DNTEL – “Why I’m So Unhappy”
Life Is Full Of Possibilities

A beautiful track from a very interesting album. Most know DNTEL now as one half of The Postal Service, and indeed, “The Dream of Evan and Chan” from this album was the first (and best) of that fruitful collaboration. But “Why I’m So Unhappy” is more delicate and understated, allowing time for both the tripping beats and noise-play that mark earlier DNTEL to show at their own pace. (insound)

Sir Richard Bishop – “Al Darazi”
Salvador Kali

This guy is best known for his dynamic, improvisational guitar playing, most impressively on Fingering The Devil. But on this older album, he takes a piano break and creates a piece that’s.. pretty much the same thing but on piano. But I love it and there’s a lo-fi warmth to this recording that makes it sound like a record from the 30s.


Tape – “Dripstone”

While it’s not as beautiful as the pastoral Milieu, Tape’s latest album is certainly charming, and this too-short track demonstrates their mastery of tone. The album isn’t long to begin with, but with these barely-there tracks, it seems even shorter than it is. A very pleasant distraction. (insound)


Daniel Maze – “Steampunk”
Red After Image

A deliciously atmospheric album, equal parts Tim Hecker, Thieves, and older Manitoba. Soundscapes and beats and untraceable harmonies. The opening track is excellent as well. The best part? This great album is free. Download it here.


Unwound – “We Invent You”
Leaves Turn Inside You

This mystical and chromatic opener is an appropriate entry point for the beautiful, confident landscape of one of the great “post-punk” albums out there. Yes, that first part lasts for two glorious minutes.The first sound you hear is the distortion from the tape reel spinning up.


Oval – Track One

Some might hear a track like this and wonder how such a confusion of noise could ever be mistaken for music. I don’t blame them. With Oval, either you hear it or you don’t – but if you do hear it, its unique beauty is without comparison.

Black Heart Procession – “Drugs (Eluvium and Jamuel Saxon remixes)”
Blood Bunny/Black Rabbit

This 14-minute remix forms the last third of this collaboration album, and actually has a lead-in from the previous track. It takes more than four minutes for the first piano chord to hit, so enjoy the Eluvium atmospherics, which strongly remind me of track three from Palmless Prayer/Mass Murder Refrain. The chopped-up Jamuel Saxon portion is kind of incongruous with the long build-up, but it’s an interesting payoff and worth listening to. (insound)


Junior Boys – “Under the Sun”
Last Exit

I’ve never been able to handle a lot of the indie/dance stuff at a time — a few tracks of Ratatat, !!!, Chromeo, and so on is usually enough. So I rarely get to the second half of this Junior Boys album, and forgot about this excellent song. It reminds me of Spoon’s similarly spare and minor-funky “They Never Got You,” though really they sound almost nothing alike. It’s really a lot more like Studio than anything.


Los Halos – “Reasons To Smile”
Leaving VA

Loud, ebullient, and confident, this is the sound of a band at its best. An anthem for good days and triumphant returns.


Autolux – “Headless Sky”
Transit Transit

While this album doesn’t really live up to the dynamic and creative Future Perfect, it does have some great songs, and this is one of them.