Paul Carr: The Horrors return in style like a band of nighttime buccaneers intent on crashing the party and laying siege to your hips. On this gritty, swaggering electro tune the band mix pounding drums with an insistent synth led churn. It’s the perfect mixture of attitude, bravura, and mettle but matched by an unerring ability to write a tune to match. [9/10]
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A Noah Harrison: Grizzly Bear were one of the more exciting groups of aughts to join the indie menagerie. Their new track “Neighbors” comes as the newest in a string of singles anticipating their first album in five years. Like their oft-compared forest friends Fleet Foxes, Grizzly Bear takes us farther down the path they’ve been traveling: an increasingly artful (read: complicated) and chamber-ized indie. It’s quite good—one of those songs that will take several listens to sink your teeth and claws into. In it, they engage their trademark lush synths beneath a wild, overdriven guitar lick, which leads into a, uh, really cool breakdown—and a lengthy series of other musical elements best heard with your ears instead of eyes. Oh, and the video has a sort of David Lynch-goes-Game of Thrones quality thing going on. So I’m sure you’ll all love it. [8/10]
Mike Schiller: The Bai Guang sample pushes it over the edge. It’s another paranoid production from Danny Brown, and anyone waiting for him to ever lighten the hell up is going to be sorely disappointed. “Lost” trafficks in Brown’s signature mix of unabashed observation and the blackest of black comedy, careening wildly from punchline to kick in the face, never hinting at resolution or relief. The claustrophobically-filmed video contributes to the unbalanced mood while deconstructing some retro hip-hop motifs in the process (hello fish-eye lens, it’s been a while). For a song so short, it’s exhausting, and that’s surely by design. [7/10]
Jimmy Lumpkin and the Revival blend Southern sounds like soul, blues, and country with rock. Lumpkin’s soulful, affecting blues rock vocals provide the perfect center in the band’s music with lead guitarist Duane Betts’ (son of none other than guitar legend Dickey Betts) playing as the driving counterpoint. Meanwhile, throw in some fiery horns courtesy of the Crescent City Horn Stars and you wind up with a rocking musical melting pot. Jimmy Lumpkin and the Revival is a band made for the festival scene as they have a big sound full of feel-good vibes and Southern warmth.
Described as “bedroom pop”, James Higgs’ upcoming new record, Oblivion, is as ethereal as the Ghost Pavilion moniker he’s given his solo project might imply. With the intent to bend genre influences ranging from golden era disco to intricate jazz ensembles, Higgs develops a lush, multi-layered soundscape for listeners to get lost in on his newest single, “Vacant Stories”.