Menace & Lord – Sun, Moon & Stars

Better Music, 2014

Kris Menace and Simon Lord join forces for a debut electro-pop outing where Menace’s production skills are aligned with Lord’s ability to craft a pop hook. The result is vibrant, addictive dream-pop and moody synth-rock that is sure to please any electronica fan. It’s sometimes futuristic, other times soft and almost like a lullaby, and positively thriving with creativity. A fantastic first outing.

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Colony House – When I Was Younger

Descendant, 2014

These Nashville rockers do a great impression of an Anglophile with ’80s influenced sounds that bring to mind Morrissey and Marr, before reaching into a deep bag of ideas from hazy to muscular alt-rock. Frontman Caleb Chapman treats the songs as an emotional release, and as the disc moves on, the songs become more moody, introspective and, well, more interesting.

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Kasper Bjorke – After Forever

HFN, 2014

Shifting gears from his disco sounds, Scandinavian sensation Kasper Bjorke dives headfirst into a Kraut, New Wave and post-punk fueled listen that’s dark spirited, and covered in moody atmospheres. It’s clear Bjorke has a penchant for the sounds of the ’80s, and we’re all better off that he’s decided to explore it on a career highlight in an already luminous catalog.

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Trigger Hippy – Trigger Hippy

Rounder, 2014

An Americana outfit comprised of Black Crowes and Widespread Panic members as well as Joan Osborne, this first LP has classic rock feelings all over it, and warm organs with blues riffs that seem tailor made for a summer evening in a rural setting. With ample amounts of power, grace and beauty, TH are being hailed as the best Americana supergroup today, and this first album solidifies that sentiment.

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Boiling Point – More

13/13b, 2014

Melodic modern rock meets buzzing alt-rock from the land of The Replacements. Though Boiling Point have their garage rock moments, too, there’s is a largely more sleek sound that could easily make it onto the FM dial alongside outfits like Foo Fighters or Switchfoot. The lyrical matter is all about positivity and referencing religion, and similarly the music is kinetic, energetic and with a feel good rhythm section. When the world tires of dance music, these guys will be household names.

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Musee Mecanique – From Shores Of Sleep

Tender Loving Empire, 2014

Layered, gorgeous indie-folk from Portland, MM’s use of cello, accordion and xylophone are paired with hushed harmonies and the sort of orchestral prowess that is only paralleled by the best of the genre. It’s a more personal outing for songwriter Sean Oglivie, and the accompanying instrumentation is intimate, rich and contains subtle power. Often sounding like music filtered through a stained glass window, this is something everyone should hear.

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