Helmed by singer-songwriter Gryphon Rue, El Tryptophan’s quirky new indie folk album Guilt Vacation features among its 20 guest contributors Dean Wareham (Galaxie 500, Luna, Dean & Britta), Will Epstein (High Water, Nicolas Jaar, Dave Harrington), and Odetta Bess Hartman. Needless to say it’s an eclectic collection, combining abstract orchestral pop and straight-up indie pop, conjuring visions of the Magnetic Fields at times.
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Led by singer-songwriter Mariachiara Terragin and producer/multi-instrumentalist Maxime Obadia, London/Paris-based band Indigo Face will be releasing their new EP At the Gate on 4 December. Specializing in modern art pop, the gracefully blend multiple sounds such as synthpop, electronic, and R&B to create a sumptuous and sensual hybrid, which you will see and hear in their new video for the title track.
Comprised of bassist/singer Anna Disley-Simpson and programmer/singer Jamie Minns. English band L.U.N.A.R. combine indie pop and tropicalia, and as you can hear on their new single “In the Forest” the mix makes for a brighter, more vibrant sound than the current wave of contemporary synthpop.
Steve Leftridge: Adele is going more Streisandy here than ever. And not just in the eye makeup and the red nails. With these two new powerhouse ballads, first “Hello” and now “When We Were Young,” she’s nestling into a democratizing sweet spot, one that makes tweens and grandmothers alike go weak in the knees. Like Barbra, Adele favors cinematic, swelling melodies lifted by her aching phrasing, here pushing her voice hard and, at times, scraping the top of her range. And like Babs, she’s a lyrical sentimentalist, pining for the way we were, back when Neil Diamond still gave her flowers. That was back when we were young, back when Streisand was on the radio all the time. If you’re too young to remember those days, well, Adele’s sweeping triumphs at least give you a glimpse back at the monoculture. [8/10]