diNMACHINE – Dance To Reason

Yocto Yotta, 2014

Far from a strictly club friendly disc, the trip-hop, industrial, multi-faceted rock on these instrumental tunes soar, mesmerise and might even make you anxious just from listening. Composed of both live instruments and computer sounds, there’s a healthy mix of noisy prog-rock as well as melodic undertones, and the band are ambitious and skilled enough to pull off a 17 minute song that doesn’t have you consulting your watch. CitingĀ Dance To Reason as merely experimental would be doing the band a grave injustice; this is in a league all its own.

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Black Girls – Claire SinClaire

Self-released, 2014

Psych-pop comes in many flavours today, but few are as irresistible as this Richmond outfit’s version of soulful, surf and glam meshing. Three part vocal harmonies, hypnotic rhythms and fuzzy guitars makeĀ Claire SinClaire a great selection for alt-rock fans, but the lounge-esque piano moments, prog-rock fun and strategically placed sax and trumpets add many dimensions while showing a wealth of talent.

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The Baseball Project – 3rd

Yep Roc, 2014

When it comes to themed bands and albums, it doesn’t get much better than this. Players from R.E.M., Zuzu’s Petals and Young Fresh Fellows pen an entire disc about, you guessed it, America’s pastime. Though having in-depth knowledge of baseball might help you understand the stories and characters, it certainly isn’t necessary to enjoy these Ramones meets The Jayhawks style power-poppers that mix in the occasional ballad or psych moment. If there were a Major League Series of indie-rock albums, TBP would be division champs.

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Solwave – The End Of The Beginning

Self-released, 2014

Five tunes here, and not one resembles the other. From blues to rockabilly to soulful indie-rock, these childhood friends make fun, energetic sounds that, even if they suffer from an identity crisis, are easy to latch on to. The sort of rock’n'roll that makes you want to move, if you prefer a band to find a style and stay there this isn’t for you. But for those with an ear toward exploration, this is a must.

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Blondfire – Young Heart

Tender Tender Rush, 2014

The sibling act of Bruce and Erica Driscoll, the indie-pop duo know how to navigate electronica and dream pop into their songs, while helping themselves to plenty of hooks, warm synth and sunny dispositions. Erica’s singing is youthful and playful, and the energetic music backs her well as the album finds a balance between hazy pop-rock, alt-rock and dance rock. If your interest in bands like Metric is waning, this will fit you well.

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Carry Illinois – Siren

Self-released, 2014

Hard to believe this is the first release for this Austin indie outfit, as they pen folky Americana with the best of the genre, though opting for a more moody, eerie angle. Frontwoman Lizzy Lehman’s distorted vocals work well with banjos or cellos, and the band bring refreshing ideas into the folk template with looping, jam moments and louder rock. A great LP is in the future.

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