• Ryan Monroe, 'A Painting of a Painting on Fire' (RCM)

    Band of Horses sideman plays every note, leaves his band’s songwriting magic at home.

  • Metric, 'Synthetica' (Mom + Pop)

    Unlike Broken Social Scene — her besties in the very social scene from which she sprang — Emily Haines has never seemed destined for anonymity. Since 2003, when she presented the world at large with her own band Metric — via the new wave-indebted firecracker Old World Underground, Where Are You Now? — Haines has sure-footedly and purposefully inched closer to the brightest possible spotlight. Her band’s fourth album, 2009’s Fantasies provided the tipping point, pushing Metric into big rooms and onto Twilight soundtracks. And now, Synthetica completes the journey: It’s big, glossy, sexy, and willing, but never cheap. Intentionally or not, Metric also takes their lessons from a half-dozen chart-topping bands, beginning most directly with Death Cab for Cutie.

  • Post Teens, 'The Heat EP' (No Idea)

    Florida heavy-rock vets get their yayas out in the garage, deliver six cathartic, samey songs in six minutes.

  • Diamond Rugs, 'Diamond Rugs' (Partisan)

    Deer Tick frontman gathers Black Lips, a Dead Confederate, and a Los Lobo for a raucous, loose hootenanny.

  • Bloody Knives, 'Blood' (Saint Marie)

    Boo Radleys plus angst, Atari Teenage Riot minus Teutonic anger...You got your punk in my shoegaze!

  • Chappo, 'Moonwater' (Major Domo)

    New York band nods to classic indie (Pixies, a dash of Grandaddy); with just enough psych-swirls to stay groovy.

  • Reptar, Body Faucet (Vagrant)

    Vampire Weekend’s younger brahs take MGMT lessons. Killer when catchy, dreary when not.

  • Bad Veins, 'The Mess We've Made' (Modern Outsider)

    A less killer Killers or less deadly Death Cab; massively catchy, but kinda empty, slicked-up Cinci indie.

  • Bleeding Knees Club, 'Nothing to Do' (IAMSOUND)

    Two snots playing '60s-inspired Brill Building pop with the joyous punk energy of millennials

  • Yann Tiersen, 'Skyline' (Mute)

    French film composer (Amelie) and friend to indie stars (Jeff Mangum, Tindersticks) unleashes his inner Mogwai.

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