Willis Earl Beal – Acousmatic Sorcery
The wildly talented, powerfully voiced Willis Earl Beal’s debut album is almost so lo-fi as to be off putting, but the highlights are stunning and engrossing. Listening to the full album stream one can only imagine how fantastic his next, professionally recorded, album will sound.
Chromatics – Kill For Love
Johnny Jewel returns after 5 years for a synth-pop extravaganza with Kill For Love, which you can stream in its entirety here.
Addison Groove – Transistor Rhythm
Bristol based producer Tony Williams had already made a name for himself in the dubstep world under the alias of Headhunter, but it is as Addison Groove that he burst into club-goers consciousness with Chicago footwork inflected anthem “Footcrab”. Transistor Rhythm envisions footwork and juke through a UK bass lens throughout the album, and the results are pure and simple dance floor heat.
Nicki Minaj – Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded
Young Money pop star Nicki Minaj releases her second album today and continues to plow the furrow of overproduced pop-rap.
Graham Coxon – A+E
Blur member Graham Coxon releases his eighth solo album, which leans towards youthful garage rock more than the technical acoustic guitar playing of previous solo efforts.
Lotus Plaza – Spooky Action at a Distance
Deerhunter guitar wizard and co-songwriter Lockett Pundt (who is less unpredictable, and thus less known than frontman Bradford Cox) steps out on his own for the second time as Lotus Plaza, with a stronger, more focussed effort than 2009’s the Floodlight Collective. Guitar fuzz has given way to clearly defined indie-rock songs with memorable choruses, driving drums and focussed waves of angular guitar making this a strong indie-rock outing.
You heard about him back in the ‘12 European Artists You Should Know About‘ feature, and now the English folk-rock singer/songwriter Ben Howard is re-releasing his debut album in the States. Stripping back the popular acoustic folk sound of bands like Mumford and Sons (on whose record label this album was originally released), Howard plays the role of beach-bum acoustic auteur with aplomb.
Bear In Heaven – I Love You, It’s Cool
Brooklyn trio Bear In Heaven have been making the rounds on the indie circuit for a few years, but are garnering deserved critical acclaim on this record. You can stream the whole thing at NPR.