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 →

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 →