NoParticularOrder: 25 Albums to Check Out – 2015 mid-year

NoParticularOrder: 25 Albums to Check Out
Article by Rob Leonard

 

Waxahatchee - Ivy Tripp
Waxahatchee – Ivy Tripp

Slated to be one of the more memorable albums of the year, Ivy Tripp belongs to everyone but belongs to no one. We’ve all felt the extremely detailed feelings that Katie Crutchfield puts on display – relatively straight forward songwriting but the minimalist appeal is what allows the unavoidable spaces to highlight Crutchfield’s “over-it” semi-anxious lyricism.
Notables: “Breathless” and “Stale by Noon”

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Free Clinic – Wait it Out
 

Wilmington’s own Free Clinic is a brash and energetic blend of riffy pop – at times surfy and other instances you might hear a bit of The Strokes, the opening to “Off My Rocker” is a perfect example. Mildly self-deprecating and under appreciated these sounds remind you that the garage is still the best place to piece together tunes.

Notables: “Better” and “Sappy Talk”

Kodak to Graph - Isa
Kodak to Graph – Isa


Grandiose, plush ass synthscapes meant to conjure the emotion of being swallowed up by the intangible world. All you are left with is your thoughts…. so…. now you can finally learn to deal with yourself. Beautifully irreconcilable – it’s not without it’s bangers though, check out “Los Angeles.”

Notables: “Better” and “Sappy Talk”

Viet Cong - Viet Cong
Viet Cong – Viet Cong

Notables: “Continental Shelf” and “Pointless Experience”

J Fernandez - Many Levels of Laughter
J Fernandez – Many Levels of Laughter

Many Levels of Laughter isn’t as much a critique of human communication as it is a highlighting of it’s inefficiencies because of varied experiences and understood levels of connection. Lo-fi jumbling of psych, lounge, and krautrock.

Notables: “Read My Mind,” “Between the Channels,” and “Holy Hesitation”

Petite Noir - The King Of Anxiety
Petite Noir – King of Anxiety

Notables: “Come Inside,” “Chess,” and “Shadows”

Girlpool - before the world was big
Girlpool – Wait it Out

A formidable collection of disjointed, disparate, and relatively spacious tracks, from the brain of Cleo and Harmony.

Notables: “Dear Nora” and “Before the World Was Big”

Elvis Depressedly - Alhambra
Elvis Depressedly – new alhambra

It’s a record of clear, delineated influences, but one that’s more interested in synthesizing new material than going over the old; it’s a record that asks the listener to meet it halfway at the least. Named for the outdated moniker of Philadelphia’s 2300 Arena (formerly ECW Arena), home of arena wrestling, New Alhambra uses the milieu as an influence rather than a setting, as another touchstone rather than a definition.

Notables: “thou shalt not murder,” “new alhambra,” and “big break”

Jenny Hval - Apocalypse, girl
Jenny Hval – Apocalypse, girl

Never wavering from the ‘obscene’ Jenny Hval is known for pushing boundaries and embracing sexual overtones, “shaving in all the write places.” Beyond a quick title grab in boundary pushing – Hval is the definition of an artist, she projects impression and layers haunting arrangements. Fiona Apple on steroids.

Notables: “The Battle is Over,” “Take Care of Yourself,” and “Sabbath”

Braids - Deep In The Iris
Braids – Deep in the Iris

Notables: “Miniskirt” and “Taste”

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Juan Wauters – Who Me?

Representing Queens, NY – Jaun Wauters let’s his valued multiculturalism shine through. Fusing vintage pop with his own brand of Simon/Garfunkal quirkiness Wauter’s creates catchy, enjoyable nostalgia.

Notables: “She Might Get Shot,” “Asi No Mas,” “This is I,” and “I’m All Wrong”

Friend Roulette - I See You. Your Eyes Are Red.
Friend Roulette – I See You. Your Eyes Are Red.


Requite nightmares and disembodied Disney cartoons are what I See You. Your Eyes Are Red. is made of. It’s about the innocent more naive aspects of drug use – but then you take that idea of naivety and paint it as disillusionment (maybe drug induced). Lead singer, Julia Tepper, has an amazingly picturesque voice that lays in beautiful contrast over the rigid and psuedo jazzy arrangements.

Notables: “Dutch Master” and “Stoned Alone”

Courtney Barnett
Courtney Barnett – sometimes i sit and think, and sometimes i just sit. 

Notables: “Pedestrian at Best,” “Dead Fox,” and “Debbie Downer”

Ricky Eat Acid - Mixtape 1
Ricky Eat Acid – Mixtape 1

Process-wise you’d think this was music for kids with attention span issues but once you sit down and listen you’re taken to a place where ambient noise reins king, (or queen if you hate the patriarch). Each track builds on continuously layered tracks and samples, the highly effected sound sources conjure thoughts of Eno until the hip/hop grooves chime in.

Notables: “Outside Dan’s House,” “Nasa Channel,” and “What Changes Could Improve Your Level of Happiness?”

Bad Bad Not Good - Sour Soul
BadBadNotGood and Ghostface Killah – Sour Soul

This is a match made in heaven, although MF Doom and Elzhi make a solid third and fourth to this couple’s night out. Often there is this unavoidable sense of cheesiness that permeates when hip/hop/rap acts use a live band but with BBNG the jazz swag seeps through pairing sensibly with the ole Wu vibes. Other than Kendrick and Vince Staples, this has been on repeat as far as the tinge of urbana goes.

Notables: “Gunshowers,” “Mind Playing Tricks,” “Ray Gun,” and “Street Knowledge”

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