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10 Albums You Can Hear Now: Elvis Costello and the Roots, Sebadoh, MGMT, and More

elvis costello, the roots, wise up ghost

Welcome the long-awaited weekend by streaming new albums from Elvis Costello and the Roots, Sebadoh, the Dirtbombs, and (if you dare) MGMT. Find all those and more below. 

1) Elvis Costello and the Roots, Wise Up Ghost. “More than half of Wise Up Ghost is faultless: more exciting and hooky than much recent work from either [Elvis Costello or the Roots]. Opener ‘Walk Us Uptown’ is where ?uestlove shows he can best the beats on Elvis’ prior R&B testimonies. (Yes, even Get Happy!!) ‘Sugar Won’t Work’ offers the kind of keyboard-trill funk that only record-nerd aesthetes know how to execute. (The pacing is smooth, while the textures run gritty.) And the arrangement on ‘Refuse to Be Saved’ is masterful: Between the digi-crunch chordal comping, the ensemble-horn punches, some orchestral accents, and an organ part, things easily could sound cluttered. Yet there’s sufficient room left in the mix for the drummer to get some.” — SPIN (via NPR)

2) SebadohDefend Yourself. “The last few years have… seen the dissolution of [Lou] Barlow’s 25-year marriage… Barlow chronicles that collapse and its aftermath on Defend Yourself; it’s the first album in 14 years from Sebadoh, the band he once again shares with multi-instrumentalist Jason Loewenstein and drummer Bob D’Amico…  The heartbreak here does feel more specific than the generalized ache of songs like Sebadoh’s 20-year-old gem ‘Soul and Fire,’ but the music that surrounds him feels especially lively. Outside of ‘Let It Out,’ a frank and lovely dirge about life pre- and post-divorce, Defend Yourself rarely lets gloom dominate entirely. In ‘Inquiry,’ Sebadoh even returns to the scuzzy punk that dotted its ’90s output.” (via NPR)

3) MGMT, MGMT. “The psych-glam duo’s self-titled third LP is due out on September 17 via Columbia Records, but the whole thing is streaming now… The band released an amusing teaser video for the album last week; we’ve also heard ‘Your Life Is a Lie’ (performed on Letterman), ‘Alien Days,’ and a live version of ‘Mystery Disease.’ Reported influences onMGMT include Aphex Twin and house music.” — SPIN (via Rdio)

4) The DirtbombsOoey Gooey Chewy Ka-Blooey!. “‘This album is sort of my tribute to Saturday-morning cartoons,’ Dirtbombs frontman Mick Collins says. ‘That was my scene as a kid. Every third show was about a band: the Archies, Josie and the Pussycats, the Hardy Boys. My childhood was watching bands on TV. And the music on Ooey Gooey Chewy Ka-Blooey! is what those bands sounded like, or as close as I can get them to with the Dirtbombs’… Since Collins sharply focused the album’s songwriting, the Dirtbombs recorded a lovingly tongue-in-cheek tribute to puppy love, teenage insecurity, and the days when songs about candy weren’t always creepy euphemisms for sex.” (via SPIN)

5) TRAAMS, Grin. “Back in July, SPIN premiered ‘Flowers,’ a prickly combination of post-punk atmospherics and motorik propulsion from English trio TRAAMS. Now, we have the FatCat signees’ full debut album, Grin, which arrives in the U.S. on September 24 and hits the U.K. and Europe on September 16. Recorded throughout 2012 and 2013 with producers Rory Attwell (formerly of Test Icicles) and MJ (currently of fellow noise-makers Hookworms), the upcoming LP collects 11 tracks of tunefully deranged, remarkably giddy guitar-pop that reimagines early Modest Mouse as a Krautrock-fluent crew.” (via SPIN)

6) ForteBowie, Vice Haus Deluxe. “Atlanta’s ForteBowie ends the intro to his new mixtape Vice Haus Deluxe (a widescreen version of February’s Vice Haus EP) with a special message from Peaches, someone whom Southern rap aficionados will recall from the intro track on OutKast’s first album,Southernplayalisticcadillacmusik… And indeed, Vice Haus lives up to the OutKast connect-the-dots tradition. ‘Blasphemy’ finds church music transcendence in Future-esque warbling, while Drowning Pool’s aggro-metal ’90s hit ‘Bodies’ is hammered into a rap’n’bullshit slow jam off all things, on ‘Freaky/Faithful.’ Those are just a few highlights from this focused, subgenre-jumping tape. Like most of the young Atlanta artists currently lumped under the catch-all ‘New ATL’ label, ForteBowie feels both futuristic and nostalgic.” (via SPIN)

7) SISU, Blood Tears. “Blood Tears, the first solo LP from Dum Dum Girls drummer Sandra Vu… delivers a lush collection of mascara-streaked synth-wave, following this year’s Light Eyes EP with 10 tracks that straddle a host of genres and styles. ‘I didn’t want to sound like any one thing — a shoegaze band, an electronic band, a rock band,’ Vu said in July. ‘But I did want to make pop songs with un-pop sounds… Whether a song starts out as noise or with an abrasive synth, I always find my way back to melody and structure.'” (via SPIN) 

8) HSY, HSY EP. “HSY have been honing their sinister sludge punk for the past two years, and now the Toronto foursome are ready to unleash their debut self-titled EP. Recorded in a small-town church and due out September 17 via Buzz Records, the forthcoming effort collects five tracks of seething, post-punk-infused filth. Dive into the abyss.” (via SPIN) 

9) Grouplove, Spreading Rumours. “Many members of the L.A. quintet Grouplove have had their bodies emblazoned with ‘Grouplove’ tattoos, so they’re nothing if not committed to the project. That full-bore, all-in approach comes through in their songs, too: Like Grouplove’s ingratiating debut (2011’s Never Trust a Happy Song), the new Spreading Rumours positively brims over with scrappy, happy, sinewy little earworms… At times, the hookiness can border on overbearing; the insistent ‘Ways to Go’ even ventures perilously close to the cloying territory once mined by Barenaked Ladies’ ‘Two Weeks.’ But on balance, the candy-coated craftsmanship and joy on display throughout Spreading Rumours makes the record ludicrously easy to love — a welcome dose of summertime, just in time for fall.” (via NPR) 

10) Balance and Composure, The Things We Think We’re Missing. “Balance and Composure display a deft sense of, well, balance and composure. The Doylestown, Pennsylvania, five-piece wed emotionally vulnerable lyrics with surging, layered rhythms, recalling the red-eyed, sore-throated bedroom poetry of Sunny Day Real Estate. ‘Tiny Raindrop’… from the Jon Simmons-led outfit’s upcoming sophomore LP, is no exception. ‘Even if I could I would never let you go,’ Simmons sings on the not-quite-alt-metal track. ‘So come with me / I’ll buy you a raincoat.'” — SPIN (via Pitchfork)