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!

"Psygning Off"

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.

"Don't Smoke"

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.

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