Mini-Beats – March 2010 – Edition 14

Shapes Stars MakeThese Mountains Are Safe (2010, self-released) ♥♥♥½
-clean, polished post-rock with the occasional vocal RIYL recent Explosions In The Sky, Hammock
Jack RoseLuck In The Valley (2010, Thrill Jockey) ♥♥♥½
-as always a pleasant listen; we’ll miss ya buddy-
YeasayerOdd Blood (2010, Secretly Canadian) ♥♥♥♥
-smells like cocaine, leggings and Teen Wolf….sign me up!-
EfterklangMagic Chairs (2010, 4AD) ♥♥½
-mellow, by-the-numbers electronic indie-type stuff from Denmark; loved the 70’s PinkFloyd-esque cover art though-
Miles KuroskyThe Desert Of Shallow Effects (2010, Majordomo) ♥♥½
-I always thought Beulah were a teensy bit overrated; this provides a little more backbone for that sentiment-
The Seven Fields Of AphelionPeriphery (2010, Graveface) ♥♥♥
-side project of Black Moth Super Rainbow member Maureen Boyle that specializes in reflective ambience and manipulated synths-
AlohaHome Acres (2010, Polyvinyl) ♥♥♥
-considerably more accessible than their truly unique early catalog; memorable even if there’s less xylophone and off-kilter drumming-
Fionn ReganThe Shadow Of An Empire (2010, Heavenly) ♥♥
-not the chilled-out folk album I was expecting (like the fabulous debut); fans of recent Brendan Benson and the first couple Josh Rouse albums might dig this but Fionn seems really awkward in this skin-
MillionyoungSunndreamm EP (2010, Arcade Sound) ♥♥♥½
-solid synth-heavy chillwave-
Ben Sollee & Daniel Martin MooreDear Companion (2010, Sub Pop) ♥♥½
-what seemed like a match made in heaven (Ben’s jittery cello & Daniel’s banjo) ended up not being all that interesting-
QuasiAmerican Gong (2010, Kill Rock Stars) ♥♥♥
-the albums starts off with 3 fairly solid, pulses of 90’s-style indie rock but gradually gets weaker; ‘Bye Bye Blackbird’ is one of the worst songs I’ve ever heard coming from a great band-
Shannon McArdleSummer Of The Whore (2008, Bar None) ♥♥
-this is a rather uninspiring batch of songs from my favorite ¼ of The Mendoza Line (R.I.P.)-
Wow & FlutterGolden Touch (2008, Jealous Butcher) ♥½
-I recall these guys being a fairly competent post-rock band; it appears they’ve traded in the peacefulness for rowdy, MOR-core-
Keith John AdamsUnclever ‘Personal Songs’ Vol. 1 & 2 (2008, HHBTM) ♥♥♥
-at 43 songs there is definitely a length issue (that’s what she said); worth it if you dig Syd Barrett-inspired lo-fi pop nuggets-
Owen PallettHeartland (2010, Domino) ♥♥½
-i always want to love Owen’s albums more than I do…never really translates as well as his live performance; there’s still enough charm here to warrant a listen if for nothing but the 2 ‘Lewis’ tracks-
Alexa WoodwardAn Early Dream (2008, self-released) ♥♥♥½
-sparse girl-and-her-banjo/guitar folk; i’m thinking there needs to be more buzz about this lass; RIYL Jolie Holland
ModdioFloriography (2010, Impeller) ♥♥♥½
-moving goth-folk with interesting arrangements from Norway; a few songs reach epic status-
Tuung…And Then We Saw Land (2010, Full Time Hobby) ♥♥♥½
-a somewhat happier, more organic affair than its predecessor but just as warm and inviting-
My Gold MaskA Thousand Voices EP (2010, self-released) ♥♥♥
-Gretta Rochelle’s bedroom-sexy vocals are what keep this train a-rollin’-
Surfer BloodAstro Coast (2010, Kanine) ♥♥♥½
-melodic indiepop/post-punk that excels when the songs stay under the 4:00 mark-
Robert FrancisBefore Nightfall (2009, Atlantic) ♥♥♥
-melancholic singer-songwriter who tries to calls upon the ghost of Jeff Buckley; beware, a couple awkward adult contemporary moments here…-

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