Feb 27, 2012 Music Web Exclusive

The title of Perfume Genius' second album may suggest exertion, and the first sound you hear when you listen to it is a deep, labored breath, but the music's execution and emotional impact feel more like letting go. More

Feb 26, 2012 Music Web Exclusive

Over its last two albums, Montréal trio Plants and Animals grew from lush, folk-inspired songwriters to more experimental, rock 'n' roll animals. For as light, airy, and nuanced as 2008's Parc Avenue was, 2010's La La Land was in equal measure in your face and electrified. Plants and Animals' latest album largely splits the difference between those two albums. More

Feb 24, 2012 Music Issue #39 - Best of 2011

Beth Jeans Houghton possesses both the hooks and looks of a star. However, the British singer seems too busy dismantling the folk comparisons that dogged her early EPs to care.  More

Lambchop

Mr. M

Merge

Feb 23, 2012 Music Web Exclusive

Lambchop are exactly the kind of artists the word "singular" was invented for, operating on their own wavelength in a city of rather strong wavelengthsNashvillefor two decades now. More

Cursive

I Am Gemini

Saddle Creek

Feb 22, 2012 Music Web Exclusive

I Am Gemini finds Cursive rediscovering both the fractured riffing of their earliest albums and the grand conceptual bent of albums such as The Ugly Organ, bolstered by the big, heavy production talents of Matt Bayles (Mastodon, Isis, The Sword) and the big, heavy thematic inclinations of frontman Tim Kasher, who whipped up a little two-act play for the occasion. More

Feb 21, 2012 Music Web Exclusive

"Push it! Push it! Push it! True shred guitar!" Sleigh Bells' Alexis Krauss screams in the first track of Reign of Terror, splaying the album's M.O. clear and (oh-so-staggeringly) loud. If 2010's Treats was an experiment in excessive volume, this is their demonstration of excessive force. Reign of Terror packs a visceral wallop, at moments far more bruising than anything on its predecessor. More

Feb 20, 2012 Music Web Exclusive

Ex-Dum Dum Girls, Crystal Stilts, and Vivian Girls member  Frankie Rose certainly has an impressive pedigree. On her 2010 self-titled debut album with ad hoc band The Outs, she cribbed liberally from the oeuvres of her former bands, crafting a record laden with copious reverb and Spector-esque girl group hooks. More

Sharon Van Etten

Tramp

Jagjaguwar

Feb 16, 2012 Music Web Exclusive

Sharon Van Etten's last album, Epic, was a way forward for her, both musically and psychologically. That album featured her first stab at warm, bristling full-band arrangements and a heavy dose of emotional bloodletting following a rather traumatic break-up (one of the ex's most egregious and repeated crimes was telling Van Etten she was a lousy songwriter/musician). More

Feb 16, 2012 Music Web Exclusive

Shearwater’s three-album cycle that started with 2006’s Palo Santo and closed with 2010’s The Golden Archipelago—dubbed by the band as “The Island Arc”—explored a single musical and emotional commonwealth, driven by lush, almost progressive instrumentation and frontman Jonathan Meiburg’s affecting vocals. More