Mac Wilson's review of the much-anticipated new release by The Shins.
Shearwater's first release on the Sub Pop label, "Animal Joy," is more aggressive than previous albums, focusing on the moments in life that, as lead singer Jonathan Meiberg describes, "bring your blood to the surface."
Van Etten has crafted a record bursting with meticulous sonic details, while also leaving plenty of space -- sonically and lyrically -- for contemplation.
If their past history is any indication, this should be the first of several new releases for Guided by Voices, which will inevitably find the band shaking off any rust and perhaps even turning up the 'rock' knob a little more.
Coldplay's music has always sounded universal and huge, but they take on an enormity on Mylo Xyloto that alternately thrills and leaves the listener distant.
When San Francisco band Girls burst onto the indie-rock scene in 2009, they were heralded with a huge amount of hype and buzz, thanks to their infectious, messy garage-rock sound and to singer Christopher Owens' bizarre and fascinating life story (short version: it involves cults).
I can give no higher compliment to "The Whole Love" than to favorably compare it to "Summerteeth," and while it may not reach the peaks of the Wilco catalog, it is clearly their best record in nearly a decade.
The Strokes' fourth album, "Angles," comes on the heels of a five-year band hiatus that saw numerous solo projects and sparked doubt over whether the band would ever record together again.
DeVotchKa's music is part of a trend that includes artists like Andrew Bird, Beirut and Calexico seemingly sprung from an alternate reality in which the British Invasion never reached American shores and yet the alternative movement flourished anyway.
The King Is Dead will touch most people in the same ways: as a breezy, enjoyable album that cuts down on the details and focuses on the pleasurable aspects of music and life. This is a solid way to ring in 2011.
Middle Class Rut is good ol' fashioned alternative rock, a band which has collaborated live with the likes of Alice in Chains and Social Distortion.
You would expect the side project of Swedish singer-songwriter Jose Gonzalez to sound a lot like, well, Jose Gonzalez. But in fact, Junip was around before any of his solo material hit the market, and after a five year hiatus, the trio have reunited to play a krautrock form of folk with haunting drumkit and keys in tow.
Since forming ten years ago, the English, synth-loving electro-pop group Hot Chip have released four records and toured the world, and they're currently on tour with DFA label-mates LCD Soundsystem.
The centerpiece of Belle & Sebastian Write About Love is its title track. "Write About Love" is a marvel, a flawlessly constructed song that stands with the very best the band has ever done.
Indie-rockers Ra Ra Riot formed in early 2006, when they were friends at Syracuse University. After playing several house shows and venues around Syracuse as well as a handful of national festivals, the band released their debut record, "The Rhumb Line," in 2008.