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R&B - Released August 29, 2019 | Dead Oceans

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Alternative & Indie - Released July 12, 2019 | Dead Oceans

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Since their 2013 debut album, Ride Your Heart, Bleached's Jennifer and Jessie Clavin have been cleaning up the rough edges of their punk-pop. On Don't You Think You've Had Enough?, they share how they cleaned up their lives. Their first work as sober artists, the sisters' third album reflects the turning point the Clavins faced after Welcome the Worms. On that album, Bleached put plenty of attitude and fuzzed-up amps between themselves and their problems; this time, they confront them, bidding farewell to toxic friendships on "Silly Girl" and dysfunctional relationships on "Rebound City." The Clavins' clearer perspective is mirrored by the clarity of their songs and performances. Working with producer Shane Stoneback, they hone their music to its hookiest lyrics and punchiest riffs; on the strutting opener, "Heartbeat Away," they sound catchier -- and more in control -- than ever. "Daydream" gives the songwriting skills they've had since "Think of You" room to bloom, while "Somebody Dial 911" updates the tough-but-slick sound of Blondie and the Go-Go's. The time Bleached spent on the road with Paramore was also a major influence on Don't You Think You've Had Enough?, for both better and worse. Though "Real Life" is just as confessional, relatable, and joyous as Hayley Williams and company at their finest, sometimes the Clavins follow in that band's pointy-toed footsteps a little too closely -- "Hard to Kill" and "Kiss You Goodbye" are clunky forays into dance-punk that feel too contained for the sisters' irrepressible style. Fortunately, Bleached get a little rougher and a lot more real on the second half of Don't You Think You've Had Enough? Autobiographical glimpses like "Valley to LA" -- where Jennifer Clavin sings about "wishing we were punks from '82" -- and "Awkward Phase," which embraces puberty's most embarrassing moments, zits and all, show just how confident, and vulnerable, Bleached are at their best. That's especially true of "Shitty Ballet," an outpouring of slippery acoustic riffs and cathartic outbursts. It feels like the kind of breaking point that leads to real change, something Don't You Think You've Had Enough? is filled with. Though Bleached are still figuring out how to use their newfound clarity, the process finds them generating sparks like never before. ~ Heather Phares
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Alternative & Indie - Released July 12, 2019 | Dead Oceans

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Khruangbin's second album, 2018's Con Todo el Mundo, was the Texas trio's breakout; their relaxed blend of dub, funk, soul, and psych from around the world struck a chord with loads of people looking for something different. Hasta el Cielo is a dub reworking of that album that leans heavily on the rubbery bass playing of Laura Lee and steady drumming of Donald "DJ" Johnson, while sidelining Mark Speer's guitar playing for the most part. His distinctive lines dart in and out of the mix, sometimes subsumed by echo and other times beaming into the mix in gleaming shards. It's an interesting choice since his guitar lines were often what made Con Todo el Mundo as distinctive as it was. When they're subtracted and replaced by echo and other effects, the result is that the music slides seamlessly into the background and it's easier than the band likely hoped to zone out as the songs drift past. The versions lack the punch and power of the best dub and too often opt for sounding chilled out instead of interesting. It's a very faithful take on dub that hews a little too closely to the basic template of the style -- and adds precious little of the imagination or style the trio usually bring to their sound. None of that means that the album isn't a pleasant listening experience, because it is. What it isn't is a memorable listening experience. Even the two dubs added to the end of the record by the legendary dub producer Scientist aren't very compelling. The band surely meant for this to be a stopgap until their next album, but rather than giving this a spin it would be more rewarding to go back to Con Todo el Mundo and enjoy its many charms instead. The ways they explore the outer reaches of dub on that album are truly exciting, while this comes off like a school assignment in comparison. ~ Tim Sendra
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Alternative & Indie - Released June 25, 2019 | Dead Oceans

