After Seattle underground superheroes Carissa's Wierd disbanded, Sera Cahoone went on to do her own thing, Ben Bridwell came up with Band Of Horses and Grand Archives, and Jenn Ghetto became S. If you weren't around ora conscious while Carissa's Wierd was around, here is what...

Starting strong with those home-styled, apple pie sensibilities, You Didn't Know I Was Alphabetical quickly declines into another emo-folk album -- a hair shy of Conor Oberst and not quite as satisfying. "You, Too" opens the album, a heartfelt and sentimental track with light, folky instrumentation...

A lot of bands today seem to like going for ironically harsh-sounding names and album titles; punching against the hipster grain is Kill To Kill, whose Fighter EP sounds a lot like a parking lot brawl after a hardcore show. Listen to "Radical Flyer" - DOWNLOAD...

This album could probably be used as a case for why recording equipment should not be so readily available to the public. At least back in the day when shitty bands were making shitty albums, it was on shitty-quality cassette tapes that could be easily...

It might take a few listens to get into, but Raina Rose's third full-length album, When May Came, will surprise you with its cohesion and simplicity. Between her big voice, with its unusual blend of twang and jazziness, and her whimsical sense of storytelling, Rose...

The past few years of mellow European albums show the poorly-executed experimental turn that melodic pop has taken. Replacing the simple, guitar-accompanied vocals of bands like Death Cab for Cutie are the synthesized sounds of Phoenix and nameless others who enjoy robotic voices too much. Not only that, but lyrics now seem to take a backseat to artificial, deliberately inconsistent rhythms that appear like an attempt at a cheap, DJ-inspired indie evolution. Absent after a five-year hiatus, Kings of Convenience, composed of Erlend Øye and Eirik Glambek Bøe from Bergen, Norway, return with their signature style with Declaration Of Dependence. "Riot On An Empty Street" takes back the intellectual mellowness they started with, and "Quiet Is The New Loud" puts poetry back where it belongs. Becoming widely known for their catchy single, "I'd Rather Dance With You," the Norwegian duo continues to complement quirky melodies with original songwriting prowess. As Øye croons, "You feel vulnerable around me," throughout "Mrs. Cold," the ambient and rhythmic guitars dilute the chills created by his undulating voice, which seems to argue against the natural human condition of erecting emotional barriers. This upbeat charm scatters itself throughout the rest of the album, such as in "Boat Behind," where punchy violin interjections introduce the song's intended cheekiness.

[caption id="attachment_39482" align="aligncenter" width="320"] CD cover. The Bowery by Firekites.Pic. Supplied ff162034[/caption] The Australian band Firekites are reminiscent of Kings of Convenience, and maybe Elliott Smith, though without the infective pop sensibilities. In short, they make the kind of music to get you through a Sunday...

Catchiness can only hold your attention for so long, and even that gets stale before long on The Little Heroes' second album, Thank You. Although it's full of driving beats and semi-rhythmic guitar patterns, too much of it sounds like standard teenage anthems. Lyrics that are...

The same way The Decemberists built their popularity on songs chronicling mothers whoring themselves out, peeping toms, murderous townsfolk; abuse and neglect and all other sorts of cruelty, Among The Oak & Ash have reworked Appalachian murder ballads for their self-titled debut. In six days, Among...