Landlady – Upright Behavior

Hometapes, 2014

The former solo project for Adam Schatz (of Man Man), Landlady amplifies Schatz’s penchant for odd sounds with quirky rhythms that abruptly leap into world music influences, and catchy hooks backed by wordplay that is esoteric at best. The song structures here are far from ordinary, and the overall experimental twist on sonically dense indie-rock is alarmingly unusual but always pleasant.

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Kodomo – Patterns & Light

Self-released, 2014

Chris Child, AKA Kodomo, gathered classical records he found in flea markets and sidewalk sales around Brooklyn, then extracted sounds from those records and put them through software programs for this odd yet intriguing listen. The result is hip-hop beats, classical moments and ’80s New Wave all meeting in an ambient and melodic fashion, succeeding in analog and digital proficiency that few could emulate.

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Zongo Junction – No Discount

Electric Cowbell, 2014

Rowdy afro-beat from Brooklyn. The funky, psyche-influenced and electro-pop sounds of Zongo Junction are as diverse as they are experimental, and the sax solos and dramatic keys are both propulsive and carefully calculated. Often with more emphasis on horns than guitars, the polyrhythmic grooves are as infectious as they are stimulating.

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Alvvays – Alvvays

Polyvinyl, 2014

A curious version of dream-pop and jangly indie-rock with the occasional noisy moment, these Canadians fronted by Molly Rankin’s commanding vocals play the sort of guitar pop that is so often overlooked in today’s synth heavy scene. More sunny than dismal, this is impressive both lyrically and musically, with plenty of melody and frisky tones. Obscurity won’t surround these Canucks very long when they play music this impressive.

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The Dead Rabbitts – Shapeshifter

Tragic Life, 2014

A metalcore supergroup (Escape The Fate, Greeley Estates, Alesana), this new project finds itself at a more brutal place with skull shattering breakdowns and monolithic riffs, though not without melody as the post-hardcore influence comes through in memorable choruses. Though Craig Mabbit’s vocals work well whether he’s screaming or shrieking, the meticulous instrumentation steals the show with some classic rock nods amid the thundering intensity.

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Yonatan Gat – Iberian Passage

Joyful Noise, 2014

Gat was one of the driving forces of Monotonix, an Israeli garage rock band with an untarnishable reputation. Solo, Gat manipulates tempo and structure all over this EP, lending his inimitable guitar work to wild tunes that move with unpredictability and often place world music-influenced psych-pop at the forefront. Largely instrumental, there’s minor singing in both English and Portuguese, though the extremely complex music alone is worth the investment here.

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