“Time has come/ much too soon./ You won't stay awake/ for my tune.” So says Kim Deal on her latest 7-inch single, which features Morgan Nagler of LA indie band Whispertown. These two tracks, “The Root” and “Range on Castle,” resemble the Breeders, but they also provide a fascinating view of the work Deal has been dishing out for the past few months. This is the fourth 7-inch in a stellar series; from listening to the harmonized voices, the quiet yet ferocious guitars lingering beneath the surface and the addition of Nagler's songwriting and vocals, one can only hope this won't be the last. And although rating systems are bullshit in this day and age, this is easily an A+. But could you expect anything different? So in response to your assertion, Ms. Deal, we'll always stay awake for your tunes. (Mark Lopez)
Timber Timbre has a knack for depicting the wide emptiness of the Western landscape with a sound that takes its influences and outcomes seriously. Out on Arts & Crafts, the Canadian band’s latest, Hot Dreams, continues these mournful musical explorations but also presents evidence of evolution. Whether menacing cowboy murder ballads, spooky folk-soaked lamentations or emanations from David Lynch’s labyrinthine, surreal America (translated wholeheartedly into song), Timber Timbre certainly has a singular if forlorn vision. Colin Stetson’s saxophone sharpens focus while Taylor Kirk’s vocals and guitar playing add a sense of unresolved longing to an album that's mostly concerned with a dusky sort of psychedelia. This is an interesting contrast to the unresolved foreboding and dark psychobilly-tinged exploration of the ensemble’s previous release Creep on Creepin’ On. It’s a blustery movement forward. Like a desert wind, these are indeed Hot Dreams. (August March)
Out now on Captured Tracks, Mac DeMarco's new album, Salad Days, both feels and sounds good as it drifts between dreams in a shambling, self-deprecating way that almost immediately becomes hypnotic. All the tracks here are brief and vignette-like in form and presentation, but their carefree tropicality carries its own weight. Lyrical style carries the narrative, with confessional insight alongside the groove. DeMarco’s guitar stylings tend toward the trebly and twangy, but when he strums the thing, he sounds like John or Paul on vacay with a steel-string in the Bahamas. In fact, from simple romantic odes like “Let My Baby Stay” to the cello-arranged “Passing Out Pieces,” DeMarco has the solo Beatle-y thing down to an art, rarely glimpsed among heavyweights like Elliott Smith. All this makes for an enjoyable listen and considerably heightens expectations for DeMarco's next project. (August March)
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Erika Wennerstrom • singer-