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10 Albums to Stream: Pixies, Wye Oak, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Chad VanGaalen, and More

pixies, indie cindy

A new week brings a new batch of albums to stream. Take your pick, from the first Pixies album in over 20 years, to the newest releases from Wye Oak, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Pink Mountaintops, and more.

1) Pixies, Indie Cindy. “Songs like ‘Bagboy,’ the caustic track fans first heard when Pixies’ rebirth was announced last summer, were not delayed for years because they took so long to refine. But Indie Cindy still captures the band’s alchemic mixture of abrasion, muscle and grace, even when the edges are left ragged or sanded down more than usual.” (via NPR)

2) Wye Oak, Shriek. “The album’s contemplative tone recalls New Wave sophisticates like Japan or Talk Talk — groups who made music for dreaming more than dancing. The insular spaciousness of ’90s R&B savants like Aaliyah and TLC also make a mark. But the story is [lead singer-guitarist Jenn] Wasner’s, a struggle she has described as an ‘intense journey’ that ‘happened in the confines of my own skull.'” (via NPR)

3) Chad VanGaalen, Shrink Dust. “The Canadian space cadet Chad VanGaalen released Diaper Island, his last album, about three years ago, and he’s spent the ensuing time learning to play pedal steel… VanGaalen recorded his new album Shrink Dust at home in Calgary, and it has a slight dusty country influence, thanks to that pedal steel. But first single ‘Where Are You?’ also sounds faraway and otherworldly, which is appropriate enough, since the album also serves as a partial score to the cartoon.” — Stereogum (via Pitchfork)

4) Rodrigo y Gabriela, 9 Dead Alive. “In their newest album, 9 Dead Alive, Rodrigo y Gabriela return to their roots, reminding listeners why they fell in love with the Mexican duo in the first place. The album finds them at the peak of their musical flexibility, dexterously weaving elements of heavy metal with flamenco.” (via NPR)

5) J. Stalin, SID: Shining In Darkness. “Stalin’s latest album, SID: Shining In Darkness highlights Livewire’s [the record company Stalin owns] impressive quality control and is arguably his most accomplished release since 2010’s stellar Prenuptial Agreement. The immediate stand out is ‘Fuk That’ which features Too $hort and is pushed along by a bubbling twinkling beat from the Mekanix. But make sure to slowly make your way to the appropriately titled late-night creeper ‘Weird’ and the dirty-minded quiet storm slapper ‘All These Girls.'” (via SPIN)

6) SFV Acid, Amber’s Stuff. “SFV Acid’s Amber’s Stuff is pretty chill for a breakup album. There is no wailing, no rending of garments, no raging against the dying of the light; just slick digital synths, rippling drum programming, and a sublimated hint of acid house at its most innocent.” (via SPIN)

7) Ought, More Than Any Other Day. “The central sound of ‘Habit’ is torn from a hybrid of angular punk and rock orthodoxy, drawing [Ought] into a lineage that includes artists such as Television and Elvis Costello. There’s plenty of promise here, especially when [singer-guitarist Tim] Beeler guides his band into the spaghetti-like morass of guitars and vocal shrieks at the song’s close. ‘There’s something you believe in,’ he sings at the start, positively demanding people to believe along with him.” (via Pitchfork)

8) Pink Mountaintops, Get Back. ” ‘North Hollywood Microwaves’ is a good example of the sort of stream of conscious craziness going on here. It begins with [frontman Steve] McBean singing the titular lyrics over a playful saxophone, which by the end has soured into a Trout Mask Replica freakout while [Annie] Hardy raps about fucking a bear. How that gets from point A to B is better left unexplained here — it would ruin the fun, which is what Pink Mountaintops bring in bulk.” — Stereogum (via Pitchfork)

9) The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, Midnight Sun. “The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger is Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl. Lennon, as you may know, is the only child of John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Muhl is a successful fashion model and Lennon’s significant other of eight years… In places, it still sounds fairly Beatles-esque, but no more than many other bands of the last half century, and much less than Sean Lennon has before. Muhl’s influence and contribution pulls him out of his own history and to places that he did not go in previous solo work, like the gloomy ‘Last Call’ or twee ‘Johannesburg.'” (via NPR)

10) Jeremiah Jae, Good Times. “Uncompromising and idealistic, Jae’s latest release, a mixtape called Good Times, put out through Warp Records, is yet another concept-driven, abstract, art for art’s sake project from the prolific producer/MC whose catalog includes mixtapes with a food and nutrition theme (Lunch Special Parts 1-4), albums loosely based on the biblical story of Jesus Christ (Young Black Preachers’ Gesus) and a project inspired by his grandmother’s love for westerns that finds parallels for those themes in the modern day (RawHyde).” (via NPR)