All posts by Brian LaBenne

Every Monday, Ghettoblaster is looking back to new albums released the previous week. Below you’ll find several albums released on Friday May 6th that we believe are definitely worth a listen.

KAYTRANADA – 99.9% (XL Recordings)


99.9% is a truly special debut album with a fully developed signature sound.  KAYTRANADA makes what he has jokingly described as “black tropical house” music, mixing house, disco and soul music with hip hop and RnB. These references have been combined before, but not quite as well as KAYTRANADA does on 99.9%. Also, KAYTRANADA’s heritage growing up in Canada as a refugee from Haiti plays a part in his overall sound as he’s imbued his music with the music of his family’s homeland. 99.9% also features solid contributions from featured singers and rappers including Anderson .Paak, Vic Mensa, Syd and Little Dragon, making this an album that should not be overlooked.


 

Little Scream – Cult Following (Merge Records)


Little Scream’s new album Cult Following takes the listener on a winding journey through pop, art-rock and singer-songwriter inspired songs. This is an incredibly diverse album with ventures into multiple styles of music. Having an album cover this much terrain could come across as some sort of forced exercise; however Little Scream is able to put together a cohesive album in a singular voice. Cult Following also boasts a massive guest list as Sufjan Stevens, Sharon Van Etten, Owen Pallett and members of The National make appearances throughout. Overall, this is a fantastic and unpredictable listen, which couldn’t have come from anyone else.


Skepta – Konnichiwa (Boy Better Know)


Skepta takes his version of grime to a new place on Konnichiwa. Grime music is a type of rap music that originated in England in the early 00’s, made popular in the U.S. mainly by Dizzee Rascal.  Funny enough, the music is grimy with complex beats mixed with synth, string and electronic sounds and combined with rapid fire and strongly accented rapping. Konnichiwa is a very good presentation of the genre, and is an incredibly enjoyable listen overall. Skepta largely sticks to the grime formula, yet also introduces some U.S. radio friendly tracks, most notably on the Pharell produced “Numbers.” If you’re a hip hop fan and haven’t delved into grime music yet Konnichiwa is a great gateway album to get you started.

Welcome to Future Sounds vol. 6!

Every other week, Ghettoblaster brings you a playlist of singles from upcoming albums to excite and entice your ears.  Below you’ll find the entire playlist via Spotify as well as Playlist Highlights, which are songs that really stand out as essential listening.  So please sit back, relax and treat yourself to some seriously great music.

Deerhoof – “Plastic Thrills”

Deerhoof has recently announced their next full length album titled The Magic, coming out 6-24 on Polyvinyl Records. The Magic is explained by drummer Greg as being “what we liked when we were kids – when music was magic – before you knew about the industry and before there were rules. Sometimes hair metal is the right choice.”  They have shared two tracks from the upcoming album, “Debut” and “Plastic Thrills,” and thus far the sound from the upcoming album is definitely in line with this idea of music being magical and having no rules.  “Plastic Thrills” comes right out of the gate with a solid guitar riff and cuts out abruptly about two minutes later.  There are awesome shades of Iggy and the Stooges on “Plastic Thrills” and overall is just a blast to listen to.  Deerhoof keeps finding new ways to remain unpredictable and so far The Magic sounds like a triumphant next step.


 

Yumi Zouma – “Barricade (Matter of Fact)”

“Barricade (Matter of Fact)” is a song that sneaks up on you and before you know it has its teeth sunk in deep. Dreamy synths mix with beautiful vocals singing such a subtly catchy melody that you’ll find yourself humming later and not quite be able to  place where you heard it.  Yumi Zouma has put out a couple EPs and the band members were scattered across the globe during the recording process for those.  Josh Burgess of the band explains: “’Barricade’ was the first song that was really collaborative for us. I remember sitting on the floor in Charlie’s apartment playing an unplugged bass, Charlie with an unplugged guitar and Christie humming out melodies. I hadn’t worked on a track like that since I was in college.” The cohesion that results from this new style of songwriting for Yumi Zouma makes their debut full length album Yoncalla, out 5-27 on Cascine, an album to look forward to.


