Out This Week 5/7

It’s funny that while we’re getting some of our brightest days right now here in Seattle, some of this week’s most exciting new releases are some of the year’s darkest. Buzzy new British band Savages tops this week’s list with one of the best albums so far of the year. Our Music Director, Don Yates, calls their debut”a powerful set of dark, aggressive post-punk, with a lean, brutally efficient sound combining squalling, wiry guitar lines, taut rhythms, seething vocals and boldly uncompromising lyrics of self-empowerment.” Trust us, you’ll be hearing a lot of this band in the months to follow. Atlanta’s Deerhunter take a darker path on their “often-bracing” new album, Monomania, “by shifting towards a more raw and scuzzy sound with noisy garage-rock guitars and distorted vocals, though there are also some sweeter, more melodic moments… with lots of potent song hooks.” But if you are looking for something more suited to our seasonal days, check out the second LP from Bay Area rocker (and frequent Ty Segall collaborator) Mikal Cronin. The aptly titled MCII is “an excellent set of aggressive, hook-filled power-pop with well-crafted, sunnily melodic songs featuring crunchy guitars along with occasional piano and strings accompanying Cronin’s smooth vocals and bittersweet lyrics.” And if the sun’s got you dancing in the streets, try the latest from KEXP fav’s Fitz And The Tantrums, whose More Than Just a Dream will make your hip-shakin’ a reality.

Maybe it’s because we’re nearing Gemini’s rise, but this week’s new releases include a lot of interesting musical pairings. Among them, LA singer-songwriter and British producer/multi-instrumentalist combo AM & Shawn Lee return with a second album that’s “a sleek blend of funk, soul, disco, dub, dancehall and other styles, featuring vintage analog synths, propulsive rhythms, smooth vocals and sparkling pop hooks”. UK-based multi-instrumentalist/singer-songwriter duo Still Corners are also releasing their second LP, which “features a bigger and cleaner sound for their reverb-drenched dream-pop, moving in a more decidedly ‘80s synth-pop direction with layers of sparkling synths, crisp drum beats and Murray’s breathy vocals.” Local singer-songwriter Sonya Wescott, formerly of Seattle band Arthur & Yu, has hooked up with Ayumu Haitani of Japanese band 4 Bonjour’s Parties for a new project called We Are Loud Whispers, and their debut “is a solid outing of dreamy electro-pop, combining atmospheric soundscapes with Wescott’s ethereal vocals.” Actress Zooey Deschanel and Portland singer-songwriter M. Ward are back with Volume Three of their breezy collaboration as She & Him, but perhaps the most interesting pairing comes from Aesop Rock & Kimya Dawson whose Rhymesayers collaboration, The Uncluded, combines the former’s edgy underground hip-hop with the latter’s quirky folk rock in a comically oddball way, and from the wild hip-hop, dubstep, dance mix Ottawa duo (and Electric Pow Wow event holders) A Tribe Called Red.

You’ll find these and a terrific debut by Amsterdam artist Cole Williams, a.k.a. The Child Of Lov, whose self-titled album is “a promising blend of woozy R&B, funk, hip hop and electronic grooves” in record stores today. Sample these fine tracks now before you head out there!

AM & Shawn Lee – Two Times (MP3)
from La Musique Numerique on Park the Van

The Child of Lov – Give Me
from The Child of Lov on Domino Records

Mikal Cronin – Shout It Out
from MCII on Merge Records

Deerhunter – Monomania
from Monomania on 4AD

Fitz And The Tantrums – Out Of My League
from More Than Just a Dream on Elektra

Patty Griffin – Ohio (feat. Robert Plant)
from American Kid on New West

Kid Congo & the Pink Monkeybirds – Conjure Man
from Haunted Head on In The Red

Little Boots – Broken Record
from Nocturnes on On Repeat Records

Mother Falcon – Dirty Summer (MP3)
from You Knew (self-released)

Noah and the Whale – Heart of Nowhere (feat. Anna Calvi)
from Heart of Nowhere on Mercury

Savages – Shut Up
from Silence Yourself on Matador Records

She & Him – I Could’ve Been Your Girl
from Volume 3 on Merge Records

Still Corners – Berlin Lovers (MP3)
from Strange Pleasures on Sub Pop

A Tribe Called Red – The Road
from Nation II Nation on Tribal Spirit Music

The Uncluded – Delicate Cycle
from Hokey Fright on Rhymesayers

Way Yes – Get Healed (MP3)
from Tog Pebbles on Lefse Records

We Are Loud Whispers – Western Town (MP3)
from Suchness on Hardly Art

Shannon Wright – The Caustic Light (MP3)
from In Film Sound on Ernest Jenning Record Co

Lana Del Rey – Young and Beautiful
from The Great Gatsby soundtrack on Interscope

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