Friday, September 05, 2014

While I Was Out: The Top 10 Releases I Missed While On Paternity Leave

For the past month I have been off work and totally unplugged from the blogosphere to be on paternity leave with my beautiful wife Jenna and our first child, Bennett.  It was an amazing time - despite the lack of sleep – and now I am back to work and missing that little guy.
While I was out there was a ton of great music released and to catch up, here is my list of the top 10 releases during my brief hiatus, listed in alphabetical order.

EDJEDJ (Eric D. Johnson of the Fruit Bats released his debut solo album under the moniker EDJ.  The new album - his most personal yet - highlights his high tenor and penchant for blending Beatles-esque pop with quirky, Country-leaning indie folk and is out now via Easy Sound.  Eric also welcomed guests such as James Mercer of The Shins, Andy Cabic of Vetiver, Tim Rutili from Califone and Nathan Larson of Shudder to Think to help shape the sound of the album.)

Entombed A.D.Back To The Front (Vocalist LG Petrov, an original member of the pioneering Swedish death metal band has put together a new version of the band under the moniker, Entombed A.D.  The new album out now on Century Media retains their inimitable groove-heavy sludge-thick riffs and LG’s distinct growl but with some modern twists such as gang vocals and sharp hooks.)

Frontier(s)White Light EP (The Louisville based band is led by former Elliott and Falling Forward front man Chris Higdon and Matt Wieder of Mouthpiece and The Enkindels.  Their highly-anticipated new 5-song EP was released via Tiny Engines and features a more streamlined and hook-driven sound that touches on the atmospherics of Elliott and the athemic thrust of Mouthpiece.)

J MascisTied To A Star (J returns with his second stunning solo set, out now on Sub Pop.  The acoustic-based - save for some of his signature guitar solos - folk songs perfectly contrast with his Dinosaur Jr output.  The album also features appearances by Ken Maiuri, Pall Jenkins, Mark Mulcahy, and Chan Marshall.)

Pelican Arktika (The Chicago-based instrumental post-metal band recently ended a 4 year hiatus with their excellent new album, Forever Becoming and have now self-released their first live album, Arktika.  Recorded in Russia, the album includes highlights from across their catalog and showcases the band’s thunderous live power.)

The RentalsLost in Alphaville (Matt Sharp - along with a host of guests including Patrick Carney of The Black Keys and Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig of Lucius - returns with the long-awaited third album out now on Polyvinyl Records.  The 16 year-old still inside of me can’t get enough of the vintage synths, fuzzy bass-led rhythms and close-knit vocal harmonies!)     

RubblebucketSurvival Sounds (The dynamic Brooklyn art-pop released their third full-length and label debut for Communion Records.  Produced and mixed by John Congleton (St. Vincent, Modest Mouse) the album retains their use of clever arrangements, off-kilter rhythms, bright melodies and punchy brass and synths but with a little more polish for their best effort yet.)

Shy Boys45 (Hot on the heels of their acclaimed self-titled debut album released earlier this year, the K.C. surf-pop trio return with a new single via High Dive Records.  The A-side “Life Is Peachy” is another rip-roaring burst of 60’s inspired pop and the B-side, “Follow The Leader” is a bit more mellow yet just as melodic.) Listen here:

Sleeping GiantFinished People (The Salt Lake City-based Christian metalcore kingpins return with their highly-anticipated new album out now on Century Media Records.  The passion and power of their music and the positivity and direct spirituality is unsurpassed in the genre.)     

SpoonThey Want My Soul (The indie rock vets released their excellent eighth album last month via their new label Loma Vista.  With their best album in a while, they show no signs of slowing down.)    


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