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by Will Rivitz

22 Jul 2016


Wrinkles make rootsy psychedelic rock with a revivalist kick, the kind of exquisitely-produced jams that have been bursting forth ever since Tame Impala broke through to mainstream consciousness. Separation Anxiety is an impressive collection of synthy goodness from the young band, synth twists and echoing guitar played straight for immediate effect. It lifts satisfying elements from the major trends in indie of late — Young the Giant’s pop savvy, Future Islands’ propensity for the anthemic, LCD Soundsystem’s spare misanthropy — and the result is an album well-studied and well-executed. It refines the wheel instead of reinventing it — and given the result, refining is plenty good.

by Will Rivitz

22 Jul 2016


The Chairman Dances’ “Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin” is — as only a song with that kind of title can be — a quietly fervent chronicle of the lives of the titular Catholic activists. It’s the kind of spirited indie rock lazy music writers describe without fail as “jangly”, shimmering verses dropping into a dusty, stomping chorus reminiscent of the wandering rock of Springsteen and Darnielle. Lyrically, it continues in the tradition of the aforementioned artists as well — it’s less a treatise than a scene, reflective and illustrative above all. It’s the kind of eternal indie rock which will survive as long as the guitar stays in style — and, given how well the song fits into this canon and how good the canon as a whole is, this is a fine thing.

by Will Rivitz

22 Jul 2016


Photo: Szabo Adams

National Park Radio’s straightforward rural folk and bluegrass is a pleasantly rustic sound, the audio equivalent of gigantic cedars and down-home cookouts. The Great Divide is comfortable, upbeat acoustic guitar strumming along to foot stomps and mandolin. It’s dance music in its most traditionally American sense: this is the stuff you waltz to around a campfire with your sweetheart. It’s joy filtered through the lens of Americana, and that simplicity in approach should be celebrated.

by Will Rivitz

22 Jul 2016


According to the singer herself, Kendra Erika updates the Bond-girl framework to 21st century terms, an embrace of glamour and sexuality as an empowering tool. The video to “The Truth Never Lies” does just this, Erika flirting with the camera in a half-dozen different outfits as an anonymously-driven car makes its way through a glitzy downtown. Musically, the piece is similar: noir Eurotrance pumps through Erika’s breathy vocals, a track headed straight for the clubs. Whether Erika can fully carry her vision of the ideal modern Bond girl has yet to be seen, as her career is as yet still nascent; that said, “The Truth Never Lies” is certainly a good start.

by Will Rivitz

21 Jul 2016


Alan Abrahams’ take on his own “Say It’s Going to Change” as Bodycode opens innocently enough, pleasantly eerie synths right out of Selected Ambient Works 85-92 backing a metallic, robotic house beat. Halfway through, though, everything changes: after a quick flare of upper-register whirrs, a twisty bassline thuds in, sending the track into more traditional !K7 territory. The remix masterfully pulls elements in and out of our reach, warm synths eventually dropping out in favor of an all-out bassline assault. Its slow transition from unfocused synth jam to functional dancefloor killer is yet another example of the absolute madness Abrahams can wreak on an unsuspecting mass of bodies crowded around his turntable.

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Bad Graphics Are Still Impressive in ‘Spirits of Xanadu’

// Moving Pixels

"Spirits of Xanadu wrings emotion and style out of its low fidelity graphics.

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