Bear

At first I thought, “wow this sounds a lot like Kishi Bashi.” Then I remembered the first time I heard Kishi Bashi I thought “geez this guy wants to be Noah Lennox, bad.” Panda Bear layers so many… layers? of sound that it’s like, well who really gives a fuck, this must be amazing, right? Guess what, it is. Vocal harmonies weaved over John Carpenter’s tricked out moog, etc (etcetera expressing probably billion of sounds) and we have lift off.  

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City Wrecker (EP) | Moonface

Maybe the most underappreciated lyricist of our time, Spencer Krug (gilding lilies since 1977) grinds on under his latest moniker, Moonface. With mythological characters, Krug continues to plumb fableist worlds, which end up seeming curiously like our own. The figurative and literal can never quite be parsed in Krug’s universe, a dodgy place where an unreliable narrator owns the thrown. Prerequisite: ‘tie the blindfold quite so tight this time’ before entry.

Bestial Burden | Pharmakon

Every sewing project has its pricks. Imagine that those pricks have been documented and looped, then formed into senile hills. Bestial Burden will turn you into a profane invalid in simply trying to describe its visceral aura, an operatic Grand Guignol performance about the history of straightjackets.

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Heal | Strand of Oaks

The irony of ‘bedroom rocker’ fully recedes after a proper dose of this headstrong, narcissistic record about a man who views his past through rose-colored glasses so thick he figured he should write a record about it. As pumping as it is frustrating, Heal ends up being a recollection of how brilliant a dismal life can seem when you cue it to music.

 

This Is Cave Music | Moon Hooch

‘Tis the latest renaissance of the saxophone ladies and gents. From the bestial blasts of M83 to the titter tat of whatever Bon Iver is doing, the time has come: the sax’s reprieve. These two devils, working with a click track and a sword to sharpen are the living automatons of this promise. Now go funk yourselves and be easy on the songs containing lyrics.

It's getting cold out there and can only mean one thing - it's time to start heating up your whiskey.  Here's a simple, foolproof recipe for some strong Hot Toddies to get you through the cold winter months...

The first song off XX's self-titled debut album, this song is called, cleverly, "Intro."  Highly recommended for use as an alarm clock jam - comes in softly but by the end you're ready to takeover the world...or at least conquer the day.  This is one of those albums that you can listen to all the way through, and then start it right back over.  Check 'em out. 
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