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Alternative & Indie - Released May 25, 2016 | Jagjaguwar

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 3, 2016 | Jagjaguwar

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Wolf Parade/Sunset Rubdown showrunner Spencer Krug's fourth studio outing under the Moonface moniker and second go-around with Finnish Krautrock enthusiasts Siinai, My Best Human Face dials back on the wintry, ballad-heavy melodrama of 2012's Heartbreaking Bravery in favor of a more dynamic, Autobahn-ready set of indie rock anti-anthems. Recorded once again in Finland, the seven-track set opens with the oddly heartfelt "Nightclub Artiste," an unabashedly melodic blast of midtempo, shoegazey tomfoolery built around the curious phrase "What you did in front of everyone, in the middle of the night club, in the middle of the night." Things pick up on the propulsive "Risto's Riff," a bona fide fist-pumper that utilizes all of Siinai's Krautrock might, pairing droning guitars and synths with a perfectly calibrated kick drum, occasionally breaking out of the singular rumble into a glorious punk chorus that declares triumphantly, "At least I'm not a photographer." Krug explores the trappings of nostalgia on the icy "Them Call Themselves Old Punks," self-enmity on the workmanlike "Ugly Flower Pretty Face," and turns 2014's forlorn, piano-led ballad "City Wrecker" into a funked-out slow jam that wouldn't have sounded out of place on the Weeknd's Beauty Behind the Madness. The lush and melancholic "Queen of Both Darkness and Light" closes things out on fairly somber note, but between its thunderous percussion and choir-like backing vocals, the gloom is cut with enough majesty to incite goosebumps rather than despair. In fact, My Best Human Face may be Krug's most vital-sounding set of solo songs to date. It's certainly one of his most balanced, as playful as it is earnest, and as hook-driven as it is meandering. ~ James Christopher Monger
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Alternative & Indie - Released June 14, 2016 | Jagjaguwar

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Alternative & Indie - Released August 5, 2016 | Jagjaguwar

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Arriving four years after 2012's I Bet on Sky -- the longest stretch of time between albums since Dinosaur Jr. became an active band again in 2007 -- Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not doesn't offer any surface surprises, at least not along the lines of the roaring reunion of 2007's Beyond, or the keyboard colorings of I Bet on Sky. That's not to say Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not doesn't surprise, because it does -- namely, it shocks by sounding as vital as Dinosaur Jr. ever has. Deciding to not to build upon the expansive textures of I Bet on Sky, the trio nevertheless sounds vividly oversaturated throughout Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not. Certainly, J Mascis generates these brilliant colors through his guitar, with his riffs buzzing against each other and providing dense contrast to his piercing, lyrical solos, but the vigor of Lou Barlow and Murph is equally bracing. Beneath the fuzz, there are dexterous rhythms -- often, there's considerable air to the roar, making the music almost groove -- which gives Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not a visceral thrill, and if that's all it delivers it'd be enough, but the tunes are among the strongest sets of songs Mascis and Barlow have ever written. As always, Barlow gets two numbers, but the heavy jangle of "Love Is…" and the stuttering, bone-tired closer "Left/Right" complement Mascis, who alternates between hooky-heavy pop, weary urban country, and creeping sludge. While none of these may be new, the execution of it all, from composition to performance, means that Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not feels fresh, which is quite an achievement for a band approaching the tenth anniversary of its reunion. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Alternative & Indie - Released August 6, 2016 | Jagjaguwar

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 8, 2016 | Jagjaguwar

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 16, 2016 | Jagjaguwar

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Alternative & Indie - Released December 1, 2016 | Jagjaguwar

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Alternative & Indie - Released December 26, 2016 | Jagjaguwar

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 26, 2017 | Jagjaguwar

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 26, 2017 | Jagjaguwar

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 27, 2017 | Jagjaguwar

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Alternative & Indie - Released August 24, 2017 | Jagjaguwar

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 8, 2017 | Jagjaguwar

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Saturn Over Sunset is the debut of Midnight Sister, a duo formed by classically trained musician Ari Balouzian and artist/filmmaker/then-Sunset Boulevard shopgirl Juliana Giraffe. The San Fernando Valley natives met when Balouzian scored a short film by Giraffe and her sister. Balouzian later sent Giraffe some instrumental music, which she returned after adding vocals in GarageBand, and they liked the results. Balouzian's first foray into pop aside from arranging for Tobias Jesso, Jr. and Alex Izenberg (who co-produces here), and Giraffe's first music project, Midnight Sister give the impression of old souls rather than newcomers in their twenties. The album took inspiration from the local characters and mythology of Los Angeles. The resulting slinky, off-kilter chamber tunes blend elements of Baroque pop, Mancini, noir, and David Lynch diner-booth surrealism for an absorbing set of experimental pop. Giraffe's husky, tunefully murmured delivery helps set a dreamlike atmosphere as glockenspiel, vintage keyboard tones, strings, and haphazard computer noise converge on opener "Canary," a waltz somewhere on the music box-fairground organ spectrum. Later, woodwinds, strings, and piano paint a lo-fi cabaret on "Showgirl," and funky bass, handclaps, and out-of-tune piano distinguish "Shimmy" ("Shimmy the sweat off my neck/Shape it so you understand"). Elsewhere and just as fanciful, "The View from Gilligan's Island" is an instrumental with ominous keyboards and strings and improvised drums. Highly stylized but memorable for both its unusual palette and what are ultimately consistently good songs (for outright earworms, don't miss "Blue Cigar" and "Daddy Long Legs"), Saturn Over Sunset is recommended for anyone intrigued by the idea of retrofuturist anti-pop. ~ Marcy Donelson
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Pop - Released November 2, 2017 | Jagjaguwar

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Pop - Released November 8, 2017 | Jagjaguwar

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Alternative & Indie - Released December 25, 2017 | Jagjaguwar

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 17, 2018 | Jagjaguwar

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 24, 2018 | Jagjaguwar

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 31, 2018 | Jagjaguwar

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