Curated by vVv Stardust & Serious Moonlight of Intuitive Navigation, of Portland’s newest radio station, XRAY.FM — xray.fm/programs/intuitive-navigation — for PICA (Portland Institute of Contemporary Art)’s Giving Tuesday fundraiser....

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.
With wide-reaching arms and hungry ears, each of our writers has compiled his or her top albums of the year, for you to peruse our eclectic, atypical, and only occasionally overlapping tastes. You'd be well-served to check out every single record here.
Vivian Hua - dance, indie, pop, psychedelic, electronic Troy Micheau - metal, electronic, experimental, ambient Jason Simpson - pop, soul, electronic, ambient Ian King - electronic, ambient, instrumental, pop Peter Woodburn - ambient, metal, garage, indie Judy Nelson - dance, electronic, indie, pop, hip-hop Albums of the Year 2014

Recently back in the spotlight with their latest record, Cosmic Logic, Peaking Lights have left behind the laid-back grooves of their last two full-lengths, 936 and Lucifer, to embrace full-on the ostentation of a dance record. Cosmic Logic is guaranteed to throw the duo's long-time fans for a polarizing loop,...

Started in Beijing seven years ago, the Modern Sky Festival is now one of many big music festivals that take place across China put on by its namesake company, Modern Sky Entertainment. On the weekend of October 4th and 5th, Modern Sky took the plunge into the US market, starting in New York City, where you can't throw a rock on any given day without hitting some kind of festival.Modern Sky Festival 2014The weather, too, wasn't exactly cooperative. An outdoor concert in a Northern city in October is always going to be a gamble, and had Modern Sky taken place a weekend earlier, it would have basked in unseasonable warmth. Instead, less fortunately, the barometer ended up taking its first real dip into fall teh weekend of the festival, and a long Saturday morning rainstorm left puddles across Rumsey Playfield -- some of which were still lingering after everything wrapped up on Sunday evening.
Modern Sky Festival

September 22nd officially marks the end of summer 2013 in the Northern Hemisphere — and to celebrate the passing of time, we’ve decided to create a timeline to forever remember the songs currently trending on our site, as well as take a look back on the music that has colored...

In our 2012 Album Covers of the Year feature, we once again get our hands on everyone we can. Through interviews with designers, musicians, labels, and plenty of others, we take a close look at just how many hands are in the pot when it comes to the album artwork process. Inside this feature are 98 album covers spanning a wide array of sonic and visual styles, each selected for its own unique contribution to the world. They are not ranked; instead, they are broken down into sections based on conceptual underpinnings or artistic mediums, and then are displayed on spectrums. Get started by navigating into any of these six sections: Geometric & Pattern-Based Classically-Influenced Narrative & Symbolic Photography & Manipulations Painting & Illustration Collage, Sculpture & Mixed Media You can also see last year's at 2011 Year-End Respect For Album Cover Art
 
Peaking Lights Lucifer Mexican Summer Peaking Lights' very popular sophomore release, 936, received a large amount of acclaim two years ago. The laid-back, dub-influenced style of their third full-length, Lucifer, has an overwhelming reggae influence that is not exactly an expected progression, but provides a rather smooth transition nonetheless. One notable distinction between the two is the lack of an obvious "single" on Lucifer. It works together nicely as an album, but I had trouble picking out one song in particular that I wanted to listen to constantly.
SEE FULL REVIEW OF PEAKING LIGHTS - LUCIFER

 

SUMMARY: Compared to Peaking Lights' last album, 936, Lucifer is much more like a fun-loving, peaceful tribute to a new life, despite the dark aspects of naming an album after the devil.

 

SPECTRAL HYPNOSIS A recurring series, featuring mesmerizing songs for one to lose sense of time and space, mind and body. This post features Peaking Lights (Mexican Summer) and Woods (Woodiss Records) -- both bands with new records and upcoming tour dates together.

 

Peaking Lights

Not sure what it is about Peaking Lights and fairly painful record covers, but at least you can count on them for some laid-back psychedelic jams. Their latest single, "LO HI" takes the band into more bizarre and percussive territory, but maintains Indra Dunis' signature vocals, and a selection of baby squeals may or may not be a hidden homage to Timbaland and Aaliyah (because if not, they might just be confusing). You can also get a bunch of DJ edits at Gorilla Vs. Bear, from a fine chap who calls himself a fine name: $layron. Lucifer is out now on Mexican Summer and Weird World! Plus some remixes below from their previous Remixes 12". You can hear the rest on the band's SoundCloud. Yum!!!

 

A spectrum of musical madness that represents our tastes from large to small, mainstream to obscure, spaced out to reasonable. There's no way in bloody hell you'll love every release on this list unless you have a million personalities living in your puny body, but chances are great that you'll...