Chairlift - Something
Chairlift gained some attention a few years ago with the song "Bruises," which was featured in an Apple ad. I really liked that song, but found their first album, Does You Inspire You, to be woefully inconsistent. In the time since that release, they've lost a member, and matured their sound. Early listens show a much more stable effort and there are some early gems among the tracks!
Cloud Nothings - Attack on Memory
Something that tends to plague younger punk bands is that they have a difficulty sounding grown-up or mature (which, of course, can often be the intent). On their first album (released almost exactly one year ago), Cloud Nothings, while charming, could easily sound like just another of those punk bands. They elevate themselves, however, with this release. Already showing itself as a potential end-of-year favorite, it maintains the punk aesthetic, but shows a band capable of much more with their sound.
First Aid Kit - The Lion's Roar
These sisters from Sweden got their start with a pretty decent cover of the Fleet Foxes' "Tiger Mountain Peasant Song." This go-around, they're aiming even higher, referencing Emmylou Harris, Johnny Cash and June Carter. Bold girls, but they may be able to pull it off. While there's something in their style that prevents them from having quite the same magic, their harmonies are good and songwriting strong, they'll only get better with age.
Foxy Shazam - The Church of Rock and Roll
Local Cincinnati boys! They have an amazing throwback rock sound. It's raucous, glitzy and a lot of fun. They're doing what I wish some of the classic rockers (those that are still living, anyways) would do; make awesome music.
Ingrid Michaelson - Human Again
Ingrid Michaelson has been good for simple, infectious pop, you may remember one of her songs, "The Way I Am," being used in an Old Navy ad a few years ago. In the past, her music has been fairly update and happy. Based on the songs I've heard here, her sound seems to have become a bit darker. Not a bad thing, of course; after four albums, it's good to see this type of progression.
Nada Surf - The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy
Like Guided By Voices a couple of weeks ago, Nada Surf is a more established indie rock band that I have had relatively little experience with. As before, I'm allowing the new album to serve as an introduction. The band has been around for 16 years and seven albums; their most iconic being considered High/Low. Only time can tell whether the new album can gain the same status, but I have liked the songs I've heard from it so far.
"When I Was Young"