No one seems to be able to stop talking about Kendrick Lamar this year, and while we are no different from the rest in that regard, we've naturally made the effort, as usual, to put together an Albums of the Year list that is typically unconventional and probably features quite...

Album Covers of the Year 2014
In contrast to modern patterns in music consumption comes our annual Album Covers of the Year feature, where, instead of forgetting album artwork even exists, we hyperextend ourselves to assert that it is an artform that is vitally connected to the spirit of the music. This feature, which is divided at times into thematic elements and at times into artistic medium, incorporates interviews with not only musicians, but also artists involved throughout the artistic process. We pride this list in being diverse and multi-faceted, as well as philosophically exploratory. See all of our entries from previous years or get started by choosing a category below. Happy travels through the artistic universe we've crafted for you.
Camp Counselors Huntress Lefse RecordsListening to the vocals on Huntress, the latest release from Kyle J Reigle (who also records as Cemeteries), is like listening to the white puffs of breath that escape blue lips in the depths of winter. It's a plaintive sound: one that knows it'll only hang on the air until the next icy gust of wind blows it away. And, in fact, most of Reigle's lyrics are gone before you can quite grasp what they're saying. Using wintry language to talk about Reigle's music is fitting, as he's a native of Buffalo, New York—no stranger to the occasional blizzard. That might be why it's tempting to draw comparisons between Camp Counselors and those others denizens of the north, Iceland's Sigur Ròs. Both artists imbue their compositions with spare, fuzzed out electronic storms of sound that evoke empty snow-filled fields under starless skies. But where some Sigur Ròs' tracks verge into the rock realm, Reigle's work never gets as hard-edged as his Icelandic brethrens'. In fact the guitars he used on Wilderness, his previous effort as Cemeteries, is absent here, which removes pretty much all rock leanings and leaves behind an all-electronic soundscape that grooves, but is never in danger of shattering any ice.
Whim is a collection of media focused on rock/pop/garage and everything surrounding it. Mellowing things out with recent Domino signee Ducktails and the unpredictably satisfying Levek. SEE: FULL POST + ALL WHIM POSTS + ALL MUSIC COLUMNS

 

Ducktails

It's still early, but you can now hear a teaser track from Ducktails' The Flower Lane, which comes out January 29th, 2013 via the band's new label, Domino Records. Frontman and main man Matt Mondanile has taken the downtime from his involvement with lo-fi rockers Real Estate to mix a new record with Al Carlson (Peaking Lights, Oneohtrix Point Never). And as is often the case with Ducktails' music, it may take repeat listens before "The Flower Lane" makes a lasting impression, but rest assured that there is emotional comfort to be found in these familiar easy-going sounds, and "The Flower Lane" is but one mellow indicator of the record's lusher and more robust sound. Catch a review of Mondanile's formerly more lo-fi sounds via our review of Ducktails III: Arcade Dynamics. DUCKTAILS - THE FLOWER LANE TRACKLISTING 1. Ivy Covered House 2. The Flower Lane 3. Under Cover 4. Timothy Shy 5. Planet Phrom 6. Assistant Director 7. Sedan Magic 8. International Date Line 9. Letter Of Intent 10. Academy Avenue

 

Panama

The newest band to be signed to Future Classic is a solo project from Sydney, Australia's Jarrah McCleary, also known as Panama! As proven earlier this year by Midnight Magic's EP release (and its related amazing Holy Ghost remix), anything those New York funk-disco masters get their hands on gets a throwback treatment of the best and most sticky variety. The O.G. version is a bit less sensual, a bit more tropical, equally danceable. Remix single is available for purchase HERE, including these two tracks as well as a remix by Gavin Russom of LCD Soundsystem and The Crystal Ark. Panama - "Magic" (Midnight Magic Remix) Panama - "Magic" (Original)

 

"Pop music shouldn't always get a bad rap," says Top Pops!, a recurring selection of pop music highlights across a selection of styles. Getting dancey on the pop music tip today with Teen Daze, Auto Body, and Another.

Another

Head over to the Bandcamp of solo electronic artist Another to get a free download of his 2012 album, Since June. The Chicago musician sprinkles in some Bear In Heaven vibes via the vocal stylings, though the music itself parallels much nicer to a band like KISSES. A surprising recent accidental find that starts off strong and has some truly terrific moments.

 

Francis Harris

Sexual tension creates intrigue in Francis Harris' video for "Pharoah In The Morning." Directed by Lisa B, this video pairs perfectly with the minimal and jazzy contributions of Danish singer Gry and trumpet player Greg Paulus, like a morning wake-up call of the most passionate and surprisingly exciting kind. The video follows with a remix from electronic composer Matthew Herbert, who creates a artfully restrained and delicately progressive version of "lostfound," as well as a tracklisting for Leland, which is out now on Scissor & Thread.

 

LELAND TRACKLISTING Plays I Play Pensum Living Lips Lostfound Of the Field Pharoah In the Morning McCleod Picture Us Close Air Whether Is Was Leland

 

Dominant Legs' latest release, Invitation, has positive energy and a light sound, but still contains a melodic fusion of multiple styles. It has a mix of an '80s pop sound and a mid-'90s jam band sensibility: like Wham! meets Rusted Root (the former of which is a favorite...

Although, the sophomore album from Ganglians opens with the perplexing dedication, "This is a sad sad song for all you sad sad people," it quickly becomes evident that the objective of the album is actually to brighten up lives with the right touch of reverb and sun-drenched melodies. As the...