 

Look Park – “Aeroplane”

Chris Collingwood has enjoyed success over the years with his band Fountains of Wayne, but was inspired to embark on a solo music project under the name of Look Park. “I don’t like the expression ‘solo record,’” Collingwood says. “It means you don’t have to pay attention to it, it’s really just a side project. It really felt important to me to give this a proper name.” It’s been three years since Fountains of Wayne’s last album and in that time Collingwood has made over 100 new songs, mainly with acoustic guitar, MIDI and a ton of percussion instruments. “Aeroplane” is a classic pop rock song with a fantastic chorus and super catchy melody. There are acoustic and electric guitars interplaying with a great piano line over lyrics focusing on being stuck in a plane on a long flight and the feelings of connectedness and isolation that brings.  Look Park’s debut self titled album is out 7-22 on Yep Roc.


 

FAWNN – “Galaxies”

“Galaxies,” the lead single from FAWNN’s upcoming album Ultimate Oceans, is an appropriately titled and spacey dream rock song.  FAWNN describes their sound on “Galaxies” in the perfect way: “signature hooky boy/girl harmonies, melodic guitar interplay and undeniable rhythm grooves.”  The song floats along in a most enjoyable manner and ultimately culminates in an epic crescendo involving a nice guitar solo and even some subtle saxophone thrown in for good measure. Ultimate Oceans is out 6/17 on Quite Scientific.


Full Playlist

 


Every Monday, Ghettoblaster is looking back to new albums released the previous week. Below you’ll find several albums released on Friday April 29th that we believe are definitely worth a listen.

Aesop Rock – The Impossible Kid (Rhymesayers)


Aesop Rock never intended to be a rap artist when he began making beats in his bedroom somewhere near 20 years ago, it was just a hobby to pass the time.  His true passions were creating art in a different form, mainly by drawing and painting.  Yet, here we are, a couple decades and several classic albums later, with another Aesop Rock album.  It has been four years since his last album, and a lot has happened in that time, culminating in Aesop leaving his home in San Francisco and moving into a barn in the woods, where he would begin working on The Impossible Kid.  The past four years has found Aesop Rock collaborating a lot with other people for not strictly his own work.  For the new album he decided to take total control.  There are no guest rappers, singers or producers, this is truly a singular voice saying what he wants to say.  The Impossible Kid is the most personal record Aesop has made, delving into dealing with depression and attempting to mend strained family relationships, while also focusing on mundane aspects of everyday life with fantastic surrealistic wordplay.  Not only is The Impossible Kid Aesop Rock’s most personal album it is also one of his strongest outputs yet.  Aesop Rock’s production is mostly post-apocalyptic boom bap, murky and somewhat mechanical with a strong breakbeat.  There are some variances on that theme, but overall the production is solid and complements the vocal performance perfectly.  Hearing that Aesop Rock was a drawer and painter before his hobby of hip hop took off is not a big surprise.  He brings an artistic approach to his version of hip hop, and paints vivid pictures with his lyricism instead of paints or paper.  The soul of the artist never left Aesop Rock, he simply changed canvases.

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Nonagon Infinity (ATO Records)


Nonagon Infinity is being billed as the “world’s first infinitely looping album,” which at first sounds like some sort of strictly promotional technique.  Yet, despite all that could go wrong with an album that loops over on itself, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard pull something truly original and fresh off and deliver an incredibly solid album in the process.  Nonagon Infinity starts in the middle of something already in progress and ends abruptly out of nowhere and if you put the album on repeat it will seamlessly continue playing in a stream of never-ending chugging metal music.  This is like Mad Max: Fury Road in album form, all pedal to the floor car chase that somehow produces an emotional, wonderful and truly original piece of art in the process.  Overall this is riff heavy metal music, yet the more you listen the more diversity you find in the music: there are recurring riffs that could act as musical themes throughout and Eastern influences give way to some psychedelic shifts.  King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard have packed a ton of great music over the course of just 41 minutes, or is it 82 or infinity?

Pity Sex – White Hot Moon (Run for Cover)


White Hot Moon is an emotional ride, dealing with love and loss with harshness and beauty.  Ann Arbor band Pity Sex make shoegaze music that also reads as pop punk.  These are catchy songs with walls of heavily distorted guitars, sung by a tandem of male and female vocalists.  The male and female vocal dynamic works especially well with Pity Sex as Brennan Greaves performance is low and monotone, which plays off of Britty Drake’s higher and more expressive vocals. Thematically, the album covers the terrain of being in love and also what it’s like to lose those people that you love.  Overall, this is a loud and catchy album, which covers universal territory we can all relate to.

