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Artist: 
Horse Feathers
Label: 
Kill Rock Stars

Basically, Andrew Bird goes to the countryside and discovers the whimsical, instrumental sounds of the prairie. This is Horse Feathers' sophomore album to their House With No Home album. This album is more active but still retains their rustic tone. Beautiful composition of their pieces that make you want to buy a floral-printed cotton dress or overalls/suspenders and walk into a field of corn. They have amazing violinists and beautiful vocals. It's great!

Sounds Like: 
A toned down Andrew Bird and Frightened Rabbit
Sounds Like: 
Owen Pallett
Name: 
Jen Akazawa
Date Reviewed: 
04/20/2010
Artist: 
Kaki King
Label: 
Rounder

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <- that is how much I love Kaki King

Be informed that Kaki King isn't just any indie-rocker, she is one of the BEST guitar players alive right now. She's on Rolling Stone's 100 top guitar players.

Sounds Like: 
Tegan and Sara
Sounds Like: 
An Horse
Name: 
nina ulloa
Date Reviewed: 
04/15/2010
Artist: 
Laura Marling
Label: 
Virgin

I've heard that this was a sophomore slump...but the opening 30 seconds of this record alone blew me away. Mumford & Sons is her sometimes backing band and she has the same energy as them. Her songs are gorgeous. This album isn't as innovative as her first, but I think she sounds like she's matured.

Sounds Like: 
Mumford & Sons
Sounds Like: 
Cat Power
Name: 
nina ulloa
Date Reviewed: 
04/15/2010
Artist: 
the Apples in Stereo
Label: 
Simian/YepRoc

Once again, the co-originators of the now-defunct Elephant 6 Collective have continued to amaze its fans. Although their previous album "New Magnetic Wonder" had a few hits and misses, this one is a solid gem (although both do sound similar, as this album is a further exploration into frontman Robert Schneider's love for Electric Light Orchestra). Compared though to New Magnetic Wonder, this recent collection of tracks sound more matrue and well-developed from a lyrical perspective.

Sounds Like: 
Electric Light Orchestra
Sounds Like: 
Of Montreal (pre-'Hissing Fauna')
Name: 
Adam Guerrero
Date Reviewed: 
04/14/2010
Artist: 
Awesome Color
Label: 
Ecstatic Peace

C'mon this is from ECSTATIC PEACE RECORDS, aka Thurston Moore's record label, aka everything holy in grungy rock and roll can be found on this label. And this band doesn't disappoint.

I would describe it most as if psychedelic rock, grunge, max chillaxing, and the 1990s had a baby and it was born in 2010 (and if 4 people could have a baby this analogy might make more sense, but you get it... probably). 

Sounds Like: 
Dinosaur Jr.
Sounds Like: 
Sonic Youth
Name: 
Marcea Decker
Date Reviewed: 
04/02/2010
Artist: 
JBM
Label: 
Partisan Records

 

So if you are into very chill music, these guys are AWESOME.  They are the perfect mixture of acoustic, soft rock and indie.  Throughout their songs, there is a hint of a country sound but it works for them.  They are not recommended if you want some beats to pump you up, however, for those chill jam moods, JBM is ideal.

 

Sounds Like: 
James Taylor
Sounds Like: 
Radiohead
Name: 
Justin Matthews
Date Reviewed: 
04/14/2010
Artist: 
JBM
Label: 
Partisan Records

So if you are into very chill music, these guys are AWESOME.  They are the perfect mixture of acoustic, soft rock and indie.  Throughout their songs, there is a hint of a country sound but it works for them.  They are not recommended if you want some beats to pump you up, however, for those chill jam moods, JBM is ideal.

Sounds Like: 
James Taylor
Sounds Like: 
Radiohead
Name: 
Justin Matthews
Date Reviewed: 
04/14/2010
Artist: 
Particle Wave
Label: 
BMI

Particle Wave formed in 2006 from El Segundo, California.  The band has a low-tempo beat of classic rock and indie.  At first they came off like a group of middle-aged men who are trying to make it big/having a midlife crisis, but their music grows on you.  Most of the songs make me want to drive around San Francisco, blasting them with the windows down.  Their laid back/classic sound and chill, catchy tempo make Particle Wave a pretty good jam.

Sounds Like: 
Instrumentals reflect Jimi Hendrix (late 60s early 70s sound)
Name: 
Justin Matthews
Date Reviewed: 
04/14/2010
Artist: 
MGMT
Label: 
Sony Music Entertainment

Whereas MGMT's first album, Oracle Spectacular, was mostly electro-pop, Congratulations is almost strictly rock. There is a lot more distinguishable intstrumentation rather than computer mods and effects. MGMT did keep the energey though. All the songs are upbeat and quick. It seems as though some of the sounds they are going for are from past decades such as the '80s B-52s (think "Rock Lobster"). Some of the songs, such as "Someone's Missing", has the same airy vocals that their previous album had. Congratulations is substantially darker and thought provoking.

Sounds Like: 
The B-52s
Sounds Like: 
Simon & Garfunkel
Name: 
Isaac Gealer
Date Reviewed: 
04/14/2010

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Artist: 
Mark Sultan