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Five New Albums Worth Your Dime

Five New Albums Worth Your Dime

1. Maps, We Can Create
(A one-man electronic experiment, crafted in the Northampton, UK bedroom of James Chapman. The sound is fuller and more epic than you’d ever imagine, combining influences steeped in shoegaze mentality. A beautiful and catchy Mercury Prize nominee, that recalls My Bloody Valentine, Death in Vegas, and Ride.)

2. The Aliens, Astronomy For Dogs
(Former members of The Beta Band continue their whacked-out, space-rock tradition with this surprisingly stellar new group. The melodies come fast and furious, in a kaleidoscopic explosion that owes its weight in colors to 60’s pop: California style as well as British mod style. This is what Gomez used to sound like, before they decided they wanted to be a jam band.)

3. Tegan and Sara, The Con
(Canadian twin sisters come back with their third album of ragged, lovelorn indie-pop. With help from producer/Death Cab guitarist Chris Walla, they open up their sound in bigger – but not always better – ways. It’s a crisp and hummable document of love pissing you off.)

4. Okkervil River, The Stage Names
(Austin indie-rock group masters the fine art of evolving their sound just enough to make us stay interested. They don’t make new bands like these much anymore… and it’s a shame. A great album of college-radio classics in waiting.)

5. John Vanderslice, Emerald City
(It seems like every singer/songwriter wants to sell out to the Starbucks community the first chance they get. We saw it happen with Damien Rice and Alexi Murdoch, and their music suffered as a result. Luckily, though, Vanderslice still makes albums with a solid indie footing. This one is another lush/acoustic/poppy collection of comforting coffee-shop rock.)

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