This week’s releases come with what is perhaps the most anticipated record of the summer. It’s been three years since Bon Iver brought us the beautiful For Emma, Forever Ago, and Justin Vernon once again proves to be a master of song-craft on the band’s self-titled second album. Tomorrow, we also get the feel-good records of Rubblebucket and YACHT, the genre-blurring albums of Gomez and Viva Voce, and the introspective releases of Ty Segall and Bodies of Water.
Bodies of Water – Twist Again
These L.A. indie rockers bring a compelling, moving energy to their third full-length album. The husband-and-wife duo Meredith and David Metcalf provide vocals that are at times haunting, at times sultry, but always beautiful.
Bon Iver – Bon Iver
“Bon Iver is one of the most satisfying responses to a hyped debut. It retains the beautiful melancholy of For Emma, but in nearly every way it’s just more. More layered, more diverse, more interesting. He brings in collaborators to do what they do best, but never at the expense of his sound and vision. It treads into new sonic directions without getting lost.” Read Josh Jackson’s review of Bon Iver
Centro-Matic – Candidate Waltz
“Candidate Waltz is the best of both worlds, an album that connects the second and 15th time through. It’s a simple record—light on atmospherics, heavy on hooks and riffs that grab with white knuckles. “Only in My Double Mind” pounds with arena-rock drums and dirty, downstrummed guitar. Staccato piano and a bouncy beat anchor the melody of “Solid States,” while the “Gimme what you want, but don’t tell me” clap-along outro of “Estimate x 3” is Centro-Matic at its most lighthearted and brain-lodging. In short, these are rock songs. Unadorned, straightforward rock songs. “All the Talkers”—which uses power chords to tell the story of a fledgling band (“they were raw”) winning over an apathetic crowd (“They played until we had been won… It was not like the night before”)—could be a Hold Steady cover. And I mean that in the awesome way.” Read Joel Oliphint’s review of Candidate Waltz.
Gomez – Whatever’s On Your Mind
“The music in their latest release, Whatever’s On Your Mind, stays on a pop path that’s decorated with tinges of folk, blues, electronic, and whatever else they feel like throwing in. Traditional Gomez blends of the aforementioned genres create consistently compelling and entertaining textures. This blend is especially overt in intros, verses, bridges and outros. But sappy, clichéd choruses, which almost every song employs, feel detached from verses’ more exotic moods and avenues.” Read Nathan Spicer’s upcoming review of Whatever’s On Your Mind.
Liam Finn – FOMO
“While FOMO contains the same breezy hooks (“Chase the Seasons”) that earned Finn comparisons to Elliot Smith a few years back, and certain songs here aren’t a far cry from early Shins (“Reckless”), as a whole, his third proper release—including the 2009 collaborative EP with Eliza-Jane Barnes, Champagne in Seashells—simply oozes poise. For every uneasy transition from gorgeous melody to noisy breakdown (“Roll of the Eye”), there’s an ominous, inspired synth (“The Struggle”) with Finn holding court over the top of it, like a seasoned songwriter.” Read Austin L. Ray’s review of FOMO.
Rubblebucket – Omega La La
“Fronted by the honey-voiced Kalmia Traver (who also pulls sax duties, in addition to the occasional badass whistling solo), Rubblebucket aren’t your average indie-rock/jam line-up, sporting trumpet, trombone, and a full-time percussionist, added to the standard guitar-bass-drums-keys configuration. And they put the added muscle to good use—the songs on their sophomore LP (but might as well be debut), Omega La La, are joyous jungles of worldly pop-funk, instrumentally rich but catchy enough to ass-kick Katy Perry off the pop charts (in a just world)—mega-melodic without sacrificing an ounce of atmosphere or creativity.” Read Ryan Reed’s review of Omega La La.
Ty Segall – Goodbye Bread
“Goodbye Bread is an album that unfolds almost imperceptibly. But by the time the eighth track, “Where Your Head Goes” comes along, you will almost certainly have noticed that the mood has evolved from the inward-looking lo-fi of the opening title track and into something darker, more full-bodied and electric. This sonic diversity isn’t a new thing for Ty Segall, but the way that Goodbye Bread reveals itself shows a marked increase in thoughtfulness when compared to San Francisco psychedelic songwriter’s previous five albums.” Read Jason Ferguson’s review of Goodbye Bread.
Viva Voce – The Future Will Destroy You
“Viva Voce sneak all kinds of genre-jumping fun into their delay-ridden tracks. Opener “Plastic Radio” features strutting classic-rock riffs that been processed to sound like a faded Polaroid, there’s some crunchy country twang beneath all the tremolo in “Analog Woodland Song,” and the purposefully stiff drum tracks nod to early hip-hop and Kraftwerk.” Read Michael Tedder’s review of The Future Will Destroy You.
YACHT – Shangri-La
The electro-pop duo’s second release combines catchy hooks, disco beats and whimsical lyrics to create an irresistible sound. Shangri-La has a magnetic energy that will make it hard to put down.