Freeway – Free Will (Babygrande Records)


Freeway rips and roars his way through Free Will, mixing his aggressive rapping with huge beats to result in one of the most fun hip hop albums of the year. Freeway’s vocal delivery is reminiscent of Ghostface Killah circa Fishscale in the best possible way.  Free Will features production from S. Frank, Scholito, L.E.S, Money Alwayz, Girl Talk and Tryfe, resulting in a varied yet cohesive set of hard hitting bangers, which complements Freeway’s intense vocals well.  Freeway summed up his new album perfectly in an interview with XXL: “I feel real good about the project. I feel like it’s probably my best album to date. I put a lot into it and I was in a good space when I recorded it. This project, the fucking beats are incredible, the energy is incredible.  Free Will sounds and feels like where I’m supposed to be.”

Other Noteworthy Releases


 

Chuck Inglish and Blended Babies – Ev Zepplin (BBMG)


 

Kyle Craft – Dolls of Highland (Sub Pop)

Every Monday, Ghettoblaster is looking back to new albums released the previous week. Below you’ll find several albums released on Friday April 22nd that we believe are definitely worth a listen.

A$AP Ferg – Always Strive and Prosper (RCA Records)


Always Strive and Prosper is an enigmatic, unpredictable and exhilarating new school hip hop album.  A$AP Ferg throws tons of stylistic changes throughout, and succeeds greatly at most of these.  There is everything from old school to trap, from house to radio ready singles, and there’s even some hypnotic hallucinatory terrain covered, which feels incredibly fresh and original.  Parts of the album feel like a crazy acid trip where you wouldn’t be surprised if some cartoon characters appeared out of thin air and started dancing in front of your face.  A$AP Ferg swung for the fences with this one and overwhelmingly hit a home run.

Greys – Outer Heaven (Carpark Records)


Outer Heaven opens with a subdued, seemingly standard indie-rock track inspired by the murder of a teenager in Florida and then on track two covers the recent terrorist attacks in Paris over ferocious post-punk rock, which is to say, this is a heavy hard hitting album.  The serene music of the opening track mixed with its bleak lyrics giving way to the utter chaos that follows is a great illustration of how Greys seems to see the world we live in now.  Musically speaking this is a fantastic post-punk album filled with dissonance, chaos and even some memorable and catchy choruses.  There are also occasional flashes of Fugazi’s Guy Picciotto in the vocal performance of the heavier leaning punk songs on the album.  All around this is a heavy, angry album that feels totally in line with the frustrating, anger-inducing landscape we currently find ourselves in.

Dalek – Asphalt for Eden (Profound Lore Records)


Asphalt for Eden is a special sort of hip hop album, one that feels like a combination of hip hop’s past, present and future all at the same time.  The lyrical and vocal styling is a definite throwback to when hip hop was about actual rapping, flow and lyrical content, which is quite reminiscent of classic Wu-Tang Clan.  The music on Asphalt for Eden is another issue entirely.  It is no surprise that this album found its way to be released by Profound Lore, a label that is largely focused on metal releases.  This is heavy, gloomy industrial sounding, shoegaze referencing music with solid beats and even some scratching thrown in for good measure.  The combination of all these influences is really something special to behold and something awesome to listen to.

Welcome to Future Sounds vol. 5!

Every other week, Ghettoblaster brings you a playlist of singles from upcoming albums to excite and entice your ears.  Below you’ll find the entire playlist via Spotify as well as Playlist Highlights, which are songs that really stand out as essential listening.  So please sit back, relax and treat yourself to some seriously great music.


 

Outer Spaces – “I Saw You”

Outer Spaces is a new addition to the ever stellar Don Giovanni lineup, and it finds the label showcasing their softer side.  “I Saw You” is the first taste of the upcoming album A Shedding Snake and the appeal of Outer Spaces is abundantly clear over the course of this track.  This is nicely subtle but still intricate indie-rock with a wonderfully bright melodic chorus and an edge of darkness in the lyrics.  Outer Spaces cites Murmur-era Michael Stipe as an influence in songwriting and tone and the overall feel of the song is definitely reminiscent of this point of reference.  A Shedding Snake is out 5-27 via Don Giovanni.


