Our third-annual album cover art feature uses interviews with artists and musicians to highlight the philosophical, thematic, and conceptual significance of great album cover artwork. THE BREAKDOWN    12 Collage + 14 Digital Illustration, Drawing, Design + 19 Illustration, Painting, Drawing + 8 Black And White Photography + 22 Color Photography +...

"Summer Of Love" is one of the most compelling tracks on Prince Rama's latest album, Trust Now, and this new music video feels revelatory, an Indian and Hare Krishna-inspired celebration of glitz and glamour. Crafted completely by Prince Rama and with the help of close...

Throw this on when the fractals have dissipated. This is music for the come down. Time to ruminate on lessons learned, ladies and gents. Curated by Troy Micheau, REDEFINE Staff Writer

 

Not for the faint of heart, Rex Marshall's newest release as Mattress is audibly visceral and uniquely his own, a mix of ghastly vocals and screeching synthesizers. And while it's certainly not the most polished album, Eldorado EP offers plenty in the way of unabashed...

September 15th, 2011 - Dante's, Portland, OR Alex Zhang Hungtai's desert-dwelling, sunburnt Suicide jams didn't really do much for me on his debut LP as Dirty Beaches, but the man's set at Dante's on Friday night of MusicfestNW was absolutely mesmerizing in a most bizarre and...

Compared to other festivals around the world, FYF Fest in Los Angeles is still in its infancy as it celebrated its eighth year this past weekend. However, with 37 bands and 18 comedians spread out on five stages, it is quite the extraordinary kid on the block. Last year the festival received a lot of beef for long lines, water shortages, and overall poor planning. A year can make a big difference and the festival organizers seemed to have learned their lesson as all previous issues were remedied. That left a great line-up of reunited punks, college rock veterans, mid-heavyweight electronic music-makers, and a new graduating class of garage rock to reign over the LA State Historic Park. Although bands like Guided By Voices and The Descendents did a good job at fulfilling nostalgic dreams, it was the bands with an eager spark that really stood out. And extra cool points to FYF for naming the stages after the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

September 7th, 2011 - Los Angeles Historic State Park, Los Angeles, CA Photography by Koury Angelo

 

Future Islands

Although its band members have a history in performance art, list Kraftwerk as an influence, and are praised by indie critics, Future Islands are one of those bands that most people might not understand when listening to their record. However, in the live setting, everything becomes clear. It is like an epiphany which reveals to all that Future Islands is a phenomenal band that makes gorgeous music. At 3:35 p.m. it was a really hot part of the day and the tent where Future Islands performed (AKA Splinter's Den) was packed. But it was not just full of people simply trying to escape the heat. On the contrary, the crowd loved Future Islands and were dancing and clapping to the synthy beats and genuine vocals of this Baltimore band. Vocalist Samuel T. Herring bounced around on stage the entire time with an enthralling energy. After playing "Walking Through That Door" and "Tin Man" both off last year's In Evening Air, the crowd could not resist joining the band on stage. Future Islands wins for the most pleasant surprise at FYF Fest.

 

When it comes to putting a label on their particular brand of indie rock, Brooklyn-based Grooms are mystifyingly indescribable. Not because of how experimental they are, but because of how many jumps back and forth within the general realm of "rock" their music encompasses. On Prom, there are spastic Pavement-esque asides along with some more intricate, windy pop influences from Cursive and Modest Mouse. Mix that in with a little Dinosaur Jr. and Sonic Youth, and you have a survey of the past 30 years of important indie music.

This inability to quite grasp the tone of the record is most jarring because of the rapidly moving changes between high energy and low energy songs. Grooms can go from a rather monotone tune like "Expression Of" to a screeching-guitars-accented song like "Imagining the Bodies," and then back again with "Skating With The Girl." Only once are the vocal duties combined: "Sharing" showcases a duet between bassist Emily Ambruso and guitarist Travis Johnson.

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Prior to its release, Washed Out's debut album, Within And Without, had been so widely hyped and over-anticipated in the internet world that it was almost nauseating. Yes, the few songs that were released a few months prior to the actual album drop were great. And yes, Washed Out is definitely a forerunner in the movement known as "chillwave." But who could tell if the full album itself was going to be a wash or not? (Pardon the pun.) Within And Without is one of many rare cases in which the hype actually does live up to final product. Within And Without is a satisfying listen because it is an example of a completely well-rounded album.

Listen to "Amor Fati" - DOWNLOAD MP3

Is Tropical blends old school cartoon and video game with real life in this video where boys will be boys. The headshots are okay because it's animated violence, kids, and fake chemistry sets with briefcases full of money and boxes labeled with "drogue" are just...

Take an emaciated lady in the Kate Moss realm of beauty and make her lipsync to Tom Vek's "A Chore," and the casting and execution are so appealing that this entire video feels strangely and androgynously natural. ...