August roundup…

Highlighting the best album and EP releases from this and the last few weeks…
.
Drinks Hermits On Holiday

.
Silicon Personal Computer

.
Frog Eyes Pickpocket’s Locket
.

Myrkur M

.
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats

.
Advance Base Nephew In The Wild

.
Carly Rae Jepsen E-MO-TION
.

Deradoorian The Exploding Flower Planet

.
Mick Jenkins Wave(s)
.

Royal Headache High

.
AFX Orphaned Deejay Selek (2006-2008)

.
Elysia Crampton American Drift

.
Yo La Tengo Stuff Like That There
.

Destroyer Poison Season

.
Beach House Depression Cherry

.

Worriers: Imaginary Life


.
From NPR:
.
“As “Never Were,” a standout from Worriers‘ 2013 EP Cruel Optimist, reaches the end of its charging first verse, the drums and guitars stop on a dime. In a few evocative lines, we’ve just learned of singer Lauren Denitzio’s journey from inquisitive child to dutiful student to radicalized young adult, eager to risk life and limb in the service of protest. Then comes the punchline, naked and direct: “When you’ve got kids and rent, then come and see me.” In the midst of a mini-memoir about growing up steeped in anarcho-punk politics, we get a gentle reminder that privilege touches cultures large and small — and the same act of resistance can get you slapped on the wrist or unmake your reality, depending who you are. It’s a pretty nuanced critique, not least because its target is the person singing the song. Imaginary Life, Worriers’ first full-length and Denitzio’s debut as sole songwriter after years in more collaborative arrangements, immediately reads as the work of someone older, wiser, more attuned to life’s frailty and chaos. Even as the subdued opening track, “Jinx,” catalogs the small blessings that sustain a creative existence — “some paper and pens and my hands and guitar strings,” plus fulfilling work and, if you’re really lucky, romantic love — each phrase trembles with the thought that all of this might be snatched away in an instant. Denitzio sings the final line, “Today I have all I ever wanted,” into a void, where it floats unsecured until the rollicking drumbeat of “Plans” crashes through the silence and into the bustling present. Imaginary Life proceeds from a place of everyday precarity, where health and happiness are hardly a given and pursuing a dream can feel like jousting with fate. Thanks in part to the financial realities of music as a job and Brooklyn as a home, Worriers has cycled through lineups since its inception. For those who care, though, the band’s got pedigree. Denitzio co-founded The Measure [sa], a prolific rock outfit that atomized in the late 2000s, just as the breakout of labelmates Screaming Females was sparking widespread interest in the New Jersey punk community that birthed them both. Some will also recognize Mike Yannich as the puckish singing drummer of The Ergs!, a beloved trio from the same stomping grounds that spent its decade together living up to its punctuation. Presiding over the sound of Imaginary Life is Laura Jane Grace, a punk-world figure who knows a thing or two about transcending category. The Against Me! singer, who took her band from basements to arenas and has lately turned her own story of gender dysphoria into a vehicle for helping others understand trans identities, signed on as producer and quickly arranged to bring Worriers along on tour by way of drilling the material. Where the group’s earlier recordings are minimally arranged and shrouded in lo-fi haze, Grace focuses on supporting Deniztio’s voice, a distinctive alto that can bruise when wrapped around the right words. The two are best matched when dealing in understatement — as when the stadium-filling guitars of “Unwritten” dive to the margins of the stereo field, clearing the way for a breathless chorus whose “choose your battles” message might otherwise have proven too subtle to land. Throughout these songs, whether grappling with the judgment of peers (“Good Luck”), the corruption of institutions (“Yes All Cops”) or the essential clumsiness of gendered language (“They / Them / Theirs”), Denitzio and crew manage to turn ambivalence into an asset. It’s a quality that extends to the band’s name, an admission of fear transmuted into a battle flag. And it speaks to the experience of someone at once inspired by punk’s ideals and wary of its rhetoric, who’s seen enough to know that social pressure and prejudice exist even in communities self-defined against such things. In 2015, that’s a signal worth amplifying.”
.
Imaginary Life is out now via Don Giovanni Records; check out “They/ Them/ Theirs” below.
.

