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by Will Rivitz

28 Jul 2016


If you’ve ever complained about people tagging music which ends up being too straightforward for your taste “psychedelic rock”, the Dan Ryan might be something you’d like. “Tomorrow Forever” is all whimsy and LSD-fueled glee, trance-like drums falling into line behind off-kilter synths and inseparable waves of guitar. There’s more than a little Beatles influence, inspiration taken from Harrison’s journeys in Asia and the sonic collages on the group’s later albums, but that influence is used in novel ways. It’s exceedingly trippy, not in the “man, this light show is so trippy, man” sense, but truly in the scatterbrained, wildly colorful acid sense. Things are all over the place, and that’s just fine.

by Will Rivitz

28 Jul 2016


Andrew Keoghan‘s Every Orchid Offering is a mélange of tangential genres. There’s a touch of baroque chamber pop a la Son Lux, a smattering of off-color indie pop of the Dirty Projectors’ style, and snippets of the hyperprocessed muzak of vaporwave. It’s blocky and pleasantly unwieldy, a definite boon in a style of alt-pop which prides itself on its obtuseness. Weird pop is always intriguing, since there’s so many ways its weirdness can manifest — and the teetering disco of Every Orchid Offering is certainly a satisfying implementation.

by Will Rivitz

27 Jul 2016


Michael Blume’s percussive pop is a listener’s dream, everything perfectly polished and all elements in their proper places. When I Get It Right is part Flume’s processed, pop-savvy electronic, part Sam Smith’s pained gospel falsetto, part James Blake’s soul-flavored downtempo. It’s equally comfortable at higher speeds as lower, bouncing between Casio-heavy blue-eyed soul and upbeat R&B. If When I Get It Right is any indication, Michael Blume’s career can only go up from here — this is a seriously impressive debut.

by PopMatters Staff

27 Jul 2016


Chris Ingalls: Moving forward with Edith Frances replacing vocalist Alice Glass, Crystal Castles keep up with what they’ve been known for: loud, in-your-face sheets of electronic sounds and pounding beats. “Concrete”, from their upcoming fourth album, is a heavy, brash, slab of danceable doom-and-gloom. While they appear to be a forward-looking band, there are definitely nods to the past and “Concrete” seems to conjure up an unholy alliance of Ministry and the Cure. [7/10]

by Will Rivitz

27 Jul 2016


There’s a stanza in Billy Joel’s iconic “Piano Man” which applies pretty appropriately to Big Top Heartbreak: “And the piano it sounds like a carnival / And the microphone smells like a beer / And they sit at the bar and put bread in my jar / And say, ‘Man, what are you doing here?’” Because “My Breath Killed the Roses” is a deeply melancholy affair, a deceptively misanthropic ode set to gorgeous piano and gloriously imperfect violin. Its uninhibited sadness mingles with unbreakable optimism, pinned up by Scott Lavene’s cracked baritone. “It’s all about love,” sings Lavene, and in a twisted way — as with Joel’s masterpiece — the tragedy chronicled herein ends up driving unambiguously towards that love.

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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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