Jul 28, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

After addressing the '60s on Under the Covers Vol. 1, Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs direct their musical tribute to the '70s on Vol. 2. Like Vol. 1, this album features able renditions of classic tracks from Grateful Dead ("Sugar Magnolia"), John Lennon ("Gimme Some Truth"), Big Star ("Back of a Car"), Rod Stewart ("Maggie May"), Todd Rundgren ("Hello It's Me" and "Couldn't I Just Tell You"), and a slew of others. More

Jul 27, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

Stop the World begins with a harbinger of the destruction to come: the slow pop and hiss of a turntable. This reminder of vinyl's fragility quickly erupts into what the London noise rock duo once described to me as "an apocalypse of love harps." More

Jul 26, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

If this summer didn't already have a glut of anthems to soundtrack your next sunburn, Slumberland Records have some indie pop heroes to introduce to you. Summer Cats stick their feet in the door before the fall turns on their winsome debut, Songs For Tuesdays. The Melbourne quintet’s aesthetic is a teen angst-addled conflation of Stereolab’s thrust and The Smiths’ melancholia. Throwing in references to several C86 groups helps too. More

Jul 24, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

Musical mastermind Patrick Watson—a recipient of Canada’s Polaris Prize in 2007—has returned in 2009 to offer up Wooden Arms. A dreamy collection of lush and inspired arrangements, Wooden Arms recalls Andrew Bird’s warm, delicate vocal range and intricate instrumentation. More

Moderat

Moderat

BPitch Control

Jul 23, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

Moderat, the amalgamation of German electronic suits Apparat and Modeselektor, has returned after an abrupt split back in 2002, and this eponymous debut reveals influences drawn from dubstep, ambient techno, and glitch. More

Jul 21, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

If audiences in 1969 were used to LPs built around 3-minute hit singles, the musical landscape of 2009 is one of dwindling record sales and endlessly shuffling MP3 players. Four decades have passed since its original release, but Isaac Hayes’ Hot Buttered Soul remains resolutely sui generis. Its four tracksthe longest of which reaches well over 18 minutesmakes for a radical, revolutionary masterpiece.

More

Royal City

1999- 2004

Asthmatic Kitty

Jul 21, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

The first song on this compilation is the promising "Here Comes Success." This is no coincidence. Despite their promise and talent, Royal City didn't make it. They skirted the spotlight, never quite connecting with a wide audience for whatever reason. Arcade Fire opened for them. Constantines shared their label. Sufjan Stevens was a fan (as evidenced by his putting out this record). And yet, Royal City didn't find their place. More

Lights

Rites

Drag City

Jul 20, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

Brooklyn's Lights certainly concocts a strange sonic stew on its second album. It starts off with the swirling psychedelia of "Heavy Drops," which segues into the jumpy guitar groove of "Can You Hear Me," a track that includes a lazy sax solo that sounds like it was sampled from Billy Joel's The Stranger. More

Jul 17, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

The debut full-length from Discovery, the long-gestating hipster R&B project from Rostam Batmanglij (Vampire Weekend) and Wes Miles (Ra Ra Riot), is a little boring. Listeners need look no further than the cover art, an agreeable, organized grid of Ellsworth Kelly-esque pastel blocks that promise non-threatening, vaguely ironic fun. More