Twin Peaks – “Holding Roses”

There is nothing quite like a great classic pop-rock song and straight out of the gate “Holding Roses” seems to be taken from a playlist of seminal classics.  Twin Peaks have crafted an immensely catchy gem with this song, combining smooth guitar riffs, clanking piano and a soaring chorus that will pop back into your head days later.  “Holding Roses” is the third taste they have provided from their upcoming album Down in Heaven, out on 5/13 via Grand Jury, and is definitely the best song of the bunch so far.


 

Islands – “The Joke”

Ever since Nick Diamonds appeared on the scene as a member of The Unicorns there has been something special about his songwriting ability.  He has been able to endure some big stylistic changes over the years, releasing albums in the band Islands as well as under the name Nick Diamonds.  Islands is now prepping two albums to be simultaneously released by Manque Music on 5/13.  The two albums find Islands showing off two different styles in which they thrive.  Taste will be the more synth driven pop-rock record, while Should I Remain Here at Sea? will focus on straightforward guitar driven pop-rock.  Islands has released several singles in pairs of twos over the course of the last couple months, but “The Joke” from Taste sticks out from the bunch.  This is a very catchy, very dance-able song with a synth line straight out of The Good the Bad and the Ugly.  All of the singles from both albums have been stellar thus far making this duo of albums a definite must listen in May.


 

Car Seat Headrest – “Fill in the Blank”

Teens of Denial is already set to send Car Seat Headrest into indie rock superstardom.  Critics from all over the map have been heaping immense praise on the album for weeks now.  Most noticeably the crew at NPR’s All Songs Considered, as well as the folks at Stereogum, have essentially said it is one of the best rock albums in a while, and thus far Car Seat Headrest has been proving them right with single after single of solid rock music.  “Fill in the Blank” is the opening track of Teens of Denial and is a wonderful start and stop catchy rock song that is most fun to listen to when turned up really loud.  Teens of Denial is out 5/20 via Matador.


 

KAYTRANADA – “Glowed Up” feat. Anderson Paak

KAYTRANADA has been collaborating on other artists’ songs for a long time and is finally set to drop his debut album 99.9% on 5/6 via XL.  “Glowed Up” finds KAYTRANADA tapping into the unstoppable force of energy of 2016, otherwise known as Anderson Paak, who has been collaborating on tracks with almost everyone and also released one of the best albums of the year thus far with Malibu.  Despite the already countless really good tracks Paak has been on, “Glowed Up” may be the best yet as it essentially two fantastic tracks in one.  The first part finds Paak rapping expertly over dreamy synth layers.  All of a sudden about halfway into the song, the music drastically changes and so does Paak’s delivery.  The synths now settle into a deep groove and Paak once again proves his double threat vocal status as he beautifully croons out the rest of the song.  This is an exciting song, which reveals more of itself with each repeated listen, and also makes the upcoming album from KAYTRANADA something to look forward to.


 

PAWS – “No Grace”

PAWS is a pop-punk trio from Scotland who are prepping their debut album No Grace, which is out 6/17 on FatCat Records.  The song “No Grace” is one of the catchiest and best examples of a top notch pop-punk song.  It’s loud and fast and the vocals fly along at a incredibly fast pace, culminating in a catchy, heavy chorus.  Perhaps the most fun tidbit about PAWS and their upcoming album is that it was produced by Blink 182’s Mark Hoppus, which is evident in the overall sound of the track.  This is seriously good pop-punk music arriving just in time for the sunny days of summer.


 

Full Playlist

 

 

Every Monday, Ghettoblaster is looking back to new albums released the previous week. Below you’ll find several albums released on Friday April 15th that we believe are definitely worth a listen.

Kevin Morby – Singing Saw (Dead Oceans)


Singing Saw combines straightforward folk rock with a triumphant horn section and gospel leaning backing vocals, all while being overseen by the cool, Bob Dylan-esque singing and songwriting of 28 year old music veteran Kevin Morby.  Having released several albums as a member of Woods, a couple as a member of Babies, and now his third as a solo artist, Morby knows how to write really engaging music at this point.  Singing Saw covers a lot of ground lyrically, from personal ruminations to responding to police brutality, yet the songs always stay grounded.  All that aside, this is just a great sounding folk rock album, which is a joy to listen to.

