Tag » music review
L.A. singer-songwriter AG (of the Rescues), industry giant Maia Sharp, and Missouri musician Garrison Starr are touring together, and, believe me, you want to see this show. AG,  Sharp, and Starr are all expert writers and performers who merge a variety of influences, including folk, pop, rock, and Americana, to create their own individual styles. I had the good luck to see them perform together at New York’s Rockwood Music Hall last Tuesday. Unlike most "group shows," the women take turns being in the spotlight while the others play backing band and sing harmonies. Read More
Jumping seamlessly from style to style and interweaving elements from garage rock, ’60s girl groups, and cabaret, the music of Austin-based duo Agent Ribbons is hard to classify. On Let Them Talk, the band takes a lighter turn than on its past two full-lengths and embraces the whimsical side of its twisted-fairytale style. Opener “Family Haircut” begins with ethereal “oohs” sung over ominous drums, but soon enough, the pace picks up while frontwoman Natalie Gordon sings, “A restless heart is like a satellite. Read More
When Rupa Marya isn’t healing the sick as a doctor at her day job, she leads the world-music quintet Rupa and the April Fishes. Their newest album, BUILD, is produced by Todd Sickafoose — best known for collaborating with folk songstress Ani DiFranco — and promises the gritty, bass-heavy folk realness that is Sickafoose's trademark. Based in sunny San Francisco, the band's members come from all over the world to fuse R&B with many multicultural influences, including Latin, African, Yelamu Indian, and Islander music. Read More
  If you enjoyed the cacophonous hooks of Micachu and the Shapes’ 2009 debut Jewellery, you’ll be happy to hear much of the same on the band’s second studio album Never. The LP may seem languid upon first listen, but it packs a punch. Although she’s classically trained, frontwoman Mica Levi finds merriment in the use of nontraditional instruments and household objects on Never—therein lies its uniqueness. The first track “Easy” starts off with what sounds like a cowbell gone mad. Read More
  Despite its title, Eleni Mandell’s eighth solo album, I Can See the Future, is the opposite of forward-looking, in a good way. A lovely trip into the past, it’s deliberately old-fashioned, lo-tech, and rooted in mid-century country and pop sounds. “Magic Summertime” has vintage R&B-style chord changes that could have soundtracked a slow dance at the prom in Grease, while Mandell’s sultry phrasing on songs like “Don’t Say No” offers film noir come-hither. Read More
  Belgian songstress Selah Sue may look like a model with her golden nest of hair, but she has powerful pipes and true talent. Her self-titled debut offers her distinctive take on smooth soul laced with tropical reggae beats; the album is filled with reckless rapture and fiery attitude. “I’m feeling real passionate,” Sue howls in “This World,” an explosive ballad that might inspire you to caress a glass of Jamaican rum. Read More
Austin based, San Francisco raised babes Natalie Gordon and Lauren Hess of Agent Ribbons are at it again with their upcoming EP Let Them Talk, out September 11th on Antenna Farm Records. The newest track off of the record, “Family Haircut,” is a promising preview of things to come, with its beautifully haunting sounds and harmonies. The single opens with some ethereal ‘oohs,’ accompanied by strong, punctuated drumming that then expands into a tune that is both dark and dreamy. Read More
    Purity Ring, the Canadian electronic duo of Corin Roddick and Megan James, sounds like water so freezing cold it shocks your skin—it’s surprising, uncomfortable, and disorienting. Icy-blue notes appear throughout their debut full-length album, Shrines, as James’ aloof-but-assertive vocals go in and out of focus, trading places moment to moment with spastic synthesizers. Roddick handles that instrument, turning delicate melodies and bottomed-out bass—so low it verges on electrical current—into a haunted soundscape. Read More
Dream-psych duo Peaking Lights’ third full-length album, Lucifer, is their most accessible yet. Out June 19th on Mexican Summer in the US and on Weird World June 18th in the U.K, it follows last year’s release of the incredible summer lovin’ 936. This latest album contains a similar meditative atmosphere, with grooving rhythms and rich textures, but it's gentler than their 2011 record. Lucifer is comparatively more like a late-night lullaby and less like a sedated psychedelic dream. Read More
Brooklyn based quintet Friends are set to release their debut album, Manifest!, on Fat Possum Records June 5th, just in time for the summer. Brimming with tropical pop rhythms and percussive tribal beats, this album is perfect for hot rooftop parties and beach side dances the gals of Blue Hawaii would be jealous of. The album opens with the explosive and catchy “Friend Crush,” full of rippling synth lines and reverb-laden vocals reminiscent of Karen O or Santigold. Read More