Mikal Cronin "Seeker (Merge)"
For his fourth full-length record, Mikal Cronin forwent the naming scheme of his last few releases and went with Seeker (Merge). Well, whatever he was seeking he found, as Seeker is the best thing Mikal has ever recorded. Joyous, slightly (and blissfully) ramshackle in the best possible way. With each release, he’s been pulling back the layers of garage-ness his earliest releases had, and Seeker is the most focus the always fantastic Mikal has ever had. Like a reborn jam-free, song forward Dead, or a Simple Songs era Jim O’Rourke-this is the sound of maturity and confidence without sacrificing fun or rock ’n’ roll. Look, dude’s got a bachelor’s degree in music and it shows. This is some fantastic songwriting. Ok, I’ll stop waxing poetically and let the songs do the rest of the talking. Check out the Tom Petty meets The Dead intro of the super-fun “Show Me.”
Great Grandpa "Four Of Arrows (Double Double Whammy)"
Look. We all know it. You want some rock in your life. Nay, you NEED some rock in your life. That’s why you are about to absolutely fall head over heels in love with the new Great Grandpa album. Four Of Arrows (Double Double Whammy) is everything you want it to be. Equal parts boisterous and emotional, loud and quiet. It’s like they took everything you love about ‘90s indie and mixed it up with everything you love about modern indie sounds-and threw in some choice sensitivity to really hit you in the feels. Then they mixed in just a hint of country music to leave the whole thing sounding fresh and unique. Check out the emotional ballad-esque vibes of “Mono no Aware
Anamanaguchi "[USA] (Polyvinyl)"
Like a cyborg, it is difficult to separate the technology and the humanity when it comes to the exciting music of Anamanaguchi. The four-piece band is intrinsically connected to video games. They have scored games in the past. They have released chiptune albums distributed on Nintendo cartridges. So it is not surprising that the sound of their polyvinyl debut [USA] (Polyvinyl) is something akin to video game/anime sounding. Which, honestly, is as timely a genre of sounds as is out there. These tunes are vital, exciting, and otherworldly. Imagine a mixture of video game music, j-pop, k-pop, anime opening credit sequences, and… you know what? Instead of imagining, why not just give a listen to the moving “On My Own.”
Larry Gus "Subservient (DFA)"
If you are familiar with Larry Gus’ past releases on DFA, then you know you are about to hear some exciting, experimental electronic music. Though that is all true, this is a different kind of record for Larry Gus (whose real name is Panagiotis Meldis). This are slightly less weird this time around, and a little more pop-oriented. This is also the first album in which Gus, er… Meldis doesn’t use any samples. Every instrument played on the album is played by him. Lyrics are sung in both Greek and in English, which gives the whole album a sort of jet-setting party-disco pop feel. Whew! Is that enough adjectives for you? It’s not? Well, sorry, but I’m out. So give a listen to the bubbly fun of “Taped Hands Here” or the danceable “Total Diseases (Subservience)” and come up with some of your own! Or you could just cheat and grab “This Is fourth-world power pop, as if Alex Chilton was produced by Eno and Hassell” from the DFA PR like I just did 🙂