 

Sturgill Simpson – A Sailor’s Guide to Earth (Atlantic Records)


“Hello my son, welcome to Earth / May not be my last, but you’ll always be my first” is the lovely opening lyric of A Sailor’s Guide to Earth, the incredibly personal new album from country artist Sturgill Simpson.  This album is a letter to his newborn son and finds Simpson equally dispensing advice and poetically describing his immense love for the newest addition to his life.  The country sound on the album generally falls into three categories: beautiful orchestral country, straightforward modern country rock and rollicking country complete with an awesome horn section.  Also, he impeccably covers Nirvana’s “In Bloom.”  This is all in just nine songs in under 40 minutes, making it a lean and remarkable listen.

PJ Harvey – The Hope Six Demolition Project (Island Records)


The story of PJ Harvey’s The Hope Six Demolition Project is at least as interesting as the resulting album, if not more.  Harvey traveled to Afghanistan, Kosovo and Washington D.C. to be inspired for her new album.  The Hope Six Demolition Project could therefore be described as journalistic rock music.  A lot of her observations have been met with criticism, especially surrounding the song “The Community of Hope.”  Lyrically this album is quite dour with not much hope being offered for the state of our world, which is a hard pill to swallow if you reside in a neighborhood Harvey is singing so negatively about.  Yet, there is something admirable about presenting an unfiltered, outsider perspective over engaging, messy and rough alternative rock music.  This is all around a difficult album to engage, yet a rewarding one for those who spend time with it.

Other Noteworthy Releases

The Coathangers – Nosebleed Weekend (Suicide Squeeze)

Mr. Lif – Don’t Look Down (Mello Music Group)

Ashley Shadow – Ashley Shadow (felte)

 

 

Every Monday, Ghettoblaster is looking back to new albums released the previous week. Below you’ll find several albums released on Friday April 8th that we believe are definitely worth a listen.

Parquet Courts – Human Performance (Rough Trade Records)


Human Performance is one of the rare albums that attempts a lot of different things and succeeds in creating a solid yet cohesive, exciting listen. Parquet Courts primarily creates angular rock music with tight riffs and poetic lyricism, yet they veer off here and there into quasi-rap vocal delivery and dissonant, challenging rock passages. The album’s overall weathered sound makes it feel effortlessly like an old classic rock album in the best way possible.

 

Culture Abuse – Peach (6131 Records)


Peach is filled to the brim with fast and fun punk rock music. From start to finish this is just a great album for fans of well executed punk. The guitar sound, vocals and choruses are all solid, but what really stands out is the huge, awesome sounding drums. Culture Abuse is also featured in the current issue of Ghettoblaster.

Summer Flake – Hello Friends (Rice is Nice Records)


Summer Flake thrives on creating music that is both hard and soft. On their sophomore album, Hello Friends, Summer Flake have really found their voice and honed in on their sound. This sound can easily be described as pretty, hard, straightforward music. Ethereal female vocals are mixed with reverb drenched guitars, eventually giving way to heavily distorted guitar solos in most of the songs, which is not to say that the album is one note. Each song is vital and strong and they add up to produce a really enjoyable listen.

Woods – City Sun Eater in the River of Light (Woodsist)


Over the course of their first eight albums Woods has carefully cultivated and continuously tweaked their sound. What began as a straightforward lo-fi folk rock band has morphed over the years into a well produced, eclectic group of musicians. Their ninth and strongest album yet, City Sun Eater and the River of Light, finds Woods adding elements of Ethopian jazz and, most notably, an excellent horn section. What results from all these combined influences is a tight group of catchy and intricate songs.

Other Noteworthy Albums

Kweku Collins – Nat Love (Closed Sessions)


 

Frightened Rabbit – Painting of a Panic Attack (Atlantic Records)

Welcome to Future Sounds vol. 4!

Every other week, Ghettoblaster brings you a playlist of singles from upcoming albums to excite and entice your ears.  Below you’ll find the entire playlist via Spotify as well as Playlist Highlights, which are songs that really stand out as essential listening.  So please sit back, relax and treat yourself to some seriously great music.

