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    1. The Sharp Things photo by Alex Brown
      11 December 2013

      The Sharp Things: Grand Ambition

      Bandleader Perry Serpa on the NYC ensemble’s four-album series and the special challenges of running a rock orchestra.

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      23 October 2013

      DTCV: Class Clown Goes To Hilarious Heaven

      We speak to the always-funny James Greer about his band DTCV’s stunning new album, Hilarious Heaven.

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      19 August 2013

      Overseas - Overseas (Self-Released)

      What do you get when you put Will Johnson, David Bazan, and brothers Matt and Bubba Kadane in a recording studio?

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      15 August 2013

      Math and Physics Club - "Long Drag" c/w "Across the Paper" (Matinee Recordings)

      Seattle-based indie-poppers tease the ears of listeners with a quick two-song blast of pop!

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      13 August 2013

      The Moondoggies - Adios I'm A Ghost (Hardly Art)

      Seattle-based band The Moondoggies return with one of the finest musical experiences of 2013.

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      18 July 2013

      Roger Eno/Plumbline - Endless City/Concrete (Hydrogen Dukebox)

      Roger Eno’s latest—and a second collaboration with the group Plumbline—is a fine (if not unsurprising) collection of ambient compositions and gentle melodies.

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      15 July 2013

      Eddie Spaghetti - The Value of Nothing (Bloodshot Records)

      Eddie Spaghetti offers up his first-ever solo album of all-original material, and though it’s a fun ride, underneath the sexy cover art, you’ll hear some of his deepest, most introspective—and best—songwriting to date.

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      12 July 2013

      Scout Niblett - It's Up to Emma (Drag City)

      Scout Niblett’s latest release is a journey into heartbreak, anger, jealousy, desire, and revenge—resulting in one of the darkest albums released this year.

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      8 July 2013

      Locust - You'll Be Safe Forever (Editions Mego)

      Electronica composer Mark van Hoen returns with the first new Locust album in twelve years, and it continues the exotic experimentalist group’s legacy.

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      29 May 2013

      A Brief Conversation With Parlour Flames

      We have a nice, brief chat with Vinny Peculiar and Paul “Bonehead” Arthurs about their debut album, their new project, and the specter of the past.

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      27 May 2013

      Eisley - Currents (Equal Vision Records)

      Texas-based sibling band Eisley return with their fourth album, one that shows a band that has matured greatly since their stunning third album, The Valley.

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      24 May 2013

      JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound - Howl (Bloodshot Records)

      JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound’s third album finds them eschewing most of the 60s-inspired retro soul of their previous album, in favor of a contemporary style that is much sexier and romantic. This is a very good thing.

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      22 May 2013

      Drivin' N Cryin' - Songs From The Psychedelic Time Clock (Almost Gone Records)

      Drivin’ n’ Cryin’ are on a roll with this, their third thematically-linked EP released in the last year. This time, they take on psych-rock, and do so with aplomb.

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      20 May 2013

      Sanguine Hum: The Progressive Progress of Collaboration

      We have a chat with Matt Baber and Joff Winks of British-based Sanguine Hum, wherein we discuss the band’s recording process, their latest album, and the continuum of their friendship and musical collaborations.

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      Moondoggies
      15 May 2013

      Big Takeover exclusive: "Red Eye" by The Moondoggies

      Big Takeover is proud to debut the first single from Seattle-based The Moondoggies‘ third album, Adios I’m A Ghost.

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      it hugs back
      30 April 2013

      Exclusive U.S. premiere: Recommended Record by it hugs back

      Big Takeover is proud to present the exclusive first listen to the third album by British indie-rockers it hugs back! Click through for an interview with bandleader (and Wire guitarist) Matthew Simms.

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      24 April 2013

      The Chapin Sisters - A Date With The Everly Brothers

      The second duo to take on the mighty Everly Brothers catalog, the Chapin Sisters offer up new takes on old familiar hits.

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      22 April 2013

      Luke Winslow-King - The Coming Tide (Bloodshot Records)

      Luke Winslow-King’s third album is reissued by Bloodshot Records and serves as a great introduction to a talented young man.