Robyn and La Bagatelle Magique: Love Is Free


.
From FACT:
.
“It’s been a little over a year since Do It Again, pop outlaw Robyn’s five-track EP with Bergen duo Röyksopp, and a little under five since its icon-making predecessor, the ambitious three-part LP Body Talk. Now, with help from Markus Jägerstedt and the late Christian Falk, the singer has launched a clubland project influenced by everything from Prefab Sprout and Suicide to Turkish folk, Arthur Russell and, most evidently, 90s house, her longstanding obsession. Back in 2013, Markus was inducted into the long-brewing partnership between Robyn and sometime mentor Christian, who’d stuck around since her teen-pop heyday in the 90s. During long nights probing Christian’s formidable record collection, the trio chipped away at the singer’s writer’s block and laid down a series of beat-driven bangers, initially slated for release under Robyn’s own name. “I said, ‘Fuck that!’” she laughs. “It felt like a band – we were all in each other’s business.” Robyn sang and played synths, bassist Markus multi-tasked, and at the controls was Christian, a faded postpunk who began DJing in the 90s. He kept the group’s house element intact, sometimes wiping Robyn’s pop choruses in an act of defiance. After his death last year of pancreatic cancer, at the age of 52, La Bagatelle Magique project buckled. Robyn and longtime bandmember Markus were whisked off on tour with Röyksopp, where each act played its own set before uniting for a firework finale. Rapturous Robyn fans went nuts for early airings of blueprint songs, left unfinished during their time with Christian. But the euphoric vibe didn’t sit right. “We had to finish the record,” Markus says, “so it didn’t get dark.” “When we started making the music together,” adds Robyn, “that’s what we were all into: euphoria. But then, that didn’t wane because he was sick – it just got more intense.”
.
The Love Is Free EP is out now via Interscope/ Konichiwa/ Cherrytree; check out the title track below.
.

Titus Andronicus: The Most Lamentable Tragedy


.
From the label:
.
The Most Lamentable Tragedy [hereafter TMLT] is the fourth studio album by Titus Andronicus [hereafter +@] and the band’s debut for Merge Records. A rock opera in five acts, the central narrative of TMLT (“a work of fiction,” claims singer/songwriter Patrick Stickles) concerns an unnamed protagonist whom we meet in deep despair. Following an encounter with his own doppelgänger (an enigmatic stranger, identical in appearance though opposite in disposition), long held secrets are revealed, sending our protagonist on a transformative odyssey, through past lives and new loves, to the shocking revelation that the very thing that sustains him may be the thing to destroy him. TMLT was produced by frequent collaborator Kevin McMahon and +@ lead guitarist Adam Reich. The core band is rounded out by the long-standing rhythm section of Eric Harm (drums) and Julian Veronesi (bass) plus rookie guitarist Jonah Maurer. Joining in throughout are pianist Elio DeLuca and violinist Owen Pallett, beside a cast of guests representing some of New York’s most exciting bands (The So So Glos, Baked, Bad Credit No Credit, Lost Boy?, etc.). TMLT is both the crown jewel of the band’s discography and the legend that contextualizes their entire body of work. It reveals that +@ are what hardcore fans have said they are for years, and what the world must now recognize them to be: not merely the greatest rock and roll band of this era, but one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time.”
.
The Most Lamentable Tragedy is out now on Merge Records; check out “Dimed Out” below.
.

Deaf Wish: Pain


.
From the label:
.
“When Deaf Wish found themselves in a room together for the very first time, they agreed on a guiding philosophy: “Let’s not make anything that’s going to last. If we’re together for just two shows, then that’s what it is.” They’ve deviated some. Over the course of eight years, the Melbourne foursome—bassist Nick Pratt, drummer Daniel Twomey and guitarists Sarah Hardiman and Jensen Tjhung, with each member contributing vocals—have instead amassed one of rock’s most exhilarating bodies of work, a concise run of wooly seven-inches and white-knuckle LPs whose legendary live translation has been most accurately described as “unhinged.” All this despite their being scattered across multiple continents, with no way of getting to know one another outside of intermittent touring. “We didn’t really know what this band was,” Tjhung says. “We had something, but it wasn’t clear—we had to figure out what that was.” This year marks the arrival of Pain, the first they’ve written since coming together again semi-permanently in Melbourne, and their appropriately titled first full-length for Sub Pop. (Last October’s St. Vincent EP was their label debut.) It is a miraculously dissonant, wonderfully immediate display of Deaf Wish at their mightiest, alive with the same wild chemistry and sense of possibility that made their first recordings so vital. With more time together than they’ve ever had before, they’re found themselves confronted with ideal (yet foreign) conditions. Two-minute freakouts like “Eyes Closed” share airspace with the meditative squall of “On” and the guitar-born majesty of “Calypso.” Everything was captured in three takes or less, in a bleak, nondescript studio on the lifeless outskirts of Melbourne. “It’s a simple thing,” Tjhung says of their approach. “Simple takes the worry out of it. If we try to step it up and go sideways, it just doesn’t seem to work. But we’ve grown up and been through some shit. To get to this point you have to bust through a few walls. It’s easy to be new, and I think, in the end, this is what it is. When you put these people in the room, it’s Deaf Wish.””
.
Pain is out now on Sub Pop; check out “Eyes Closed” below.
.

