Review: Broken Social Scene – Hug of Thunder

Broken Social Scene were the band to be a decade ago. They had two critically acclaimed albums under their belt: 2002’s You Forgot It In People and 2005’s Broken Social Scene. They had a devoted enough following to sell out three nights in a row at the same venue. And perhaps most importantly, they became…

Review: Phoenix – Ti Amo

  When Phoenix hit it big in 2009 with their hits “Lizstomania” and “1901” off the album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, there were a couple surprises in store for their newly-acquired legion of listeners. First, that the band had been around for quite a while – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix was actually their fourth album (they released…

Review: !!! – Shake the Shudder

The ungoogleable band !!! (pronounced ‘chk-chk-chk’) has long been a prime candidate for a “best of” album. Their studio albums to date have been decent enough, but each contained one or two tracks that blew all the others clear out of the water. Just to name some examples, their self-titled album had “KooKooKa Fuk-U,” Louden…

Review: Conor Oberst – Salutations

Ah Conor Oberst. Feels like it was just the other day that I was writing about him… Oh wait, that’s because he only released the album Ruminations in October of last year. If you’re thinking five months is a relatively short gap between albums, realize that Ruminations was a fairly bare bones release. It consisted…

Review: Japandroids – Near to the Wild Heart of Life

Reading the titles of Canadian indie rock duo Japandroids’ albums gives you a fairly good sense of what they’re all about. Their 2009 debut Post-Nothing suggests a band lacking a grand vision of what they’re supposed to be, bucking subgenre designations like “post-punk” and “post-rock” in the process. More descriptive is the band’s 2012 sophomore…

Review: STRFKR – Being No One, Going Nowhere

  STRFKR (formerly known as Starfucker before vowels fell out of fashion) never wanted to be pinned down or confined to any single box. In an interview, frontman Josh Hodges declared that the band’s mission was to create “dance music that you can actually listen to, that’s good pop songs, but also you can dance…

Review: Kishi Bashi – Sonderlust

Kaoru Ishibashi, the man behind Kishi Bashi, has been one of the most upbeat guys making music since he hit the scene with his 2012 debut 151a. As a former touring member for of Montreal, he combined their whimsical energy with the violin looping techniques of Owen Pallett to create intricate yet cheerful melodies. He…

Review: The Avalanches – Wildflower

It’s always a strange feeling to hear that a band with a markedly long absence is going to be releasing a new album. The bar is almost always set impossibly high, since listeners are likely going to reminisce about where they were when the band last dominated musical conversations. Last year the Libertines released Anthems…

Review: Band of Horses – Why Are You OK

As various indie rock trends have come and gone over the years, Band of Horses have remained remarkably consistent. Since the release of their debut Everything All The Time a decade ago, the band has put out three studio albums that all have the same distinct sound – a very American style of indie rock…

Review: Islands – Should I Remain Here At Sea?/Taste

  Nick Thorburn can’t seem to catch a break. Although he gained a great deal of popularity with indie pop group the Unicorns, they released all of one studio album (Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone?) in 2003 before splitting. Despite a litany of musical projects since this time, including five releases as…