Top 10 for week ending in 12/11/21


10. Amon Tobin – How Do You Live (Nomark)

“How Do You Live is both unnerving and beautiful—awesome in the truest sense of the word. The whole album has a grand, cinematic feeling to it, with slow burning songs like the title track or ‘Button Down Fashion Bow’, to a full-on IDM banger with the song ‘Rise To Ashes’. While a lot of this album is densely packed with a variety of samples and other instrumentation, How Do You Live still leaves a lot of breathing room to allow listeners to really get engulfed in the strange atmosphere this experimental electronic album offers. Overall, Amon Tobin demonstrates that he still has a lot to offer to the music world even after 20+ years of producing music.”

– Andy B.

9. Sufjan Stevens and Angelo de Augustine – A Beginner’s Mind (Asthmatic Kitty)

“…nothing but excellent songwriting, beautiful indie-folk instrumentation, and angelic vocals. Stevens and Augustine have incredible chemistry on this album, from their gorgeous vocal harmonies to their superb playing throughout. To put it plainly: this album is great… you’d be doing yourself a disservice by not giving this thing a listen.”

– Andy B.

8. My Morning Jacket – My Morning Jacket (ATO)

“…this album doesn’t break new ground but reinforces the sounds and vibes we’re used to. Hooks are not at the fore on this release but in its place are a ton of heartfelt lyrics from Jim James and jammy/anthemic numbers that will remind frequent concert goers of their live shows. But if you’re looking for some tunes on the mellower side, you will find those here too.”

– Rory K.

7. IDLES – Crawler (Partisan)

“After a near-death experience involving a close call with a speeding motorcyclist, frontman Joe Talbot began to reflect on death and his own mortality, a theme which seeps its way into the sound and lyricism of this new record. Once again enlisting the help of hip-hop producer Kenny Beats, the band have mostly ditched the catchy, upbeat hooks of their previous records in favor of a more macabre sound, taking very blatant inspiration from bands like Joy Division. This change seems to fit them well, as this record is far and away their best work since the critically acclaimed Joy As An Act Of Resistance.”

– Michael C.

6. Lunar Vacation – Inside Every Fig Is A Dead Wasp (Keeled Scales)

Lunar Vacation creates indie pop in the vein of Rilo Kiley, Alvvays and Snail Mail. Sparkly guitars, pop synth paired with lyrics both dark and hopeful, coupled with killer pop hooks, Inside Every Fig is a Dead Wasp is an exceptionally strong debut.”

– Erin K.

5. Mild High Club – Going Going Gone (Stones Throw)

“The best way to describe the new Mild High Club album, Going Going Gone is a chaotic good evolution from anything they’ve ever released before. They’ve drawn a clear line in the sand from their psychedelic pop past, and after their five year long pause, they’ve completely embraced the funk revolution… This entire album gives the feeling of a jam session with a friend going, going, gone right; there is no way to predict the next chord or the direction of the song whatsoever… this evolved sound will feel like a plunge into ice water, but once you get beyond the initial shock factor, the strong jazz influence on the instrumentals are incredibly impressive whilst maintaining the surreal feeling like you’re dreaming that is so prevalent in Timelines and Skiptracing.”

– Annabel O.

4. Oberhofer – Smothered (Telefono)

Despite [the album’s] less than 30-minute runtime, Oberhofer manages to showcase a handful of catchy and danceable indie pop tracks engulfed in lush and dreamy synths… It’s not the most original sounding record, but what it lacks in originality it makes up for in being an intoxicatingly fun time that does not overstay its welcome… All in all, just some pleasant tunes to listen to with the pals.”

– Andy B.

3. They Might Be Giants – BOOK (Idlewild)

“…a collection of 15 quirky, fun-filled rock tracks… sure to satisfy faithful TMBG fans… These guys are incapable of writing bad music.”

– Michael C.

2. The War On Drugs – I Don’t Live Here Anymore (Atlantic)

It’s got swirling guitars, keyboards, Adam’s unmistakable voice and impeccable production. If you enjoyed their previous two releases, then you will not be disappointed with this follow-up. This album further reinforces TWOD’s place as kings of emotional classic/indie rock.”

– Rory K.

1. Sweet Trip – A Tiny House, In Secret Speeches, Polar Equals (Darla)

A Tiny House, In Secret Speeches, Polar Equals, despite its mouthful of a title, is an aptly-timed comeback for [Sweet Trip], which consists of Roby Burgos and Valerie Cooper. They explore dreamy soundscapes with a tinge of Aphex Twin-style glitchiness here and there, which has been toned down a considerable amount here from earlier releases like Velocity:Design:Comfort. It would be fitting to say “welcome back,” but in listening to this album, it feels like they never truly left.”

– Michael C.