Alt

Artist: 
Jim James
Label: 
ATO Records

Jim James is one of the people who carried the American folk tradition into the 21st century. With projects like My Morning Jacket and the supergroup Monsters of Folk, it would be easy for him to rest on his laurels at this point. However, he has started a promising solo career, and his solo releases take his music in a new, exciting direction. Eternally Even is very psychedelic, but contains James's signature mellow-folk style.

Sounds Like: 
My Morning Jacket
Sounds Like: 
Dr. Dog
Name: 
Will Fotter
Date Reviewed: 
01/27/2017
Artist: 
Arcade Fire
Label: 
Merge

There is a difference between substance and exploiting the current political strife as a central theme in an incredibly hollow, lackluster song. Arcade Fire's newest single, "I Give You Power," is a shining example of this difference. I am a long time Arcade Fire fan. They were probably the first band that I truly fell in love with. The band has a special place in my heart and always will. That being said, I am incredibly disappointed in the lack of musical talent put forth into "I Give You Power."

Sounds Like: 
LCD Soundsystem
Name: 
Brooke Blizzard
Date Reviewed: 
01/26/2017

Raw

Artist: 
Keller Williams
Label: 
Freeky Disc

Keller Williams is a jam-band phenomena, known for using wild effects to make his one-man sound come off as imposing and grandiose. However, on Raw, he drops all of that for a solo, acoustic record that truly shows off his musical talent. In his sets with String Cheese Incident, Yonder Mountain String Band, and Umphrey's, you can see a wide variety of music styles manifest themselves in different forms. Raw is aptly named because that is what the record is. Most of the record is really good.

Sounds Like: 
Greensky Bluegrass
Sounds Like: 
Yonder Mountain String Band
Name: 
Will Fotter
Date Reviewed: 
01/26/2017
Artist: 
Paper Pilots
Label: 
Honeymoon Drug Records

Paper Pilots' new EP "Automatic" is an upbeat, dance-y album perfect for the new year. The single, "Automatic" is a fun pop song you'll be singing for days after you hear it, just like the rest of the songs. There's also a radio edit version if you want a song that's 10 seconds shorter and doesn't sound very different from the original.  "The Weather" sounds like it belongs at the end of a happy movie. "Lovebird" is just a really cute song that may or may not be about a person or a bird. 

Sounds Like: 
Maroon 5
Name: 
Taylor Brestel
Date Reviewed: 
01/26/2017
Artist: 
Mary Bell
Label: 
Le Collectif Semi-Conscient

With the tumultuous political atmosphere, I wouldn't be surprised at a revival of the riot grrrl movement of the 90s. Mary Bell embodies the spirit of those before them, tackling issues such as feminism and the toppling of the patriarchy. If you're a politically minded individual that is passionate about feminism, Mary Bell may be the band for you. Their name comes from the child murderer Mary Bell who was responsible for the deaths of two young boys. If that doesn't give you an idea of what the band is about, I don't know if you'll ever get it. 

Sounds Like: 
Bikini Kill
Sounds Like: 
7 Year Bitch
Name: 
Brooke Blizzard
Date Reviewed: 
01/25/2017
Artist: 
Arbor Labor Union
Label: 
Sub Pop

Arbor Labor Union is a four piece band from Georgia whose first album under Sub Pop Records is titled "I Hear You". The album consists of nine tracks that all average out to be a solid five miniutes and forty-two seconds making well long road trips. The album consists of grungy, slow alternative rock with a little of the southern feel. It includes instrumental intros to every song with plenty of heavy drumming. 

***

Sounds Like: 
Wilco
Name: 
DeRay Chatter
Date Reviewed: 
01/25/2017
Artist: 
Japanese Wallpaper
Label: 
Zero Through Nine

This album has a very chill and groovy vibe. It doesn't incite spontaneous break dancing but it does keep your spirits up. The tracks are relaxing and have a otherworldly sounds, with beats and chimes sounding like twinkling stars and the passage of time while floating through space. The first track Between Friends is my absolute favorite and the remixes are excellent! The lyrics get stuck in your head and the remixes add a more preppy beat to the more slow paced original song.

Sounds Like: 
The Wombats
Sounds Like: 
Wafia
Name: 
Hibah Ilyas
Date Reviewed: 
01/24/2017
Artist: 
The xx
Label: 
Young Turks Recording

The xx are known for a slower, more guitar and bass driven vibe. In their new album, I See You, The xx take their well known genre of indie pop and modern r&b and incorporate all of the members best qualities into an album that is sure to draw you in. The album begis with a start like their other albums then begins to take on a more pop and electronic feel. Instead of a slower and more chill vibe, the new album has lots of opportunites to jam and get into the songs.

Sounds Like: 
Bombay Bicycle Club
Sounds Like: 
Caribou
Name: 
Chloe Raissen
Date Reviewed: 
01/19/2017
Artist: 
Crumb
Label: 
Self-released

The opening track off the debut, self-titled EP from Boston/Brooklyn-based Crumb is breathtaking. My first time hearing "Bones" was immediately followed by my second time, my third time, and so on. It almost raises the bar too high for the pair of songs that follow. Almost. This was undoubtedly my favorite EP of 2016. It features aspects of jazz, psych rock, dream pop, R&B, lo-fi, and funk, blended perfectly.

Sounds Like: 
female-fronted Triathalon <3
Name: 
Emily Beiser
Date Reviewed: 
01/16/2017
Artist: 
His Clancyness
Label: 
Hand Drawn Dracula

"His Clancyness" is the music project of Canadian singer/songwriter Jonathan Clancy. Reading the CD insert, it is apparent that this album contains a fair amount of experimentation on Jonathan Clancy's part. And in my opinion this experimentation yielded positive results.

Sounds Like: 
Deerhunter
Sounds Like: 
David Bowie
Sounds Like: 
Stereolab
Sounds Like: 
Broadcast
Name: 
Zekeriya Efe
Date Reviewed: 
12/14/2016