Telepathe: Destroyer


.
From the press release:
.
Destroyer has been a long time coming. Back in 2012 Telepathe, AKA multi instrumentalists Busy Gangnes and Melissa Livaudais, quit their day jobs and relocated to Los Angeles to record their second album in a few short and intense months. “Melissa and I decided to leave NY for a couple of months during the winter to write and record this new album,” Busy explains. “We rented an apartment on Sunset Boulevard. At the time we were reading a lot of science fiction and researching California cults, which became themes that seeped into our music.” With nods to freestyle Miami beats and Madonna’s early work, Destroyer is a focused cacophony of layered beats, synths and vocals bemoaning the complications and misunderstandings of relationships. Bonded by their mutual love for hip hop, UK garage and all that was rhythmically syncopated, Busy and Melissa’s first EP as Telepathe, Farewell Forest, was released in 2006 via Brooklyn label The Social Registry. The girls moved to a warehouse in Bushwick where they built a home studio which saw the single ‘Sinister Militia’ come to fruition with remixes from the likes of Tyler Pope of !!!, and LCD Soundsystem. In 2008 the duo began working with TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek, bringing the bedroom-made demos to his studio which would become debut album Dance Mother. For the next two years the band supporting acts such as Julian Casablancas and Vampire Weekend, as well as headlining their own world tour, and recently the girls started their own label BZML to release the oft-delayed new album on their own terms: “We wanted the album to come out in the right way, and at the best time.”
.
Destroyer is out August 7 on BZML Records; check out “Slow Learner” below.
.

Slim Twig: Thank You For Stickin With Twig


.
From the label:
.
Thank You For Stickin’ With Twig is the fifth album by the Toronto based songwriter/ producer/ artist known to the world (or at least to his mother) as Slim Twig. The evolution from Contempt!, his sample-stained 2009 debut, through to A Hound At The Hem, his symphonic tribute album to Nabokov’s Lolita (reissued by DFA in 2014), is not entirely linear, although intriguing all the same. Like so many surfsmoothed stones lining the beach shore, briefly unburied only to be discarded once deemed un-skippable, so Twig has gone about seeking the proper rock to cast at just the right angle. One can see why he extends a gratuity to those listeners who’ve stuck around. Thank You For Stickin’ With Twig is to date the most sonically immersive album in Twig’s discography. Where some records have focused explicitly on sample-based songwriting, while others have been completely liverecorded, the new album arrives at a perfectly produced fusion of fidelities. It hovers, glamorously caught between a cloud of obscurant, half-speed tape hiss, and the most stoned Jeff Lynne production you’ve ever heard. Twig flirts here with a variety of vibes, most often opting for a three dimensional approach whereby a warped tape aura is overlaid with colourful, laser-cut keyboard and guitar melodies. A fetishization of analogue texture is married to a digital approach. All the while, we find Twig irreverently raiding classic rock of its symbolism, sexuality, and social ambition for ulterior subversions. In this respect, TYFSWT’s closest cousin may be Royal Trux’s Accelerator. Sonically and politically, Twig’s aim is to be a rock n’ roll subversive in an era where that claim should rightfully be made by luddite cave-people. Context is everything, and Twig’s gift may be in zeroing in on that. He collages his sounds together (here as eclectic as The Love Below, or any Beck album) in a continuum where pop criticism is always recycling through what it chooses to lend cultural currency, if only for an instant. As of now, he’s sized up rock n’ roll, and determined it seems as good as any other vessel to commandeer for his creative impulse. Power to him. Rock may be dumb as a stone, but even so, now and then it’s smart to be dumb.”
.
Thank You For Stickin’ With Twig is out August 7 on DFA Records; check out “Slippin’ Slidin'” below.
.

