If you’re of an age where albums like Saves the Day’s Stay What You Are exemplified what it was like to be 16 years old, then you’re now of an age where The Nationals Boxer exemplified what it’s like to be a directionless 20-something. Now, they’ve returned after a few years away from the studio with High Violet. Matt Beringer’s baritone voice drives lyrics that should sound so fragile into a powerful call to arms almost. It should also be noted that Bryan Devendorf might be the most underrated drummer in music.
Since the world never gets tired of new genre names, Future Islands have categorized their sound as “post-wave.” As obnoxious as these labels seem to get (and more so with each new one) this sounds remarkable accurate. They’ve borrowed the clean synth sounds from the great 80’s new-wave bands, but have paired it with truly outstanding story telling. Lyrically the band is solid, but you’re completely sold on it by Samuel Herring’s guttural wailing carrying you through each line.
The New Pornographers
May really is the month of the stalwarts of the indie scene releasing new work. The New Pornographers are no different and, as has been the case for more than a decade, they’ve released another solid album with few low points. Together brings the super group back to the studio, which includes Neko Case’s jaw dropping voice. The one criticism of this band over the years is that they don’t often equal the sum of their parts, and that may be the case, but falling short of greatness and landing with something very good is still fine with me.