Beirut - The Rip Tide
This one got a digital release at the beginning of the month, but the physical version just got released today (that means record store trip after work!) This release, coming almost exactly four years after The Flying Cup Club, is a bit of a departure for the band. The basic Euro-folk aspect is still there, but there's a bit more instrumentation and exploration. Some reviews seem to lament that the band is still so tied to their folk roots, but I don't really know what Beirut would be without that. Either way, this is a great album and strong contender for my year-end faves!
Blood Orange - Coastal Grooves
Dev Hynes has been a bit of a chameleon since his first album, For Screening Purposes Only, by his first band, Test Icicles. That band had somewhat of a dance-punk vibe to them. From there, he released two solo albums under the name Lightspeed Champion, which saw him flexing a more pop-folk vein. Blood Orange is another solo project. He released two singles earlier this year that had a decidedly R&B edge to them, which is presumably the sound that this album will have. Sometimes I feel that this guy plays around too much with genres to be truly great at any of them, but the first two singles for this album very pretty enjoyable, so I hope that holds true for the album as a whole.
Cymbals Eat Guitars - Lenses Alien
Sigh, do we really need another band paying homage to early-90s indie rock bands like Pavement, Spiritualized and Built to Spill? Yes, yes we do, because this band is amazing! I honestly only checked them out because I thought their name (and original album artwork) was amazing, but what I heard was even better. The original artwork was done in homage to an artist, who didn't like the way it turned out, so they changed it out of respect to the artist, so I guess I can appreciate the sentiment even if the new art is a lot less exciting.
Male Bonding - Endless Now
Another band with a strong throwback vibe. They released an album just over a year ago that had a more surf rock (Wavves-esque) sound to it, which is strange, considering they're a British band. On this release, the sound is a bit more mature. It's short and sweet, but still a fun album overall.
"What's That Scene"
Red Hot Chili Peppers - I'm With You
I'm cautiously excited about this. I loved Red Hot Chili Peppers around the time Californicationcame out, but have since decided that Blood Sugar Sex Magik was my favorite. I didn't dislike By the Way, but wasn't crazy about Stadium Arcadium. They've lost the amazing guitarist John Frusciante, which will definitely change their sound a lot. I just can't shake the feeling that, as they've gotten older, they've just gotten boring...
"Monarchy of Roses"