Q&A with Daughn Gibson

Heya Daughn!  It’s really cool to get the chance to ask you a few Qs about your debut album, All Hell, and your distinctive vocals and sound.  Your voice literally stopped me in my tracks when I heard you over the loudspeakers in a record store.  I had to find out more about you ASAP.  You released your debut on White Denim in April of this year, … [Read more...]

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...]

Shearwater – Animal Joy

I spent an inordinate amount of my time in 2011 listening to music by – and reviewing records for – artists who found themselves tangled up in the media frenzy of lo-fi and chillwave.  Often a smeary but no less loveable pastiche of indecipherable vocals, willfully retro synthesizers, and staggering reverb, artists like Neon Indian and Washed Out … [Read more...]

Jen Stratosphere Fanzine’s Top 3 Albums of 2011

It’s always tough to narrow down a list of favorites, especially to a Top 3, but I’ve finally prevailed instead of failed.  I’m also looking forward to several 2012 releases including albums by Blood Red Shoes, Queens Of The Stone Age, The Twilight Sad, Little Boots, Steve Kilbey & Martin Kennedy, Rykarda Parasol, Maribel, Therapy?, Lana Del … [Read more...]

Jen Stratosphere Fanzine’s Top 10 Songs of 2011

This was originally going to be a Top 3 list, but I couldn’t resist doing a Top 10 instead.  Too much joy to spread around this year! 10.  Meringue & Malice – “Christmas Covered in Candy” Leslie Dallion and Ryan Breegle, formerly the duo The Loligags (on Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records out of Athens, Georgia), are back as Meringue … [Read more...]

Memoryhouse – The Years EP

When Memoryhouse’s first incarnation of The Years dropped in February of 2010, it was the recipient of overall critical approval. Referential qualities to dream pop progenitors like the Cocteau Twins? Check. Just enough scrappy electronic drum loops to bestow it with lo-fi cred? Sure. Wistful and sprawling in all the ways that made chillwave such a … [Read more...]

Dntel – Life Is Full of Possibilties

You know that really famous early 90s album with the naked baby in the swimming pool on the cover?  You know how, like, everyone with even a tenuous connection to pop music has been reveling in that album’s 20th anniversary and forthcoming re-release for what feels like a year now?  Well, the day is finally here, and people are pulling out all the … [Read more...]

Mogwai – Earth Division EP

To append the alternately elegiac and purgative sentiments of Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will, Glasgow’s favorite post-rockers are issuing a concise four-song EP that makes for a decidedly crestfallen epilogue.  In fact, Earth Division’s spotlight on plaintive string arrangements and staid instrumentation more closely aligns it with … [Read more...]

Blitzen Trapper – American Goldwing

You know how the music of classical composer Aaron Copland is indelibly linked to panoramic imagery of American life in the 20th century? I can’t help but sense a similar sort of jingoist pride when I listen to Portland’s Blitzen Trapper. Please don’t misunderstand me – I’m not setting out to argue that songs like “Wild Mountain Nation” or … [Read more...]

Shabazz Palaces – Black Up

It’s no secret that a sense of swaggering narcissism is as closely linked to hip-hop music as maudlin introspection probably is to rock.  Whether or not that axiom holds any water in 2011 is up for debate, but so long as artists like Kanye West and Coldplay continue to make headway on the charts, bravado and earnestness respectively will remain the … [Read more...]