The 1975 follow A Brief Inquiry... with an even more intriguing, sprawling, and chameleonic song suite. Notes on a Conditional Form shows a level of unquenchable ambition, creativity, and outspoken curiosity that's rarely felt in popular music today.
The Universe Inside isn't a typical Dream Syndicate album. The verse/chorus structure has been neatly sidestepped in favor of a free-wheeling, improvised, truly experimental approach, and it's marvelous.
After a ten-year hiatus, British pop master Badly Drawn Boy returns with a wonderful mix of cathartic quandaries and boisterous quirks on Banana Skin Shoes.
These WWII films from directors Alberto Cavalcanti, Guy Hamilton, Michael Anderson, Leslie Norman and J. Lee Thomson are excellent studies in history, filmmaking, and wartime propaganda.
Cherry Red issues a gargantuan collection of anti-establishment music associated with the 1960s London counterculture, a movement which challenged the norms and conventions of mainstream society by drinking from the well of psychedelia, free jazz, Beat poetry, musique concrete, electronics, and minimalism.
Matthew Shipp's The Piano Equation is a fully improvised solo piano recital to stand the test of time, sitting in the realm where mathematics and magic collide.
Jarrod Dickenson's rootsy, broad-ranged Americana draws deeply from tradition while forging all-new sounds on Ready the Horses.
On Ghosts of West Virginia, Steve Earle chronicles the lives, hopes, dreams, and regrets of families who've lived for generations in coal country with a masterful song cycle that's long on empathy and short on judgment.
Andy Warner's style of narrative in Spring Rain is evocative of those visual puzzles that require the viewer to look beyond the image in front of them, letting their eyes relax into an indirect gaze, in order for the hidden picture to reveal itself.
The sense of artifice in Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel helped him create an alluring reverie of both color and meaning.
Reissue label Light in the Attic follows up last year's Japanese musical excursion with another collection, Pacific Breeze 2, that's sure to please lovers of international retro-pop.
While all films project a world that might be, certain films and certain filmmakers, like Karel Zeman, come closer than others in bringing to the surface the underlying phantasmagoric essence of cinema.
Guitarist Tidiane Thiam plays Senegalese folk over river ambiance on his nimble debut, Siftorde.
Featuring several originals paired with timeless covers, Live at the Paramount finds the Ruthie Foster Big Band bringing the house down.
After nearly 50 years and two dozen albums, Sparks continue their reign of resonantly quirky art pop-rock delights on A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip.
Erik Hall painstakingly and effectively recreates Steve Reich's minimalist classic, Music for 18 Musicians, with three instruments in his Michigan home studio.
Un Canto Por Mexico is a true labor of love. Natalia Lafourcade led with her heart and was elegantly guided by her refined musical intelligence.
What's New, Tomboy? is special for how profoundly Damien Jurado acknowledges what might be learned from the emptiness in this life, as well as from being still and waiting to be filled.
Cenizas is the sound of Nicolás Jaar skirting around the edges of his own sound—skeletal, stripped-back, examining the little things that made his music so great to begin with.
Scott McCaughey and Peter Buck's the No Ones took their sweet time on their debut, The Great Lost No Ones Album, but it was well worth the wait for any indie or pop fan.
Electronic producer Ital Tek's new album Outland is ambitious and profound while remaining compelling unpredictable. It's a constantly shape-shifting, all-encompassing musical experience.
Guitarist Liberty Ellman's compositions for this brilliant sextet on Last Desert demand that you pay careful attention, but not that you tolerate harsh tonalities.
On DJ Python's Mas Amable, everything moves along in a liquid haze. Each song slowly mutates into the next, and each sound seems to become something unlike itself.
Half Waif's second album, The Caretaker, takes a microscope and a scalpel to the mysteries and wonders of the quotidian, to great effect.
Fearless in its demand for accountability, transcendent in its honesty, Mieko Kawakami's Breasts and Eggs breathes life into feminist literature and throws down a gauntlet for other writers to aspire toward.
Natural and electronic worlds merge with mystic atmospheres and irrepressible beats on Die Wilde Jagd's third album, Haut.
Inspired by D.W. Griffith's Intolerance, Vsevolod Pudovkin would leave his chemistry studies for cinema. His films Mother, The End of St. Petersburg, and Storm over Asia are presented in The Bolshevik Trilogy.
This long-delayed collaboration by two African master musicians is an occasion for jubilation. Rejoice is a posthumous reminder of what Hugh Masekela at his best could deliver and of the now 80-year-old Tony Allen's amazing vitality.
Through a brazen performance, one to obliterate all performances that came before, Isabelle Adjani gives her Claudel a true body in which to house all her drive and desire in Bruno Nuytten's Camille Claudel.