Thomas Azier – Metropolitan Tribe [mp3] (from Hylas 001 EP, out now)
Berlin’s electro-pop wunderkind Thomas Azier offers up shimmering synthetic beats with blissfully harmonious vocals and youthful abandon.
Lower Dens – Brains [mp3] (from Nootropics, out May 1 on Ribbon Music)
A creeping ballad of artificial intelligence with chugging drums, droning guitar, and waves of synth. The new album from Baltimore’s Lower Dens focuses on transhumanism –“the use of technology to extend human capabilities.”
First Person Shootr – Punch Struck [mp3] (from Mobility for Gods, out Feb 28 on Lefse Records)
A bleak yet seductive slice of soul-infused chillwave.
Asa Milbankx – Fresher [mp3] (from Fresher/Abaco single, out now on Mount Valley Records)
New Yorker James Ward is singer/songwriter for Analog Birds. His solo work as Asa Milbankx is sunny, mellow acoustic folk-rock. In his own words “Fresher has a Talking Heads-cum-Paul McCartney feel… Fresher features some interesting sounds, including kalimba, analog synthesizers (SCI Six-Trak, Kawai SX-240, Korg Monotron) and more.”
Eric Chenaux – Amazing Backgrounds [mp3] (from Guitar & Voice, out Mar 6 on Constellation Records)
Toronto guitar master Eric Chenaux’s forthcoming solo album features only his voice and guitar work with minimal overdubs. The free single ‘Amazing Backgrounds’ displays his languid voice and sleek Nels Cline-ish guitar playing.
Circus Devils – Cyclopean Runways [mp3] (from Capsized!, out now)
Another year – another slew of albums from Boston Spaceships, Circus Devils, and Guided by Voices; it’s all in a day’s work for Robert Pollard. [Okay it’s actually a 2011 release…]
Kishi Bashi – It All Began with a Burst [mp3] (from 151a, out Apr 10 on Joyful Noise Recordings)
Jubilant psych-pop from founding member of NY synth rockers Jupiter One and current current member of of Montreal K Ishibashi.
The Pharmacy – Dig Your Grave [mp3] (from Dig Your Grave EP, out Feb 3 on Kind Turkey Records)
From Seattle, LSD pop with piano, organ, & cello (in that order).
Conduits – Top Of The Hill [mp3] (from Conduits, out Mar 20)
Omaha slowcore ambience featuring members of Eagle Seagull. Nice tune that builds a dense foundation of bass, reverb guitar, and synth with ethereal vocals of Jenna Morrison rising above the fray.
Backwords – Anywhere Now [mp3] (from By the Neck, out Mar 6 )