Jun 11, 2012 Music Issue #41 - Yeasayer

Any fan of soul has to be thankful for Damon Albarn entering the life of Bobby Womack. Not only did Albarn feature Womack on a couple of Gorillaz tunes from Plastic Beach, but he also co-produced the veteran soul man's first album of new material in 18 years. More

Patti Smith

Banga

Columbia

Jun 08, 2012 Music Issue #41 - Yeasayer

"We danced naked as they baptized in the rain of the new world," Patti Smith incants at the denouement of "Amerigo," the opening number of her 11th proper studio album Banga. The track's a gentle clarion call, a pensive, gently sawing mid-tempo ballad, intimating the metaphysical in a manner akin to "Dancing Barefoot," Smith's classic from 1978's Wave. But this album never panders to cheap nostalgia. More

Man Without Country

Foe

Lost Balloon/Cooperative Music

Jun 07, 2012 Music Issue #41 - Yeasayer

It's nice to know Air's 10,000 Hz Legend robot is still getting work. The eerie modulated voice kicks in on Foe's title track, ominously whispering against a lush bed of dated synths, "Injustice will not stand/For every bomb that you diffuse, I will plant another." Like a Greek chorus, the voice is brought in several times throughout the record's 10 tracksits mechanical acid tongue often delivering the headiest of blows. More

Friends

Manifest!

Fat Possum

Jun 06, 2012 Music Issue #41 - Yeasayer

Friends' debut record has a stereoscopic cover straight out of the 1890s and a sound firmly rooted in the 1980s. Lead singer Samantha Urbani and multi-instrumentalist Lesley Hann front the Brooklyn five-piece, whose catty pop funk single "I'm His Girl" and the Missing Persons-esque "Friend Crush" made splashes in the blogosphere in late 2011. More

Liars

WIXIW

Mute

Jun 05, 2012 Music Issue #41 - Yeasayer

WIXIW opens with a big synthesizer string pad, an electro kick drum, some chopped-up snare, and Angus Andrew's melodic meanderings, soon joined by some faint IDM handclap rhythms. More

The Mynabirds

GENERALS

Saddle Creek

Jun 04, 2012 Music Issue #41 - Yeasayer

What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood, the debut album by The Mynabirds (the project of Laura Burhenn after the breakup of her band Georgie James), was a wonderful song cycle of soulful Motown-esque pop R&B.  More

Jun 01, 2012 Music Issue #41 - Yeasayer

Mark Kozelek, the mastermind of Sun Kil Moon, and ex of the seminal '90s act Red House Painters, is a progenitor of what went on to be known as slowcore music. Kozelek sadly never got his due during his prior band's heyday, but there's been something of a renaissance of appreciation lately. More

May 31, 2012 Music Issue #41 - Yeasayer

It's been three years since Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros carved out an interesting creative niche with their 2009 debut album, Up From Below. In the '60s, three years could mean everything to a folk-oriented act, though the lofty pursuits of artists like Bob Dylan and Phil Ochs are leagues away from those of The Magnetic Zeros. More

Marissa Nadler

The Sister

Box of Cedar

May 30, 2012 Music Issue #41 - Yeasayer

There's an old joke about the difference between American and European films. European films-so it goes-can open with an endless montage of clouds. American films? If you don't immediately cut to an exploding airliner, you've lost your audience. More