Buke and Gass – +/-
Buke and Gass make music on homemade instruments that individually explore minimalist but sonic pallets. The handful of tracks that make up +/- are filled with asymmetrical transitions that could easily have any listener imagining another three or four songs within each one, yet the overall flavor presented requires each little piece remain intact.
Inlets – Inter Arbiter
A worrier, childhood choir member and unfocused student of many instruments, Inlets‘ Sebastian Krueger marries the darker ornaments of baroque pop with lo-fi intimacy. Inter Arbiter, his first full length, includes help from friends like Beirut front man Zach Condon, Dirty Projector’s vocalist Angel Deradoorian, as well as cellist Maria Jeffers and violist Marla Hansen.
Radio Dept. – Clinging to a Scheme
The Radio Dept.‘s Clinging to a Scheme is without doubt this year’s most eagerly anticipated Swedish indie pop album. It’s been four long years, but give it one listen and you’ll know it’s been worth every second. Clinging to a Scheme combines the best components from their previous albums with soul guitars, P-funk, cut/paste-beats and ’70s futuristic orchestra sounds.
Frog Eyes – Paul’s Tomb: A Triumph
Three years in the making, Paul’s Tomb: A Triumph marks Frog Eyes‘ thunderous, frantic, fiery return. This is a slow-brewed masterpiece that that illustrates how they just keep getting better and better. Frog Eyes are equally informed by Scott Walker and Roxy Music, Nuggets collections and the Everly Brothers.
The Tallest Man on Earth – The Wild Hunt
The words. The voice. The melodies. Ten perfect songs. The Wild Hunt picks up where 2008’s Shallow Grave left off, with Kristian Matsson doing what he does best. It is unmistakably The Tallest Man on Earth, from the urgent strums of “You’re Going Back” and the sweet melodies of “Love Is All,” to the playful lyricism of “King of Spain” and the subtle hook on “Burden of Tomorrow.”