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The Black Angels
Indigo Meadow
Blue Horizon Ventures
Indigo Meadow is the fourth full-length release by The Black Angels, a psychedelic rock band from Austin Texas who have played at every Austin Psych Fest since 2008. This isn’t the flowers-and-gnomes, blippy, minimalist psychedelic of Syd Barrett though. This is wall of sound, reverb-heavy, fuzzy and delay-soaked psychedelic. Fat, crunchy guitar/bass leads drive your body to bend under their weight while the ebbing and flowing waves of keyboards and rhythm guitar wash your mind out to sea and Alex Maas’ vocals call out to you as if from a distant corner of a dream. While listening to the album here is where I am: it’s a summer night, and despite it being 10:00 PM it’s still 95 degrees and just getting dark. My room is covered in psychedelic posters, discarded clothes and beaten up guitars. I have nowhere to be so I play my vinyl (of course) copy of Indigo Meadow on the big speakers, turn the lights and ceiling fan on, lie on the bed, stare at the ceiling and let my mind wander sinking into the music. Personally I feel that this is a great release for the band in that it has an individual identity but remains similar enough to still definitely be the Black Angels. – Daniel DeSimone
The Black Angels
Indigo Meadow
Blue Horizon Ventures
Indigo Meadow is the fourth full-length release by The Black Angels, a psychedelic rock band from Austin Texas who have played at every Austin Psych Fest since 2008. This isn’t the flowers-and-gnomes, blippy, minimalist psychedelic of Syd Barrett though. This is wall of sound, reverb-heavy, fuzzy and delay-soaked psychedelic. Fat, crunchy guitar/bass leads drive your body to bend under their weight while the ebbing and flowing waves of keyboards and rhythm guitar wash your mind out to sea and Alex Maas’ vocals call out to you as if from a distant corner of a dream. While listening to the album here is where I am: it’s a summer night, and despite it being 10:00 PM it’s still 95 degrees and just getting dark. My room is covered in psychedelic posters, discarded clothes and beaten up guitars. I have nowhere to be so I play my vinyl (of course) copy of Indigo Meadow on the big speakers, turn the lights and ceiling fan on, lie on the bed, stare at the ceiling and let my mind wander sinking into the music. Personally I feel that this is a great release for the band in that it has an individual identity but remains similar enough to still definitely be the Black Angels. – Daniel DeSimone
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They Might Be Giants
Nanobots
Idlewild Records
“Hi, I forgot your name. Whatever. My point is – hi, your head’s on fire. Oh damn, you must’ve got one of them combustible heads. I read an article all about them.” These are the first lyrics you hear on this album, and if this sounds awesome to you, then you’ll probably be into They Might Be Giants. TMBG appeals to me, and I imagine a lot of people, because above all they aren’t afraid to skew silly. They’re serious musicians who never take themselves too seriously (they regularly perform puppet shows at their concerts.) Many staples of They Might Be Giants make their way onto this album: off-beat lyrics, MIDI sounds, accordion, charmingly kid-friendly guitar tonality and the Johns’ catchy sing-talking. However, this album may excite TMBG fanatics, as it has the same producer as Flood, generally their most critically-acclaimed album. This album, along with their last, is more reminiscent of the Lincoln – Apollo 18 era of They Might Be Giants than any recording they’ve put out since. Similarly, for the first time since Apollo 18 They Might Be Giants have several songs that only last a number of seconds, and serve as little monuments to the idiom “brevity is the source of wit.” Any other band that tries to do what They Might Be Giants does may come across as kitschy or a novelty act, but when one looks at this album, it’s clear that this is a band of poignant artists with a refreshing proclivity for the affable. You don’t stay relevant for over 30 years unless you can tap into a creative realm that no one else dares travel.   – Lawson Chambers
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Telekinesis
Dormarion
Merge
Telekinesis is largely a product of its singer/drummer Michael Benjamin Lerner, and if you’ve followed their career, it’s interesting to see what this guy tries with each new album. Telekinesis’s first album was filled with sweet, catchy little ditties, but the subsequent EP has a cathartic cover of Guided by Voices’ “Game of Pricks” (which garnered some ethos with me). The glue that holds all of Telekinesis’ songs together though is Lerner’s ever-amiable vocals. They’re akin to that of Ben Gibbard’s, where no matter how the song sounds, you feel welcome and disarmed by the dulcet singing. In a way, Dormarion is Lerner’s playground. Some songs retain tthat sincerity of their first album, while others travel more into power pop, and for the first time some incorporate some synth-pop elements – notably on “Ghosts and Creatures” and “Ever True.” While there are a great variety of compositions, all of the songs maintain Telekinesis’s signature subdued drumbeats and warm, vanilla mood. The songs straddle an inoffensive middle ground that invites everyone to find one particular track that may peak interest. – Lawson Chambers
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Kavinsky
Outrun
Record Makers
French producer Kavinsky has been releasing material in the format of EPs and singles since January of 2006 including the song “Nightcall,” made famous by it’s inclusion in the 2011 movie Drive. This material has finally been compiled, supplemented, and released on one LP, Outrun. Kavinsky’s production style has been compared to the synthpop soundtracks of 80s action films and this album only solidified that opinion. The album opens with a narration outlining the tragic events surrounding the life, death and resurrection of of the album’s “hero.” The bulk of the album, when accompanied by the photographs in the album booklet, allow the listener to construct the story without actually seeing it. Musically, the album is electro-house with a vintage synth feel, though certain tracks are layered with dramatic guitar solos, outside vocalists and even hip-hop. Basically, it sounds like the red Ferrari Testarossa in the story. – Daniel DeSimone
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Reviews curated and edited by: JJ Posway

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