Low – “The Invisible Way”Sub Pop-out March 194 / 5 The Duluth, MN trio has been around twenty years; and on this, their tenth album, it’s easy to assume some sort of dulling in their craft. How often does a band keep itself around for two decades and keep itself fresh? While we cannot speak the whole of Low’s discography, The Invisible Way, their latest release, is a slow, melancholy, mature album, aged like a glass of wine. It lets on like a funeral dirge with moments of bare sunlight shining through; it passes like a sad man on the streets, quiet and memorable. ItRead More →

Night Moves – “Colored Emotions”Domino Records-out now2.5 / 5 Minneapolis threesome Night Moves manages no minor feat in their pop: they make music that sounds good and is instantly forgettable. How do they do that on their debut? We think one of the problems lies in the fact that their songs don’t really cleave that far from each other: they each have backing guitar, dreamy Avi Buffalo-sounding vocals, whispery synth, all the tools you’d need to make a pretty neat pop album. We’re going to blame vocalist John Pelant for over layering and drowning his vocals here, as that’s the main culprit in these songs’Read More →

Ivan & Alyosha – “All the Times We Had”Dualtone Music Group-out Feb. 263.5 / 5 Of all the times that this Seattle quartet has had, this is the most important one: the debut of their highly anticipated full-length. Ivan & Alyosha hit the NPR circuit and gained recognition for their pleasing harmonies; they’ve even been featured on other illustrious blogs of note. For all the press and ballyhoo and our own adoration of their two EPs aside, we’re going to be the first to say All the Times We Had came off something as a buzzkill: yes, it has “Fathers Be Kind,” but it’s alsoRead More →

Starfucker – “Miracle Mile”Polyvinyl Records– out Feb. 193.5 / 5 It’s pounding, dance bass. Catchy synth and guitar licks. Whispy, dream-pop vocals. It’s the return of Starfucker, which, after 2011’s bursting with hep-ness Reptilians, is much welcome. Now enter Miracle Mile, the third full-length by the Portland, OR quartet; expect the same groove-on-down m.o., the same pop catchiness, except tuned to a slower, more confident beat. In fact, the foursome takes much of the Reptilians pop-formula and just slows it down, takes it in slower sips instead of chugging it down feverishly. So this is the stuff we don’t like about Miracle Mile: just becauseRead More →