Julia Holter – Tragedy (Reissue)

Julia Holter's Ekstasis was one of the most underrated albums of last year: an avant-pop masterpiece shamefully excluded from critics' year-end lists. If that record was a direct hit, then the Californian singer / songwriter's 2011 debut Tragedy was a near miss, only through its fractured, wavering nature. It found Holter marking her territory … [Read more...]

Interview with Scott Paterson of Sons And Daughters

Hello Scott – This is a bittersweet occasion, since the band that you’ve been a part of for over 11 years, Sons And Daughters, broke up this past November. I had the pleasure of interviewing you back in 2007 when Sons And Daughters was running full steam ahead with the imminent release of the Bernard Butler-produced album This Gift. It’s been quite … [Read more...]

Sons And Daughters – Mirror Mirror

Scottish band Sons And Daughters burst onto the indie music scene back in 2005 with the vehement, visceral, and critically-lauded debut The Repulsion Box.  Raw emotions ran riot as Adele Bethel and Scott Paterson dueled and harmonized to electric effect. Subsequent album This Gift, with Bernard Butler at the helm, saw the band refine and gild its … [Read more...]

Arctic Monkeys – Suck It and See

There was a time where practically everything Arctic Monkeys did was seen as something both shocking and instantly titillating – in terms of their hype and exposure. Some credit them as proof of what internet hype can conjure, their first cover was a controversial discussion simply due to its smoking image and some questioned their motives in … [Read more...]

Wild Beasts – Smother

The defining method many use on a band’s catalog is always one that can hold great distinction. For England-based Wild Beasts, they’ve confidently ensured that while their discography is still young, at now three albums rich, it has carried an identity of its own with albums that shine with magnificent melodies and instrumentation. After 2008’s … [Read more...]

Junior Boys – It’s All True

After the release of their much-maligned, much-overlooked 2009 album, Begone Dull Care, Junior Boys’ main singer, Jeremy Greenspan, took two months off in China. The brief stay awarded him and other member Matt Didemus time to simply disconnect from the intense mirage of life by ways of a cultural clash. While the move certainly drew inspiration on … [Read more...]

King Creosote – Thrawn

Prolific underground artists rarely sound as polished and arranged as King Creosote, the home recording project of Scottish songwriter Kenny Anderson which has reportedly released over 40 albums in 15 years. He’s been doing it himself, releasing music on his own Fence label since the mid-90’s, at first in small run CD-Rs from his own then-cutting … [Read more...]

Clinic – Bubblegum

Having perfected a triangulation of ‘60s garage-rock scuzz, mangled Krautrock and dismantled Augustus Pablo dub so early on, Clinic left very little room for future manoeuvre, only relentless repetition.  Whilst such dutiful recycling has always allowed the Liverpool foursome to deliver a consistent stream of sterling singles over the last decade, … [Read more...]

Short Takes on Three Albums

Smoke Fairies - Ghosts V2 Records http://smokefairies.com/ Smoke Fairies is the London-based duo of Katherine Blamire and Jessica Davies and the U.S.-only release Ghosts compiles their first two singles and an EP into a 9-song disc of hauntingly stark and beautiful noir alt-folk tunes that revolve around the gals’ ethereal to earthy dual … [Read more...]

Four Tet – There Is Love in You

If Steve Reich and Terry Riley had come of age forty years later than they did, chances are pretty high that the godfathers of modern minimalism would’ve done a killer collaboration with Kieran Hebden (a.k.a. Four Tet). Revered for his elegant and often mesmerizing synthesis of acoustic, electric, and digital instruments, this insatiable … [Read more...]