Ah, Spring. 82-degree highs, pollen counts so high your head feels like it's going to burst open, and a gnawing sense of dread at what meteorological horrors are no doubt slouching towards us right now, waiting until the first day of Summer to unfurl their hot, leathery wings and bathe us all in a fiery hell of humidity. April really is the cruelest month, except for all of Summer and probably most of October until the next freak Halloween-eve snowstorm.
- Imperial Teen - The Hibernates
The new Imperial Teen album "Feel The Sound" is an ear candy-laden pop excursion, full of tight songwriting and undeniable beats. Go ahead, deny them. I dare you. See? Best thing Roddy Bottum's been involved with since "Angel Dust."
- Damien Jurado - Life Away From The Garden
Sad troubadour and only-guitarist-I've-ever-seen-to-perform-one-of-his-guitar-solos-a-cappella-while-clapping Damien Jurado has released a beautiful, lush, trippy album that manages to both depart from and yet wonderfully deepen his signature sound. So check it out.
- M83 - Midnight City
OK, maybe last year's "Hurry Up, We're Dreaming" didn't need to be 2 full discs, but Pitchfork gave it a 9.1, so what do I know? It's got pretty much everything you'd want in an M83 album: retro synths, catchy hooks, and a weird little girl narrating some story about frogs or something.
- Miike Snow - Vase
Most people who know me know I've been going on and on about Miike Snow to anyone who'll listen for years now. And finally the rest of the world has wised up. Their new album "Happy To You" isn't a radical departure from their previous album, and that's just fine. More ear candy, please. Oh, and be sure to check out their set from Coachella this past weekend, it's the bomb.
- The Water - DeSelby
My friend Mat produced this Baltimore-based instrumental indie band at his very own Mobtown Studios, because he's awesome. This track from 2012's "Scandals and Animals" is a slow builder, but give it time and you will definitely be rewarded.
- Cloud Nothings - Fall In
Cloud Nothings' latest album "Attack on Memory" veers between intense pop and angry post-punk, but it's never stale or boring. And the dude knows how to yell but make it sound cool, so there's that.
- Free Energy - Bang Pop
I heard about these guys because they were on the lineup at this year's SXSW, and if you like inoffensive pop/rock albums produced by former LCD Soundsystem frontmen, you'll love "Stuck on Nothing."
- Alice Russell - Crazy
Another artist I learned about thanks to SXSW, Alice Russell to me is everything that Adele seems to be to everyone else, except not overblown and overproduced and full of crap. Her cover of Gnarls Barkley's Crazy just blows me away. She also recently put out an album with Quantic which is pretty great.
- Dr. Dog - Over Here, Over There
I've been a Dr. Dog fan for years, so I was really excited to get to see them play at Stubbs this year at SXSW. The show was great, and their new material sounded really good. Their new album could have really benefited from an editor, but that's nitpicking at a band who really seems to be having a good time making good music.
- Miike Snow - Bavarian #1 (Say You Will)
Yes, I am addicted to Miike Snow. Deal with it.