Tagged as a “Bay Area psych pop supergroup”, Agony Aunts live up to that description with the richly melodic concoctions of their upcoming full-length, Big Cinnamon. Built on the foundation of the Corner Laughers lineup, with guest contributions from members of the Orange Peels and the Loud Family, among others, Big Cinnamon piles on layers and layers of swirling, shining harmonics. The result is an album chock full of compositions that are sunny and fun, but shaded with enough poignance to linger around a little while.
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For its fourth full-length, Model Rocket, the Brother Kite has crafted a bold, sculpted effort, driven by dramatic guitars and propulsive rhythms. While many a band this deep into a career would be tempted to (over)complicate its approach after accruing more and more experience, it’s refreshing to find a group like the Brother Kite streamlining what it does and channeling it into the muscular, straight-ahead alt-rock sound you hear on Model Rocket. Streaming exclusively here on PopMatters, Model Rocket is being released today on Clairecords.
Of Blessed Feathers’ 2012 EP Peaceful Beast in an Ocean of Weeds, PopMatters’ Matthew Fiander wrote that the Wisconsin duo’s “hazy sounds can still be awfully substantial”. That description definitely applies to the group’s new full-length Order of the Arrow, as the ascendant melodies conjured up by Donivan Berube and Jacquelyn Beaupre are anchored by pithy folk structures. There’s an organic feel to the whole affair that comes through in the resonant, rootsy boy-girl vocals and the earthy percussion. Working with Real Estate and Widowspeak producer Kevin McMahon and Sharon Van Etten guitarist Doug Keith on Order of the Arrow, Blessed Feathers’ intimate vibe opens up just enough, covering more ground than you might expect.