Jimmy Tamborello, aka Dntel, takes Figurines techno-pop, the more laptop-lo-fi and intricate sensibilities of his Postal Service and minimal house-inspiration from a German trip to create an essential album of quirky electronic twinkle-pop, with an edge and a twist. But an equal input is culled from the exact beats of producer John Tejada, who had already expanded his horizons beyond tightknit off-house through his electronica-meets-Tortoise-style jazz I M Not a Gun project. One of Tamborello's fears has been to never again find a girlfriend and the album basks in this spirit of emotional calvary, with "Leftovers" asking: "Which one of these things could have make you stay?" Heartbreak-kindred Erlend Oye (Kings of Convenience) also makes a most appropriate guest appearance, lending his nerdily reflective deep voice to "All the Way to China". Who knew that emotional navelgazing, with added electronic twitches, could be so melancholically charming? A mistake this album surely isn't.
As The Final Year quietly argues, if the United States' electorate fails to elevate itself to a higher level of political vernacular than coarse tweets and reality TV-style colloquies, then 2016 may be the best year the US will have had for a long time to come.
New single from dark duo VOWWS conjures classic James Bond scores while avoiding all the stuff we've all heard before.
There's a ghostly suggestion of Philip Roth's writing voice in Portnoy's Complaint in this novel; a relatively calm voice, this time in the third person, documenting the madness.
The Hackensaw Boys reboot Blaze Foley's Reagan-era "Oval Room" in light of the current political climate with scorching results.
Eric Benoit fuses elements of dance, folk, and alternative styles in the experimental "Dragonflies", wherein the artist delves into some uncomfortable realities.
An avant-garde classic or a sneering joke? Third Reich 'n Roll may be over 40 years old, but it still sounds like it's been beamed down from the future.
Pulp functions less as a pulpy mystery or gangster tale than as a spoof of same, albeit a spoof that retains a noirish sense of fate and power.