Indie Rock

II

Artist: 
The Courtneys
Label: 
Flying Nun Records

The Courtneys are a trio from Vancouver, and the first non-Kiwi band signed to New Zealand-based Flying Nun Records, famously home to The Clean and other bands of The Dunedin Sound. I'll get this out of the way: this is one of my favorite albums this year. It's an unassuming album, there isn't necessarily anything new that's being done on II that you haven't heard before, yet the album has a way of sinking it's hooks into you.

Sounds Like: 
Flying Nun Records
Sounds Like: 
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
Sounds Like: 
The Clean
Name: 
Andrew Boring
Date Reviewed: 
04/26/2017
Artist: 
Beach Fossils
Label: 
Bayonet

I've enjoyed much of the work that Beach Fossils have put out before, and this lead single from their upcoming album Somersault is no exception. The verse is pretty catchy and is laden with some nice jangly guitar chords and lowkey vocal delivery, however the shift in the drums on the chorus kind of lost me and I didn't enjoy it as much. Immediately after the first chorus is where the song really grabbed me though, a really lush string section kicks in after the chorus that compliments the rest of the arrangement nicely and is overall pretty awesome.

Sounds Like: 
Real Estate
Sounds Like: 
Surfer Blood
Name: 
Alex Siegel
Date Reviewed: 
04/19/2017
Artist: 
Beach Fossils
Label: 
Bayonet

I've enjoyed much of the work that Beach Fossils have put out before, and this lead single from their upcoming album Somersault is no exception. The verse is pretty catchy and is laden with some nice jangly guitar chords and lowkey vocal delivery, however the shift in the drums on the chorus kind of lost me and I didn't enjoy it as much. Immediately after the first chorus is where the song really grabbed me though, a really lush string section kicks in after the chorus that compliments the rest of the arrangement nicely and is overall pretty awesome.

Sounds Like: 
Real Estate
Sounds Like: 
Surfer Blood
Name: 
Ale
Date Reviewed: 
04/19/2017
Artist: 
Conor Oberst
Label: 
Nonesuch Records Inc.

Last year Conor Oberst released the record Ruminations. This was one of my favorite records of 2016 and I think Conor's best record in a while. Conor really went back to the basics with this record. It is a pretty simple record with mainly piano, harmonica and vocals. It really has the feel of a folk record from the 60s. Having just good classic Conor Oberst depressing lyrics. This new record Salutations is pretty much just Ruminations only with a full band and a few extra tracks.

Sounds Like: 
Bright Eyes
Sounds Like: 
Bob Dylan
Name: 
Daniel Clark
Date Reviewed: 
04/16/2017
Artist: 
Tigers Jaw
Label: 
Black Cement

Finally new music from Tigers Jaw! It seems that they have been of the grid for a while but they are back baby!

Sounds Like: 
Tiger's Jaw Charmer Record
Sounds Like: 
La Dispute
Name: 
Javi Perez
Date Reviewed: 
04/12/2017
Artist: 
The Obsessives
Label: 
Lame-o Records

The Obsessives' new self-titled album is an experience from beginning to end. The length of tracks varies from 36 seconds to nearly 4 minutes, yet they all seem to sound more or less the same. The singer is very monotonous. VERY monotonous and sounds like he slurs most of his words together. The lyrics don't make much sense, but they're entertaining. It's chill to listen to, not something you have to focus very hard on since there's just kinda the one layer to listen to.

Sounds Like: 
Sorority Noise (but less good)
Sounds Like: 
Modern Baseball
Name: 
Taylor Brestel
Date Reviewed: 
04/12/2017
Artist: 
Diners
Label: 
Warped Your Records

A Soft Day is Diners’ third studio album. At first listen, anyone will be able to associate Diners’ music with wholesomeness, happiness and nostalgia. This project is no different, it uses the classic Diners’ formula.

Sounds Like: 
Elliott Smith but happy (kind of?)
Name: 
Brandon Serrano
Date Reviewed: 
04/05/2017
Artist: 
Real Estate
Label: 
Domino

Imagine yourself drinking a cup of coffee. It's warm and comforting, and has your favorite flavor of creamer in it. You drink it everyday, but you don't grow tired of it - its familiar, yet always welcome. In the realm of indie rock music, this would be the same case for New Jersey based indie band Real Estate. Real Estate is a band whose subtle, yet shimmery indie-rock music is a sound that you can never tire of. Although they are not a band who take risks and try something gamechanging, that's perfectly okay.

Sounds Like: 
Beach Fossils
Sounds Like: 
Ducktails
Sounds Like: 
Wild Nothing
Name: 
Roy Santa Cruz
Date Reviewed: 
03/29/2017
Artist: 
Mother Mother
Label: 
Universal Music Canada

This is the sixth album from these Canadian indie rockers. They have a pretty good following in Canada.  Someone described the band as "hip hop-influenced power ballads, as if Adam Lambert had joined the Dirty Projectors." I found this description to be pretty accurate. Their songs are pretty generic indie pop tracks with electronic beats.

Sounds Like: 
Said The Whale
Sounds Like: 
Arkells
Name: 
Daniel Clark
Date Reviewed: 
03/22/2017
Artist: 
Why?
Label: 
Joyful Noise Recordings

In the beginning, Why? was Yoni Wolf. He rapped under the stage name "Why?" and made weird music for weirdo rap label/collective Anticon which he founded with friends in 1998. Now he releases music with his band Why?, and they make weird, beautiful indie rock. It was a gradual transition but the hip-hop influence remains. It informs the word density, cleverness, and rhythm of Yoni's vocals, but rest assured that this isn't rapping over guitars. With Moh Lhean, Why?

Sounds Like: 
Why?
Name: 
Andrew Boring
Date Reviewed: 
03/22/2017
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