Sunshine & the Rain "Beneath The Stars (EJRC)"
Wow! Sunshine & the Rain go POP with a capital P! Beneath The Stars finds them sounding more upbeat than ever, clearly due to either some good nachos (?), or maybe its the production by Tom Beajour. “How poppy?” are you asking me? If Doctor Who was able to take a 60’s girls group and throw them into the studio and have them produced by Taylor Swift then you start to get where “Beneath The Stars” is going. Really Taytay, time to start hanging out with Sunshine and the Rain’s Ashley and leave Selena Gomez behind! Strummy guitars, tambourines, big drums-Sunshine & The Rain will have you singing along no matter the weather (yup, I wrote that but check out “Pale Blue Skies” for proof). Dig into the single of the year “It’s All In My Mind.”
Laura Gibson "Goners (Barsuk)"
Imagine, if you will a, record where women become wolves, men metamorphosize into machines, ghost-children wave in the rearview mirror, a scar becomes a vessel for memory. Yes, you are entering the land of Laura Gibson and Goners. But don’t let those scary themes freak you out, Goners is a beautiful album from the haunting strings of “Tenderness” to the build-y “Domestication”. This maybe Laura’s 5th album, but it also could be her best (how many bands can you say that about?) Check out the aforementioned “Tenderness.”
Antarctigo Vespucci "Love In The Time Of E-Mail (Polyvinyl)"
Like many of the great love stories of all time, the friendship between Chris Farren and Jeff Rosenstock is legendary. Anyone that follows both men on Twitter knows how close they are. But that wasn’t always how it is. Before the two established musicians formed their group Antarctigo Vespucci, they were work friends at best. But once they decided to try to write songs together, they became friends faster than two 3rd graders with matching Darth Vader sweatshirts on. Love In The Time Of E-Mail is their first release on Polyvinyl, and finds the boys indulging their love of pop music, mixed with their love of punk-the result, however, isn’t pop-punk. Its a thing all its own. Check out the bouncy ear-candy of their first single “White Noise.”
Dead Rider Trio feat. Mr. Paul Williams "Dead Rider Trio feat. Mr. Paul Williams (Drag City)"
Dead Rider Trio feat. Mr Paul Williams? Lemme see here… oh… not THAT Paul Williams. That sure would have been weird. Yet… Somehow, this teaming might be even weirder? This Mr. Paul Williams sounds a little bit like Tim Curry playing the town drunk in a Monty Python movie. He appears to be something of a shithouse poet, rambling artistically over Dead Rider Trio doing their best free jazz impression. It’s a hot mess, and it’s a load of fun. Check out “Candles On Crabs.”