Shakey Graves – And The War CameDualtone Music Group-out now3.5 / 5 Texan Alejandro Rose-Garcia isn’t a power-voice like Hozier or Rachael Price (of Lake Street Dive). He isn’t as poetic as Joe Pug or political as U2; but what he is on his second full-length is present, fully in command, a captain on his own ship. His off-kilter slashing folk songs anchor themselves less on lyrics or melody, so much as on his probing, coyote-howling vocals. Take “Hard Wired,” one of those unusual songs that just sticks with you for, well, unusual reasons. Build up with percussion and (somewhat) twangy guitar, it’s not aRead More →

Chain Gang of 1974 – Daydream ForeverWarner Brothers-out now3 / 5 We. Were. Stoked. To hear about the new Chain Gang album coming out. We still haven’t figured out the deal with White Guts (was it actually released? was it done piecemeal?), other than it was a top album of ours not too long ago. That one… that one brought a tear or two to our funkalicious hearts. And now, Kamtim Mohager (of the 3OH!3) dances his way back onto a major label to present: mind-melting dance beats. But, with a twist: it’s major label dance beats. Where once we had acerbic, rage-against-the-man vitriol, nowRead More →

Phox – Self-TitledPartisan Records-out now3.5 / 5 Baraboo, Wisconsinites  are known for… well, we’re not too sure what they’re known for. Cheese? Beer? Being close to Madison, we suppose. Though Madison is a nice Midwestern hub of the indie music world; and given that, here we have a nice indie band but a stone’s throw away from the capital. Who’d’ve thunk. Phox, despite borrowing a sense of spelling from Phish et al, is their own unpretentious pop sextet: gentle, lofty female vocals cast about light, almost ethereal-feeling instrumentation. Instrumentation that knows that singer Monica Martin is their honey drizzled-down-the-throat, come-lie-by-the-river-and-watch siren. The group is lightRead More →

Hozier – Self-TitledColumbia Records-out tomorrow4.5 / 5 Andrew Hozier-Byrne, the Irish soul singer/guitarist known simply as Hozier, is one of those rare acts who translates so well into studio and live and back. (Check out our much, much too brief blurb at the Newport Folk Festival.) It’s talent, pure and simple, that it boils down to, but more than that: the man can make a song about the infidelity of the heart bouncy and singable. His color reminds us a lot of the late band Morphine – dark, a bit smoky, somber – but at any turn, he can pull out such a playful sexinessRead More →