Ultimate Painting: Green Lanes


.
From The Skinny:
.
“You won’t need any prior knowledge of smart tunesmiths Jack Cooper (Mazes) and James Hoare (Veronica Falls) to recognise the blueprint for their collaboration Ultimate Painting – although, for the record, it’s essentially ‘white dudes with Rickenbackers and a perfect pop complex’. Happily, they’re smart enough to live up to the latter: there’s a pleasant scent of The Velvet Underground to Cooper’s contributions, as opener “Kodiak” replaces the lo-fi Krautpop of his primary outfit with ebullient twangs and spacious melodies. More meditative moments come courtesy of Hoare, whose gorgeous efforts “Sweet Chris” and “Paying The Price” evoke the gentle breeze of Gerard Love’s later work with Teenage Fanclub. There’s nothing new or challenging here, so it’s understandable if even the theory behind Green Lanes leaves you cold. A shame though, because Ultimate Painting’s second full-length radiates a very comforting warmth, either despite or because of its familiarity. Wistful jangling at its best.”
.
Green Lanes is out August 7 on Trouble In Mind; listen to “(I’ve Got The) Sanctioned Blues” below.
.

Migos: Yung Rich Nation


.
From SPIN:
.
““Trap Funk,” one of the last songs on Migos’ long-awaited proper debut, Yung Rich Nation, is glorious. Horns dance, a big, boozy bassline booms like the voice of God and piano chords cascade, the keys giggling as if they’re actually being tickled. It’s triumphant, a song of victory. The conquest of releasing their first album has been hard won, however. At the top of 2013, the Atlanta trio of Quavo, Takeoff, and Offset watched their creaky-twinkly “Bando” flit to the top of the rap world’s playlist. Within six months, the skittery, Zaytoven-produced track “Versace” had gone even more viral, with Drake mimicking Quavo’s flow on its remix and critics lauding Young Rich Niggas as one of the best mixtapes of that year. Then they shrugged off any lingering whispers of their being one-year-wonders and racked up more W’s in 2014 with the boundlessly energetic “Fight Night,” the most successful single of their career. Capping their year? A joke about them being better than the Beatles that spawned very serious conversations about race and Migos’ relevance. But in 2015, Migos’ momentum came to a screeching halt. In April, Quavo and Offset were arrested and charged for felony possession of drugs and firearms, and the trio was forced to postpone their tour until July. Complex mentioned the “fast evaporation of Migos.” Fellow ATLiens Young Thug and Future prospered in the meantime. Thankfully, Yung Rich Nation did in fact appear and says “Not so fast” to anyone who wrote off rap’s biggest actual new group in years. “Memoirs,” the opening track, is urgent with frantic keys abutting balloon-like synths as the guys confidently proclaim their own Sorry 4 Tha Wait: “I know you been patiently waitin’.” Thing is, they do deliver, and even with some pleasant surprises. Sure, there are a couple of Zaytoven classics here (“Migos Origin,” “What a Feeling,”), but the most interesting tracks veer left. Imagining a thrill ride with no consequences, “Highway 85,” — which interpolates both Eazy-E’s “Boyz in the Hood” and Young Bleed’s “How Ya Do That,” — works better than it should. With almost 30 million plays, it’s no secret that “One Time” is a smash; with Migos’ signature flow and dying-battery synths dolloped onto a smooth melody, how could it not hit in the club? And the menacing throwback slink of “Gangsta Rap” still manages to sound fresh. Of course, there are a couple of stabs at the classic hooks of old Migos. Cutting their usual brick with Young Thug works wonders on “Cocaina,” but with the cash grab “Pipe It Up,” they’re trying too hard to plant another big, dumb hook like “Hannah Montana” in our heads. Still, for a group teetering on the verge — again — of being counted out, Migos have proved — again — that they have more than one trick up their sleeves.”
.
Yung Rich Nation is out now via 300 Entertainment/ Quality Control; check out “One Time” below.
.

Mac Demarco: Another One


.
From the label:
.
“Like the days of Steely Dan, Harry Nilsson or Prince releasing a classic every year (or less) comes Mac DeMarco’s Another One, a mini-LP announced almost one year to the date of the meteorically successful Salad Days. Conceived and recorded entirely by himself in a short period between a relentless tour schedule at his new place in Far Rockaway, Queens, Another One is eight, freshly written songs, expanding the arsenal of Mac’s already impressive catalog. There’s a bittersweet, romantic sensibility present. The overall feeling is lost love, or perhaps love never found, yet Mac embraces this without making it an overly somber experience for the listener. It’s at times haunting and warm, and a bit more refined and sophisticated, but still plenty playful, retaining the guts and soul of classic Mac.”
.
Another One is out August 7 on Captured Tracks; check out “No Other Heart” below.
.