OutRun is the debut album from french house artist Kavinsky. Narratively, it is a bizarre concept album centered around a teenager who becomes an electronic music producing zombie after merging with his Ferrari Testarossa. Anyone has seen Nicolas Winding Refn's 2011 film Drive will immediately recognize "Nightcall", the eighth track on the album. If you're one of the many people anticipating the return of Daft Punk this May, OutRun is exactly the type of album to keep you satisfied until then. It's bright, it's flashy, it's essentially italo-disco. Very cinematic. Give it a spin.
Play: 3, 10
RIYL: Chromatics, Daft Punk, Justice
Matthew Houck, otherwise known as Phosphorescent, has been in the game for a while. On his sixth album, Muchacho, he's turned those years of experience into a quantifiable object. Muchacho is easily his most honest album, and according to the press release, was written when his life was unraveling. "A domestic crisis meant he had to find another apartment/studio at short notice, in the dead of winter, in accomadation-squeezed New York". Though that doesn't necessarily sound like a tragedy of epic proportions, the sound of the album has somehow been affected by the experience. It functions excellently as an album to put on while you're doing other things, but on closer inspection each song doesn't carry much weight.
Play: 2, 4, 5, 8
RIYL: Akron/Family, Mumford & Sons
Bloodsports is the sixth album from the English alt-rock band Suede. Following 2002's A New Morning, this album is a welcome return for the band to their 90's sound. Songs like "It Starts And Ends With You" and "Hit Me" sound like they've been sitting in the vaults for twenty years. Which, sonically, isn't always a good thing. Other tracks on this album sound a little silly, and detract from fully enjoying the album. That said, if you grew up listening to R.E.M., Pulp, and Suede, this has the potential to be your album of the year.
RIYL: Pulp, Oasis, Blur, The Stone Roses
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Rilo Kiley's newest release is a collection of b-sides, rarities, and unreleased songs. Though the band has not reunited, this collection of rarities includes 9 never before released songs that make me wish Rilo Kiley did get back together. rkives is a nostalgic return to Rilo Kiley's 13 years as a band, even featuring Nebraska favorite Tim Kasher in "A Town Called Luckey". All of the tracks on this album have the signature "indie-rock" Rilo Kiley sound fans know and love and are worth a listen. Unreleased Tracks: 1-6, 14.
****"Dejalo" begins with Jenny Lewis singing in Spanish behind a synthy beat, and turns into a weird rap featuring Too $hort. It is too great. Please listen to it if you're a Rilo Kiley fan.
Play: 5, 4, 8, 13, 14, 16
RIYL: Camera Obscura, The New Pornographers, Bands on Saddle Creek Records
Telekinesis' third full-length album, Dormarion, is set to release April 2nd on Merge Records. After releasing the single, "Ghosts and Creatures", there has been much speculation about Michael Lerner's approach to his new album. Dormarion was recorded with the help of Spoon drummer Jim Eno and is 12 tracks of indie pop-rock not unlike Telekinesis' previous releases. Lerner's sound has matured since he first released music in 2009, but Dormarion is still full of the guitar driven rock we've previously heard. Stand out tracks "Lean on Me" and "Ever True" are a little slower than the other songs on this album, but overall Dormarion is a fast paced pop-rock release from Telekinesis that does not disappoint.
Play: 1, 2, 4, 5, 9
RIYL: Paul McCartney's Ram, Spoon, The Rural Alberta Advantage
On April 9th, The Knife will release their fourth studio album, Shaking The Habitual. In anticipation of this release, the Swedish electronic duo have released two singles from the album. The first, the nine minute banger "Full of Fire", was a dark and twisted piece of electro pop. The second, " A Tooth For An Eye", is just as intense, and is absolutely worth a listen. The hammering bass line heard on "Full of Fire" has been replaced by a dancey Caribbean steel drum, and the effect is marvelous.
RIYL: Bjork, CHVRCHES, Fever Ray
Play: 1,2 (1 is the radio edit, 2 is the album track)