Album: Big Blue
Quick Thoughts: This album is incredible, and I hate that I missed it early on. Kylie V has done something truly special here in that it's a unique voice and tone while still feeling as familiar as a lot of recent efforts. This will likely end up on a few year-end longlists, including mine, because it's that good.
Songs of Note: "A Story If You Want It," "On My Mind"
Album: Starship Velociraptor
Quick Thoughts: This will be divisive for most people, but think about if The Darkness did synth rock and you might scratch the surface of what's going on with Galactikraken. It's an absolutely insane album of music that is loud and caphophonic, but is somehow still incredibly compelling. I know this isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea, but it's certainly mine.
Songs of Note: "Glory or Gold," "Settle It With a Swordfight," "Storm the Castle," "Jetpack Race"
Quick Thoughts: This is a sneaky great record. It's alt-rock with a bit of a radio-friendly edge, and if you don't struggle with the foreign language efforts, a lot to love here. I didn't want this to get lost in the shuffle, so know that this one is absolutely worth your time.
Songs of Note: "Free To Be Lost," "Ephemeral," "Belicoso," "Alcanzar, "The Odds," "Mafalda"
Album: A Song is Way Above the Lawn
Quick Thoughts: A folky, quiet effort that has some real legs. It's reminscent of Bedouine in many regards in that it feels like it transported itself from decades past and is here to sing to us now. If you like the quieter folky efforts, give this a spin.
Songs of Note: "Superhero," "I Would Sing Along," "Map for the Orange Daylight"
Album: Little Ripper
Quick Thoughts: Alt-indie rock with a little bit of attitude. Steph Barker is the drummer for L.A. Exes, and this first solo album is just a lot of fun. I don't have a ton to say about it except that I think it's really great and scratches that alt itch perfectly. Give it some time.
Songs of Note: "Daddy," "You"
Album: Where the Viaduct Looms
Quick Thoughts: Nell Smith is a 13-year-old Flaming Lips fan who is also a songwriter and musician. She struck up a friendship with Wayne Coyne after dressing as a parrot at a Lips concert, and now we get an album of Nick Cave covers with Nell on vocals and the Lips on instruments. I can't really get into Nick Cave (it's all me on that point), but this is probably my favorite Flaming Lips-related listen in some time, and I'm very interested to see what else we get from Nell Smith in the future. Just a fascinating, wonderful album.
Songs of Note: "Weeping Song," "O Children," "Red Right Hand," "The Ship Song"
* USS/Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker - The Science & Artfunkel Victory Lap (Answers the question as to what would have happened if Seattle grunge discovered drum machines.)
* Blockhead - Space Werewolves Will Be the End of Us All (Via frequent Aesop Rock collaborator.)
* El Michsels Affair - The Abominable EP (Not really an EP, but instrumental/alternative takes of their most recent effort.)
* Handsome Jack - Get Humble
* Andrea von Kampen - That Spell
* Inca Babies - Swamp Street Soul
* Nina June - Meet Me on the Edge of Our Ruin
* Pye Corner Audio - Entangled Routes
* Bent Knee - Frosting
* 7038634357 - Permanest
* Remedy - Remedy Meets Wu-Tang
* Julie Doiron - I Thought Of You
* Eris Drew - Quivering in Time
* Sincere Engineer - Trust Me
* The Centaurettes - Cute to be Mean
* 7038634357 - My Way Out
* Christian Lee Hutson - The Version Suicides
* Jessica Winter - More Sad Music
* MarthaGunn - Caught Up and Confused
* Hayley Mary - Fall in Love EP
* Lars Fredericksen - To Victory
* Various Artists - @0 (A collection of ambient music, really good stuff.)
* BEGINNERS - A BEGINNERS Guide to Christmas
* G. Love and Special Sauce - Coming Back Home for Christmas
* Allie X - Cape God (Deluxe)
* Helmet - Live and Rare