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Electronic - Released September 1, 2014 | Modular

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Electronic - Released July 18, 2014 | Modular

After the release of their icy and heavily '80s-inspired In Ghost Colours in 2008, Cut Copy warmed up and expanded their sound to the point where they almost seem like a completely different band. 2011's Zonoscope was almost excessively bright and extroverted, with songs like "Where I'm Going" sounding like Jock Jams in comparison to the introspectively moody sound the band had previously established. Their 2013 album, Free Your Mind, is even bigger sounding and warmer. Taking tons of inspiration from the late-'80s and early-'90s club scene in the U.K. and touching on everything from the Hacienda-ready acid house to the thumping piano house of groups like Black Box, the album is a danceable love letter to the era. Almost every move the group makes is instantly familiar to anyone with any interest in that time period, but the band add more than enough of their own personality, as well as advanced skill at mixing and matching moods and feels, to keep it from being an empty exercise in nostalgia. Call it a full exercise instead. Influences and inspirations aside, what makes the album work is the sense of joy and upbeat emotion that the band, and especially vocalist Dan Whitford, inject into every nook of every song. Starting off with "Free Your Mind," a bongo and gospel backing vocal-filled empowerment jam so soft and fuzzy that even Primal Scream at their most "Come Together" dippy might find a bit much, and going from there, the record is light as a shiny helium balloon. Like that balloon, it doesn't lose its bouncy buoyancy until the very end. After all, the percolating house trax that should fill dancefloors (like the very Pet Shop Boys-sounding "Footsteps"), higher-than-the-sun electro-pop ("Dark Corners and Mountain Tops," which is like ELO gone full disco, "Take Me Higher"), and slowly grooving songs that are perfect fodder for late-night revelry (the K-Klass sampling "Let Me Show You Love"), the album ends with a bit of a stinker. "Walking in the Sky" comes off like the Verve at their U2-loving worst; overly preachy and obvious with its heart in the right place, but an annoyingly simple tune to go with it. This stumble leaves a bad taste in the mouth, but one that can be easily removed by doubling back and listening to a great song like the uplifting "We Are Explorers," that also has a message, and with it, a propulsive beat, a sparkling melody, and shimmering synths. So skip "Walking" and the rest goes down as smoothly as a well-mixed, neon-colored cocktail, or four, and will leave you woozy and reeling from the music's warm embrace. Cut Copy may have left behind the monochromatic brilliance of their early work, but the explosion of colors they've added, like Jackson Pollock on a bender, has only made their growth more interesting and enriching. © Tim Sendra /TiVo
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Electronic - Released July 11, 2014 | Modular

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Electronic - Released July 7, 2014 | Modular

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 16, 2014 | Modular

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 16, 2014 | Modular

Originally released as a limited-run LP for 2014's Record Store Day before Modular issued a digital version later that year, Live Versions is a live album from Australian psych rockers Tame Impala. Made up of nine beautifully recorded tracks captured during a 2013 performance at the Riviera Theatre in Chicago, Illinois, the record features tracks spanning all the way back to the band's self-titled 2006 EP. With its great production values and a superb set list featuring excellent cuts like "Desire Be Desire Go" and "Feels Like We Only Go Backwards," Live Versions is one of those rare live albums that could easily double as a best-of compilation for new fans, while offering enough in the way of new experiences that die-hard Tame Impala devotees will want to get in on the action. © Gregory Heaney /TiVo
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Dance - Released May 10, 2013 | Modular

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2013 | Modular

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Electronic - Released October 7, 2013 | Modular

Darkside is the work of electro-pop minimalist composer Nicolas Jaar and Brooklyn-based multi-instrumentalist Dave Harrington, which steeps Jaar's spacious solo work with brittle bursts of electronic distortion, watery drums, and slick neon guitar patterns. A self-titled EP in 2011 yielded three lengthy songs of the duo's wild combination of airy atmospheres and menacing fuzz, but debut full-length Psychic moves into more compositional territory, though it remains drifty and narcotic in ways similar to its predecessor. The album kicks off with 11-minute standout track "Golden Arrow," moving like a suite through an intro of dark, fuzzy ambience and wobbling stereo effects into a sleazy, submerged house beat and fragmented synth and string samples. Caught between the creeping underground thump of minimal avant-techno experimentalists like Pole or Gas and the sharp, clean lines of nocturnal pop acts like the Chromatics or James Blake, the song is an unlikely success in its deep contrasts. Space is a primary concern throughout Psychic, with plenty of ambient interludes and raw tape experiments serving as cushioning between pop moments like the oddly bluesy dirge of "Paper Trails" and the dubby shadows of album-closer "Metatron." Ultimately, it's the contrasts and the way they fit so well together that makes Psychic a success. The meeting of hurried noise, slick dubstep-styled R&B undertones, wonky blues, and grainy electronics seems destined for ugly clashing, but somehow the organization of sounds, stereo field space, and the amount of distance Jaar and Harrington put between the disparate elements themselves makes so much compositional sense that the album floats by like a strange, faraway dream. © Fred Thomas /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2013 | Modular

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Electronic - Released January 1, 2013 | Modular

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2013 | Modular

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2013 | Modular

Young Dreams' debut album, 2013's Between Places, showcases the Norwegian band's knack for mixing a melodic, '60s sunshine pop aesthetic with an '80s-influenced post-punk sound. Showcasing several vocalists who share lead and background vocal duties, Young Dreams feature a variety of harmonized melodies on Between Places that bring to mind such icons of '60s baroque pop as the Beach Boys and Free Design. Which isn't to say you could ever mistake Young Dreams for a retro-pop ensemble. It's as if the band has one ear in the past listening to dusty vinyl pop masterpieces and one ear in the present taking in the most cutting-edge electronic dance sounds. In that sense, Between Places brings to mind the work of such similarly inclined contemporaries as Stereolab and the Flaming Lips. Tracks like the infectious "Fog of War" and echoey, buoyant "Dream Alone, Wake Together" find the band crafting upbeat, melodic lines that rub against club-ready beats, shimmery synths, and unexpected symphonic flourishes, like strings and harps. The album sometimes amazingly sounds as if the Zombies had reunited in 1980 for an album produced by the Buggles' Trevor Horn, resulting in a joyful, 50-minute orgasm of chamber pop jubilation. © Matt Collar /TiVo
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Electronic - Released January 1, 2013 | Modular

Free Your Mind is the fourth studio album by the Dan Whitford-fronted Australian synth pop act Cut Copy and their fourth for the Steve Pavlovic-formed Modular Recordings. In promotion of the album, the band released the title track to the Internet, but only for people in six specific locations, thereby inspiring their fans to make the journey to places as far and wide as Chile and the California desert. The Happy Mondays-inspired single "Let Me Show You Love" is included. © James Wilkinson /TiVo
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Dance - Released January 1, 2013 | Modular

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Dance - Released January 1, 2013 | Modular

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Electronic - Released January 1, 2013 | Modular

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Electronic - Released September 9, 2013 | Modular

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2013 | Modular

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2013 | Modular