After an eight year hiatus, Cluck returns with her anti-folk approach that takes a gentle path with pianos, cellos and most importantly, her inimitable, warbling vocal style. Lyrically Cluck takes the high road, being self-reflective in an eloquent way, and her quick moments of Eastern-influenced and a cappella skills make this an all too quick listen. A lovely and accomplished return.
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The UK post-punkers come out swinging on this debut album, burying tense melody under a massive amount of reverb, fuzz and the sort of noisy rock that wanders between alt-rock and punk. George Mitchell’s unorthodox vocals could only seem appropriate for this sort of dark, jagged guitar-driven album, and the gloomy overtones suit the dissonant, chaotic sounds. Call it hardcore, punk or furious shoegaze – either way, it’s incredible.
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Here half of garage rockers The Clutters reform, with Doug Lehmann on guitar and Stephanie Bush behind the kit. Vocal duties are shared between the pair, and with the absence of bass you get a direct hit of Bush’s frenetic drumming versus Lehmann’s riffs. Undoubtedly ’60s influenced, there’s still enough modern day indie-folk in here, albeit from an unusual position. Nashville has plenty of exciting things going on, and this is definitely one of them.
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New Amsterdam, 2014
Forever known for operating outside of the ordinary, this collaborative album was inspired by the tragic events of the El Mozote Massacre and sees Little receiving help from the illustrious Third Coast Percussion ensemble. Expectedly heavy on percussion, the bells, keys, claps and programming bring a sophisticated and powerful sound that someone like Little, who is versed in both rock music and classical, creates with fluidity and in a moving, tense fashion.
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A decade ago on Myspace THC melted my brain with tech/grind/jazz hardcore. Now the Germans release the groove/djent/breakdown laden The Bleeding: a cultivated beast of an album. The time between has seen bands and entire genres rise and fall, and this album – with dexterity, candour, and commercial savvy – sums up what has happened, and indeed betters many of the efforts therein. Repeated listenings reveal a convincing album narrative, brilliant production, and a genuinely affecting ‘Noir’ atmosphere. Considering their history, it shows THC to be determined to reach a wider audience. I applaud them, and look forward to their future.
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Scissor and Thread, 2014
An album that’s as deep as its background story (the work here is a tribute to his recently deceased mother), Harris pens an unclassifiable version of electronic music that incorporates jazz, house, ambient noise, experimental wandering and classical music. Sometimes barely audible and soothing, it also stays close to dreamy, club-friendly and even shoegaze, as each song takes on a new form and direction. Harris is clearly following a path all his own here, and he does it well.
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