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      8 April 2013

      David Grubbs - The Plain Where The Palace Stood (Drag City)

      Masterful experimental artist David Grubbs turns in a lovely little new album, a little poppy, a little instrumental, and a whole lotta enjoyable.

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      8 April 2013

      The Orange Peels: The Sunny Dark Side of the Sun Moon

      Sunny indie-pop composer Allen Clapp’s latest album with his band The Orange Peels will shock longtime fans. We talk with Clapp about this darker direction and about taking risks with an established sound.

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      5 April 2013

      Video Premiere: Parlour Flames, "Manchester Rain"

      Big Takeover is proud to present the debut video from Parlour Flames, the new project of former Oasis guitarist Paul “Bonehead” Arthurs. Enjoy!

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      5 April 2013

      Ellen Allien - LISm (BPitch Control)

      Veteran electronica composer Ellen Allien offers up her soundtrack from a commissioned ballet, reworked into a single 45-minute track, resulting in an interesting listening experience.

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      3 April 2013

      Big Country - The Journey (Cherry Red)

      One of the biggest surprises of 2013 is the sudden return of Big Country, with The Alarm’s Mike Peters taking the place of the late Stuart Adamson. Peters superbly fits and he reinvigorates the band, resulting in one of the best records in the Big Country discography.

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      1 April 2013

      Generationals - Heza (Polyvinyl Recording Co.)

      New Orleans-based duo Generationals return with their third album and finds the band soldiering on with their always enjoyable, catchy upbeat pop songwriting style.

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      1 April 2013

      Mudhoney - Vanishing Point (Sub Pop)

      For their ninth album, Mudhoney offers absolutely nothing new, and thank goodness for that!

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      29 March 2013

      Benoit Pioulard - Hymns (Kranky)

      Benoit Pioulard’s fourth album for Kranky finds mastermind Thomas Meluch carrying on in his psychedelic folk tradition, while blending in the styles of his more experimental releases of the last few years.

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      28 March 2013

      Joanna Gruesome - "Do You Really Wanna Know Why Yr Still In Love With Me" c/w "Lemonade Grrl" (HHBTM)

      This young Cardiff-based indiepop quintet’s music lives up to its clever name.

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      27 March 2013

      Brokeback - Brokeback and the Black Rock (Thrill Jockey)

      Douglas McCombs’ resurrects his solo Brokeback moniker after a decade-long hiatus, and the album is an enjoyable—but too brief—return to form.

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      26 March 2013

      Wax Idols - Discipline & Desire (Slumberland Records)

      After releasing the excellent No Future, Oakland-based Wax Idols’ second album eschews that album’s punk-rock sound in favor of some of the best post-punk inspired music you’re likely to hear this year.

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      26 March 2013

      Bam!Bam! - "Golden Haze 2" (HHBTM)

      Oakland duo Bam will remind you of very good things, whilst charming you with this four-song EP.

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      6 March 2013

      Lady Lamb the Beekeeper - Ripely Pine (Ba Da Bing)

      Though she’s released music for the past few years, Ripely Pine is the debut proper for Aly Spaltro, and it’s a stunner.

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      4 March 2013

      Integrity Is The Reason: The Story of Texas Is The Reason

      On the heels of a reissue of their sole album and a farewell series of shows, we talk with Norman Brannon, guitarist for the highly regarded band Texas Is The Reason, about their past and their present.

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      4 March 2013

      The Brilliant Corners - Heart On Your Sleeve: A Decade in Pop 1983-1993 (Cherry Red)

      The superb and prolific Bristol-based indiepop band The Brilliant Corners finally gets the comprehensive singles collection it has long deserved, and is an essential compilation for both longtime fans and newcomer.

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      25 February 2013

      Wayne Hancock - Ride (Bloodshot Records)

      Texas bar-rock legend Wayne Hancock releases another fine slab of his masterful blend of Texas swing, country, and roots rock.

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      20 February 2013

      Pearl Necklace - Soft Opening (Smalltown Supersound)

      Brooklyn-based Pearl Necklace’s debut is an enjoyable introduction to a young, talented duo.

