Port of Est. – Onyx Moon

The Portland, Maine-based duo Port of Est. just released this debut LP, on its own Delphinium Music label.  Hannah Tarkinson (vocals) and Todd Kitchens (producer, multi-instrumentalist) self-recorded Onyx Moon and it reveals that there’s more than one Portland of note on the musical map. The experimental twosome combine an analogue process with … [Read more...]

Spoon – Gimme Fiction (deluxe reissue)

Spoon’s fifth album is not the most obvious place to start with a deluxe repackaging treatment. Sat betwixt 2002’s cult classic Kill The Moonlight and 2007’s commercial crossover Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, 2006’s Gimme Fiction is very much a transitional affair. Missing its predecessor’s minimalistic invention and its sequel's crafted precision, the LP has … [Read more...]

Cali Blake – Cicadas In The Sun

New Orleans native, singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist (and film performer) Cali Blake is spinning a spellbinding web with her captivating acoustic-pop-meets-alt-folk-blues.  The songstress is front ‘n’ center on nearly every track of her upcoming debut album Cicadas In The Sun.  Like a velvety-voiced torch singer in a dusky bar, Blake … [Read more...]

Twin Haus – Nothing Lavish

You definitely need to give it up for Twin Haus.  This second release is both a textbook exercise in post-rock dynamics and a display of some impressively realised and improvisational music; referencing Tortoise, Radiohead, fellow Australians Tame Impala, perhaps some less well known though no less influential other bands. The four-track Nothing … [Read more...]

Cyril Secq / Orla Wren – Branches

I’ve previously opined on these pages (in my review of the Vic Mars’ excellent album, The Land And The Garden) that ambient is, by and large, in the doldrums. “There’s way too much of it and it all sounds the same,” goes my old-geezer grump. What once took ingenuity and was the product of well-considered aesthetic  choice has been neutered by the … [Read more...]

Virginia Wing – Rhonda EP

Although Virginia Wing’s slightly erratic release patterns might have thrown a few people off the scent over the last three or more years, it has at least allowed the trio to continue making significant artistic leaps forwards and sideways between releases.  Having proved themselves as serious-minded contenders with the kaleidoscopic art-pop of … [Read more...]

Wild Iris – self-titled

Kate Mullikin (vocals) and Bryan Shelton (guitar) of the amorphous folk duo Wild Iris hail from Santa Cruz, California and are set to release their self-titled debut on April 19th.  They got together musically in the fall of 2013 and delivered their home-recorded debut EP in 2014.  On this go-around, Wild Iris was crafted on analogue equipment at … [Read more...]

Short Takes (Pale Dian, Kylie Odetta, Wonky Tonk, & Luna Jamboree)

Pale Dian – “In A Day” …And Cocteau Twins is back!... Well, no, not really, but if you’re jonesing for a fix of that legendary band, check out Pale Dian, previously known as the Blackstone Rangers.  The dark pop shoegaze (or dream-pop noir, perhaps?) trio (Hey, more Cocteau Twins parallels!  Heck, they even look like early incarnations of Liz … [Read more...]

Rabid Young – “Beautiful Things” (video)

Las Vegas-based outfit Rabid Young is made up of Eric Rickey (of Most Thieves and Aurea Verba), Jackson Wilcox (of A Crowd of Small Adventures), Alex Stopa, Megan Wingerter, and Mason Bundschuh and they recently released a video for their sing-along electro-pop tune “Beautiful Things”.  The vid was directed by Michael Tushaus, an Emmy and other … [Read more...]

Last Harbour – “Paler Cities” b/w “The Curved Road” 7″ & A.R.C. Soundtracks – From A Shattered Beam

Having stylistically stretched themselves wider of late - with last year’s Last Harbour album Caul and 2013’s full-length Archive: Volume One debut as side-project A.R.C. Soundtracks - long-time collaborators David Armes and Kev Craig return once more with two new near-simultaneous off-piste releases that extend their reach even further; into both … [Read more...]