You could be forgiven for coming into the year unaware of Julie Byrne. While her 2014 debut album Rooms with Windows and Walls found an enraptured audience, it didn't receive the fanfare the converted felt it deserved. In hindsight, however, it's only fair: enter, Not Even Happiness. Rarely, a seemingly pleasant artist doing pleasant things suddenly shoots into the stratosphere; whether it's potential being realized, moments coinciding in brilliant...Read more
So much of Mark Eitzel’s music exists in spite of itself. Sung in a husky register between a whisper and a croon, his songs are filled with characters willing themselves to disappear, transmitting from a translucent state between existence and nothingness. At the beginning of his last album, 2012’s Don’t Be a Stranger, a woman approached Eitzel to say, “I love you, but you’re dead,” a six-word phrase that sums up the tension in Eitzel’s...Read more
The Canadian rock duo Japandroids have always been equal parts precious and precocious. Their debut album Post-Nothing was powerfully lo-fi, featuring a rigid two-instrument-two-voice delivery system that knocked twee songs into the upper decks with the fury of a hardcore band. Their worldview was beautifully summed up in the band’s first epic, “Young Hearts Spark Fire”, which featured the beautiful refrain of: “I don’t wanna worry about...Read more
Ty Segall is back with his first self-titled record since his 2008 debut, which should tell you that this is a restatement of basic principles: dispensing with overdubs and recording instead with a full band, this is an album that comes marching out of the gate, grabbing you by the front of your shirt and then playing the most heavenly rock your ears have heard in many a month. And that's not even half the story.
Things kick off with Break a Guitar,...
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