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      18 February 2013

      Dawn McCarthy & Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - What the Brothers Sang (Drag City)

      Dawn McCarthy and Will Oldham team up for a tribute to the Everly Brothers, and in turn, they turn in one of the year’s best records.

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      12 February 2013

      Pissed Jeans - Honeys (Sub Pop)

      Pennsylvania’s Pissed Jeans’ fourth album offers longtime listeners absolutely nothing new, and thank goodness for that!

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      6 February 2013

      Air Review - Low Wishes (Velvet Blue Music/Spune)

      Though Dallas-based Air Review’s influences weigh heavy on the listener, there’s something enjoyable and special about this young band’s debut album.

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      4 February 2013

      Lights & Motion - Reanimation (Deep Elm)

      Deep Elm presents another amazing instrumental post-rock record, this time the Swedish-based Lights & Motion.

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      1 February 2013

      Dan Friel - Total Folklore (Thrill Jockey)

      Just because it initially sounds like noise, the latest record by experimentalist Dan Friel is an compellingly enjoyable experience.

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      28 January 2013

      Parquet Courts - Light Up Gold (What's Your Rupture?)

      Parquet Courts is the offspring of the Brooklyn-via-Denton duo Fergus & Geronimo; instead of that band’s often confounding weirdness and diversity, this is a satisfyingly straightforward rock effort.

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      25 January 2013

      The History of Apple Pie - Out of View (Marshall Teller Records)

      British-based quintet The History of Apple Pie offer up sweet, potent shoegazer-style dream pop on their impressive debut.

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      23 January 2013

      Our Lost Infantry - The New Art History (Deep Elm)

      British newcomers Our Lost Infantry’s debut album is a potent mix of powerful singing and heavy instrumentation, a winning combination.

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      21 January 2013

      Tunabunny - Genius Fatigue (HHBTM)

      Athens’s Tunabunny’s third album is a powerful blast of post-punk fury, and is the band’s strongest statement to date.

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      18 January 2013

      Lindstrom - Smalhans (Smalltown Supersound)

      The second album of 2012 from busy Norwegian producer Lindstrom marks a return to his more club-friendly, groove-oriented sound.

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      18 January 2013

      Nicholas Szczepanik - La Luna del Este (Self-Release)

      Ambient composer Nicholas Szczepanik quietly released a 43 minute drone piece over the holidays, and it’s worth seeking out.

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      16 January 2013

      Drivin' N Cryin' - Songs About Cars, Space, and The Ramones (New! Records)

      EP number two in Drivin’ N Cryin’s four-ep saga, and this one is another powerful bolt of hard rock, Southern boogie, and just plain’ ol’ good time music.

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      14 January 2013

      Del Shannon "Home and Away" (Now Sounds)

      The long-lost masterpiece of pop singer Del Shannon sees the respectable reissue it has long deserved.

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      13 January 2013

      The Vulnerable Boys of The Mommyheads

      Long-running and prolific band The Mommyheads’ latest effort is a radical, shocking departure from their long-familiar sound. Adam Elk talks about their stunning new album and what led them to making a prog-pop record.

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      2 January 2013

      Sam Rosenthal - Tanzmusik (Projekt)

      Tanzmusik is a reissue of Projekt mastermind Sam Rosenthal’s 1985 recordings, and is a fascinating portrait of an artist as a young man.

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      5 December 2012

      Mad Music - Mad Music (Drag City)

      Drag City gives the world another lost gem of an album, this time a proto-New Age 1970s recording by a mysteriously anonymous force known only as Mad Music.

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      4 December 2012

      The Gil Evans Orchestra - Plays the Music of Jimi Hendrix (Fivefour/Cherry Red)

      Reissue of jazz master Gil Evans’ tribute to Jimi Hendrix fulfills a collaboration that was meant to happen but never came to pass, due to Hendrix’s sudden death.

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      26 October 2012

      R. Ring - "Fallout & Fire" c/w "See" (Misra Records)

      R_Ring is Kelly Deal’s first new solo project in nearly a decade, and this debut single is a promising blast of rock and roll.

