This Week's New Album Releases (9/13/11)

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This week is a big one for highly anticipated new releases, including St. Vincent’s highly-anticipated follow-up to Actor, indie pop duo Mates of State’s newest album as well as new releases from Girls, Das Racist, Laura Marling and Mason Jennings.

A.A. Bondy – Believers
“Bondy is an adept folk storyteller, but not in the typical manner—through a series of images and sinister instrumental mise-en-scene, his songs beg to have visuals attached to them without excessive ornamentation or character development. His presence is subtle (sometimes maybe too much so), but Believers will certainly haunt your dreams.” Stay tuned for Lindsay Eanet’s review of Believers.

Blind Pilot – We Are The Tide
Blind Pilot’s follow-up to their 2008 release 3 Rounds and a Sound features more from the indie folk pop duo, Israel Nebeker and Ryan Dobrowski, who have made names for themselves for their concert tours on bicycles and huge iTunes exclusives.

Blitzen Trapper – American Goldwing
“It could be a troubling concept, but Earley’s songwriting can make meat-and-potatoes Blitzen just as engaging as prog-harmonium Blitzen. American Goldwing is home to some of the most immediately catchy songs they’ve produced in a career. Songs like the freewheeling, greased-down “Fletcher,” whose components are all delectably unattached, radiate an abstract joy—the kind of tie-loosened fun that comes from the simple pleasure of being in a rock ’n’ roll band, basking in the chemistry of playing with some of your best friends, and making the music you absolutely want to make.” Read Luke Winkie’s review of American Goldwing

Blondie – Panic of Girls
“Ennui is not the commodity, nor is nihilism with a bubblegum exterior shell. This is feel-good realism for a world imploding under its own arrogance and ignorance. In a place where post-Warhol art-as-disposability has turned into all Snooki/Britney/Lindsey/Khardashians all the time, Blondie strikes a blow for pop culture that’s not stupid, wasted and empty.” Read Holly Gleason’s upcoming review of Panic of Girls.

CANT – Dreams Come True
“Taylor rarely sounds all that engaged, his sweet-natured tenor hovering like a ghost in these tracks’ crevices. You can’t write off their intentions one bit—Dreams Come True is nothing if not well-produced and lovingly assembled. Problem is: there ain’t no soul.” Stay tuned for Ryan Reed’s review of Dreams Come True.

Chuck Ragan – Covering Ground
“His take on folk music is energetic and refreshing without leaving the listener wondering if his approach is genuine. Covering Ground is an accessible, listenable peek into Ragan’s vision of acoustic music, and it will appeal to the punks and the folkies alike.” Read Tyler Kane’s review of Covering Ground.

Cymbals Eat Guitars – Lenses Alien
“The distortion and feedback from the group’s 2009 debut Why There Are Mountains is still there, but where their effects could once be neatly filed under “ambient,” the result now is more frantic—even, you could say, angrier—on much of the album.” Read Ani Vrabel’s review of Lenses Alien

Das Racist – Relax
Mixtape masters Das Racist have their first physical release with Relax. With their unexpected success with their song “Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell” and their newest viral hit, a video for their song “Michael Jackson,” the rap trio also enlists help from members of Vampire Weekend and Yeasayer for their newest album.

Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost
“Father, Son, Holy Ghost is full of such odd, unexpected pleasure, which all the more impressive considering how familiar the elements are. That’s perhaps Girls’ most impressive trick: finding so many new ideas and emotions in pop’s well-worn sounds. In that regard, this album not only surpasses its predecessor but raises the bar for any band, indie or otherwise, mining the past for inspiration.” Read Stephen M. Deusner’s review of Father, Son, Holy Ghost.

Jimi Hendrix – Hendrix in the West
“Hendrix in the West stands as an entertaining listen even in a catalog overwhelming in live releases. Maybe just as importantly, it quickly musters evidence of Hendrix’s experimentation even within a given aesthetic and bridges key works in his discography.” Read Justin Cober-Lake’s upcoming review of Hendrix in the West.

The Kooks – Junk of the Heart
British indie rock band The Kooks’ third album furthers their pop-rock sound, even through their rivalries with similar bands like Razorlight and Arctic Monkeys.

Laura Marling – A Creature I Don’t Know
“She’s closely attentive to the particulars of her folk songs, which allows them to reveal deeper and darker secrets with each listen and to resonate long after the record has stopped spinning.” Read Stephen M. Deusner’s review of A Creature I Don’t Know.

Mason Jennings – Minnesota
“Minnesota is the sonic equivalent a well-dressed young professional getting ready for the first day of a first “real job,” complete with well-coordinated first-day suit. Some of it feels just a bit too polished and familiar, as if performing to some level of expectation of what maturity is supposed to sound like.” Read Lindsay Eanet’s review of Minnesota.

Mates of State – Mountaintops
Mates of State has pointed to a new set of keyboards and the pair’s recent efforts to polish their home recording abilities as large influences on the follow-up to 2008’s Re-Arrange Us. And, after years of working together, it’s a relief that the duo has managed to resist becoming stale. On Mountaintops, the band flaunts the dynamics of their past recordings while sneaking in layers of growth.” Stay tuned for Carey Hodges’ review of Mountaintops.

Nick Lowe – This Old Magic
“For more than three decades and despite all of the critical acclaim he’s received
during that time, Nick Lowe has been making music that flies right under most
people’s radar. And, that’s a shame because it’s hard to imagine a soul so hard-hearted and melody-challenged who wouldn’t find a lot to love in The Old Magic, Lowe’s first collection of new songs in four years.” Read Douglas Heselgrave’s review of The Old Magic.

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Neon Indian – Era Extrana
“In the first few seconds of Era Extraña, we hear the sound of swirling 8-bit particles rapidly coming to a celestial boil. What follows seems to resemble what the birth of the universe must have sounded like had the Big Bang occurred inside the original Nintendo Entertainment System. This is the world in which Alan Palomo sets his sophomore release under the chillwave moniker Neon Indian.” Read Wyndham Wyeth’s review of Era Extrana.

Pajama Club – Pajama Club
“Like Paul McCartney’s Fireman project, Pajama Club is the semi-modernist result of a songwriter with an exceedingly lush catalog (in this case, Neil Finn of Crowded House and Split Enz fame) having ample access to studio time and a whimsical if somewhat touristic sense that they should dabble in something like electronic music.” Read Jeff Leven’s review of Pajama Club.

Slow Club – Paradise
“It’s relatively fresh to hear a band’s first follow-up and to not feel dissatisfied by a lackluster group of songs or besieged by an explosion of sound. Slow Club dials into emotions without having to be overbearing. There is plenty of substance to latch onto on this album that leaves you wanting more.” Read Adam Vitcavage’s review of Paradise.

St. Vincent – Strange Mercy
“Strange Mercy is an album that’s full of ambitious attempts to create rich tableaus that defy the expectations they create. Some work, and some don’t, but the ones that don’t will probably age well given that a few dozen listens won’t leave you bored.” Read Jeff Gonick’s review of Strange Mercy.