Cults — Cults
The buzz surrounding Brooklyn duo Cults has been building for so long, it seems crazy that their debut album won’t be out until the 31st. But, on first listen, Cults proves it was worth waiting for, with wispy, bubblegum melodies and girl-group harmonies distorted to ghostly extremes. It is the kind of summer record that’s just as appropriate for a chilly, seaside evening as for a sunny, beach-party afternoon. Listen to it at NPR.
Thurston Moore — Demolished Thoughts
The Sonic Youth star may be best known for his infatuation with noise, but Demolished Thoughts finds Thurston Moore in a decidedly gentler place. The unexpected calm (not to mention the string section) on Moore’s solo album surely has much to do with its producer, Beck — a pop chameleon who knows how to get quiet without going soft. Of course, this isn’t a complete departure: Sonic Youth fans will definitely recognize their man on more urgent cuts, like “Circulation.” Stream it at the Guardian .
The Wooden Birds — Two Matchsticks
Did you love the American Analog Set like we did? The band’s pop-inflected post-rock charmed our ears around the turn of the millennium, so we’re excited to see AmAnSet’s main man, Andrew Kenny, back with a new band. If you didn’t catch their debut LP, 2009’s Magnolia, never fear — you’ll recognize Kenny’s strummed rhythms and subtle indie-pop on its follow up. Two Matchsticks is streaming at Hype Machine.
Art Brut — Brilliant! Tragic!
Need a break from bands that take themselves too seriously? Lucky for you, this week brings the release of Art Brut’s fourth album, Brilliant! Tragic! Eddie Argos proved long ago that his band was more than a punk-rock joke — but they’re still funny, and boasting catchier, more polished arrangements than ever on a record Argos describes as “weighter” than their previous material: “This time the album is more about how I think I’m psychic, songs for my funeral, the principality of Sealand and Axl Rose,” he told Paste, where you can stream Brilliant! Tragic! until its release tomorrow.
Death Cab for Cutie — Codes and Keys
And finally, how could we neglect to inform you that indiestream stalwart Death Cab for Cutie’s seventh album — God, that makes us feel old — is available for your listening pleasure? If you’ve continued to enjoy the band post-Transatlanticism, then you’ll probably dig Codes and Keys, which comes out May 31st. If not, then you’re better off making Thurston Moore’s record your 2011 bedtime soundtrack. Those who are still on the fence should feel free to stream it at NPR.