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 12, 2019 | Dead Oceans

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 5, 2019 | Dead Oceans

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 17, 2019 | Dead Oceans

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Some songwriters are interesting because they tell you things you may not know, and others are remarkable because they have a gift for expressing the thoughts and feelings that most of us share. Alex Lahey clearly falls into the latter category, and while the nuts and bolts of human interaction aren't uncharted territory in pop music, she builds clever and witty art from the ups and downs of friendship and relationships. She also matches her lyrics with some potent music, hooky tunes that suggest pop-punk without that subgenre's more unfortunate cliches, and after showing what she could do on her 2017 debut album, I Love You Like a Brother, she's gotten just a bit more ambitious on her sophomore effort, 2019's The Best of Luck Club. The buzzy guitar figures and walloping drums that dominated the debut are in plentiful supply here, but Lahey is willing to reveal her more vulnerable side on atmospheric cuts like "Unspoken History," "I Need to Move On," and "I Want to Live with You," where she turns down the tempos, boosts the keyboards, and drapes the performances in clouds of echo and ambient sound. "Isabella" is an engaging pure pop number that sounds like a possible hit single, especially with its singalong chorus, and "Misery Guts" is its ideal half-sibling, pure pogo'ing energy that suggests what Nirvana might have sound like if Kurt Cobain had been a level-headed woman from Australia. And best friends who become scarce when they find a significant other ("I Don't Get Invited to Parties Anymore"), loved ones burning the candle at both ends ("Don't Be So Hard on Yourself"), and celebrating the utter coolness of your significant other ("Black RM's") are pretty common themes in pop songwriting, but Lahey makes them sound fresh with her keen observational skills and personal touch. And thanks to the miracle of overdubbing, Lahey (who plays most of the instruments herself on these sessions) is a fine band as well as a great bandleader. On The Best of Luck Club, she adds a few new tricks to her repertoire without losing touch with what she was already doing so well, and based on this music, it's a safe bet that she'll be delivering more great songs in the future. ~ Mark Deming
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Alternative & Indie - Released May 9, 2019 | Dead Oceans

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 30, 2019 | Dead Oceans

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 26, 2019 | Dead Oceans

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Fashions pass, God stays. Whatever we think of the man, he's still there, even where we don't expect it. Just like on Kevin Morby's fifth solo recording. The concept-album of this great American indie rock guru is neither a soundtrack for devout church-goers, nor an exalted symphony blind to the glory of the great bearded man sitting up there on his cloud... Former bass player of the band Woods and singer of The Babies, Morby takes the word of God by the collar and takes it a little bit everywhere. It is both the God of gospel as well as the God of oh my god. The album has a lot of gospel to offer. It quickly becomes chamber rock that slips into poisonous Lou Reed style rock (Velvet era), preacher-ish like Bob Dylan or disillusioned like Leonard Cohen, three of the iconic craftsmen. The instrumentation follows the forms of the minute and the songwriter unveils the flute, the saxophone and Wurlitzer if necessary. The fourteen songs of Oh My God are especially tight because of their lavish form and the sequences always being well thought-out. As always with Kevin Morby, the classicism of his music does not match the speed of time. For this, you just have to take it in, to follow him in his inner wanderings. Believer, agnostic or atheist, just close your eyes and let yourself be rocked by the unique style of this unique modern rock band. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released April 24, 2019 | Dead Oceans

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 18, 2019 | Dead Oceans

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 11, 2019 | Dead Oceans

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 4, 2019 | Dead Oceans

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Alternative & Indie - Released March 28, 2019 | Dead Oceans

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Alternative & Indie - Released March 22, 2019 | Dead Oceans

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Alternative & Indie - Released March 6, 2019 | Dead Oceans

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Soul - Released March 1, 2019 | Dead Oceans

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With a lively eponymous debut album, Durand Jones & The Indications emerged like a gold nugget discovered in a bayou. Broken hearted, downtrodden and exasperated, the band wrapped Durand Jones’ impressive vocals in late sixties Stax pop. In the ballads, he was so wonderfully sensual that he could’ve melted Mr. Freeze's factory. And in the up-tempo tracks, he landed punches straight to the solar plexus. These elements are still audible on their second album; American Love Call has simply benefited from extra funding and it shows! Durand Jones & The Indications' tracks sparkle the whole way through, with a silkier production that moves the time cursor to the seventies. Fans of the O'Jays, Curtis Mayfield or The Delfonics will enjoy Jones’ perfectly mastered falsetto. In short, the vintage soul revival is alive and well. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released February 28, 2019 | Dead Oceans

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Alternative & Indie - Released February 21, 2019 | Dead Oceans

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Dead Oceans in the magazine
  • Shame on you!
    Shame on you! The Qobuzissime debut album from five frustrated guys, experts in post-punk...