The Black Ryder – Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride

Aimee Nash and Scott Von Ryper, both formerly of the Australian band The Morning After Girls, formed The Black Ryder in 2007, toured extensively in 2008 with similar-vibe bands Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Raveonettes, and The Brian Jonestown Massacre, and in 2009 released their debut album Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride in Australia.  The band … [Read more...]

The Beatin’s – A Little Give And Take

Ironic west-coast LSD-induced americana? I never imagined fitting those words together, but when you listen to The Beatin’s’ debut LP, A Little Give And Take, that newly-invented subgenre seems oddly appropriate. On the first go, many listeners might not take to the album’s sixties vibe, in part because it requires setting aside expectations and … [Read more...]

Lucinda Black Bear – Knives

You need to hand it to Arcade Fire. As the band which has taken the alt.folk scene out of the backwoods and firmly into the mainstream spotlight, they've staked claims for both genuine originality and also that of leading lights of their genre, and very few notable bands of the preceding decade have managed to achieve one, let alone both, of these … [Read more...]

On The Stairs – Beyond A Shadow Of A Doubt

The chimes, guitar-turned-sitar via drone box, and warbling, country voice, together manage to conjure the smokey smell of incense, which effectively creates an altogether misleading idea of what you should expect from On the Stairs’ first full length album, Beyond A Shadow Of A Doubt. This strange opening track, “Already Won,” is an airy daze of … [Read more...]

Backwords – Quilt

Remember Lo-Fi? I've done some searching recently, trying to rediscover exactly what that genre description meant. Very few albums I've heard in the past two years (certainly since I started reviewing for this site in 2008) fall anywhere near that category: the albums I receive are very often cleverly and imaginatively produced, even those that … [Read more...]

Interview with The Black Ryder

When Australia’s The Black Ryder caught my unsuspecting ear just a couple of weeks ago, I was immediately drawn to the band’s sound like a doomed, but dazzled moth to the flickering flame.  Pretty much everything I love about music can be found throughout The Black Ryder’s debut album Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride. Densely layered textures of … [Read more...]

Short Takes on Three Albums

Lissie - Catching a Tiger Fat Possum My first exposure to Lissie was the excellent "Little Lovin'" - a magical tune that straddles the lines between all out pop and alt-country. The song first appeared on her EP Why You Runnin (also a Fat Possum release) last year. I love this infectious song in all its hand-clapping … [Read more...]

Underappreciated Album of the Month: UAM #6 (Sharkboy – The Valentine Tapes, 1995)

With this DOA feature that has been re-vamped, we focus our attention on an album that may not have the recognition or notoriety it deserves. It might be a cult hit, it might be a small favorite or it might even be an album that is just so great, we feel it needs all of the attention possible. Albums chosen will always be at least more than five … [Read more...]

The Cinnamon Band – All Dressed EP

Unsurprisingly, the years since the duo of The Cinnamon Band played in the avant-garde Union of a Man and a Woman have mellowed these musicians. On the All Dressed EP, these two sound like they've been listening to Springsteen. It's a departure from the radical, exacting style of that previous band but, hey, they were only in high school back … [Read more...]

Communipaw – S/T

Communipaw’s self-titled and self-released album starts off in fine fashion with soft and introspective, indie-style guitar lines and charming chord changes that slowly rise to a roar and peak with a shimmering and cascading indie-pop melody that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Coldplay, Keane, Snow Patrol or Starsailor album, complete with smooth … [Read more...]