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It’s Pretty Standard

Carly Johnson & Craig Wagner
SELF-RELEASED

As the title of the debut album by chanteuse Carly Johnson and guitarist Craig Wagner is a pun, referring to the beautiful standards they perform together, let’s go one step further and say t

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Pacific Midwest

Andy Matter
GUBBEY

It’s clear that Pacific Midwest, the debut solo effort from multi-instrumentalist Andy Matter, is a labor of love.

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Music for a Sophomore Phase

A Light Beacon
SELF-RELEASED

Despite its effort to bridge the gap between glacial post-rock and dense electronic ambience … Sophomore Phase isn’t quite sure what sort of record it wants to be.

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Virgins

Tim Hecker
KRANKY

Canadian ambient artist Tim Hecker has made some of the most challenging and captivating music of the early ’00s.

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Midnight at the Movies

Justin Townes Earle
Bloodshot

A Texas singer-songwriter with the name Justin Townes Earle is a like pop star being named John Lennon Beethoven Gaye or a scientist named Susan Curie Einstein-Newton.

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Animal Feelings

Rafter
ASTHMATIC KITTY

Studio engineer Rafter Roberts sat behind the mixing boards for the Castanets, Fiery Furnaces and labelmate Sufjan Stevens.

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The Waves

The Waves
SELF-RELEASED

Most of the problems with The Waves’ debut record emanate from one source: the faux-Brit affectation.

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State of the U.N.I.O.N.

Truth B. Told
SELF-RELEASED

Having released a series of guerilla/mixtape-style albums in recent years, Truth B.

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Gonzo

Foxy Shazam
SELF-RELEASED

Dare I call this toned-down Foxy? Impossible.

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BBoP

Black Birds of Paradise
SELF-RELEASED
Black Birds of Paradise arrive fully formed on their debut, merging elements of jazz fusion, surf rock and pastoral folk under the banner of prog-leaning psych rock.