Playlist Highlights

Summer Cannibals – “Full of It”

Summer Cannibals create straight up loud, lovely rock music. “Full of It” finds the band operating in full gear with the pedal to floor in all areas.  The guitars ring with loud punk riffs and the bass gets into a great groove with the absolutely stunning drums.  Seriously, listen to the drumming in this song.  Summer Cannibals is currently on tour with The Thermals, who are featured in the current issue of Ghettoblaster, and it’s easy to see why they were chosen.  Turn this song way up and revel in the perfect loud beauty of it.  Full Of It is out 5/27 via Kill Rock Stars.


 

case/lang/veirs – “Best Kept Secret”

Neko Case, K.D. Lang and Laura Veirs have combined forces and are creating music as a truly super super-group named case/lang/veirs. “Best Kept Secret” begins with magnificent strings, which quickly give way to a great straightforward melody and is eventually met by some of the best harmonies and background vocals around.  These are very well established artists successfully creating exciting and stellar art, which should inspire great anticipation for their forthcoming album.  case/lang/veirs is out 6/17/16 on Anti-.


 

Goat – “I Sing in Silence”

Goat is a Swedish hippy folk band who performs in giant wooden masks and just so happens to make beautiful earthy songs. The guitars strum in a lovely manner, the woodwinds flourish, and the melody lilts along.  All of these elements could combine into an over the top hippy folk song, but Goat knows how to steer away from this possibility and produce a truly enjoyable song.  “I Sing In Silence” b/w “The Snake Of Addis Ababa” is out 5/27 on Sub Pop.


Moses Sumney – “Everlasting Sigh”

In “Everlasting Sigh” Moses Sumney’s vocal performance can only be described as virtuosic. Sumney floats through this beautiful song, his vocal layers piling on top of one another until the listener is overtaken by harmonies galore in a stunning crescendo.  The music is a hybrid of folk and electronic pop with a few dashes of African inspired rhythms thrown in for good measure.  This is seriously a special song that needs to be heard to be believed.  No official word on a proper debut album yet, but the rumor is there will be one later in the year.


 

Pumarosa – “Cecile”

“In media res” is the literary term for when a narrative begins in the middle of some crucial part of the action of a story and just so happens to perfectly describe how “Cecile” begins. The song opens in a somewhat chaotic manner and eventually slows itself down to a nice 80s inspired danceable pop groove.  There are hints of New Order here and there over the course of the song and when it finally breaks back down into chaos again there are shades of Thom Yorke in the vocal performance.  This is only the second song that Pumarosa has released and is hopefully an indication of great things to come.  Cecile is out 5/8 on Chess Club.


 

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – “People Vultures”

“People Vultures” is the newest track from the aptly and insanely named King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. This song is full of guitar riffs and pounding propulsive drumming and is really a great song to listen to for a jolt of energy.  It just keeps getting louder and more intense throughout.  “People Vultures” has a somewhat Black Sabbath vibe going on in the best possible way.  King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard’s new album Nonagon Infinity is out 4/29 on ATO.

Full Playlist


 

Every Monday, Ghettoblaster is looking back to new albums released the previous week.  Below you’ll find several albums released on Friday April 1st that we believe are definitely worth a listen.

 

Elzhi – Lead Poison (GLOW365 LLC)

Detroit rapper Elzhi takes us back in time with his new album, Lead Poison, which is heavily inspired by 90s hip-hop. This makes sense as Elzhi made his start in the late 90s with rap group Slum Village. He’s been recording solo albums for several years now and Lead Poison is one of his finest. The beats are solid loops and the emphasis here is on fantastic lyricism and stellar flows. Overall, it’s a melancholy affair focusing on storytelling rap with occasional turns to the surreal.  Apparently this album was actually released on March 25th but it slipped under the radar and we wanted to cover it anyway.

Tancred – Out of the Garden (Polyvinyl)

From the beginning riff of opener “Bed Case” to the fading guitar distortion of closer “Pretty Girls,” Tancred brings us a hugely enjoyable power pop ride with Out of the Garden. Comparisons to Weezer and The Breeders abound in the best possible way. The choruses are catchy, the music is loud and each song is a joy to listen to.