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      19 October 2012

      Euros Childs - Summer Special (National Elf)

      The seventh solo album from former Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci leader Euros Childs finds him doing what he does best: writing simple, sweetly-sung pop songs.

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      17 October 2012

      Martin Eden - Dedicate Function (Lefse Records)

      Matthew Cooper steps away from behind his Eluvium project—for a new, dance-oriented electronica project. It was a bold gambit, and it pays off.

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      15 October 2012

      Jason Lytle: Get Up and Go!

      We talk with Jason Lytle about his lovely new album, his philosophy of nature, his thoughts on touring, and what he’d like to do in the future.

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      12 October 2012

      James Iha - Look To The Sky (The End)

      James Iha’s second solo album in 14 years picks up where his lovely debut left off, while enlisting friends to help him explore slightly more uptempo songs, resulting in one of this year’s loveliest listens.

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      10 October 2012

      Django Django - Django Django (Ribbon Music)

      This Scottish group’s self-titled debut offers up a plethora of songs that blend retro and modern sounds for a trippy, groove-laden pop that satisfies.

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      8 October 2012

      loscil - Sketches from New Brighton (Kranky)

      loscil’s latest album is a collection of gentle, delicate ambient compositions.

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      5 October 2012

      Rangda - Formerly Extinct (Drag City)

      Sir Richard Bishop and Ben Chasny team up once again for a loud, raucous jam session that they call Rangda. Expect noisy, trippy things.

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      3 October 2012

      The Album Leaf - Forward/Return (Self-Released)

      Jimmy LaValle’s latest Album Leaf record is a mini-album that finds him revisiting the instrumental style that made his early records so satisfying.

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      1 October 2012

      Mount Eerie - Ocean Roar (PW Elverum & Sun)

      Mount Eerie’s second album of the year, a counterpart to the beautiful Clear Moon, stands in stark contrast to that beautiful record, while exuding a dark, dank beauty all its own.

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      28 September 2012

      Bart and Friends - There May Come a Time (Matinee)/It's Not the Words That You Say (Shelflife)

      Australian indie-popper Bart Cummings’ infrequent Bart and Friends releases two lovely little EPs that add up to a dozen sunny, heartfelt indie-pop tunes. Pam Berry guests.

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      26 September 2012

      Lights Out Asia - Hy-Brasil (n5md)

      Long-running atmospheric rock band Lights Out Asia’s fifth album finds the band honing their sound even further, creating a sound that’s moody yet accessible.

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      24 September 2012

      Azure Blue: Third Time's The Charm!

      We talk with Swedish artist Tobias Isaksson, whose third band, Azure Blue, is a radical departure from his lovely sunshine pop of previous bands Irene and Laurel Music; his story is enhanced by the surprising commercial and critical success in Sweden and around the world.

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      21 September 2012

      Eric Copeland - Limbo (Underwater Peoples)

      You lookin’ for weirdness? You came to the right place.

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      19 September 2012

      Firewater - International Orange (Bloodshot)

      Firewater’s first new album in four years finds Tod A in fine, devilishly clever form.

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      17 September 2012

      it hugs back: a party laughing all the way to the bank

      Matthew Sims, leader of British band it hugs back, discusses the struggles and the hassles behind the making of their fine sophomore album, Laughing Party.

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      14 September 2012

      The Dandelion War - We Were Always Loyal to Lost Causes (Deep Elm)

      California-based The Dandelion War’s second album took two years to make, and the results show that it was well worth the wait.

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      13 September 2012

      Dreamscape - La-Di-Da Recordings (Kranky)

      Kranky does the world a great service by compiling the complete recordings for the La Di Da label by this long-lost, obscure British dreampop trio, a side project of Secret Shine.

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      5 September 2012

      Angelo Moore - Brand New Step c/w FleshSexSkinDeathLustLove (Ninth Street Opus)

      Fishbone frontman Angelo Moore releases a fun summer solo single that’s as jaunty and energetic as his onstage appearances.

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      3 September 2012

      Various Artists - Fac. Dance 2 (Strut Records)

      Second volume of a series dedicating to highlighting the catalog of Factory Records. Eschewing the big names for the lesser-known bands and one-offs, this collection is exciting, fresh, and essential.

