Album Reviews

Tanlines, “Highlights” review

Insofar as indie connotes singing from dudes who would never normally get paid to sing, Tanlines is quintessential indie electro-pop. Based in Brooklyn, today’s de facto capital for DIY dance clubs, Eric Emm and Jesse Cohen formed the band after splitting from groups that relegated their musical prowess to bass and keyboards, respectively.

Surfer Blood, “1000 Palms” review

“1000 Palms” opens with pitch-bent drones, an explosion of thumping toms, squiggly guitars and a lot of promise. Surfer Blood’s third full-length record never quite matches that intensity again, not to mention the energy of “Astro Coast,” the Florida band’s debut.

Mumford & Sons, “Wilder Mind” review

The saying “the more things change, the more they stay the same” comes to mind while listening to Mumford & Sons' “Wilder Mind.” The band traded rollicking folk for glossy rock and it had about as much the same effect as changing out of suspenders and into leather jackets.

Blur, “The Magic Whip” review

Blur used to be one of us. Like their chief rivals in Oasis, their Brit-Pop struck a chord with the budding 20-somethings of the '90s who were too disillusioned for Sugar Ray but not yet despondent enough for grunge.

James Pants, “Savage” review: A foray into vaporwave

Left-field funk producer James Pants came up in his native label Stones Throw on floor-forward tracks cut with a healthy dose of self-awareness. His loose collar electro-funk debut “Welcome” sounds like an (even more) irreverent LCD Soundsystem, a sly genre roast that sidles just a couple of strides closer to parody than tribute.

Waxahatchee, “Ivy Tripp” review: “Directionlessness” on a natural path

“Ivy Tripp,” the title of Katie Crutchfield’s third album as Waxahatchee, is a term she invented for “directionlessness, specifically of the twenty-something, thirty-something, forty-something of today, lacking regard for the complaisant life path of our parents or grandparents.” The record certainly captures that, and it’s unsurprising if you’ve heard Waxahatchee before.