By Rob van Alstyne
By Zach McCormick
By Emily Eveland
By Jack Spencer
By Michael Madden
By Reed Fischer
By Emily Weiss
By Emily Weiss
What the world needs more of, right now: more fake '80s synth-pop songs about knife-wielding burglars. Music & Lyrics II producers, holla at Nick Diamonds, posthaste!
ROBERT A.A. LOWE
For reasons I don't quite understand, this washed-out, scaling-synth wonder serves as musical accompaniment to a book of Rose Lazar's B&W folk-art/tribalist sketches. Lowe's fizzy dronescapes demand splashy psychedelic rainbows, MS Paint vistas, or the sorta kids-at-play chaos Fort Thunder is so great at.
Phil Elverum opens this booming, stormy PSA with a strangulated, rhetorical query: "Is it because a little part of you wants to be dead?" His ire mounts as the song becomes more calamitous. It's the most passionate and agitated this emo-indie producer and former Microphones frontguy has sounded in a long, long time. He comes on like the Truth Campaign on steroids, like his best buddy fell asleep with a Camel in hand and burned down the neighborhood.
Meet Marty Anderson. He's enamored of swarming, furious synth tones. He's in desperate need of a sack of throat lozenges. He wants to look deep into your eyes and suck out your soul because, apparently, he's some sort of optical vampire masquerading as a lovesick man-pup.
Yo La Tengo did a bang-up job of translating a Simpsons episode into lulling, affecting rock ("Let's Save Tony Orlando's House"). Now Philly-based Anne Sachs flips a weak Joe Pesci-on-Saturday Night Live spot into a four-track, demo-level balm. "Your mother called/She said she wants her Vans back," Sachs reports over uneasy keyboards and preprogrammed beats.