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 →

Atlas Genius – “When It Was Now”Warner Bros.-out Feb. 193 / 5 It was love at first listen: a pop single like “Trojans” doesn’t just fall into your lap every day. Sexy synth, grooving dance, catchy guitar hooks. We were stoked when Atlas Genius found us, welcoming everything the Adelaide, Australia group had to offer: confident energy, great, clean producing. We kept together for a while, but pretty soon things started popping up; loose toenail clippings, dirty dishes, well, Atlas Genius just started losing some of their lustre. A shrug now at any mention. What went wrong? Maybe it’s the moments after that are bestRead More →

Sin Fang – “Flowers”Morr Music-out Feb. 192.5 / 5 Icelandic singer/writer Sindri Már Sigfússon takes his third solo foray with Flowers, an intelligent and inventive exploration of pop. And explore is the operative word here: with a pastiche of everything you could imagine – hand claps, strings, synth – the sheer vision and balance of each element is artfully done, each piece rendered in perfect cohesion with each other. Tracks like “What’s Wrong with Your Eyes” immerse with such pleasure and subtlety  that we had to take a step back to determine what were the elements that really held Flowers back. The chanting of “YoungRead More →

Jim James – “Regions of Light and Sound of God”ATO Records-out tomorrow4 / 5 Perhaps Jim James is aiming a little too high when naming his solo album “Sound of God.” But honestly, he’s the frontman for My Morning Jacket, a band we think is going to be the next U2. Just take one charcoal whiff of “State of the Art (A E I O U),” and you can’t help but be impressed with all that beautiful slow-burn rock: it just smolders exactly where it should. And none too soon. Considering MMJ’s rather unfocused Circuital from 2011, we’re hopping onto the James bandwagon once moreRead More →