Tacocat – Lost Time (Hardly Art)

Lost Time is a strange, yet super fun listen. The album opens with a track titled “Dana Katherine Scully,” an ode to the character from The X-Files, and the clever humor never wavers throughout. This is an album that inspires as much head bobbing as it does laughing as the music is very well executed power pop. There are some definite heavy parts, both musically and lyrically, but even in these moments Tacocat’s wonderful sense of wit is present.

Laura Gibson – Empire Builder (City Slang)

Empire Builder is a beautiful singer-songwriter album with pop song structures and occasional shades of country. Laura Gibson alternates largely between pop songs, which contain interesting percussion and perfectly produced string arrangements, and slow burning folk songs with introspective lyrics and country influences. The mix between these two styles makes for an unpredictable and endlessly interesting listen.  She is also featured in the most recent issue of Ghettoblaster, out now!

Other Noteworthy Albums

This week was so full of great albums we couldn’t cover them all!  Below you’ll find other noteworthy albums to check out.

Frankie Cosmos – Next Thing (Bayonet Records)


 

Black Mountain – IV (Jagjaguwar)


 

Mike and the Melvins – Three Men and a Baby (Sub Pop)


 

Autolux – Pussy’s Dead (Columbia)

 

Every Monday, Ghettoblaster is looking back to new albums released the previous week.  Below you’ll find several albums released on Friday March 25th that we believe are definitely worth a listen.

Littler – Of Wandering (Birdtapes)

Of Wandering, the debut album from Philadelphia band Littler, is one of the year’s most enjoyable albums to listen to.  Littler has a nice dynamic of girl/guy singing over rough power pop music, with definite similarities to The Breeders.  These are tough rocking songs with fantastically catchy choruses.  The album chugs along at a wonderful pace and all of a sudden is finished, leaving you the desire to start it from the beginning once again.  Of Wandering takes you back to your mid-twenties when you wrestled with the desire to finally grow up and get things figured out, yet still wanted to have fun.

Eric Bachmann – Eric Bachmann (Merge Records)

After years creating music as the front man of indie rock legends Archers of Loaf and then Crooked Fingers, Eric Bachmann is back with an absolutely stunning self-titled album.  Eric Bachmann is filled with nine songs centered around impeccable lyricism, bright piano and dazzling harmonies, making for a truly beautiful album.  There are several stylistic ventures along the way, including country, doo-wop and alternative rock, but the songs are perfectly paced throughout the album so they never seem out of place.  If you’re a fan of great lyrics sung in intricate melodies, you should definitely check out this album.

Domo Genesis – Genesis (Odd Future Records)

There is nothing in music quite like a great hip-hop debut album and Genesis from Domo Genesis is just that.  This is a very personal album and includes bits of storytelling, which illuminate pieces of his life: a message from his mother at one point and a phone call from a friend in prison where Domo tells him that he just finished the album.  These points of departure from music let us know that this album is a living organism to Domo Genesis, one that has been long in the making.  Genesis is also a really solid hip-hop album in its own right.  The songs are well produced and interesting musically, presenting a quasi-jazz feel that is accessible and challenging at the same time.  Overall, this is a special debut from a promising rapper with great beats and just the right amount of storytelling.

Bob Mould – Patch the Sky (Merge Records)

Wait a minute.  The former front man of Archers of Loaf and the former front man of Husker Du released albums on the same day from the same record label? Nice work Merge, you know how to make this demographic very happy!  Whereas the former former front man has largely traded in guitar riffs for piano riffs, Bob Mould has returned with a riff-tastic new album about grief and loss.  Mould has experienced the loss of both his parents in a relatively short amount of time, and the lyrics of these songs search for guidance, strength and understanding in the darkness.  Although the subject matter is dour, the music is catchy and easy to absorb, making for a triumphant feeling overall.  Again, this album has guitar riffs right, left and center all throughout and they are fantastic sounding guitars at that.  Any fan of Bob Mould will love this album and anyone who is unfamiliar with Bob Mould but enjoys catchy rock songs with great riffs will find something new to celebrate.

Other Noteworthy Albums

This week was so full of great albums we couldn’t cover them all!  Below you’ll find other noteworthy albums to check out.

The Thermals – We Disappear (Saddle Creek Records)

Night Moves – Pennied Days (Domino)

The Sun Days – Album (Run for Cover Records)

exmagician – Scan the Blue (Bella Union)