Beach House – Bloom

The impending release of Beach House’s Bloom LP has all the trappings of a hype-saturated media frenzy.  An upstart duo from the not-so-halcyon environs of Baltimore records two albums of tentative dream pop that immediately wins over critics but fails to draw much of a mainstream audience.  In 2010, the band’s vision and creative zeal is finally … [Read more...]

Short Takes on 2 Albums and 1 EP

The Phoenix Foundation – Buffalo Memphis Industries Records http://www.thephoenixfoundation.co.nz/splash/ The Phoenix Foundation (not to be confused with French band Phoenix) has released Buffalo (album cover-wise not to be confused with the Heartless Bastards’ recent artwork), a breezy, but hit-or-miss potluck of retro, refined, … [Read more...]

Of Montreal – Paralytic Stalks

Taking in any Of Montreal record requires a certain degree of endurance and stamina on the part of the listener.  Sure, more people would probably opt for a listening session of Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? over Dream Theater’s Images and Words, but Kevin Barnes’ technicolor potpourri of lascivious glam-pop and spastic psychedelia is still … [Read more...]

Walking Sleep – Measures

Until recently known as the Flying Tourbillon Orchestra, the newly rechristened Walking Sleep continue to craft smartly written and arranged pop with an understated delivery that substitutes confident control for ostentation. The unadorned guitars and organic keyboards that make up the bulk of Measures' instrumental palette give the songs a sort … [Read more...]

CNC – No Mood

There is a foundation here, but No Mood just doesn't work. The foundation is a synth heavy breed of psychedelic pop. The band, a Polish duo called CNC, takes a shoegazer's approach to this music, slowing down the rhythms and mumbling vocals that disappear into the music. Problem is, these guys just don't have the aesthetics down yet. The title … [Read more...]

Lima Research Society- Don’t Give Up, Don’t Get Down

With a spin of the disc, and a glance at the entrancing album art, it's pretty apparent that Lima Research Society is placing itself inside the psychedelic pop camp, which is fine, but beware the genre is a slippery slope. To succeed is to be bestowed with "genius" and "groundbreaking" recognition, in line with The Flaming Lips, Animal Collective, … [Read more...]

The Shortwave Set – Replica Sun Machine

This alternative pop trio from Deptford, England has connections with enough famous (and sundry) talent that you might not ever be able to comfortably settle in with their second and latest record. Most of it will undoubtedly sound gratifyingly nostalgic to the first time listener, what with the Van Dyke Parks string arrangements and the Danger … [Read more...]

Silent Kids – Dinosaurs Turn into Birds

Silent Kids: offering a kind bridge between Atlanta and Athens. The first thing you'll notice about the band and their third release, Dinosaurs Turn into Birds, aside from what I'd wager is a Pavement-inspired name, is a notable Elephant 6 influence, particularly from psychedelic pop purveyors Apples in Stereo and Elf Power. Silent Kids traffic … [Read more...]