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      24 August 2012

      Mungolian Jetset - Mungodelics (Smalltown Supersound)

      Norwegian electronic weirdos Mungolian Jetset’s third album is a collection of collaborations and remixes and cements their legacy as makers of odd yet satisfying music.

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      23 August 2012

      Six Organs of Admittance - Ascent (Drag City)

      Ben Chasny’s long-running solo project finds him reuniting with former Comets on Fire mates, and the result is his band’s loudest, heaviest rock record.

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      17 August 2012

      Factory Star - New Sacral (Occultation)

      British post-punk veteran Martin Bramah’s band releases an EP with two distinctive, satisfying styles.

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      15 August 2012

      Again, For The Win - We've Been Here Forever (Deep Elm)

      Austin, Texas-based Again, For The Win offer up a second album of powerful, loud, grand atmospheric rock and roll.

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      13 August 2012

      Dead Can Dance - Anastasis (PIAS America)

      The duo of Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry return with their first new album of new material in sixteen years. It’s one of this year’s finest comeback albums.

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      10 August 2012

      Drivin' N Cryin' - Songs from the Laundromat (Self-Released)

      Southern rockers Drivin’ N Cryin’ release the first of four EP, and from the sound of it, it’s a strong return to form.

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      8 August 2012

      Mount Eerie - Clear Moon (PW Elverum & Sun)

      Phil Elverum’s latest Mount Eerie release is the first of two volumes of dense, dark, and beautiful records.

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      6 August 2012

      Laetitia Sadier - Silencio (Drag City)

      Stereolab’s Laetitia Sadier’s second solo album offers no surprises, nor is it surprising that it’s one of the summer’s coolest, most sophisticated albums.

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      5 August 2012

      Steve Barton - Projector (Self-Released)

      Transistor leader Steve Barton took a creative risk by releasing an album of raw, quickly-recorded songs on which he played all instruments. The risk was worth it.

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      3 August 2012

      Doug Jerebine - Is Jesse Harper (Drag City)

      Once again Drag City scours the cemetery of lost recordings and pulls up a real treasure, this time an unreleased album from New Zealand’s Doug Jerebine.

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      1 August 2012

      Ex Confusion - Embrace (n5md)

      Japanese minimalist composer Atsuhito Omori has composed an album worth of romantic, tranquil instrumentals that will help you beat the heat and relax.

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      2 July 2012

      Howlin Rain: Ethan Miller and the Art of Sequencing

      Ethan Miller, leader of San Francisco-based Howlin Rain, talks about the making of his band’s exciting new album, and the art of sequencing albums.

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      25 June 2012

      The June Brides "A January Moon" c/w "Cloud" (Slumberland/Occultation)

      Hurray! Hurrah! Yippee! Yay! Huzzah! Phil Wilson took us to heart, reformed The June Brides, and here it is, their first new single in 26 years!!! It’s GREAT!!!!!

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      25 June 2012

      Blues Control - Valley Tangents (Drag City)

      Pennsylvania-based experimental duo Blues Control release their first record on new label Drag City, eschewing the heavier, proggier moments of their previous releases for a light, restrained, and extremely mellow record.

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      13 June 2012

      CocoRosie "We Are On Fire" c/w "Tearz for Animals" (Touch & Go)

      Sister duo CocoRosie release a brand new vinyl single with two strong songs; the big news, however, is that it is a new release on dormant label Touch & Go.

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      11 June 2012

      The Lovely and Surprising New Sounds of Dent May

      Mississippi-based Dent May eschews everything that made his debut album so charming—specifically, his ukulele—and he discusses with us why he left it behind, and the making of his pleasant follow-up record.

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      6 June 2012

      Ólafur Arnalds - Another Happy Day OST (Erased Tapes)

      Icelandic composer ├ôlafur Arnalds’s soundtrack to Sam Levinson’s film is a subtle, sublime collection of melancholy instrumentals.

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      1 June 2012

      Isaac Joel - Back to Bassics (Self-Released)

      Pomegranates bass-player prefaces the band’s forthcoming album with a six-song cassette of solo bass explorations.

