Too busy filing your taxes to keep up on all the freshest releases in April? Don’t worry, that’s what I’m here for. No, I have no plans of running for president in order to abolish the IRS. Rather, I just want to curate a nice little playlist of all of my April favorites.
Aesop Rock – The Impossible Kid
What more can be said of underground hip-hop legend Aesop Rock? He’s a master lyricist, white, like forty years old, and has some sort of love affair with Hot Topic style Warped Tour cover art. Nonetheless, Aes returns with The Impossible Kid, full of the pristine drums and old-school production that made him a staple in the first place with his robotic delivery and deadpan humor.
BAMBARA – Swarm
Swarm is muddy and eerie as all hell. Considering the album title, the waves of thudding basslines and manic guitars are pretty much an audible depiction of being chased by a swarm of bees…at night. Give BAMBARA a listen for their beautiful melding of post-punk mixed with droning darkness.
Cellars – Phases
If you enjoy throwback 1980’s synths and lush downtempo love songs, give Phases a listen. Vocalist Allene Norton fires off a wonderful synthpop record, complete with another Ariel Pink credit helping with the process. Even with Pink’s presence, much like 2015’s My Dreams Dictate My Reality by Soko, both women arguably made better records, and are striking examples of all around artists that will ultimately ride under the radar.
Dalek – Asphalt For Eden
Asphalt For Eden is only seven songs long, but each one is a hard hitting punch in the face of 2016’s most abstract and experimental hip-hop courtesy of veteran MC Dalek. Think of something like Cannibal Ox’s comeback album from last year, cut the filler, and add in a little extra industrial influence, and here you have the final product. Bon appetit!
Deftones – Gore
What do Deftones even have to prove these days? Each new release hearkens back to textbook, uninformed cries of the band being a nu-metal staple who just happened to survive today, but to spew such blasphemies isn’t the half of it. Gore is no masterpiece, nor does it breach any new ground by the band. However, when you see a veteran group making side projects, garnering new attention from staple publications, and altogether wreaking havoc among the music media collective, you can’t help but know that Chino and the boys are doing something right.
Frightened Rabbit – Painting Of A Panic Attack
Given the cult status of a sort of “The National light”, Frightened Rabbit surely have their own repertoire of indie rock sadboy anthems. Thus, it only seems fitting that Aaron Dessner produce the newest output from the Scottish quintet, wrought with rocking numbers (“Get Out”) and slow burners (“Die Like A Rich Boy”) throughout.
Greys – Blown Out
There’s something in the water up there in Canada for this slew of energetic punk rock bands making noise this year. Greys, like other contemporaries have a knack for the undeniably catchy side of loud, abrasive rock anthems. In the case of Blown Out, it is our fortune as listeners to experience the Toronto native’s creation in ten awesome bursts of power.
Hermetic Delight – Vow
Taking a page out of Interpol’s notebook, Hermetic Delight tug all of the right strings in crafting Vow, a gorgeous ensemble of post-punk sounds in their overall indie rock output. Songs wind up pretty short, but tracks like “Circles” showcase the band’s strong points, that is, rolling bass breakdowns and gorgeous female vocals.
Pity Sex – White Hot Moon
Run For Cover Records
The opening chords of “A Satisfactory World For Reasonable People” pretty much solidify that Pity Sex is in fact an emo band. For White Hot Moon, the bits and pieces of shoegaze and rock influences make for an exciting listen, and the male and female vocals trading off on most tracks makes for an emotional and captivating listen.
Programm – A Torrid Marriage of Logic and Emotion
The Hand Recordings
Fueled by a strong female presence brooding with serene grace amidst dark synths and grooving bass, Programm return with a short but powerful full length in A Torrid Marriage of Logic and Emotion. Take it for what it’s worth; as wordy as the album title is, the music is equally complex, presenting layers of sound and shoegaze undertones, yet an overarching beauty on tracks like “Everything at Once” with Jackie Game’s lush vocals providing intense beauty in the music.
Suuns – Hold/Still
Hold/Still is an interesting listen. Songs tease the essence of a big buildup likely leading into an explosion of sound, yet the music never seems to get there. Rather, the blend of electronic noise and reverb-soaked guitars target a different kind of response, one of wavy uneasiness in the picking guitar of “Resistance”, or the brooding noisiness of “Translate”.
Be sure to check out these other April reviews…