Man Forever "Play What They Want"
Man Forever, which is John Colpitts (who is Kid Millions–confused yet?) is a drum-led compositional project that defies genre-labeling. Which is why the album’s name, Play What They Want (Thrill Jockey), is so damn apt. Here Colpitts does whatever he and his guest stars want to do. Do they want to sound like a particularly sharp version Grateful Dead’s “Space” jam? Do they want to sound like a modern jazz orchestra? Do they want to sound like modern classical a la Steve Reich? Yes. Yes. Yes. John, along with maybe the best lineup of guests ever (Yo La Tengo, Laurie Anderson, Phil Manley, harpist Mary Lattimore, Beruit and Sufjan Stevens horn player Ben Lanz) explore every corner of their musical minds in dramatic and sophisticated ways. This is music that demands attention. So you should give it as much as you have to spare and check out the first track from the album, the Laurie Anderson-featuring “Twin Torches.”
White Hills "Stop Mute Defeat"
White Hills have never been a band to rest on their laurels. Every album tends to reinvent their sound, but never have then gone as sound-redefining as on their latest release, Stop Mute Defeat (Thrill Jockey). They decided to borrow William Burroughs “cut-up” technique, only apply it to music. So instead of dadaist text, we are left with a decidedly industrial sounding White Hills. Sounding at times like a post-rock Primal Scream, these are abstract, art-rock burners. But they retain White Hills’ sense of song somehow, leaving the listener bewildered, yet nodding along. Hey, the punks went to art school! Check out the scream-free version of Ministry’s sound with “Importance 101.”
Little Reader "The Big Score"
Ross Flournoy (of The Broken West and Apex Manor) teamed up with Kate Tucker of Kate Tucker and the Sons Of Sweden to write one song. They did. Then they wrote another song. And another. And now here we are, they have a band name of their own, Little Reader, as well as a debut album. The Big Score is a beguiling combination of late ‘80s FM rock, nashville roots rock, and modern War On Drugs-esque synth lushness. It’s a little bit dancable, a little bit rockable, and a lot enjoyable (unlike the english in that last sentence). Check out the downtown vibes of “Speed of Light.”
Rival Cavves "Rival Cavves"
So you’re listening to some Magic Bronson and you say to yourself “self, I wonder what Magic Bronson would sound like if there was a woman singing” and then the RTP fairy comes in through the window and drops a DL code on your head, which is weird because it’s not a physical thing, but whatever, you don’t feel it anyway. But then all of a sudden you find yourself listening to Rival Cavves, a dancce-y/electro side-project from Matt of Magic Bronson and Marissa Longstreet of the band SLUGS and suddenly you know exactly what Magic Bronson with a lady at the helm would sound like, and you are digging it. You’re dancing, you’re swaying, and you don’t even know how it all happened. Thanks RTP fairy! Check out the M83 meets Ladyhawke sounds of “Runnin’.”