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      30 May 2012

      Joel Gion - S/T (Burger Records)

      Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me!

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      25 May 2012

      Toro Y Moi - June 2009 (Carpark)

      Toro y Moi’s third album is actually a collection of baby photos of the nascent electronica pop group, and though it’s a bit different in sound to their previous two albums, it’s still an enjoyable listen.

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      23 May 2012

      Dope Body - Natural History (Drag City)

      Baltimore-based Dope Body’s Drag City debut is a fun, furious throwback to the sounds of the Northwest circa 1990.

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      21 May 2012

      Sophia Knapp: The Leader of the Pack

      Brooklyn’s Sophia Knapp’s music has a timeless quality about it, and is evocative of a simpler era. Here, she discusses her own musical background and love of simple pop music.

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      18 May 2012

      fIREHOSE - lowFLOWs: The Columbia Anthology ('91-'93) (Sony Legacy)

      A repackaging of fIREHOSE’s major-label albums plus related B-sides and EPs proves that their surprising signing to Columbia was no fluke for either the band or the label.

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      16 May 2012

      Stephen Hummel - MELD (Self-Released)

      The mastermind behind SubtractiveLAD delivers his hinted-at solo debut album, and it’s a stunning departure from the ambient and neoclassical work of the past.

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      14 May 2012

      Orcas: A Rainy-Day Haze

      Haze-loving minimalist pop songwriter Benoit Pioulard discusses his latest project, a collaborative duo that finds him expanding and developing on his distinctive songwriting.

      Read more...

      2 May 2012

      Orange Cake Mix - silver wind and stars (Self-Released)

      After a decade of silence,the once highly prolific Jim Rao breaks his silence with a dozen—yes, a dozen—new albums released over the past few weeks; this one is merely a microcosm for the Orange Cake Mix scene, and a great introduction to a long-thought-lost artist.

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      30 April 2012

      Father John Misty - Fear Fun (Sub Pop)

      J. Tillmann leaves Fleet Foxes and his solo sound behind, in favor of a rollicking, straightforward style that is, simply, a delight for the listener.

      Read more...

    2. Joseph Kyle’s Top 10

      Week of September 11

      Youtube faves of mine.

      1. Meat Loaf: “Paradise By The Dashboard Light” (Live on Old Grey Whistle Test)

      2. Public Image Ltd, “Poptones/Careering” (Live on American Bandstand, May 1980)

      3. Brian Jonestown Massacre “That Girl Suicide” (Live at Emo’s, Austin, Texas, 2009)

      4. Throwing Muses “Bright Yellow Gun,” (Live on The Word, 1995)

      5. John Lennon, Harry Nilsson, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, and friends “Lucille” (From A Toot and a Snore in ’74”)

      6. The Kinks “Lola” (Live on Top of the Pops 1970)

      7. Nico, “All Tomorrow’s Parties”

      8. The Verve, “Gravity Grave” (Live in Chicago, 1993)

      9. Throwing Muses, “Rabbits Dying” (Live in Providence, 1987)

      10. Grandaddy, “Nature Anthem”

      About Joseph Kyle

      Born and raised in a Midwest cultural wasteland in the early 1970s, Joseph Kyle came of age in the pathetic 1980s, his life being permanently changed in 1985 when he first saw Yellow Submarine on a rainy Sunday afternoon. He quickly learned that joining the speech team meant trips to big cities, using the state-provided per diems not for food, but for trips to the local record shops, purchasing wonderful magazines such as Reflex, Forced Exposure, Alternative Press, and, wa-ho, The Big Takeover. Jump to the 1990s and and our hero is now booking shows, working in record stores, putting together ‘zines, and being a lover of all things musical. In the 21st Century, our kid has written for Pitchfork Media, Under the Volcano, and Punk Planet, as well as heading up Mundane Sounds and Press Play, Record. After a brief retirement, he returned to documenting his love of music for the esteemed Dagger. It is an honor and a pleasure to serve you, dear BTO reader.

      Mr. Kyle can be reached at: mundanesounds@gmail.com