By Jolie Klefeker
All three of the albums I'm talking about today are albums that I, and everyone else, have been talking about for a while. They've been much anticipated and for very good reason. I'm here to tell you that they all live up to the hype.
Hovvdy have been a station favorite with a cult following for quite a while now, delivering a seemingly effortless package of slow — a la Alex G — no-frills indie rock. At times cozy, at times wistful, the slow-core duo manages to craft a sound that, despite being exceedingly simple, never seems to bore. Consisting of Will Taylor and Charlie Martin, the Austin-based pair has slowly been gaining momentum in underground music circles. "Cranberry" is being released on Double Double Whammy and comes in the wake of Hovvdy's first release, "Taster" (which I also really recommend, by the way). "Cranberry" is adorned with unexpected pockets of intricacy where notes of Americana drift through their meandering guitars and accents of banjo and piano. And tiny moments of vocal harmony add emphasis to their gently spoken, almost whispered lyrics. This is a great record. It's masterfully simple. Listen to it.
With a distinctively loud, distorted and abrasive sound, No Age have cemented themselves as the veterans of this mix; their 2008 release, "Nouns" has become somewhat of a classic. However, they've been pretty quiet for the past couple of years, so I was pleased to hear they were releasing a new record, "Snares Like A Haircut," on Drag City. While their music is glazed with an surprising, almost sugary indie-pop sound, No Age is for the most part loud, fuzzy and hard. Combining elements of hardcore, noise, lofi and pop, No Age lives for the juxtaposition, and "Snares Like A Haircut" is no different. Their sound is fresh, manic, lurid and deceptively noisey. This deception is a good thing; it's the reason I love noise music.
There's a beauty in digging through noise and abstraction to find underlying moments of subtlety and harmony. This record isn't monumental, but it coaxes that interaction out of you, and that's why I like it.
New York's Porches are back it again with their third studio album, "The House." While they've always had electronic energy, they've come out with something even more dance influenced than their previous release "Pool," featuring prominent techno beats and lots more Auto-Tune. Porches blend of indie bedroom pop with soft electro offers something for fans of Blood Orange, "Blonde"-era Frank Ocean, Alex G and Frankie Cosmos. On the whole, "The House" is cool-toned, serene and groovy pop beats perfectly suited for those early-evening, pre-going-out-late kinds of times. Two of the singles from the record really shine: "Find Me," which is jarringly and successfully upbeat, and the more toned-down "Country." The in-between tracks serve more as experimental buffers than standout songs. When this album does well, it's contagious and unexpected, and when it doesn't do as well, it's still bearable. You'll have a chance to catch the new tracks live when Porches play Feb. 26 at the Larimer Lounge in Denver
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