Category: Alternative Indie Rock

Yo la Tengo – Fakebook

Yo la Tengo – Fakebook       John Dougan: ‘Recommending Fakebook as the best place to begin a relationship with Yo La Tengo is slightly disingenuous, mainly because Yo La Tengo has never made another record like it, and perhaps never will. So, as completely wonderful as this record is, it’s an accurate representation […]

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Herman Düne – Mas Cambios

Herman Düne – Mas Cambios       Stewart Mason: ‘French-Swedish anti-folk trio Herman Düne recorded 2003’s Mas Cambios, their third album, in New York in the company of local scene heavyweights like Jack Lewis (brother and collaborator of Jeffrey Lewis), Turner Cody, and Diane Cluck. However, by this point in their career, the Herman […]

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Kent – Isola

Kent – Isola       Tommy Gunnarsson: ‘On Isola, their third album, Kent have really gone down in the melancholic swamp, and you could easily describe them as a cheap copy of Radiohead. Strangely enough, the first single to be taken from the album, “Om Du Var Har,” is the album’s only up-tempo track. […]

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Feist – Let it die

Feist – Let it die       MacKenzie Wilson: ‘Somewhere in between living with Peaches, playing guitar with By Divine Right, rapping with Chilly Gonzales, and singing with Broken Social Scene and Apostle of Hustle, Canadian songstress Feist started a solo career. Following up 1999’s self-released Monarch, Let It Die was recorded in Paris […]

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Grizzly Bear – Painted Ruins

Grizzly Bear – Painted Ruins       Heather Phares:   During the five years between Shields and Painted Ruins, the lives of Grizzly Bear’s members changed, thanks to marriage, children, and divorce. So did the way many listeners consume music, thanks to the advent of streaming music services and other advances. So if the band’s […]

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LCD Soundsystem – American Dream

LCD Soundsystem – American Dream       Tim Sendra: …  American Dream is an emotionally charged and tightly wound return, balancing bursts of dance-punk energy with post-punk moodiness and synth pop abstraction, powered by insistent beats and Murphy’s distinctive vocals. It’s an album made equally for the feet, the brain, and the heart, with […]

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The Bats – Daddy’s Highway

The Bats – Daddy’s Highway       Ned Raggett: ‘The Bats’ first full album continues the early promise of their EPs and, with only the slightest deviations and changes since, established their sound for just about everything that followed. Scott and company may not be the most willfully experimental of musicians, but when they’re […]

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Slowdive – Souvlaki

Slowdive – Souvlaki       Jack Rabid: ‘Though not as big and swirling as Just for a Day, there’s more of an attempt to put advanced song structure and melody in place rather than just craft infinitely appealing, occasionally thunderous mood music. Everything is simplified, as if Brian Eno’s presence on two songs — […]

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The National – Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers

The National – Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers       Tim DiGravina: ‘For a band that’s been compared to Joy Division, Leonard Cohen, Wilco, and Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, the National sure sounds a lot more like the Czars or Uncle Tupelo on this sophomore album Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers. …  Berninger […]

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The Acid – Liminal

The Acid – Liminal       Heather Phares: Even if they’re not billed as a supergroup, the Acid’s three members boast a formidable amount of talent (and other projects): Adam Freeland scored a hit single with 2003’s breakbeat-driven “We Want Your Soul” and remixed songs by Orbital and Silversun Pickups, among others; along with his […]

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The Wrens – The Meadowlands

The Wrens – The Meadowlands       Heather Phares: “The Wrens’ third album, The Meadowlands, is a sprawling, shifting affair, perhaps reflecting the fact that it took four years to create. It’s easy to take the sweet, slightly alt-country “13 Months in 6 Minutes” at face value — the song’s epic feel suggests the […]

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Phoenix – United

Phoenix – United       Jason Birchmeier: ‘On their debut album for Astralwerks/Source, Phoenix applies a slick electronica aesthetic to traditional pop/rock songwriting, resulting in a quite adventurous album capable of re-organizing perceptions about 1980s-style verse-chorus-verse guitar pop. Of course, the fact that the group members come from France gives them the necessary perspective […]

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The Shins – Wincing the Night Away

The Shins – Wincing the Night Away            Heather Phares: “The Shins will change your life!” That kind of proclamation is loaded with expectations when it’s just one friend talking up a band to another, but it’s magnified a thousandfold when Natalie Portman says it in a hit movie. The band’s […]

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Peter Broderick – Home

Peter Broderick – Home       Home is a collection of folk songs recorded at the end of 2007 and the beginning of 2008. In late 2007, Peter Broderick toured all around Europe with the Danish ensemble Efterklang, playing violin and opening the shows as a solo act. His recorded work up to this […]

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Bright Eyes – Fevers and Mirrors

Bright Eyes – Fevers and Mirrors       Fevers and Mirrors is the third album by the Nebraska indie band Bright Eyes, recorded in 1999 and released on May 29, 2000. It was the 32nd release of the Omaha, Nebraska-based record label Saddle Creek Records. The album was released later in 2000 in the […]

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Grandaddy – Under the Western freeway

Grandaddy – Under the Western freeway       Nitsuh Abebe: ‘Being from northern California, Grandaddy always gets compared to Pavement — and rightly so, in some respects — but this probably isn’t the best way to start on the band. Some of the tracks on Under the Western Freeway are more in the Weezer […]

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Beulah – The Coast Is Never Clear

Beulah – The Coast Is Never Clear       MacKenzie Wilson: ‘After the dazzling reception of 1999’s When Your Heartstrings Break, Beulah wasn’t concerned with following things up with something fashionable. The bandmembers were near masters of crafting the perfect pop song — for themselves — and quite comfortable with the process. The Coast […]

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Galaxie 500 – On Fire

Galaxie 500 – On Fire       Ned Raggett: ‘Having already made a fine account of themselves on Today, the three members of Galaxie 500 got even better with On Fire, recording another lovely classic of late ’80s rock. As with all the band’s work, Kramer once again handles the production, the perfect person […]

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Tom Waits – Mule Variations

Tom Waits – Mule Variations       Stephen Thomas Erlewine: ‘Tom Waits grew steadily less prolific after redefining himself as a junkyard noise poet with Swordfishtrombones, but the five-year wait between The Black Rider and 1999’s Mule Variations was the longest yet. Given the fact that Waits decided to abandon major labels for the […]

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Cranes – Forever

Cranes – Forever       Ned Raggett: ‘Bookended by two tracks that essentially are the same piece — “Everywhere,” a quicker, almost dancy number that still sounds uniquely Cranes, and the slower, stripped-down “Rainbows” — Forever finds Cranes moving from strength to strength. Having reached a new level of variety and elegant restraint combined […]

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